Interested in hearing original music performed by local artists? If you can’t make it to one of the local venues that regularly host live music, check out the latest recordings from local musicians bringing their original compositions to the public. Here are four of UV’s favorites:
Story by Nate Hansen
NEIL GREGORY JOHNSON
Genre: Rock, Blues, Country
Our favorite track: “Three Days on the Wagon”
You may recognize Neil Johnson from his frequent jazz guitar gigs at a number of local restaurants, but might not realize that Johnson is as accomplished a singer-songwriter as he is a great musician. The Roseburg native just released his debut EP, which he recorded in Portland with producer Sean Flora. Johnson is gearing up for a summer of gigs with his backing band, including a spot at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on the Fourth of July.
Listen to his music and see his concert schedule at neilgregoryjohnson.com
Genre: Country, Pop, Rock
Our favorite track: “Angels in the Sky”
Country vocalist and guitarist Braeden Counts regularly performs at venues across Southern Oregon, but he might be best known for his presence on YouTube, where he has posted more than 20 videos of himself performing a mix of originals and covers. Counts has been a featured artist on local radio station Best Country 103, and his catalog of originals is diverse and ever- growing. His most popular song, “Angels in the Sky,” is a tribute to the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting.
Counts’ music, videos and more can be accessed at braedencounts.com
Genre: Country, Pop, Blues
Our favorite track: “Please Don’t Go”
Oakland’s Tory Rose began playing guitar at age 12, and has built a strong following in her hometown and beyond. Rose consistently packs venues around the county with her shows featuring a mix of creative covers and well-crafted originals. Rose’s performance and songwriting style is in many ways reminiscent of ZZ Ward, another local talent who got her start at a young age.
Find videos of her original and cover music on her Facebook page, facebook.com/toryrosemusic
Genre: Folk, Americana, Soul
Our favorite track: “Walk With Me”
Folk duo Hecktic Week, aka Mike Hecker and Jennifer Weekly, has been releasing original music since 2014. Blending the acoustic instrumentation of Americana with the nuanced vocal delivery of soul has been a winning formula for the duo, who have become mainstays at many local venues. The pair create a surprisingly large sound at their live shows, thanks in part to the multiple talents of singer/guitarist/percussionist Hecker.
To date, Hecktic Week has released six originals, which can be found on their Bandcamp page, heckticweek.bandcamp.com