The talent of the group is enhanced by the expert sound skills of venue manager Ian Byars. Ian transforms the intimate space into a stellar listening room, a small room that rocks the neighboring competition of surrounding larger venues into submission. Accompanied by exceptional tacos and a tequila stock market for every man- this establishment - like the band it is hosting - never disappoints.
Ian walks over to the band's manager, and smiles wiping his brow; "They had me sweating opening with an original right out of the gate!" The song - “Smoke and Mirrors” - is welcomed by the audience as if they've known this music for decades. Inside people are singing along, outside on the street passers-by stop and listen through the open windows. Then they turn and walk in the doors. The place is jammed in moments. A testament to the band - who need no smoke and mirrors - they have it all.
The set continues alternating between familiar covers and stellar originals from the new album. The three sisters sing in perfect harmony and banter with playful humor inviting the audience inside their familial make-up. They are all naturals on stage. Lead vocalist Lauren Wilson belts out soulful lyrics while her sisters Ashley Min and Melissa York complete the sound and stage picture. They are all beautiful, down to earth, fun-loving talented women. The seamless workings of this band is an amazing experience to witness. A gentleman leans into band manager, John Leal and comments “…you and they have a long and prosperous career ahead of you." This is one of many similar observations throughout the night. The consensus is clear, GalFriday band is on the fast track to famous. The ladies rock Little Big Town’s version of Little White Church and Maren Morris’s My Church turning the venue into a momentary gospel revival. The bar sings along as an impromptu back-up choir. They then cover Midnight Rider, a soulful rock-n-roll female harmonic version that would make the Allman Brothers proud. And every time Lauren asks if the crowd might like to hear an original there are audible cheers. They have won. The band moves, plays and fills the space with an electric energy. Bass player Stacey Leazer, Drummer Johnathan Erickson and guitar Mike Waters play with the ease of a well-oiled machine. Perfectly executing covers and originals alike. The room is entranced and alive with the joy of stellar musical talent. The formula works. This band captures a new audience with catchy well-composed songs that every newcomer can relate to; people who have never seen or heard of GalFriday are instant fans, asking for autographs and pictures. The pre-sale CDs are selling like hot chicken to new fans who want a piece of the band before the rest of the world has access.
Pay attention Nashville, these gals and their band are sure to be your next headliners. Nashville is accustomed to amazing artists, but once in a while an act that proves an anomaly comes along and even we have to admit they are a breath of fresh air. Something unique stops us in our tracks, and we just have to listen. GalFriday Band has made their mark for every day of the week in Music City. They will rock your weekdays as much as your weekends.
Article Sample: The Lyrical Life of Lara Part I April 20, 2016 Katharine Poole Women in Music Wednesday: Women of Music Music of Women
Lara Johnston is performing her original music for Tin Pan South. Accompanied by Dean Berner, she captivates her audience with a unique artistry. The rest of her time in town is spent co-writing with some of Nashville’s finest as she is in the process of writing and producing her debut album. As evidenced by her 30,000 plus followers on Facebook and 450,000 hits on YouTube, her understanding of fan connection coupled with talent prove Lara’s artistic capability. This accomplished young artist has a wide-reaching audience and experience beyond her years. Lara currently lives in Los Angeles. She tries to spend as much time in her native San Fransisco as possible. “It’s nice because it’s not too far from LA. I love The Bay Area.” She sighs with a hint of nostalgia, but she moves with ease to add she may be ready to make a shift. “I’ve been really considering moving here [Nashville]. I was here a bunch last year, which made me kind of feel like I was starting to get ready for at least spending a part of my time here, because I really love it.”
The path for Lara may have been determined by fate and birth, but there is a lot more to her story. “Definitely growing up in a musical family – I’m sure that led to me wanting to do this because it was there from the time I was born. So it just seemed like this is my world and I couldn’t really think of doing anything else.” Lara and her family were lucky to have the opportunity to travel together during the summer months, with her father’s band, The Doobie Brothers. “When we weren’t in school – it was just such a great, inspiring thing to see how people were moved by the music my Dad was making – what a joy it was for him. It’s a lot of hard work. But there’s nothing like it – being able to live your joy like that every day – live your passion and create.” To read the complete article go to nashvillemusicguide.com
Tequila Sunsets Hosts GalFriday Band by K.W. Poole 4/2017
We locals, whether transplanted or native, tend not to spend a lot of time on Lower Broadway and 2nd Ave - that is unless we have a reason. Usually that reason comes in one of three forms: it’s hockey night; we are playing a gig; or we have out of town guests. But now there is another reason to venture out on Wednesday nights: Tequila Sunsets, a writers night at Cervesa Jack’s. This Wednesday a stellar band joins the sunset spotlight with a handful of local artists. GalFriday from Charlotte, North Carolina will be back in town on their way to Spring Jam in Panama City, Florida. Nashville is lucky to have a fly by performance from this sister act in such an intimate setting.
Tequila Sunsets is usually a round style night featuring three local musicians, hosted by the legendary Carl Wockner. The music kicks-off a 6:00pm, with writers sharing their original works. The taco joint hit the honkey tonk haven with it’s California flair for food and entertainment earlier this year, and continues to make its mark with innovation and community support. Recently the management purchased the legendary George Jones (bar and museum) across the street, joining forces of stellar proportions and changing the face of 2nd Avenue North.
The writers night, entitled Tequila Sunsets, was a seed planted and executed by staff and local musicians. The goal of the writers night, in the words of Jared Gray, is “..to make it kind of like a Whiskey Jam. Ian [manager of Cerveza Jack’s] has been working at the bars for like 12 or 15 years. Cerveza Jack’s, George Jones and Moonshine Flats none of them have an original anything - it’s all just a cover bar.” Though people play an original tune once in a while, for the most part these Lower Broad establishments require musicians to play mostly covers in order to keep the drinking crowds engaged. Tequila Sunsets brings something of their [local singer/songwriters] own to the strip. “It was kind of a collaboration between me, Ian, Robin [co-manager] and Frank Miller [GM, George Jones].” Starting as an experiment in February, he continues “…it was a hit. So, we’ve just been doin’ it. It’s been great.”
The corporate establishments - based on legends, styles of music, food or just an essence, and of course as Jared points out: “a partying, cover band [atmosphere],” - want to add the appeal of local flair to the entertainment menu. This is the first mark these venues have made to recognize the local singer/songwriter talent Nashville has to offer, by featuring their own music; a release and relief from the sometimes monotonous and endless repetition of covering others.
This Wednesday the GalFriday Band is returning to town to give a preview of their latest work and upcoming album. Starting at 9:00pm, they will precede the regular round, which includes: Dakota Bradley, Nick Fabian and Rachel Price. This sister trio is an act not to be missed. Their stellar Southern Rock/Bluegrass harmonic style will rock the house and hearts of Nashville.
Come join the party and soak in some new music. Enjoy delicious tacos and margaritas from a kitchen and bar staff with exceptional skill. This is a worthy Wednesday venture! And follow up on Thursday with a visit to The Row in West end, where GalFriday will make a quick appearance at The Row 7pm-8pm, before hitting the road to Florida.