This last Wednesday October 16th saw the grand finale to the second annual Harts of the Valley Talent Search. Six fantastic contestants competed for a chance to take the Grand Prize – a full album’s worth of recording sessions at Wild Rose Studios. Coming out on top was Casey Joyce, a folksy singer/songwriter with just a half decade of a musical background and influences ranging from Damien Rice and Glen Hansard to Laura Marling.
A natural guitarist with a voice that’s not just excellent, but interesting and dynamic, Joyce’s music can appeal to a wide range of listeners. Transcending folk with flavors of rock, blues and country – amongst other things – I asked Joyce about how his musical style wound up the way it is. “There’s something about certain folksy music where it’s like, it just seems like they mean every word they sing. They just say what needs to be said and lay it all out there, and that’s what I try to do with my music, too. I grew up on really varied music, from Tom Waits to Counting Crows to Sublime. I kinda learned to appreciate everything, in a way, but in the end I think the folky, sad singer-songwriter archetype kinda fit me the best,” he said.
Being the premiere music talent search in the area and finishing on one of the nicest stages in town, it can potentially be a little nerve-racking for participants and show runners alike. However, the wonderful sonic results of the evening seem to paint the same picture as do those behind the scenes. Commenting, Joyce has this to say: “The contest was great! The other artists were some of the nicest people I think I will ever meet, each and every one of them. Everyone was incredibly supportive backstage, the whole night. For a contest, nobody was acting that competitive. I think we were all just happy to be there and genuinely enjoying each other’s music. The crowd was incredible. I was so nervous that my knees were shaking the first time I went out on stage, but they totally helped get rid of it. Compared to places like coffees shops and restaurants, they were actually there to listen. There is no other feeling like being in a room full of quiet people who are there to really hear you.“
To keep up with Joyce’s work, keep an eye out for his upcoming release from Wild Rose Studios online (http://wildrosestudios.com/) and on Facebook. Also, do a search for “Casey Joyce” on YouTube for a few awesome live performances!