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MORE than 60 people turned out to hear a rising star from Ashill perform a set of country inspired songs at a Culm Valley venue last week.
22-year-old Alex Hart has recently been signed to record labels in the UK and America and appeared at the Culm Valley Music and Performance Club in Uffculme on April 30.
People who had attended Uffculme School with the jazz singer, family and teachers, who Alex said have helped her performance, made their way to Magelake Hall to support her on the night.
Alex said: “It was so nice because I knew about three quarters of the audience – people I’d not seen for years. It was really good, the place was sold out which was awesome.
“The people that go to the club are real music lovers and they listen. It’s just a cool place to go.”
Culm Valley Music Club founder Brian Bennellick said: “We hold the club on the last Wednesday of every month. Alex was our guest star and she did exceptionally well. I’ve seen her improve and improve and she is beginning to turn a corner now.”
Alex was signed to UK music label Right Track Digital via Universal in the UK, after performing at a folk festival in Lyme Regis last year, supporting folk pop duo Turin Breaks.
Alex said: “It was one of the best shows I’ve done with about 400 people. We were signed up straight away after that gig.”
Alex’s music has been described as ‘West Country Country’ – a mix of American country music with folk influences – and it was her original sound which brought her to the attention of American music label OK!Good Records.
From the age of seven Alex attended the Uffculme Amateur Dramatic Society and said that it was her drama teacher Yvette who helped her to hone both her performance and on-stage confidence.
Alex said: “My love of music came from growing up with dad’s record collection.
“I always loved the music of Hank Williams and Elvis and was inspired by them. When I started writing songs they always had a folk sound to them.”
Alex released her first single ‘Orange Van’ in April following her successful cover of Angie Stone’s ‘I Wish I Didn’t Miss You’ with Electronic Youth, which went to number two in the Music Week Club Charts.
Alex said: “We are in the process of planning a mini tour at the end of the summer. This will be our first one so it is exciting.”
Well I’ve had a fantastic week so far. After a good sleep I was back on the road home to the Westcountry from London on Wednesday morning where I saw family members and then performed an amazing gig back on my home turf in Uffculme. The Culm Valley Music and Performance Club which I must say is a wonderful thing to be a part of. The place was full and it was so nice to see people I haven’t seen for years. People that have had a huge impact on my career. I was pretty exhausted but in a way, it helped my performance. I felt so laid back and relaxed on stage and usually I am nervous when performing in front of lots of people I know. It just felt right. Then back in the car and another hour’s drive back to Plymouth. An hour or so to wind down and then I was definitely ready for bed.
Today it’s Friday and after a local gig last night i’m ready for another at my regular venue The Vauxhall Quay. Tomorrow i’m at The Well House Tavern in Exeter, I loved playing there last time… Gonna make this a night to remember!