When: 9 p.m. Jan. 6
Where: McArthur's Grill and Pub, 1706 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville
The Alex Hall Band performance
When: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 7
Where: Wild Wings Cafe, 311 Jesse Jewell Parkway SW, Gaineville
More info: www.thealexhallband.com
Alex Hall may be young, but his musical resume hold its own against performers twice his age.
For the last several years, the 17-year-old Gainesville resident has been busy writing songs, performing live and opening shows for artists like Frankie Ballard and Bucky Covington.
He’s also mentored younger musicians through First Verse, an after-school program for students interested in songwriting. It was created by members of the John Jarrard Foundation.
Although he spends a lot of time on the road traveling to shows all over the Southeast, Alex took a break to talk to The Times about his latest achievements:
Question: How crazy was 2011 for you?
Answer: I played 125 plus shows last year. In July, we released a new CD called “The Way I Was Raised.” I also have written several new songs, and I was invited to attended the Country Music Awards. That was awesome!
Q: What has it been like interacting with industry veterans at such a young age? Has anyone given you any advice that really stuck with you?
A: It is crazy to be meeting people that you have looked up to your whole life, and earning their respect as not only an artist, but a songwriter as well. People that have given me the most advice and really been inspirational to me are Eric Elliott, Mike Dekle, Bruce Burch, Lee Davis and my vocal coach, Jan “Mama J” Smith. Yes, she is in the Justin Bieber movie.
Q: Have your roles as student and Gainesville resident been replaced by your life on the road as a musician?
A: I still go to Chestatee High School and I do still live here in Gainesville, but we spend a lot of time up in Nashville, too. It is definitely my second home.
Q: If someone has never seen you live, or heard any of your original material, how would you describe an Alex Hall Band performance?
A: It is very high-energy show. Even on the ballads, you can feel the soul in the music. Our music has a little blues, rock, R&B and a whole lotta country.
Q: How can folks get sample your music for themselves?
A: This weekend, I will be doing an acoustic set at McArthur’s (Grill and Pub) on Cleveland Highway on Friday at 9 p.m. And Saturday, I will be doing a full band show at Wild Wings at 9:30 p.m. Also, you can check out my music, dates, videos and pictures at www.thealexhallband.com.