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Waggoner tour comes to Nashville

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Independent recording artist Brooke Waggoner is currently touring in support of her new EP, “Fresh Pair of Eyes.” The Nashville-based artist will make a local stop at 3rd and Lindsley on March 8.

In early 2007, Brooke Waggoner could often be seen playing solo for relatively small audiences at various venues across the Nashville area. Less than eight months later, she was delivering her piano-driven indie pop to huge audiences in some of the most popular places in town, including a packed Mercy Lounge during a prime slot of Next Big Nashville.

It’s not uncommon for a Nashville artist to take years to build a solid following. Waggoner, on the other hand, built hers in less than one.

“If you love your crowd—really love them—then they’ll love you back,” Waggoner said.

It’s a simple philosophy, and it’s holding true for her. In addition to her live performances, she also self-released a six-song EP entitled “Fresh Pair of Eyes,” which was named one of the top five singer-songwriter albums of 2007 by the Nashville Scene. Her collection of songs blends commercial influences like ELO and Simon & Garfunkel with classical influences such as Chopin. Recently, in the spirit of Christmas (and maybe Radiohead) she made it available for free download on her Web site.

Her ability to construct memorable pop melodies is no surprise considering the degree in music composition she has from Louisiana State University.

Getting There

Brooke Waggoner
with Jeremy Fisher
and Christopher Denny
Saturday, March 8
10 p.m.
3rd and Lindsley

“The fact that she writes and composes nearly every aspect of her music allows her to convey exactly what she’s feeling and what she wants you to hear —there’s raw emotion going into every instrument,” said Belmont sophomore J.T. McCreery.

A typical track starts out in the usual verse/chorus fashion, with her miniature orchestra accompanying her gentle vocal and piano work. Then, halfway through the song, she’ll turn it on its head. A soft interlude soon becomes a frantic tap dance across the piano keys, with the strings pirouetting to her carefully composed arrangements and the drums charging forward behind them.

Her lyrics range from homesick wordplay in “So-So” to spirituality and faith in “Wonder-Dummied” and “Fresh Pair of Eyes.”

But the music always comes first.

“I’m no lyricist; I mean, definitely, my lyrics come second. But I don’t want to waste people’s time,” Waggoner said.

When asked about the spiritual content of some of her songs, she said, “I was raised in a very God-centered home. I knew that was where my gift was coming from.”

She wants to offer a message, however, that can be universal and easily accessible to anyone.

“I don’t want to be too vague in my lyrics, but, at the same time, I can’t be too overt. I really like to provoke thought and open up discussion.”

As her EP continues to sell, Waggoner is content to forge the path of an independent artist without the help of a major record label.

“We’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle without a label; we’ve kind of bypassed it, which is always, ideally, what I’d like to do,” said Waggoner. “Until the right thing presents itself, I’m not in a rush to do it.”

Her team of management, publicity and booking agents has recently put together a tour of the eastern U.S. that began in February and lasts until May, bringing her to Nashville March 8.

As successful as Waggoner has been with the commercial side of music, it’s not her only ambition.

“I’d love to do [film] scores; that’s definitely a big part of how I think and what inspires me. That’s a big thing I want to accomplish,” she said. “With some smart planning, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work.”

February 28, 2008

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