Notes-Worthy: Connie Hoagland

Notes-Worthy: Connie Hoagland

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with CONNIE HOAGLAND, vocalist in Southernicity, which plays originals and covers. Her bandmates are Dave Cooper (guitar) and Kathy Larson (keys).

Is Southernicity the only band you have been in?

Besides playing trumpet in our school band, and with the church organist for special occasions, Southernicity is my very first attempt at having a band.

While I have always had a passion for music, playing sports and coaching them has occupied the majority of my life. Now that chapter has closed and music has been able to take center stage so to speak.

How did you three come together to begin the band?

Southernicity actually came together because of original music. I started to write several years ago and had met Dave Cooper through the Feudin' Hillbillies and Kathy Larson as another fan of the local music scene. I asked them to help me put music to the very first song I wrote called "They're So Special" about a group of special needs kids I adore. Southernicity grew from there. Kathy and I started practicing in my friend Lin's garage. Once we had several songs together we asked Dave if he had time to join in. Our primary goal was to perform at Original Artist Night! We all three write original music and like to intersperse our originals in with the cover songs we perform.

What is your feeling on music in general, especially original music?

As a child of the 70s, I grew up listening to really great lyrical songwriters. James Taylor and Carol King could tell some amazing stories through their songs. I was also enamored with the entertainers like Barbara Mandrell, Donny and Marie, Jackson Five and Captain and Tennille. I thought artists who could write, sing, play instruments and entertain the crowd were superstars.

Now that I have tried to express my own thoughts and emotions through song and then purvey that story or those emotions to our audience, I realize just how hard making that connection can be. Writing something that everyone can relate to in their own way is the challenge. I will always remember the first time, only a few weeks ago, when I looked out and saw someone in the crowd singing along to one of our original songs. What a rush, because I knew in that moment the music had connected us. That is what music does. It lets us love, cry, heal and celebrate life together.

How important is having support in this live, local music scene?

The amount of spectacular music that is played in and around this town is fantastic. We are lucky to have local venues supporting us and sponsoring these shows on a regular basis. But having the support of our listeners is critical. We definitely need the locals to grab some friends and enjoy a summer evening on a patio listening to some live music and making some fantastic memories.

Where can we locate Southernicity and what are your future plans?

Right now, you can find Southernicity at Boomerang's Bar and Grill in Urbana at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, opening for Nashville singer-songwriter Cheley Tackett. We are also at Clark Bar at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month. We hope to have a Facebook page up and going soon!

Topics (1):Music