By Lou Pastina
Most of the bands playing in Rockaway are seasoned veterans playing covers of fan favorites. Recently, I had the pleasure of being introduced to two new, young, singer-songwriters who blew me away with their talent and fearlessness.
The ubiquitous Kerry Kearney recently shared a recording of an original song written and sung by Megan Langella of Breezy Point. Megan has been studying the craft with Kerry for a while now and her time spent with the blues master has not been in vain. I listened to Megan’s song “Distance” which Kerry helped record. It is awesome! Not just the music, but the structure of the song is so professional, Megan’s voice is so beautiful and mature, with the writing so on point. It’s an amazing composition. The song is currently on Apple, Spotify, and Pandora. Well worth a listen to this young, budding artist. I expect that we will be hearing big things from Megan in the very near future.
The second young artist I had the pleasure of meeting came completely by accident. I received a call from a neighbor asking if I could help a fellow musician who needed sound equipment for a gig at The Wharf. Always looking to help a fellow musician, I said sure. As it turned out, I had met the young Lauren Craig as she was walking to the beach with my neighbor. My very kind friend and neighbor had opened her home to Lauren who hails from Derry, Ireland. At the young age of 24, she made her way across the pond to play gigs on her own and with her friends, the band Two Degrees. Although Lauren performed covers at The Wharf, she was unique in that she played for two hours straight, blending one song into the other, interpreting the songs to fit her own style. The kid can sing and play as she entertained the crowd at The Wharf for a sunset performance. Lauren also has an album of originals out and can be found on Spotify, Pandora, and Apple. She has played at Jameson’s and recently played at Ulysses in FiDi. She heads to Nashville next to cut her teeth there.
I must tell you, I am in awe of young artists like Megan and Lauren. Not only are they talented, but they are fearless. They are writing their own songs and getting it out there using social media and music sites to spread their creative expressions through music. I have been playing for over forty years and never once felt courageous enough to pen an original. They have done it at a young age, and they get up there and perform on their own. So impressive.
If you see these artists, or for that matter, any of our local talent, please give them a listen to, and be generous with your applause and recognition. They are trying to entertain us, and they are taking that big leap of faith that we will enjoy it. It’s not easy playing music in front of people, and it certainly is not financially rewarding. Yes, the bars pay the musicians, but tipping is strongly encouraged for young artists. The cost of equipment and travel can be daunting. And from what I understand, Spotify, Pandora, Apple, and Amazon music don’t pay the artists very much.
So, here’s to the next generation and as my friend and bandmate likes to say, keep on rocking!