Solo artist Gautney forms a band
March 25, 2014
For the past couple of years, Kamas resident Jennie Gautney has focused on her career as an acoustic singer and songwriter.
She’s played at the Blind Dog, Cisero’s and hosts an open mic session every Thursday at Atticus Coffee Books and Teahouse.
This Saturday, March 29, Gautney will add a new chapter to her musical career — a full band — when she plays a free concert at Collie’s Bar and Grill, 738 Main St., at 9 p.m.
The Right Vibes feature bassist Alex Nibley, guitarist Charles "Chuck" Windley and percussionist Gavin Young.
Gautney said she has wanted to play with a band since she was 11 years old.
"I played solo for quite a while to get my own career worked out," she told The Park Record. "Then awhile ago, I thought about that old saying, ‘If you build it, they will come’ and decided that it was time to get a band together."
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Nibley was the first to reach out to Gautney.
"Jennie and I had been friends on Facebook and I noticed she posted a lot about her shows in Park City," he said. "I decided to check out her YouTube video ‘Stand Your Woman.’"
Nibley, who said he thinks he has a good ear for talent, liked what he heard.
"I hit her up and we met and talked about getting a band together," he said.
The bassist, who has a musical history with Windley and Young, introduced them to Gautney.
"I brought her in one night and we played a couple of songs and that’s who it all started," Nibley said.
The only drawback is the three men live in Salt Lake and commute to Summit County.
"We’re in a long-distance relationship," Young joked.
The four, who have been rehearsing for the past five weeks, share similar influences that range from Jimi Hendrix and Jack Johnson to the Dave Matthews Band, Led Zeppelin and the John Butler Trio.
Family members were also musical mentors for Young and Nibley.
"My dad is a musician and he taught me how to play the drums," Young said. "I do play a lot of other instruments, so I like to think of myself as a percussionist."
Nibley’s uncle introduced him to the bass a little more than a year ago.
"I originally started playing violin in elementary school," he said. "But my family has a large musical background and it was something that was going to happen."
Windley, on the other hand, worked out the six-string logistics himself.
"I got a guitar for my 16th birthday and noodled around with it," he said. "I was kind of like a singer-songwriter, like Jennie, until I realized how much more fun it was to play it with other people," he said. "I started playing music with Gavin and we’ve been playing together for a while."
Throughout the years, Windley has developed his own guitar technique.
"I’ve learned to love getting down on the solos," he said.
Although Saturday’s concert is the band’s official debut, it has already performed informally around the area.
"We’ve been hitting a lot of open mic nights and last week we played the Greenhouse Effect coffeehouse in Holladay," Nibley said. "It was a great experience and judging how the crowd reacted, we really have a good indication that people like our unique sound."
Still, playing locally is just one of the band’s list of goals.
"We definitely want to do an album and we want to go on tour," Gautney said. "We have been focusing on original songs, because we don’t want to be a cover band."
All the original songs were written by Gautney.
"She had so much material right off the bat and she taught them to us," Nibley said. "So we picked them up and built the set off of them."
Transforming the acoustic works into full-band arrangements was "unconventional" for Young.
"I’ve played with a bunch of old guys in jams and just sat in the pocket and grooved out," he said. "The way Jennie has written her songs was very different than I was used to and we have morphed to fit her style."
Nibley likes the songs arrangements.
"It has been a great learning experience because she has choruses and bridges," he said. "I wanted to expand my playing and this is the way I can do that."
Windley is happy that Gautney’s guitar can back his playing.
"It’s been fun bouncing off another guitarist," he said. "It makes things so easy because Jennie has so much knowledge when it comes to music and can hold things down on her own while I go off on my solos."
Jennie Gautney and the Right Vibe will perform at Collie’s Bar and Grill, 738 Main St. on Saturday, March 29, at 9 p.m. Admission is free.