TERRE HAUTE —
Whether in Music City or River City, Alexa McFadden loves singing with her Judson Hill bandmates.
The four-member group hopes its new album, “Beauty in Goodbye,” catches ears in the recording industry. They’ll unveil the 10-song CD in their hometown of Terre Haute this weekend, and play it live in March at Nashville’s iconic 12th & Porter club.
A year ago, McFadden had no inkling she’d be the lead vocalist for an up-and-coming contemporary country band. She’s simply enjoying the moment.
“Being involved in anything musical is just a great dream,” she said last week. The possibility of Judson Hill someday “living in Nashville and making a career of it would be great for me. But just being in the band, even if that doesn’t happen, I’m as happy as can be.”
Audiences seem to be enjoying it, too. Judson Hill has a string of successful gigs dating back to the group’s formation last summer.
McFadden started singing alongside guitarist Marc Rogers Jr. after he invited her to handle secondary vocals in another band last winter. By July, those two — along with Marc’s younger brother and drummer John Rogers, and bassist Steven Lee — formed Judson Hill. “Alexa is an exceptional singer,” Marc Jr. said, “and I feel kind of blessed that she was brought into my life, and we were brought into hers.”
They drew the band’s name from an area near Fontanet, where Barbie Cox Rogers (mother of John and Marc, and wife of the band’s manager/producer/engineer Marc Rogers Sr.) grew up. Soon Barbie, an experienced lyricist, began writing songs with Marc and Alexa. This fall, they ventured into the studio, resulting in the “Beauty in Goodbye” album.
“There’s a good core of a writing element between me and Alexa,” 22-year-old Marc Jr. said, “and, of course, Mom’s great at writing words.”
Songwriting provides an emotional outlet for McFadden.
“It helps me get through the tough times,” she said of the process. “It’s obviously my passion, and I think it’s what I’m meant to do.”
The collection features a blend of sentimental country ballads, such as the opening track “One Summer Night,” and upbeat rockers with a bit of attitude like “Bad Side” and “He Won’t Change.” The closer and title track, with heartache and reminiscences, holds a special place with McFadden. “It really portrays something I’d been struggling with,” she said.
While Judson Hill’s instrumentalists are seasoned from experience with other bands and learning under Marc Sr. — a veteran guitarist in sessions and on tours beside notable Nashville artists — live performances were new to McFadden, though she sang the national anthem at sports events in her high school years at Terre Haute North. She handled “The Star Spangled Banner” in Hulman Center before the North-vs.-South basketball games in her sophomore and senior years. Fronting an electric band was a different twist.
Even stints as a backup vocalist didn’t involve the same level of pressure for McFadden, who — like Marc Jr. and John — also balances studies as an Indiana State University student with her music. Singing lead is “a big transition,” said McFadden, a 20-year-old sophomore nursing major. “Now, I’m always the one they’re looking at, so I have to do something to keep them interested.”
Judson Hill’s first show, at Show-Me’s in Terre Haute, “was nerve-racking” for her. “As the night went on, I was a lot more comfortable,” she said.
In the studio, their work on the album drew in some well-regarded Nashville musicians, friends of Marc Sr. Adding fiddle parts to two songs was Rob Hacajos, who played on hits by Shania Twain (“Any Man of Mine”), Brooks & Dunn (“Boot Scootin’ Boogie”) and Taylor Swift (“Mean”). Five tracks get steel guitar work by Steve Hinson, who recorded with country stars Luke Bryan and Josh Turner, and has toured for 17 years with Randy Travis. Terre Haute keyboardist Logan Lundstrom and fiddler John Davis also perform.
Through those sessions, Hinson was “extremely encouraging” about Judson Hill’s potential, Marc Sr. said.
The album includes “Life Flows By (In the Wabash),” a song Marc Jr. and McFadden wrote and recorded for “The Wabash” CD — another newly released disc that celebrates the river and serves as a fundraiser for the Wabash Valley Art Spaces’ Paul Dresser sculpture project. In “Life Flows By,” Rogers and McFadden recall childhood days “when family was everything” and “time meant nothing at all.”
“It’s just kind of a special place,” Marc Jr. said, “that stays in your heart.”
TERRE HAUTE —
Whether in Music City or River City, Alexa McFadden loves singing with her Judson Hill bandmates.
ISU to bring The Color Run to Terre Haute
Indiana State University is planning a colorful kickoff event for the 2014-15 school year.
The university is bringing The Color Run to Terre Haute on Aug. 23. One of the largest event series in the nation, the race douses participants from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. Billed as the “happiest 5K on the planet,” the event caters to everyone — first-time runners to professional athletes — and has no winners or official times.
Ride With The Governor is set for July 25
On Friday, ABATE of Indiana will present the annual Ride With The Governor.
This event to promote motorcycle awareness is open to all motorcyclists. Donations will benefit the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund.
‘Sound of Music’ this weekend and next at Maple Avenue UMC
Maple Avenue United Methodist Church’s Summer Theatre will present six performances of “The Sound of Music” beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, July 25.
Brazil Concert Band sets ‘German Musikfest’ concert for July 27
The Brazil Concert Band will present “German Musikfest” at 7 p.m. Sunday at Forest Park in Brazil, rain or shine.
Join SPPRAK for photo at Rex game
SPPRAK Night will be 7 p.m. July 25 during the Terre Haute Rex game at Bob Warn Field. Five hundred people, all wearing the same glasses, will get their picture taken.
Adults invited to join New Horizons Band at Community School of Arts
New Horizons Band at the Indiana State University Community School of the Arts welcomes adults, age 25 and older, with little or no musical experience to become a New Horizons Music member.
Gospel soloist to perform July 27 in Brazil
Gospel music soloist Ryan Seaton will be in concert at 6 p.m. on Sunday in First Christian Church at Brazil.
Arrowhead Show July 27 in Sullivan County
An Arrowhead Show featuring Prehistoric First American artifacts is set for Sunday in Sullivan County.
Terre Haute Parks plan National Dance Day event on July 26
The Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department will be participating in National Dance Day on Saturday.
Gym Bob’s Jamboree July 26 at Boot City Opry
Solos, duets and instrumentals are all part of the great Gym Bob’s Jamboree show set for 7 p.m. Saturday in Boot City Opry at 11800 S. U.S. 41.
Nature Conservancy announces ‘Natural Treasures’ challenge
The Nature Conservancy and Honda of America Mfg. Inc. announce the highly anticipated summer Natural Treasures challenge that gives Hoosiers an opportunity to explore natural sites in Indiana and a chance to win a Honda Civic Hybrid.
Benefit, walk Aug. 2 to support MS Society
The fourth annual Multiple Sclerosis Benefit will take place Aug. 2 at the Rosedale Tavern, 93 W. Middle St., Rosedale.
Arte é Vino for adults planned July 29
Looking for a girls night out or a fun and unique date? Arte é Vino events are fun art-themed events for adults.
Visit musical ‘petting zoo’ at Children’s Museum
The theme for downtown Terre Haute’s First Friday on Aug. 1 will be “Dog Days of Summer.” What better time for children to visit a petting zoo? The Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame is planning a petting zoo of a different kind, though: a musical instrument menagerie.
Celebrate Smokey Bear’s birthday Aug. 2
Visitors to Turkey Run State Park in Parke County can eat cake and ice cream, meet firefighters and see fire engines and other equipment at a birthday party for Smokey Bear on Aug. 2.
Sisters plan annual used book sale
The Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods are preparing for their annual used book sale.
The event is scheduled for Aug. 2-10 in the Providence Spirituality and Conference Center conference room, across the hall from Linden Leaf Gifts.
Ride Tour de Park Aug. 16 through Vigo parks
The Tour de Park, a set of non-competitive bike rides through Vigo County parks, will begin at 8 p.m. on Aug. 16. Routes of 10 or 50 miles are available, with both starting at Hawthorn Park’s Dogwood Shelter.
River City adds 2 Artist of the Month galleries
River City Art Association Inc. in Terre Haute now has three Artist of the Month galleries to showcase artwork by its members.
Marshall Library announces photo winners
Marshall Public Library announces winners of an animal photography contest staged in conjunction with its recent “PAWS” to Read Summer Reading Program.
Hole-y-One Golf Scramble scheduled
Golfers are invited to mark their calendars for the 12th annual Hole-y-One Golf Scramble, presented by the Sisters of Providence at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. The event will take place on Sept. 12 at the Country Club of Terre Haute, 57 Allendale.
- Museums/Exhibitions: July 24, 2014
Habitat Cruise In set for July 26 in Brazil
Habitat for Humanity of Clay County has set its Brazil Kroger Cruise In for 5 to 9 p.m. July 26 on the Kroger parking lot, east of Brazil on U.S. 40.
Scoop up some blueberries, live music
Terre Foods Cooperative Market will present the sixth annual Blueberry Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, at Central Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Seventh St.
Blueberry compote sundaes will be available for $5.
‘On the Banks of the Wabash’ band festival set
Seven bands from Indiana and Kentucky will join the Terre Haute Community Band and special guest Gymnasium Heide-Ost Symphonic Band from Heide, Germany, to present the fourth annual “On the Banks of the Wabash” Community Band Festival on Friday and Saturday. Five bands are making their first appearance at the festival. All concerts are at Fairbanks Park and are free.
Crossroads Rep offers a different show each night
Patrons still have time to see all four shows in this summer’s Crossroads Repertory Theatre season at Indiana State University. During the final two weeks of the season, a different play is presented each evening, with a Sunday matinee.
Experience pioneer life July 19 at Turkey Run Heritage Festival
Turkey Run State Park will host the Pioneer Heritage Festival on Saturday, a chance to experience the 19th century.
A variety of hands-on activities will be available for visitors to try and to enjoy.
Concert band to add a little bluegrass July 20
The Brazil Concert Band is scheduled to present “OK! … Yellow Hammer!” on Sunday at the special time of 7 p.m. at Forest Park.
Firefighters plan Aug. 16 fish fry
The Shepardsville Volunteer Fire Department has planned a fish fry fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 16 in the Shepardsville firehouse.
Author receives honor for children’s book on Saint Mother Theodore
Mary K. Doyle has written many books. But she had never attempted to write a children’s book.
However, her first one, “Saint Theodora and her Promise to God,” was recently honored by placing fourth in a contest conducted by the Catholic Press Association.
‘Accidental Love’ author at Open Door July 21
Switz City writer Ralph W. Roach, author of “Accidental Love,” will be available to sign copies of his book from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The event will take place at the Open Door Christian Bookstore, 3125 S. Third Place.
- More Bash Headlines
- ISU to bring The Color Run to Terre Haute