News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Top Story 3

December 13, 2012

Terre Haute’s Judson Hill band to unveil new album

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.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Story 3
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Raw: Protesters, Israeli Security Forces Clash Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity