Alissa Beyer Trio to perform at La Diosa Cellers on Friday
A 7-year-old little girl who got her start singing in holiday performances in Lubbock’s downtown Cactus Theater has come a long way.
Alissa Beyer, a Lubbock native, is working on an album with Grammy-winning music producer Clif Magness. Magness, also originally from Lubbock, has worked with famed recording artists including Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken.
Beyer, 20, recently graduated from South Plains College with a degree in commercial music. She and two additional SPC music grads regularly perform as a trio, playing both her originals and classic favorites.
“We mix in original music, classic rock and a little bit of the contemporary, pop/rock stuff you hear on the radio,” Beyer said. “We try to keep it more low key, as far as the energy level, until the end. Then we throw in the classic rock stuff.”
Knowing what the audience wants is what makes the Alissa Beyer Trio successful, the vocalist said, especially at gigs like their upcoming show at 8:30 p.m. Friday at La Diosa Cellars. It’s important not to drown out the audience while they’re finishing up dinner or business meetings, or chatting with friends, she said.
“We know they want to talk amongst themselves; we don’t want to overpower anybody at the beginning,” Beyer said. “La Diosa is not a party atmosphere — it’s not a jazz lounge either — but it’s not a party atmosphere, and we try to reflect that.”
Guitarist Mark Morgan said although his strong suit is rock music, he enjoys playing the acoustic pieces with the group. He said he combines elements he uses on electric guitar with the acoustic sounds, creating a unique style for the trio.
Morgan also performs in rock groups, as well as a church band, and said the trio is “definitely a change of pace” for him.
“I think we have something a little different to bring to the table as a trio, especially because we’re doing mostly acoustic stuff,” the Lubbock native said. “A lot of bands around town are full bands and electric. We do some of the same songs, but we bring a more relaxed vibe to the table. It’s not slow and boring the whole night; we still do fast and fun songs. It’s a little bit different than what you see everybody else do.”
Drummer Ryan Garza, originally from Smyer, said the dynamic among the three musicians plays a big role in their live performances. He said not only is the band interesting to listen to, but the group puts on a good show and is fun to watch.
Performing with the band also is different from his usual style — Garza comes from a jazz background.
“Playing with the trio is a more delicate thing; you get more of an interactive part being the drummer than you would in a bigger band situation,” he said. “Especially with it being acoustic, you have to create conversation that’s not normally there to make it entertaining to the listeners. “A lot of time, especially in jazz, a lot of focus is paid to melody of the tune; that comes out (when I am) playing with the trio. Since it’s just one acoustic guitar, and then me, I’m kind of doing percussion, but also trying to do the melody as well.”
As far as the original lyrics go, Garza described Beyer, whom he’s been dating for a few years, as “an incredible songwriter.”
The vocalist said her first full album, which she finished recording this month, will include several songs she wrote.
“Basically, the whole album has to deal with different colors of relationships. It sounds really cheesy trying to explain it,” Beyer laughed. “The whole album kind of centers around the idea of different things people bring into a relationship. Whether it’s a boy/girl relationship, or a family relationship, or whatever, everybody has different personalities.”
Beyer said the album currently is independent and titled “Shades of You.” She hopes it will be released by Christmas.