by MICHAEL CHAMBLEE//Staff Writer
Everyone is influenced by music in different ways. Some use it as a way to express themselves, and some use it as a way to make their own music in that genre.
Showcasing the musical talent of South Plains College is the main reason TNL exists. The TNL cast for the fall 2016 semester features: Madison Stewart, sophomore from Clovis, NM, and Halle Reid, freshman from Clovis, NM, vocalists; Ashley Moyers, third-year sophomore from Shallowater, Texas, vocalist and piano; Jaysen Owens, third-year sophomore from Brady, Texas, electric guitar and vocals; Sam Higgins, sophomore from Lubbock, Texas, electric guitar; Heath Burson, sophomore from Dalhart, Texas, bass guitar; and Brett Manrahan, sophomore from Austin, Texas, drums.
“I have wanted to be in TNL since I came to SPC,” said Stewart. “It is one of the top ensembles in the Creative Arts Department. Working with Allie Huffstutler is a joy in itself. She is very relatable and fun. But at the same time, she gets stuff done and is straight up with you about how things sound. It’s a real honor to be in any top ensemble and be able to do things in a more professional setting.”
Special guests Bonnie and the Clydes started the night out on Oct. 13 with new songs from their album, and singing songs they are still working on. Bonnie and the Clydes are from Colorado. Bonnie Sims is the lead vocalist, plays rhythm guitar and mandolin. Taylor Sims plays electric guitar and sings harmony vocals. Glenn Taylor plays the pedal steel. Jack Coffin plays the drums, and Caleb Roberts plays bass guitar.
“Performing after Bonnie and the Clydes was really cool, because they are SPC alumni,” said Madison Stewart, a TNL vocalist. “And to see someone who has gone and done something with the things they have learned in the very commercial music program you are in is pretty eye-opening. It was really fun to watch them and get to talk with them before and after the shows. It was also a cool experience to perform for them.”
As Bonnie and the Clydes left the stage, The Mystery Influences on TNL started up as the group played “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Meanest Girl in Town” by Elvis Presley. They followed with “It’s a Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown, “Thriller” and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, and “Purple Rain” by Prince. After they finished with those songs, Owens asked the crowd who the artist was that most influenced the music they played. Some of the crowd answered Bruno Mars, and the band started singing “Young Girls,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Other Side,” “Just The Way You Are” and “When I Was Your Man” mash up, as well as “Treasure,” and “Runaway Baby,”
“Huffstutler actually picked the theme, ‘Mystery Influences,’ because she wanted to change things up a bit in TNL,” said Stewart. “When she came to us with the idea, we all loved it, and it was fun even on our part to learn who Bruno Mars’s influences were and be able to show the crowd.”
The next performance for TNL is set for Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m., during Fest Week.
“We get the chance to bond with each other as a band,” said Stewart. “Everyone that is in TNL right now has never been in it before. So we’re still learning things about each other and how to work well together. It’s been such a great experience getting to know everyone and being able to express ourselves through the band. I love each and every one of them.”