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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Local singer-songwriters find home at The Village

Photo by Photo by Rachel Grant

Local artist performs for the Village Café diners singing his own original songs.

The Bryan music scene has gradually grown in noise and notoriety over time, but a special night reserved for singer-songwriters at The Village Café has been going strong and loud for the past eight years.
Thursday nights from 8 to 11 p.m. local artists come to the café to perform their original works for an audience. Keith Kalimantan, a local musician, has been writing music for 10 years and performs all over Bryan, but always makes time to come out to “singer-songwriter night” to experience the music of people he’s inspired by.
 “Most of the songs I write come from experience, life experiences, things I’ve observed through others, and I try to translate feeling into lyrics,”  Kalimantan said. “The lyrics aren’t necessarily biographical but they communicate an emotion … I think we all inspire each other.”
 The night is described as a “casual performing environment” by Kristy Petty, owner of The Village Café, and always has a diverse group of performers come through their door.
 “The hardest thing for [the event] is that this town has a four-year cycle for B-CS, so we get some musicians that are coming real consistently and are building it up and they move off to Austin or somewhere to do music,” Petty said. “It ebbs and flows by semester, and typically we end with seven or eight musicians and they bring their friends.”
 Joey McGee, host of singer-songwriter night, has been a performer for more than 20 years and has hosted at The Village Café since 2011. McGee said the atmosphere offers a strong support system and hosts a diverse music community from folk to rock.
 “I think the host sets a tone and the tone I set is to be encouraging,” McGee said. “What I love about it is it’s a place where people who will get not only students but retirees or people who’ve gone through a divorce or students who for the first time are playing outside their bedroom and I love that so for me I love encouraging people to explore their creativity.”
 Steven Alcala, telecommunications junior, and Sam Armstrong, local high school student, are a regular performance pair at singer-songwriter night.  The duo described their sound as a blend of Ed Sheeran, City in Color and Bluegrass style. They said their music highlights the diverse music scene in downtown. Alcala believes Downtown Bryan has a lot to offer for music in the future.
 “[Music is] big here … and I know a lot of my peers don’t know about it or Downtown,” Armstrong said. “Downtown is one of the best kept secrets in B-CS in my opinion so it’s getting bigger and I’d love to see it grow and keep growing. It definitely hasn’t reached its peak yet.”
 Armstrong said the environment of the café  is one where expression can flow, which helps the overall creative process.
 “Not only is it a good way to express yourself through writing or music but it also grows a community,” Armstrong said. “I wouldn’t have ever known a lot of these guys if it weren’t for singer-songwriter nights and getting to know them through their music.”

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