Chevel Shepherd, New Mexico native and The Voice’s season 15 winner, will perform at the Lensic Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in Santa Fe, Friday, April 8, 2022. Tickets are now on sale online through the LPAC. The concert, which will benefit Tutors for Teachers, is sponsored by Gardenia Jungle Entertainment.
Chevel will perform a variety of country and western music, including her newest songs. For her debut EP, Everybody’s Got a Story, the 18-year-old hand-picked intricately woven story songs and relatable gems with veteran savvy –– then made them irrevocably her own.
“Each song is different, and each song represents who I am as a person, and who I am as a country artist,” Chevel says.
Chevel Shepherd’s Star Continues to Rise
She first charmed America in 2018 as the champion of season 15 of The Voice, nurtured by coach Kelly Clarkson. She spent the following year checking off a long list of red-letter firsts, including opening shows for Clarkson, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Lee Brice, and more, along with singing God Bless America before the Indianapolis 500.
“I love the storytelling of classic country music, and I love the musicality of it,” she says. “It’s real –– and you can tell it’s real. I just want to bring that real music back.”
Chevel is still making key debuts, but she’s felt at home on stage for more than a decade. Raised in La Plata, New Mexico, a rural community about 30 minutes outside of Farmington, Chevel can’t remember a time when she wasn’t singing.
“Gosh, I’ve been singin’ since I could talk,” she says. “My sister and my mom sing, and I always wanted to be like them.”
As a 4-year-old, she entered a local talent competition. One of her early favorites, Before He Cheats, was deemed “inappropriate” for a little girl to perform, so she went with A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, but never really left the music that made her behind. “Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson –– I grew up being in love with that sound,” she says.
Everybody’s Got a Story
Everybody’s Got a Story pays homage to that lineage while carving out a space of its own. The first two singles, Everybody’s Got a Story and Mama Got the Chair, announce the arrival of a mature new storyteller with an eye for personal detail. Written by Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Brandy Clark, the stout Everybody’s Got a Story winds through empathetic looks at different characters and the complex backgrounds that drive them. Mama Got the Chair doesn’t just nod to George Strait’s The Chair, it adds to the iconic story to create a cross-generational call-and-response between the two songs.
“The story I’m telling goes back to George Strait, but it’s from the lady’s point of view,” Chevel says. “I immediately fell in love with this song.”
Southern Boy delivers sweet praise for strong rural men, while Good Boy is an updated take on young love and parental concern. With roots strings and raspy snare, Snakes is a vocal showcase and good-natured warning about boys with bad intentions. Forlorn Just Like the Circus waltzes with pedal steel and lovesick helplessness, while spellbinding The Letter weaves a tale of devastation and hope.
Now, Chevel is proud and eager to share Everybody’s Got a Story with the world. “I love to sing. I love country music,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to be a country singer, but as I got older, I developed a clear vision of who I wanted to be –– and how I want my music to be. This is it.”
Additional event sponsors include Chevrolet Cadillac of Santa Fe, 107.5 Outlaw Country, Jacobs Family Insurance, the Lensic Performing Arts Center, and KASA Fox 2.
ABOUT GARDENIA JUNGLE ENTERTAINMENT:
Gardenia Jungle Entertainment (GJE) was founded in 2019 by Ned Jacobs and Bunee Tomlinson and brings stellar live music in a variety of genres to audiences in New Mexico and beyond. The duo met at an after-hours event held by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce and connected shortly thereafter to produce and direct video tributes as part of the New Mexico Platinum Music Awards first concert in 2017.
After working together on three concerts as part of the Platinum Music Awards, Jacobs and Tomlinson looked at each other and said, “We can do this” and Gardenia Jungle Entertainment was born. “Seeing a standing ovation from the audience to me shows that we were able to help bring happiness to our community,” says Tomlinson. Shortly thereafter, they filed paperwork for incorporation and produced their first concert with Bill and Michael Hearne with a guest appearance by Robert Mirabal.
Gardenia Jungle Entertainment is unique in that the company produces concerts with video assets that can be used by artists as well as GJE in promoting shows to provide a humanistic view of life that shows up in amazing videos about people, places, and events. Working in collaboration with the New Mexico Music Commission Foundation, the Platinum Music Awards was a production of the commission to honor and tribute legacy artists, singers/songwriters, musicians, dancers, and others in the music business who have demonstrated lifetime achievement in their musical idiom or have made significant or distinguished contributions to music in New Mexico. The Platinum’s are an evolution of the New Mexico Music Commission’s Platinum Achievement Awards, established in 2013 to celebrate the role that the music industry plays in the cultural life and economic success of New Mexico.This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead