April Hall: Not your average mom song
By by melissa firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan. 9, 2013 at 3 p.m.
Updated Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:09 p.m.
Almost two years after April Hall first belted out her songs at Greek's 205 or more recently The PumpHouse, the Victoria-bred songstress is finally working on her first full-length album and broadening her musical scope.
Hall, who now calls Floresville home, talked to Get Out about her Baptist upbringing, growing as a songwriter and her marriage to guitarist Jason Hall.
Did you grow up in a musical home?
We had a family band. My dad was always playing guitar, and I would sit with him and we'd play silly songs, Southern gospel-type music.
When my parents were younger, they were both in a band. I knew a lot of Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson, Amy Grant, Sandi Patty from them...
The older I got, I got into DC Talk, Jaci Velasquez, Newsboys. I didn't realize until I got older that I didn't know Lee Ann Womack's name, but I knew all her music.My mom sang, and my sister and brother did harmony. We would go to different churches. One time, we went to Nashville, and there was some kind of radio competition. I was maybe 13 or 14.
My brother and sister don't really do any of that now. When we all get together, we still sing around the house and throughout the holidays. They'll do it at parties and stuff.
Do you have a favorite venue?
The PumpHouse. I recently played at Greek's, and that was really fun, too - a totally different crowd, but they all seem to be into music. The PumpHouse is like family to us, and my daughter can come. She's our little dancer. She's 7 years old.
Your husband is often on stage with you?
It's great because we're so well connected to each other. We're very much a team. We don't do a song unless there's something that connects us to it.
For me, it's all about passion. We're not just going to do whatever. I think that's what makes for good music: when you're passionate about it.
Music is very important to our whole family, and without God and without our family in the center, I don't think we'd be able to do what we do.
do you two collaborate on songwriting?
A lot of the songs are my songs. Instrumentally and structurally, he'll take it where I want it to go.
There's a song we've written together, and it will be on the next album called "Only You Can." It's about our faith.
How has being a wife and a mother influenced your music?
Early on, before I met my husband, I had a very small window of what I knew.
He knew the blues and country and all this good music. A lot of the stuff I was privy to was choir, gospel and Top 40.
Meeting him broadened my musical spectrum. We listen to Texas artists but more than what you hear on the radio: Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt, Toni Price.
The way my voice sounds has changed since way back then. I have more of a lower bluesy thing mixed with country. Meeting him has broadened that, it's made me a different vocalists.
Before I had my daughter, I didn't have as much of a drive as I have now. I had drive, but having her made me want to be the best person I can be because I want her to be the best person she can be.
I want her to see me being passionate and chasing my dreams and following my heart because that's what I want for her.
Lyrically, how did you write "Destiny Calls"?
That one is actually written by a guy from Victoria who had passed, Rex Jordan. He wrote it, and we were friends with him. His granddaughter works at The PumpHouse.
What are some favorites that you wrote?
They're not on the CD yet, but "Nothing's Perfect in Life," "Not Waiting on You" and one of the newest we've started performing "Memories to Ashes."
Those titles seem rather sad.
None of them have a sad beat. The first one talks about "nothing is perfect in life. There's always some kind of strife, something you just have to face, so don't let fear take its place." Throughout the verses it's, "stand up be stronger when you can't hold up much longer." It's the tough times that make you stronger. Even though you're going through these things, it's not the end of the world. It's just the beginning.
"Not Waiting on You" came from a text message I got from somebody. I went to the bathroom at church and wrote that song.
"I'm not waiting on you to change your mind. I'm not waiting on you to waste my time." I'm not the kind of person who'll cry over spilled milk or worry about who might be blaming me for all the mistakes you've made. I can't change your mind and I'm not going to, so I'm not waiting around for that.
How is the full-length album coming along?
We are getting the songs laid out as far as what we want to do.
This one will be a full band instead of acoustic like we had last time. We'll go in the studio at least once this month for the first time for this album.
Right now, it's the beginning stages. We're still working on a timeline. I'm hoping to see it done by possibly April, if not sooner.
What goals do you have for the band?
Once I get the full CD, I'd like to venture out into some venues like Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Tavern on the Green and hit more of the festivals.
Eventually, I'd like to do a mini tour in New York or Europe and maybe open up for some bigger artists.
My short-term goals always lead up to my long-term goals.