Music has always been a part of Erin Lunsford life. Her mom, Cheryl, is classically trained in voice and started Erin singing at a young age. Known for her powerhouse voice Erin, fronts the band The Wildfire. She will be making a solo appearance at Starr Hill Pilot Brewery and Side Stage in Roanoke, Virginia, when she performs for Roots2Rock on September 8.
“My mom, Cheryl Lunsford, was absolutely my first teacher!” said Erin. “I started formal lessons on piano at age five, but we were singing in our household from day 1.”
While she started out playing the piano it was the guitar that inspired her.
“I picked up guitar at 11,” continued Erin. “My family plays bluegrass music, so I started to sit in on jams and entered children’s flatpicking guitar competitions. I even tried fiddle for a year or so! My mom taught me bluegrass and gypsy jazz guitar. I started writing my own tunes in high school as my guitar technique improved.”
Erin was in her high school choir, but it was performing as a duo with her mother that helped her find her voice.
“We’d cover jazz standards, folk songs, Gypsy jazz, and classic ballads for the bar crowds and country clubs alike,” added Erin. “When I went to college I tried to cultivate my voice into my own brand and I worked up more skill and style. I’m still learning and growing, and I hope I always can.”
Erin met her bandmates while attending the University of Virginia. She graduated with a double major in Psychology and Music with an additional focus in Premed. She was thinking med school, but music, thankfully for us, won.
“I’m most proud of the songs I’ve written that make a difference,” said Erin. “There are two songs in particular that were written with this idea in mind, “Got Dem,” I wrote for Erin & The Wildfire. It’s a body positivity song and I love spreading the message of acceptance and self-love at our shows. It’s my main goal in terms of overall message: I want our listeners to feel comfortable, empowered, and beautiful.”
“Secondly, “Neighbor’s Eye,” I wrote for my solo project. I was inspired after attending the women’s march in DC, last January (2017). I was so scared for the safety of me and my friends, but the march was nothing but harmony and beauty. I left feeling more convicted and more supported than ever. I wrote “Neighbor’s Eye” about knowing you are on the right side of things if you are acting out of love and not out of fear.”
What is Roots2Rock on the road?
Our Roots2Rock on the road series is just as it sounds. Our crew packs the gear in the wagon and hits the road to bring you live music streamed on our Facebook page. These live streams come from taprooms, smaller listening rooms and even recording studios. When we say live we mean a multi-camera switched live stream that will immerse viewers into the performance. In addition to music you see interviews with the artists and the people who run our unique venues. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to find out when the next live stream will be.
Our mission is to help promote artists and small businesses by telling their stories. We invite you to watch Roots2Rock then visit our venues, restaurants, shops and outdoor recreation opportunities that make the Virginia’s Blue Ridge region so special. To learn more about our region click here
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