Ally Venable has found her passion. And it’s going to make this young Texas musician a powerhouse.
The turning 22-year-old, leader of the Ally Venable Band, started singing at an early age in her church choir. Only in recent years did she pick up a guitar. And discover her passion. She and her band are now igniting excitement on the blues and rock scene.
Venable has received the East Texas Guitarist of the Year Music Award for 2015 and Entertainer of the Year 2018. The Ally Venable Band has received the Blues Band of the Year Award for 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“My love for blues rock music began the first time I heard blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan,” says Venable. At that time, she didn’t know much about the guitar, but soon came to realize how powerful his guitar playing was. “Stevie was a gateway into the blues genre for me… He introduced so many people who didn’t know about blues to this music and my goal is to do the same.”
Venable’s lineup in her band of Bobby Wallace (bass) and Elijah Owings (drums) proves a power-trio to rank alongside the best. “I take in that Texas guitar-slinging influence in my shows and songwriting,” she explains. “My band is a three-piece, so it’s a ‘right-in-your-face’ power-trio.”
She loves the blues genre because it’s the heart of every genre. It turns out, her own music leans towards a more contemporary blues rock sound.
Her Musical Journey
The Kilgore native’s musical journey has taken her all around America and overseas to Europe. “It means a great deal to have a good support system,” she says. Hers includes family, friends and also other musicians.
Apart from the excitement of travel, Venable’s music has given her opportunities to work with blues greats. The lineup includes American guitarist and singer/songwriter Kenny Wayne Shepherd; guitarist Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman from The Allman Brothers Band; and Grammy-award winning producer Jim Gaines. But it’s not all music all the time. When she gets a moment, Venable likes spending time with her beautiful husky puppy, her family and friends. And she loves sushi.
To those who are reading this and desire to follow in her footsteps, Venable says, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and play the music you want to play and write the music you want to write.” And her best advice? “Play and write from your heart.”
Future Plans and New Release
Asked about the future, Venable says she would like to “continue playing music and building up my fan base, and traveling around the world meeting new people. I’m very grateful this is what I get to do.”
Her current album, Heart of Fire (which released last month and reached #3 on Billboard’s Blues Chart), is her fourth and was produced by Jim Gaines. Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, it includes some special guests, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Devon Allman. “I’m thrilled how the album turned out. There’s something for everyone.” Venable likes to try different things with her albums, and is particularly pleased at how the guitars sound. “I feel as though I’ve grown not only as a musician, but as a person, and that reveals itself within the songs on the album. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”
Cover photo courtesy Lindsay Steele
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.