Thursday, April 27th 7 pm

By Lisa Morgan

All country roads lead to Stagecoach this weekend and since they are conveniently on the way to the music festival, Big Rock Pub is throwing a big rockin pre-Stagecoach country party.  Along with a live remote featuring The Bull’s radio personality, Tommy Cee, giving away passes to the festival, Nashville bound band, Aubrey Road, will perform one of their last Southern California shows before heading to Music City.  It will be a “Party with a Purpose,” with autographed guitars on display for Desert Cancer Foundation’s online auction.  These various guitars, donated by Big Rock Pub owner, Ken Hanna, bear the signatures of none other than Lady Gaga, Radiohead, Wynonna Judd, Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson and Jerry Lee Lewis. 

Austin Reed and Brianna Padilla will open the live music portion of the festivities with their acoustic duo, the product of an accidentally gorgeous vocal meeting that sparked a new direction for the two musicians.  They’ll be joined by their full band from 8 – 10 pm.

Since she was eleven, Brianna knew she wanted to be a performer.  Her supportive mother who had an incredible music background herself, put her daughter in classes that would help her daughter achieve her dream.  A few years ago, her younger brother’s friend, Austin, came to the house and heard Brianna playing piano.  He picked up her nearby guitar and began to play “Wanted,” by Hunter Hayes. She joined in with harmonies.  The moment their voices met, they knew they had something special, but it would take a few years before they would pursue it professionally.  Now one year into their project, one EP produced, and another in the making, the duo have their eyes set on Nashville where they’re hopes to be heard on larger platforms.

“I grew up playing in church at a young age.  Music was always intimate to me – not something I would share publicly,” recounted Austin. “But as I began to branch out, I got more comfortable with the idea.” While they have opened for a number of A-List country headliners, the 2016 graduate from Fresno State University says that their biggest accomplishments so far are “the songs we’ve been able to sit down and put our hearts down on paper and write songs that mean something.” 

In the conversation of the different brands of country music, Brianna has very well-articulated convictions about the boxes they intend to avoid as a team.  “I think we get called ‘California Country’ mostly because of our geography, not our sound.  The music industry is ever changing and it’s hard to label ourselves as one thing. We pull from so many different forces; we have things that are bluesy, things that are pop and things that are more traditional; you can’t really label us.  We don’t want to live in that kind of a box anyway.  When we sit down and write, we just tap into how we feel that day, come up with a cool lick, look through our ‘Book of Hooks,’ and write whatever comes to us.  We don’t go into writing sessions saying, ’Hey, we’re going to write a California country sounding song today.’  I think when you do that, it puts up walls blocking your creativity.”

“I agree with that,” adds Austin. “We embrace California because that’s where we’re from, not so much because it reflects our overall sound.  There are some similarities to the ‘Bakersfield Sound’ in some of our songs, but we don’t lock ourselves into that.  When you think of country music, you think of authentic writing, about everyday life, heartbreak, love – that’s country music.  It’s always been country music. Everyday life is at the core of our music.”

Those everyday life stories were captured in an EP that will be available at their show Thursday night.  The two will soon head to Nashville to continue recording and make their mark in Music City, Tennessee.  Make sure to catch them live at Big Rock Pub so you can say, “I knew them when…”

Follow Aubrey Road on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aubreyroadmusic

Join the Desert Cancer Foundation online guitar auction at: www.biddingforgood.com/desertcancerfoundation

Big Rock Pub is located on the corner of Jefferson and Westward Ho in Indio at Indian Springs Golf Club:  www.thebigrockpub.com

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