Performers shine in student-run show

By CLAIRE EKAS, Ranger Reporter:

As two local Amarillo bands tuned their guitars and adjusted their mics, there was a sense of excitement and tension in the air. Camera operators were making final adjustments while producers and floor managers checked equipment.

As a hush swept through the room and the countdown reached one, host David Lovejoy introduced the first episode of the season and the musical guests.

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, Amarillo College students recorded this semester’s first episode of the music performance web-series Jackson Street Presents.

Jackson Street Presents is an entirely student-run web series hosted by mass media major David Lovejoy. Lovejoy began the series in the Fall of 2015, when he was working as the student program director at FM90. He said he felt that there was a lot of local music that he wanted to spotlight. He also said he noticed that there were many students who wanted more hands-on video production experience.

“It was a way to allow students to come in and do this type of production and work on an actual show,” Lovejoy said.

Now in its third season, Jackson Street Presents has featured numerous local artists from a wide variety of musical genres.  The most recent episodes spotlight two Amarillo groups–The Trees and Smooth Taste.

The Trees includes Jordy Lucero, who writes music and sings, and Nick Schmitto, who serves as producer.

Members of Smooth Taste include Sutten Mcwaters, the lead singer, Blake Rogers on lead guitar, bassist, Nathan Gimpel and drummer, Pierce Lawson.

This was Smooth Taste’s first live studio recording. “It was a unique experience and overall I think it went pretty well,” Lawson, a mass media major, said.

For mass media major Jonathan Gibson, this experience was also a first. It was his first time to produce and direct a studio production. “It was stressful, but it definitely could have gone worse and I hope that the episodes in the future will be even better,” Gibson said.

Smooth Taste’s lead singer Sutten Mcwaters, also plays the keyboard and occasionally the rhythm guitar.

When he was in second grade, Mcwaters first became involved in music. He was in the Amarillo Youth Choir, and while in high school, was in choir and even auditioned for All-State.

“I have been making music with Blake Rogers since junior year of high school. We started writing our own songs and made our own demo,” Mcwaters said. “Then we met these guys and they just happened to have the same music taste.”

David Lovejoy added that, “It could not be done without the hard work of each and every student on the crew. This is a total team effort.”

Be sure to look for these upcoming episodes of Jackson Street Presents in April and future episodes at acranger.com.

You can find The Trees and Smooth Taste on Instagram using the handles @thetrees94 and @tastethesmooth.

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