May 01, 2012
Some locals jokingly refer to Portal, Ga. — population 700, plus or minus a few — as the gateway to the world. However, for Wally Brown, that gateway is leading straight into Nashville, Tenn.
Born and raised in the small, two caution-light town just west of Statesboro, Brown first picked up a guitar one summer during high school. At age 16, he taught himself how to play, and although the first in his family to take to the music scene, he soon realized that he enjoyed having a platform on which to share his music with others.
“I love being a performer, and I always have a good time,” said Brown. “Seeing other people having a good time to what I’m doing is kind of awe inspiring.”
The 21-year-old has been working to make a name for himself around the Boro and has become a pretty familiar on-stage face at local favorites like Dingus Magee’s and the Millhouse. Recently, however, Brown decided to grow his one-man show into a full-blown band, adding on two guitarists — one a rhythm guitarist, the other a lead guitarist — as well as a bass player. The only spot left to fill is the drummer’s.
As for his music, Brown describes it as “country with a rock backing.” It’s like a lot of what you hear on the radio today, with a heavier edge — but that doesn’t mean it’s not original.
“I’m a big fan of songwriters,” said Brown, himself a writer. “I feel that if you can write your own song or if you can have some sort of feeling and actually put it down on paper and make something that somebody can sing along to, that’s the biggest part about it … it’s definitely an accomplishment.”
Brown says that once the band finds a drummer, they’ll begin working toward a full-length album. For now, however, he’s sticking to what he does best: interacting with the crowd and offering them a “high-octane show — anything to leave everybody there saying, ‘Wow.’ ”
“Once you hear or see us one time, our goal — well, it’s the goal of any band — is to get you back,” he said.