Local bands dream big

Courtesy photo: Chamber of Commerce Will Banister and the Mulberry Band performed at the Clovis Music Festival in September.

Alisa Boswell

Musical talent is not a scarce thing in the Clovis and Portales areas.

Many local musicians have the ambition to go all the way to stardom with their musical talents and considering the recent accomplishments of some, they might do just that.

One local country music talent with such a passion is Will Banister of Will Banister and the Mulberry Band. He was recently named Best New Artist of the Year by an Internet radio station in Los Angeles.

The band’s first album, “Turned Her onto Country,” was released in July.

Banister said he writes his own songs and is already working on his second album.

“It makes me happy,” said Banister. “I love doing it and I’d like to keep doing it and make a career out of it.”

Banister, whose band plays at Kelly’s Bar and Grill every Wednesday and Friday night from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., said a representative from an Internet television station, Hillbillies 24/7, in Nashville will be coming to watch the band play at Kelly’s on Dec. 8.

Banister said he and Johnny Mulhair, band manager, lead guitarist and vocals, will be performing a show in Nashville on Dec. 10, which will be aired on the Internet station.

“I’m real excited,” said Banister. “We’re gonna go down there and meet new people and have some fun. It’s a neat opportunity.”

Banister said he hopes to keep bringing his music to more places until he can establish himself in a musical career.

Other members of the Mulberry Band include Magistrate Judge Duane Castleberry (drummer and vocalist), Jill Mulhair, (base and vocals) and Paul Goad (keyboard and vocals).

Another local musician, who does not want to make a career of his talent but has just as much a passion for it is Travis Erwin, an Eastern New Mexico University guitar teacher, who plays a variety of sounds.

Erwin said smaller audiences of 100 to 200 people are more his style when performing. He likes having the opportunity to perform regularly for the community and being able to connect with others through his music.

“I would like to focus on my music for my personal life,” said Erwin. “I like myself better as a musician when it’s not in the industry. I love to share that energy with my audience.”

Erwin said his three man band, Travis Erwin and the Roadside Business, recently performed at Applebee’s restaurant in Clovis and will now be performing there once a month.

“We had a really good response and really good audience participation,” said Erwin. “It went well.”

Erwin said his next goal is for his band is to perform at Buchanan Hall at ENMU. The other two band members are Steven Cathey and Paz Romero, both students at the university.

A local five man heavy metal band, which has performed in both Clovis and Portales is The Anima Process, who hope to have their first album out this month.

Eric Tapia (drummer) and Randy Tapia (lead guitar), brothers, have been playing music with each other for 10 years and had previously been in three other bands together. Eric Tapia said The Anima Process has by far, been the best one.

“We are just really in sync together,” said Tapia. “We’re like a machine. We just work together.”

The band members said they like to play benefit and fundraising performances, because it puts their name out to people while also helping others.

The band said they hope to one day be able to tour, but their schedules do not permit it at the moment.

“I’m in it for the fun and the experience,” said Ethan Lewis (guitarist). “If it goes somewhere, heck yeah. If not, that’s okay. I’ve had a great time.”

The band said they hope to sell their CD for $5 at local Portales businesses, such as Echo Chamber on South Ave C.

Other band members include Jeremy Skipwith (lead singer) and Leeroy Guevara (guitarist).

Another local band, who plays contemporary blues and rock is Something Blue, who play at the Java Loft in Clovis about once a month.

Brandon Tautfest, the lead singer, said the band normally performs twice a month at Kelly’s but is currently taking a break due to recording their first album.

Tautfest said the band has been together for three years with the exception of one member and has every intention of staying together to make their career in the music business. Brent Traywick, guitarist and back up vocals, joined the band a year ago.

“We’re all so much alike and have been through the same events in life and had similar downfalls,” said Tautfest. “It’s fun and really amazing sitting down and sharing with each other. We have our moments, but the end result is always great.”

Tautfest said a record company has come to Clovis twice to watch the band perform and they have high hopes of having a future in the music industry.

Other band members include Ashley Wenick (bass) and Jeff Waybright (drummer).