BARTON â Keegan Nolan, who has been compared to Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, produced the youth-oriented talent show "Young Guns Tailgate Tour," which played in Newport's Gardener Park Wednesday.
Children of all ages from Franklin County sang, danced, played musical instruments and performed stand up comedy to an intimate crowd.
Audience members raved about the performance, saying the children's voices sounded like angels in the park.
The show is always looking for new talent and performs mostly in the summer.
Nolan will rock the Music Tent at the Orleans County Fair Saturday, Aug. 18th. The show starts at 5:30 p.m.Â
âItâs a great fair,â said Nolan, who performed on the main stage last year. âThe people who run the fair are great to work with. Itâs a fun environment and the audience is wonderful.â
Nolan, who has been singing since the age of 12, got her start competing in the Maple Festival in St. Albans where she sang "Crazy," the song made famous by Patsy Cline. Nolan won first place in the competition.
âIâm still loving it and Iâm very happy,â said Nolan. In the beginning, she sang from music tracks, but now she plays guitar and has her own band. At the fair Nolan will have a three-member acoustic band. She also writes her own material. âI think I have grown tremendously over the years.â
Nolan has written and recorded songs in Nashville, such as "Broken Flowers" and "I am a Promise."
âThings have been going very well,â she said. âIâm very excited to move forward in my career.â
Nolan started writing songs at 13 and has written 50 to 100 songs, but did not record all of them, at least not yet. About 20 of her songs are on CDs. She has also co-written songs. She records many of her tunes at West Street Digital in Fairfield, VT. Nolan will sell some of herÂ CDs at next Saturdayâs show.
When Nolan first started, she sang Classic Country but expanded to modern country songs and classic rock songs. Nolan said she would love to get to the point where she is at the level of Patsy Cline, but understands that is a big leap from where she is now.
âI work every day on doing what I love to do,â she said. âIf someday it comes to that, then thatâs amazing, but if not, I am very happy doing what Iâm doing now â writing songs, singing songs. I love to sing and entertain people.â
Many of Nolanâs songs are taken from real life experiences. âI love to write a song that means something to me,â said Nolan. For her, writing music is more than rhyming or putting lyrics together. âI really like to take the song, put myself in that place and feel what Iâm writing about.â
Nolan tries to make her songs so that they relate to everyone, so itâs not obvious a particular song is about someone close to her.
Nolan is most comfortable and confident when onstage. âItâs an amazing feeling,â she said. âEven before I go on vacation, I get on this mindset. Itâs like Iâm in another world. The audience is always amazing. They always come up to me after. Itâs like a family. People I donât even know will come up to me and talk to me. I feel like they are my best friend. Itâs amazing to have fans like I have and have support like I have had over the past eight years.â
In the next eight years, Nolan would like to spend more time in Nashville. âI still want to be happy doing what I am doing, still entertaining people and still making people happy,â said Nolan.Â