Batesville singer to join Music in the Mountains

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published April 18, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated April 17, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.
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Batesville native Chelsea Savage will perform Saturday as part of the Music in the Mountains lineup.

— It wasn’t too many years ago that Chelsea Savage was taking the stage at her church, belting out hymns as a toddler.

Now 25, Savage is watching her 7-year-old daughter, Caroline, starting to love the spotlight and often joining her mother onstage at gigs.

“If my gig is not in a bar, most of the time I bring her with me,” Savage said. “She knows that Mom plays music. She has her own guitar that she got for her sixth birthday, and she loves to sing.”

Growing up watching Savage perform, it’s not surprising that Caroline already has been bitten by the arts bug. When she’s not at a gig, Savage is busy at home writing original songs on guitar and piano. She started with piano lessons at age 5, added guitar at 11 and quickly developed a love for country music.

Savage will join the lineup of local performers Saturday at Music in the Mountains in Horseshoe Bend. The show starts at 6 p.m. at the Horseshoe Bend Theatre, 811 Second St.

The performance will be Savage’s second Music in the Mountains show and one of many appearances the Batesville resident has scheduled for the summer.

“The fans that I have made around here are very local, and a lot of times I am so humbled by the people who take the time out of their busy schedules to come watch me play,” Savage said.

Though she started out covering popular country songs, Savage began writing her own.

“I write a lot of it from my own life and things that happen to me,” Savage said, “but some comes from people around me. I listen to conversations a lot, and it can spark an idea.”

Savage counts female country and folk artists such as LeAnn Rimes and Jewel among her early influences, and now she turns to Miranda Lambert, The Civil Wars, Amos Lee and Kacey Musgraves for inspiration.

Just two years ago, Savage was working as an emergency medical technician and only performing as a side job. But with her husband’s support, Savage is pursuing music full time and is recording her second album.

“Sometimes it can be a slow thing, especially when you are paying for it as you go,” Savage said. “Most of the money I make from gigs is put toward recording costs.”

Although she’s had several songs pitched to major labels, Savage describes the process of getting signed as a “big waiting game.”

“It’s not always an overnight answer,” Savage said.

Savage hopes to be signed a year from now by a major label and see her songs on iTunes. She won’t use competitions to get her big break, though.

“I used to do those, but I would always get too stressed out about it,” Savage said. “I’d rather play a gig and know that maybe people will judge you, but they know you’re doing it for fun. I want singing to be something that is fun for me.”

For more information on Saturday’s Music in the Mountains show, call (870) 373-3303. Admission is by donation, and concessions are available. A hamburger and hot-dog cookout will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday before the show.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or evanzandt@arkansasonline.com.

Staff Writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at 501-399-3688 or emily@syncweekly.com.

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