Three new musicians featured Sunday at Carlos Creek Winery
This Sunday, July 19, from 1 to 6 p.m., the Carlos Creek Winery music pavilion will host three musicians who are new to the Alexandria area.
The three musicians include Duke Zecco, Matt Veline and Katie Ray.
Here's a little bit about each one of them:
Duke Zecco said he was bitten by the music bug early in life. He started guitar lessons in 1958 at 8 years old. Soon after that his father bought him his first electric guitar, a Gibson ES 335.
When the 50's sound started to give way to the Beatles and the British invasion, Zecco was a young teenager.
"Being a guitar player, you couldn't help but learn and play this music. The older Beatle songs, in my opinion, are tough to beat. I can play quite a few of them," he said. "But not only was it the Beatles, great songs were coming from groups like the Stones and Dave Clark V, the Animals, the Bee Gees, the Kinks, the Zombies, Moody Blues, etc. Needless to say, many American groups followed suit."
Through the next 10 years or so, Zecco played in several bands. Now, almost 40 years later, he is still playing those songs, but this time, as a solo artist.
"They have become a part of me like the food I eat," said Zecco.
He started writing his own material about 22 years ago and has about 38 originals that he performs live.
He just finished his second CD, which was recorded at Rockhouse Productions in St. Joseph.
Matt Veline began his musical journey at age 10. His dad, Bill Veline, handed him a 1959 Fender Jazzmaster and taught him a G chord. The first song he learned was "Peggy Sue," which he felt appropriate since Buddy Holly had sadly given his dad and his dad's younger brother, Bobby, their musical start in Moorhead as Bobby Vee and the Shadows.
Veline explained that Buddy Holly was en route to Moorhead with The Big Bopper, Richie Valens and young pilot, Roger Peterson. They never made it and crashed only minutes after take-off in a terrible snowstorm. Veline's dad and Bobby were and still are his greatest influences.
"Bobby for his rich, natural voice and thoughtful writing and my dad, rest his soul, was a fine guitarist with a style reminiscent of the Ventures and Mark Knopfler," said Veline.
Veline has spent more than 30 years in the music business, including 13 years with The Johnny Holm Band as lead guitarist and vocalist.
Most recently, he played lead for his favorite uncle - Bobby Vee - and his cousins, The Vees, from 2002 to 2004.
Today, he resides in Alexandria, which he calls, "God's country on the lake."
He performs as a single acoustic artist and as a fill-in with the Johnny Holm Band.
"I am the proudest father of five and most fortunate husband to my wife and better half by far, Julie," said Veline.
Katie Ray was born in a small Minnesota-Canada border town in 1995.
From the moment she realized the unique and powerful ability of her voice, she grabbed the attention of all.
In her public debut at age 5 as the youngest orphan in the production of "Annie," she reportedly stole the show and has been on a determined path.
Always strong and controlled, Ray's voice reflects the many influences in her musical life - Martina McBride to Avril Lavigne to Patsy Cline.
Ray, however, has found her own spark, which sets a blaze in each of her performances.
Ray has been performing as a solo artist for the general public for the past three years, gaining new fans at each performance.