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Texas Teenager Rocks the Blues On New Album

Ally Venable could be the next big thing in American blues rock.

That praise comes from old-time blues musicians and music lovers in Texas. Venable has the stage presence of a long-time performer, they note. But she is only 17 years old.

Musician Rock Romano has only good things to say about her.

"You can just tell that she loves what she is doing and just radiates that from the stage…”

Romano produced Venable's new album, "No Glass Shoes." Most of the songs were recorded at his Red Shack Recording Studio in Houston. Romano has been playing music and singing in the city since the 1960’s.

Recently, he joined Ally Venable when she performed locally. He said he enjoyed jamming with the young guitarist.

"I told her jokingly afterwards, ‘We need to call this band 1771, because she just turned 17, and I just turned 71!’"

Venable plays guitar with a skill that usually comes from many years of training. But she started playing when she was around 11 or 12 years old.

Her model when performing is the late singer and guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. She says Bonnie Raitt is another influence. Venable performs one of Raitt's songs on “No Glass Shoes.”

But most of the songs on the new album are Venable originals. She likes to write her own songs.

"I try to write what goes on in my life so that other people, other teenagers, and anybody can relate to it, because we all go through the same things, like troubles and struggles."

Ally Venable appears to be at ease when performing. All her attention is directed at the music.

"I really don't look at anything when I'm playing. I just get into the zone, where you just play and you don't think about anything else."

Venable enjoys performing for audiences that include children.

"I love to find little kids and I'll play for them. I will let them play my guitar just so they can experience that as a little kid."

Ally Venable is in her final year of high school in the small east Texas town of Kilgore. But she is spending many weekends performing away from home.

And her shows are not limited to Texas. Venable’s been travelling to states as far away as New Jersey and Florida, and making more fans along the way.

I’m Pete Musto.

VOA Correspondent Greg Flakus reported on this story. Caty Weaver adapted his report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

stage - n. a raised platform in a theater, auditorium, etc., where the performers stand​

jamming - v. to play music informally together without preparation​

original - n. a work composed firsthand​

zone - n. an area that is different from other areas in a particular way​

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