The tracks are mixed, mastered and ready to roll, but for Liberty Roche there’s only one thing left to do: throw a party.

Not just any shindig, we’re talking one to match the excitement of a young artist’s six-song EP debut and it’s all set for Thursday night at the acoustically superb Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame.

“The night is designed to celebrate music, the album, and the journey that we are all on, regardless of where we are on that path,” said Roche, 16, during a recent interview. “I cannot wait to release my music and allow people to finally take a glimpse of what has had my heart for these past few months. It will definitely be an incredible night.”

That confidence suits the Bakersfield Christian High School student well. Comfortable with the power of self-marketing (Roche made the newsroom connection herself), she’s already shown promising signs of success beyond her years locally and via online channels where her music can be heard and shared.

“A lot of work went into planning for this process. The recordings, the photo shoots, the days in studio mastering, the interviews, there was a lot on the line as far as scheduling goes.”

While Roche may not be a household name yet, her voice and piano stylings are familiar with live music fans who’ve caught her onstage at The Mark, Padre Hotel and the Petroleum Club to name a few, and yes, she’s also performed the national anthem at a Bakersfield Condors game.

It doesn’t hurt that her mentor and coach is Amy Adams, whom Roche has been under the guidance of since the age of 11, just three years after penning her first song.

“Amy (Adams) has been such a huge part of this entire process. It wouldn’t be what it is today without her efforts and creativity being poured into the project.”

If the songs posted on her official website ( are an indication of what to expect live, you’re in for a treat. Roche is no ordinary new talent. With styles reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones, two artists I drop loosely and strictly for first-time listeners' sakes, the EP’s release should have no problem sparking interest outside Bakersfield. It was recorded at Aum Studios with help from producer Adams, who assembled a stellar group of musicians to back Roche including musical director Jesse Siebenberg whose credits include Lady Gaga and Supertramp to name a few. The tracks available for preview surpass any of the usual early hype saddled on artists of a similar age.

“Because I am 16, I often feel as though what I am doing is almost dismissed, or less relevant," Roche said. "I have found that when I am working with professionals, crafting a piece of my heart, age is not relevant. They can sense the sincerity in my heart. Being able to say, ‘I am 16 years old and am releasing my first record’ is an incredibly gratifying truth and brought with it life experience I will forever be grateful for. It caused me to fall even more in love with music.”

Thursday’s showtime is 7 p.m. Admission is $20. The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame is located at 2231 R St. For more information call 864-1701.

Creepy collection on tap

Just in time for this weekend’s Halloween weekend kick-off shenanigans, the Bakersfield musical force that is Ariel Dyer just put the finishing touches on a brand-new seven-song collection of tunes titled “Tricks & Treats.”

A mix of covers from Sam Sham & The Pharaohs (“Little Red Riding Hood”), The Misfits (“Vampira”), Danny Elfman (“Sally's Song” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) and others plus a Dyer original, the tracks feature Dyer alone with her acoustic guitar. Recorded by local promoter and frequent Dyer collaborator Pat Spurlock, it falls in line with his favorite time of year.

“Throughout the last year I have been sending Ariel songs to help expand her cover set and even potentially inspire some new originals,” he said. “Since the songs are coming from me, they are naturally a little darker and more edgy than what she had previously been building her set around.”

Featuring cover art by Bakersfield artist Brian Demarest, the album is available for download at, plus this week you can also score a digital download card of the album when you purchase the Dracula's Fang drink special at downtown bar Tiki Ko. Spurlock added he will be packaging up a very limited number of CDs to be sold on Friday at Black Coffee Draft House in Frazier Park where Dyer will also perform from 7 to 9 p.m.

“It's great to be able to present this collaborative effort to everyone for the greatest time of the year," Spurlock said.

Big-screen kudos for Celeigh Chapman

Congratulations are in order for Bakersfield singer-songwriter Celeigh Chapman who landed her song “California” in the upcoming Tyler Perry film "Nobody's Fool," starring Whoopi Goldberg and Tiffany Haddish.

Taken from her acclaimed 2017 EP “The Winner,” Chapman says the song will be heard during a scene in the film that hits theaters beginning Nov. 2.

And that’s not all, a Chapman musical collaboration can also be heard in the independent film “Diane.” Not to be confused with the 2018 drama of the same name, Chapman’s song is in the 2017 film “Diane," a horror flick about a military veteran who becomes obsessed with the corpse of a dead singer.

“To give you some background on this — the actress (Carlee Avers) was not a singer,” said Chapman. “I took videos of myself singing the song from different angles to not only help the director envision how he would shoot it, but also to give the actress a natural example of how I, the vocalist and writer, would perform it on a stage. How I used my hands or arms or head position, etc. Things I don't really think about but could be something she could use to make it more believable since she was lip-syncing to my voice.”

That’s showbiz, and still a pretty cool score. On the bright side, those Tyler Perry movies live forever as will Chapman’s tune. Which reminds me, I’m planning on having a marathon viewing of the “Madea Halloween” movies this weekend.

“Diane” is available for viewing on demand, iTunes and Amazon Prime Video.

“By the way, I still have not seen this film,” said Chapman.

Your secret is safe with us.

For more information, visit

Matt’s pick

Gina Sicilia, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band 7:30 p.m. Friday, World Records, 2815 F St. $30, $35 for table seating. 325-1982.

Since nabbing a Blues Music Award nomination for best new artist in 2008, Philadelphia blues chanteuse has enjoyed great chart and radio success in the genre. Her eighth studio album, “Heard the Lie,” produced by Grammy-nominated Dave Darling, was released this year to rave reviews. Sicilia is also a semi-regular visitor to Bakersfield and always brings the best of the blues when she hits the stage. Also appearing is wild-eyed hillbilly blues trio Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Fronted by husband and wife duo “Reverend” Josh and Breezy Peyton, the group has a reputation for sonic pyrotechnics chock full o’ soul in every note.

Highly recommended.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.