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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bri Bagwell: A new voice in country

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Bri Bagwell poses for the cover of her album, “Corazón y Cabeza.”

Born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, country musician Bri Bagwell keeps with the traditionalism of country pioneers by paving her own path while sticking to her roots and prides herself on carrying the torch of Texas country music that so confidently stands as a pillar for the music she was raised on.
“My family’s always been like, do music while you can, and I’m so thankful for that and it wasn’t ever like I didn’t have stage parents either, Bagwell said. “I’ve been playing guitar for 16 years 17 years, but I you know, I always joke [that] I play well enough to write songs. I know all the chords but I don’t have any desire to like shred or anything.”
Bagwell continued to pursue music throughout her life until attending the University of Texas at Austin. She started to play music and officially perform her original work during her senior year.
“It was super welcoming, and they had like a Texas country Monday nights at the first bar that I played at on Sixth Street that’s no longer there, which is sad,” Bagwell said. “I would play the red-dirt-Monday and everyone was super kind and super nice and then I actually would come down to San Marcos a lot.”
By frequenting the Central Texas area for shows and performing at venues along the I-35 corridor, Bagwell gained an audience of supporters. She played at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos as well as other venues in the surrounding areas including New Braunfels, San Antonio and Austin for the first few years of her career going into the early 2010s. Her first official studio release, “Banned from Santa Fe,” was released in 2011.
Channeling stage presence and aesthetics of Texas country, Bagwell is a force to be reckoned with, being nominated Best Female Vocalist from the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards. Bagwell has been regarded as one of Texas’ brightest female stars to date by People Magazine, interacting with legends and even getting to work with some of her childhood heroes.
“I was at The Sound Emporium [and] Robert Plant and Alison Krauss [were] recording next door and I walked out and we got to hang out and talk to them. He just wanted my bandana and I wouldn’t give it to him. I was like, ‘I’m making a record. You could buy it,'” Bagwell said. “And then I got to open for Willie Nelson, and he asked me to sing with him and then he signed my guitar so I just retired it.”
Bagwell blends her interpretation of traditional, classic country music with flecks of her individuality and her Las Cruces influences. It all culminates in her most recent album “Corazon y Cabeza“ which was released last August.
“If you look at just what country music has been, you look at the people that were like ‘screw Nashville, we’re doing it our own way.’ It’s like the outlaws, you know, the Willie Nelsons, Johnny Cashes,” Bagwell said. “They weren’t considered country and now they are country legends. I think it’s just sticking true to who you are and mine is country music with maybe a little Spanish mixed in or some flamenco guitar.”
Bagwell believes in the power of local music. She played a show at Enchanted Ranch, a wedding venue in San Marcos, on Jan. 20.
“After the busy fall wedding season, we decided it was time to showcase our space as a concert venue,” Becki Phelps, the venue manager for Enchanted Ranch, said. “Who better to introduce us to the music community than Bri? She’s well known locally, and her talent has taken her all over the globe, so her fan base is wide.”
Phelps said Bagwell’s fanbase and audience range is national which has helped bring publicity to Enchanted Ranch.
“She really puts on a great show,” Phelps said. “Her talented songwriting skills mixed with her voice is just something you’ve gotta experience.”
Bagwell’s sets consist of her newer songs, the ones off of “Corazon y Cabeza” that she is the proudest of as well as classics that fans love. Her musical influences like Selena Quintanilla and Spanish culture mix with her storytelling ability in her songs.
KZSM, a local San Marcos radio station, hosts a variety of musical artists on air, on their live country session every Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Bagwell was a guest on air for an interview with Blake Farrar. He said they were happy to have her on air and to highlight a local country music artist.
“Bri Bagwell is one of the hardest working musicians in Texas and we were proud to have her in studio to talk about her newest album Cabeza y Corazon,” Farrar said. “The songs on this record are beautifully written and produced, highlighting a variety of influences. Not only is Bri extremely talented but she is also a class act who’s humble, hungry and determined to leave a legacy as she hangs her hat with the best of ’em.”
To keep up with Bri Bagwell and her music, visit @bribagwell on all social media platforms.

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