Catch A Rising Star With Vermont’s Own Keeghan Nolan

Publish Notes: 

Cider Magazine July, 2013

Catch A Rising Star With Vermont’s Own Keeghan Nolan
Catch A Rising Star With Vermont’s Own Keeghan Nolan
Catch A Rising Star With Vermont’s Own Keeghan Nolan
Catch A Rising Star With Vermont’s Own Keeghan Nolan

BURLINGTON, VT. - Up and coming songstress and Vermont-native Keeghan Nolan is on the fast track to fame – so you better get onboard now because this train is moving fast! Born in Burlington and raised in Williston and Fairfield, Vermont, Keeghan knew from a very young age that she wanted to sing, and has been doing it very well ever since. “When I was six years old my parents decided to pull me out of school in favor of home-schooling when my sister was diagnosed with cancer (who is now a 15-year survivor),” Keeghan revealed in a recent interview.


Cover courtesy of Cider Magazine, photos courtesy of Keeghan Nolan

“That is when I first started singing because it would always make my sister smile. I would make up these funny songs to sing to her and they would make her laugh and call me silly! I also remember just going into my room and singing in order to sooth my soul, for it was very difficult watching her go through cancer treatment.”

When Keeghan was 10, her family moved to Fairfield and went back to public school, where she entered a St. Albans talent show in the sixth grade and won! “From there, things really started happening and people started paying me to come and sing for them. My first real gig was at the Napoli Center in Sheldon when I was 12… the older folks just loved my music as I sang nothing but classic country songs for them. They started coming to support me at various shows and fairs, and would wear cowboy hats that I gave to them because back then, I would always wear a cowboy hat onstage with my silver initials KN".

From there, Keeghan began entering more talent shows, including the Colgate Country Showdown at age 14 and won the New England Showdown, becoming the first (and still only) Vermonter to make it to the regional competition held in West Virginia. “Then, at 15, it was on to the Music City Rising Star competition in Nashville. There were 250 contestants from 35 states competing for ‘best overall vocal,’ ‘best overall performer’ and ‘best original song.'

“It was a last minute thing to compete but with the encouragement and faith from my parents and much to my surprise, I took first place in overall vocal, overall performance and overall original song for I wrote called “Sparks Fly.” Then, when I got home, local newspapers and radio stations were calling me to do interviews and before I knew it, I was getting booked left and right to perform... it was so much fun!”

Keeghan also recorded her first CD at 13, singing cover songs from the likes of Patsy Cline, Tanya Tucker and Kitty Wells and produced by Bob and Ray Monty in Hinesburg. “I was introduced to Bob and Ray by a St. Albans radio DJ named GG Griggs, who has since passed away from an automobile accident… GG supported me greatly and would invite me to the radio station every week to tell everyone of my progress… not a day goes by where I don’t think of him and the support he gave me.”

Keeghan’s first big break came at 16, when asked to open shows for Nashville country artists Jimmy Wayne and Drake in Orleans, Vermont, which opened the door for Keeghan and her band to start opening shows for many national acts including Craig Morton, Aaron Tippin, David Alan Coe, John Michael Montgomery, Chris Young and just recently – Bucky Covington. Keeghan’s band includes Gary Spaulding on drums, Phill Tomeny on lead guitar, Thomas Carvey on bass and Tracy Lord on guitar.

Around this time, Keeghan also started working with Andre Maquera, owner of West Street Digital in Fairfield and longtime guitarist of Vermont Rockers 8084. “I started working with Andre while writing my first original song “Sparks Fly” and all of a sudden I was on a roll writing country rock songs. Being the lead guitarist for 8084, the two of us just jived and we started working together on my first album of original material.

“Then I met 8084 drummer Gary Spaulding, then 8084 front-man Randy Smith came to Vermont to do some work with Andre and he really liked my work. Randy then asked me to sing a duet with him on his song “Yesterday” from his Bittersweet album and we’ve been friends ever since.” From there, Randy invited Keeghan to tour with him and his Band of Merry Men and are currently doing their second mini tour together.

In June, Keeghan’s career took another big step when she signed a two album deal with Nashville’s Big Whirl Records. “I will now be working on my next two albums with Big Whirl Records and am very excited. I will be writing all the songs for the records and will continue to live in Vermont, while travelling back and forth to Nashville for now.”

Yes, Keeghan’s career is now beginning to sky-rocket, however, she remains grounded and realizes she has had a great deal of help, love and support along the way. “I have so many people to thank, who have helped me along the way… first, my Mom and Dad – they are the best parents a girl could ask for and have sacrificed many hours setting up my gigs and driving miles and miles to all the competitions and shows… they have supported me 100% in everything I have accomplished.

“Some of the local musicians I would like to thank include Andre Maquera, Gary Spaulding, Thomas Carvey, Randy Smith, Phill Tomeny, Tracy Lord, Darrel Pappazoni, Eddie Blair, Gary Ellis, John Cassel, Bob and Ray Monty and Rusty “The Logger” Dewees, who is awesome and a lot of fun to be around. I also want to thank my teachers at Fairfield Center School – especially my music teacher Ms. Scott and principal Mr. Shanley – and my teachers at BFA/St. Albans and the principal Mr. Hill.

“My special friend Tracy (Lord) has been by my side since I was 15, playing and teaching me guitar, recording my demos and playing shows. He has encouraged me the whole way and has never said no to anything I need of him. I also want to thank the DJ’s – JD Green at Froggy 1009, Roland Lajoie at WLVB and Charlie and Ernie at WVMT and WBKM. And last but not least, Franklin County Field days, Mt. Mansfield Media and commercials for Total Home Center and Eagle Country.”

Various upcoming shows for Keeghan Nolan include Bay Days in St. Albans on July 7, Lamoille County Filed Days on July 26, Franklin County Field days on August 3, CUFF Cancer event on August 9, Orleans County Fair in Barton (opening for The Lost Trailers) on August 17 and the Champlain Valley Expo on September 1. To learn more about the rising career of Keeghan, visit her web page at reverbnation.com and Facebook.