MORGANTOWN - Solo artist Logan Venderlic is making a name for himself with a new full-length album, East Coast tour and a few upcoming performances in Ohio and West Virginia.
A graduate of St. Marys High School and a senior at West Virginia University, Venderlic first picked up a guitar at age 10, and he's been writing songs and playing music ever since. But it took several years before he was comfortable in front of a crowd.
"I was in a couple of talent shows in high school, but I mostly just played in front of family and close friends. I had severe stage fright," said 22-year-old Venderlic. "I didn't really start playing shows until two years ago."
Now that he's found his footing, Venderlic is enjoying his role in the music scene. He released his debut EP "Manic" last year and just finished recording his first full-length album, yet to be titled. After a month-long, self-booked tour from Baltimore to Boston this summer, Venderlic is back in West Virginia. His next performance will be Thursday at 8 p.m., at the Adelphia Music Hall at The Galley in Marietta.
Drawing influences from classics such as Bob Dylan and the modern indie rock group Bright Eyes, Venderlic describes his music as indie rock/folk, with elements of soul and punk rock. While guitar is his instrument of choice, he is also a skilled harmonica player and dabbles in keyboarding, tambourines and the trombone.
"I'm influenced by a lot of genres," he said. "I try to keep the audience interested."
Early in his career, playing in front of an audience didn't come easily to Venderlic. He broke out of his shell a couple years ago when he was asked to open for JT Woodruff, another St. Marys native and frontman of Hawthorne Heights, an Ohio-based rock band that found international success several years ago with two gold albums.
"It was my break-through performance," he said. "I basically turned my fear into nervous energy, and it went really well. It gave me the confidence to perform and book my own shows."
Over the summer, Venderlic toured the East Coast for a month, booking shows at cafes, bars and dedicated music venues.
"I basically snaked my way up the coast to Boston. It was an immense amount of work, but the experience was fantastic," he said. "Everywhere I went, I found people who enjoyed my music; I never had a bad reception."
Now that school is back in session, Venderlic is playing shows when he can and preparing to release his second album.
Venderlic will perform at a music festival in Cambridge, Mass., during the first weekend of September and then return to the area for a show Sept. 3 at The Purple Fiddle in Thomas, W.Va.
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