UCA Grad Plays Blues Show

UCA graduate John Michael Vance is performing at Gusano’s in downtown Little Rock at 9 p.m. today.

The show is called John Michael Vance and Friends (Good Friday Blues). It will be a night of “all the blues, funk, and soul you can handle,” as Vance says on the show’s Facebook page. Admission is $5.

Vance is originally from Beebe and currently lives in North Little Rock. He graduated in 2010 with a major in education. In addition to playing blues and the occasional acoustic show, he leads worship at St. James United Methodist in Little Rock and Argenta United Methodist in North Little Rock.

In 2007, Vance helped form a five-man group called Ten Cent Hat and was a member until late 2010. The band played shows almost every weekend at various venues around Arkansas, including Gusano’s in both Little Rock and Conway. They released their first and only album in June 2010.

Vance, who got married in 2010, said that he loved being in the band but he wanted to “take a step back and enjoy being married.” He also said that he wanted to “get back to playing blues.”

He named Elmore James, BB King and Elvis, among others, as artists he listened to growing up.

Tonight, Vance will perform with eight other musicians, including former Ten Cent Hat members Justin Payne and Chris Schwilling. Vance will sing and play guitar and harmonica. In addition to guitar and bass, the other musicians will play trombone, trumpet, saxophone and keyboard.

“They’re awesome people, awesome musicians,” Vance said. “I’m enjoying every minute I have with them.”

He said that he is content with his job of leading worship while playing blues on the side.

“I want to keep doing what I’m doing,” he said.

On Wednesday, Vance performed on Channel 7’s Good Morning Arkansas with Payne.

Here’s a video of Vance performing with Ten Cent Hat at Gusano’s in Little Rock in 2009.

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