Waco, Texas maybe home for singer Holly Tucker. But Carlsbad is a special place for the former reality television show contestant.
Tucker was one of nearly eight performers who took to the main stage at local music festival CavernFest Saturday in downtown Carlsbad.
The event was canceled in 2021 and 2020 due to public health safety rules enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tucker performed at various events in Carlsbad in past years, including CavernFest and was excited to be back on the main stage at one of the city’s largest events of the year, after it was cancelled two years in a row.
“Both of those times I was really, really disappointed to not be able to come. CavernFest is one of my favorite festivals to play in all year. The people here are great and I just love being here,” she said.
Tucker provided some star power in her performance Saturday. She was a hopeful in 2013 on the NBC TV reality music show “The Voice.”
She was coached by famed Nashville Country singer Blake Shelton and was only one of seven contestants who received impressive marks from Shelton and other musical judges on the show.
While she did not win the national competition, Tucker has toured the United States and developed special bonds with communities like Carlsbad.
Entertaining people is nothing new for the 29-year-old Tucker. The youngest of three children, her parents Johnny and Cheryl Tucker founded a Christian music band in the 1980’s known as Revised Edition.
“I grew up singing in the church at first,” she said. “My family are musicians, and I grew up in a household full of music.”
Tucker sings Texas country music which offers a mix of musical styles ranging from American Folk Music to Western Swing, popularized by another famous Texas music performer Bob Wills.
“I tend to make my music a little more what today’s sound and the 90’s sound is. Because I never want to lose that true country feel,” she said.
Tucker said she grew up listening to classic country music artists like Loretta Lynn, George Strait and Willie Nelson.
“I grew up on the old standards and put some of that into my set,” she said.
Tucker describes her music as country soul and her music was influenced by modern country performers like Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood.
Tucker released six albums in the past 15 years and fans can expect a new release titled “Breaking in these Boots” July 1.
She said plans were in the works to release a seventh album sometime in the fall.
Former Carlsbad resident Melissa Jones Auld performed before Tucker on the CavernFest stage Saturday afternoon.
“It’s so much bigger that it was when I played in it three or four years ago. It’s so much better,” she said.
Auld is a singer-songwriter who grew up in Dallas and now lives in Texas City, Texas.
She said her music followed the honky-tonk style of country music popular in bars and influenced by such artists as Hank Williams Sr., Ernest Tubb and George Jones.
Auld said she enjoyed performing in front of the CavernFest crowd after postponements due to COVID-19.
“It’s just a great day. Everybody is having a good time. I love the music and the bands have all been good,” she said.
Carlsbad MainStreet Board of Directors President Jason Shirley said cancellations of performers like Tucker and Auld was disappointing due to the pandemic.
“But everyone worked so well with us and were understanding,” he said.
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