Wallace and the Naked Light to shine May 9

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: May. 2, 2013 | Modified: May. 10, 2013
Wallace and the Naked Light to shine May 9

James Wallace and the Naked Light will perform in Boone May 9.

Photo submitted

James Wallace is coming back to Boone, and this time he’s bringing some friends.

James Wallace and the Naked Light bring their eclectic mix of psychedelic, folk, noise and gospel to Boone Saloon Thursday, May 9.

For Wallace, next week’s concert will be a homecoming, as he resided in Boone for three years and even attributes part of his musical influence from his time at the Mennonite Brethren Church in Boone.

His prowess as a musician can be traced back to an early age.

“I’ve played piano since I was 5,” Wallace said. “When I went to school at Appalachian, I started a band. We were called The Laughing Trees. We played regularly while I lived there, and I grew comfortable performing.”

Wallace’s emergence in his latest act came from a revelation he experienced while overseas.

“The idea for Naked Light came after reading a poorly translated ‘No Smoking’ sign in China that read, “No Naked Light,” Wallace said. “It was on top of a mountain. I simultaneously realized I’d been wasting too much time dating a band. ‘James Wallace and the Naked Light’ seemed appropriate for something that could change members and genre without becoming a new project.”

Wallace fronts the band and writes arrangements, which sometimes change over tie with different players, he said.

Critics have even compared Wallace’s style to the great Paul Simon.

“Simon’s music played around my nursery door just as the mission music played around his,” Wallace said. “I don’t mind the comparison, and I can’t say I’ve never put forth effort to understand his style.”

Personally, Wallace said he’s a fan of classic rock ’n’ roll and gospel music.

When asked what he wants his listeners to take away from his music, he said, “Just their money’s worth. Exactly that.”

As for the future of the group, Wallace said his plans are modest in scope.

“The hope is for about $33,000 a year, insurance plan and no debt,” Wallace said. “More good people and good times.”

As for what he is looking forward to the most on returning to Boone?

“I’m looking forward to swimming in Howard’s Creek,” he said. “Is it still swimmable?”

Boone Saloon is located at 489 W. King St. All shows after 10 p.m. are for those 21 and older. Cover costs $5.

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