Bogalusa musician wins regional competition

Published 1:06 am Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bogalusa’s own Joel Galloway could be on his way to a Nashville recording studio soon.

Earlier this month, Galloway won a regional music contest in New Orleans. If he can make it through two more national competitions, he’ll get a record contract and a major-label release.

The event is sponsored by Cumulus and Nash FM 92.3. To date, Galloway has made it through three trials, winning each. On Sept. 15, Galloway competed against seven other country performers in New Orleans. The rules mandated that each performer had to perform, live, one original song and one cover.

Galloway has been playing music since he was 12. For the past couple of years, he’s been a staple on Thursday nights at Union Station on Louisiana Avenue, and so performing in front of judges was not a problem.

“That’s helped immensely,” Galloway said. “Every week going on two years now we’ve played and we got a pretty good little crowd that shows up for us.”

The judges in New Orleans praised Galloway’s original song, “Here’s to the Working Man.”

“Joel Galloway has managed to combine the perfect formula for songwriting with the delivery of pleasant and emotional vocals,” said one of the judges, WRKN Assistant Program Director Shawn Williams, in a press release.

Galloway, who speaks with a Southern drawl, chose as his cover Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” He said he had no trouble at all turning it into a country song.

“Tell you the truth, everything that comes out of my mouth turns into a country song if you can’t tell by the way I talk. That’s a song I started covering a few years ago and when we did, I knew we had something special,” he said.

From here, Galloway must win the national challenge. The national challenge requires a video performance showcasing an original song. The top 10 winners of this round will then compete at a live concert in Nashville, and the winner of that event will be signed with Big Machine Label Group, be given a record deal and be given airtime nationally on Cumulus stations.

Though the stakes are high, Galloway said he’s not sweating it — yet.

“As of right now, I’m just so excited about it I’m not nervous. But I’m sure if I got to Nashville the nerves will come back,” he said.

Galloway said if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world, either.

“It’s exciting, and I hope we make it to that level, but if we don’t, we’ll still be making music like we’ve always been,” he said.

Music fans can hear Galloway and his band any Thursday evening at Union Station, or they can catch him Saturday at the Blues and Heritage Festival at 1 p.m. on the Heritage Stage.