Published: July 3, 2013
Singer Alice Wallace is no stranger to taking chances: Only four months ago, she was working a typical 9-to-5 job. Today, she's a one-woman operation, promoting and performing her own music and chasing the longtime dream of being a musician.
In general, Wallace describes her sound as a mixture of folk, country and blues. She says some of her influences include country artists such as Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris, as well as modern artists such as Patty Griffin and Brandi Carlile.
"I have a lot of influence from my parents' generation of music because I grew up singing with their songs," she says. "There was so much great folk music in that time."
The 30-year-old folk singer grew up in a musical household, where she says she would listen to her parents singing harmony to old folk songs. After high school graduation, she attended college in Florida. She later went on to work at two Florida-based newspapers, the Leesburg Daily Commercial and the Gainesville Sun.
"I always wanted to have a more normal, structured life, and so even though I knew that I loved doing music and that I wished I could do it for a career, I tried to suppress my love for music."
Wallace moved back to her native California about five years ago with the intention of pursuing music as a career, yet she found herself working at Power Plate, a fitness company.
"It wasn't until March of this year that I decided this was it - I'm really going to put my all into music," she says.
Despite moving in with her parents in Fullerton, and the lack of a regular income, Wallace says the musician lifestyle is wonderful.
"I certainly feel happier," she says. "Although it's somewhat terrifying because I also don't have some sort of regular money coming in. It's still very liberating to give this a real shot and try to have faith in myself and in my talent."
Wallace has only released one album, "Sweet Madness."
"If the talent Wallace displays on 'Sweet Madness' is any indication, her decision to commit herself fully will be paying dividents for a long time to come," writes Jason D. Hamad, critic at nosurfmusic.com.
Most of her fans live in California, so Wallace says a summer tour, with stops in Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado - including here at Jive's Coffee Lounge - is an attempt to broaden her fan base. On tour, she is playing with bass player Ryan Donohue.
"Ryan is great to do a duo with because he plays the stand-up bass, which has a percussive element to it," Wallace says. "And he also plays the harmonica at the same time, so he's basically the entire rest of the band encompassed in one person."
Besides having a multitasking bass player, Wallace has a trick of her own - she yodels.
"I wish I knew what my future was going to look like," she says. "At this point it's kind of a one foot in front of the other and keep learning and keep trying new ways to play my music. I'm hoping with enough work and enough perseverance I can get my music out there."
ALICE WALLACE AND RYAN DONOHUE
Where: Jives Coffee Lounge, 16 Colbrunn Court
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: Free; 210-7650, jivescoffeelounge.com