As a vocal performance major at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she was often expected to sing Broadway tunes, and as a native of Texas where she was always asked to perform country music, singer-guitarist Kyndra Lee wasn’t sure that she wanted to do either.
Now she’s performing a variety of tunes incorporating a little bit of everything that she has learned along the way. On Friday, Jan. 11, Lee is performing at The Blu Pig from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. There is no cover for this 21-and-up show.
After leaving Berklee, Lee, 23, decided to go to her grandparents’ home in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where she hiked in the mountains and played music with her grandfather Barry Hurt, as she had done since she was a child. Then one day, at Hurt’s urging, Lee attended an open mic night at a local brew pub.
“She gets up on stage, no one knew her, and after she began, every head in the place turned around: Holy moly, who’s that?” Hurt said. “She opened with a Janis Joplin tune and it brought the house down.”
The owner hired her on the spot and before long, Lee had built up her repertoire and was touring throughout the region.
“She’s a southern rockin’ blue-eyed soul singer,” Hurt said. “She’s a remarkable talent.”
“I play a lot of blues, a little rock and roll, a little country,” Lee said. “We’ll definitely be doing some Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt tunes.”
She may also play songs by the Beatles and the group 22 Ward.
Lee’s other musical influences come from the late Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Winter and contemporary artist Elle King, she said.
“We have a song list built of well over 50 songs,” Lee said.
Growing up in Hobbs, Texas, Lee soon began playing alongside her musical family and she was on a piano by the age of 5. At 17, she won a music contest that had her performing for a National Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she performed on stage in front of an audience of thousands. Last summer, Lee opened for the Mark McKinney Band in Texas.
Lee also studied music at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where she was named “Female Entertainer of the Year,” an award that was also bestowed on Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks.
Lee has been touring almost nonstop since October, performing two to three shows a week, except for a couple of weeks off for the holidays. She’s booked through July and will perform at the Simply Texas Blues Festival in San Angelo, Texas, in May.
Hurt, who plays guitar and keyboards, will accompany Lee at The Blu Pig, where she is slated to perform for about three hours. A retired music educator and lifelong musician, Hurt is quick to point out, however, that he’s performing with his granddaughter temporarily. His granddaughter, he said, is the “rising star.”
Lee plans to share stories about life on the road between her songs.
“Touring has been fun,” she said. “I get to travel all over and meet a lot of people.”
‘Rising star’ Kyndra Lee to perform at The Blu Pig
When: Friday, Jan. 11, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Blu Pig,, 811 South Main St.
Cost: No cover
Information: Call 435-259-3333
“She opened with a Janis Joplin tune and it brought the house down.”