August 30, 2012 | Back to: News

Crown for hometown heroine Whitney Myer

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — Whitney Myer remains mysterious.A 25-year-old singer from Reno, Nev., Myer was tight-lipped during last season’s airing of NBC’s “The Voice.” Now she still is holding something back.What we know for sure is the Whitney Myer Band will play its first ticketed Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room show Friday, Aug. 31, and that a studio album is close to completion.But there’s something more.“We have some other things in the works that we’re not sure about yet,” Myer said early this week. “I’m going to be strategically vague about that question.”Myer knows how to keep a really big secret. The entire season of “The Voice” was recorded before any of the episodes aired. So Myer was unable to let friends, fans and the press know she passed the audition and was selected by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine to be her coach. She had to be coy about her opportunity of a lifetime, but it would have foolish to not reveal some hints.“You have to try to get people to watch without telling them that you’ve made it — that’s what the rule is,” she said. “You are allowed to promote the show but not too much because then people will know that you’ve made it. If they know that you’ve made it then they won’t watch the show because you’ve taken away the element of surprise. So basically we weren’t allowed to say anything about our involvement about the show. “At a certain point we were allowed to say, ‘We auditioned for the show. Check in to see how I did.’ But for the first four months leading up to it we weren’t allowed to say anything, even though I was in LA for weeks at a time, and during the whole process I wasn’t allowed to post it on Facebook or do anything about it.”Myer not only passed her audition, she inspired an enthusiastic standing ovation from the live audience when she sang Alicia Keys’ “No One.” After Levine chose Myer ahead of fellow judges and coaches Christina Agulara, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton, he said Myer had the potential to win the entire competition. More than a month later in the Battle Round, Kim Yarbrough was picked instead of Myer, in an appropriately named song, “No More Drama.”Hours later, Myer was on a plane home to Reno.“Brutal,” is how Whitney’s uncle Fred Myer described the process.“It’s dramatic because they make it dramatic and it makes the show dramatic and it makes people want to watch it,” Whitney Myer said. “It’s television and at the end of the day it’s about television and ratings, which is fine. It’s a great way to reach people but that is what it is.”Since Myer’s run on “The Voice” ended in March, it has become much easier for her band to book shows. Her father plays guitar and his twin brother, Fred, the drums. Gina Torcaso is on bass. The family connection makes the band more sentient than even the most seasoned groups who have been together for a long time.“We were like that before we started playing,” Scott Myer said of his family’s telepathic bent.Because of the time spent with “The Voice,” the band’s third CD, expected to be released in the fall, was delayed eight months. All of the tunes are originals.“We have a different engineer and studio which can be huge and in this case it is huge,” Fred Myer said. “It’s much more equipped to accommodate some experimentation and enables us to spend some time digging in and doing some things, just experimenting in the studio with the sound and layering and things like that.”“We’re taking these songs further along,” Scott Myer said. “We took the production to another level.”Fred and Scott Myer began playing in bands when they were 14 years old. They played in a funk band, Bump and Grind, before joining the Commander Cody Band. They later played in Sutro, a popular Reno band, before joining the Bay Area’s Mudsharks.Scott Myer said he learned music and songwriting was a way to spend more time with his daughter, who was named after Whitney Houston. As Whitney became a teenager, he realized she had a soulful voice with a great tonal range. The melding of two generations of Myers resulted in a unique sound. “It’s tough to label and we’ve had a very hard time labeling ourselves,” Fred Myer said. “We started calling ourselves pop-soul-funk because there’s a little bit of all three of those elements in our music at any given time, but we’re not any one of those things, that’s for sure. We hate to pigeonhole ourselves.“Whitney comes from this younger eclectic ‘Randamp;Bish’ and yet soulful and rocky and sometimes even folky place and Scott and I are completely old-school funk Randamp;B with some rock in there. We’ve done it all, everything but jazz.”A premise of “The Voice” is an unknown singer is discovered and she gets a record deal with a major label. But it appears the Whitney Myer Band, if it is signed to a big label, must do it the modern way.“(Labels) want you to figure it out and sell a lot of your CDs and then sort of sign on to something that’s already successful,” Fred Myer said. “Artist development is almost no longer. You have to boil your own pot and whatever comes out of that is what they take.”Speaking of boiling, Scott Myer does the cooking and Fred is the driver of the tour bus for the band, which, Whitney Myer said, is content based in the Biggest Little City in the World. “We are definitely going to continue to work from Reno for now,” she said. “It’s cheap to live there and it is perfectly located for the West Coast.”Whitney Myer worked nearly six years at the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, which is donating kegs of Icky IPA and Nevada Gold for Friday’s concert-goers’ bus ride to Crystal Bay. After Myer’s afternoon sound check, she will return home along with Torcaso in order to catch the bus and be with the fans. There will be special lighting effects at the show and an aerial performer.“It is a bigger step up, a ticketed event in a bigger room with a bigger reputation, so we are definitely looking forward to that,” she said. While Myer was briefly in the national spotlight, she didn’t become an overnight sensation. Nevertheless, she is among a group of talented up-and-coming groups from Reno that includes Kyser Soze, Jelly Bread, the Jason King Band, UpRising and the Mark Sexton Band, which will play next week in the Crystal Bay Casino Red Room. Sexton, who worked with Myer at the Great Basin Brewery, hopes to someday also move from the Red Room to the Crown Room. He said Myer learned from her television experience.“She perhaps has gotten a little smarter in talking to people and knowing what to do businesswise,” Sexton said. “I think it’s really important to have a good head on your shoulders. I think that’s where a lot of people lose themselves.”Myer is circumspect.“My lasting impressions of ‘The Voice’ keeps morphing,” she said. “At first it was so exciting. It is an exciting, awesome thing and I am so grateful that I was able to make it that far and I was able to have that experience because not everybody gets to and a lot of times there’s no rhyme nor reason why someone does. “But I think I was expecting a little more to come out of it. I thought there would be a little more interest on the industry side of things, which there was but it wasn’t as much as I would have expected from an outside perspective. In a lot of ways, I learned a lot about that because I would have thought, ‘Oh man you get on television and millions of people see you and it’s got to mean a whole lot,’ and it does, but on a different level than I had thought.”

Tim Parsons, tparsons@tahoedailytribune.com


Explore Related Articles

Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 30, 2012 12:36PM Published Aug 30, 2012 12:33PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.