When Lu Sevier found a group of guys who liked the same kind of music she liked, with whom she had a connection, and with whom she could make music, it was not something she was going to let get away from her.
Though Lu and the Blues Crew founding members Sevier and Devin Divecha went to college in the fall, leaving the rest of its ranks at George Mason High School, the band has stayed together and will return to the stage for a performance at Watch Night. The hour-long set on New Year’s Eve will be the first time the group has played for an audience since the school year started.
Guitarist Divecha has been studying music at Virginia Commonwealth University. Frontwoman Sevier is contemplating an international relations major at the College of William and Mary and sings with an a capella group on campus. Drummer Derek Boylan, bassist Nathan Cooper, and guitarist Paul Sanders have had their own musical experience since last they performed together, from being part of the jazz band and playing in the orchestra for Mason’s fall musical, “Xanadu,” to seeing all types of concerts.
“We’re coming back with a lot of different ideas, and I think that is going to add a new dynamic to our set list,” Sevier said.
To keep the Watch Night crowd energized and ready to ring in the New Year right, Sevier and the band have picked upbeat tracks with good bass grooves and strong beats. Blues music is fun to dance to, Sevier says, and that’s something listeners unfamiliar with the blues might not know.
“Blues music has this misconception of being sad and lonely,” Sevier said. “The thing is, we’re high school and college kids who haven’t – fortunately – had to go through a lot of the pain and suffering that a lot of the blues musicians write about.”
Sevier first discovered the blues while living in Serbia after her family moved there for her mother’s State Department work. Sevier lived near a blues club in Serbia, and would spend time there with friends captivated by the emotion of the music that inspired audiences to sing along.
When she moved to Falls Church, she found a kindred spirit in Divecha, who shared her love of the blues. She sang the blues, he played guitar, and soon basement jam sessions became gigs across the City of Falls Church.
Sevier was a high school senior when she moved and had anticipated a tough transition, but she found Falls Church a welcoming community, and found that being in a band made becoming a Mustang all the better.
“Not only was I able to connect with people on a friend level at school, but I was able to continue to play music and do what I love,” Sevier said. “Going to Falls Church was probably one of the best things that happened to me.”
The band played Watch Night her senior year, and Sevier describes the experience as both humbling and exciting.
“It’s the greatest feeling because you know the people you’re playing with have your back and you’re going to go on and put on a show together and you’re going to keep smiling.” Sevier said. “Your job is to put on the party, and you have a lot of fun doing that.”
The band looks forward to a repeat appearance at Watch Night and a kind of reunion for a band that stuck it out despite the miles between its members. Sevier admits that the pace of college life is sure to pick up in her second year, but she’ll take any opportunity she can to come back to Falls Church and play with her Blues Crew.
“I’m pretty sure all of us are going to be coming back this summer,” Sevier said. “When we’re not working, I want us to get together and continue to play around the City.”
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