What does it take to find your way back home from tragedy? For one Conway singer and songwriter, the answer came, of course, in the form of a song.
For Townsend, music has been a part of her life for a long time.
“So, I’ve been playing music for as long as I can remember. Throughout Junior high and High School, I was the drummer for a punk rock band,” she told me by email. “Once I got to college, some friends heard me play guitar and really pushed me to start playing for people. I’ve had some really top-notch supporters behind me since the beginning!”
The musician picked up steam while in college.
“Freshman year of college, I started playing acoustic guitar for sorority/fraternity functions and things went from there! I had a guy reach out to me on social media about starting a band. He told me he was a drummer and loved my music.”
This sparked something in her and created a connection that sustained her for the next few years.
She describes the first time she met her new friend.
“Against better judgment, I went to a complete stranger’s house in the middle of the night. Little did I know what was to come from that meeting.”
Even with the strange first encounter, the two become musical compadres.
“Terrance Richardson was his name,” she said. “We hit it off from the second he opened the door and introduced himself. We started an alternative rock band and began rocking! We played shows all over Arkansas. We won tons of contests, awards, battle-of-the-bands.”
The two had lots of success locally. According to the singer, “We were named Little Rocks’ ‘Band of the Month.’ We opened for groups such as Kris Allen, Ben Rector, Andy Davis, PushPlay, Safetysuit, just to name a few.”
After the rush of success, the two decided to slow down their music so that they could finish school.
“After a few years of playing and traveling, we decided to slow down and finish school among other things,” she noted. “Terrance and I continued to stay best friends and play acoustic shows frequently.”
A single event changed the trajectory of Townsend’s music and songwriting.
“In 2016, I got a phone call that Terrance had been in a bad wreck that, after a few days in the hospital, it ended up taking his life,” she explained. “I went through a period, where for the first time in my life, I had no interest in music. What once brought me so much joy was now filled with hurt.”
With Terrance’s presence gone, there was a hole in her life because he was her musical compadre.
“Someone once told me, you will play music with many but you are lucky if you can find your one true ‘musical compadre,'” she explained. “This [person] is someone that just gets you, flows well, requires little effort, and knows a part of you no one else ever will. Terrance was my musical compadre.”
In spite of the heartache that she endured with Terrance’s passing, music was the vehicle that allowed for healing.
“One day I woke up and I had words that needed to come out. I grabbed my guitar and spilled my heart about everything. In a matter of minutes, I wrote ‘Show Me Home.'”
She explained, “It discusses how he always kept me on the right track as well as lifted me and my spirits up and now that he was gone, I felt lost, like everything crumbled around me.”
“I found that I needed the thought of him to keep giving me strength, holding my hands, being my legs and my eyes, and leading me to find my way back to myself or my way back ‘home.'”
For Townsend, it is the memory of Terrance that brought her back to the music.
“From that moment, I realized Terrance wouldn’t want me putting music on the backburner. So I set a goal, January 2017, to get back into the music scene. We always wanted to make a quality CD, and that is exactly what I decided to do…for Terrance.”
In late June, she performed along with her friend Josh Stewart at Freedom Fest. She has a CD coming out and celebrating with a release party.
The CD release party is set for September 8th, 8:00 PM at Capital View Studio in Little Rock and everyone is invited to attend. Conway artist Brad Byrd will open the party with a few tunes.
According to Townsend, “I’ve been working with Mark Colbert and the guys at Capitol View Studio for over a year now. The CD will have 7 songs.”
CD Release Announcement