Seymour native returning to perform at Oktoberfest


A pair of Nashville, Tennessee, singer-songwriters will bring Music City flair to this year’s Seymour Oktoberfest.

Stephanie Lambring, a Jackson County native, will open for Tyler Steel, a Texas native, during a free show Friday at This Old Guitar Specialty Music Store, 106 W. Second St.

This is store owner Larry McDonald’s 14th year of hosting free music during the city’s biggest annual event. On Thursday night, the TOG Band with guests Michael Henderson, Bernie Dumas and Terry Dobbs will perform.

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Both days, doors will open at 6:45 p.m., with music going from 7 to 9 p.m.

Lambring took her first guitar lessons from Mike Gerth at the store when she was in high school, and this will be her second time performing there during Oktoberfest. The first was in 2005.

“That particular experience was interesting because I had just been dumped by my high school boyfriend the night before, and I also had a badly broken ankle from a car accident that July,” said Lambring, 29, a 2005 Seymour High School graduate. “I guess you could say I had a broken leg and a broken heart. I remember it being comforting to be around my This Old Guitar family. They had seen me through a rough time.”

This time, Lambring said, she will perform under happier circumstances.

“I always enjoy coming home, and my 10-year reunion is actually falling on Oktoberfest weekend this year,” she said. “I’m looking forward to taking in the fall weather and catching up with old friends.”

This will be Steel’s first time performing during the festival, but it’s not his first time in Seymour.

“I was actually traveling through Seymour, and we stopped at This Old Guitar to get some guitar strings and met Larry, and it all took off from there,” the 22-year-old said.

“I’m looking to make some new friends,” he said. “My fans mean everything, and they are the ones that make it possible for me to do what I love to do.”

Lambring got started in music when she was 5, taking piano lessons until she was 13. She began playing guitar and singing at 15 after her music class at Trinity Lutheran High School — where she went her freshman year — studied folk music for a month.

She started writing songs in 2005 at the urging of her vocal coach in Nashville.

“Thanks to my broken ankle, I decided to postpone my freshman year at Belmont University a semester,” she said. “Naturally, I had a lot of downtime. My vocal coach told me that if I wanted to do anything or be somebody in Nashville, I had to start writing songs. So my broken ankle and my broken heart worked together, and that’s where it all began.”

In 2009, she released her debut album, “Lonely to Alone.” She wrote all but one of the songs on the CD.

“That album is a huge piece of me,” Lambring said. “A few of those songs were some of the first ones that I ever wrote. It felt great to record each song and put it out there in the world.”

Since that release, Lambring has booked and performed five tours in the United Kingdom; was featured in a live performance and interview on Bob Harris’ Saturday Programme on BBC Radio 2 in 2010; signed her first publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis in 2010 and wrote there for two years; and had two songs, “Slowly Sober” and “Red Flag,” featured in television shows in 2014.

Since 2012, Lambring has been a staff songwriter for Carnival Music, which is owned and operated by producer Frank Liddell and has generated 13 No. 1 songs in the past decade.

Lambring said she performs once or twice a month and plans to release her second CD next year.

“What I love about music is that it allows people to connect,” she said. “When I write a song, sometimes it’s 100 percent autobiographical, sometimes it’s 20 percent autobiographical, sometimes it’s not even close to being autobiographical. I love putting myself in someone else’s shoes, but there’s always a piece of me in it.

“It’s the best feeling when you hear a song and you think to yourself, ‘Wow, I have been there,’” she said. “If I can write songs that connect on that level and help people feel like somebody else gets it, I am doing my job.”

Steel said he has been involved with music since he picked up a guitar when he was 13.

“My parents got my first guitar for me during Christmas, and I remember locking myself in the room and trying to learn chords and surprising myself,” he said. “I got the hang of it faster than I thought I would.”

In 2006, he moved to California to get a taste of the West Coast. But as time went on, he said his home state seemed to be a better fit.

Shortly after moving back to Texas, he began recording in Fort Worth. He then received a call from someone in Nashville and recorded an album, “Every One of You.”

“I was very excited to receive that call from Nashville,” Steel said. “It opened the door to meeting a lot of new people and also by letting me start following my dream.”

His album, which contains some songs he wrote, was released in February, and he recorded a music video for the title track.

Steel said he continues to tour and write music and seek material for his next album.

“At the end of the day, I want to change people with my lyrics or impact them in some way,” he said. “My biggest goal is being at a concert and everyone singing my song. That right there means that song is with them and has impacted them in some way.”

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What: Free music inside This Old Guitar Specialty Music Store during Seymour Oktoberfest

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Where: 106 W. Second St. in downtown Seymour

Who: TOG Band with guests Michael Henderson, Bernie Dumas and Terry Dobbs on Thursday; Stephanie Lambring and Tyler Steel on Friday

Cost: Tickets are free, but seating is limited

Information: 812-524-8986


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