Sometimes the best gifts in life are stumbled upon by accident. In the case of Hometown Strangers, this certainly reigns true. Due to the need for a live band at a local charity event, Hometown Strangers was born out of complete chance. After their initial show and the discovery of an undeniable chemistry, each member started to realize that there might be something amazing within Hometown Strangers. Something that their already established solo aspirations couldn’t match. As a result, Hometown Strangers continued onward after their initial show, and began to book shows at various venues in their area. Being comprised of multiple individual artists, HTS has a particular love for creating and writing original music and began to play more shows and expand their chemistry, skills, and fan base. As they each became comfortable within their newly found family, HTS also began writing and composing more original music. Coming upon their one-year anniversary, Hometown Strangers looks toward the horizon with the creation and release of their debut studio album, set to drop in late spring. This album serves to show the feeling, passion, and history behind Hometown Strangers and their music. HTS is a group of musicians who were once strangers, but now have stumbled themselves into a family. Connor Manley, Kyle Noble, Laura Mae, Bo Ritter, And Trevor Kelly are Hometown Strangers.
Since Connor was a young boy, he’s been listening to country radio, yearning to hear his songs screeching through the speakers. His love for country music fully solidified in middle school, thanks to a song by Alan Jackson. After this, he began writing his own melodies, lyrics, and songs. Songwriting became an immediate love for Connor and it only grew stronger after his graduation from high school. Once Connor made himself comfortable with his musical ability, he began teaching himself guitar during his sophomore year of college. He then took a step towards professionalism by constructing his own recording studio (from a previously used chicken coop) and opening it up for local artists! Fueled by passion and a love for music, Connor wanted a standalone space in which to create music with his friends. Connor stumbled upon Hometown Strangers and found a connection with a band in which he never thought he would find. Being in Hometown Strangers has grown Connor in many ways and shown him that a family can arise from any random situation.
Laura Mae is a local musician from Central PA. Honing her guitar skills for 6 years, and performing for 4, her inspiration comes from family. As a young girl, she was given her first acoustic guitar by her grandfather. Driven by her desire to make her Gramps proud, she learned as much as she could from whomever she could. She’d always enjoyed writing songs, but her true writing potential blossomed as she advanced her guitar skills. Laura’s start in the local music scene began by opening for bands and playing during breaks at local venues before going on to perform her own shows. Everyone who came to know Laura through her live performances had always recommended that she join a band. While it sounded fun, she was unsure of how she would work with other musicians, having never done so before. Somewhere along her journey she felt truly lucky to stumble across a group of talented musicians to perform with for a local charity event. Hometown Strangers had become another home, and she had never expected to find a little family along the way.
Kyle Noble was raised in a home where the term musician was synonymous with family. This creative environment encouraged his experience with many various instruments. As his interests grew from curious to devoted, he became most drawn towards drums and guitar. As a boy, he would often sneak into his brother’s room when no one was looking and play his guitar or drums. This continued until finally, one Christmas his brother gave him his first electric guitar. He played drums in several different bands before starting a solo career as a singer/songwriter in 2015 which would inevitably lead him to meeting his fellow strangers. It all came together when Kyle met Laura’s father, John, through a mutual friend one night in a local bar and the thought of putting together a show for charity comprised of local musicians came about. After meeting the rest of the group and playing the charity event they kept the ball rolling. Ever since then, Kyle has played lead guitar for Hometown Strangers and found a second family in a group he barely knew not long ago.
Bo has always had a love for music, from long car rides listening to Classic Rock with his Dad to jamming out to Hall and Oats with his Mom. Throughout school he played the Alto Sax but always had an interest in learning a string instrument to eventually join a band. After high school, Bo spent five and a half years in the Army where his love for music flourished. Bo began to understand and appreciate the different styles associated to each genre and found a particular love for Texas Country and Cajun Country. After leaving the Army, Bo finally fulfilled high school dreams and purchased his first bass. He then set out on a journey to learn the instrument and additionally; find people to play music with. Through social media and a reconnection with a classmate from high school, Bo came full circle and found his place in a family that happens to be very close to home.
Trevor always felt that drumming was in his blood. He was raised until age 12 by his father who was a professional drummer. Because of this, drums were never out of reach and always a part of his life. Pulling influences from a wide variety of genres, Trevor played casually at home and in bands in his teenage years as both a guitarist and a drummer. In his early 20’s, his father passed, but this only drove him to become a better drummer and make his father proud. However, somewhere along the way, life became busy and hectic, meaning he had to shelf his musical goals for some time. In late 2018 he was approached to play as part of a band to back solo musicians for a charity event. As things progressed, the ensemble morphed from a group of strangers, into a band of close friends, who continued to perform together after the event. Trevor finds himself lucky to do what he loves with a group of people he has come to know and love as a family.