American Idol Finalist Megan Joy Comes To Rexburg

Let’s face it. When you live in Rexburg, Idaho, it’s not exactly every day that mainstream performers come out and serenade you for free. Sure, David Archuleta came a few months ago, and that was great, but he played to an arena and charged to get in. Well, our musical frustrations were put to rest Saturday night at the Pinnacle Security building, when American Idol season eight finalist, Megan Joy, along with Preston Pugmire and Asher in the Rye took the stage.

It was definitely a night to remember. Here’s our review of the show, hosted by Pinnacle Security and sponsored by Sammy’s Rexburg:

asher in the rye

Asher In The Rye | Photo cred: Joey Ferguson

First to get in front of the lights was Salt Lake City folk band, Asher in the Rye. A duo composed of Beaux Underwood on banjo and Ashlee House on guitar, these two made a great opener. On stage, the two looked rather paradoxical together; Beaux with his shaggy beard, dress shirt, slacks and a vest, and Ashlee with her fiery red hair, sequined shirt, lace leggings and rosaries. But they blend their voices and strumming together to make a very original sound, which was somewhat similar to a lot of the stuff that we’ve heard here in the intermountain west. I like when performers embrace that old, folksy sound and add their own twist to it.

They sounded a bit like Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Ashlee has great control with her voice. She can make it very soulful at one point and then bring it right back down to earth, very soft and playful. As was expected for the first set, the crowd was a little wound up, which is a major frustration for mellow acts such as theirs, but they handled the situation well. You could see the emotion in their faces indicative of two performers who take their music to heart. Great set. Be sure to check their MySpace page and follow them on Twitter.

Next up was local solo act, Preston Pugmire. Rexburg music lovers are no stranger to Pugmire’s pipes. He’s had a number of musical projects over the years, my personal favorite being rock group, My Camera. As of late though, Pugmire has taken the path of a solo artist and has done a fine job at it. He played an amazing set and, as the middle act, was able to get the crowd focused on the music and then play off of that energy.


Preston Pugmire | Photo cred: Joey Ferguson

Pugmire makes great use of loops in his songs, much like John Allred and others. This helps to make his solo act much more expansive and gives him the ability to sound like a full band. He pleased the crowd immensely with a Justin Timberlake cover, “Cry Me A River”, which was actually very close to the original. After that song, he got Ashlee from Asher in the Rye to play a love song with him. They harmonized really beautifully on that track. He ditched the guitar at the end for a bass-heavy track with solo vocals. Much to the crowd’s delight, he tied in the infallable Antione Dodson of YouTube fame and his ever-popular remix, “Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife“.

Be sure to check out Preston’s Kickstarter project, where he is hoping to raise $7,500 by January 9th in order to fund the recording of his new EP. You can also follow him on Twitter.


Megan Joy | Photo cred: Joey Ferguson

Headlining the show was the lovely Megan Joy. Megan auditioned on a whim for American Idol‘s eighth season in Salt Lake City in 2008. After an incredible journey through the ranks of the show’s contestants, she made it to ninth place in the finals. Post-American Idol, she has put together enough songs for an album although she’s now in the process of “label-shopping” as she put it in my interview with her before the show.

Her set was amazing. Megan has a very full, very unique sound–everything we would come to expect from an American Idol finalist, and more, which does make one wonder why she doesn’t have a record out yet. It’s easy to tell that Megan has full access to the range of possibilities her vocal cords can offer. With great vibratos, high notes and low notes, she knows her voice and let’s it do its thing. As far as lyrics go, her songs speak predominantly to women, 20-somethings who are just trying to live life and have fun. They are very much about empowerment and not really needing a man to have a great time. Funny though, since Megan’s romance with The Used‘s Quinn Allman (also in attendance at the show) seems to be blossoming quite nicely. Oh well, we won’t hold it against you, Megan.

Let’s not forget her band though. Consisting of Scott Reams on the keys, Bart Olson behind the drums, Benji Vander Broek on bass, Brian Burke on the guitar and Megan’s mom, Jill Joy with backup vocals, they form a blanket of sound that bolsters her voice very nicely. As mentioned before, Megan Joy doesn’t have an official studio album out yet, so there’s nothing to buy on iTunes, but be sure to check out her MySpace page, on which you can listen to a few of her recorded tracks until we see a debut album. Also, follow Megan via Twitter to stay up-to-date.

Rexburg is certainly lucky to have a show like this and here’s to hoping that this is only the beginning!

Be sure to check out Charles Clay’s Flickr page for more pics from this show and others!


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5 Responses to “American Idol Finalist Megan Joy Comes To Rexburg”
  1. Bobby says:

    hello! So i saw a guy filming Preston’s set with a DSLR and a sweet homemade PVC pipe stabilizer rig. Was he one of your guys? or do you know who he was? I would very much like to see or get a copy of that video he took!

    • His name is Kurt and he was filming on behalf of Sammy’s Restaurant. I’m sure they’ll be posting the footage on Vimeo and/or YouTube soon. I’ll post it here when I see it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Brendan Black says:

    HEY THANKS SO MUCH FOR RECORDING MEGAN’S SANTA BABY & SPELL IT OUT!!! Im a HUGE fan of hers and Im glad you gave her such a glowing review and from the video deservingly so. Did you guys take anymore video of her singing? I’d LOVE too see more.
    Thanks <3

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