Chico Unplugged Showcases Musical Talent at Madison Bear Garden

Published March 10, 2024

Last Thursday, the Madison Bear Garden was buzzing with excitement as the venue hosted Chico Unplugged, a much-anticipated semiannual music event. Organized by SOTA Productions, this competition gives a stage to local and student musicians to exhibit their skills and vie for a coveted prize—an in-studio recording session with the Audio Engineering Society at Chico State.

Eager Audience Witnesses Musical Prowess

As the night unfolded, the audience packed the place, showing keen enthusiasm for the live performances. With seven contenders in the lineup and two additional featured artists presented by SOTA Productions, the atmosphere was charged with raw musical energy and anticipation.

A Victory for Jakey B. Raghorn

The title of winner went to Jakey B. Raghorn, a musician whose unique sound weaves intricate blues-rock with vivid narratives reminiscent of '70s and '80s outlaw country. Raghorn expressed immense gratitude for the recognition of his hard work, describing the win as a fulfillment of his aspirations. He has been a familiar face in the Chico music scene for around six years, and the opportunity for a professional recording session was something he had been eagerly awaiting.

Runners-Up and Memorable Performances

Among the other talented participants, Izais Ruiz stood out as a runner-up. His powerful voice and bluesy guitar brought to mind legends like Tom Waits, particularly during his performance of 'This Dog.' Serena Faith, also a runner-up, captivated the audience with her soulful and playful style, showcasing a song penned during her travels in Australia.

The event also featured Maxwell Call, a passionate musician and Oroville teacher, who humorously aspired to replace Ed Sheeran and delivered a performance filled with joy. An acoustic duo named Purity, with their guitar and violin harmonies, held the crowd's attention, and Alessandra Carli's acoustic pop energized everyone with her song 'Crazy.'

Community Contributions and Future Events

The evening also featured a charitable raffle for a new Yamaha guitar donated by The Music Connection, with proceeds aiding the Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley. Joe Alexander, a former media arts professor, won but generously donated it back to SOTA Productions.

Those who missed out on this vibrant musical showcase can look forward to the next Chico Unplugged event, set to take place on March 14, keeping the local art scene alive and thriving.

showcase, competition, talent