MT Records is a record label run by students of Middle Tennessee State University’s Recording Industry program.
The concert (which was organized entirely by a group of students from the class) featured music from MT Records artists: Afro America, Lauren Mazer, Jasmine Pratt, and Reunion, and guest performances by Crystal Hoyt and Ben Cyllus.
For those who could not be in attendance, the concert was also streamed live to the internet by Gig.TV.
Reunion opened the evening with an acoustic set of folksy tunes, accompanied by rhythmic cajon percussion. They closed with a modern rendition of the worship song “Emmanuel.”
Jasmine Pratt took the stage with a classic and sultry R&B sound. Jasmine’s voice was spotlighted when she did a powerful cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You,” augmented by jazzy chord substitutions on the piano.
Lauren Mazer followed with a set of Nineties-esque pop/rock reminiscent of Avril Lavigne. The highlight of her set was “Free From You,” a driving song with a hooky chorus and big guitars.
Crystal Hoyt was the first of two guest artists of the night. She and her band proudly represented the genre of country music with a few rockin’ honky tonk-ready numbers, but the best song of her set came from the ballad “Used.” She said this song was about how being bullied as a child helped shape her as a person, and posed the question: “I’m used, but then, who isn’t?”
The next guest artist came in the form of Ben Cyllus. Ben had the most stripped down performance of the night, accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar and a harmony singer. His coffeehouse ballad “Love Wins” was arguably the best song of the evening, with the poignant chorus: “Love wins every fight, every struggle/ You might as well save yourself the trouble/ and give in/ Love wins.”
The night was closed out by a freewheeling performance by local jam-band favorites Afro America. The band explored jazz, funk, and rock in their improvisatory excursions. Though largely instrumental, the one lyric I picked out of their set aptly summed up the night of music organized by students: “Can you bring yourselves together?”
MT Records indeed brought themselves together for an ambitious showcase of talent from the students and guest performers.