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Band of the Week: Ginger Pangas 

Schooled in Rock: Ginger Pangas, 19, started singing with School of Rock in Cleveland a few years ago, when she was still in her mid-teens. It was a bit of shock to go into local bars and clubs. "It was very different for me," she says. "I was used to being in choirs and things like that. I started performing in bars, and I wasn't used to it." But she gravitated toward rock and pop, and during her senior year of high school she released "Believe," her first single, which she recorded in New York with producer Arty Skye at a studio in Times Square. "It was my first time recording, so it was really fun," she says.

A Little Bit Country: Pangas has recently shifted from rock/pop to country pop. She says her high-school friends had a role in the decision. "My friends in high school were listening to country and they switched me over," she says. "I started to love the music and stories. I really like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert. I've bought the country Megaticket for the past two years and gone to all the shows at Blossom."

A Busy Year: This year has been a good one for Pangas. She released her third single, "Country Beach," a track she describes as a "strong, upbeat summertime song." It's her first collaboration with songwriter and producer Allan Licht who recorded the tune locally at the Reel Thing studio. Pete Tokar, a Grammy-winning engineer who worked with the late Gerald Levert, engineered the song. Pangas also performed at the Macy's Festival and had a busy summer of performing live.

Why You Should Hear Her: "He's Not You" is a somber ballad characterized by Pangas' gentle vocals and a pretty piano melody. It suggests the way in which Pangas' music fits with what's popular in country music today. She's currently at work on a full-length album she hopes to release next year. And she plans to release a couple of Christmas singles in time for the holidays. One of the songs is an original tune and the other is a cover of the Blake Shelton tune "Home."

Where You Can Hear Her: gingerpangas.com.

Where You Can See Her: Ginger Pangas performs at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, at the Alex Theatre.


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