Local wins singing competition

Published 6:23 pm Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Will Langford with his Alvarez guitar.

When Will Langford strums his guitar and opens his mouth, the sound that comes out gets people’s attention. And people seem to like what they hear.

The 18-year-old Maplesville resident is stirring things up in West Alabama. He won the adult competition of Marengo County Idol in September and tied for first place in Clarke County Idol this past summer.

Langford now moves on to Butler Fest on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9 to vie for the West Alabama Idol title.

“It’s a great town. It’s pretty peaceful,” Langford says of his hometown, Maplesville.

Langford’s family moved here from Tuscaloosa when he was about 5 years old. As one of seven children, he was home-schooled and comes from a very musical family (three of his siblings — CarolAnn, Ross and Audra — also sing and play guitar).

It was a family jam session, in fact, that inspired him to pick up a guitar for the first time about four years ago. He was at a cousin’s home in West Virginia where the whole family would get together and sing bluegrass for several consecutive nights.

“That inspired him to go back and start playing,” said his mother, Christi Langford.

Will first used his mother’s Fender acoustic guitar before purchasing his own. He immediately started playing in churches, often alongside his sister, but soon moved to restaurants and other venues.

Langford mainly listens to country and rock, and his biggest influences are John Michael Montgomery, Hank Williams Jr. and 3 Doors Down.

“He can play great piano,” his mom adds.

One of the songs he sang at Marengo County Idol was Hank Jr.’s “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound.”

“That was one of those you get a good crowd response from,” he said.

Another favorite is the Bob Seger classic, “Turn the Page.”

“It’s that certain type of song that I can fit my voice with real well,” he said when asked about how he selects a particular song.

Langford took home a $500 cash prize from the competition and will compete for $1,000 at Butler Fest, but the competition will be even stiffer there.

“I was surprised when they kept calling out my name,” Langford admitted. “The talent I wasn’t expecting to see at these concerts — that was sharp.”

Langford plays regularly at venues in Demopolis and other areas. He plays at El Ranchero Loco on Thursday nights from 6-9 and at Foscue House on Friday nights.

If you hear him play, there’s a chance you will hear one of his originals, such as “The Soldiers Alone,” a tribute to loved ones serving in Iraq. He has about four other finished compositions.

While Langford hopes to make music his profession, and certainly wouldn’t mind “making it big,” he seems to like where he is today.

“I don’t ever want to leave Maplesville,” he said.

For more information about Will Langford, you may contact him at (334) 341-9024 or willlangford@rocketmail.com.