By Al Wright
On a beautiful first day of Summer thousands of people flocked to downtown Chelsea for the weekly Sounds & Sights Festival that takes place every Thursday night through August. They came from miles around to take in the entertainment, the music, the food, and for some good people watching. But one of the biggest free attractions was the young musical stylings of two young local ladies who seemed to draw the largest and most constant audiences.
Set up in the alley by Vogel’s and Foster’s clothing store was 14-year-old Chelsea Paddock entertained the crowd for an hour playing her blue guitar and singing covers and four original songs that she wrote and composed herself. She would introduce each new song with a little background on why she wrote it and one that really stood out was her song “The new girl” which she explained she wrote when her dad Brad and her family moved from Hartland to Chelsea two years ago. There were a lot of mixed emotions for her about the move, but a couple songwriting sessions got them all figured out for her.
“I am extremely glad to be living in Chelsea,” Paddock states. “It offers so many opportunities, and experiences and the people I’ve met and have become friends with could only happen in our small town and I love that I live here.”
Music has always had a big influence on Paddock’s life as ever since she was little her parents made sure she was surrounded by it. As she entered third grade at the age of nine she showed an interest in playing the guitar, so her mom Elizabeth got her into lessons with Scott Christopher through Buzztop Studios, where she continues to take lessons.
When she started to play guitar, Taylor Swift was a huge musical influence on her and she fueled Paddock’s love for the instrument. She wanted to be to just like her. The first song she learned was “Teardrops on my guitar” but as she has grown older her influences have changed a bit as she is now inspired by artists such as The Lumineers, Dodie, Rex Orange, and County Vance Joy.
Paddock is a very busy girl as she will be entering her freshman year at Chelsea High School in the fall. She will be competing with the Bulldog swim team and she will be playing cello in the Chelsea House Orchestra.
But that won’t stop her from her passion for guitar. She enjoys writing songs and taking every opportunity to play them. Also, in the Fall, she will be sharing original songs at the Singer-Songwriter festival and she is very excited about that.
“I’ve been coming to Sounds and Sights to listen to others share music, so it was certainly very special for me to come and share my own with everyone,” Paddock stated happily. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to play and for all the love and support I have received from everyone.”
Following Chelsea’s set was Dexter Junior Sarah Grace Cattell. Cattell entertained the crowd for an hour with many original creations as well as popular covers on her tan Martin guitar.
Cattell, 16, has Chelsea roots as her father grew up there and her grandfather John Dettling has worked at Chelsea Police Department for 45 years. Last April Cattell got to go to Nashville and record her own music which was quite the thrill for the young lady. She has been singing and playing guitar since she was nine years old. She is the daughter of Steve and Paula Cattell.
Sounds & Sights take place from 6:30-8:30pm. It is free to attend and so is the parking. Everyone is invited downtown to explore all Chelsea has to offer.