At just 16 years old, Aubree Riley already has three albums under her belt, not to mention a stellar reputation in the local music scene. The singer-songwriter’s third studio album, “Aubs,” is set to be released this weekend with a kickoff at the Eclipse Company Store Craft Beer Hall.
Riley perform at Eclipse in The Plains Sunday at 2:30 p.m. for her album’s release, to play her new songs and sell copies of “Aubs.” Fellow local musician Derek Demel will open for her. She has a busy weekend, with another show Saturday night at Donkey Coffee with Megan Wren.
“The songs are growing as I’m growing; they’re growing with me,” said Riley, who lives in Athens. “That’s what I’m most excited for people to see.”
Riley said she got her start at Donkey Coffee open mic nights, which are held every Thursday at 8 p.m. From there, she began performing in other local venues, including Casa Cantina, Broney’s Alumni Grill and at the Athens County Fair. Within the past year, she has expanded her performances by playing in Pomeroy and Logan as well.
“Honestly, I play anywhere I can get on a stage,” she said.
Riley said her musical genre is hard to describe, since she does not try to force her songs into one specific category, and instead writes whatever music comes to her. But she describes her albums as having an overall acoustic pop sound with some ’60s rock influences.
“It honestly changes a lot,” Riley said. “I think each song is so different... Sometimes it’s more on the rock side, and sometimes it’s more on the country side.”
Though Riley had one guitar lesson when she was very young, she said she didn’t get serious until years later, when she decided to teach herself guitar at 11.
“I have always sang,” she said. “And I’ve always been relentless about playing the guitar... After I taught myself a few chords, I wrote my first song. From there on out, I was writing all the time, and it has not stopped since then.”
Her new album was recorded at Skylight Ridge Studios in New Marshfield. It was Riley’s first time working with producer Jerry Weaver and her first time using a private recording studio.
“This project was a learning experience for the both of us,” Riley said. “Jerry helps me with my writing, and he showed me so much of the technological side of it and the business aspect.”
Though she was born in Corning, a small village in Perry County, Riley moved to Athens when she was 10 and began writing songs soon after. She released her first album, “Desperately,” at 13 and her second, “Head First,” at 15.
“It worked out amazing because we don’t have any open mics or anything like that in Corning, but Athens has given me so many opportunities,” Riley said.
Riley is a student at Athens High School and works at Donkey Coffee managing the soundboard. She wants to study songwriting in college and hopes go on to college or live in Nashville if possible.
“There has been a dramatic increase in my vocal abilities and my guitar abilities,” Riley said. “I’m so excited for people to see and hear how much I’ve grown, and how the songs are evolving and the lyrics are evolving.”