DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
DRIFTWOOD — As Old Settler’s Music Festival organizers named off the top three finishers in the youth talent competition April 18, Joelton Mayfield wondered if he would once again end up on the outside looking in.
During the 2014 show, he came close but didn’t make any of the top three spots.
At stake was a chance to play a 45-minute set on the Main Stage — the one on which the big acts perform — during the 2016 show. Plus, winning the youth competition could lead to more bookings.
“I need more bookings,” said Mayfield, a senior at Faith Academy of Marble Falls.
With college just on the horizon, Mayfield is looking to earn extra money, but he’s also hoping to get a little more notice as a musician.
A win at the Old Settlers show would definitely work in his favor.
“It’s a pretty big deal if you win that,” he said.
The announcer called off third place — Kenna Danielle. Then, second place — Dillion Havins and Cameron Riggs.
“Well, at that point, I thought I didn’t win anything,” Mayfield said.
As disappointment began to sink in, he heard the winner’s name.
“I was kind of shocked,” he said. For a moment, Mayfield just stood there, but finally he made his way to the stage, where he claimed his first-place finish, a 20-minute performance on the Bluebonnet Stage later in the festival, which was held April 16-19, and a shot on the Main Stage next year.
Mayfield plays seven instruments: guitar, bass, piano, percussion, harmonica, banjo and ukulele.
“And I’m dabbling in the mandolin,” he added. Mayfield writes many of his own songs, including two of which — “Fighting” and “Crumbling” — he performed during his 15-minute set for the youth competition along with a cover, “Blues Run the Game.” Though he’s still in his teens, Mayfield’s sultry sound easily lends itself to the blues, but he’s also quite capable of performing Americana and gospel music.
For the past two years, Mayfield has actively pursued music. He performs as often as he can including a monthly spot at Texas Tea-Licious in Burnet. Mayfield plays at the Marble Falls Market Days and is on the list of performers for the upcoming Marble Falls MayFest.
He also performs with a praise band.
“But you can always use more gigs,” he said.
Mayfield is planning to attend Belmont University in Nashville, where he’s within walking distance of 30-40 music companies and labels. He wants to study music but hasn’t picked a particular facet of it.
“I enjoy each part of it — performing, recording, songwriting — I just don’t know yet,” Mayfield said.
He has even recorded his own songs in a small studio he set up in a closet.
Learning every part of the business certainly will benefit the young singer-songwriter.
Between now and then, however, comes high school graduation and his freshman year at college.
Oh, yeah, and gigs. Lots of them, he hopes.
To hear Mayfield’s music, search for him on YouTube or Facebook.