Fourteen years may have passed, but Cleveland folk musician Alexis Antes vividly recalls playing the Lillith Fair on Aug. 6, 1998, at Blossom Music Center.
She was the opening act for the all-female music festival.
''I remember a sea of people gathered in front of the Village Acoustic Stage and the rush of the whole experience,'' Antes said. ''The highlight of the show for me was when my mom Bobbi Antes (also a musician) and I were invited by national recording artist and festival organizer Sarah McLachlan to join the entire roster of artists for the encore of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On.' I stood on the stage between the artist Catie Curtis and Victoria Williams. About a verse into the song, I took center stage and found my mom with one arm around Sarah McLachlan and the other around Bonnie Raitt. When we were done, my mom said that she just tried to pick the microphone with the least amount of people standing there. She is too funny!"
Antes grew up in Cleveland in a musical household. Both of her parents were singers and songwriters. Her first public performance was singing at her father's Lakewood coffee shop, Red Horse Hollow. In 1990 Antes joined the alternative folk pop group Odd Girl Out, which had a large following in northeast Ohio before disbanding in 1995. She later played in the band VA Dare.
''I didn't seriously start writing my own tunes until 1996 after Odd Girl Out and VA Dare split up,'' she said. ''I decided I needed to be more self-sufficient. I began to focus on writing and putting a show together. My first solo performance billed under my name, was opening for musician Dan Fogelberg at the Nautica Stage (today the Nautica Pavilion) in Cleveland in 1997.What a thrill and an honor of an experience.''
Antes' discography includes 1998's ''Stronger,'' 2001's ''North Coast Noel'' and 2003's ''All Come Down.'' Antes is in the final stages of writing tracks for her next album, which she plans to record in April at Closer Look Recording Studio in Cleveland.
''My musical influences include my mother, Bobbi Antes, plus various Cleveland, Ohio, singer / songwriters, including Cindi MacKay. My other influences include Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Carole King, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Jonathan Brooke. Pretty much all music that I hear that moves me influences me in some way,'' Antes said.
Last December Antes joined the board of the nonprofit music education organization, We R Indie Inc., which helps independent musical artists with networking and promotions. Antes is promoting her music as well as helping out budding musicians.
''We R Indie is a truly amazing organization with limitless potential to grow and I encourage all independent musicians to check out the organization's many possibilities,'' she said. ''This summer, We R Indie will be producing its first musical camp for boys and girls called, Back to Nature Music Camp. This camp will be held at the Jonica Gap Campground in Mineral Bluff, Ga. Back to Nature Camp is for children ages 10-17 years old," Antes said.
Antes is also involved in the musical camp Girlz Rhythm 'N Rock Camp, which is based in the Columbus area.