For the past few years, the Missouri Students Association’s Lunchtime Talent Musical Showcase has given creative students the opportunity to shine. On Nov. 6, Thomas Heney, along with his bandmate Tim Aven, will be performing at the Student Center.
Their afternoon performance coincides with the release of their new EP, which will be available at Quirks.
Heney started playing for the showcase last year, and has performed at the event six times since then. He and Aven found out about the event through friends and then came together.
“I got in touch with Thomas and I was like, ‘Hey we’ve played a little bit before together, we should play together for this thing,’” Aven says.
Abbey Tingle, the coordinator for the event, says that many students like Lunchtime Talent. Tingle says that Heney’s audiences always give positive feedback, and that Lunchtime Talent receives nice comments from students in general.
“It is kind of a different vibe because people are studying and eating lunch, but we always track tweets that day and see what people are tweeting about, and we tend to find a lot of positive feedback,” Tingle says. “A lot of people who weren’t familiar with the event get familiar, and kind of have a general understanding of their favorite artist.”
Even though the two have performed in St. Louis and at The Blue Note, Heney says that he likes playing Lunchtime Talent because it’s more laid-back. He says that because no one is listening intently and because students are doing their own thing, he can relax and have a good time, too.
“(Our style is) singer-songwriter, acoustic, blues, John Mayer-esque, Jack Johnson, Ben Rector,” Heney says. “It’s just a lot of acoustic guitar work and vocals. It’s pretty mellow.”
Heney started playing guitar when he was 11 years old. He would listen to a lot of punk-rock bands, but by the time he got into high school, his tastes had switched.
He started listening to John Mayer a lot more and other singer-songwriters, as well. Heney says that this was the style of music that inspired him to start writing his own songs, and he thinks it fits him really well.
“I would like to (play music) professionally but, I mean, it’ll be a hobby for the rest of my life,” he says. “I’d say right now we’re playing enough shows, we’re making money playing shows, but I think its still more considered a hobby than a job.”
Aven likes to think that music is more than a hobby, but he also understands that it can be difficult to make a living by playing guitar. That said, he loves how it’s a universal language.
“I think it’s the best outlet there is,” Aven said. “To be able to sit down, play the guitar, play music with anybody, for any reason, is just awesome.”