It's hard to tell whether Frank Vieira found country music, or whether country found him, but there's no denying it's a perfect fit. Born on Valentine's Day, 1990, in Schenectady, N.Y., Frank has put his heart into everything he's ever done.
As he climbs his way up the country music ladder, you can hear the passion in his voice and see it in his face when he performs, from the heartfelt, "Son," to the everyman anthem, "Beer Leaguer."
In the end, Frank says, the lyrics are everything. And even though he's only 22, he has crafted more than 100 songs, released his first album -- "Over, Over You" in 2010 -- and become a regular at music venues around Pittsburgh and Vestal, N.Y., his hometown.
He headlined country night at Hard Rock Café in Pittsburgh and has opened for Craig Campbell at Jergel’s in Warrendale, Pa. Other accomplishments include performances at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Faded Fest, Rock United 9, Cyber Cafe West, a noted Binghamton, N.Y. launching pad for up-and-coming artists, and his favorite down-home bar, the Betty Blue, in Moravia, N.Y.
Maybe everyone should have seen this passion for country music coming, since Frank's perfect day has always included a fishing pole and a squirming bass. But for 18 years, that passion took a backseat to different dreams. Since his first years of grade school, he played competitive football, hockey and baseball -- sports that would carry him through high school. Before he picked up his first guitar, he was a promising young quarterback and a hockey player who would go on to be a three-time high school all-star and play a year at the junior level.
However, senior year at Vestal High School -- and one class -- started to change everything. Kevin LaDue's guitar-making course was just too cool to pass up. Frank loved the idea of building his own guitar, piece-by-piece, one class session at a time. This wasn't a kit, this was hand craftsmanship right down to the finish, carefully monitored by LaDue, who had conducted this class for years. And by spring, Frank -- and each of his classmates -- had built an honest-to-goodness acoustic guitar, one that couldn't have sounded more perfect.
Frank describes it this way: “A little left of center,” would describe my path into music. I grew up with no interest, no desire, to ever do anything musically, until my senior year In high school, where we were offered an elective to build an acoustic guitar .... I took the class, fell in love with the guitar, and haven't put it down since.
Photo Credit: Bill Patterson