Adara Rae Lialios is chasing the dream, one gig at a time

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Layla Nicks | The Daily Wildcat Layla Nicks / The Daily Wildcat Adara Rae, the guitarist of Adara Rae and the Homewreckers, plays a few chords at Pima Community College Campus Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Adara Rae, 19, plays many shows around the central Tucson area accompanied by her all female ensemble.

Adara Rae Lialios is the frontrunner of an all-girl rock band, a lyricist of many original songs and a master of numerous instruments, yet she’s not even old enough to buy a drink.

When the 19-year-old Tucson native isn’t touring around the city with her newly formed group, Adara Rae & The Homewreckers, she is busy attending classes at Pima Community College and building up more traditional skills in case she doesn’t make it big as a musician.

Having already been signed by a San Francisco record company, the future looks bright for this multi-talented artist who describes her style as sounding like “country with a twist.” Set to perform in cafés and upon rooftops for the rest of the month, Tucson will remain Lialios’ main venue for the time being.

“I’ve always thought Tucson was an interesting place to be an artist,” said Lialios, a recent graduate of Sabino High School. “You can kind of grow and kind of build something.”

Lialios discovered her knack for music as a toddler when she snuck onto the stage of a local talent show to sing a rendition of “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie.” By age nine, she was given her first guitar and hasn’t been able to put it down since.

Lialios has also added the piano, bass, banjo and mandolin to her musical repertoire but said the guitar remains her primary staple when performing.

A natural-born songwriter, Lialios pens lyrics documenting the boy troubles of any typical teenager. But some songs, like her single “All American Fairytale,” which harshly deconstructs the sugar-coated fantasy of someday finding Prince Charming, take a much darker tone.

“It’s not in my nature to write something that’s completely happy,” said Lialios, who credits British songwriter Steven Morrissey of The Smiths as an inspiration for her cathartic lyrics. Taylor Swift, George Michael and The Bee Gees are also among the many talents Lialios looks to for inspiration.  

While performing at Delectables Restaurant & Catering on Fourth Avenue on Saturday, Lialios told the crowd she was encouraged to quit her part-time job at a bowling alley and become a professional musician when a Bruce Springsteen song played on the loudspeaker.

Since then, she’s been trying to build up a reputation around town with her blue grass, pop-rock infused music. With her sultry, mature voice and soulful lyrics, Lialios seems to be a talent way beyond her years. This may have been what local drummer Daphna Ron saw in Lialios when she approached her to form a band of all-female musicians. Having been together for just over two months, Adara Rae & The Homewreckers are steadily making their presence known over Tucson.

Scheduled to perform this Saturday night at the Playground Bar & Lounge in downtown Tucson, Adara Rae & The Homewreckers will play a mix of both original and cover songs. But Lialios can’t stay out all night playing with the band because she’s still got classes to attend if she wants to earn a college degree in social services.

“I figured that I’d either connect with people through my lyrics or through my counseling,” Lialios said about her collegiate backup plan.

Lialios still has big dreams of someday making it to the stages of Nashville, Tenn., but she said it will take all of her determination to achieve this seemingly impossible goal. 

“If I don’t give it all now,” Lialios said, “then I will regret it.”

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Follow Kevin C. Reagan on Twitter.


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