Martin boy band Shady Vally produces original music

Mallory Menard, Opinions Editor

Out of all the early 2000s movies out there, the stereotypical rock and roll boy band of high schoolers always seems to be a Hollywood consistency. To these Martin juniors, it’s more than just a teenage friend group. The local Shady Vally Band, originally known as the Jud Good band, performs covers and produces original music while promoting their name around Arlington. 

Formed in 2020, The Shady Vally members play a multitude of music genres and instruments. The band’s members are all juniors including Surain Saigal on the bass, Nolan Brin (aka the Texas Tornado) on guitar, Jud Good on the drums, and John Pokersak as lead singer and pianist. 

The group has created two original singles within the past year – Lovesick and the newly released Getaway, both available to listen on the band’s Spotify and Apple Music. 

The history of Shady Vally and how they came to be though, is quite coincidental. 

Meeting through mutual friends, the four guys soon came to realize their common passion for music. Soon later, their first single Lovesick was released in February 2020. However, the making of Lovesick proved to be a challenge for the new artists. 

“The first month the band was ever in existence was when we recorded Lovesick, and it wasn’t very good,” Pokersak said. “Thanks to Jud’s dad’s friend Walter Watson, an old blues player, we used his garage studio to record and produce.”

While the making of Shady Vally’s singles saw its own challenges, inspiration for new music takes a different path for the band. Usually, Brin and Saigal will write while Pokersak and Good will add on. But anything can happen when searching for musical themes. 

“Inspiration usually stems from one person, and then everyone will add on and make it better,” Saigal said. 

As for the inspiration for the newly released Getaway, the idea sparked from an experience rather than a thought.

“John and I were camping in Colorado when one night we drove up to the top of a hill overlooking the starry night sky,” Saigal said. “There, we wrote the first part of Getaway and the rest of the guys soon came to love it.” 

Thankfully, Getaway’s production was deemed easier than the band’s previous release. After investing so much money into recording equipment and laptops, the band still needed a decent studio to make their finishing touches. The Shady Vally boys then paid a fee to the Arlington Art Museum and there, in a basement, is where they recorded Getaway. 

From idols such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles, Shady Vally’s namesake strikes differently than the normal rock and roll groups. 

“The first place we played at was Shady Valley golf course and it’s just an easy name,” Pokersak said. “We practice and play at John’s house which is located in the Shady Valley neighborhood.” 

“And yes, the word ‘vally’ is purposely spelled without an e,” Saigal said. 

You would think such an upcoming and modern group would have dreams of going big in the music industry and making millions. But for Shady Vally, the band is just a high school hobby to have fun and make good memories. 

“Trying to make a little money would be nice too though,” Pokersak said.

As of now, Shady Vally has performed multiple times at Grease Monkey in downtown Arlington, once at Grounds and Gold Bakery, and just recently at The Catch. While going big may be a distant dream for the Shady Vally boys, Pokersak described some achievable future goals in store for the growing band. 

“We’d really like to expand to other venues and places to play,” he said. “Maybe two or three times a week during the summer. Or to play in Austin, which is a huge music hub.”

“Recording a full album would be amazing, but it costs so much to produce just one song, so maybe we’ll save that for the future,” Saigal said. 

Visit Shady Vally’s Instagram and TikTok: @shadyvallyband