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Singer/songwriter Cheyenne West will perform at Old Mill Saloon in Estacada on Friday, Nov. 30

COURTESY PHOTO - Musician Cheyenne West will soon perform at Estacada's Old Mill Saloon.

When Cheyenne West wrote her first song at age 12, she didn't imagine that she would sing at the Republican National Convention just two years later.

But a staffer for former president George W. Bush heard the young country singer on a local radio station in Sunriver, Ore., and invited her to perform at the event.

"I was a small town country girl, and it was overwhelming going into the big city," West said. "But I knew from then on that this is what I wanted to do."

The singer/songwriter will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Old Mill Saloon, 150 S.W. Frontage Road.

Estacada is the next stop in a long line of music-related activities for West.

After graduating from high school, she spent a stint in Nashville recording her self-titled debut album.

"(Nashville) was a dream come true," she said. "It's a totally different world. On every corner, there's someone who can sing."

Her second album, "Take it Like a Woman," was recorded in Oregon, and she will soon release a five song EP.

Her favorite song is "Standing in the Rain," which she described as "a heartbreak song."

"I was with my first love for six years, and we had a falling out. I saw him years later at a bar with his new love, and it ripped my heart out," she recalled.

West added that now, she's "content with life" and "resolving past anguish" through music.

She described her style as a "powerful, big sound."

"There's a big message. The shows are definitely high energy shows," she said.

Her show in Estacada will be a duet with guitarist Kurt Silva and feature "a lot of acoustic, very raw, personal songs."

For West, the most rewarding part of being a musician is the energy she feels while on stage.

"Whether it's five people or five thousand people, it's always the same," she said.

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