The Songwriter Series with host Steven McClintock is a new series of live shows featuring interviews and music from known and unknown songwriters. Get into the minds of the songwriters and explore their process and inspirations and see them perform live. The first show which debut on November 14, 2013 met with rave reviews and was seen around the world on the live stream.
The February 23, 2014 show will feature “international” songwriters and so far the following talents have been booked (click name for more info)…… More to come
[su_spoiler title=”Canadian songwriters Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham”]
The attuned artist knows they have reached that pivotal moment, when (after years of hard work; self-exploration; audience building; creative honing; and plain old passion and determination), they suddenly create their masterpiece!
Tia McGraff unabashedly peeled back all the layers in Break These Chains, her new 12 track CD release, on Bandana Records (produced by co-writer/husband Tommy Parham).
The rootsy melodies and honest- to -heart lyrics have been produced with such integrity that one feels they are listening to something hauntingly familiar yet refreshingly real!
Perhaps it is because Tia’s influences include lyrical wonders like Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, and Mary Gauthier, or because she has drawn from the stories of those who have touched her own heart.
Somehow she has captured a unique and moving experience in each song that is perfectly married to Mr. Parham’s melodies! The CD flows from ballads like, “Between The Bed And The Door” to a lively “Whiskey Ship” and yet with a consistency that comes from stunningly crafted songwriting, stellar vocals, and impeccable musicianship.
Tommy Parham’s hooky guitar work is framed by Canadian musician, Johnathon Edwards’ electric guitar and bass/mandolin. Select guest musicians include popular folk artist, Ian Bell (accordion), and “hobo” harmonica performed by Reba’s own band member, Jim Kimball from Nashville.
Break These Chains was mixed in Austin, TX by Rick DeLellis and mastered in Caledonia, ON by legendary Nick Blagona.
Described as having “a voice stolen from angels”, Tia McGraff first stepped into the international spotlight on a CBC TV special with Johnny Cash and June Carter. Johnny was so impressed with Tia, he invited her into June’s dressing room to introduce the two. Johnny Cash wasn’t the only one who recognized a shining star! Soon heavy weights like Randy Bachman (BTO), Dan Hill (Celine Dion), Andrew Gold, Mark Slaughter, and countless others, were inviting Tia to write and record with them.
Every songwriter’s dream is to make it in Nashville, and Tia soon found herself moving there to further her passion and craft. It was in Music City, USA, that this Canadian songstress met Colorado native, Tommy Parham (Lee Greenwood’s “Rocks You Can’t Move”.
Together, they have a passion for song writing “outside the box”. They celebrate numerous film/TV placements, including Ashley Judd’s “Come Early Morning”, and their song “All Of Us”, which was used in an Australian TV commercial promoting multiculturalism was also used in a video on World Youth Day in Sydney.
6 CD releases, 4 CMT videos, 15 years of main stage festivals and headline concert performances, and you have a singer/songwriter who has crafted a musical career that is respected and celebrated by thousands of fans and industry notables today. Performing on main stage festivals, concert halls, song writing venues, and even house concerts, Tia captures her audience and holds them spell bound until her last haunting note has faded.
[su_spoiler title=”Annie McQueen from the United Kingdom”]
From the North of England, Annie McQueen is the offspring of Folk Music Royalty.
Having been singing and playing along with her parents at various Folk/Celtic music venues in the Steel City of Sheffield (Arctic Monkeys, Joe Cocker, Def Leppard and, well, knives and forks…) since she was 14, her passion to develop her own sound came from an early age. She was noticed for having an impressive vocal range which was put to good use on many sessions, including her own Power Ballad ‘You’ll Learn Again’, her ‘Titanic’ track.
Yet with her powerhouse, soulful vocals, Annie feels most at home when singing Country/Folk/Blues. “Folk is what I am and I have to be honest with myself and my listeners.” She says “Folk music is in my blood…and singing is the only thing I dare to say I’m any good at!!” she jokes. A lot. However, this is not true. Annie is also an accomplished Milliner after graduating from The University of the Arts, London and is currently learning the Banjo.
With her soaring yet melancholic vocals Annie has been compared to Karen Carpenter, Eva Cassidy and Carrie Underwood. Her sweet, hair raising vocals never cease to capture the attention of audiences and keep them wanting more from this down-to-earth British vocalist.
So where does the self depricating British Lass get her inspiration? “Well, moving to another continent leaving behind ones family and friends is enough inspiration to write 5 albums!!” She quips. “They’re my heart”.
[su_spoiler title=”Eric Auckerman”]
Born in Malmo, Sweden, and raised in Germany and the U.S., Eric’s musical odyssey began as a child with his first words in English being the lyrics from the Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue” and a Kentucky Fried Chicken TV ad (finger licking good) – seriously, a kid needs to learn somewhere. Armed with that vocabulary in the late ’60s, he moved to San Francisco to discover the movement of the times, out there free-wheeling experimentation with everything, especially music.
The radio was an amazing source of influence during during those very fertile musical years within the U.S.: Soul music, the blues, pop, hippy folk rock, San Francisco was the confluence of many creative musical waters and he took it all in. From the 70’s to the 80’s, it was industrial strength and arena rock n’ roll with such bands as Jethro Tull, Ambrosia, Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Led Zeppelin and so on. In the 80’s things got a little wilder and wider as he caught the start of the “New Wave” movement, B-52s, Talking Heads, The Police, Specials, Spandau Ballet and it was time to jump in. He became a drummer!
So much for studying jazz flute and saxophone in upstate New York in the late 70s. Since those heady days he’s been working in the software business for over 20 years performing as a DJ at a small community radio station on Kauai, HI. As a radio DJ whose passion was world music, the seeds were being sown for his musical destiny upon moving back to the U.S. mainland whereupon he became a drummer again and started a band as a singing drummer with a friend from Kauai who lived in L.A. on occasion, Michele Rundgren (Todd’s wife).
They played 50s, 60s rockabilly and classic country music at private parties and events in southern California. After an ear-ringing gig one night, he re-discovered an artist from his radio days, Eric Bibb. played one of his albums and discovered that the simple combination of guitar and voice could increase his sense of well being, as a result and through some guitar playing neighbors, he discovered “three chords”, it’s been a whirlwind ever since.
Playing the guitar opened his ears to genres that he would never have pursued otherwise, country, folk, bluegrass, and ultimately his own sound. Songwriting offers the opportunity to experience the world through a semi-poetic narrative perspective. Music for Eric Auckerrman is profound because of it’s transcendent possibilities, oh, and it’s also great fun![/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes”]
Few musical partnerships are as lucky as Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes. Happily married for over a decade, they’ve been writing and performing music together for just as long. They moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Southern California and founded one of Orange County’s leading Americana Rock bands, The Fallen Stars. Blending rock and roll energy, country-flavored instrumentation and folk-inspired story-telling, The Fallen Stars have carved out a niche in the Southern California scene all their own.
Multiple OC Music Awards and SoCal Live Music Award winners, The Fallen Stars have branched out beyond their New England and SoCal roots, playing in over 14 different states and 7 different countries in the past few years including a 30 date tour of Northern Europe last summer. Two new cd releases are planned for the spring of 2014, one for their new label in Germany and the other a collection of songs based on the tv show Firefly.
“Somewhere between the wide-open stretches of Gram Parson’s beloved Mojave Desert and the decaying cityscapes frequented by Bruce Springsteen shine the Fallen Stars.” ~The Orange County Register
[su_spoiler title=”Stefani Scovolo”]
Stefani Scovolo is a Texas-born, Singer-Songwriter, who has lived in Nashville, New York, Europe and now LA. Her experience in all these places has enabled her to experience all kinds of great music. Stefani studied at Belmont University in Nashville, TN where she received a BBA degree in Music Business. Her work as an songwriter has included releases on Warner Japan with a number one single on the charts in late 2011 and other songs placed in various TV shows and film which were placements found on her own as she has not signed with a publisher yet. Her Nashville and New York City songwriting trips led to co-writes with several top songwriters. Her versatility to write in several genres has been an asset in co-writes, but she has a special flair for catchy pop hooks and emotional power ballads. Stefani has a single coming out this fall one of the biggest dance labels out of Europe, Armada Music , where she is featured as an artist and songwriter both.
Stefani also has a new album which has been released this week that she self- funded, self- produced and wrote all the songs on as well. She has co-writers on three of the songs. The album songs are as follows: I Remember, Breakthrough, I Won’t Forget About That (co-written with Billy Pace), You Make My Day, Begin Again, What’s Left of Me and You, Acceptance, Things Were Simple Then, Little World, Little Bird, Still Hoping (co-written with Peter Fox), Christmas Memories (co-written with Eliot Popkin). When entering the process of making the album, Stefani was interviewing several producers, mastering engineers, recording engineers and felt very strongly that she was ready to produce this album on her own.
She then began to find some of her favorite songs not only in song quality but in sound quality. Dan Wilson, who wrote “Someone Like You” for Adele, introduced Stefani to Philip Allen, a recording engineer in West Hollywood at Harmony Studios who received a Grammy award for engineering the song. He agreed to work with Stefani and the album began. Stefani recorded most of the vocals there and did all the editing and mixing together with Philip which was an amazing learning process. Stefani did the album with live instrumentation so she called on the best musicians in Nashville and LA to record , some of them in their own studios and some of them at Record Shop Nashville. The following musicians contributed to the project: The album is entitled “I Remember,” which is in memory of her grandma, Mary Alice.
The song titles on the album all tell a story of Stefani’s past, present, and future endeavors, experiences, and bring the listener in to a nostalgic, wonderful world where one can feel like a child again and feel the deep emotions that sometimes stay deep inside. There are happy songs on the album which lend themselves to a sing- song quality that is found so catchy in radio pop but leans more to the ears of those who notice songs in televisions commercials. Stefani was able to express some of her deepest emotions in some of the songs on the album that sound ideal for dramatic films, animated features, and feel- good Christmas movies. Those are some of her favorites
[su_spoiler title=”Jonny Perdue”]
Texas born songwriter, Jonny Perdue infuses old country roots with indie rock elements of today. He has opened up for the likes of Robert Randolph, Dick Dale, Chris Robinson, The Marshall Tucker Band and many more. His EP “Havalina” will be released this Spring and will be slated to tour the EP in summer 2014.
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