Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Day For Hackleburg School

Songwriters for Survivors in conjunction with Wishmaker Productions is sponsoring a tornado relief concert in support of Hackleburg, Alabama school students. Please go to the Songwriters for Survivors website for information about the organization. There is also a PayPal link on the website for donations. Raising money to rebuild, repair and replace because of the April 2011 tornado destruction and devastation in North Alabama is an on-going project for these caring, giving songwriters who so unselfishly DONATE their time, talent and funds for the cause. 
Saturday - May 12, 2012 12:30PM - 8:30PM
311 N. Court Street - Florence, Alabama

12:30 Marla Cannon-Goodman and Dylan Altman

Marla Cannon-Goodman, born in Melrose  Park, Illinois and raised in Kingston Spring, Tennessee, is a second-generation hit songwriter. As a child, Marla had a front seat for country music history as she watched her father, Buddy Cannon, shepherd the careers of new and legendary artists as producer, songwriter and record label executive. Since her first cut by Sammy Kershaw in 1996, she has been making country music history herself, with songs recorded by artists ranging from Eddie Arnold to Kenny Chesney. Marla had number one smashes with "The Fool" recorded by Lee Ann Womack and "Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo" recorded by Tracy Byrd. Marla has become a beloved and respected hit-maker on Music Row.

Dylan Altman, a graduate of Boston's Berklee College of Music, hails from New Jersey. This singer-songwriter-musician was initially influenced by his jazz musician father. Dylan picked up a guitar at age 13 and quickly developed a passion for music. Influences ranging from The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Marvin Gaye, Lowell George and Bruce Springsteen can be heard in his melodic songs, soulful grooves and fiery guitar playing. These qualities shine through in his live performances, having opened for Edwin McCain, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Radiators and Will Hope. Dylan had a number-one hit in "Watch the Wind Blow By" on Tim McGraw's album, "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors" and "Baby I'm Home" on Trace Adkin's album, "Songs About Me".

1:45 Kenneth Cooper and Andrew Velez

Kenneth Cooper is a Singer/Songwriter from Huntsville, Alabama. Kenneth's genre of writing is best described as a rough-n-rowdy style of contemporary country, like his current singles "Bad Ass Country" and "Die Tired".  However, he's still known to throw down the occasional hearty love song. Currently, Kenneth is writing with hot new Nashville artists and staff writers, including Lindsay Bruce, Alayna Carroll, Borrowed Blue, Mike Sprinkle, and Parish County. Kenneth's schedule is full with writing sessions with more new up-and-coming pop and country artists this year. He routinely plays rounds at Nasvhille's famous Bluebird Cafe and the Commodore Grille, and has gotten two Independent Artist cuts so far this year.

Andrew Velez is a Country and Southern Rock singerfrom Huntsville, Alabama, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began singing and playing guitar at a you age in church and soon thereafter began doing musical theater for extra time on the stage. As soon as Andrew turned 18 he headed to Nashville to pursue a career as a performer and songwriters where he has spent all his time writing songs, recording in the studio and touring his band, as well as his solo project. This fall, Andrew is releasing his new CD entitled "Country as Cornbread" and couldn't be more excited. He's currently playing the college circuit with Nashville based Crescent Moon Entertainment. This spring he has traveled and played all over the Southeast and looks forward to expanding the tour circuit soon. Although most of Andrew's time is spent on the road, he loves coming home and visiting and his family and friends. North Alabama is still Andrew's favorite place to perform!

3:15 Vickie Raye, Billy Ryan Droze and Jim Parker

Vickie Raye, a talented singer with a powerful and soulful voice, is capable of taking you on a journey from the very first song well into the last; leaving you wanting more. Born in Puerto Rico where she was a adopted at birth, Raye began performing professionally at the age of 8 in musical theater in Miami, Florida. She is now a permanent fixture in Music City, USA. She quickly made a name for herself by writing strong lyrics, and impressionable melodies. Vickie performed as the "front-woman" with the rock band Emerald Steel; touring Germany, Brazil and the United States. Rave reviews in Rag Magazine said her voice transcended the band from just heavy metal band to a "melodic heavy" band. Vickie performed as background vocalist for Gloria Estefan, John Secada and others in the famed Calle Ocho in South Florida. In the country scene, she's opened for Jeff Bates, Shenandoah, Marty Raybon, Billy Ryan, and more. During those experiences, she discovered a new world outside the theatrical arena and moved to Nashville to focus on her solo career. Her album releases include, "Different Shade of Southern", "Cigarettes & Circumstance" and "Vickie Ray: Unplugged". Taking the next step in her career, she is the newest artist with PCL Music, preparing to release her debut single, "Face" to radio. Vickie Raye's song "Leaning On The Grace of God" was featured as CMT's Top 10 Listener's Choice 2011.

Billy Ryan Droze is said to be one of the most prolific singer/songwriters in country music today. He earned his first #1 hit and several top ten songs in Europe. He tours extensively with the country music super group Shenandoah. He has been featured in major publications and media all over the world such as radio, television, magazines and newspaper. His songs have been recorded by Shenandoah, Darryl Worley, Randy Kohrs, Marty Raybon and Billy Yates. He is a writer on on a Darryl Worley single. Billy Ryan Droze is sure to be a huge success in country music and you can say you've seen him first! Don't miss it!!

Jim Parker co-wrote John Anderson's first single "I've Got a Feelin'" with John Anderson and Michael Garvin in 1978. The song received an ASCAP country song award. In the late 1970's Jim co-wrote "Chicken Truck" which was recorded by John Anderson in 1981 as the last song in a recording session. The song became a "B" side release for the song "I Love You A Thousand Ways" by Lefty Frizzel but Jerry House, a popular DJ in Nashville turned the single over and played the "B" side and the song took off. "Chicken Truck" was later recorded again by Aaron Tippin. Jim co-wrote the title track of John Anderson's 12th studio album, "Bigger Hands," which was released in 2009 and peaked at number 53 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Jim Parker is the creator and host of Jim Parker's Songwriters Series(TM) show at the Von Braun Center Playhouse in Huntsville, Alabama where he showcases the talent of songwriters from Los Angeles, Canada, Georgia, Nashville, Muscle Shoals and surrounding areas. The dinner-theater type atmosphere is a monthly event where people can listen to songs from the people who wrote them and hear the stories behind their songs. 

4:45 Karen McNatt and Kathy Hudson

Karen McNatt was raised in a very musical family. Her father and mother played and sang together and raised eight kids with a music addiction. Karen stood on a chair in church and sang harmony with her two sisters when she was aged 3 and 4. Although her family "took the front burner" while she was raising her children, Karen never stopped singing and playing, mostly in church. Eight years ago after marrying her talented husband, Don McNatt, she poured herself into writing and learning mandolin to accompany his "sweet guitar sounds." They travel throughout the United States and worldwide doing shows in Hawaii, Alaska, Germany and Australia. Karen says she does not know how this year could top last year but she has already decided it will! 

Kathy Hudson started singing and writing songs in the early 70's and played in top 40 bands for a few years. Kathy quit to concentrate on writing while enjoying a solid career as a Registered Nurse working in the Emergency Room.  She was heavily influenced by fold singers she grew up listening to but has concentrated on a career as a commercial country writer. She moved to Nashville in 2008 and has made big leaps toward attaining that goal and feels she will soon write the song that will give her the option of early retirement from her day gig of ER RN. Kathy  says, "I'm getting a lot of pitches to great artists and hopefully, I'll get the "cut" we all dream of ... but at the end of the day, it's the journey!"

6:00 Jerry Salley and John Tinger

Jerry Salley is an American country and bluegrass singer/songwriter. 
Jerry won SESAC's 2003 "Country Music Songwriter of he Year" award. He has been writing and singing in Nashville since1982 and to date, has had 300 songs recorded including "I'm Gonna Take That Mountain" by Reba McEntire, "I Fell in the Water" by John Anderson and ten top twenty gospel songs. Jerry has had songs recorded by Toby Keith, Patty Loveless, Brad Paisley, Loretta Lynn and many others, too numerous to mention here. He is a six-time Dove Award nominee and won a Dove award in 1990 for Inspirational Song of the Year with "His Strength is Perfect" co-written with Steven Curtis Chapman.

John Tinger was introduced to a guitar at age eight by a neighbor and from that time on, music became a major part of John's life. By the time he reached early adulthood, he was able to collaborate with like-minded musicians, which eventually led to creating a band focusing on experimental rock and heavy metal. John continued his studies in classical guitar and enjoyed a career in recording and live performances. He  soon, however, became disillusioned with the music industry and put his guitar down for a period of nine years. During this time, John feels that he grew personally, enabling him to put his music career in perspective. He began to realize how important music was to him for self expression through finger-style acoustic styles rather than the more provocative and energetic electric medium of his youth. John has been influenced by finger-style composers such as Alex Degrassi, Chet Akins, and Leo Kottke. It was their commanding influence that brought John back to music to focus on the acoustic medium exclusively.

7:30 MaryJustice Lucas and Matt Morrow

MaryJustice Lucas, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, is a 17-year old performing songwriter. Although she is trained in ballet, jazz and modeling, her passion for songwriting and entertaining is clearly demonstrated in her renditions of pop, new country and inspirational music.Whether singing her originals or cover songs, MaryJustice's style, stage presence and honesty of lyrics appeals to teens as well as older music lovers. MaryJustice is a multi-award winning singer and songwriter who performs regularly in North Alabama and Nashville. She has recorded demos and harmonies for other songwriters. She is an  iPOP! Los Angeles 2010 top ten finalist  iSING! and TV/Commercial Beauty and is affiliated with NSAI, BMI, TCGMA and is under the management of Madd Talent Management of Nashville, Tennessee. MaryJustice is the 2012 music award winner of the North Amercian Country Music Associations, Int'l (NACMAI) Music Awards, in New Country Songwriter of the Year, New Country Rising Star Album of the Year and the New Country Female Entertainer of the Year in her division. She currently ranks #19 on ReverbNation's Nashville Pop Chart.

Matt Morrow is a singer-songwriter-musician from Guntersville, Alabama. Matt writes acoustic folk music in the vein of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Ryan Adams. Matt frequently writes from the perspectives of other people, his songs sometimes sounding like short stories. Matt says, "I like to write songs that tell the stories of people who you wouldn't expect to have stories to tell." He recently released his album "Burlap and Gold" containing songs inspired by the lives of people from his home town. He is a multiple MOVA 
Songwriter Winner and has played concerts all around the country. Matt has a strange way of stealing the attention of a room with a whisper, rather than a shout, and making darkness seem more beautiful than the light. On stage, his acoustic guitar is the only foil needed for the dark poetry of his lyrics that sting with addiction, despair, hope and hard-earned wisdom. But it's truly his remarkable voice that can bring an audience to a breathless silence -- dipping low and smoky one minute and sailing into a chilling falsetto at others, but usually somewhere in between and always hauntingly beautiful.

A big THANK YOU to Adam Thomas and Ken Shelton for helping with pulling the bios and photographs together to promote this event. Thank you to John Matthews for such a terrific poster that will be in displayed in  front of FloBama with the "gate-keeper of the donation box, bucket, vessel". I think the posters are on most every building in the area by now! Thanks to Susan Belk for getting all this talent and holding it together like Super Glue. See everyone in Florence on May 12th at 12:30PM ... get ready to be entertained. But, there's still a LOT to do before Saturday. Any one with some time to pitch in please Facebook Susan Belk! I think we are in need of someone to video the show and make individual short videos of  the performances. That shows the public our credibility as an organization!!

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