MEGAN MCCAULEY

* Your musical inspirations?

Most of my Musical inspirations come from the rock artists of the 60's. The San Fransisco Sound is my favorite (Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane...). I love Nirvana. And as far as present time goes, I listen to a lot of underground music, such as Poe, Rasputina, and Genitorturers.

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

I love every Janis Joplin C-D I have. My favorite songs are on Disc 1 of the Box set: "What Good Can Drinkin Do", "Trouble In Mind", Hesitation Blues". But above all "Ball 'n' Chain"

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music has always helped through difficult times. It is the one thing that remained constant through all my life's up's and down's. That's why I make music, to help people like me.

Megan’s debut album will be released on 09/20/05.
The Fantastic Four Soundtrack release date is 7/5/05.
Meanwhile, go check out several of her songs at
:

www.meganmccauley.com
www.winduprecords.com
www.fantasticfoursoundtrack.com/
 

GABRIEL MANN

Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

one of my favorite cds of all time is joe jackson's "look sharp" album.  a
perfect little record, every song a pop masterpiece, and about as minimally
produced as anything's ever been, so spare, i just love it.  another, at the
other end of the spectrum, is peter gabriel's "us," a lush sound
exploration, very simple songs harmonically, but sonically a treat, and with
gorgeous melodies expressed perfectly with gabriel's unique voice.  another
all time favorite is relatively recent, emmylou harris' "wrecking ball,"
produced by her husband daniel lanois.  i never would have thought her music would sound this way, but lanois brings out something special in these old-school songs with perfect lanois production.

The eponymous debut from piano rocker Gabriel Mann is due May 2005. Literally and figuratively, Gabriel Mann has arrived, and just in time to open for Alanis Morissette's European tour in April and Glenn Tilbrook in the US in May. Mann's music has been compared to The Police, John Mayer and Elvis Costello. Songs on this new album range from the quirky Billy Joel-meets-Maroon 5 "OK Alone," to the anthemic "Undertow," and the sad-sweet cello and vocal heartbreaker, "When We Are One."

Gabe's forceful piano playing is backed by Carson Cohen on bass and Adam Marcello on drums, and an array of guest vocalists and musicians.His fans have packed shows ranging from solo performances at intimate venues like Hollywood's legendary Hotel Cafe to opening slots with full band for international artists such as Jamie Cullum across North America. He has developed a large and loyal fan base because of his intensely personal yet universal lyrics, hook-laden melodies, an undeniable voice and winning, dry humor.

His talents have been put to use on various film and TV projects, including his current stint as resident songwriter for Fox's Emmy-winning series Arrested Development.

Radio & Records recently celebrated Mann's emergence into the spotlight by naming him one of their Artists to Watch for 2005.
www.gabrielmann.com
CD Baby

MATT BECK

Fave CDs:

Revolver (The Beatles)
Nonsuch (XTC)
Runt, The Ballad of Todd Rundgren (Todd Rundgren)

Fave songs:

God Only Knows (Beach Boys)
She Said (Beatles)
Senses Working Overtime (XTC)

Fave musicians:

Andy Partridge
Paul McCartney
Todd Rundgren

I started on piano when Iwas 5 years old, and at the age of 7, was one of the youngest students ever to be accepted to The Julliard School of Music (Pre-College program). It wasn't long after that I discovered Rock, so at 16, I picked up a guitar and started teaching myself how to play. I've always been left-handed so I didn't think twice about holding the guitar like a lefty. What I didn't realize was that the guitar I was using was right-handed. So I learned to play on a right-handed guitar and just flipped it over and played it left-handed. I didn't realize until much later that most left-handers restring the guitar so that the strings lay the same way, but by that time it was too late. I was already acclimated to my "upside-down" technique. Furthermore, I was coming up with some original voicings and was playing things differently, so I enjoyed the originality of it. I started playing in bands in high-school and was accepted to The Manhattan School of Music soon after. I received a Bachelors of Music Degree in Jazz/Commercial music on guitar.

After graduating, I started to do some touring. I played guitar for a tour of "The Who's Tommy." I did that for about a year and a half. After that, I played Guitar and Keyboards for the tour of "Rent." I did that for about two years.

Right now I'm back in New York City. I currently play guitar and keyboards for Matchbox 20 and Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories. I did a tour of Japan with Lisa Loeb and we're now doing U.S. dates in support of the latest CD "Hello Lisa"(Artemis). Just finished up some T.V. shows with Matchbox 20 and I'll be doing their world tour in support of "More Than You Think You Are" (Atlantic)

Here is a list of instruments that I play: Guitar, Keyboards, B3, Mandolin, Banjo, Baritone Guitar, Lap-Steel, Dobro, Bass, Cavaquinho and Vocals.

Of course, being the obsessive "sounds junkie" that I am, I have many different kinds of electric and acoustic guitars as well as amps and effects.

These are some of the companies I endorse:
Hamer Guitars, VHT Amplifiers, and D'Addario Strings.
www.mattbeck.com
www.mattbeck-fans.com/

HOLLY WILLIAMS

I believe there is a very strong connection between music and healing...it
has been scientifically proven that music is an aid in depression and other
illnesses. It was said perfectly once..."When music hits you, you feel no
pain". Bob Marley was right and it is the absolute truth. it is amazing how
you can be having a bad day and you can personally choose which album to
 put on or which artist to listen to, or even a certain song and you are sure it
will lift your spirits! I definitely believe in the healing properties of
music. On a rainy day I choose Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" or Ben Folds
"Rockin' the Suburbs", in the morning is my time for Bob Dylan, Robert
Johnson and Jackson Browne, on airplanes I stick to Radiohead, Elliott Smith
or Tom Waits...driving down the street I put on "Let It Bleed" by The Stones
or "Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" by Genesis. I could go on forever about
albums, I am also a huge fan of the real country music (including my dad and
grandpa) and the old soul music of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. I don't
believe in one genre...I believe there is amazing music everywhere, you just
have to be willing to look for it and we all can find it!


Holly Williams could have come from anywhere. She might have started singing and writing long before she actually did. Her bloodline could have been nobody's concern.

It doesn't matter.

She still would have written songs that explore the tender recesses of love. Her lyrics would still speak with a rare, spare eloquence. Her voice would be just as unforgettable as it is today -- intimate or assertive, a whisper or a declamation, a vessel overflowing with her poignant passions.

It just so happens that she comes from Nashville, not as a transplant with a guitar and a one-way Greyhound ticket but as a native. For seventeen years she felt more at home in the Green Hills Mall than just a few blocks away at the legendary Bluebird Café.

And her family? Think about that last name for a minute. Think "Nashville."

Oh, yeah, that Williams family.

It's true: Hank is her grandfather, Hank Junior her dad, Hank III her
half-brother ... and that doesn't matter either.

For Holly Williams is fully her own woman. Throughout The Ones We Never Knew, her debut CD, she stands on her own, with unique gifts that pay tribute to her lineage far more profoundly than mere imitation. She conjures fragile images: recollections of a lover's breath on "Velvet Sounds," of wishes fallen beyond reach on "Sometimes," of the search for strength within the storm on "All As It Should Be," of helplessness in the face of another's suffering in "Would You Still Have Fallen," of willingness to judge all but oneself in "Everybody's Waiting for a Change," of regret for the wounds suffered by some whose affections she shared on "I'll Only Break Your Heart" and "Cheap Parades" ...

Some of this magic may descend from the spirits that haunt her family tree-- but that tree is only one part of the landscape that opens to us on The Ones We Never Knew. This album, from its hushed moments of solo guitar and voice to its sweeping crescendos of rhythm and strings, is all about Holly Williams, an artist already as distinctive as any others who bear her name.

That name, in truth, played almost no role in her journey. Her parents separated when she was young; through high school Holly lived with her mother and saw her father only intermittently, during visits to his home in Paris, Tennessee, when he wasn't on the road. There was music at home; her mother, a pianist, played classical music most of the time. Her father's music filled her life, but her grandfather's legacy was only a distant presence.

The only hints that Holly would someday fall into the arms of music came when she was around eight years old. For about a year she scribbled words into a notebook she called Holly's Song Folder, based on melodies she was hearing in her imagination. None of them, she insists, are worth revisiting. Yet there was something in her lyrics that suggested that she would eventually have a lot to say through music.

"These weren't childhood songs," she remembers. "They were songs about issues, like death, people having affairs -- things I knew nothing about. This one song, 'Who Am I,' was about a twenty-year-old girl going through a broken marriage -- and I was writing that at eight years old! I wasn't even really listening to music at that time, but even then I found it easy to put myself in someone else's shoes and write about what they're going through."

Premonitions of her determination and ambition began to occur at about that same time. "I started running these little businesses," she says. "Every Saturday I would wash cars in the neighborhood for a dollar. I would organize yard sales. I did everything I could to go set goals for myself and stay busy."

Modeling was her main goal at that time, so it made sense to Holly even at age eight to cold-call agencies in search of opportunities. This brought a swift reprimand from both parents -- especially from her father, who knew first-hand of the damage caused by fame won too soon. With that, Holly stepped back into the typical routines of childhood. She sang, but only in school productions, at church, and on karaoke outings with friends – no more than any other average kid. The songwriting stopped.

But the seed had been planted. Now and then Holly felt the pull of music, like a persistent reminder, especially whenever her father was in town to play a concert. "He'd bring me to those shows and I'd sit on the side of the stage," she says. "It was fascinating to be just a few feet from him, watching in front of a crowd of thousands. I loved that."

In the end, it was something less spectacular and more personal that
inspired Holly to embrace a life in music. There had always been guitars within reach at home, but at seventeen she decided for the first time to try playing them. Within a week she was writing again. Before long she had completed fifty songs; like her first efforts at age eight, most of these reflected on some of life's darker emotions, even though Holly admits to having had little contact with sorrow or heartbreak at that point.

"I really hadn't gone through anything serious," she laughs. "So I wrote about other people that I imagined or observed. A lot of what I do now is still based on what I see around me. On my album, for example, 'Nothing More' is about a woman at seventy whose husband is having an affair, which is why she says 'Underneath this age is the heart of a child.' And 'Take Me Down' is about people who are in abusive relationships because they're afraid of being alone. Of course, as I started traveling and getting into relationships I started writing more from my own experiences. I've done enough living to where I feel like I'm thirty now, so I tend to write on a more personal level based on what I've observed and felt."

As she finished high school Holly immersed herself in music, writing every day. She scoured local stores for CDs and listened hungrily to everything: Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Tom Waits, Radiohead, Randy Newman, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Patty Griffin, Beethoven, Robert Johnson. She also got deeper into reading works by Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger -- novelists and poets whose narrative genius could inform Holly's ability to tell stories in song.

As graduation neared, rather than follow her friends into college, Holly gave herself one year to build a career in music. She picked up the phone and started booking small gigs around town. Bit by bit she laid the groundwork through open mike events, appearances at the Bluebird or the Flying Saucer on off nights, and opening slots at rock venues like the Exit/In. For some gigs she would front a band, and she sang backup Bobby Bare Jr. on one two-week tour. But mostly she wrote and performed alone, as her one-year trial run stretched into three.

Eventually, Holly left Nashville for a three-month hiatus in Los Angeles, devoted mostly to practicing on the piano in the flat she had rented, catching concerts by the Stones, Elliot Smith, Neil Finn, and other favorites, and getting more focused on what she hoped to achieve. Invigorated, she drove back home with a pile of new songs in time to accept an invitation from Ron Sexsmith to open on his European tour.

"I'd never even met Ron," she explains. "But I went with my guitar in my hand and my CDs in my backpack. I got off the plane and had to find my own way on trains to the cities where we were playing. Ron and his tour manager had a car, but I traveled on my own. And I loved it. It was a great feeling to play in these little towns in Wales and discover that everyone there knew my grandfather's music and then talk with them all after the show."

Holly's momentum built throughout 2003, as she put together a five-song EP, launched her own website, played some shows with John Mellencamp, and went on the road with Billy Bob Thornton. By this time major labels were taking notice. After weighing offers, she signed with Universal South. "I always wanted to be with a label in Nashville, because this is where I live," she says. "And I wanted someone who would see me as a songwriter, and they're great about that. So I signed with them in January 2004 and we started the album in March."

The result, The Ones We Never Knew, is more than a memorable introduction. It's a statement that any singer/songwriter would be proud to have made. There's no excess; every word is carefully chosen, every phrase artfully formed, every emotion stirred with the most minimal, elegant gestures. Within minutes, through her performance, Holly takes shape, as real and undeniable as if she had physically entered the room. And as the last track finishes her presence lingers, as if her candor and poetry were a perfume in the air of memory.

For those who treasure the legacy of her family, Holly honors those who came before, as she will inspire those who will follow, by being true to herself throughout this album. "Hank was always very far from me as I grew up," Holly says. "But I'll never forget the first time I heard him mentioned in a Leonard Cohen tune. I heard Van Morrison mention him in a song. I started reading about how Dylan and Springsteen loved him. I wonder if he knew, when he was just a kid from Alabama, just how much he would affect the world?"

With The Ones We Never Knew, others may someday wonder in the same way about a beautiful young woman, who happened to come from Nashville with a heart full of songs, all of them her own ...
www.hollywilliams.com

SUSIE SUH

Some of my musical inspirations are Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Portishead, and Bjork. 


On Susie Suh's self-titled debut from Epic Records, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter takes listeners on an emotional journey. Forging her own path, Suh brings her introspective songs to life by boiling each of them down to their essence. "I wanted this first album to be as honest and sincere as possible with the intent focused around my voice, guitar and words."

The album's organic instrumentation complements Suh's smoky voice, tender delivery and gift for melody, which gives these 10 deeply personal songs an air of intimacy and a timeless appeal. Recorded over an eight-month period at various studios in California, SUSIE SUH was produced by Grammy Award-winner Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette, Michael Jackson, No Doubt) and engineered and mixed by Scott Campbell (Dave Matthews, Shelby Lynne).

Ballard originally agreed to produce a few songs, but wound up producing the entire album. "There is a world-weary and wise power in her burnished amber voice," Ballard says. "These stories come from a woman impossibly young to communicate so much experience, with the sexual urgency and poignancy of a Billie Holiday and the lyrical clarity of a John Cheever short story. I feel like every drop of every line is oozing from her pores, no crocodile tears, no excess musical or verbal baggage. I'm mesmerized by her ability to express the ineffable in her lyrics and by her ability to capture the human heart in conflict with itself. There is shade and dappled sunlight in her landscapes of the soul, but ultimately hope of love, of fulfillment, of connection."

Ballard-who co-wrote the first single "Shell" as well as "Lucille"-pushed Suh out of her songwriting comfort zone. "I'm more deliberate when it comes to writing." Suh says. "I usually let things brew for a while. Glen is amazingly talented and works so fast that I felt like I was constantly trying to keep up with him. The songs I wrote with Glen are much more stream of consciousness, written in a couple of hours."

THE SONGS
Written at different times in Suh's life, the album tracks her pursuit of emotional and artistic liberation. "Shell" combines those themes into a hopeful song about trading self-repression for self-expression. "That was the first song Glen and I wrote together," Suh says. "It's just about letting go of yourself and all of your inhibitions and fears. In particular, it's about me having the courage to put out my music."

"Your Battlefield"-is a song Suh wrote to describe the disagreements between her and her parents regarding her musical ambitions. Suh says the conflict was mostly a clash between her parent's traditional Korean values (they immigrated to California in the '60s) and Suh's American-bred independence (she was born here). "My parents came here with nothing and worked really hard to put us through school. Like most Asian-Americans, they really emphasized education and creating a prestigious name for yourself. I think parents try to live vicariously through their children because there are a lot of opportunities here in America that they never had growing up. In my family, music or anything creative was always considered a hobby, not something to be taken seriously. Now that I look back, I thank them for discouraging me. Their lack of support actually fueled me more and made me feel like I had something to prove to myself and to them."

The reflective tone and unaffected instrumentation of "Light On My Shoulder" distills Suh's desire to create simple and honest music that sets the mood quickly. "I started writing songs because of singers like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Beth Gibbons, Bjork. I have always been moved by the emotion and pain in someone's voice. It's not about the style-whether its folk or blues or hip-hop etc., it's more about the believability and sincerity that the artist conveys and if that resonates with you."

HISTORY
Singing and performing in choirs since she was eight years old, Suh's singing career had an unusual beginning. At the age of 8, Suh joined a Korean children's choir for a Los Angeles television station KTE. "We recorded traditional Korean folk songs and popular American music to be filmed in between shows on that station. Basically, we did singing commercials. We also traveled around the country performing and wore traditional Korean clothes and this really ugly white and blue sailor outfit."

At age 13, Suh moved away from her parent's home in Los Angeles to attend boarding school in New England. Before leaving, her older brother gave her his old guitar and Suh began taking lessons. "I learned a couple of chords and immediately started writing songs. It was very liberating and for the first time I felt I found a medium where I could really express myself." Suh wrote and performed throughout high school and in addition to playing guitar, Suh sang in an a cappella singing group, and played the harp. "After all my experiences in high school, I realized that I definitely wanted a career in music."

But that career would have to wait. Suh attended Brown University and received a bachelor's degree in English while playing music on the side. Not forgetting her dream of becoming a musician, Suh decided to dedicate three months to her music. The summer before her senior year at Brown, Suh moved into her best friend's apartment in New York City and spent her days writing and her nights playing clubs and bars in the East Village. Her performances eventually got the attention of music industry legends Charles Koppelman and Don Rubin.

In 2003, Suh signed with Epic Records making her part of very rare club of Korean-American artists signed to a major U.S. label. "I was born in America and grew up speaking English, but my parents speak a different language and are part of a different culture. I've lived half of my life on the West Coast and the other half on the East Coast," she explains. With the album completed, Suh reflects on the making of her debut: "My mission has always been to create music that transcends boundaries, to make music that is universal."
 www.susiesuh.com

Alice Marie
Haunting, confessional, ethereal songs with a rock edge for fans of Tori Amos, Evanescence, Natalie Merchant, Annie Lennox and Peter Gabriel.

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