Texas-born, South Dakota raised Ginger Mackenzie’s music is warm, intriguing and rich with textures although her primary memories of childhood are of being cold, bored, and in trouble. “Small town kids improvise. There was no Internet, no video games, no MTV just good old fashioned ingenuity. I was always in trouble, it was winter seven months of the year. You had to keep yourself entertained” Then one Christmas Day she received a stereo as a gift. This marked the start of Ginger’s habit of buying one record a week from the small town drugstore. This kept her out of trouble. She would learn each album end to end and this became her musical self-education. Ginger took home Patsy Cline, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Billy Holiday, big bands, Steely Dan and the Beatles, among others. “I am lucky that the drugstore owner had great taste, I did not know what the popular music was, I bought what he sold” says Ginger. He would tell me “The Beatles, all the kids are listening to the Beatles.” “It was not until I was much older did I realize that most of the kids at that time were listening to Paula Abdul, Madonna and Wham. He is still at the drugstore to this day. I have since told him Thank you.”
At 15, Ginger realized her spirit was being confined by small town life, so she boarded a Greyhound bus to Texas, and moved in with her aunt. She lived the life of an artist by night, and worked within the music industry by day. She began singing professionally with a variety of bands, acting in the theater, and working as a disc jockey. Ginger eventually built a successful career in radio promotion for major labels at a very young age, running an entire department at 22, but this was not the career that could fulfill the needs of her spirit. Finally, the creative surroundings of life in Austin, Texas, gave Ginger the support and focus she needed to write and play full time.
In 1997 Ginger Mackenzie recorded her debut solo album for her own label, Earthnoise records, Earthbound, a bright mosaic of original songs was released in February 1998 and sold over 5,000 copies in Austin. Since Earthbound was mainly acoustic guitar and vocal, Ginger decided to record five fresh songs and remix five songs from Earthbound to create Kismet. Kismet, another word for destiny, was released in March, 1999. The lead track, “The Garden of You and I”, garnered airplay on numerous hot AC and AAA stations across the country, including over 1000 spins on Austin’s Mix 94.7. Since the release of Kismet in March of ’99, the record has sold nearly 20,000 copies. Ginger was named MP3.com’s pop/rock artist of 1999, developing a fan base worldwide. She went on to #1 worldwide on MP3.com last April out of 300,000 songs and 100,000 artists. Songs from Kismet were also featured twice on NBC’s hit show Providence, the Miramax film ad soundtrack, Down To You and ABC’s That’s Life.
Ginger’s third album, All Too Human, produced by Billy Harvey, is currently in stores and is off to a great start with the track, “Tired,” being added into rotation on Austin’s Mix 94.7 (January 2002). Ginger says “This album is a bit different, more time was spent on the nuances. My voice and songwriting are getting stronger and stronger” This due in part to Mackenzie’s full schedule of playing four or five nights a week for the past two years. All Too Human features ten songs that run the emotional gamut, from being happy and hopelessly in love, to being stuck in a rut, to accepting defeat and moving on. All Too Human also finds Mackenzie back to her jazzy roots with songs like “I’m Over It” and “Tired” and the Joni Mitchell cover “Help Me.” All Too Human also has national distribution.
In addition to becoming a respected musician, Ginger has become valued member of the Austin community as celebrity spokeswoman for Aids Walk Austin, a supporter and spokeswomen of Girlstart, dedicated to encouraging young girls to be excited about technology, math and science. She is also an advocate of Safe Place and The Faith Home. Ginger’s goal is not only to take her music to the world, but also to be a good role model. With such boundless energy, undeniable songwriting talent and unique vocal style. Ginger is a building force about to become a tidal wave.