Rhonda Smith

Rhonda Smith ::  http://www.rhondasmith.com

Having been introduced to the bass by her older brother, Rhonda was learning bass licks from the recordings of her childhood idols, Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke at an early age.

A native of Montreal, Rhonda established herself as a first-call session player and toured with several successful French Canadian pop artists including Claude Dubois. She received Canada’s prestigious Juno Award in 1995 for her performance on the best contemporary jazz album (The Merlin Factor/Amplitude).

For the past several years Rhonda has received major exposure in the U.S. and Europe as the bassist and background vocalist for The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. She has recorded five albums with him including the double platinum Emancipation as well as his most recent release, Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic. She also appears on the latest release from Chaka Khan.

Recently, Rhonda relocated to Los Angeles where she is pursuing a variety of other projects.

 

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Sissy Siero

Sissy Siero

“Every song is so thoughtful and well-crafted. ‘Across the Divide’ is a beautiful song. ‘In this Town’ is such a great synthesis of pop and praise.” Joan Osborne

“I just loved that song you did, ‘Truer Love.’ I just wish I had written it!” Bruce Springsteen

Nectar, Sissy Siero’s first full-length CD, was released in early 1999. The CD It features 11 original songs, performed by Sissy and some of Austin’s and New York’s finest–including Zev Katz (bass player for Roseanne Cash and Phoebe Snow), Marc Schulman and Jon Gorden (guitarists for Suzanne Vega), Clifford Carter (keyboardist for James Taylor), Gene Elders (violinist for Lyle Lovett), Merel Bregante (former drummer for Loggins and Messina), Robin Daniels (former percussionist for the Mamas and Papas’ touring band) and Chris Maresh (former bass player for Abra Moore). One of the songs featured on the CD, “In This Town,” received first place in the Austin Songwriter’s Group National Song Competition.

Nectar on air Nectar has been receiving airplay on several of Austin’s premiere commercial radio stations. Sissy has been a guest on Kevin Connor’s Morning Show on KGSR-FM where she played her current single “It’s What I Do” live. Sissy has also been a featured artist on KUT’s Eklektikos, hosted by John Aielli, and Femme FM, hosted by Teresa Sansone Ferguson. Recently, she also performed on KLBJ-FM’s Morning Show with Dudley and Bob–with Sara Hickman singing backup.

Sissy’s live video is in regular rotation on the Austin Music Network show What’s the Cover (Time-Warner cable channel 15). Television station KVUE 24’s show Musician Audition taped her November 1998 record pre-release and aired the performance in 1999; Sissy was recently invited to perform on Fox 7’s Morning Show. At Sissy’s MP3.com web page {mp3.com/sissysiero} several of the tracks on Nectar are available for Hi-fi and Low-fi listening, and a few are completely downloadable! Click on the song links to hear RealAudio samples here or follow the link to Nectar on mp3.com as well.

 

 

 

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Sam Shaber

Sam Shaber ::  http://www.samshaber.com

I could talk about my musical influences but then I would have to admit the hours I spent dancing to Duran Duran in my bedroom years ago. So insteadI’ll tell you that I graduated from Cornell University, (I swear I was over them by then… but I’ll always have a soft spot for John Taylor…) and currently I’m based in my hometown of New York City and touring from San Francisco to Scotland. I’m also about to release my fourth album, with Shawn Mullins as producer, due out in July, 2002 on his label, SMG Records.

My third release came out in 2000, a 5 song EP titled Sam*pler, and Femmusic.com then voted me the top Independent Female Artist of 2000, which made my day, to say the least. The ’99 release, perfecT, also self-produced and released on Brown Chair Records, was voted #7 out of 1800 titles for Best Independent CD of 1999 at CD Baby.com. And recently, I was declared a finalist in the 2001 USA Songwriting Competition, and the 2000 John Lennon Songwriting Competition as well as placing in the top songs of the Billboard Songwriting Contest.

I’ve been touring for five years, performing in many great rooms across the US and the UK including Fez in NYC, The 12 Bar club in London, the Mint in LA, the Iron Horse in Northampton, Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, and Club Passim in Boston. There was also a fun performance with Shawn Mullins at Olympic Centennial Park in Atlanta for about 60-65,000 people. (Called Mom from backstage for that one!) I’ve also opened for and shared stages with Richie Havens, members of the Barenaked Ladies, John Gorka, Melissa Ferrick, and more, (including even Buckethead, who was brought on stage in a coffin by six pallbearers in Santa suits. I swear.)

I’m an impromtu music journalist as well, publishing features in Musician, Performing Songwriter, Acoustic Guitar, and Home Recording magazines, plus a chapter on writing lyrics for the recent book Songwriting and the Guitar, (Stringletter Pub.,) which also contains pieces by Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, and Paul Simon. Haven’t actually met any of them but hopefully they liked my chapter…

In an ongoing effort to strengthen the community of singer-songwriters, I’ve organized and hosted showcases such as Makin’ Waves I, II, and III, the Yanks n’ Beans series, featuring two performers from New York and two from Boston, (get it?), the Uptown Songwriters Circle, and most recently the 5-artist sell-out hit, “Live From New York,” also featuring Edie Carey, Andrew Kerr, Teddy Goldstein, and Anne Heaton.

Who knew that hours of singing along to “Hungry Like the Wolf” could amount to something?

 

“Stark raving great!” – Gene Shay, WXPN 88.5fm, Philadelphia

“A riveting performer. Sam Shaber’s got the whole package.”
– Folkweb

“Shaber is one artist who is absolutely in the process of rising to the top.”
– Fairfield County Weekly

“This is a real human being you’re listening to.”
– Shout Magazine

“Sam Shaber leads the next generation of singer/songwriters into our collective consciousness.”
– WNEW 102.7fm, New York


 

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Sassafrass

Sassafrass ::  http://www.daisyrock.com

Supporting their mission to do whatever it takes to inspire girls to play guitar and enjoy music, the crew at Daisy Rock Guitars formed their band Sassafrass during an artist endorsement excursion at the 2003 music conference in Austin. The company’s Founder & President – Tish Ciravolo – defines the group’s punk influenced sound with her rock solid, no-nonsense kick-your-ass-with-a-side-of-attitude driven bass playing. Daisy Rock co-partner Ron Manus pushes his heavily distorted screeching guitar sound to the edge of the musical universe, adding an electric energy to the mix that would leave Edison himself feeling jealous. Daisy Rock’s Director of PR-Rich Lackowski-completes the trio with solid, tasty drumming that’ll leave you feeling sexier than a spoonful of Tiramisu and cr

 

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Kate Schrock

Kate Schrock ::  http://www.kateschrock.com

Maine native and self-made pianist / singer / songwriter, Kate Schrock has been building a devoted audience with her ‘do it yourself’ approach and attitude. On her own independent label, Kakelane Music, she has produced and released three critically acclaimed albums: Refuge, released in 1994, Shunyata in 1997 and Dames Rocket in 2000. Kate Schrock blends rock, jazz and gospel with a pop angle to create dark emotional melodies and musical textures. Beginning with her productionally stripped down album, Refuge, to the recent, Dames Rocket, Kate has been building and expanding on her solid and identifiable style Kate has carved out a truely grass-roots music career, after many detours…a stint as a Model in New York and Paris, some time building wooden lobster boats, 4 years studying philosophy and theatre, and many many nights of performing her music, in large and small rooms across the US. All throughout her journey, she has kept a wild sense of humor and a lust for life.

“The rewards of this business are in the art itself and the little moments along the way…The richness is always in the process and the story you live and the lives you touch and are touched by.” (KS) Influenced my artists such as Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, Rickie Lee Jones, the Rolling Stones, The Who and the Beatles and inspired by the independence of artists such as Ani Difranco, Kate has developed into a testimonial songwriter with a unique edge, placing weight not only on honest introspection and reflection but on groove and melodic depth as well. Kate’s approach is in tradition with the legendary songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, in which life and truth fuel her poetry and create the basis for her music. Like Mitchell, Kate is also a painter and claims her visual art is inextricably connected to her songwriting. Her paintings grace the covers of both Shunyata and Dames Rocket. Her label is headquartered from a large farmhouse on the coast of Maine where she writes and records with close friends and her brother, Nate Schrock, who fronts the band, The Coming Grass. (www.cominggrass.com). Kate still calls Maine her home and tours nationwide. Kate has shared the stage with such acts as Stephen Stills, Taj mahal, Wayne Kramer, BoDeans, Sonia Dada, Cracker, Maceo Parker & Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones

 

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