Posted tagged ‘Woodstock’

Artist Spotlight: Toree McGee

May 25, 2016

My 3 year old is currently in her room. Her music is turned up really loud and she’s dancing around to California Gurls by Katy Perry (yeah, I know. What’s up with that, right?).

But the song got me back to thinking about doing another spotlight on a California grown country artist. Or in this case, a “California Girl”. Let me introduce you to Toree McGee.

Toree2

Gifted with a rafter-reaching soprano range and a voice that brings out a true grit and fire, McGee describes her music as a blend of “Woodstock rock ‘n’ roll, and  sparkly country.” Interesting mix, but you’ll soon understand where she gets it from and why it works!

First a little background.

McGee’s grandparents were part of a traveling gospel quartet, and her father was a singer in what can only be described as a “garage rock band”. Her father can be credited with giving McGee her love of classic rock and her passion for music, while her mother gravitated toward classic country.

Not surprising that I enjoy her live shows (I’ve probably caught here 5-6 times now) with my professed love for classic rock and country music.

McGee has some of the strongest vocals I’ve heard in a long time. Her musical style embodies elements of her influences, ranging from the sounds of The Judds and LeAnn Rimes, to  Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith. She also embodies the vocals of Janis Joplin.

In her own words:

“I was a really big fan of Janis Joplin for a long time. I loved her uniqueness and how you could feel her emotion when she sang. But the whole rock ‘n’ roll kind of jagged edge thing wasn’t really me all the way. I always had a sunshiny personality, and I wasn’t as hardened as the rock scene was. Country music always made me happy, and everything always brought me back to that.”

McGee had her first performance as an opening act with a 30 minute set for country music superstar, Clay Walker in San Jose at the Rodeo Club, followed by another opening slot for one of my favorites: A Thousand Horses.

While she throws a lot of great cover songs into her typical setlist, McGee has a few of her own including “Run Right Back to You” and her first single, “Amen”.

Amen

“Amen”, gained airplay on Northern California radio stations and climbed to the #1 slot on 95.3 KRTY’s ‘Hot 9 @ 9’ segment. It has also gained the attention of Sirius/XM radio, as well as local news stations. The aforementioned “Amen” was released on March 31, 2015 and her full EP was officially released in October 2015. I’ve got it. You should too!

In speaking of her EP, McGee says:

“I wanted to blend my love of hard rock and country together. I have this heavy-hitting, gravelly tone I can get in my voice, and I didn’t want to lose that side of me that played in bars and grew up in bars. But country has always been my favorite genre of music. That’s where I want to be, but I want to bring a bit of that old style of rock with me.”

I mentioned her live sets earlier. Now besides her own songs, she also loves to fill her set lists with a few cover songs. Here’s just a sample of a few that I enjoy:

My Church

Girl Crush

Someone Like You

Piece of my Heart

Stay

Son of a Preacher Man

But what I enjoy the most about McGee, is her happy go lucky personality and her passion for life and her music. Nothing sums this up better than the moment she first heard herself on the radio when Randy Jones played “Amen” for the first time on KRTY. This is what it’s all about!

If you haven’t checked her out before, do so now. Also, make sure you keep up with her via her website or follow her on Twitter at @ToreeMcGee and Facebook for her latest news and concert schedule.

Don’t forget to check out her music on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Toree McGee live? What do you think of her? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Woodstock: 40 Years Later

August 13, 2009

It’s hard to believe that it has been 40 years since Woodstock! Not that I would remember, I was 9 years away from being born at that time 🙂

But the memories live on and we will no doubt relive the peace and love of the festival over the coming days as the anniversary approaches, this Saturday, August 15.

Were you there? How was it? What were you’re thoughts?

If you didn’t go, did you want to? Do you regret not going?

From the Associated Press:

The town of Woodstock didn’t want the concert and promoters were bounced from another site at the 11th hour. Lang settled on a hay field in Bethel owned by a kindly dairy farmer named Max Yasgur. The concert did come off Aug. 15-18, 1969, but barely. Fences were torn down, tickets became useless. More than 400,000 people converged on this rural corner 80 miles northwest of New York City, freezing traffic for miles. Then the rains doused everything.

It should have been a disaster. But Americans tuning in to the evening news that weekend saw smiling, dancing, muddy kids. By the time the concert movie came out months later, Woodstock was a symbol of the happy, hippie side of the ‘60s spirit.

Baby boomers are the “Woodstock Generation” — not the “Monterey Generation” or the “Altamont Generation.” Bethel’s onsite museum has logged more than 70,000 visitors since last summer, a fair number of them college students born well after Woodstock. A roadside monument there regularly logs visitors from around the planet.

“It’s almost a pilgrimage,” said Wade Lawrence, director of the Museum at Bethel Woods. “It’s like going to a high school reunion, or it’s like visiting a grave site of a loved one.”

From Lollapalooza to All Points West, there have been plenty of big festivals focused on youth culture. The continent-hopping Live Aid shows of 1985 did that and more, enlisting top names like U2 and Madonna to fight hunger in Africa. None have the cultural cachet of Woodstock. Who would ever ask a Generation X-er: “Were you really at Live Aid?”

People who went to Woodstock say the crowd set it apart as much as the music. The trippy anarchy of Woodstock has become legend: lots of nudity, casual sex, dirty (and muddy) dancing, open drug use. The stage announcer famously warned people to steer clear of the brown acid.