2022 Song School

2022 Song School

2022 Song School

2022 Songwriting Instructors

Instructors

Rachel Baiman

With her 2017 debut Shame, Americana songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman emerged as a fearless voice of the American female experience. “Shame” was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love”, called a “Rootsy Wake-up Call” by Folk Alley, and described by Vice’s “Noisey” as “flipping off authority one song at a time.”

On her new full-length album Cycles, Baiman has found a grittier musical medium for her signature unabashed and defiant songwriting, employing a majority-female team including co-producer Olivia Hally, known as the front woman of Indie-pop band Oh Pep! 

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Instructors

Mick Flannery

A cliché has it that you have to beware of the quiet ones, because most of the time their voices speak sharper and with more range than the loudmouths. Every cliché, however, has a grain of truth in it, and so it’s fair to say that while County Cork singer-songwriter Mick Flannery is outwardly reserved, his songs are fluent in expressing layered aspects of the human condition, its flaws, triumphs, and general uncertainty. 

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Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier is a Grammy Nominated songwriter whose songs have been praised by Bob Dylan and recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, Bobby Bare, Kathy Mattea, Bettye Lavette and more. Gauthier’s first nine albums presented extraordinary confessional songs, deeply personal, profoundly emotional pieces ranging from “I Drink,” a blunt accounting of addiction, to “March 11, 1962,” the day she was born — and relinquished to an orphanage — to “Worthy,” in which the singer finally understands she is deserving of love.

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Instructors

Courtney Hartman

Courtney Hartman is a Colorado-born guitarist, singer, writer and producer best known for her work beneath the surface, writing and recording with artists throughout the folk community.

With the release of her newest album, Glade, Courtney takes us with her into a world of her own making, with songs about home and abiding; pulling out the marrow of what makes us good and what makes us kin. Written in the year following her return to a childhood home, the songs emanate from a place of quiet and sifting out. Although she brought in a handful of friends to contribute from a distance, for the most part, Glade was crafted alone in the dark morning hours.

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Instructors

Bonnie Hayes

The songs of Bonnie Hayes have always been extraordinary, from “Shelly’s Boyfriend”, the post-punk badgirl anthem that put her on the map to the authentic passion of “Have A Heart” and “Love Letter,” which restored Bonnie Raitt to superstardom with the multi-platinum, multi-Grammy-winning CD Nick of Time. Writing for artists as diverse as Bette Midler, Robert Cray, Adam Ant, David Crosby, Booker T and the MG’s, and Cher, Hayes has continued to craft songs one critic described as “sparkling clockwork mechanisms with a tendency to do the unexpected.”

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Instructors

Pat Pattison

Pat Pattison is an author, clinician and Berklee Professor of Lyric Writing and Poetry whose students have composed for major artists and written number one songs. At Berklee, he developed the curriculum for the only songwriting major in the country. In addition to his four books, Songwriting Without Boundaries, Writing Better Lyrics, The Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure, and The Essential Guide to Rhyming, Pat has developed three online lyric writing courses, one on poetry, and one on creative writing available through Berkleemusic.com.

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Instructors

Paul Reisler

Paul Reisler is a composer, songwriter, recording artists, performer and teacher. He is the founder and artistic director of Kid Pan Alley, co-founder of Trapezoid, as well as his current bands, Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions featuring Howard Levy, and Three Good Reasons. Over the past 40 years, he has performed in over 3,000 concerts, recorded close to three-dozen albums, written Aesop’s Fables for Orchestra and Narrator, music for theatre, dance and film, as well as the script and songs for two musicals—Bouncin’ and The Talented Clementine.

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Steve Seskin

Steve Seskin

Steve Seskin is a successful songwriter who has written seven number one songs, including Grammy-nominated “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” recorded by Tim McGraw, and “Don’t Laugh at Me,” winner of NSAI Song of the Year and Music Row Magazine Song of the Year in 1999 as recorded by Mark Wills. His other #1 hits are “No Doubt About It” and “For a Change,” both recorded by Neal McCoy, “No Man’s Land” and “If You’ve Got Love,” both recorded by John Michael Montgomery, and “Daddy’s Money,” recorded by Ricochet.

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Elective Instructors

Instructors

“Chicago Mike” Beck

“Chicago” Mike Beck is an ASCAP-award-winning songwriter and recording artist who has been touring full-time in the USA and Europe since 2001 as a solo performer and with his band Chicago Mike’s InterGalactic Brother & Sisterhood of Big Eyed Beans. Mike holds a residency several weeks each year at the historic Bright Angel Lodge on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and has toured Europe over 25 times, performing in Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg.

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Instructors

Ryan Benyo

Ryan Benyo is a Los Angeles based, Gold-Record Award-Winning producer, engineer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with credits including Parachute, Sheppard, Baker Grace (Bitter’s Kiss), Lisa Loeb, Lime Cordiale, Alberta Cross, Through Fire, Vusi Mahlasela, and Caro Emerald. He has also worked on a variety of music and sound design projects for visual media including for Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s, NBCUniversal, and many others.

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Ron Browning

Ron Browning

Ron Browning is internationally known as the “Voice Coach to the Stars.” Alison Krauss, the most celebrated Grammy Award winner (27 wins), recently praised him in the New York Times, USA Today, BBC News, the Tennessean, and The Sun in London, where she called him “a genius” after he saved her from a debilitating case of dysphonia and brought her back into excellent voice where singing felt effortless.This restored the confidence needed to finish her Windy City album, which won her 2 Grammy nominations. She was then able to move on with her singing career.Ron accompanied Alison Krauss on the Red Carpet for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in Madison Square Gardens.

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Instructors

Jill Brzezicki

Interpreting life through music while integrating a vast composition of styles, Singer/Songwriter Jill Brzezicki (pronounced Brr-Zit-Ski) delves into her country and bluegrass roots in her third full-length release. Darkness Falls delivers traditional bluegrass tracks alongside some of Jill’s best new original songs. Jill attended the Colorado Contemporary Music College in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2004 and graduated with a diploma in performance and education. Jill released her debut full length solo CD “Consequence of Truth” in 2007 and her second full length CD “The Horizon” in September, 2012. As a solo singer/songwriter Jill has enjoyed supporting local and nationally touring bands as well as headlining local and regional venues. Attending and teaching at the Rocky Mountain Song School since 2007 has allowed Jill the opportunity to hone her skills and learn new techniques in playing, writing and performing.

Jenn Cleary

Jenn Cleary

Jenn Cleary is a folk-rock, singer-songwriter from Boulder, Colorado, with many years’ experience performing on international stages. Highlight shows include Colorado Rockies games, Sundance Film, Blues and Folks Festivals and multiple European tours. She has a range of song styles and performs bluesy, acoustic shows to all-ages audiences. Jenn has released two albums of original songs ( Breakin’ Loose, 2006; Back to the Wheel, 2010) and one of bluesy covers ( Blues Full of Heart, 2018). Her first children’s album, All Together Now, won several awards, including the prestigious recognition from the 2021 NAPPA awards for being best in the music industry and she was the Back to School winner of the 2021 Fall Parent and Teacher Choice Awards. Jenn just released her 2022 album of family songs, called Happy Day.

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RJ Cowdery

RJ Cowdery

Columbus, OH: Singer-songwriter guitar player RJ Cowdery is motivated by the best things in life: making people think, laugh, cry and feel. Fans tell her it’s uncanny the way her songs seem to take a peek directly into their lives. Much like the Midwestern Ohio landscape she calls home, her songs are stories of middle ground, and her tales are expressions of being in the midst of life. And RJ really plays hard; her unique, characteristic style is fingerpicking with a deep bass line. An injury to a finger on her left hand as a child resulted in Cowdery learning her own playing style out of necessity; this gave rise to the distinctive technique that’s earned Cowdery her rightful place at the folk table.

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Instructors

Nan Crawford [she/we] has been performing, directing and teaching improvisation for more than 30 years. Nan uses theatre as a lens for leadership, teaching at Harvard’s Graduate School of Business, and for clients such as Dolby, Google, and Netflix. Nan is on the board of advisors for Lin Manuel Miranda & Wayne Brady’s Freestyle Love Supreme Academy, where she has also been a performer, teacher, and faculty mentor. FLS is the Grammy nominated, Tony Award winning freestyle hip-hop improv ensemble that was the breeding ground for the musicals In The Heights and Hamilton.

Insights from her master’s thesis — Transforming the Inner Critic and Allowing Our Innate Creativity to Flourish — inform all of Nan’s work. She is CEO of Nan Crawford & Co. where they coach bold women leaders to step onto a bigger stage. From coaching clients to deliver TED Talks, to preparing executives for interviews for Board of Directors seats on publicly traded companies, to her dynamic keynote performances on Courageous Creativity, Cultures of Collaboration, Data Storytelling, Resilience and Navigating Change… empathy, courage, and story are at the core of her work. Nan has most recently been working on her forth-coming book:

You Are Amazingly Powerful. Period. 

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Terri Delaney

Terri Delaney

Terri Delaney is a Minneapolis-based social worker turned booking agent turned trauma therapist. What started as a brief consulting gig for a local musician turned into a full-time music career. Terri founded Peppermint Booking Agency in 2000 and she received the National Association of Campus Activities award of “Agent of the Year” in 2005. She then re-focused her career onto trauma therapy and helping people heal using mind-body approaches. She still collaborates with her wife, contemporary folk musician Ellis, co-managing her record company Singing Crow Music.

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Instructors

Ellis Delaney

There’s just something about Ellis. She is at once funny and wise, thoughtful and uninhibited, and her captivating voice is matched by her uplifting lyrics. She has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion four times and has been voted “most-wanted-to-return” performer at festivals including Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Moab Folk Festival, Kerrville, and Sisters Folk Festival. She has received hundreds of messages from strangers including, “you exude pure joy”, “I heard you and fell in love” and “I was stopped in my tracks by your music and captivating laugh” as well as “Yours is a voice we all need to hear.” Ellis is currently working on her tenth album, Ordinary Love, and will be showcasing many of those songs at her annual closing set on the Wildflower Stage the last day of Folks Festival. She is available for mentoring sessions and is interested in helping others to find their mission and artistic voice.

Ellis-music.com

Rebecca Folsom

Rebecca Folsom

Rebecca Folsom is an award-winning songwriter, a national touring performer, a teacher, and a coach of transformational creativity. Dubbed “The Creativity Shaman” Rebecca has been coaching individuals and groups in transformational creativity for over 27 years. She offers a toolbox of simple and potent embodiment exercises, both traditional and non-traditional to help singers/writers/performers open streamlined vocal, songwriting, and performance flow.

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Instructors

Connor Garvey

Connor Garvey is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Portland, Maine, with the amiable presence of an entertainer, the lyrical depth of a poet, and the enchantment of a storyteller. Garvey leaves audiences uplifted and inspired through a positive message delivered in a way The Portland Press Herald says “proves you can be optimistic and self-aware without being boring.”

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Instructors

Mark Gibson

Mark Gibson’s love for the craft of songwriting and the depth of his feelings for humanity’s challenges has led him to reluctantly embrace his power as a performer. Mark holds no interest in dazzling his audiences with flashy guitar chops or acrobatic instrumental technique. His solid roots-based approach to guitar is delivered to serve and accompany his incisive, insightful lyrics. With a keen wit, balanced occasionally with compassion, Mark offers thought-provoking story songs filled with charismatic, unusual and sometimes flawed characters that give listeners an unconventional perspective on everyday life.

TheMarkGibson.com

Instructors

Vance Gilbert

Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90’s when the buzz spread through the folk clubs of the Northeast about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking them dead at open mics. Word got out about this Philadelphia-area born and raised performer, and Shawn Colvin invited Gilbert to be a special guest on her 1992 Fat City tour. Gilbert took audiences across North America by storm. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from that tour.

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Dan Harris

Dan Harris

Dan Harris is a singer/songwriter and guitar builder based in Lafayette, CO. He grew up in a drafty farmhouse in southern Vermont, listening to The Grand Ol Opry and strumming along with an oversized guitar. Dan studied jazz and classical guitar in high school and college and has played in a variety of different bands and ensembles, from jazz big bands to flamenco dance groups and his current band, The Renegade Roosters, a bluegrass/old time group also based in Lafayette.

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Instructors

JJ Jones

JJ Jones is an internationally touring, Berklee-trained drummer and educator. She has performed with folk-pop darlings Girlyman, Canadian roots band Po’Girl (now Birds of Chicago), singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche, Egyptian revolutionary Ramy Essam, and LA’s riot-pop band WASI, among many, many others. As a writer and producer, she co-wrote a song with comedian Margaret Cho that was featured in her Showtime concert movie “psyCHO”, and one of JJ’s own projects, a kids’ music record under the name Django Jones, won a Parents’ Choice Gold award, one of the most prestigious honors in children’s music.

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Instructors

Arthur Lee Land

Lyons Colorado based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Arthur Lee Land is known for his joy filled, innovative live performances, his mad guitar and live-looping skills, Arthur’s hands are full theses days writing, recording and performing with multiple projects. First as a solo artist, you have his unforgettable one-man act employing the Art of Live-Looping to create his Electro-Americana BAND of ONE featured in his last studio album release Cracked Open featuring songs co-written by his wife and songwriting partner, clairvoyant lyricist Carol Lee. In late 2014, Arthur replaced Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon in the veteran Colorado Americana Jam-Band Great American Taxi.

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Instructors

John Linn

Largely due to a visioning session in Ellis Delaney’s class at Song School, John Linn now teaches guitar and makes music full-time in Washington, D.C. His mission is to share the joys of creativity and musical living with his students and audiences. In his teaching practice, John especially enjoys the gentle exploration of music theory, creativity coaching and performance development.

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Rob Mattson

Rob Mattson

Rob is a musician, singer, actor, voice-over artist, playwright, director, videographer, and photographer. He’s built furniture and written 58 plays that at current count have been performed in 34 states and 4 continents. He’s released 3 independent CDs, performed on festival stages, and won awards as a playwright and an actor. His voice can be heard in independent films, commercial videos, and on a number of phone systems across the US. Rob refers to himself as “A Long-term Dilletante.”

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Instructors

Clare McLeod

Clare McLeod, Harvard EdM, is an Associate Professor in the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music, where she is the principal author of the Minor in Teaching Contemporary Voice and Berklee Online’s Essentials of Teaching Contemporary Voice. A certified Estill Master Teacher, Clare also trained at the National Center for Voice and Speech, and is a member of the Voice Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Pan American Vocology Association. In addition to teaching at Berklee, she presents voice clinics regularly around the world and continues to contribute to developments in voice research.

Bill Nash

Bill Nash

Bill Nash has been a musician all his life. He was a 5-year-old boy soprano, a 4th grade french hornist (played horn all through college), a 15-year-old beginning guitarist and then an 18-year-old guitar teacher, and a graduate of Bradley University’s School of Music, majoring in composition studying under the tutelage of Professor Dean Howard, and an almost master’s degree from time at the University of Colorado (just one semester short!). Bill began writing music and lyrics in his early teens and his roots are firmly embedded in what is now known as the singer/songwriter acoustic music genre. He has performed styles as diverse as rock ‘n roll, fusion, country, polka, folk, and even old-time western music, ala the Sons of the Pioneers.

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Instructors

Justin Roth

Justin Roth is a nationally touring singer/songwriter, fingerstyle guitarist, and recording engineer/producer for independent artists at his home studio in Fort Collins, CO. His path to acoustic music was solidified at 17 when he heard innovative guitarist, Michael Hedges, and saw how the acoustic guitar was capable of creating such a huge sonic palette, much more than he had ever heard before. From that moment on, he knew it would be the root of his musical world. His use of alternate tunings, partial capos and his innovative two-hand tapping technique has been described as, ‘more than just an instrument, but an extension of himself.’ “Fans of Leo Kottke or Michael Hedges will find themselves right at home with [Roth’s] intricate guitar work…beautifully written lyrics.” - San Francisco Art Magazine 

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Instructors

​Alan Rowoth

Alan Rowoth started playing professionally in 1968, 54 years ago. With thousands of gigs under his belt, He has also worked as an agent, manager, publicist, record producer, lighting designer and audio engineer. Alan pioneered the folk Internet in 1990 and created Internet Quartets and the Folktrain. He’s written for Performing Songwriter, Sing Out!, Dirty Linen, and other magazines. For over 3 decades, Alan has been teaching musicians at Song Schools and conferences on a broad range of technical and business subjects including live streaming, social media, and monetization strategies. His Big Orange Tarp has showcased hundreds of musicians at festivals and conferences.

Visit his blog at http://BigOrangeTarp.org
Instructors

Amy Speace

“Amy Speace has one of the richest and loveliest voices in the singer/songwriter genre and her songs are luxuriously smart…she’s profoundly personal yet also a bit mythic. The imagery and the careful use of language is stunning and more evocative of classical poetry than most contemporary Americana peers” – Craig Havighurst, author & host of Nashville’s “Music City Roots”. Baltimore born, NYC bred and Nashville based, Amy Speace has been making critical waves since Judy Collins discovered her in 2006, releasing “Songs For Bright Street” on Collins’ own Wildflower Records. A logical protégé to classic singers like Collins and Baez, Amy’s brand of folk comes with a bit of grit and soul.

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Instructors

Moira Smiley

Moira Smiley has taught extensively around the world. Her subject is the singing voice and its ability to encompass an astounding range of expressive, linguistic, and stylistic colors. Moira seeks to guide her students in the discovery and development of flexibility within their own voice – both technically and artistically. She also focuses with students on creating a moving performance.

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Judith Wade

Judith Wade

Do you have writer’s block? Need more energy during Song School? Want clarity on which workshops to choose from the many wonderful ones? Or just need some time to relax and re-group? Come experience Reiki and other energy modalities provided by Judith Wade.

Judith is a gentle intuitive channel for a variety of nurturing hands-on healing techniques including Reiki that balance the body, mind, and spirit. She is committed to integrity, creative expression, and authenticity and assisting you in freely expressing yourself.

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Instructors

Maggie Wing

Maggie Wing has been singing, playing, and writing songs since she was a kid growing up in Northern New Mexico. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area and taking a multi-decade detour into software engineering, she reconnected with her songwriting self at The Song School in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Her debut album, Pictures of Birds (2016), garnered critical praise for its memorable stories and thoughtfully crafted lyrics. While she doesn’t write autobiographical songs, “each one comes from a feeling or an experience that I’ve had in my life,” she says. “I just hand the story over to a narrator who’s a lot braver — or a lot less lucky — than I’ve been.”

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