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Marcus Singletary

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Singletary)

Marcus Singletary is an American musician, producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, an interest in music developed at an early age as Singletary quickly branched out from bass guitar to six-string acoustic and electric guitars, drums, and piano.[1] A high school instructor later aided his studies by charting out scales and assigning extra homework after hours during a highly impressionable period in the young musician's life. Singletary stated, "Early on, I consciously sounded like the Rolling Stones because I tried to write songs that I thought were Stones soundalikes. In particular, I always enjoyed Mick Taylor’s guitar playing, and I would spend hours learning his riffs from albums he appeared on such as Sticky Fingers. Later, I started listening to Led Zeppelin and spent years contemplating Jimmy Page’s production techniques."[2]

Quigley Preparatory Seminary South was closed by the Archdiocese of Chicago during Singletary's first year at the high school, and he later graduated from Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary. Singletary earned a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Northwestern University and pursued vocal instruction under the tutelage of Dan Detloff.[3] After moving to Los Angeles, California in 2000, Singletary studied jazz guitar alongside Finnish fusion virtuoso Antti Kotikoski at Musician's Institute.

During college, Singletary backed blues players on bass in nightclubs and fronted the rock band Jupiter's Child, a group stamped by a revolving crew of musicians.[4] Despite landing a gig at the 1996 Democratic National Convention, recordings remained unissued until Chicago Stomp! surfaced in 2001.[5] A review in All Music Guide compared the CD to Widespread Panic, stating, "fans of the jam band genre may enjoy this despite its shortcomings" in reference to the album's low budget production values.[6]
Sky's the Limit (2002) was uniformly received as a collection of cuts benefitting from, "better production" and "improved songwriting."[7] The group subsequently performed Singletary's composition "Can't Ask For More" on the television program Chic-a-Go-Go in 2003.[8]

In 2004, Singletary founded the independent record label Aviation Records.[9] Among the company's initial releases were Capitol Hill and Live at the Foxx, albums produced by Singletary using home recording software.[10] Highlights from all previous discs were thereafter grouped onto the 2006 Rocks compilation. Many tracks recorded during this era were characterized by simple blues chord patterns (such as Singletary's cover of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago"), and Illinois Entertainer labeled the disc, "a sampling of Singletary's recorded blues resume."[11]

Marcus Singletary was released in 2008. Signaling a large departure from previous musical styles, the disc was recorded at Clear Lake Audio in North Hollywood, California and mixed by Don Casale, producer of Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on the same console used to track Elvis Presley's RCA Records hits of the 1960s and 1970s.[12] A more consciously commercial effort, the disc received a mixed critical reception upon its initial release although, in Michael Popke's opinion, "Cynics among us may regard Singletary's latest material - his other albums were defined by lengthy blues solos - as a step backwards into pop territory, [but] the rest will simply enjoy these...catchy, happy-sounding tunes that may brighten an otherwise cloudy day."[13]
Critical comparisons to guitarist Jimi Hendrix were immediate with the release of Take Me Out to the Ball Game later in the year, as Sea of Tranquility noted, "[Ball Game] veers off into improvised uncharted territory ala "The Star-Spangled Banner,"" and David C. Eldredge pointed out that the CD, "finds [Singletary] riffing and then off into the freeform chording stratosphere pursuing the disc's eponymous opening chetsnut and similar nods to baseball themes and icons."[14][15]
Including a cover of Bob Marley's "Misty Morning," the material on Singletary's 2011 album Smokin' materialized during concert performances at venues including House of Blues and Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. Featuring bassist Cliff Starbuck of Ekoostik Hookah and former Doobie Brothers drummer Chet McCracken, the disc was mixed by Ross Pallone [16], and a promotional concert was held on June 7, 2011 at Los Angeles' legendary Viper Room in support of the release.[17] UK rock critic Simon Smith wrote, "Marcus Singletary has crafted a great album that has a distinctive sound, a heart and soul to smile for with a beat to boogie to...It's unashamedly upbeat and embracing while it rings every drop of sweat from your panting face as you try to keep up. Great fun."[18]
In her March 30 review, Kelley Simms of Illinois Entertainer wrote, "Drawing upon classic rock, blues, jazz, funk, and psychedelic influences, Marcus Singletary delivers some broad and competent music on Smokin’. Singletary handles all vocals, guitars, keyboards, and theremin, while bassist Cliff Starbuck and ex-Doobie Brothers drummer Chet McCracken are featured, along with a versatile horn section. Together they lay down some funky grooves and have a solid foundation steeped in a “far out, man” range of influences."[19]

Super Spankin' Radio Hits, a digital album by Jupiter's Child containing edited, remixed, and remastered versions of the best material from the first three CDs (2001-2003), was released November 1, 2011.[20]
Holy Guitar! was initially offered as a digital release February 23, 2012. It featured a unique take on Singletary's catalog by including instrumental samples from each release, remixes representing six albums within a single production, and two extended guitar solos recorded specifically for the project, "Highway Patrol," and 'Occupy" - a seventeen-minute tribute to the Occupy Wall Street movement inspired by the work of Frank Zappa.[21]
Simon Smith's review of Holy Guitar! said, "After the album had finished, I really didn’t quite know what to think. It’s an album that veers off so deep into the experimental genre, to try to tell people you’ll like it or hate it is almost impossible," although Jim Pasinski of Record Review stated, "The concept is perfect, especially when you have someone as talented as Marcus performing the licks."[22][23]

On March 28, 2012, Singletary was mentioned in a CNN story on the Sanford, Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin. Singletary's interviews, as well as a portion of a YouTube video that included the 2004 track "Lead the Way," aired on the network program "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." He said, "In my opinion, Trayvon's parents were correct when they cited the lack of civility by some popular media figures who have chosen to find significance in dissecting a teenager's wardrobe as a somehow 'factual' explanation for the child's untimely (and, apparently, permissible) death by firearm." He added, "The phrase [Justice For Trayvon] summarizes the goals that we progressive-minded Americans have defined for ourselves, regarding the incident in question and its potential aftermath."[24]

Discography

Chicago Stomp! (with Jupiter's Child) (2001)
Sky's the Limit (with Jupiter's Child) (2002)
Entertainment Tonight (with Jupiter's Child) (2003)
Marcus Singletary Band (2004)
Capitol Hill (2004)
Live at the Foxx (2005)
Rocks (2006)
Marcus Singletary (2008)
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (2008)
Smokin' (2011)
Super Spankin' Radio Hits (with Jupiter's Child) (2011)
Holy Guitar! (2012)
Capitol Hill Reloaded (2012)

References

^ "Marcus Singletary Biography". KIAC Media, LLC. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
^ "Whispers of the Plains: Marcus Singletary Interview". Higher Plain Music. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
^ "Marcus Singletary In Review". Guitar Nine Records. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
^ Torreano, Bradley. "Chicago jam band Jupiter's Child was first formed in 1991 under bassist Marcus Singletary when he was only a teenager". All Music Guide. Retrieved 1 January 2003.
^ Torreano, Bradley. "By the time the Democratic National Convention rolled around, they were known enough in the area to score a gig at the event". All Music Guide. Retrieved 1 January 2003.
^ "Jupiter's Child Chicago Stomp Review". All Music Guide. Retrieved 1 January 2002.
^ "Jupiter's Child Sky's the Limit Review". All Music Guide. Retrieved 1 January 2003.
^ "Episode #323". Chic-a-Go-Go. Retrieved 20 October 2003.
^ "United States Trademark Search". USPTO. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
^ Haverkamp, Jill. "Price Point: Chicago Studios Adapt to the Home Recording Revolution". Illinois Entertainer. Retrieved 1 February 2006.
^ Scales, Jason. "Marcus Singletary Rocks CD Review". Illinois Entertainer. Retrieved 29 September 2006.
^ Brennan, Bob. "Interviews with Recording Engineer Don Casale". Perpetual Toxins. Retrieved 1 May 2006.
^ Popke, Michael. "Marcus Singletary Self-Titled Album Review". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
^ "Marcus Singletary - Take Me Out to the Ball Game Review". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
^ Eldredge, David. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game CD Review". Illinois Entertainer. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
^ Preston, Scott. January 20, 2011 "Interview with Cliff Starbuck". Cincy Groove Magazine. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
^ "Calendar". Los Angeles Daily News. Jack Klunder. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
^ Smith, Simon. "Marcus Singletary Smokin' CD Review". Higher Plain Music. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
^ Simms, Kelley. "Smokin' CD Review". Retrieved 30 March 2012.
^ "Amazon". Retrieved 1 November 2011.
^ "CD Baby". Retrieved 23 February 2012.
^ "Marcus Singletary Holy Guitar! Review". Higher Plain Music. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
^ "Marcus Singletary Shows off on "Holy Guitar!"". JP's Music Blog. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
^ "www.cnn.com/2012/03/28/justice/florida-teen-shooting-trademarks/index.html". CNN.