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New Year, New Music, New Club

A letter from the Founder:

I want to talk about some tough things, and then we can talk about some great things.  First and foremost, Giving Songs spent a good portion of 2016 on the sidelines. The Johnson family had a tough year – I received a layoff from a job of 8 years, and ended up with a new job that kept me busier than I’ve ever been in my 17-year professional career.  As you may know, Giving Songs is a volunteer organization primarily managed by our family – a family with a blind, multi-disabled little boy, living within the same community we work so passionately to assist.  Much of 2016 was a period of challenge, and as a result we weren’t able to put as much time into helping others as we would have liked.  Having said all of that – we’re settled in and ready to rock and roll for this year – happy, healthy, and enthusiastic about the future. 2017 has all of the ingredients to be an amazing year for Giving Songs, the artists who support us, and the families who receive our life-changing support.

Alright.. now, let’s talk about great things!

  • We have unreleased music you will be hearing soon, including Ken Puterbaugh’s beautiful rendition of Johnny Cash’s Let The Train Blow The Whistle which we released today!  (download here)
  • We’re well on the way to completing our third full-length compilation album which will be released this year!
  • We were played on the radio for the first time just last month – thank you to John Bommarito and ann arbor’s 107one!
  • We will be on the radio AGAIN this Sunday, March 5th – between 10:00 and noon (live stream at www.annarbors107one.com)!
  • We have a new way for those who know, love, and support us to help – it is called our Subscriber Club!  (details below)
  • Most importantly – we are reviewing applications and will be distributing grants and changing lives very soon!

Those are some awesome updates, and we wouldn’t have accomplished any of them without your assistance – thank you, thank you, thank you!

And now the new website feature I am very excited to share with you – our Subscriber Club. What is it, and why should you sign up?

 

The Subscriber Club is nothing more than a reoccurring tax-deductible donation to Giving Songs.  Individuals who register will receive links (via email) to all of our music on the day it is released.  Additionally, those who register will receive hard copies of our albums in the mail while they’re hot off the press. These copies will be distributed first, before physical copies are available at the CD release event or various retail locations.  This allows you to support all of our projects, all of our artists, and all of the families who benefit from everything we do.  We are hoping to build a community of sustainable donors who enjoy watching us grow and change lives – one song at a time.

Learn more and register your account here.

Thank you so much for being here – it means the world to so many people.

In Gratitude,

Brent Johnson
Volunteer and President – Giving Songs

 

 

Cooper Anstett – Featured Artist – April 2016

A supersized thank you goes out to Cooper for joining the Giving Songs’ Featured Artist roster!  Cooper’s song Move was recently featured in a Chevy commercial, so there is a fair chance you’ve already heard him!  The press has compared Cooper’s sound to George Ezra and Sam Hunt, although his tone is timeless with inflections that are reminiscent of many great artists – ultimately, his sound is unique, genuine and captivating.

Cooper 2

This month’s song is a punapharmacy.com take on You’ve Got a Friend which was written in 1971 by Carole King and later made popular by James Taylor.  Cooper’s moving version has depth and tone that you are sure to enjoy.

Please take a moment to download and enjoy his version of a classic tune, featuring special guest Erin Ayalp.

 

Drew Mayberry – Featured Artist – March 2016

I hope you’re sitting down when you listen to this song.  Thank you to Drew Mayberry for this wonderful and unique take on the classic “Stand By Me”.  We also thank you for performing at the latest Giving Songs event. We are so proud to have you on our GS team!

andrew song photo

Once you fall in love with his version of”Stand By Me”, we’d recommend you check out more of this talented local singer/songwriter in the videos on his Facebook page.

Here are some words from Drew:

Music has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember.  My father was a professional jazz bassist and my mother was a music teacher so I guess it’s just kind of been in my blood.  I first got into guitar when I stumbled across an old acoustic in my parents basement when I was 14.  I spent hours a day that summer teaching myself everything I could before joining a punk rock/ska band with some friends.  We evolved through punk rock, heavy metal, and acoustic rock until we decided to part ways after high school.   Now days I focus on playing as a solo artist leaning on the motown music that was part of upbringing.  I’ve also been influenced by Yellowcard and acoustic artists like Andy Mckee and Noah Gunderson.  

Music has always been a way to connect with people.  The fact that I can play something and in some small way change a life for the better is a beautiful thing.  That’s why I’m honored to participate in Giving Songs.

Thank you, Drew!

Please take a moment to download and enjoy Drew’s contribution!

 

Michael Dause – Featured Artist

Giving Songs was thrilled when multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Michael Dause agreed to participate. Busy preparing to release his first solo album and touring regularly with the wildly popular band The Accidentals, Michael was still able to carve out a few hours to stop by Plymouth Rock Studios and throw down his version of the The Outfield’s classic “Your Love”. Michael’s determination and skill paired nicely with a bright smile and we are happy to have worked with yet another product of Northville, Michigan.

Brent Johnson in the studio with Michael Dause

And so another exciting chapter is added as we build toward an eventual 3rd album release.
A Northville man named Kevin (who has lived in Arizona for 10+ years) was in town recently, commenting “I follow everything you guys are doing on Facebook. Giving Songs is beautiful. It’s the coolest thing ever.”
We are humbled by the support, near and far. Thank you Michael Dause, thank you Kevin McMahon, and thank you all for listening and sharing our story.
Don’t hesitate to check out Michael Dause’s new album:
In Gratitude,
Brent

Featured Artist – November 2015 – Josh Gierada

We are pleased to present an original song this month from our good friend Josh Gierada.  Josh has been incredibly supportive of Giving Songs since our inception, and has performed at several of our shows.  We asked Josh if he’d like to record a song for Giving Songs and he immediately said yes!  As it turns out Lee Hyland, another Giving Songs supporter, was working on a video project for school.  These two outstanding gentlemen joined forces to gift us with a beautiful song and video.  Please enjoy the video and download the song file – as always, you can name your own price!

We remain grateful to artists like Josh and Lee for making our mission possible.  We remain grateful to you for taking time to enjoy their creations and support our cause.

In gratitude,

Brent

Featured Artist – September 2015 – Brett Mobey

Four people told me that I needed to hear Brett Mobey play music, and all four of them were right.  Based on the growing stack of recommendations I tracked Brett down at a show, but unfortunately I missed his set.  I didn’t actually get to hear him perform until we met at Plymouth Rock Productions to record his song, Fare Thee Well from the film Inside Llewyn Davis.   Brett has a laid back style that contradicts the sounds that come from his guitar.  You’ll want to believe that there is more than one guitar on this recording, but what you’ll be hearing is a complex layered playing style that effortlessly oozes from Mobey.  Brett is a family man with passion and talent, and we’re grateful that he was willing to share it with us.  We’re thankful for his support and proud to call him a Giving Songs Featured Artist.  Please take a moment to download this beautiful song and support Giving Songs.

In Gratitude,

Brent

P.S.  On September 15th we were able to reduce the cost of a wheelchair lift vehicle for a local family by 51%.  That was possible because folks like you take time to download our music and donate to our cause.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

 

Giving Songs Director Chris Vanderveen presents a life changing grant to Addisyn and her family.

Giving Songs Director Chris Vanderveen presents a life changing grant to Addisyn and her family.

Featured Artist – December 2015 – Debby Clinkenbeard

Wow! What an exciting update we have for you this month!  Many artists have been introduced to us through family and friends, and we’re grateful to Lee Hyland for bringing his friend, Debby Clinkenbeard, into the Giving Songs world!  Debby is a touring artist based out of California who has years of experience and multiple albums under her belt.  You can find more information about Debby and her music at her website here.

Debby 2

Debby showcases her exceptional songwriting ability with her contribution of This Season.   In her own words:

A few years ago I was challenged to write a Christmas song to perform at a holiday festival. Right away I wanted it to be a departure from tradition and lean toward something more organic. I wanted to write a piece that was lasting, something that inspired thought, and something that enveloped the heart of what we should all remember every day. I also wanted it to be a bit personal and have a little decoration as a nod to the season. More than anything, I wanted it to be something that would impart perspective and hope to this time of year whether or not the listener has all http://viagraforhealthyman.com/ of the traditional celebratory surroundings. For me, the winter season has a distinct rhythm that inspires reflection as nature seems to retreat in preparation for rebirth. I started thinking about this season beyond the man-made measure of time and cultural affectations. Every avenue I went down led to the same theme. No matter your faith or traditions, this time of celebration should be a nod to one thing: we’re still here. If we’re still here that means we can reflect, grow, affect, inspire, strengthen, build, and give. That, my friends, is a very powerful thing.

For some reason I never did much with this song. It’s beautiful and I am proud to be a catalyst for the message, but it always felt like it needed to wait for something bigger. When I had the opportunity to contribute to Giving Songs the light finally came on. This song was perfect for what these amazing people are doing. They embody the message I tried to convey and I couldn’t be happier to have found this home for a song that means so much to me. I’m humbled and thankful to be the December 2015 Artist of the Month and to contribute to their body of work. I hope you find Giving Songs and this track inspiring enough to make a purchase in support of such a great cause.

Have a wonderful holiday season,

-Debby

We are so grateful to Debby for donating her talent, experience, and passion to our cause.   Please take a moment to download a copy of her song and make a contribution if you are able.  Giving Songs changes lives for families, and we can only do that with your support.

In gratitude,

Brent


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