Darden Smith is a singer-songwriter based in Austin whose thirty-year career redefines what it means to be a musician. In addition to fifteen critically acclaimed albums, Smith continues to break new ground using the craft of songwriting in education, entrepreneurship, and in service to others. He is the founder and creative director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a nonprofit that pairs award-winning songwriters with veterans and service members in retreat settings to craft songs about combat and the return home.
Smith began writing songs the age of ten, and has been recording since 1986. His music remains rooted in the songwriting traditions of his home state of Texas, while reflecting influences of rock, folk, and Americana rhythms and melodies.
Darden is also preparing for the publication of his book The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (and a Living) ... this book will be a little bit autobiographical, and a little bit of a narrative of his musical - and life - influences. The book is due to be released on Sept 13 2018.
We've seen Darden perform a couple of times and we're always mesmerized by his storytelling, especially when he talks about his work with wounded veterans. It's clear that this is what drives Darden, and it's clear that it's his priority.
We are proud to welcome Darden for his first appearance at MCC.
Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Austin, we got to see Amilia perform several times while we were in Austin, most memorably at El Mercado at a weekly ad hoc gathering of musicians known as Mystery Monday (we won't bore you here with that story, but ask us about it some time). Amilia plays piano as well as guitar and other stringed instruments, and has released three solo records, including her latest Wow and Flutter (2017).
Here's an excerpt from Amilia's bio on her website ...
"Amilia K Spicer has a thing for wide-open spaces and mystical places. Even her record label name, Free Range Records, reflects her vagabond spirit—which has carried her from the green hills of her native Pennsylvania, through the hill country of central Texas, to the mountain monasteries of Tibet. Based in Los Angeles and Austin, she might tell you she feels most rooted when she’s heading toward a distant horizon.
The songs on Spicer’s new album, Wow and Flutter, capture the vastness of those horizons with a cinematic quality, somehow sweeping us into the panorama as we listen. It should surprise no one that she pursued a career in film before music became her muse. The dichotomy of shadow and light, grit and wonder, are in the sonics, rather than on the screen."
We're excited to welcome Amilia for her first appearance at MCC.