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Jan Best is the senior editor for Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine as well as a singer / songwriter / musician / freelance writer, and an avid coffee lover. She hosts the internet-only radio show called Radio Muse located at, and is also the host for the ISWM Network at Jan is currently in college, and will ultimately obtain her Ph.D in English at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Jan has recently been commissioned to create and instruct an online Songwriting Business course that will be available this Fall at select colleges and universities throughout North America. Jan is also working on her first novel, and plans to release it this winter as an e-book publication through and several other outlets. Jan has written articles for publications such as; Cross Country Music Magazine, Spotlight and Fairs and Expos., to name a few. You can visit her personal website at; .

Here is a bit of information on each of the songwriters included in this Radio Muse Webcast. I hope you'll take a moment to explore their own web sites (linked to from their names) or purchase their CDs if they have them. We don't have anything if we don't support each other. If you like what you hear, let the songwriter know! Words of encouragement are always welcome.

Natalie Brown: You Gotta Believe (3:30)
From her CD "Let The Candle Burn" ~ © 2000, Brown/Rwakaara, Natfunk Music (BMI). All rights reserved.

A dynamic Urban/R&B/Pop - Singer/Songwriter with a powerful 4.5 Octave range, Natalie made her way to California from Vancouver, B.C. Canada in 1995. In 1997 she put together a demo to shop and even though she received interest from a couple of major labels, she chose to take the independent label route. After her first Indie label deal crumbled due to lack of financing and left Natalie with nothing from her first label venture, she accepted an offer from the producer who worked with her on the material from her never-released 'debut' album in July 2000. "Let The Candle Burn" is the product of this work.

Tina Vero: In The Waiting (4:02)
From her CD "In The Waiting" ~ © 2000 Tina Vero, Handmade Muse (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Tina Vero is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who has enthusiastically taken her original eclectic song craft throughout the New York City/Tri-State area. She writes songs with heart on sleeve lyrics in the keys of intensity and intrigue guided by the soothing embrace of her vocal rises and falls. She diversifies her incredibly energetic and engaging live performances with strong original songwriting of poignant rockers and infectious ballands. Rocky-O of Line Notes says of Tina Vero and her highly anticipated debut album, "In The Waiting", "Sometimes amongst all the noise, a whisper can be the voice that truly needs to be heard. Tina Vero is that voice. One thing I do know is "In The Waiting" is far and away the finest offering of the year and possibly of a lifetime."

Kathy Fleischmann: Seasonally Speaking (3:15)
From her CD "Ten Doors Down" ~ © 1997, Kathy Fleischmann, Chess with Death Publishing Co. BMI.
All rights reserved.

Kathy Fleischmann's style of songwriting and performance combines the raw introspection of the blues with coffeehouse folk, continuing the tradition of confessional musical artists. Kathy was born in New York where she studied voice and guitar. She then moved to South Florida and was the principal singer/songwriter for two alternative bands until her 1993 solo cassette debut Anamorphosis. In 1995 she released the CD, Speaking Guillotine, followed by Sympathetic Coffee. Her latest CD, 10 Doors Down, contains 11 new songs, some acoustic, some full band, in the folk/blues genre. She now lives/gigs in New York and is working on songs for her next project.

The Billy Dechand Band: Simp (2:48)
From their CD "Hocus Pocus" ~ © 2000, Billy Dechand, Bucktooth Music. All rights reserved.

The Billy Dechand Band's Hocus Pocus is a quirky, psychedlic pop album with songs that span from dreamy, chipper, to Radiohead-esque longing, sometimes all in one song. Itís sprinkled with lots of colors; strange instruments appear and disappear, like circus ghosts. The co-ed harmonies glisten, the violin lilts and fiddles, and a solid pop rhythm section rocks, swings,and turns upside down! Billy Dechandís songwriting is outstanding as usual, with this quartet taking his new musical ideas and presenting them in perfect form. Hocus Pocus grows on you the way classics always do: it starts out great, and just gets better.

Chrissy Lomax: Fragile(2:54)
From her CD "2 Hands On The Wall" ~ © 2000 Chrissy Lomax, Spare Room Records. All rights reserved.

Chrissy Lomax's dynamic voice and strong stage presence have earned her a following in both Canada and the United States. For over 15 years, her band toured bars and clubs across Canada, playing Chrissy's original material, which ranged from softly poetic to powerfully electric. From a whisper to a shout she uses her voice to draw you into all her stories. Since moving to the Los Angels area from Toronto, Chrissy has performed solo and with her band in clubs and coffee houses. Her music has caught the ear of local radio stations, which have featured her live in the studio and played her recorded material. Chrissy has a CD available now on her own label "Spare Room Records" and she continues to write and record new material for a new CD with the intention of securing a recording contract.

Jess Pillmore: Bouncing on the Bottom(3:54)
From her CD "Promo" ~ © 2000, Jess Pillmore, Roadworm Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Insightful and intelligent lyrics. Strong, driving melodies. A power house voice that stills a bar. Songs that speak to the mind and the heart. Jess's melodies and lyrics feel comfortable - like someone out there knows you. Love and fear - distrust and growth - the wear and tear of life. It's all there in a rhythm that flickers and haunts you. Jess has performed her music in NYC, Williamstown, MA, Las Vegas and Jacksonville, FL. Her debut CD Promo consistently plays on Florida college radio stations. Currently Jess is working on a new rock musical, City Girl, opening in Chicago next season.

Guy-Michael Grande: All I Want (3:12)
From his CD "Familiar Strangers" ~ © 2000 Guy-Michael Grande, Fifth Fret Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Northeastern U.S. audiences are no strangers to native singer-songwriter Guy-Michael Grande. The region's acoustic music fans are already familiar with the distinct songs from his debut album, Familiar Strangers (Route Five Records). Evoking comparisons to artists ranging from Jackson Browne to David Wilcox, Grande's original folk/pop songs reveal a keen ear for his craft, wry takes on the everyday and deep sensitivity towards matters of the heart and human condition. Performing songs that resonate with listeners long after the music ends, Grande creates an energy between artist and audience that is fully requited and refreshingly real.

Marilyn McNeal: Skyhigh (3:23)
From her CD "Talk Show" ~ © 2000, Marilyn McNeal, Norristown Publishing (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Marilyn moved to New York 3 years ago with a tattered blue drumset, a digital piano and a 4-track cassette recorder. After studying jazz drumming at The Mannes School of Music she switched to guitar and now writes her own material. Her sound is a mix of The Pretenders, U2 and Elliot Smith and is based on invented chord voicings. Playing with Luiz Marcello Olivera on drums and Noshir Mody on guitar, Marilyn brings a fresh approach to rock. In October 2000, Marilyn recorded her first CD with the help of producer Elie Massias at Lunchbox Studios in Brooklyn, NY.

Terri Jo Dahlquist: Unsure(3:54)
From her CD "Stories Around Me" ~ © 1999, Terri Jo Dahlquist, Strawberry Moon Music (BMI).
All rights reserved.

Terri Jo, award winning Nebraska singer/songwriter, has released two solo CDs of original songs, a CD with her trio, Baby Needs Shoes, and has been on several compilation projects. She has been featured on the national radio programs, River City Folk and WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Terri Jo's song, While I Drive, was chosen for the NPR show, Car Talk and she was recently included on an NPR holiday program hosted by Judy Collins. Terri Jo is on the Nebraska Arts Council touring roster and represented by the Talent Connections booking agency in New York. She has been nominated for Folk Artist of the Year by KZUM public radio in Nebraska for the past three years, is president of the Prairie Folk Alliance and writes the Women in Folk column for the North American Folk Alliance national newsletter.

Tim Moyer: Garden Of Angels (4:20)
From his CD "Out Of The Blue" ~ © 1999, Tim Moyer Publishing Group (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Graced with strong material and vocal talent Tim Moyer is well on his way to capturing anyone within earshot. He is middle-of-the-road enough to appeal to a lot of different people, but has a sound and identity all his own. Moyer has crafted a gut wrenching melodic style that is captivatingly familiar and lyrics that portray today's trials and tomorrow's triumphs. And his proverbial dues have been paid. For over 15 years Tim has been working to gain a reputation as one of Southern Californiaís leading singer/songwriters, performing with his band as well as solo acoustic. He rounds out his experience with writing and recording soundtracks for commercial videos and documentaries in his own digital studio. Tim has even co-written a song "Sweet Water" with Julie Andrews. Proving himself worthy, Tim has been capturing audiences all over Southern California. As a solo artist Tim has shared the stage with greats like Howard Jones, Dave Mason, and America. With his band he's rocked with Eddie Money, the Tubes, Edwin McCain, and Duncan Sheik.

Ann Pence: Out Of My Mind (3:50)
From her CD "Dog's Life" ~ © 2000, Ann Pence, Dog's Life Music. All rights reserved.

Ann Pence was born in Philadelphia, PA, to parents who loved music and poetry and instilled that love in their children. Inspired by Joni Mitchell, Motown and folk legends of the 60's, she began writing songs when she was twelve. Her first CD, Dog's Life, was released in October 2000. Ann's music has been described as folk rock, bluesy folk, funky folk blues and just plain folk. Whistling Swan Productions invited Ann to open for Peter Case at the Anchroage Museum of History and Art in December 2000, and Ann receives regular airplay on local radio station KNBA.

Anne Donohue & Rich Dart: Don't Give Up, Little Sister (4:30)
From their self-titled CD ~ © 1999, Anne Donohue. All rights reserved.

Armed with a rich female voice, an acoustic guitar, and an arsenal of percussion, Anne Donohue (vocals, guitar) and Rich Dart (percussion) perform music that mingles the worlds of jazz, blues, classical, pop and folk. It is perhaps this "aresenal" that most immediately and obviously set Donohue and Dart apart from other duos; it includes bongos, congas, shakers, orchestra bells, the djembe (an African hand drum with a deep and powerful tone), the marimba (an instrument played with mallets that produces a rich and resonant sound), and more. Additionally, Dart's approach to playing the percussion is uniquely melodic, at times switching roles with the guitar, which then becomes the rhythmic fundation of a song. From the primal intensity of a single voice accompanied by the ejembe to the haunting beauty of the marimba woven through delicate guitar lines, each song takes on its own unique energy and texture. The songs themselves express emotional intelligence both musically and through visually evocative lyrics. Despite this diversity of instrumentation and styles, the music is pulled together by the common threads of Donohue's powerful, sweet and emotionally charged vocals, Dart's fiery, fun and visually exciting accompaniment on percussion, and their ability to meld these elements into a singular sound.

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