The Vergence Project is the brain child of Executive Producers Sue Crockett & Phil Marshall, who started writing and producing music together in 2010. The remainder of our team members are not employees, but rather an ever-growing network of fellow independent friends & musicians who have each had a special part in creating this music.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the safe one. For many years, I pursued the safe path very successfully, always keeping my first love, music, somewhat in sight. Until one day when those paths crossed again and I found I no longer had to choose. I could have both. It was that day that I met Phil Marshall and he agreed to take me on as a co-writer, showing me the ropes of the modern-day music industry.
My first memory of anything I was passionate about was music. As a 3-year-old, I begged my mother for piano lessons so that she’d let me play on the baby grand in our home. That lead to a full 14 years of formal classical training, culminating in failure as a competition pianist, reaching my limits with the great concertos when my small hands couldn’t reach the requisite octave. At that point, I transitioned over to symphony music and had a successful college run as an orchestra musician. In fact, it was while I was on stage, one evening, preparing to play a concert, that my fellow oboist passed a note onto my music stand informing me that I had been accepted into med school. Yep. He did. Right there on live stage in front of God and everybody. Divergence.
And those small hands, the ones too small to become a concert pianist, became the hands of healing as an Ob/Gyn, specializing in daVinci surgery. Now, with a successful medical practice, I find myself again with music in my life. People ask me if I can sing, and I tell them, “Yeah, but you wouldn’t pay to hear my voice!” (My manager tells me I sound like the Little Mermaid’s sidekick.) Sometimes folks ask if I am playing in any of our recordings. And I am. A little.
But what really happened to me, is that I realized I had something to say, and I needed a bigger voice and a larger network to help me say it. That’s where singer-songwriter, Phil Marshall stepped in to the picture. I was in the audience, maybe just like you, and I heard Phil sing. And I learned that he was open to the idea of a song-writing project. So, Phil has lent me his voice, so that I could bring mine to a larger audience. And the process has been an interesting one, to say the least. It’s not easy being a female, trying to write lyrics that a guy would sing. So our music is, by necessity, a blend of universalities. Our first album, AMBERGRIS, is a bit of sampler of the styles and thoughts that we bring together, blending his cool & my not, his guitar & my keyboards, into something quite special. And if we’re going to release an album, it’s got to have a band name….even if it’s an non-band name, lead by a non-singer/songwriter. We settled on Vergence Project, and our hope is that other audience members, like me, & other artists, like Phil, will join together with us in creating something extraordinary.
“Love draws a bigger circle.”
Executive Producer & 2012 Featured Artist: PHIL MARSHALL
Phil came to Texas just 3 years ago and he brought more with him than just a true Yorkshire accent from England; he brings with him skills that have amassed over the years of an unwavering commitment to his art and music, a commitment that has seen him produce many records for himself and others in both England and the United States. The songs captured on these records he performs with fellow musicians right across the country. From L.A. to New York City, from San Antonio, Texas to Madison, Wisconsin, Down in New Orleans and up in the Rocky Mountains, and then there’s the shows he has put on across Europe. Phil is a true troubadour. The added wisdom that he gained in these travels shows through in his musical and lyrical compositions. The self-styled folk/indie/rock singer songwriter is always at the cutting edge of indie music thinking and this was celebrate when his innovative ideas got him digital cover with the Marketing Industries go-to magazine, ADAGE. Phil has recorded in many locations; most especially he tracked his songs at the home of the Beatles, the famed Abbey Road Studios in London.
Seeing Phil play is a must, writing with him? Well that’s just special…
Check out his full bio, LIVE shows, Recordings and more at his homepage:
On Twitter: @thephilmarshall
Dave is one of those special people in music, he’s the one who makes it happen even if it looks like it’s not gonna fly. If he’s not around the studio getting into a mix in the morning nursing a cup of Joe or a sarsaparilla root bear then something is a miss, if he’s not the last one to leave the studio, then the chances are, he just didn’t leave at all. On many of these particular occasions I myself may be found asleep on a chair somewhere amongst an Ampeg cabinet, a drum kit, or a tape machine. Dave lives and breathes music, and you just have to check out his album credits to see the evidence, whether it’s red dirt, punk, pop rock or an up and coming Japanese artist, Dave’s there playing a big part in it all.
I first met Dave in London in an Irish Bar close to Abbey Road where we were both working with mutual friends. We saw off that first night with a couple of bottles of red sat at the Grand Piano in the lobby of the Marriot in Maida Vale playing Tom Waits and Eagles songs. It was a creative relationship that was present from the off. Since then, Dave and I have made several records together, toured all over the place playing the songs, and have enjoyed many a fun time along the way. We push each other like no one else, and it comes form a firm belief in musical ability. A great friend, Dave is the Real Deal.
Dave is the founder and owner of YellowDOG studios Austin, TX and is the primary Producer & Engineer there. Check out the following links:
Dan has always been an inspiration to me; he is incredibly musical which helps him mesh the worlds of musical creativity and audio design so well. We produced my record “One Week” together. Dan is a fantastic Producer and keyboard player but in addition to these great skills, what I find most compelling is his understanding of orchestral movements. Dan can write AND perform an orchestral piece that more than hits the mark every time; this is a special skill, and a skill that I was proud to bring within some of these recordings. To see someone play an orchestral part using superb samples and weaving them into a full production is really quite stunning! Just listen to “Evolution for The Heart” to hear it. Moreover, to take them scores and have superb string players bring it to life as in “There” is just magic. Ohhh… We like drinking scotch, talking about Martial Arts, relationships, and how absolutely crazy we must be to continue in the music industry. We pick each other up and keep each other grounded, a true friend. We’ve recorded in anything from shower cubicles to Abbey Road over the years; Dan has toured both the UK and the US with me, always a blast!
Dan has been engineering/producing for the past 17 years. He was tutored in London and Glasgow by the prestigious School of Audio Engineering (SAE). Dan has also been an active musician for 28 years covering several instruments, which aids him greatly when producing for his artists. His first appointment in the industry was for the ‘Music Factory’ in Rotherham UK as a Producer/Engineer/Session musician and whilst there played session keys on several BRITISH top 40 CHART HIT Mixes.
From here he went onto work in the radio industry and carved his skills as an audio editor and composer for corporate clients in the advertising world. The following years saw Dan touring as a professional musician and freelance engineering for various companies where he was finally called home to work for Fairview Studios in Hull UK as an engineer and East Riding College as a lecturer in Audio Engineering.
In 2010 Dan became the sole owner of ‘Element Studio’ in Yorkshire, UK. The studio is the creative centre of the parent company ‘New Element Productions’ which houses a team of professionals who provide audio solutions to the corporate and entertainment sectors worldwide.
Producer/Engineer/KeyBoard Player/Singer/Audio Architect & Programmer.
JOHN MICHAEL LANDON
“Through The Eyes Of a Friend” was the first track from the “Ambergris” record and John Michael Landon did a superb job of getting the feel I was looking for, I had been wanting to try a couple of mic techniques on the drums and JML really brought it together nice, we went for a real Glen Hansard meets David Gray meets Phil Marshall, and I think we go it. JML has a great manner in the studio and works fast. Super great guy!
Check it out!
Kevin mixed “Through The Eyes Of a Friend” Kevin is a badass! Simple as, a great producer, recording and mix engineer, He worked with Dave Grohl, nuff said!
Matt’s from Connecticut, He’s got connections! A great guy to have around the studio at YellowDOG. Up and coming engineer working on a wide range of sounds from hip hop to Jazz to rock & pop, he keeps it connected with a great manner and keen ear. I particularly enjoyed mixing “Lifting me up” with Matt. He is particularly funny on a night out in the Saxon with a full belly and drinks to match!
Standefer, a consummate professional laid down some sublime cello in some of the Ambergris tracks, he is a super talented Cellist having the ability to pull out great interpretive parts within songs and solidify the feel of the tracks he plays on. He is also an impressive Producer and Engineer. He can be found at www.screendoormusic.com. Some outfits Brian has worked with are:
Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Alejandro Escovedo, Ryan Bingham, Big Station, Micky & The Motorcars, Ben Kweller, Raise my glass, Reckless Kelly, Coutyards Hound, Audrey Auld Mezera, Bukka Allen, Kevin Welch, Noelle Hampton
Adam is handsome.
A producer, engineer, and bassist, Adam has won many awards and accolades from his work with the Dixie Chicks, Shawn Colvin, the Court Yard Hounds, Ben Harper and countless others. His production skills have found him with bands such as the Departed, Bart Crow, 11 Bones, Dub Miller, Matt Skinner, Mike Ethan Messick, the Washers, Ben Schane, Mike Kelly, Mark Allan Atwood, and 13 years in the studio have found him engineering and mixing albums with bands like Reckless Kelly, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Roger Creager, Cory Morrow, The Trishas, Terri Hendrix, the Orbans, just to name a small few. Sometimes you’ll find Adam on the road sitting in on bass with Phil Marshall, Reckless Kelly, Jonny Burke, Rob Baird, Terri Hendrix, Mike Kelly, and with his side-projects 11 Bones and the StoneCringe Family Singers. Creativity is his life’s journey.
I first met Brett when I happened upon the bar at the four seasons in Austin, TX I was blown away by “The Piano Man”. Yes, it was Brett Cline completely owning the lounges Grand Piano, and knocking it out the park with a great vocal too. I sat in with him, and glass in hand I sang Desperado as he brought an amazing energy to the Ivorys. Brett can be found playing at many venues including the Four Seasons and Radisson in ATX. He is also fronting a new band.
Brett is featured performing with me in the preview vid on the VP Website when we jammed a Tom Waits Song, The Heart Of Saturday Night. Brett is a joy to be around and an incredibly talented Pianist.
PS: I’ll get that Stevie Wonder DVD back to you soon!
Josh has been playing and recording with me since 2005, I first met him on the road with Jimmy Newquist of Caroline Spine and was blown away by his energy in the drums. Madverb, MWK, Park City, Utah, Tulsa, Des Moines, Iowa, There are so many stories I just don’t know where to start, I guess I’ll mention the time we were touring England and France and for some reason our favorite little red-head got searched at every single possible moment, whether in an airport in London or a train station in Paris. Josh is great on the road and if he’s driving the bus then your guaranteed a good nights sleep. He also designs the best tour itineraries. It has been a joy having Josh play on these Ambergris songs. (Phil)
Check out the stuff Josh has played on:
Jon’s a great great bass player, a brother and a steady away properly nice fellar, currently playing with Texas great Corry Morrow. www.Corrymorrow.com.
Jon has been in the game since he traded in his trombone in for an acoustic guitar when he was 13. Since moving to Austin in 2006, Jon has performed and recorded with
many bands and artists including: Cory Morrow, Brandon Jenkins, The
Britt Lloyd Band, Stewart Mann and the Statesboro Revue, Ben Schane,
Sam Riggs, and Jeremy Nail. He has been the bassist for The Cory
Morrow Band since December of 2010. In that time, the band has done
several recordings and live video tapings including a cd/dvd combo for
the “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas” music series.
What can I say about Deano? He is quite the character… He laid down a wicked drum take on “Through The Eyes Of a Friend” it was heartfelt, pro, and a Ludwig kit never goes amiss! I first met Deano when he was playing for our friend Brandon Jenkins, Dean is always great comedy value. He once rugby tackled me on a tour bus somewhere between San Antonio and Austin.
ps. I love how his Bio finishes with the word Romantic. It is true, I have heard.
STREET DRUMMER. MASON. COOK. SON. BROTHER. UNCLE. SONGWRITER. MUSIC TEACHER. MUSIC SCHOLAR. RHODE ISLANDER. TEXAN. HORSE TRAINER. FRIEND. COMEDIAN. ACTOR. DOG LOVER. ZOMBIE KILLER. EAGLE SCOUT. CARPENTER. OUTDOORSMAN. SOUL MAN. ANTHROPOLOGIST. ENTREPRENEUR. GLOBE TROTTER. DRAGON SLAYER. VISIONARY. SPIRITUAL ADVISOR. REN FEST PERFORMER. ROMANTIC.
Alex is the production assistant at YellowDOG studios. She is great fun and she is English, so clearly a badass! Amongst many other fantastic attributes, she knows about car engines and is a singer too.
BOB & BONNIE SHOCKEY
Bob & Bonnie Shockey are the husband and wife team who are the creative force behind the amazing and symbolic AMBERGRIS album cover art work. Based in California…..bon-bon…you need to call me and tell me what else you want me to let folks know about you, here!
Jacko & HUD
These here characters are the usual suspects down at the dog. Jacko usually attends the day shift and HUD the night. Jacko is a super talented amp builder extraordinaire, His trademark “Mr Springy” spring reverb pedal is the bee’s knees, the 1812 is the best amp I’ve ever played through. Lee is a guitar player, a wise guy and a poet, always a joy to have Lee around. HUD is a very clever man, he went to Harvard, and he writes top country songs and has an amazing ear for tone and gear. He once choked on his first bite of steak at the restaurant round the corner. Percefull tried the Heimlich, I tried the EMSA. Good times with good peeps!
Farm To Market & Wahoos
Just where would we be without Peggy’s Farm To Market Store and her wonderful staff? Beyond feeding and watering us well with awesome organic stuff, they have provided us with emergency toothbrushes and baking soda too. Baking soda? You ask. Yes, I got a spider bite, and caught it early with a baking soda paste, I once was a boy scout –skills, skills. Oh… Alex, sorry for spilling a bunch of it on the lounge floor… And while I’m on this path, sorry about the bottle of Scotch Dave. I can assure you it was good.
And Wahoos, well a good margarita and a fish taco at margarita o’clock is never a bad thing now is it?
Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas
Our chosen charity. Why? Because grief, depression, and suicide have affected some of those closest to us, and these people take care of the children, teen, and young adults dealing with grief issues brought on by no fault of their own. They provide a safety net, a family of support, and a safe place to heal. A portion of all proceeds from our concert and record sales will be donated to this local center.