Pick With Austin's Tribute CD
"My Gift of Music" - Alan Carter Villaruz-Curley
About this Tribute CD Music Compilation:
We wish to extend special thanks to John Kuhns, Richard G Bingham II, Judith Miller and the Judith Miller Band, Daneen Bronson, Anna Graham, Danny Ray's Music, Buddy Blaze, Mike Stone at StoneWorks, Elliot Rubinson at Dean Guitars, Joe Hypnarowski, Shania & Sydney VanWinkle, the Pick With Austin Street Team, Yvonne at Luna Guitars, our brothers on the Dean Forum and the DOA, Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, George Longhurst, Mandy Rowden at Girl Guitar Austin, Leo DeLaGarza, Terry Lee Richards II, Darell Thomas and Alan Buck, Martin Griffin, Clayton USA, Yulia Prokopeva of Aerial Fine Art, Dell Children's Medical Center, and to the writers, singers, and the musicians who donated their music in the creation of this Tribute. Thank you to each band, singer, composer, contributor, manager, agent, producer, and music label that too part in this Tribute (see below).
All music contained on this compilation has been licensed to Pick With Austin by their appropriate copyright owners.
Commentary added by Jeff Curley (Founder - Pick With Austin, Inc.)
01 - Gravity (Suddyn)
Developing their piano-driven electro-rock sound into what it is today, SUDDYN stemmed from humble beginnings in New York, broadening into an internationally-comprised mix. Formed by brothers Alan (vocals, piano, synths) and Jarrett (guitar, vocals, bass) Steil, the band honed its music while touring through Ireland, completing their electrifying trio with the addition of Irishman Brendan Connolly (drums, vocals). Using their allure to crack the Irish music scene, the group returned to New York with 3 Top 30 hits, a devoted following, and a string of equally impressive hangovers. Blessed with panty-dropping good looks, they bring energy and presence to their shows unmatched since Genghis Khan conquered Mongolia.
(lyrics to "Gravity" at www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/3811332)
"The intention of this Tribute CD is to provide a collection of music in memory of Alan, but also as a tool to draw
attention to our mission to bring about better and more widespread awareness of the dangers of youth and teen
depression and suicide. As such, a goal with putting together the selection of songs was that to ensure that the over-
all feel of the CD did not come out as depressing. Suddyn's song, Gravity, opens the CD with a powerful sound to set
the stage of the music collection that follows it. On a more personal level, it is sometimes difficult to say why a certain
song affects us, or how it fits into a way that we feel, but Gravity definitely expressed some feelings that are related to
my own thoughts, as well as to the overall vision of this Tribute. May Gravity keep us grounded, focused, and forever
aware of our cause."
02 - December (Herr Nilsson)
Herr Nilsson is a band out of Norway. Herr Nilsson is all about melody and words, surprises and catchy hooks. The eight members give the songs touches of country, soul and rock`n roll, but most certainly pop! These are tunes Kinks forgot to write in the sixties, and the two Herr Nilsson-records released so far, could both be Greatest Hits-collections from a parallelle universe. The EP ”Tuesday Is My Birthday” released in 2008 contained ”Don`t Put Your Money On My Horse” – another hit by galactic standards.
"Long Live Herr Nilsson" is the bands third full-lenght album. Produced by Yngve Sætre at the famous Duper Studio, it most certainly is their best-sounding release so far. Quite possibly, it´s also the best record in the history of Herr Nilsson!
"Herr Nilsson is unique and in the world of music, unique is good. My first listen on this song when it was submitted to
us had me thinking classic groups (Beatles, Kinks, and other stand alone sounds). The words to December hit me
immediately with emotion; Alan's birthday falls in December. This verse of the song stole my immediate heartfelt attention:
'I long for December when you're coming home, and all that is dark will be light in your room.' Alan brought light to many
others suffering in their own forms of darkness. This song epitomizes that of him and follows tribute."
03 - Rain (Rhythm of Mars)
Patti Unruh-Classical Pianist; Aaron Straub-Virtuoso Guitarist; and Mike Bailey-Producer/Engineer and Master Musician make up the power-trio studio band, RHYTHM OF MARS from IndyGo Studio in Fayetteville, AR. Since December 2010, they have released 6 Instrumental Rock singles into digital distribution with iTunes, Amazon, ReverbNation, and IndieRhythm. They've done well on MySpace, Twitter and Facebook social networks as well as Internet Radio stations JANGO and suckfreeradio.com - Their song, "Romancing The Snake" was recently chosen to be apart of the World Live Music Compilation Album to be release later this year by WLM Digital. The proceeds from that album will go to one of the major health charities to be named at a later time. They've also recently signed on with A&R Select out of West Hollywood, CA in hopes of promoting their music for Film and TV Soundtracks.
www.cdbaby.com/Artist/RhythmOfMars and www.rhythmofmars.com/
"As many song submissions began coming in for this project, it was initially the name of this song that first intrigued
me and made me push it up in line to listen to it. As the song progressed, I felt like it was taking me through all the
sounds and emotions of a rain storm... from the soft falling of the rain to the thundering down pour. I recall many
evenings during our Texas monsoon seasons where Alan, his brothers, and I would sit or stand on our front porch
and watch nature gently and sometimes harshly pound down the rain upon our lawn, much like the up and down
of this great song. As I listened to Rain, over and over, I could almost see and hear Alan sitting on the porch with
his guitar jamming out a tune to Heaven's down pour."
04 - Like a Song (John Kuhns)
A musician and a luthier, John Kuhns owns American Timbre Company, maker of fine custom and prototype guitars. John is also Program Director for Suckfree Radio.
www.AmericanTimbre.com and www.SuckFreeRadio.com
"John has been an instrumental part in helping to bring this tribute collection of music together and that has definitely
been appreciated. Like a Song was selected long before John Kuhns even lent a hand in the rest of our process, however.
The first time I listened to Like a Song, I knew that it had to be an important part of what we are doing with this music
CD. I think that the words and thoughts that John conveys are concepts that Alan would have believed strongly in."
05 - Missing You Lately (L. Perry)
L Perry is an independent Artist from the UK. Her songwriting is about as good as it gets, easily matching anything out there written by, and for most major Artists. Her songs are full of emotion; they are as melodic and extremely catchy. She has a breathtakingly beautiful voice with a tone that can only be described as pure class. The future is looking increasingly bright for L Perry following the release of her new album "The Power Of Music," which is available on iTunes and all other major download stores. Having already been featured on a large number of radio stations including the BBC, the exposure she received resulted in her being invited to perform at Guilfest helping increase her popularity further.
"Many of the musicians, writers, and bands that are in this project have donated songs that specifically in some way are
their own stories relating to a situation relative to on in some way similar to the topic of our mission. Music can be a cure
for pain and/or a means to express feelings that convey a message. Alan used music to express himself, as most musicians
do. For me personally, as it relates to the selection of this song and as would be felt by anyone who has experienced the
loss of a child or loved one, I find myself in a constant state of missing him lately."
06 - One Year Later (Morgen La Civita)
Morgen La Civita is a singer/songwriter from Easton, PA. Her music is an eclectic blend of Blues, Soul and World influences. In addition to producing her own music, Morgen collaborates with musicians and writers from all over the world. Socially conscious, she provides specialized music for charities that are close to her heart.
Morgen La Civita had already made her mark in the world of radio and television voice overs, as well as commercial copy writing, when she made the transition to songwriting. In less then a year and a half, she has been featured on 15 albums, has had several songs licensed by various music publishers and has received Radio airplay on major market stations, including WWOZ in New Orleans, Jazz88 in San Francisco and NBC's "Good Morning New Orleans". Her fusion of Americana, Folk, Blues and World Music, which she uses to tell the musical equivalent of campfire ghost stories, gives her an edgy and unique sound in today's increasingly competitive market. Her EPK reflects, both her personal style as well as her ability to collaborate in other genres of music. Socially conscious, Morgen provides specialized music, for causes close to her heart. This has earned her the reputation of being not only unaffected, but genuinely down to earth and easy to work with, a fading quality among today's rising stars. Morgen has a home studio where she writes, records and mixes all her music with her Grammy winning partner Jake R. Tanner. Her debut album "From The Basement"was released in February 2010. All proceeds from the album will go to www.Ndss.org (National Down Syndrome Society) Look for her new album "Old Souls", available now via CdBaby, iTunes and Amazon. The proceeds will also go to NDSS.
"Incidents that we each ezxperience within our lives bring about feelings that musicians sometimes translate into song
whether that be in the words, or by the mood of the music itself. A song can be a means to ease the pain and to express
the feelings in our soul, or within our hearts. One Year Later is both beautiful and sad. It rips thoughts right out of my
own heart with thoughts and feeling. Beyond the music itself, Morgen La Civita is a wonderful person and friend of our
cause. Her concern and contributions to our mission and to Alan's foundation are more than just appreciated. For that
participation above and beyond, thank you, Morgen."
07 - I Know the Devil (Don Scribner)
Don grew up in a hard working blue collar town in northern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior almost close enough to see Canada. He loved the woods, the water and the street and credits all three as his riches of life. A college-flunk-out-turned-university-graduate, teacher and principal, Don stayed in education for years earning a wonderful reputation. But, his drive was in the arts and he wrote many children's musical productions which earned exceptional reviews. He was, indeed a big fish in a little pond... passionately swimming toward the ocean his heart led him to CA and the entertainment industry.
Don has been involved in numerous productions as an actor, from the cult classic "Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity," to the successful Wayne Kramer indie, "The Cooler." His experience in television, stage, and film make him a favorite choice for both leading roles and character parts alike. Recently, he took the helm as writer, producer, and star of his acclaimed one-man stage show "Two Rooms in the Valley," which premiered on the stage of the Actor's Forum Theatre, on the big screen at the Big Water Film Festival, and is available for purchase on Amazon.com.
"Mr. Don Scribner and I go back personally over twenty years. We met in Los Angeles during the late-1980's when
I was casting an independent feature film. Don was proposed to play one of the lead roles in the film. An incredible
actor, I have remained in touch with Don for all of these years. As an actor, I have watched his career. As a singer/song-
writer, I have listened to his music and felt his songs and words. I remember visiting with Don a few years ago in Studio
City, California. I was silently giddy when I noticed that Don played a Guild guitar (I have a personal love affair with
Guild guitars). Don has a serious and captivatingly honest manner about him that comes straight from his unique soul;
discussions with him are always fascinating. I Know the Devil was a selection that I made myself from his album of the
same title and I asked Don if it could appear on this Tribute collection. In many ways, this song is how I feel sometimes
and between those feelings and the years of our friendship, there was no way this Tribute was going to happen without
Don on board."
08 - Mom's Song (Matt Graunke)
Hailing from Buffalo, MN, Matt Graunke has been playing shows in the Minneapolis/St Paul area for the last 15 years. Currently as lead guitarist for the Country act Greene and Hurst, his styles have crossed many genres. He proudly plays Dean Guitars and is an amateur luthier. When not playing music, he spends his time as a Volunteer Firefighter, and enjoys riding his Harley.
"There is importance in this song. For Matt, written as a tribute for an important person in his life. This is ironic in
that my own mom abandoned my family, discarding us as something useless and unimportant. A mother is supposed
to be someone that is important to their children and Matt has definitely experienced this in the right way - family
is the most important thing in life. Mom's Song is important and personal for Matt... but it is also a tribute for all
mother's everywhere. Thank you for this song, my Dean Guitar Brother."
09 - Right Story Wrong Ending (Tom Daniels - Night by Night)
Tom Daniel is the guitarist in British melodic rock band Night by Night. Tom has been playing classical guitar from the age of four and has a degree in music from Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London. Playing the guitar has given him the chance to travel the globe playing the music he loves.
"Tom is another of my Dean Guitar Brotheren. When I first heard this song, it brought to mind Texas native, Stevie Ray
Vaugh. SRV's music is considered an important legacy to Texas - where we live and where Alan essentially grew up.
This song is purely what guitar music is supposed to be about. As far as musical tastes go, it's the kind of song I'd
expect to have heard coming from Alan's guitar in his room."
10 - Friends (Risen From Chaos)
Risen From Chaos consists of singer Heath Hooper and guitarist Jeremy Marquardt. Founded in 2008, the band has had a song on the Dean Guitars "DOA Volume 3" cd, and has been featured on the Pick With Austin web site in a PSA video dealing with teen suicide prevention. Both Heath and Jeremy have years of experience on the local Detroit band circuit. Stressing on emotion and keeping the soul in the music is their primary driving force.
www.dropd.net and www.myspace.com/risenfromchaos
"Jeremy explained to me, after this same song had already been selected a previous project (PSA video on our web
site), that it relates to the loss of a friend in a situation not too unlike the loss I have experienced. Back in the day,
I was a fan of many bands, but as I have grown older I'm not as much a follower of anyone specific any more. Risen
From Chaos is an exception to that, however. The music of these guys speaks loud, I can hear what they're saying,
and I like it. Of course, here too a Dean Brother!"
11 - Song of the Winter Solstice (Fred Rohan-Vargas)
Fred Rohan-Vargas (Composer) is an eclectic songwriter who is always in search of unique sounds that bring a whole new dimension for his listeners to hear. His lyrics and music are not only a reflection of his life but also his concerns beginning with the intimacy of love to the social awareness of people’s conditions and attitudes.
www.rohanvargas.com and reverbnation.com/fredrohanvargas
Scott Anderson (piano) is a producer and composer based in Brooklyn, NY.
Katie Scheele (English horn) has played and toured with several orchestras including the Westchester Chamber Orchestra, the Long Island Philharmonic, the Westchester Philharmonic, the Reading (PA) Symphony and the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players. She founded the unconventional oboe trio Threeds performs regularly with them in all over the country. Ms. Scheele has played on many film soundtracks, including one that was recently nominated for a 2010 Emmy award. She also plays with several folk and rock bands and has been featured on over fifteen pop albums. Ms. Scheele received her B.M, cum laude from Northwestern University and her M.M, from Boston University. Her principal teachers include Ray Still, Robert Sheena, Barbara LaFitte and Robert Walters. Ms. Scheele teaches at the Bloomingdale School of Music, the Brearley School and the Rudolph Steiner School.
www.katiescheele.com and www.threedsoboetrio.com
"Alan and I shared time, on numerous occasions, at a local store that sells American Indian jewelry, art, clothing, and
other related items. This unique Austin, Texas, store is called the Turquoise Trading Post and when you walk in, they
always have traditional Native American music playing, piped in to speakers throughout the store. This song immediately
reminded me of a trip with Alan to that store. It is the store where I bought Alan his prized authentic peace pipe. Though
this is not specifically a Native American song... Song of the Winter Solstice provides that feel I experienced with Alan on
each visit to the trading post. Thirty seconds in on the first listen, I knew it was going to be included here."
12 - The Cavalry (Lorraine Jordan)
Lorraine Jordan is a highly acclaimed UK-based singer and songwriter with four albums to her credit. Her thoughtful, melodic and powerful songs reflect her Celtic heritage and embrace her varied musical tastes - early influences include Cat Stephens, Joan Armatrading, Van Morrison, John Martyn, Annie Lennox etc along with her inherent love of Irish music. Lorraine tours Europe regularly both with her band and as a solo performer, and has a growing audience in Australia and the USA. “Her songs rank among the finest of their genre" Living Tradition (Scotland)
"Send in the doctor, send in the nurse, send in the maker of heaven and earth. Awareness and prevention, when you
know someone who might be having a potentially serious depressive issue, is not only important.. it is absolutely
VITAL. There is little need for long comments about this song, as it speaks so perfectly for itself. Listen to The Cavalry
and take a lesson from it."
13 - Farewell - The Fallen (Morrigan's Cross)
Morrigans Cross is a high energy band from Dayton, Ohio. Featuring Tom "Crash" Burr (lead guitar), Jeremy Burr (bass), Eli Closson(drums), and Jeff McGraw (guitar and vocals). Heavy metal mixed with progressive, and traditional hard rock influences with melodic vocals is the Morrigans Cross way of doing things.
"Farewell is a song that takes a few plays to really fall in love with. I say this because it is quite complex. What drew
me to the song was that it reminded me of the battle Alan had been going through within himself. It's placement on
this CD in the order of play is strategic - the CD goes from this battle hymn to the next song, which is almost a complete
opposite in feel, style, and emotion. Farewell, the Fallen, is probably the hardest in rock/metal included on this
compilation. It provides a perfect balance for the country, pop, instrumentals, classical and ballads, and rock that
honor our cause and mission. Dean Guitar Btother's stand together."
14 - The Door is Always Open (Lisa Holmstrom)
Martha Garmon, composer, is a Director of Parish Music currently serving at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont, NE. Lisa Holmstrom, lead vocal, is the owner of the Performing Arts Studio in Georgetown, Texas where she teaches voice and dance. Band members include Teresa McCarthy - keys, Geoff Roark - drums, Bo Hulsey - bass and Jerry Dengler - guitar, all members of the contemporary praise band at Trinity Lutheran Church in Tyler, Texas where Martha used to serve.
"The Door is Always Open was written by our friend, Martha Garmon. Martha's daughter, Leia, has modeled and acted
for my talent agency prior to starting college. She and her family are good people and this song has a good message
that is uplifting. I selected this song because of the upbeat message that it provides and the filter that it provides to the
balance of the other songs on the compilation. Some of the songs on this CD bring about deep emotion, and it was
essential to be sure we shared the sounds with positive strength as well. This song echos what I believe most parents
want their kids to know."
15 - The Story of My Life (Esmeralda Flores)
ESMERALDA is an artist/producer who can write music in many genres and styles about a variety of subjects. Her music defies categorization as each song exists in its own world and has its own sound and message. Songwriter, Producer, A&R - Drei Productions/PBJ Records
"Esmeralda tells a sometimes sad, but an also hopeful and beautiful story with this song. This is another of the very
strategically placed songs in the order of play because of the way The Story of My Life takes us through the trials of her
life, then finishes with the question... in the story of her life... how will it end? This is a powerful end to our CD, though
we have to question too if this CD is the end? Music is a powerful tool for communicating, and I have a feeling that
we'll be seeing more music well beyond this volume."
What is Pick With Austin?
Pick With Austin, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation that operates in the memory of Texas teen guitarist, Alan Carter Villaruz-Curley. The organizations purpose is to help educate and elevate a community awareness about a growing epidemic of youth depression and suicide. Pick With Austin uses Alan's Gift of Music to enhance this awareness while providing donated guitars to kids and teens in hospitals, in youth groups and ministries, and/or those whom have been identified in some way as being potentially "at risk" of depression. Pick With Austin is fully funded and supported by private and corporate grants and donations, and by the goodwill of those who donate their time and efforts into making Alan's memory live on forever. For more information, contact Pick With Austin through www.pickwithaustin.com, or by calling 512-826-5380.
Who is Alan?
Alan is our Angel and he is the inspiration by which we dedicate this charity, Pick With Austin, which is his foundation. "Kids Helping Kids" reflects Alan's lifelong desire to assist people who were in need. A giving soul and a fantastic guitar player and musician, Alan lost his battle with depression in October of 2010 by taking his own life. No greater loss to the world can been felt than that of someone who was so giving and so pure and filled with goodness. Alan touched the lives of the kids that he knew, helping many through their own struggles with depression, issues with drug abuse, or the lack of the basic things in life (he'd give you the coat off his back if you were cold and he often he did just that). Alan carried with him his Bible and his guitar no matter where he'd go and he would often write beautiful music praising life, God, and the hope of world peace, freedom and salvation. He was not a typical 18-year-old with his dreaded hair, simple clothes, and sandals. Alan Carter Villaruz-Curley lives every day in the hearts of those who loved him, but also through the actions of his foundation.
Why this Tribute CD?
A promise was made to Alan a few years ago that he would have help in releasing his first CD of music. Though Alan is not here today to witness, that promise is coming true and becoming fulfilled in a way through this Tribute. More than that, though, Alan would not have cared about the material success of his efforts, his image, or his name. Alan's constant focus was on serving and helping out others, and this Tribute CD compilation of music is intended to honor him in that by spreading Pick With Austin's message while educating communities about the dangers of youth depression and teen suicide. It is our sincere hope that Alan shall continue helping other people, now through his memory and through the actions of his foundation. We hope that all that we do would be acceptable effort in his eyes - his spirit of giving is a difficult one to equal.
This Tribute CD is another Pick With Austin tool for continuing Alan's life mission of helping others.