Congratulations to THE FORGE GOT TALENT winner, Jim Skiff!
Congratulations to THE FORGE GOT TALENT winner, Starling My Darling!
Congratulations to THE FORGE GOT TALENT winner, Colin A!
Congratulations to THE FORGE GOT TALENT winner, Jessica Duke!
Congratulations to winner of Songwriters Stage, Jessica Duke!
Jessica Duke uses music as free therapy. She writes and plays country/pop ballads inspired by Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, and The Chicks. When she isn’t writing music, you can find her running, hanging out with her cat and husband, or teaching science here in Pittsburgh!
Congratulations to winner of Songwriters Stage, Gregg Stone!
I grew up in an entertainment-filled, central Pennsylvania home, an only child who spent most of my early years going to carnivals, county fairs and auditorium shows. Mom was a country music singer and radio DJ for 50 years.
After two or three unsuccessful attempts to teach me to play the guitar, I finally surrendered at about the age of 12. I was taught the most basic major chords on Mom’s 1953 D-28 Martin and took it from there (although not nearly as far as I could have). I began writing songs right away, which lasted throughout my first years of college, where I performed for coffee houses, small gatherings of friends and my future wife. I was heavily influenced by songwriters who told vivid stories in their songs: Guy Clark, (solo) Ian Hunter, Mark Knopfler, others.
Then I just kind of walked away from it. At the age of 55, I suddenly decided to start playing and writing again. I can’t even remember what triggered it. Perhaps it was new storytellers like Chris Whitley, Ani DiFranco and Beck who became further influences. Their songs were more interesting to me at this point in my life, and writing became a welcomed refuge from the challenges of my job and personal issues I seemed to deal with.
I’ve been writing and performing since, struck by the difference in my style between those teenage years and as an older adult. And my most prized possession is that guitar of Mom’s on which I learned basic chords and still play. My training is not at all formal, but I love what writing has done for me as a person, and I am thankful for this opportunity to share my stories.
Congratulations to winner of Songwriters Stage and THE FORGE GOT TALENT, Jim Skiff!
Jim Skiff is an award winning composer, actor, playwright, and recording artist. He has released three solo albums, Sky and Lake, Rooted and Flower and Sword, and The Stonecutter Sonnets with Pam Verity, and the original soundtrack to Silver Apple of The Moon which was produced at the Penn State Behrend Little Theatre. Flower and Sword was engineered and produced by Grammy winner Dave Moulton for Icarus Records(1979), and was one of the first all digital albums recorded in the world. More recently, Jim released The Skiffs debut ep, Don’t Ask Questions (2019), and The Skiffs lp, Inner City Jitters (2020), in collaboration with his daughter, Erin Skiff.
Jim attended Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA, where he was a founding member of the Grammy nominated vocal group, The LA Jazz Choir. His plays have been featured at First Night Pittsburgh, (Into the Fire), The Buhl Planetarium,(Stargazer, The John Brashear Story), and the Carnegie Science Center and Phipps Conservatory (Rachel Carson, The Girl Who Loved The Sea), and have been enjoyed by over half a million children and adults in schools, libraries, museums and small venues throughout the tri-state area.
Jim was the musical director at the National Playwrights Showcase at Mercyhurst College, and toured regionally with Mad River Theatre Works, and his own company, On The Wing Theatre. His folk ballet, Flower and Sword, was premiered by the Erie Bayfront Ballet Company, and he was a guest soloist with the Erie Bayfront Orchestra, (Mozart Coronation Mass).
Skiff has been compared to Theodore Bikel, Phil Ochs, and Gordon Bok. Jim’s lyrics are poetic, sometimes pointed, and often hilarious. His musical influences include Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel, John Prine, Pierre Bensusann, The Paul Winter Consort, John Rennbourne, The White Buffalo, David Grisman, Sly Stone and Frank Zappa.
Congratulations to winner of Songwriters Stage and THE FORGE GOT TALENT, Chance Foley!
Congratulations to winner of Songwriters Stage, Fulcrum!
Fulcrum is a duo of Kyle Bartlett on guitar and Katie King on vocals. As lovers of music in general our creative styles mix into an eclectic concoction of folk pop and rock.
Congratulations to winner of Songwriters Stage, Bradley Hogart!