The Music

Plain White T's

In some of the most quantifiable ways, the Plain White T’s count as a veteran outfit. After all, the band formed in the late ‘90s, when cofounder Tom Higgenson was still in high school, and the T’s had several independent releases already to their credit even before Hey There Delilah became an international sensation and cultural touchstone in 2007. . . .

Misha Segal

Few individuals can go from writing scores for and conducting a symphonic orchestra to writing songs and producing an album for a hip hop artist to playing jazz. Native Israeli Misha Segal, a highly skilled composer, arranger, conductor, producer, songwriter, and pianist, does exactly that. He loves the genuine freedom to pursue the music genre of his choice. . . .

John Popper

Musician and songwriter John Popper is best known as the singer, harmonica player, and guitar player in the rock band Blues Traveler, which he founded. Harmonica manufacturer Hohner has taken note of Popper's talents and chosen him to be the featured harmonica player in the Hohner Artist Gallery. Popper has also written songs with Warren Haynes, Johnny Lang, and Chris Barron, and performed with the Dave Matthews Band, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Metallica, and many others. . . .

Jono Manson

Jono Manson is a prolific singer/songwriter and seasoned performer, with a long track record that includes major-label releases as both a recording artist and producer, and extensive touring in the USA and Europe. Manson has collaborated with a number of notable artists, including Bo Diddley, Bruce Willis, Carole King, and many others. . . .

Jon McLaughlin

Born and raised in Anderson, Indiana, singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin began taking classical piano lessons at an early age. Through a school competition, Jon was able to release his self-titled debut album in 2004 and, in 2006, McLaughlin signed with Island Records. He has toured with Sara Bareilles, Kelly Clarkson, and Colbie Caillat among others, and has played major festivals such as Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois) and Summer Fest (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). . . .

Matt Costa

Born in Huntington Beach, California, Matt Costa received his first guitar at age 12. While he was always interested in music, even playing in a band in high school, Costa's first love was skateboarding. Following a serious skateboarding accident, Costa decided to refocus his energy on songwriting and guitar playing, and began using a four-track to make demos. One of these demos found its way to No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who offered to produce Costa's first EP. . . .

Jonathan Clay

Singer/songwriter Jonathan Clay has recorded songs heard on MTV's The Hills, The Freshman, The Real World, Newport Harbor, ABC's Lincoln Heights, and The Lifetime Network. In 2008, Jonathan released The Acoustic Sessions, a side project that soon picked up an endorsement by Levi's and received over 140,000 downloads. . . .

Brian Walker

Brian Walker has fast become a well-known singer/songwriter among the Chicago acoustic scene, and far beyond. Originally from Philadelphia, Walker left his job as a Pro-Tennis instructor to begin a soul-searching journey across the world. Visiting 42 Countries in 6 years, Walker's insatiable thirst for adventure eventually led him to Chicago. There, in July of 2000, Walker began his musical journey after meeting well-known and respected Austin, Texas musician Charlie King. . . .

Tony Shimkin

Born and raised in New York City, Tony Shimkin, aka Kid Shimmy, is best known for his chart-topping collaborations with Madonna, Whitney Houston, Prince, Nine Inch Nails, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, and Paul McCartney, among others. Tony's commercial clients include Mercedes, Pepsi, McDonalds, Hanes, and several other "Fortune 500" companies. . . .

Purple Apple

Chicago-based indie pop quartet Purple Apple is made up of three 13-year-old girls and their 25-year-old babysitter on drums . . . yes, seriously. Though young by any stretch of the imagination, the three 8th grade schoolmates at the core of the band - Olivia, Madi and Nonie - are wise beyond their years and nowhere does this show more than in their songwriting. These truly gifted young ladies might have gone unnoticed had front woman Olivia not asked longtime family friends (and music industry veterans) Michael Willison and Blake Smith (Caviar, Prairie Cartel) if she could record one of her songs at their home studio. . . .

 

In some of the most quantifiable ways, the Plain White T’s count as a veteran outfit. After all, the band formed in the late ‘90s, when cofounder Tom Higgenson was still in high school, and the T’s had several independent releases already to their credit even before Hey There Delilah became an international sensation and cultural touchstone in 2007. But as far as the Plain White T’s are concerned, they’re just entering their sense-of-wonder years.

“Plain White T’s goes along with the theme of the album [Wonders of the Younger]” says Higgenson. “With a plain white T, there are no limits there. You can wear it with anything. You can put anything on it. It’s that blank canvas—kind of like your imagination when you’re a kid.” Website

Few individuals can go from writing scores for and conducting a symphonic orchestra to writing songs and producing an album for a hip hop artist to playing jazz. Native Israeli Misha Segal, a highly skilled composer, arranger, conductor, producer, songwriter, and pianist, does exactly that. He loves the genuine freedom to pursue the music genre of his choice. Fluent in many musical languages, the Emmy Award winner, Israeli Ophir nominee, and BRIT Award-winning composer Misha Segal exemplifies a border-free musician. His ability to infuse different cultural influences and music styles into his work is one reason why he has been recognized for major awards on 3 different continents. Segal is predictably unpredictable as he packages colorful notes into delightfully melodic confections for the ears.

Segal has over 100 feature film scores to his credit. His contributions include: The Phantom of the Opera, which received wide critical acclaim for its originality and scope, as well as the BRIT Award for Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording; The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, which was released with an impressive 22 track soundtrack album; and A Beautiful Secret (Un Secreto de Esperanza), Mexican diva Katy Jurado's last movie. Numerous other domestic and international live action films, and animated features such as The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and The Secret Garden, bear Segal's unique mark and style. Website

Chicago-based indie pop quartet Purple Apple is made up of three 13-year-old girls and their 25-year-old babysitter on drums... yes, seriously. Though young by any stretch of the imagination, the three 8th grade schoolmates at the core of the band - Olivia, Madi and Nonie - are wise beyond their years and nowhere does this show more than in their songwriting. These truly gifted young ladies might have gone unnoticed had front woman Olivia not asked longtime family friends (and music industry veterans) Michael Willison and Blake Smith (Caviar, Prairie Cartel) if she could record one of her songs at their home studio. In only a couple of hours, Olivia cut the guitar and vocals for the first song she ever wrote with her Purple Apple sisters, Life As It Is, and from that afternoon it was clear that there was something special going on.

Armed with a handful of original songs, Purple Apple played their first show at the well-respected Chicago venue The Hideout. With some live experience under their belt, the group then took 1st place at a North Shore Battle Of The Bands competition, despite being the youngest entrants, and went on to headline a 2010 show at legendary Chicago venue, Metro. Purple Apple will spend the early part of 2011 writing, recording, and playing gigs around Chicago and the surrounding area. Website

Born in Huntington Beach, California, Matt Costa received his first guitar at age 12. While he was always interested in music, even playing in a band in high school, Costa's first love was skateboarding. Following a serious skateboarding accident, Costa decided to refocus his energy on songwriting and guitar playing, and began using a four-track to make demos. One of these demos found its way to No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who offered to produce Costa's first EP. Costa soon caught the ear of Jack Johnson, who signed him to his label Brushfire Records and invited him to open his 2005 Summer tour.

Since then, Matt has toured with Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse, as well as guest starring in a high profile tour with Oasis and Ryan Adams & the Cardinals. Costa's song Mr. Pitiful was featured prominently in the hit comedy I Love You, Man and in an iTunes ad campaign. To date, Matt has released three studio albums on Brushfire Records. Mobile Chateau, his latest project, was released in September 2010 and Costa is currently on tour promoting the album. Website

Singer/songwriter Jonathan Clay has recorded songs heard on MTV's The Hills, The Freshman, The Real World, Newport Harbor, ABC's Lincoln Heights, and The Lifetime Network. In 2008, Jonathan released The Acoustic Sessions, a side project that soon picked up an endorsement by Levi's and received over 140,000 downloads. Clay traveled to Nashville in 2010 to record the album Everything She Wants with Producer Kevin Kadish (Jason Mraz, Stacie Orrico) and Mixing Engineer Jeff Juliano (John Mayer, John Butler Trio, Stephen Kellog). Because of the album's success, Clay has soared to the top of the Myspace charts. Late in 2010, Clay formed the duo band Jamestown Revival with his childhood friend Zach Chance.

Within 6 months, Clay and Chance were featured in Rolling Stone's first unsigned band cover contest. Recently, Clay recorded songs for the upcoming 2011 film LOL, featuring Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore. In addition, the song Gypsy Woman, from his Everything She Wants album, was recently used in Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy. Website

Jono Manson is a prolific singer/songwriter and seasoned performer, with a long track record that includes major-label releases as both a recording artist and producer, and extensive touring in the USA and Europe. Manson has collaborated with a number of notable artists, including Bo Diddley, Bruce Willis, Carole King, and many others. Jono's music can also be heard in several voice-overs projects, commercial jingles, and film and television projects – most notably, Kevin Costner's The Postman, in which Jono wrote and produced several songs and had a small on-camera appearance.

Jono currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When he is not on the road, he continues to perform in area venues, but spends much of his time working on a wide range of projects in his recording studio. Most recently, Jono co-wrote and produced the John Popper & The Duskray Troubadours album, which was released in March 2011. He's also assembling material for an all-acoustic album of his own, which should be ready in the Fall of 2011. Website

Born and raised in Anderson, Indiana, singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin began taking classical piano lessons at an early age. Through a school competition, Jon was able to release his self-titled debut album in 2004, and in 2006, McLaughlin signed with Island Records. He has toured with Sara Bareilles, Kelly Clarkson, and Colbie Caillat, among others, and has played major festivals such as Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois) and Summer Fest (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

McLaughlin's music has been featured in several film and television projects, including Georgia Rule, Scrubs, Ghost Whisperer and A Little Thing Called Life. In 2007, McLaughlin contributed to the Oscar-nominated song, So Close, for the Disney film Enchanted, and then performed the song at the 80th Academy Awards in 2008. Later that year, he released his sophomore album, OK Now. Currently, Jon is touring and preparing to release his next project. Website

Musician and songwriter John Popper is best known as the singer, harmonica player, and guitar player in the rock band Blues Traveler, which he founded. Harmonica manufacturer Hohner has taken note of Popper's talents and chosen him to be the featured harmonica player in the Hohner Artist Gallery. Popper has also written songs with Warren Haynes, Johnny Lang, and Chris Barron, and performed with the Dave Matthews Band, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Metallica, and many others.

In 1996, Popper's Blues Traveler won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for its breakthrough hit Run-Around. He had cameo roles in the films Kingpin and Blues Brothers 2000, both of which also used music from Blues Traveler. Recently, Popper collaborated with fellow band member and producer Jono Manson on the John Popper & The Duskray Troubadours album, which was released in March 2011. Popper is currently touring with the band to promote the album. Website

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Brian Walker has fast become a well-known singer/songwriter among the Chicago acoustic scene, and far beyond. Originally from Philadelphia, Walker left his job as a Pro-Tennis instructor to begin a soul-searching journey across the world. Visiting 42 Countries in 6 years, Walker's insatiable thirst for adventure eventually led him to Chicago. There, in July of 2000, Walker began his musical journey after meeting well-known and respected Austin, Texas musician Charlie King.

Recently, Brian had the great fortune of having his song Mason included on two separate albums: Crystal Bowersox's debut album, Farmer's Daughter (19 Recordings Ltd./Jive Records, 2010), where the two perform the romantic love ballad as a duet; and his own debut album, Lookin' for Light (CAUDog Records, 2011). Although the two versions are quite different, the song's gorgeous lyrical content is timeless in both. Website

Born and raised in New York City, Tony Shimkin, aka Kid Shimmy, is best known for his chart-topping collaborations with Madonna, Whitney Houston, Prince, Nine Inch Nails, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, and Paul McCartney, among others.

Tony's commercial clients include Mercedes, Pepsi, McDonalds, Hanes, and several other "Fortune 500" companies. Shimkin penned the theme to MTV's Driven, and his songs and productions have also been featured in feature films from Paramount, Universal, Lionsgate, Tri Star, and Disney, as well as broadcast productions for Showtime, HBO, and CNN. Recent record productions include albums for Sony and EMI, and he is currently working with and developing new artists. Website