By David Lowry
In our second installment of our “Musician Spotlight” blog we are showcasing an amazing young talent in drummer Hannah Ford. When I say amazing, I mean more than just her ability on her chosen instrument. Having met Hannah, her family, having attended one of her clinics and watching her use of her endorsements, opportunities and social media, this is one artist that has really learned what this business is about and what it takes to make it. More importantly is she hasn’t lost focus on why she does it. As important as the “business” sides of things are in music, Hannah has somehow avoided becoming jaded, negative and still has a childlike love for playing. Hannah attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts and still works with multiple Grammy award-winning drummer Paul Wertico to constantly refine her skills. Hannah has also worked with music legends like Jeff Berlin, Wynton Marsalis, Ignacio Berroa and Butch Miles.
From a technical perspective Hannah is road ready for any gig. She has the chops, creativity and energy to drive the bus for any artist or band. Her performances are always energetic, engaging and her smile when playing is just as attention capturing as her skills or performance. She really is the whole package. Being an attractive young female, it would be easy to dismiss her skills and say, “oh, it’s all because of her looks,” which would be an incredible disservice to Hannah. She has substance, skills, and a drive that just wont quit. She works harder than just about any musician I have ever met and leaves you feeling like you have known her all your life when you meet her. She is engaging and most importantly she is there to inspire others. Hannah makes sure she focuses completely on the person she is talking too and you can see her passion for passing on her love of the drums and encouraging others to follow their dreams. She completely understands how to relate to her fan base and how important they are to her.
Currently Hannah is a rock band called “Bellevue Suite,” has a tour she puts on for her “Peace, Love & Drums” multi-media show and recently did some shows with bassist Nik West. Hannah is also doing workshops for Guitar Center, a judge for the “Hit Like a Girl” 2012 contest and is regular a feature on the drumchannel.com. In the recent past she has played with the fusion trio “Pandorum,” played drums for the musical “White Noise” produced by Whoopi Goldberg that ran for two months at the Royal George Theater in Chicago and the Hannah Ford Band.
Hannah and her father/manager Dave Ford with PLAD Productions have done an absolutely incredible job of marketing her without the money that everyone says you need in today’s music industry. Both are dedicated and hard working individuals that strive to make great things happen for Hannah’s career. It also says a lot about their relationship and family dynamic to be able to pull this off without all the drama many entertainment families go through.
Hannah is endorsed by: Gretsch, Zildjian, Gibraltar, Toca, Vater, Kelly Shu Concepts, Shure microphones, Wornstar Clothing, ThunderEcho Drums, Prentice Practice Pads, Roland, MaxHeads Custom Bass Drum Heads, and Evans. Quite honestly, I have never seen an artist work as hard to promote her endorsements and utilizes them to the full potential they should be used. She is one of the few artists the get the power of her endorsements and what you can accomplish with them if you are creative, hard working and are marketing to the hilt.
Hannah is rare jewel in the music world. She understands what it takes, works hard to get there and does it happily. She has set her self up since childhood to be as well rounded a musician as she could be. The breadth of her skills as a drummer, a businessperson, a marketer and being a genuinely nice person to work with are her major strength. While other musicians are out trying to be a rock star, Hannah is a rock star and is also building a career that most will never have because they don’t get it like Hannah does.
For more information about Hannah Ford please check out the following links:
At the time of this writing The Lowry Agency and Hannah Ford have no affiliation with each other.
This is the first in a new series of blogs on musicians that I come across that our agency feels deserve some recognition not only for their talent but their work ethic and what they bring to the music community. We are honored to have Chris Green be the first musician that we spotlight.
I came across guitarist Chris Green when I had his band “Rubicon Cross”on my radio show “Live From Music City.” “Rubicon Cross” is a project featuring Green and fellow musician “Firehouse” front man C J Snare. Green has been a guest on my show twice and I have talked on the phone with him to really dig into his views on guitar playing, music, songwriting and the music business in general. I have also recently done a review of the “Rubicon Cross” self-titled EP and have really had the chance to analyze his playing and songwriting.
Green is one of the guitar players in the UK metal band “Furyon.” He has also played guitar with the Nelson brother’s creation “Scrap Metal” and has done tour dates with “Firehouse” when needed. Green played in a band called “Pride” that put out two albums on AOR Heaven (Germany) and EMI (Japan) titled “Far from the Edge” and “Signs of Purity.” Green also recorded all the guitar solos on the “Faith Healer” CD “Welcome to the Edge of the World.” Recently he recorded with vocalist Phil Lewis of “L.A. Guns” fame on the song “You’re so Vain” on the new “Liberty n’ Justice” project. Finally, Green played lead guitar on the cover of “Go Off” with the band “Evolution” from legendary speed metal band “Cacophony” on Jason Becker’s CD “Warmth In The Wilderness – A Tribute to Jason Becker.”
Green studied guitar at GIT in London and prospered under the tutelage of guitar virtuoso Shaun Baxter. Becoming well versed in many styles of guitar playing such as jazz and country music, rock became his main genre that he excelled in. Green was heavily influenced by John Petrucci of “Dream Theater’s” use of octave displacement as a key to his soloing style. Green is always constantly working on his improvisation to be as melodic as possible, while fresh and original in his playing. Green strives to improve in all areas of his musicianship constantly. It’s a refreshing trait among metal guitar players and sorely needed. Baxter says this about Green “I’ve been very impressed with Chris’ work with Furyon. He’s an ultra-proficient modern rock player, who is melodic and expressive with a great sound.”
Green is one of those guitar players that “get it.” He understands songwriting, melody, harmony and putting the song first as opposed to showing your chops every chance you get. His technical skills stack up against most of the guitar greats but so does his phrasing, which to me is the most impressive thing. Green really focuses on playing for the song and not putting to many notes in a solo. He is able to tell a story within a story and also how to arrange songs with interesting and very memorable guitar parts. He is one of those rare players that he is so good at what he does you don’t notice how good he really is. He takes his music seriously and makes sure the song is the most important thing.
I personally think that Green could be the next guitar hero. Up and coming players should listen and learn from Chris Green. One of Green’s philosophies of playing a solo is “if you take away the chords, you should still be able to hear the changes in your solo with nothing underneath it.” While this is not a new philosophy, it is something rarely found in most rock and metal musicians. One of the great things about Green is you can learn as much from what he doesn’t play in his songs as what he does play.
Currently on a creative high for writing, Green’s main focus is writing music with C J Snare to complete the “Rubicon Cross” CD. He is also working on music for a new project he is calling Space Warf which he calls kind of a throwback to old school British heavy metal.
Here are some songs featuring Green’s songwriting, playing and stage performance in the videos with his band “Furyon.” Check out the rest of his work as well to understand the well roundedness he brings to the guitar world. Make no mistake; Green is the total package and a rising star to keep your eye on.
“Furyon” – “Disappear Again”
“Furyon” – “Voodoo Me”
“Furyon” – “Wasted On You”
At the time of this writing Chris Green and The Lowry Agency have no affiliation.