Music Week: Five Independent Musicians You Should Know

Geek Culture

At the beginning of Music Week, I wrote about John Anealio. There are five more independent musicians I think you should know. Each use new marketing models to promote and distribute their music. Each I became familiar with thanks to songwriting competitions. Each get regular air-play during my radio shows. Most of them have been featured independent musicians of the month on Geeky Pleasures.

Narrowing down this list to only five musicians was rather difficult, as I know and work with a lot of wonderful musicians. I just hope none of the ones I don’t mention become upset with me because I’ve left them out. However, I’m sure a lot of them will understand why I’m mentioning the ones I’m about to mention.

So without further ado, I present to you five independent musicians you should know, all of whom have music that you can download for free.

Ross Durand

I first became familiar with Ross when he was a contestant in SpinTunes #1, which he finished in second place. He made his way over to SpinTunes via the Song Fight/Nur Ein community/competitions. Immediately, he won me over with his American Folk sound.

Like all good folk musicians, Ross is never afraid to make some type of political statement or point with his music. His music is both fun and serious at the same time and he manages to deliver his message in such a way that it makes it easier for the listener to swallow. He is so good at what he does, that in 2004, he was an award winner in the Social/Political category of the Unisong International Songwriting Competition.

Below you will find one such song. This was his entry for SpinTunes #3 Round 2.


Don’t forget to visit Ross’ website and view more of his videos on YouTube.

Christopher Cogott

I first became familiar with Chris when he entered the White Elephant Music Club’s Skultar Sword and Sorcery Challenge, which I was a judge of and he ended up winning. He pushed his way even further on my music radar during SpinTunes #2, which he finished in second place. And like Ross, he made his way over to SpinTunes via the Song Fight/Nur Ein community/competitions. From the very first moment I heard his music, I more than adored it.

His music has a wonderful 60s vibe to it. For ages, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to describe his music and so far, I’m only able to say, it is very excellent and you must give him a listen. I love his music so much, that I’ve featured him as my featured independent musician of the month on Geeky Pleasures. I was also very happy when he decided to write the theme song for my Geeky Pleasures Radio Show. What he wrote makes me squee every time I hear it.

Another piece of awesome is currently in the works. Chris and John Anealio are planning to perform together at some venue in New Jersey! How exciting is that!?

Below you will find Chris’ entry for SpinTunes #2 Round 4.

In Bright Falls by Christopher Cogott

Don’t forget to visit Chris’ website, check out his Bandcamp and follow him on Twitter @chriscogott.

Jeff MacDougall

Jeff made his way into my life via a community of musicians, and their supporters, called Too Much Awesome. This community was created around the now-no-longer Master of Song Fu songwriting competition. Jeff ended up placing second in Master of Song Fu #1, losing to some bloke by the name of Jonathan Coulton. That isn’t too shabby, if I must say so. Aside from his participation in Song Fu, he was a judge in SpinTunes #2.

Jeff is a very versatile musician. Not only is he an adult entertainer, but he also has an album of children’s music, called Stand Up! He also wrote a song called Thank You, dedicated to his wife and every woman who faces the risk of genetic breast cancer. To make him even sweeter, he wrote a song called Song For Lucy, which is about his overseas adopted daughter and the journey he and his wife went through when they were waiting for her arrival.

Jeff has also been one of my featured independent musicians of the month and a guest on the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show.

Below you will find Jeff’s final entry for Song Fu #1, inspired by David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

Don’t forget to visit Jeff’s website, check out his Bandcamp, look at his YouTube, circle him on Google+ and follow him on Twitter @jeffmacdougall

Denise Hudson

Denise has to be one of the most intriguing musicians I know. I first became acquainted with her during Master of Song Fu #5. Nowadays, you can find her in pretty much every songwriting competition, either entering music as a solo artist or through collaborations with other musicians. Denise is nothing if not prolific.

Denise truly has a very unique style. Unlike the other musicians mentioned, I was not an immediate fan of her work. That doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate it. Denise has more song styles than she has online identities. She challenges listeners with both her music choices and her choice of words. Even if Denise writes a song that I may not completely fall in-love with, her choices always manage to captivate and intrigue me. I don’t know any other musician who manages to leave me always wondering, “I wonder what unique and interesting choices she will make next?” Despite some criticism with the choices she makes, she always stays true to herself and her music. For that, and many other things, she has my utmost admiration.

Below you will find a video of Denise’s entry for Song Fu #6, Round 3. This entry ended up placing first in that round.

Don’t forget to visit Denise’s main blog, check out her Bandcamp, look at her main YouTube, circle her on Google+ and follow her main Twitter @RangerDenni.

Joe ‘Covenant’ Lamb

I would not know about any of the above musicians if it were not for this man. Joe came into my life nearly two years ago, when he e-mailed me an interview question for Jonathan Coulton. Later, he would offer to fix some audio issues I was having with said interview. He would become a featured independent musician of the month.

Then, as legend has it, he started to harangue me, telling me I must check out this songwriting competition, called Master of Song Fu, of which he was a participant. Joe would later go on to win Song Fu #5. Legend also has it that he began to harangue me even more to become part of the Too Much Awesome community. The rest, is how they say, history.

Since then, Joe and I have worked on a number of project together. He is also my assistant general manager and assistant programming director at The Look 24/7, and does a radio show there every Saturday, beginning at 4 pm ET. Not only is he a very accomplished musician, but he is a newly published author.

Other things of note–which there are many–is that he played some bloke by the name of Winston Churchill in a movie and briefly appeared on-stage with Jonathan Coulton.

Below you will find a video of a picture montage to one of the songs he wrote for his album, Shadowland, which is based upon his LARPing adventures.

Don’t forget to check out his Bandcamp, look at his main YouTube, circle him on Google+ and follow him on Twitter @JoeCovenant.


As a bonus, I must tell you about Duality, or Duality237. Duality is a collaboration between Denise Hudson and Joe ‘Covenant’ Lamb. Duality, too, has been a featured indpendent band of the month on Geeky Pleasures. When they first decided to collaborate, I was not sure how it would turn out, as they both have two very unique styles. What they manage to come up with is something rather nifty.

Below, you will find a video for their shadow entry for Spintunes #2 Round 3.

Don’t forget to visit their blog, check out their Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter @Duality237.


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9 thoughts on “Music Week: Five Independent Musicians You Should Know

  1. [Pointless comment:]
    Denise’s picture looks really familiar to me, but I can’t think why. Your description isn’t ringing any bells. Does she also follow and comment on any book-related blogs by any chance? Or is she an occasional Guest GeekMom? This is really going to bug me…

    1. Nope. Maybe if I told you where she lives? She is from Austin, Texas. The only way I can think you’d be familiar with her is if you followed one of the numerous songwriting competitions she takes part in, or if you read Geeky Pleasures or my personal blog.

  2. A very good selection of artists you have here. I highly recommend them all. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the quality and determination, as well as the sheer snarky fun ‘competing’ with these folks in Song Fu, SpinTunes and Nur Ein contests.

    I’ve learned a lot from them, and am excited to see what they produce next. Thanks for featuring them so others can check out their material!

  3. familiar me… hmm…
    I can tell you that one of my best gal friends is a Texas librarian. I also have been blogging for ages and have moved in some of her online circles over the years with her – and I know library folks are pretty tight from what I’ve seen… at least regionally. Other than that, well paths cross kinda, and I’m a sneaky little thing with a little bit of this and that going on here and there 🙂
    Jules!!!!! Thanks again!! Takes me forever to get around to stuff 🙂 :S srsly respect all these guys I’m featured with and all the contest and community folks. Feel so lucky 🙂 luv y’all!

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