A born songwriter, Gayle Skidmore has written over 1700 songs since she began songwriting at the age of 8. Rather than choosing her calling, Skidmore’s natural ability and innate passion for music made her music career unavoidable. She continually processes her adventures, experiences, thoughts and emotions through this malleable medium, writing, playing and singing from the depths of her soul. It is evident from her heartfelt, unguarded performances that Skidmore’s goal is excellence in artistry and expression.
Classically trained on the piano from the age of 4, Gayle Skidmore also plays at least 20 other instruments, including the mountain dulcimer, banjo, folk harp and balalaika. Her attention to detail and involvement in every step of the creative process, from producing her records to doing the artwork for her albums, show that she is completely dedicated to her craft. In the summer of 2013, Gayle will release her second full length album and coloring book on Raincoat Records, following her first vinyl release, a 7" record called "Zombie Heart," put out by Ninkasi Brewing Co.
Gayle Skidmore’s love of whimsy, poetry and magic are evidenced by the sets she creates for her stages, which have included a curtain of origami cranes and a giant octopus holding a teacup. In 2009, Germany’s most prominent newspaper, the Seuddeutsche Zeitung, named her “Die Schutzpatronin der Gartenzwerge,” the Patron Saint of Garden Dwarves, in an interview promoting her tour, which Skidmore found delightful. She has also toured nationwide in the US, and in the UK, Asia and Europe, and was a Sunset Sessions artist in 2012.
Gayle Skidmore finds endless inspiration in the whirlwind of life. She has never experienced writer’s block, and she is always experimenting with new formats. When she isn’t busy learning a new instrument, singing, painting, or writing lyrics and melodies, she composes parts for her cellist and violinist. She enjoys baking cookies and making origami for her fans.
Gayle Skidmore - Banjo, Vocals, Guitar, Piano, dulcimer
Marta Blalock - Violin
Matt Curreri - Bass
Daniel Crawford - Lead Guitar
Jake Najor - Drums
"Make Believe" (Full Length) (2011)
"Make Believe" is Gayle Skidmore's first full-length album. Gayle produced the album and played 14 instruments on the record. Make Believe is a journey of longings and regrets that showcases Gayle's versatile voice and true songwriter's gifting. It is full of soul and spunk and a lot of magic! (It comes in a coloring book with a picture for each song, all illustrated by Gayle herself).
Can be heard on San Diego's FM 94.9, 91X, 103.7, 102.1, AM 1170, Pandora, Spotify, last.fm, Rhapsody, talentcast.nl, and numerous other streaming sites.
Annabelle (Single) (2010)
"Annabelle" is a stripped down version of the song from Gayle's upcoming full-length, "Make Believe." This version was recorded by Grammy Award winner Jason Mraz.
Set Me Free (Demo) (2009)
This demo features two songs from Gayle's upcoming full-length, "Make Believe." There is a noted shift from her folkier influences toward the world of indie rock.
Cowley Road E.P. (2008) Raincoat Records
This six-song E.P. was co-produced by Gayle Skidmore and San Diego producer Aaron Bowen. It features songs of longing articulated by Gayle’s skillful use of piano, banjo and guitar. It demonstrates Gayle’s skills as a composer and her quirky musicality.
Can be heard on 94.9 FM San Diego. Available now on itunes.
Paper Box E.P. (2007) Raincoat Records
The Paper Box E.P. was created for Gayle’s Tour de Felícité Fall 2007 with Rheanna Downey. Gayle co-produced this E.P. with Preston Parsons of Glorify Records. Gayle made 600 cases by hand for this special release that features the song “Paper Box,” a whimsical song about loneliness.
Can be heard on 102.1 FM San Diego. Available now on itunes.
So Deep E.P. (2005) Independent Release
The So Deep E.P. is comprised of three songs that are essentially three movements of the same song that tell the story of the birth and death of a relationship. Gayle co-produced this E.P. with Jason Stephenson.
01 Zombie Heart mp3
Bad For Me
Turn Up The Radio
Set Me Free
Honey, I'm Sorry
On The Records- Recent San Diego Album Releases
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It can be tough for female singer-songwriters to stand out from the pack, but luckily for Gayle Skid...It can be tough for female singer-songwriters to stand out from the pack, but luckily for Gayle Skidmore (and for her listeners), she has the pipes and musicianship to make it past the coffee-shop circuit. Her well-executed debut album, which features a who’s-who of local guest musicians, mixes folk, rock, and a little bit of country (the lady plays a mean banjo), for a surprisingly smooth result. Make believe rarely sounds so real. (????)
--Seth Combs, Pacific Magazine, November 2010 Issue. P. 60
Review of "Make Believe"
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I met Gayle Skidmore at a random show at the Ken Club a few years ago and we’ve been friends ever si...I met Gayle Skidmore at a random show at the Ken Club a few years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. When we decided to meet for lunch at DZ Akin’s last week, she surprised me with a copy of her brand new record and I got really excited. It actually took me a few days for the CD to find its way into my player, but I finally gave it a spin the other night when my roomie and I were just sitting around.
Gayle plays 14 instruments on the new record, including a harp that her dad handmade when Gayle and her sister were just kids. She also breaks out the kalimba which is essentially a thumb piano.
Even though she has released 8 albums, this is her first full length record and it’s been two years in the making. All 14 songs on “Make Believe” were produced by Gayle and Preston Parsons while some recording was done in La Jolla at Peter King’s studio. Gayle’s voice is amazing. You can tell on her recordings as well as her live shows that the music is so very personal to her.
1,000 copies have already been pre sold and “Make Believe” will be available to the general public on iTunes November 14. I’m old school though and I know you are too. That’s why you probably want to get an actual copy of the CD in your hands which will essentially be a coloring book that Gayle designed herself. Music and art are Gayle’s passions.
There will be an epic CD release show November 13th at the Ruby Room with a few other bands and DJs that she handpicked to perform. Come to the show and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
-Mookie D. of Sophie 103.7 FM.
Cowley Road EP Review
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Gayle Skidmore sings the blues, although you wouldn’t recognize it as such. Her songs draw narrative...Gayle Skidmore sings the blues, although you wouldn’t recognize it as such. Her songs draw narratives about confrontations, using oblique vignettes to tell the stories. In her first song, she sings the melancholy, biting, jilted lines, “I knew better or so I said/ Wrote you a letter I’m glad you never read/ because I was just a cheap imitation of the girl you loved.”
She continues the feeling-down theme in the second song: “We had better leave it broken/ We should just let it be broken.” Paraphrasing countless bluesmen, “She’s a good woman feeling bad.”
The music accompanying these agonized ballads isn’t your traditional Delta or Chicago lineup of guitar, harmonica, and piano; Skidmore pairs quirky (toy piano and banjo) and classical (cello and violin) with satisfying results.
“So Beautiful” and “Crazy” take a lighter turn, and our heroine seems to land a good someone to love. The tunes include the same plucky melodies as the sad songs.
“Cowley Road” is my favorite of the album. She shrugs off the sometimes-stuffy orchestral string section and oddball plucking banjo for the power of her bare voice and one acoustic guitar. When she sings of “unbearable pain,” her ferocious voice quavers with emotion.
-By Ollie, SD Reader
NC Times Cowley Road EP Review
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Where would Jewel be without "Who Will Save Your Soul" or "You Were Meant for Me"? Tracy Chapman wit...Where would Jewel be without "Who Will Save Your Soul" or "You Were Meant for Me"? Tracy Chapman without "Fast Car" or "Give Me One Reason"? Jewel might still be playing coffeehouses in OB, Chapman gigging around her hometown of Cleveland.
Talent alone isn't enough to guarantee national success in the music biz. Which would explain why Gayle Skidmore's third EP is being released on her own Raincoat Records, rather than one of the major labels. Because Skidmore sings with as much passion or Jewel or Chapman and brings as much talent to the recording studio.
The difference between the worldwide fame of Jewel or Chapman and the Gayle Skidmores of the world is as thin as the difference between writing a song such as "You Were Meant for Me" or "Give Me One Reason" and not writing that song.
The six songs on the San Diegan's newest EP are every bit as good as the non-hit songs on albums by Jewel and Chapman and other famous, rich singer-songwriters. All feature nice arrangements that show off the profiles of the songs and the acoustic virtuosity of Skidmore and her band, and let Skidmore's gorgeous set of pipes nestle into your head.
Did we write that the six songs here are as good as the non-hits of Jewel and Tracy Chapman? Make that five, because the fifth song, "Crazy," could well be Skidmore's ticket to the big time. Great hook, old-timey charm, spare arrangement. Hypnotic is what it is.
The difference between making it and not making it? Sometimes it's not even the songs. Sometimes it's just sheer luck ---- having a record company executive or a Clear Channel programming director run into your song.
With "Crazy," Gayle Skidmore is one bit of good luck away from hitting the big time.
-By Jim Trageser - Staff Writer
North County Times
Nortwest Noise Review
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gayle Skidmore is A. One of the most well rounded mus...
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gayle Skidmore is
A. One of the most well rounded musicians I know
B. Went to school for music/composing
C. Has an impeccable ear for harmonies
D. Writes the music for her musicians to play (Cellists, etc.)
E. Has this ethereal magical thing going for her
F. Brings back the purity of what it means to be a true musician and a songwriter’s songwriter.
I highly suggest you go to Gayle’s myspace page and listen to her songs.
My favorite is one called Hopes Fall. I am waiting for her to put up this song that goes “Turn up the radio/turn down my heart”, but maybe she will take a hint and put that one up too.
City Beat Top Ten of 2010
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Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 'Twas the best of times... The economy might've sucked, but music flourish...Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010
'Twas the best of times...
The economy might've sucked, but music flourished in 2010
By Peter Holslin
Gonjasufi made my top 10 list--did he make yours?
Widespread unemployment and deep budget cuts made 2010 a crummy year for money matters, but local music couldn’t have been better. Of all the excellent stuff that came across my desk this year, these are the releases I kept returning to. One, two, three years from now, I expect that they’ll be just as fresh.
10. King of the Beach, Wavves (Fat Possum): Wavves’ third record is a far cry from the scrappy stuff of 2008 and 2009, but this unlikely brand of pop-punk is still weird, bold and a million times better than blink-182. Top track: “Post Acid” Defining verse: “To take on the world would be something”
9. HH, Heavy Hawaii (Art Fag): Touching on all the hottest music trends of 2010 without being insufferably trendy, Heavy Hawaii frontman Matt Barajas combines lo-fi production, a sunny Beach Boys vibe and youthful ennui to make some of the most warped, haunting psych-pop I’ve heard all year. Top track: “Teen Angel” Defining verse: “Got this teenage problem, how old am I?”
8. Cali-Foreigner, Jimmy Powers (2012 Dynasty): Jimmy Powers’ debut full-length is excellent from front to back: The beats are solid, the hooks beefy, the rhymes technically proficient and full of attitude. Definitely consider quitting your day job, Jimmy. Top track: “True Currency (feat. Blame One)” Defining verse: “May 21st, ’01, new coast, no funds, no friends, snow coat”
7. Have You Met My Friend?, New Mexico (self-released): Striking an ideal balance between sophisticated songcraft and ass-kicking riffage, this 32-minute debut really gets my blood flowing. Expect big things from this SEO-unfriendly trio (formerly known as Apes of Wrath) in 2011. Top track: “Case Closed” Defining verse: “Knocked up by a pistol-whip”
6. Drone Machines, Author & Punisher (Heart & Crossbone): Demonstrating that you don’t need a guitar to play doom metal, Author & Punisher mastermind Tristan Shone uses precision-built machines on his third album to create clank-and-roar hell-noise that could not only scare the shit out of Ozzy Osbourne, but actually make him shit his pants if played loud enough. Top track: “Burrow Below” Defining verse: “I can see the salted path into the stagnant water”
5. Make Believe, Gayle Skidmore (Raincoat): In a show of serious ingenuity, singer-songwriter Gayle Skidmore played 10 instruments on Make Believe, self-released it on her own label and drew a coloring book to go with it. But it’s Skidmore’s heartfelt songwriting and agonizingly vulnerable lyricism that makes her first full-length truly special. Top track: “Hollow” Defining verse: “Don’t breathe a word, you’ll break me”
4. Endurance, Blame One (Polish Pub): With the inclusion of locals like Johaz from Deep Rooted, the elder statesman of San Diego hip-hop spotlights a younger generation of rappers on his fifth full-length. But Endurance also harks back to old-school craftsmanship with funky breakbeats and sage rhymes, which helps make it a classic. Top track: “Right to Exist” Defining verse: “Still doin’ me, can’t you see?”
3. Landmines & Chandeliers, Jamuel Saxon (self-released): In a show of production wizardry, Jamuel Saxon brain Keith Milgaten weaves seemingly unrelated elements into spellbinding electro-pop on his second full-length. Boards of Canada crosses paths with T-Pain, dub echo ripples over dance beats, catchy hooks hinge on distressing lyrics. I want to dance and geek out at the same time. Top track: “Mandatory Miscommunication” Defining verse: “I exist because of blood, sweat and tears”
2. Animal Feelings, Rafter (Asthmatic Kitty): Rafter’s previous efforts were experimental ADD outings, but his fourth LP plunges into pop territory with meticulous arrangements, funky percussion, sing-along hooks and even some Stevie Wonder-style talk box. The timing was perfect: While countless artists spent 2010 wallowing in pitiful nostalgia, Rafter delivered a big middle finger to the recession grind with a tribute to basic human instincts (love, sex) that no bank could take away. Top track: “No Fucking Around” Defining verse: “No fucking around”
1. A Sufi and a Killer, Gonjasufi (Warp): This isn’t actually a local release (in the same way albums by Wavves, Dum Dum Girls and The Soft Pack technically aren’t, since they live in L.A. or rep L.A.), but I wish it were. If there’s anything that gets me upset about great musicians leaving our fair city, it’s this mesmerizing collaboration between former San Diego residents Gonjasufi and The Gaslamp Killer. Albums like this don’t come out too often: With Gonjasufi’s one-of-a-kind voice (“timeless, incredible filth,” as Flying Lotus so aptly described it) and The Gaslamp Killer’s incongruously seamless vinyl mash-ups (psych-rock meets Eastern vibes meets God-knows-what), this record is simultaneously one of the weirdest and one of the most natural things I’ve ever heard. Top track: “Change” Defining verse: “I wish I was a sheep; instead I’m a lion”
Gayle Skidmore can play a solo set of anything from 25 minutes to 3 hours, depending on what is requested. Gayle has a collection of over 1,700 original songs that vary in style from folk and Americana to indie/pop and rock. With the full band, set times range from 25 minutes to an hour and a half. Gayle and her band adapt easily to different types of venues and appeal to an incredible variety of audiences.
Gayle's most popular songs, "Bad For Me," "Remember," "Set Me Free" "Paper Box," "Crazy," "Cheap Imitation," "Nightingale" and "Annabelle" can all be viewed/heard on youtube.com/user/GayleSkidmore and www.reverbnation.com/gayleskidmore
There are no upcoming dates at this time.