I'm simply a 15 year old doing what I love to do. Music is my passion and it's a huge part of my life. I've grown up in a musical home, with an amazing family who supports me in everything I do. I honestly could not ask for anythng better.
I've been playing the guitar for about 9 years, and I've been writing songs since 5th grade. My music comes from the inspiration of my faith. Without God, I would be nothing; and to use my music in any other way than honoring God would be pointless.
Maddie Shuler - Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, piano
If I travel with a band:
Jim Brock - Percussion
Dustin Hofsess - Electric Guitars
Robert Austell - Keys
Paul Castanet - Bass
Fully Alive - CD released March 2010 (Full Band) Available on DigStation, CDBaby, Itunes and Amazon.
You can also hear the CD on www.myspace.com/maddieshuler
Young Singer Doing What She's meant to Do
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At first glance, Maddie Shuler, 15, seems like the typical Providence High School student ready to e...At first glance, Maddie Shuler, 15, seems like the typical Providence High School student ready to enjoy the freedom summer brings: no classes, no exams and plenty of time to spend with friends and family at her home on Alexander Road.
School may be out for this rising sophomore, but summer means more time to pursue "what I'm meant to do."
Shuler is a songwriter and musician. Her performances and the lyrics of her songs reveal a depth beyond her age.
Since she was 12, Shuler has been playing her music around Charlotte at various venues including the Evening Muse, FemmeFest, Tosco Music Party, Central Piedmont Community College's Sensoria Saturday, Festival in the Park, and at various churches and conferences.
"I can't imagine doing anything else," said Shuler.
Her most recent performance was at the reception for the Music and Friends event at Spirit Square on June 8, a private concert featuring Darryl Hall and John Oates. She played her guitar to several songs, including "Fully Alive," a song she wrote last year. The song came to her as she was walking down the sidewalk and noticed that "simplicity was beautiful." "Fully Alive" is included on her self-published CD of the same name, released in March, along with 10 other tracks, all written by Shuler.
Songwriting for Shuler is not something she can force, but when it happens, "All this emotion rushes through," said Shuler.
On her CD, Shuler played acoustic guitar, mandolin and piano, but she can also play electric guitar, bass, drums and ukulele.
Shuler's music can be difficult to classify said her pastor and fellow musician, Robert Austell.
Austell, pastor of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church and a former Nashville session musician, met Shuler when her family began attending services. He has accompanied her on piano on several occasions, including on her CD and when she played for the first time at the Tosco Music Party.
Her music "is not strictly for church people," said Austell. It's "a mix of folk and acoustic" with a hint of soul.
Austell said he believes her appeal is that "she writes music from her heart, without regard for the commercialism of it."
Shuler said she would "live in a van" to pursue her music and can't imagine treating her music as a "business, not a passion."
Shuler parents, John, 46, and Lynda, 46, support their daughter's musical aspirations, although it is doubtful they would allow her to "live in a van."
In April, at CPCC Sensoria Saturday, the family was there to support Shuler's efforts. Shuler's father filmed her performance, while Shuler's sister, Morgan, 17, sold CDs. Shuler's mother is her manager, keeping her performance schedule and making Shuler aware of where she has to be and when.
"It's great, even though sometimes I don't realize it. They've always, always supported me in whatever I've done," said Shuler.
"My sister comes to almost all of my shows. (She) hears the same thing over and over, but still comes."
Victoria Moreland is a freelance writer for South Charlotte News. Have a story idea for Victoria? E-mail her at email@example.com.
Fully Alive - The Maddie Shuler CD release at the Evening Muse - March 21
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On the backside of the "Fully Alive" CD case is a quote from the internationally recognized percussi...On the backside of the "Fully Alive" CD case is a quote from the internationally recognized percussionist Jim Brock, who is also the producer of the CD, which reads: "Maddie has this raw spirit in her music that hasn't had time to be jaded or molded. The spirit of this 14 year old is what all music should possess, no matter the genre".
This raw spirit was on full display Sunday evening at Maddie Shuler’s "Fully Alive" CD release party - truly a celebration of her music and the accomplishment of putting her writing to a medium which can be shared with all whom choose to listen. A standing room only audience gathered at the Evening Muse to witness Maddie perform a set consisting of the entire CD, supported by a full band consisting of Robert Austell (keyboards), Dustin Hofsess (lead guitar), Stacey Leazer (bass), and Jim Brock (percussions).
Maddie's mother, Lynda, started the evening off with a few words of thanks to John Tosco (Maddie's music teacher), Robert Austell (Maddie's mentor) & Jim Brock (Maddie's producer) as well as the full house of fans who ventured out into the rain on this Sunday night to be a part of this special event at the Evening Muse.
Powerful vocals sharing spiritual lyrics written from the heart - there's truth of this in every song on "Fully Alive". Supported by an A-Team group of musicians, the set went like this:
"Stand Up" - A song about standing up for what one believes in and speaking up for what one has faith in.
"Life" - A song about the struggles of maintaining ones faith in the real life world of hardship and external pressure.
"Fully Alive" - The title track of the CD explores the wonders of life that touch you if you stop and take notice of it all, wrapped in the love of faith.
"Refuge" - A peaceful tune about faith and salvation found in the refuge of God as ones foundation from life's many storms.
"Moving On" - A catchy lyrical tune about breaking away from the trappings of messaging that encourages ones faith to waiver and recognizing the need to move on with actions consistent with the direction of ones true spirit.
"Memories" - Looking into the past some memories fade, but others last - some are part of the brain, others are part of the soul. The maturity found in Maddie's lyrics reflect her solid foundation.
"Get This Right" - A song from innocence that raises many questions about the human psyche and approach to love and self preservation and the conflicts within.
"It Never Gets Dim" - A song that addresses the question "How do you have faith, and how do you know you are right?" - A well written song with beautiful meaning. It may be the shortest song Maddie has ever written, but its power and meaning isn't minimized by its brevity.
"Take Control" - A melodic song about spirituality and its impact on a heart that has a void within.
"Time" - A song which explores the notion that time is not an infinite resource and a day of reckoning will arrive.
A powerful performance from a gifted singer-songwriter with a spiritual message wrapped in a musical masterpiece, this CD is certainly one that should be in your collection. In listening to this CD you will immerse in the music and totally forget that it's the music of a teenager entering your mind - if you ever knew it to begin with.
Photographs of Maddie's performance tonight.
A "tip of the hat" to Maddie and her team for putting together a wonderful piece of work in "Fully Alive" - well done!
Keepin' it live...
Maddie Shuler * Evening Muse * Carolina Music Connection * Monty Chandler Photography
1 hour - 2 hour sets
Original songs and covers by artists ranging from The Beatles to One Republic to Linkin Park to Mumford and Sons.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.