Hattie was born in Raleigh NC and raised on Chopin, Debussy, hillbilly blues and soul. She began studying classical piano at age 7 and 20 years later her love of music took off like a homing pigeon and landed back home in gospel inspired arrangements of country- and jazz-flavored blues. At the center of her writing influence is Lyle Lovett. Hattie's songs are consistent international song contest winners and her song "Whiskey" took her to the live finals in Finland where she performed in the 2006 compo10.com Vantaa Jazz Association's Blues Heritage Song Contest. In Sept 2007, Stimulus Films licensed Hattie's song "The Leaving" (instrumental featuring Wanda Vick on fiddle) for the film and soundtrack of "Grilling Bobby Hicks." In Nov 2007, Roadtrip Nation 2007--a 12-part series in its 4th season on PBS (first season on MSN)--signed Hattie's solo piano piece "New Orleans Down" written to honor all those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Hattie Wilcox, vocals/songwriter. Songs from Red Bird Tattoo arranged by Johnny Neel (Allman Brothers, Bruce Willis & The Accelerators, Criminal Element) at Straight-Up Sound, Nashville. Johnny Neel--keyboards, harp. Mark Matejka (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels Band), Brian Davidson, guitar. Dennis Gulley, bass. Daryl Burgess, drums.
Red Bird Tattoo, a 2008 release, is currently available at CD Baby and iTunes. Within 24 hours of its announcement, Hattie heard from blues radio DJs in France, Poland, Belgium, Italy and Argentina requesting CD to be added to their playlists.
Love Leave Me (Red Bird Tattoo CD)
Red (Through With My Blues) RBT CD
You Save Me (Red Bird Tattoo CD)
Deep Down (Red Bird Tattoo CD)
Go It Alone (instrumental)
With You (acoustic jazz instrumental)
New Orleans Down (solo piano)
Chocolate Butter Cream (piano & bass)
Winter Blossom (solo piano)
Evergreens in Evening Gowns (instrumental)
Something Real (Red Bird Tattoo)
Stand Up and Dance
Taking alternate paths to stardom
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Songwriter Hattie Wilcox uses the Internet, music contests to make her mark By James Hebert ARTS ...Songwriter Hattie Wilcox uses the Internet, music contests to make her mark
By James Hebert ARTS WRITER
May 28, 2006
Hattie Wilcox loves to play music, but she doesn't love to play by the rules.
JOHN GIBBINS / Union-Tribune
PHOTO CAPTION: Hattie Wilcox takes the mike at her home studio, where she creates music in a rainbow of styles. Wilcox's songs draw on a dizzying and whimsical variety of styles, from ragtime to the blues to Debussy.
And while the business of music still dictates that constant performing and fishing for a record deal are the only sensible paths to success (absent, perhaps, an “American Idol” victory), Wilcox is trying a different route entirely.
Though the singer-songwriter and pianist lives in San Diego, she doesn't perform here; her music is distributed digitally online, through sites such as GarageBand.com, Indie911.com and Iacmusic.com.
Because of that, the North Carolina native might be as well-known in places like Reykjavik as she is in her adopted hometown.
Another site she uses, ArtistLaunch.com, lets musicians track where their listeners live, and Wilcox says that in her first week on the site, “I think I saw (listeners from) five or six countries all over the world. Including small countries, where you might not even think people are hooked in.”
MUSICIAN: Hattie Wilcox
STYLES: Blues, classical, ragtime, jazz, country.
SELECTED WORKS: “Miss Hattie Moran's Augusta Georgia Rag,” “Whiskey,” “Elizabeth,” “Chocolate Buttercream.”
KEY COMMENT: “At some point I said to myself: 'If you love music so much, why don't you make some?' ”
WEB SITE: www.hattiewilcox.com
Wilcox relishes these sites' global scope, because it means indie music can reach the ears of listeners whose tastes are as eclectic as hers.
But Wilcox also is getting her music out into the world another way: through songwriting contests. It's a fitting choice for an artist who has always wanted the spotlight to be on the music, not on her.
“My dream as a kid was to be the hit songwriter, but also the person nobody knew was (behind the music),” she says. “I'm kind of a private person. I never wanted to be famous.”
Her recent contest success, though, is nudging her frontward anyway. Wilcox's song “Whiskey” has reached the finals of the Vantaa Jazz Heritage Association's traditional-blues contest, as one of six songs chosen on the Web site Compo10.com.
On June 10, Wilcox will be in Vantaa, Finland, with the other finalists to perform the song. It's one that's been with her in various incarnations for a long time.
“I wrote 'Whiskey' 25 years ago,” she says. “That's given me a lot of pleasure. They say, 'Don't give up on your songs if you really believe in them.' ”
Another of her works, the piano instrumental “Miss Hattie Moran's Augusta Georgia Rag,” won its category in last year's West Coast Songwriters contest, and has its own kind of history.
“That was written with my great-aunt in mind,” says Wilcox, a mother of two. “She was a ragtime piano player in Augusta, Ga. I never knew her – she died the year I was born. But my family always told me her musical talent was passed on to me.
To Wilcox, the song's sound evokes the Old South – with, of course, a twist: “My brother-in-law said it sounds like Scott Joplin meets John Cage.”
Wilcox admits her tastes were not quite so wide-ranging when she first took up music.
“As a child, I was quite the classical snob,” with allegiance to Chopin and Debussy, she says.
But other influences soon found their way in.
“I grew up on mountain music” in North Carolina, she says. “And soul music was very big when I was young. When everybody was fascinated with the Beatles, I was still listening to the Supremes.”
Wilcox's family moved to Hawaii during her high school years. In college, she studied modern poetry, and music, and for a while gave up her focus on music.
Then, at age 28, her passion for both poetry and music “kind of coalesced,” and she decided to devote herself to writing and performing.
A couple of decades later, she's still doing it. In addition to getting songs on the Web, and teaching piano in her spare time, Wilcox is now working on a CD produced by Johnny Neel, formerly of the Allman Bros., through his studio in Tennessee.
And when Miss Hattie meets Nashville, it should be something to hear.
Red Bird Tattoo songs
Covers by Lyle Lovett and Etta James
There are no upcoming dates at this time.