Cantrell Maryott
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Cantrell Maryott

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


"New Ashland singer/songwriter set to release three new Albums"

November 3, 2005
New Ashland singer/artist set to release three new albums
By Cindy Blankenship
For the Tidings
Laura Cantrell Maryott Driver, a vocal and visual artist, has been called since birth by her middle name, Cantrell, which in Old English means “Little Singer.”
“That’s me. I’m five foot one,” Cantrell laughs, adding that the singing connection wasn’t intentional, although she did start performing at an early age, and the New Age CD “Listen with Your Heart,” that she recorded with Grammy finalist Will Clipman climbed to position 17 last year in the Top 100 new age/ambient/world radio/Internet airwaves chart. The CD features tracks such as “Coyote Rain” and “Treedance,” born of the Sonoron Desert where Cantrell grew up.
Cantrell remembers her first performance: singing “Oh Susannah” with autoharp at show-and-tell time in the first grade. She sang in choirs throughout school in Tucson. Her professional singing and vocalist career began when a local rock and roll band invited her to audition after hearing her sing at a party. At 16, she was performing with Mint Julep in Tucson bars. A couple years later she began performing original music, and has since performed in a variety of genres in a variety of countries in South America and Europe as well as in the United States.
“I encourage everybody to sing. It’s good for you,” Cantrell notes, adding, “It’s the thing I do the best. It’s in my heart.”
Name: Laura Cantrell Maryott Driver

Hails From: Sonoran Desert

Age: 49

Training: Self-taught

Niche: “Renaissance artist; everything I do is art.”

Claim to Fame: Her new age CD, Listen with your Heart, reached 17th on the charts

Inspiration: Life
Three of her new CDs are scheduled to be released in December. Two, yet to be titled, are a collection of lullabies written by 15 women and a country rock fundraiser for the Sky Island Alliance, an organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the native biological diversity in the sky islands [mountains] of the Southwest and northwestern Mexico.
“Moving, Not Leaving,” is her first fully original recording. Cantrell wrote all of the songs, performed all the vocals, while friends, including Holland guitarist and pianist Philippe Pfeiffer played backup. The CD was recorded in Tucson and Holland where she’s visited annually since being invited to perform her chanteling there in an old church 10 years ago.
Chanteling, she says, is “singing the songs of sacred spaces. It is about hearing voice reflected in a room, it is as much the sound of the room as it is the song.”
To accomplish this, she vocalizes in an acoustically charged place, with the microphone behind her.
“Moving not Leaving,” recorded in Holland and Tucson is “very eclectic” says Cantrell. “There’s R&B, folk, cellos, saxophone, accordion — it’s just all over the place … I’ve always strived to use the different sounds that my voice can create. The voice is quite an instrument.”
Cantrell’s voice not only has a wide range, it also produces a wide variety of tones, from a clear to that bluesy, crackling one. The CD’s title was inspired by Cantrell’s move here in February.
“My husband and I looked for a number of years for a community that was small, cooler, wetter (since we planned to grow our own food), had a university and was within an hour from an airport because we travel often. We just love it here. We’ve planted our winter greens and they’re lovin’ it, and I have an art studio in one half of the two-car garage.”
In her art studio, Cantrell creates sculptures with found objects, such as wood and metal. Recently accepted into the Ashland Gallery Association, Cantrell began collecting these types of objects during childhood walks in the Sonoron hills and arroyos where she says “old and misshapen parts, rusty and washed with an ancient patina, became mysterious treasures.”
And, as Cantrell enjoy creating harmony in her visual and vocal arts, she says she loves finding in these treasures “a connection between the doings of a people and the forces of the land, a sacred connection found in the most disjointed elements and brought together in harmony.”
To view Cantrell’s art and listen to her music or contact her (she’s looking for musicians to perform her music), go online to, or to

- Ashland Daily Tidings

"Tucson Weekly"


From the Heart

Two local artists team up to produce 'somatic synesthesia.'


Local music artists Cantrell Maryott and Will Clipman have been friends for a good two decades, but they rarely played together before a series of 2002 collaborations in Clipman's home studio. Those collaborations eventually led to the release last month of their duet album, Listen With Your Heart.
Maryott, 46, has sung jazz, blues, rock, country, folk and experimental music, primarily in her hometown of Tucson, with a few extended sabbaticals in Alaska and Greece. She remembers her first performance, at 6 years old, singing "Oh Susanna" and accompanying herself on autoharp in a school concert. She is a visual artist and has performed in experimental dance and theater productions.

Born in Philadelphia, 49-year-old Clipman started playing his father's Radio King Slingerland drum kit when he was 3 years old.

"The vibration went right through me and rearranged my molecular structure," he says.

He arrived in Tucson in 1977, and he boasts a musical background as diverse as Maryott's, having played all manner of percussion instruments in straight-ahead jazz, folk and rock 'n' roll bands, and with everyone from blues guitarist Rainer Ptacek to Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. He is also a teacher, poet and visual artist.

Both veterans of the Tucson music community, Clipman and Maryott found themselves thrown together once in a while for one-off gigs backing up mutual friends--most notably with Orts Theatre of Dance and Howe Gelb's all-star honky-tonk Band of Blacky Ranchette.

And although everything in these performers' professional and personal lives led up to their collaboration, neither was prepared for the intense emotions born of making Listen With Your Heart, which they released independently and on their own dime.

The 11 challenging avant-garde compositions for voice and percussion on the recording are unlike anything you have heard, although elements it may remind listeners of many cultural traditions in music, including those of Native American, Asian, African, Latin American, Australian Aboriginal and Indian origin.

Maryott applies her incredible range to wordless melodies both visceral and haunting, while Clipman plays rhythm instruments from every continent except Antarctica--from balafon to berimbau, from doumbek to djembe. Their music is a combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar, designed to chart a course through the unknown but to draw on the experiences of the listener.

Clipman and Maryott know their music might be superficially labeled, for lack of a better category, as part of the genre known as New Age. Although inclined to squirm away from that pigeonhole, they have toyed with phrases such as "sonic synergy," "somatic synesthesia" and "new world music" to describe their unique sound.

Lately, Maryott prefers simply the term "avant-garde," which can be translated from the French to mean "fore-guard" or, loosely, the leading edge of a movement whether it be an army, music, art or literature.

Certainly, the tracks on Listen With Your Heart are far from the placid harmonies and unthreatening contemporary-instrumental noodling of what is often termed New Age.

"It's not easy listening," Maryott says at Clipman's westside home, where they have met for an interview. "There's no gray area in terms of responses from listeners."

Clipman says, "People who 'get it' really seem to love it, and people who don't get it just don't like it at all. But I find it to be a very balanced experience. It has light and dark, male and female, all that."

He's right, you can hear it: sweet and bitter, fear and comfort, love and anger, cold and hot, contraction and release--all the dichotomies that shape whole humans.

The project grew out of Maryott's experimental "chanteling," a term she coined to describe the act of creating vocal harmonies within unique acoustic spaces to "channel the chant." After a lunch together, the pair decided to meld chanteling with various rhythm instruments.

The results of that first collaboration have "evolved into a highly intuitive and improvisational dialogue between the human voice in all its instrumental breadth and depth, and the drum in all its nonverbal communicative capability," according to the album's liner notes.

"Maryott sang and I just played whatever percussion instrument I laid my hands on," says the drummer.

After initial experimentations were recorded on Maryott's mini-disc player, Clipman and Maryott decamped to the Sedona-based Wisdom Tree Studios of stringed-instrument master and luthier William Eaton, with whom Clipman has long played and recorded.

The recording experience was remarkable, Maryott says. "I was singing in an 8-foot glass octagon, and I could see William Eaton through one pane of glass, and Will through the other, and behind me was the natural environment."

"All the bed tracks we recorded live together," Clipman says.

"Then we multi-tracked and overdubbed later," Maryott adds.

"Not a lot, though," he counters. "Just some extra percussion and vocal harmonies and stuff."

Initial recording took a year, start to finish, and then the duo sat on the demos for a few months before legendary sound engineer Jack Miller, of the Phoenix-based Canyon Records, agreed to mix the album.

"He is one of the old masters; he cut his teeth with RCA in the 1950s and '60s. He's recorded everybody from Henry Mancini to the Rolling Stones, from orchestras to one guy with a flute," Clipman says.

For Maryott, Listen With Your Heart is largely about healing. A retired massage therapist, she spent 20 years encountering the mechanics and metaphysics of the human body and the last six or so studying how sound affects the body.

"Shamans always have used chanting as medicine, or a medium for healing. There are a huge amount of people doing scientific research in sound and its effects on the physical body."

But Maryott sings only 11 words (four of them are the title) on the entire recording. Most of her vocalizations are wordless, using the voice purely as an instrument of sound no different than a trumpet or piano.

She says she wanted not only to free the music from what a friend calls the "politics of language," but for the recording "to be an offering up to people's imaginations."

Clipman has always considered rhythm a human language more primary, and primal, than spoken words. And the combination of voice and drum is part of human ancestry.

"The human voice is the oldest instrument," he says, "and right behind that is percussion, hitting one thing with another. Percussion and voice give you all the elements of all music--rhythm, melody and harmony."
- Gene Armstrong

"Indie Round-Up for Feb 9 2006: Indiegrrl-apalooza"

Cantrell Maryott, Moving, Not Leaving

Cantrell Maryott also sings in a controlled style, but with more variation. The opening track, "Do You Remember," shows that she can sing and write a bluesy torch song with the best of them, while its solo section proves Mitzi Cowell a masterful guitarist and Philippe Pfeiffer (Maryott's primary co-writer) a pianist of exquisite skill and taste. (It's nice to get a CD that sounds this good from a part of the Universe I'm totally unfamiliar with - Ashland, OR - filled with wonderful performances by musicians whose names are totally new to me.)

Maryott is originally from Arizona, and there's something of the desert in her spacious songwriting. "Do You Remember" is the only torchy track; it leads into "Carry On," a lovely folk-gospel tune with angelic harmonies, and "Amelie," a wee folk ballad which, except for Maryott's use of vibrato on the vocals, wouldn't have sounded out of place on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. However, the song bears some of the New Age coloring that characterizes most of the rest of the CD, which is thereby less varied and somewhat less interesting.

"Three Miles Into New Mexico" is an exception: a minor-key, mid-tempo country-western tune with a solid chorus, it really gets the toes tapping. But "Long Way Home," despite fine country-style acoustic guitar playing, has a vocal that's too gently sing-songy for my taste. I do grow to like the song more as it extends and becomes hypnotic a la Brian Eno ambient rock, but can't say the same for "Forever" and "Home" which are just plain too New-Agey for my taste.

The CD closes with the chant-like "On This Morning," a solstice ritual with Pink Floyd electric guitar and what Maryott calls "chanteling": "harmonizing vocally within acoustically charged spaces to 'channel the chant.'" I call it pretty, like a ghost in the finery of another age.

In all, despite losing me in places, this CD is the work of accomplished musicians and has much to recommend it.

- Jon Sobel

"Review by Amy Lotsberg"

a Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Cantrell Maryott has released a very nice jazzy pop (or is that poppy jazz?) record.

She has a clear smooth voice that at times reminds me of Emmylou Harris, especially on "Carry On" which has some really nice harmonization.

In looking at her web site, she seems a really interesting person. Not only does she put out jazz records, but she also does chanteling. This is described on her site as "…singing the songs of sacred spaces. It is about hearing voice reflected in a room, it is as much the sound of the room as it is the song." She is also a mixed media artist…sort of sculptures, hard to describe. So clearly a very talented woman. Oh and she co-wrote all the songs on this record. Quite impressive I must say.

The songs are nice, melodic and easy going. This recording is very relaxing.

Stand out songs: "Carry On" and "Three Miles into New Mexico"

Posted on February 21, 2006
- Collected Sounds

"local CD Review"

The Desert Leaf Local CD Review Written by Matthew Moon

Will and Cantrell: Listen With Your Heart
Will Clipman and Cantrell Maryott are visionary musicians who use the world’s most simple instruments- voice and rhythm-to create origional music unlike anything you’ve heard before. Cantrell’s evocative ethereal vocals float high above the drums, bells and other percussive tools artfully employed by Will. Their music defies categorization, but is immediately accessible. It is music that speaks directly to your spirit.
Chanting, whether in English, Latin or Hindi, has an otherworldly beauty that calms the mind and awakens the senses. Cantrell’s chanting transcends cultural barriers, as she sings in a language of her own design. The global flavor of Listen With Your Heart is richly spiced with Will’s ethnic percussion (African balafon, djembe, jun jun, and Brazilian berimbau, to name a few). Some songs sound Latin others Middle Eastern and a few evoke images of Africa, but listen with your inner ear and you realize that this is music of the Sonoran Desert.
Will and Cantrell confirm that their music arises from and is deeply influenced by the unique landscape, weather, flora, fauna and human culture of northern Sonora. Cantrell is a third generation Arizonian who has been singing since the age of six. She has performed in choirs, rock and roll bands, jazz and folk ensembles, and often vocalizes for musical theater and modern dance performances. Will is one of Tucson’s most accomplished and beloved drummers, having appeared on more than 50 recordings. His rhythmic sensibilities are treasured by other musicians and he regularly tours with the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet, the William Eaton Ensemble, Desert Sea and The Conrads.
Listen With Your Heart is primitive yet highly evolved; a beautiful synthesis of Heaven and Earth.
This CD is available locally at Silverbell Traders, Antigone Books, Hear’s Music, Tucson Creative Dance Studio and Metaphysical World. It is available on-line at and
See “Perfect Pitch” listing for information about this duo’s concert on Saturday, March 20, at 8p.m. at Yoga Flow. DL

Matt Moon is a writer, musician and host of Global Rhythm Radio on KXCI-FM
- Desert Leaf


"Moving, Not Leaving" just released.
"Listen With Your Heart" with Will Clipman on percussion. Tucson
" Verve" Jazz with Johnny B. Homer, Alaska
"Visionary Blues Band Live" , Tucson, AZ
" 33" Mitzi Cowell,, Paris, France and Tucson, AZ
"Clutter," Chris Burroughs, Tucson, AZ.
"Thunderhead North," Terry Pollock, , Tucson, Az.
"Surve," Giant Sand,, Tucson, AZ.

"Dry Law," Chris Burroughs,background vocals Tucson, AZ.
"Heartland""Blacky Ranchette,, Los Angeles, CA.

"Never Got Hot" written and performed with Robby Kilgore and Three Sixty, NYC. NY


Feeling a bit camera shy


A third-generation Arizonan and native Tucsonan, Cantrell who now resides in Ashland, Oregon has been singing since the age of six in choirs, rock ‘n’ roll bands, folk and jazz ensembles, as well as vocalizing in the context of musical theater and modern dance. Cantrell has performed in the USA, South America, and Europe.
There needs to be a new category for the music Cantrell is creating now. Every song on her new CD, Moving, Not Leaving is different, yet it takes the listener on a complete journey.