Colleen McFarland
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Colleen McFarland

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Colleen Has The Voice Of An Angel"

Colleen has the voice of an angel. One particular track was a beautiful tribute to any blues player. "The Best Is Yet To Come" is definitely a gem. The album is wonderfully played & produced. Thank you for sharing this with me.

Music Guru Show
Fridays - 8 PM Eastern Standard Time
- Music Guru Show

"Beautifully Produced"

"..beautifully produced...a fine piece of work.."

-Micheala Majoun, WXPN Radio, Philadelphia - WXPN Radio, Philadelphia

"Another Fantastic Alt Country Gal"

American Rhythm Music Magazine (January 2009)

Another fantastic Alt. country gal, Colleen McFarland even throws in a horn section on a track or two. This is her fourth CD, and it’s a keeper. Another great CD for the 2009 music season. 

- American Rhythm Music Magazine 1/09

"Extremely Likeable"

Music Row Online (Robert Oermann, Jan. 2009)

'The title tune to this lady's CD is an earnest, sweet number with a certain drawling charm, a steady-jaunty rhythm and a cool, wheezing brass section. She kinda sounds like your friend down the street. Extremely likable'.

- Music Row Online 1/09

"A Refreshingly Original Voice And Talent"

With 16 powerful songs on her third album--10 of which top or come close to the five minute mark--Colleen McFarland has plenty to say. After one spin of Beautiful Lie, you'll be a rapt listener.
Growing up the youngest of nine kids in a three-bedroom home, McFarland likely spent her formative years fighting for a chance to be heard over the din of seven sisters and a brother. Perhaps that's where the origins of the yearning, aching melodies in songs such as "The Last Cloud", "Shelter Me" and the epic, seven-minute "Rain" can be traced. With a voice reminiscent of Emmylou Harris, McFarland has the ability to alternately soothingly sing and growl a menacing blues number like "Ten Years" and offer lilting pop such as "Sordid Affair" (the phrasing of which brings to mind Genesis' "In Too Deep").
The title Beautiful Lie may imply a deception of sorts, but the truth of the matter is it harkens the arrival of a refreshingly original voice and talent.
- Jesse Thompson, November, 2006 - Performing Songwriter

"An Artist Who Proves To Be Talented in Both Disciplines"

“Let It Shine” is the new album by singer and songwriter Colleen McFarland, an artist who proves to be talented in both disciplines. All of the songs on the album were written by McFarland...the compositions are solid and McFarland’s voice is superb. The album is produced by McFarland and Thomm Jutz, who also plays guitar on 10 of the 13 cuts. Together they bring in musicians such as Mark Fain (bass player for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder), Pat McInerney on drums, Jan Petter Ringvold on keyboards, and others ... there are three stand out songs on here that have held up over many a listening and have stuck with me. The first one is a sweet sounding Sunday morning love song called “Down This Road” that features some beautiful lead and harmony vocals by McFarland. “Pretty Little Bird” is a song that could have been corny beyond belief in the hands of another musician. Yet here, the memorable melody and the arrangement, which kicks into a different gear during the chorus, as well as the fine fiddle work by bluegrasser Shad Cobb make it work. “Fingers On The Button” is my favorite song on the CD. The only true rocker on the album, McFarland’s vocals are fiery as the electric and slide guitars build up to a powerful coda that betrays McFarland’s ability to belt out some rockin’ vocals when needed. -Derek Halsey, March 2009 -

"A Compelling Mix of Dreamy Imagery and Direct Emotion"

Like Buddy Miller or Lucinda Williams, McFarland infuses the blues into her mid-tempo roots-rock tunes, giving them a gritty feel and for-the-ages
mysticism that keeps her lyrics from falling into the self-obsessive indulgence of many other singer-songwriters. She doesn't force herself or her songs on listeners, instead keeping her smoky alto evenly tempered so it drips with inner strength and sensuality. Her songs draw the attention they need on their own, with a compelling mix of dreamy imagery and direct emotion. When she whispers "I don't wann be good', to a potential lover, she's not just encouraging him to step forward: she's also communicating that she wants to break beyond conventional niceties to taste the more voluptuous fruits of experience.

--Michael McCall, Nashville Scene, August 2006 - Nashville Scene

"Utterly Exquisite Album"

Nothing like a long-term relationship collapsing to fire up the creative juices, precisely what is behind Colleen McFarland's "Beautiful Lie". She has never sung better. As producer, she has crafted her best record yet, devising gorgeous arrangements every time. As songwriter, she sculpts each song with elegance and grace. In the end, the album is about nuance. Each song gets at the split from a different angle. Utterly exquisite album.

--Micheal Tearson, Sing Out!
August 2006 - Sing Out!

"This Week's A-list CD"

This week on High Plains Morning, we present a new A-List CD by an up-and-coming young woman in the Alt-County/Americana music scene. Colleen McFarland is on her way to greatness, and her latest album, Let It Shine is proof positive that Colleen will soon be in the same company as Lucy Kaplansky, Nancy Griffith, Eliza Gilkyson, Suzy Bogguss and Patty Griffin. American Rhythm Music Magazine (January 2009) says: "Another fantastic Alt. country gal, Colleen McFarland even throws in a horn section on a track or two. This is her fourth CD, and it’s a keeper. Another great CD for the 2009 music season." Johnny Black - High Plains Public Radio

"Instantly Engaging.."

Colleen McFarland has an enticing, high register, warbling voice that's instantly engaging within a country folk pop sound. Let It Shine is her fourth CD, and the erudition of the past shows well in it, resulting in an extremely fetching effort. Every cut swims in lavish treatment and considered arrangements, not a single track less than absorbing.

London demonstrates a vocal approach simultaneously delicate and strong, ringing out with warmth and concern amid the heartache of the temporal world, always looking to the future with hope. Everything here is relationship centered, and, even if that's not your cuppa, McFarland's voice and the disc's instrumentation are virtues in and of themselves. On the other hand, whoever thought about putting a tuba, trombone, and trumpet in a mainstream love song? Well, Colleen did and they work beautifully, Dave Jacques playing all three like a one-man N'awleans back section, McFarland's chipper refrains dancing and frolicking atop.

This is indeed, as my words should be indicating, chart material. Would to God the radio carried more like it, I might turn on damned music radio once in a while, because there's nothing like a good melody and a well carried tune. Naturally, the CD isn't all happy highways and hail fellow well mets—what with Suicide Road exploring self-destruction and bad decisions, the Ronstadt side of McFarland emerging—but that darker element also has its undeniable attractions.

Interestingly, her selection of the Bhagavad Gita's line "It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of someone else's life with perfection" was a particularly choice epigram for the sentiments of Let It Shine…and if she wants to read a fascinating account of the ancient document, I suggest picking up Phulgenda Sinha's The Gita As It Was, showing that the esteemed book is not really quite what people think it is, nor are, for instance, the sage Nichiren's thoughts (an' ya hafta read the liner notes to understand why I even say that).

-Mark S. Tucker - Acoustic Music Exchange


Speaking In Rhymes CD: 1998
Three Miles From Odessa CD: 2001
Beautiful Lie CD: 2006
Let It Shine: 2009



American Rhythm Music Magazine (January 2009)
"Another fantastic Alt. country gal, Colleen McFarland even throws in a horn section on a track or two. This is her fourth CD, and it’s a keeper. Another great CD for the 2009 music season."

Music Row Online - Robert Oermann (Jan. 2009)
The title tune to this lady's CD is an earnest, sweet number with a certain drawling charm, a steady-jaunty rhythm and a cool, wheezing brass section. She kinda sounds like your friend down the street. Extremely likable. "

Nashville Scene - Michael McCall (October 2006)
"A gritty feel and for-the-ages mysticism..her smoky alto drips with inner strength and sensuality..a compelling mix of dreamy imagery and direct emotion.."

Performing Songwriter - Jesse Thompson (Oct. 2006)
"Beautiful Lie harkens the arrival of a refreshingly original voice and talent.."

Colleen's uniquely sweet, bluesy voice and songs can appear rough around the edges, but also beautiful and haunting, with the kind of mind crafted lyrics that critics and music lovers are fortunate to discover from time to time. While glimpsing into McFarland's journeys of sorrow, deep introspection and determination, fans will translate her songs into their own self discoveries.

The youngest of nine children, Colleen grew up in Jennings, Missouri, listening to the music her parents, and one brother and seven sisters played on the radio and family turntable which included singer-songwriters like Neil Young, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Linda Rondstadt, Dolly Parton, and Harry Chapin, as well as Motown, country, and classic rock and standards.

After years of singing in church and school, Colleen became a professional entertainer at the age of fifteen, singing in local cover bands and orchestras. Colleen graduated with honors in music performance from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, paying her tuition by moonlighting as a singer/keyboardist in many Midwestern nightclubs. She also spent time honing her skills as a songwriter, writing songs on her piano and keyboard which she bought herself by working additional jobs in college. She bought an acoustic guitar after college, and started writing more folk and country songs, moving to the Northeast for an extended period of time to write and perform her original music at many venues including the Tin Angel, The Point, The Lansdowne Folk Club, and The Bitter End, while also performing in coffee shops and at festivals, including the Newton Colony/XPN Music & Arts Festival in Collingswood, NJ featuring The Mavericks, and Lucinda Williams.

Colleen has recorded and co-produced four independent cds, her newest, 'Let It Shine' 2009 release) was co-produced by Thomm Jutz (guitarist for folk legend Nanci Griffith), featuring a stellar lineup of musicians who have toured with artists including Ricky Scaggs, Bonnie Raitt, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Hornsby, Kim Richey and many others.

Since moving to Nashville in 2003, Colleen has performed at 3rd & Lindsley, The Bluebird Cafe, Borders Books & Music, The Basement, Douglas Corner, The French Quarter Cafe, and The Family Wash, where she also performs with her band, and sings with the band Soul Food, led by pedal steel/guitarist Pete Finney, featuring current and former members of Wilco, Last Train Home, the Dixie Chicks and the Jayhawks.

Colleen has also frequently joined guitarist Reeves Gabrels from David Bowie's Tin Machine, and Audley Freed from the Black Crowes at the Family Wash as a guest vocalist. Colleen and Reeves are currently putting a blues and soul band together.

She has shared the stage as a singer-songwriter with many artists including Freedy Johnston, Kim Richey, Jeff Black, Jeffrey Gaines, Lucy Kaplansky, Frank Black, and Entrain to name a few.

Colleen licensed two of her songs to Universal Studios in January of 2006 for the dvd release of the television series Northern Exposure and also signed a licensing deal for film and television with Universal Studios and CBS television. One of her songs was recently featured in CBS television's 'Swingtown' along with Grammy nominated co-writers Rodney Lawson and John Mattick.

Colleen's songs can be heard on radio stations across the country including WRLT in Nashville, WXPN in Philadelphia, and as far away as Paris, France, on NSEO “Keep It Country”. In June of 2009 Coleen's latest release 'Let It Shine' (9th Child Records, 2009) was #5 on the Americana AMA charts, in the top 50 for Roots Music Charts, and #69 in the Folk DJ charts. Colleen has also been a featured pick on the Bob Harris show on BBC Radio.

Her sold out show in Gjovik, Norway was voted best concert for 2006 by Frode Hermanrud, Norwegian journalist for Oppland Arbeiderblad. Her latest cd Let It Shine also received a 5 out of 6 stars review in Norway, and her song 'I Do' written with Norwegian co-writer Peter Nova was also on the top ten radio list in Norway.

Previously working