Dave McCormick
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Dave McCormick

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"Dave McCormick Named WV Regional Winner"


CHARLESTON, WV: Pretty soggy describes the regional round finals of the national Mountain Stage NewSong Contest held at FestivALL Charleston this past weekend. But despite the downpour the contestants played on and seasoned singer-songwriter Dave McCormick of St. Albans, WV came out on top.

Nine finalists, from across West Virginia (a tenth bowed out because of an injury), competed on an outdoor stage June 25 during the citywide FestivALL Charleston event. McCormick, a popular performer in the state, impressed the judges with the songcraft, vocals and stage presence shown in performing his two original songs– ‘One of Those Angels’ and ‘Where Are You Moses.’ He’ll now compete in the national finals Aug. 26, during the Mountain Stage NewSong Festival in Shepherdstown, WV, near Washington, DC. Both of the songs he performed to win the competition can be heard on the online jukebox player on the www.newsongfestival.com website.

- Charleston Gazette

"Area Man A Newsong Winner"

Area man a NewSong winner
St. Albans-based singer-songwriter Dave McCormick is among five winners of the 2006 “Mountain Stage” NewSong Contest international finals.

The other top winners were Craig Carothers of Nashville, Tenn., Ingrid Michaelson of Brooklyn, N.Y., Nels Andrews of Brooklyn; and Sean Patrick McGraw of Nashville. Winners were chosen based on the quality of the songs they wrote and their performances of them during the finals, held at the Frank Center at Shepherdstown University.

A sixth prize was given for best song, based on the quality of the song independent of its performance. The judges handed out a three-way tie for “Where Are You Moses?,” co-written by McCormick and Tracy Rush; “Breakable,” by Ingrid Michaelson; and “She Needs Me,” by Craig Carothers and Tony Haselden.

About 1,500 songs were submitted this year. The NewSong Contest is open to performing songwriters in all genres. This year’s contest included regional rounds held across the country and a live round held at the festival. Top winners earned cash prizes and one of the co-winners will be chosen to perform on a live broadcast of “Mountain Stage.”

- Charleston Gazette

"Local Band Wins Battle of The Bands"

Local band wins 'Battle of the Bands' title

Staff Writer

SAINT ALBANS -- After a three months competition, Rockin' Horse, a rock band founded by Lincoln County native Dave "Corncob" McCormick, claimed the Rock 105 / CJ's Olde Main Pub, Battle of the Bands title.

After outlasting 24 other bands from the Kanawha Valley, and parts of eastern Kentucky and Ohio, Rockin' Horse was awarded a $5,000 cash prize Saturday night.

The championship round lasted for two days. Rockin' Horse opened the weekend with a Friday night performance, and the contest's runners up, Lack Thereof, played Saturday night.

"The great thing about this is that we made it through the competition on the strength of our original material," Steve Breedlove, guitarist for Rockin' Horse and Yawkey resident, said. "Other bands relied heavily on cover material."

More than half of the band's set was comprised of original songs.

Four of the bands nine, and sometimes 10, member band are from Lincoln County.

Steve Breedlove, Yawkey; David Breedlove, Yawkey; Wayne Holstien, Sod and McCormick, Sod, provide the core of the bands instrumentation with two of them being guitarists, one a bassist and the other a keyboards player.

The band's sound is self-described as being derived from southern rock and blues.

A testament to the band's musical roots would be the choice of cover songs that played during the competition, which included a Doors medley woven around "Roadhouse Blues," a Stevie Ray Vaughn tune, ZZ Top, and the song "I'm Feelin' Alright" which was popularized by Joe Cocker in the early 1970's, but had originally been recorded by Traffic in 1968, and later Grand Funk Railroad.

According to McCormick the band is 75-percent finished with its first recording, which is expected to be available this summer.

For now, the band can be heard on Rock 105's Homegrown radio program, which airs every Sunday night from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.. The program features music from local bands.

"We gave them the songs 'The Music Man' and 'Forest for the Trees,'" McCormick said. "Those are two of heavier songs."

The next scheduled performances for the band are on March 29 and 30 at CJ's Olde Main Pub at St. Albans' Old Main Plaza near the River's Edge Restaurant.

Rockin' Horse is comprised of Dave McCormick, vocals and guitar; Steve Breedlove, Bass; Wayne Holstien, keyboards; David Breedlove, Guitar; Jimmy Lowe, Congas and percussion; Stan Bumgardner, fiddle; Tommy Hymes, Drums and vocals; Jason Newhouse, guitar; Allison Gunter, vocals; and on special occasions Jean Hana Davis, vocals.

For information on Rockin' Horse contact McCormick at 756-9432.

Or catch him performing his solo material at CJ's every Wednesday night, and at the 5th Quarter Restaurant in downtown Charleston every Thursday night.

To hear Rockin' Horse on Rock 105 contact the Rock 105 office at 525-9552 or 727-9552

- THe Lincoln Journal

"Breaking Through"

News Articles

Breaking through
This is the year things get started
for local musician Dave 'Corncob' McCormick

Michael Lipton <lipton@grafwv.com>
For the Daily Mail

Thursday March 07, 2002; 11:16 AM

To paraphrase Al Stewart, this just might be the "Year of the Cob." After making a living singing other people's tunes for two decades, Dave "Corncob" McCormick is putting the finishing touches on his first-ever recording and, just as importantly, recently pocketed a cool $5,000 as winner of a local Battle of the Bands.

"This is the year things get started," said McCormick.

"Truthfully, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in my musical career -- maybe there's a little bit of validation going on."

Over the past few months, McCormick and his nine-piece band Rockin' Horse duked it out with 28 other local groups. The finals, held late last month at CJ's Olde Main Pub in St. Albans, pitted Rockin' Horse against finalist Lack Thereof.

Playing in long-lived bands like Diamond Back and shorter stints with groups like the Redstar Rockets, Steve Mullins' Southern Sounds and Highway 51 (with fellow picker Robert Shafer), as well as performing solo, McCormick has been a staple of the area music scene for decades.

He is best known, perhaps, for his standout guitar chops and an uncanny vocal resemblance to Marshall Tucker's Doug Gray. But only recently has he made an all-out effort to push his own material.

"One morning, right before 2000, I woke up and said, 'What are you doing? You need to plug your own music,' " he said. "I served a 20-year sentence doing covers. You kill a man and you only get 25."

Doing a musical turnabout, McCormick's solo gigs now consist of all original material. With his band, soon to be renamed "The Outlaw Orchestra," he plays about two-thirds originals.

"I have an agenda and my agenda is my songs," he said. "If I play a cover song, that's one of my originals I didn't get to play."

McCormick, 35, is the first to point out that recognition has been a long time coming.

"I've never won a contest before," he said. "Matter of fact, I've never won anything. I'm used to losing, so winning is a new thing for me."

McCormick traced his decision to pursue music full time back to one memorable day when he was in high school. He was 17 and working as a bank teller in West Hamlin. It was his first -- and last -- day job.

"They were training me to be a loan officer," he recalled. "They took me out to repo a car from someone they shouldn't have repo'd it from. I felt ashamed. When I got back to the bank, I told them I couldn't do that."That same week, McCormick was offered a five-night-a-week job playing at Big Al's in Smithers with Southern Sounds.

"Maybe it was a little more than coincidence," he said.

After years of struggling in local clubs, McCormick is still committed to music -- he plays between three and six nights a week -- but isn't ready to endorse the pay scale.

"It's not a good livin'," he said. "I don't recommend it to anybody."

A traditionalist to a fault, McCormick sees himself filling a void in today's music.

"Truthfully, I don't like much new music," he said. "There isn't any soul in most new music. It's either about image or technique. There doesn't seem to be a lot of talented musicians and singers singing their own songs, and the songs don't seem to be about real things."

McCormick said he writes songs about his life, family and friends.

"I write about things that happen to me and things I see happen," he said. "They're inspired by a conversation or an event."

His song "50 Feet of Dirt," tentatively slated for the new record, is a true story about a strip mine taking over his grandfather's place. Mandolinist Johnny Staats has chosen the song to record on his new record.

For his upcoming release, "Music Man," McCormick taps a variety of styles, from the smooth, Allman Brothers rock of "Lightning Over Cheyenne" to the soulful solo acoustic "Jeanine." All the tunes are tied together by his vocals, which have an unmistakable Southern rock twang and his 1970s-styled guitarwork.

So why, when artists are releasing CDs at an alarming rate, did McCormick wait so long to record?

"I never found myself in the financial position to do it," he said. "I'm not now -- but I maxed out a couple of credit cards -- but it came to the point where I had already waited too long. Everybody and his brother had a CD. It seemed to be time.

"I also have lots and lots of fans who have been asking me for a CD for years. I hope to sell them and come clean on the thing."

Although McCormick is eager to utilize the CD for higher-profile bookings, he said his goal is to be a songwriter.

"I really just want to be a songwriter and let someone else do my songs," he said.

McCormick plays from 6 to 9 tonight at - The Daily Mail


CD-Music Man
One Of Those Angels That Doesn't Have Wings -playing on Moozikoo Radio


Feeling a bit camera shy


Dave McCormick was born and raised in Sod West Virginia, a small town south of the Capital City of Charleston where he would later hone his craft in the smokey dives downtown.
Daves' whole family sang and a few played guitar, but he began his musical journey playing drums at age 10. He started playing guitar at age 12 and was soon singing and writing songs. "My father gave me his guitar, a Ventura acoustic, and soon after I bought a Memphis Strat copy with a rebel flag pickguard. I thought that was so cool." says Dave.
For more than 2 decades, no one in the area has bent more strings than Dave. His whiskey baritone voice makes you feel at home like warm apple pie. His searing, soulful guitar playing has moved more people than Mayflower. With a mix of Rock, Blues, Country and Jazz, he has been able to put his own stamp on Southern style rock. "I was influenced by everything from Merle Haggard to Jimi Hendrix. SRV's version of Little Wing is my favorite piece of music ever written, period." he adds.
Dave often gets compared to Stevie Ray when he plays the blues, but then he'll turn around and start chicken pickin on some Dwight Yoakum tune and you wonder if its even the same guitar, much less the same guy. Local Guitar guru Bill Holstein comments, " Dave's personality comes out in his playing and songwriting, thats what makes him special. He's the real deal!"
But you can't really know all about Dave and his music until you've seen one of his legendary acoustic solo gigs. He will amaze you! The easy, offhand confidence of his guitar playing combined with the passion of his voice make him the perfect vehicle for the extremely wide variety of songs he writes. "How do I write all those different kinds of songs? Well, find yourself in a different mood, pick up a different guitar, sit down in a different place and play some different chords!" he laughed.
Dave's songwriting is becoming legendary as well. He has been known locally for a long while as a songwriter of unusual depth. But recently he moved into a more national spotlight as Co-winner of The Mountain Stage Newsong Festival Contest. He also tied for Best Song with a tune entitled "Where Are You Moses?", co-written by Dave and his friend Tracy Rush. When asked about the event, he responded "I feel very blessed and honored to have been a part of that whole experience. I met so many great people."
Dave says he's going to move to Nashville soon, and I'm sure he won't be back. Be sure to catch him (while you still can!!) tearing it up in a watering hole somewhere near you!