Gayle Skidmore
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Gayle Skidmore

Hilversum, North Holland, Netherlands | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE

Hilversum, North Holland, Netherlands | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2006
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter




"3 Faces to Watch in 2014"

We asked the U-T’s arts reporters and critics to identify people who represent the new faces of the arts in San Diego. Here are their picks:


San Diego

Self-description: “I am a fiercely independent folk and indie-pop singer-songwriter with a penchant for whimsy and a really bad sweet tooth.”

Number of instruments she plays: 23

Musical signature: Classically trained pianist

Nonmusical training: Theology and Biblical Studies major with a Philosophy minor. “I started my master’s degree in Theological Studies but never completed it.”

Number of songs she’s written: “Around 2,000; I haven’t counted in a while.”

Number of recordings she’s made: 13

Latest accolades: “I just won the 2013 San Diego Music Award for Best Singer-Songwriter. But other than that, I love my German title of ‘Patron Saint of Garden Gnomes’ (Die Schutzpatronin der Gartenzwerge), which a German newspaper gave me when I played in Munich in 2009.”

Why music? “I write songs all the time, whether I want to or not. It’s what I have always loved, and I’ve worked very hard to develop my skills in performing and songwriting. I’m very passionate about the music I create, and I love to share it.”
A key example of her lyrics:

"From my song 'Field of Marigolds':

Ravens on a wire, watching this transpire with their eyes afire

Ticker tape parade, confetti tears in the stifling shade

A field of marigolds

A story told by the wise and old

A hand I thought I’d hold ‘til my body’s cold

But it’s buried over the river

Musical inspirations: "Damien Rice, Jeff Buckley, Andrew Bird, Patrick Watson, Clare and the Reasons, My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens, Lhasa de Sela, Radiohead and Sleeping At Last have all been very influential in my songwriting and performing. They all have creative elements in their music that I find very inspirational, and all tend to be on the dramatic and orchestral side. I enjoy any music that expresses intense emotion and draws me into it’s colorful soundscape."

Coming up: “My song, ‘Paper Box,’ will be airing on HBO’s new TV show, ‘Looking,’ starring Jonathan Groff, in an episode that I think airs Jan. 26. I’m going to be touring in the spring with my good friend Chelsea Wilde of Minor Birds, heading out to (the) South By Southwest (festival) and working on some new recordings.”

Biggest disappointment, or professional stumble, that turned out to be a blessing: "Hmm... it’s difficult to think of one that I could say has really turned into a blessing. I think that in working with several industry professionals where I’ve been taken advantage of or left hanging, I’ve learned that I need to stand up for myself and always have contracts for shows, etc."

Personal philosophy: “I have been through so many intense trials in my life, and in one of my song journals I wrote inspirational quotes on each page about persevering. One quote, from my favorite poet, has stuck with me: ‘I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.’ His quotes always strike me in a powerful way and stick with me. I think it’s important to always continue fighting for your dreams, even when you can’t see how it will ever work out.” - San Diego Union Tribune

"Review of "Make Believe""

I met Gayle Skidmore at a random show at the Ken Club a few years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. When we decided to meet for lunch at DZ Akin’s last week, she surprised me with a copy of her brand new record and I got really excited. It actually took me a few days for the CD to find its way into my player, but I finally gave it a spin the other night when my roomie and I were just sitting around.

Gayle plays 14 instruments on the new record, including a harp that her dad handmade when Gayle and her sister were just kids. She also breaks out the kalimba which is essentially a thumb piano.

Even though she has released 8 albums, this is her first full length record and it’s been two years in the making. All 14 songs on “Make Believe” were produced by Gayle and Preston Parsons while some recording was done in La Jolla at Peter King’s studio. Gayle’s voice is amazing. You can tell on her recordings as well as her live shows that the music is so very personal to her.

1,000 copies have already been pre sold and “Make Believe” will be available to the general public on iTunes November 14. I’m old school though and I know you are too. That’s why you probably want to get an actual copy of the CD in your hands which will essentially be a coloring book that Gayle designed herself. Music and art are Gayle’s passions.

There will be an epic CD release show November 13th at the Ruby Room with a few other bands and DJs that she handpicked to perform. Come to the show and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
-Mookie D. of Sophie 103.7 FM. - Sophie 103.7 San Diego

"San Diego Music Awards: A Win For All"

Gayle Skidmore: Barrel, Trigger, Gun / Rag Doll
Gayle Skidmore has a new single out, once again proving what a formidable talent she is.
The b-side, “Ragdoll” is a quiet, almost fragile, acoustic guitar, bass and voices tune, showcasing Skidmore’s harmonies. It’s really good. As for the A-side? “Barrel, Trigger, Gun,” is yet another great tune, a mid-tempo rocker that manages to melds elements of prog, Americana and pop music into a beautifully realized tune. Topped by an urgent piano riff (think Elton circa “Tumbleweed Connection”), set against synthesizer bursts and a descending middle eight complete with voice changes as the song progresses. Skidmore really knows how to arrange a song, and the lush production is superb. She avoids the obvious with an economy in the many swirling (phased?) elements of the song, so there is space in the song to help build tension, such as the instrumental six seconds starting at 2:00. This is great stuff, but music fans can rest assured – anywhere you dip your toes into Skidmore’s discography you’ll find good music. Her imagination is a wondrous thing to hear. - San Diego Troubadour

"Gayle Skidmore- Sleeping Bear Review"

Artist: Gayle Skidmore
Title: Sleeping Bear
Label: Raincoat Records (Kickstarter-supported)
Release Date: 9/15/13
Reviewer: Ian Zandi


Sickle In The Shade
Don’t Let Me Go
Whisky & Cigarettes (feat. Erika Davies)
Little Bird
Field of Marigolds (feat. Matt Curreri)
Sleeping Bear
Technicolor Ghost
Come Back To Me
The Wilds
Zombie Heart

As I am sure you know, art can be expressed in many different forms. Artists can be defined as musicians, actors, painters, baristas, costume designers, carpenters, beat poets, and many more titles. In theatre, there are certain talented actors that can be identified as “Triple Threats” (possessing the skills of singing, acting and dancing). While singer-songwriters are quite common in the music industry, Gayle Skidmore can be identified as far more than that.

Hailing from the great musical city of San Diego, independent artist Gayle Skidmore has a unique skill that could change the music industry- illustration. Repeating the novelty used in her previous album Make Believe, the liner notes of her album are actually provided in the form of a coloring book. Each of the track’s lyrics are scrawled out alongside a full-page of detailed illustrations created by Gayle herself. Though I only received a PDF copy of the coloring book by supporting the Kickstarter program for this album, I can imagine that the coloring book could be a big incentive for purchasing a physical copy of Sleeping Bear. However, her coloring book idea is not the only notion that sets her folk act apart in a music industry where everyone is a carbon copy of Mumford and Sons. No, she has proven herself better than that.

As if illustrating an entire book, writing poetic lyrics, and penning all of the music parts on the album wasn’t enough, Gayle Skidmore also plays most of Sleeping Bear’s instruments herself (save for a little help from her friends on bass, violin, and drums at times). The diverse use of instruments ranges from a piano solo on “Sickle In The Shade” that would make Coldplay jealous, to the audio effects on “Whisky and Cigarettes” that practically scream “THE STROKES!”, and the banjo-psychedelic combination on “Little Bird” that leaves me with no accurate comparison besides Eisley.

The album’s themes are nothing new, however, the creative lyrics help carry the sleepy tunes through to the end without much notice. I mean really, who can resist a metaphor to zombies (“Zombie Heart”)? Additional outstanding lyrics can be found on the track “Tourniquet” and “Technicolor Ghost”. I would quote the entire songs here if possible, but alas, here are highlights of “Tourniquet”:

“Touniquet, hold me tight

Don’t you let them bleed me dry

Tourniquet, hold me tight

Keep me safe now

Keep me alive….

In my heart, in my soul, in my faith, in my bones,

there is a light that never fades, in the deepest, heaviest shade.”

Overall: Saying that Gayle Skidmore is an artist would be an understatement. With all of her undiscovered talent, this world simply needs more Gayle Skidmore. Though this album is not perfect (some of the songs are a bit too sleepy and mesh together frequently), it shows great potential for this indie act. Gayle Skidmore has shown us all that it is okay to color outside the lines….

RIYL: Eisley, Ingrid Michaelson, Aimee Mann, Coldplay, Jon Foreman

Gayle Skidmore - Sleeping Bear, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings - Indie Vision Music

"Gayle Skidmore- Classically Trained Yet Boldly Elegant"

San Diego based Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gayle Skidmore released her second full length CD titled Sleeping Bear September 17th 2013 on her own Raincoat Records. A classically trained musician, skilled at 14 instruments, Skidmore creates a lavish display of accessible yet intelligently lavish pop rock that conjures the eclectic flair of Kate Bush and bold musicianship of Joanna Newsom. Sleeping Bear makes a tremendous statement best justified by the haunting track “Little Bird” featuring a poignant banjo rhythm mixed with an elegant chorus that is candlelit music meant for thinkers and believers instead of passive day-dreamers. We had a chance to quickly send a few musically diverse questions Skidmore’s way…

Tell us about your first concert experience?

My first concert experience was a local show put on by a few indie San Diego bands who I went to high school with. I am pretty sure that Dogwood and Porcupine Roadkill both played, and the concert was in our high school gym, but I can’t remember the bands too well. Pretty epic.

Most memorable moment as a musician so far on stage…

I have had several this year that have topped the charts for me. I was privileged to open for Lisa Loeb at the Casbah in San Diego in June. Her CD was the first CD I ever got and the only one I had for about a year. I wore it out and it was a completely surreal experience to get to share a show with Lisa. She’s a very sweet and genuine person and I will always be a fan. Most recently, I played a Jeff Buckley tribute at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and received a great compliment from his cousin about my version of “Strange Fruit.” That was a poignant moment for me.

In high school you thought you were going to grow up to be a …….

Concert pianist.

Likes and dislikes about your musical hometown?

San Diego has some incredible talent. There are a lot of great things happening in our scene, and we have some really supportive DJS (Tim Pyles, Mookie, Halloran, Robin Roth, Cathryn Beeks, to name a few), some awesome events like the San Diego Music Thing, and venues that care about our scene- like the Tin Can Ale House, which hosts the Tin Can Country Club on Monday nights for San Diego artists and the occasional out of town guest. What I dislike about our scene is that it sometimes feels like there are factions and it’s a bit disjointed at times, but overall it’s a great place to play and fans are supportive.

How and where do you typically get inspired to write new material?

Inspiration arrives when it arrives– there isn’t really a rhyme or reason to it for me. When I feel inspired to write, I like to close myself up in a room with my instruments and my notebook and hammer out a few songs. Usually, when I feel most inspired, I’ll write about 10 songs at a time. If I’m on the road, I like to find a park where I can bring my instruments and not be disturbed.

Favorite albums of 2013 so far?

Honestly, I haven’t really been paying a lot of attention to what has come out so far this year. I spent the first half of this year working on my album, and artists can tend to be hermits when they’re recording. When I wasn’t in the studio, I was working on my coloring book, so I’m just now starting to re-enter life.

If you could curate a festival who would be on it?

Clare and the Reasons
My Brightest Diamond
Lost in the Trees
Andrew Bird
Patrick Watson
Rufus Wainwright
Sufjan Stevens
Sleeping At Last
Gillian Welch
Jay William Henderson
The Cinematic Orchestra
….and probably a lot of my friends’ bands who I think are amazing.

I hope one day to make an album that sounds like…

The Bends- Radiohead - Glide Magazine

"City Beat Top Ten of 2010"

Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010
'Twas the best of times...
The economy might've sucked, but music flourished in 2010
By Peter Holslin

Gonjasufi made my top 10 list--did he make yours?

Widespread unemployment and deep budget cuts made 2010 a crummy year for money matters, but local music couldn’t have been better. Of all the excellent stuff that came across my desk this year, these are the releases I kept returning to. One, two, three years from now, I expect that they’ll be just as fresh.

10. King of the Beach, Wavves (Fat Possum): Wavves’ third record is a far cry from the scrappy stuff of 2008 and 2009, but this unlikely brand of pop-punk is still weird, bold and a million times better than blink-182. Top track: “Post Acid” Defining verse: “To take on the world would be something”
9. HH, Heavy Hawaii (Art Fag): Touching on all the hottest music trends of 2010 without being insufferably trendy, Heavy Hawaii frontman Matt Barajas combines lo-fi production, a sunny Beach Boys vibe and youthful ennui to make some of the most warped, haunting psych-pop I’ve heard all year. Top track: “Teen Angel” Defining verse: “Got this teenage problem, how old am I?”
8. Cali-Foreigner, Jimmy Powers (2012 Dynasty): Jimmy Powers’ debut full-length is excellent from front to back: The beats are solid, the hooks beefy, the rhymes technically proficient and full of attitude. Definitely consider quitting your day job, Jimmy. Top track: “True Currency (feat. Blame One)” Defining verse: “May 21st, ’01, new coast, no funds, no friends, snow coat”
7. Have You Met My Friend?, New Mexico (self-released): Striking an ideal balance between sophisticated songcraft and ass-kicking riffage, this 32-minute debut really gets my blood flowing. Expect big things from this SEO-unfriendly trio (formerly known as Apes of Wrath) in 2011. Top track: “Case Closed” Defining verse: “Knocked up by a pistol-whip”

6. Drone Machines, Author & Punisher (Heart & Crossbone): Demonstrating that you don’t need a guitar to play doom metal, Author & Punisher mastermind Tristan Shone uses precision-built machines on his third album to create clank-and-roar hell-noise that could not only scare the shit out of Ozzy Osbourne, but actually make him shit his pants if played loud enough. Top track: “Burrow Below” Defining verse: “I can see the salted path into the stagnant water”
5. Make Believe, Gayle Skidmore (Raincoat): In a show of serious ingenuity, singer-songwriter Gayle Skidmore played 10 instruments on Make Believe, self-released it on her own label and drew a coloring book to go with it. But it’s Skidmore’s heartfelt songwriting and agonizingly vulnerable lyricism that makes her first full-length truly special. Top track: “Hollow” Defining verse: “Don’t breathe a word, you’ll break me”
4. Endurance, Blame One (Polish Pub): With the inclusion of locals like Johaz from Deep Rooted, the elder statesman of San Diego hip-hop spotlights a younger generation of rappers on his fifth full-length. But Endurance also harks back to old-school craftsmanship with funky breakbeats and sage rhymes, which helps make it a classic. Top track: “Right to Exist” Defining verse: “Still doin’ me, can’t you see?”
3. Landmines & Chandeliers, Jamuel Saxon (self-released): In a show of production wizardry, Jamuel Saxon brain Keith Milgaten weaves seemingly unrelated elements into spellbinding electro-pop on his second full-length. Boards of Canada crosses paths with T-Pain, dub echo ripples over dance beats, catchy hooks hinge on distressing lyrics. I want to dance and geek out at the same time. Top track: “Mandatory Miscommunication” Defining verse: “I exist because of blood, sweat and tears”
2. Animal Feelings, Rafter (Asthmatic Kitty): Rafter’s previous efforts were experimental ADD outings, but his fourth LP plunges into pop territory with meticulous arrangements, funky percussion, sing-along hooks and even some Stevie Wonder-style talk box. The timing was perfect: While countless artists spent 2010 wallowing in pitiful nostalgia, Rafter delivered a big middle finger to the recession grind with a tribute to basic human instincts (love, sex) that no bank could take away. Top track: “No Fucking Around” Defining verse: “No fucking around”
1. A Sufi and a Killer, Gonjasufi (Warp): This isn’t actually a local release (in the same way albums by Wavves, Dum Dum Girls and The Soft Pack technically aren’t, since they live in L.A. or rep L.A.), but I wish it were. If there’s anything that gets me upset about great musicians leaving our fair city, it’s this mesmerizing collaboration between former San Diego residents Gonjasufi and The Gaslamp Killer. Albums like this don’t come out too often: With Gonjasufi’s one-of-a-kind voice (“timeless, incredible filth,” as Flying Lotus so aptly described it) and The Gaslamp Killer’s incongruously seamless vinyl mash-ups (psych-rock meets Eastern vibes meets God-knows-what), this record is simultaneously one of the weirdest and one - San Diego City Beat

"On The Records- Recent San Diego Album Releases"

It can be tough for female singer-songwriters to stand out from the pack, but luckily for Gayle Skidmore (and for her listeners), she has the pipes and musicianship to make it past the coffee-shop circuit. Her well-executed debut album, which features a who’s-who of local guest musicians, mixes folk, rock, and a little bit of country (the lady plays a mean banjo), for a surprisingly smooth result. Make believe rarely sounds so real. (????)
--Seth Combs, Pacific Magazine, November 2010 Issue. P. 60 - Pacific Magazine

"NC Times Cowley Road EP Review"

Where would Jewel be without "Who Will Save Your Soul" or "You Were Meant for Me"? Tracy Chapman without "Fast Car" or "Give Me One Reason"? Jewel might still be playing coffeehouses in OB, Chapman gigging around her hometown of Cleveland.

Talent alone isn't enough to guarantee national success in the music biz. Which would explain why Gayle Skidmore's third EP is being released on her own Raincoat Records, rather than one of the major labels. Because Skidmore sings with as much passion or Jewel or Chapman and brings as much talent to the recording studio.

The difference between the worldwide fame of Jewel or Chapman and the Gayle Skidmores of the world is as thin as the difference between writing a song such as "You Were Meant for Me" or "Give Me One Reason" and not writing that song.

The six songs on the San Diegan's newest EP are every bit as good as the non-hit songs on albums by Jewel and Chapman and other famous, rich singer-songwriters. All feature nice arrangements that show off the profiles of the songs and the acoustic virtuosity of Skidmore and her band, and let Skidmore's gorgeous set of pipes nestle into your head.

Did we write that the six songs here are as good as the non-hits of Jewel and Tracy Chapman? Make that five, because the fifth song, "Crazy," could well be Skidmore's ticket to the big time. Great hook, old-timey charm, spare arrangement. Hypnotic is what it is.

The difference between making it and not making it? Sometimes it's not even the songs. Sometimes it's just sheer luck ---- having a record company executive or a Clear Channel programming director run into your song.

With "Crazy," Gayle Skidmore is one bit of good luck away from hitting the big time.

-By Jim Trageser - Staff Writer
North County Times
- North County Times

"Cowley Road EP Review"

Gayle Skidmore sings the blues, although you wouldn’t recognize it as such. Her songs draw narratives about confrontations, using oblique vignettes to tell the stories. In her first song, she sings the melancholy, biting, jilted lines, “I knew better or so I said/ Wrote you a letter I’m glad you never read/ because I was just a cheap imitation of the girl you loved.”
She continues the feeling-down theme in the second song: “We had better leave it broken/ We should just let it be broken.” Paraphrasing countless bluesmen, “She’s a good woman feeling bad.”
The music accompanying these agonized ballads isn’t your traditional Delta or Chicago lineup of guitar, harmonica, and piano; Skidmore pairs quirky (toy piano and banjo) and classical (cello and violin) with satisfying results.
“So Beautiful” and “Crazy” take a lighter turn, and our heroine seems to land a good someone to love. The tunes include the same plucky melodies as the sad songs.
“Cowley Road” is my favorite of the album. She shrugs off the sometimes-stuffy orchestral string section and oddball plucking banjo for the power of her bare voice and one acoustic guitar. When she sings of “unbearable pain,” her ferocious voice quavers with emotion.
-By Ollie, SD Reader - San Diego Reader

"Nortwest Noise Review"

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gayle Skidmore is
A. One of the most well rounded musicians I know
B. Went to school for music/composing
C. Has an impeccable ear for harmonies
D. Writes the music for her musicians to play (Cellists, etc.)
E. Has this ethereal magical thing going for her
F. Brings back the purity of what it means to be a true musician and a songwriter’s songwriter.

I highly suggest you go to Gayle’s myspace page and listen to her songs.
My favorite is one called Hopes Fall. I am waiting for her to put up this song that goes “Turn up the radio/turn down my heart”, but maybe she will take a hint and put that one up too.

-Vanja James
Northwest Noise
- Northwest Noise

""The Golden West" Premiere"

Indie singer-songwriter Gayle Skidmore is premiering the music video for her song “The Golden West” exclusively for readers of The Boot.
The title track of Skidmore’s forthcoming album, “The Golden West” was recorded at Ninkasi Studios in Eugene, Ore. The record is Skidmore’s way of processing five years of touring, personal loss, painful relationships and searching for ways to heal, and the “The Golden West” video came about as Skidmore was finishing up recording for the disc.
“We enjoy creating a positive vibe that is conducive to the creative flow, so that means lots of snacks, drinks and dancing around,” Skidmore tells The Boot. “For this session, I sat in with [my band] to coach them on the emotion of each part, and to make sure that the parts I had written translated well. I often compose parts for them on the piano, so it’s amazing to hear them come to life with viola, violin and cello when we can finally all get in the room together.
“Part of what made this album so special to me,” she continues, “was being able to translate how music helped me through the toughest times in my life into art, music and videos.”
The Golden West will be Skidmore’s 20th release as an indie artist, but her first full-length vinyl recording; the project is also accompanied by an adult coloring book. No release date has been set just yet, but fans can keep up to date with Skidmore on her official website. - The Boot

"Gayle Skidmore puts love to art in healing ‘The Golden West’"

If you’re going to preview a new album, you might as well go with the best, “The Golden West.” Gayle Skidmore’s 20th indie album features the first cut, which premiered Sept. 15 on PopMatters, then Ghettoblaster Magazine (Sept. 22), The Boot (Sept. 26) and now AXS.

The rest of the Golden West, the album, comes out in the spring of next year. The singer, songwriter, artist and multi-instrumentalist features 10 lyrical, lightly multi-genre and personally uplifting songs centered around healing from past mistakes, losses and setbacks.

She sings and plays a variety of instruments on her upcoming album, including the banjo.

The difference between her personally felt and perfectly executed songbook, and all those others is… these work wonders immediately and directly to improve the listener’s mood. It’s better than Prozac or a hundred virtual, group therapy sessions on Facebook.

In addition to the uplifting original music, Skidmore also includes a lyric and coloring book she personally attended to, to further the healing process she herself must have endured in order to come out the other side, able to help others still stuck inside. Her illustrations accompany the songs for quite an engaging adult coloring book, her third multi-media recording effort.

Skidmore recorded The Golden West at Ninkasi Studios in Eugene, Oregon in the summer of 2015, and a few more songs at the famous Joshua Tree studio Rancho De La Luna. Eagles of Death Metal’s Dave Catching provided his guitar work on “Only Ever You,” on top of it.

A whimsical artist, Skidmore has been known to whip up some dreamy set designs as well. The six-time San Diego Music Award nominee drew the illustrations for her Golden West coloring book while touring the Netherlands.

The Golden West follows the award-winning 2014 album, Sleeping Bear (Raincoat Records), her previous full-length album and coloring book combo.

Skidmore’s songs have made it into some famous situations: HBO’s new series “Looking” and Target/Facebook ads.

She’s also opened for and recorded with Jason Mraz, Lisa Loeb, Bushwalla and Coeur de pirate. - AXS

"Go Enjoy This Lovely, New Folk-Pop Single And Music Video “The Golden West” By Multi-Talented San Diego Singer-Songwriter GAYLE SKIDMORE With Her 20th Independent Release Off Her Next Album “The Golden West” Out Next Spring 2017!"

The Golden West is San Diego’s singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Gayle Skidmore’s twentieth independent release (and “The Golden West” is the album’s first single), which will be released with an accompanying lyric and coloring book in the spring of 2017. The Golden West is a ten-song album which focuses on moving on from the past, a very personal and important record for Skidmore. The production of the album is more dreamy than the previous full-length, and focuses on moving forward. Skidmore is creating an illustration for each of the songs, which will come with the lyrics, in the form of an adult coloring book. This will be Skidmore’s third coloring book and album. (from PR).PopMatters premiered the song “The Golden West,” Ghettoblaster Magazine premiered the live version, and The Boot premiered the music video. I thought I would share a portion of the song premiere of new single “The Golden West” that was on the buzzworthy Pop Matters here : “…. . With an undeniable hook and pure emotional appeal, the song bathes the listener in optimism and bright rays of hope that shine through from start to finish” Pop Matters

The lovely and talented singer-songwriter, and pianist Gayle Skidmore with draws the listener in with an upbeat, smooth folk style. I took a long listen to the new single “The Golden West” with the featured music video and single at the top of the post. Skidmore has these delightful, smooth vocals that cross between folk and pop .The behind the scenes music video shows how it was truly a collaborative effort. The finished track has such a raw folk-pop style with Gayle even playing the banjo at times along to the song “The Golden West“!

Gayle Skidmore is a six-time San Diego Music Award nominee, and The Golden West is the follow-up to her last full-length and coloring book combo, Sleeping Bear. Now, I haven’t yet seen the coloring book but I admire greatly “out of the box” artists that utilize all the creative styles that one possesses. Gayle has been busy with twenty independent releases in all which is quite an impressive musical repertoire that she has now compiled altogether !
A born songwriter, Skidmore’s natural ability and innate passion for music made her music career unavoidable. Sleeping Bear won “Best Pop Album” in the 2014 San Diego Music Awards and she previously won the “Best Singer-Songwriter” award in the 2013. Recently, her song “Paper Box” was featured on HBO’s new show “Looking.”
The Golden West album and coloring book focus on moving on from loss and difficulties. Skidmore has experienced a great amount of loss in her life, and this album, more than any other has been her medium for moving on. It is her hope that it will be a positive release for her fans, not only through music, which is proven to be healthful for the brain, but through the interactive act of coloring. Recent trends have brought to light new studies on the positive effects of coloring on the brain, and Skidmore believes that combined with music, it is even more powerful. This album and book are a major milestone for Gayle Skidmore, and she can’t wait to share them! (from PR). She is hard at work raising money for her upcoming album now on her Go Fund Me campaign and I must say I admire her independent spirit . Go help her raise the rest of her funds for her next album below :
Most of the album was tracked at Ninkasi Studios in Eugene, Oregon, where Skidmore stayed for two months in the summer of 2015. She was also able to record several tracks for the record out at the legendary Joshua Tree studio Rancho De La Luna, where her friend Dave Catching of Eagles of Death Metal laid down some guitar on the song “Only Ever You.” The illustrations for this coloring book were completed on her tour of The Netherlands.(from PR)
I also found a lovely live session for NPR Tiny Desk Contest with “Pale Ghosts” below that I thought you would enjoy which will actually be the first track on her new album “The Golden West” out in 2017. This song showcases her classical piano training in a live session and which perfectly compliments her outstanding vocals with a violin also creating a voice all its own.
Classically trained on the piano from the age of four, Skidmore started writing songs at age eight and, to date, has written more than two thousand songs. She also plays over twenty instruments including guitar, piano, the mountain dulcimer, banjo, folk harp, and balalaika. Her attention to detail and involvement in every step of the creative process, from producing her records to doing the artwork for her albums, show that she is completely dedicated to her craft. - Music Nut

"Gayle Skidmore - "The Golden West" (audio) (premiere)"

Musician Gayle Skidmore presents “The Golden West”, the title tune from her upcoming LP. The Golden West is release Number 20 for Skidmore and her first full-length in the vinyl format. The album also arrives with her third adult coloring book.

“The Golden West” marks a return to happiness for the singer-songwriter. She penned the tune during the same 2015 tour that introduced her to her husband. “The last five years of my life were a tumultuous time of loss and hardship,” she says. “My mother went through stage four cancer and a long-term relationship ended traumatically. I was able to wrestle through that time and sought healing in many places and fashions, including through songwriting and art.”

During that 2015 road trip with the acts Back Down South and Minor Birds. “We all wound up in Sonora, an old California mining town, at the venue the Gypsy Shack,” she says. Offered a place to stay by the Shack’s owners, the musicians slept on the venue’s stage that night. “Surrounded by good friends after a great show, I was inspired to pick up my banjo and write about it was to feel happy again. ‘The Golden West’ represents my resolution to no longer by bound by the confines of the past, to move forward in freedom and to hang on to what is good in my life.”

The album itself began taking shape with Skidmore’s friend James Book of Ninkasi Brewing at Ninkasi Studios in Eugene, Oregon. Sessions moved to Joshua Tree, California at Rancho De La Luna with Eagles of Death Metal’s Dave Catching. “It was fitting place to record this album,” she says, finding the desolate beauty in tune with the themes of loss and rebirth heard across the album. She wrapped the project in her hometown, San Diego with Brandon O’ Connell and Jason Begin at Singing Serpent Studios.

The song’s emotional uplift and sense of hope are evident from the earliest notes and more so as Skidmore begins singing in her powerful but understated voice. With an undeniable hook and pure emotional appeal, the song bathes the listener in optimism and bright rays of hope that shine through from start to finish - Pop Matters

"Connolly’s Corner - this Week: Viva La Vita - Gayle Skidmore"

My pick of the week is someone I have admired for a while. Someone who is supremely talented and very experienced in her field. Someone whose music I thoroughly enjoy, and yet - for some reason - someone on which I had never shone the spotlight (as it were). I suppose it’s yet again a case of me planning it for some point in the future yet predictably never getting around to it. Well, having turned over a new leaf (that wasn’t hard), I will quote a much underrated band, Moloko: “The Time Is Now”. Please welcome Gayle Skidmore!

Every week the New Artist Spotlight has a brand new Top 20 chart, voted by its members. With its weekly premiere airing on Blue Torch Radio (it is syndicated to a whole host of radio stations), comes a live chat with as many artists and moderators as are available at the time on our very own Discord server. It seems there is often something of a theme. A common occurrence is for my Connolly’s Corner pick of the week to attain a spot in the following week’s chart. It seems to have been nicknamed the “CC bump”…! I think someone has to make this a dance for TikTok. Anyway, rather more rare is the opposite way around, where a song in the chart triggers me to write a review - the TT bump…? Yesterday saw Gayle Skidmore’s first appearance in the NAS charts, even entering the Top 10 with Viva La Vita (translating as 'live life' - which you should know). She released this latest single back in January - what a way to start the year! I heard it on its first week of release and instantly loved it. But, as is so often the case, I could only pick one song a week to review. Always tricky. But now, my back burner is kaput! Time to serve. Well overdue, Gayle Skidmore is finally here. I often speak of talent in my corner. I sometimes mention prolificacy - here’s looking at you, Oghamyst. But Gayle really is something astonishing. She started playing the piano at age 4. Now - older - she dabbles in more than 20 instruments…! When it comes to output, she REALLY puts me to shame. And surely anyone else…? Any guesses for how many songs she has written…? I’ll give you a clue: you’re not even close. The answer is 2,200!!! And apparently that figure isn’t even up to date. But, but… HOW??! Well this is what I meant about grabbing the bull by its proverbials and getting the most out of life. But then how come her latest single was months ago…? Well she is also pretty business savvy and understands that we artists need money to live. We can’t produce without sustenance. For more than 3 years she has established her fan base on Patreon (founded by Jack Conte of Scary Pockets and Pomplamoose) and predominantly releases her material to, frankly, the people who deserve it. Her supporters. It’s very simple. She keeps up the quality, and people are all too happy to fund her, for the chance to enjoy her offerings. You get what you pay for! If you happen to have a spare few pennies lying around (and I mean pennies), I implore you to at least take a look at Gayle’s page and see what she’s up to (looking what cost a penny). I have only scratched the surface here. There I go again with my constant hypocriticality - once I am financially stable, I fully intend to support her.

For just a taster of the sheer quality and high standard of Gayle’s art, listen to Viva La Vita - available on all streaming platforms. Although originally from San Diego, she is now living in The Netherlands. One can easily tell how she was drawn to Europe from the sassy Latin cheek of Viva La Vita. It retains the familiarity of Europe’s traditions while bringing it right up to NOW! Her voice is flawless. This is a lady who knows what she’s doing. An artist in the truest sense of the word. As one would expect from having written SO many songs (the girl can't help it), she covers ALL sorts of genres, so in listening to what she has to offer, there really is something for everyone. It makes me so happy and gives me such hope when I see that an artist can genuinely live life to the full, and earn from said living, without being an Ed Sheeran or an Adele.

Let art live. Nike.

Forgive me, my proverbials are showing. Well, you shouldn’t be anywhere near my Netherlands anyway.

Listen to - New Artist Spotlight


View Gayle Skidmore's Discography (27 releases) here:



“Listening to Gayle is like entering a dream you don’t want to get out of,” remarks Jens Kruger of The Kruger Brothers as he joins Gayle Skidmore on stage at Eagle Music Shop’s Banjo 2020 event with Deering Banjos. If there is one thing that Gayle’s fans express over and over, it is that her music encompasses you fully in an enchanting, other-worldly fantasy.

There is certainly a variety of styles within this realm, as you can experience on any of Skidmore’s over 24 independent releases, on which she plays over 20 instruments. She experiments with a range of influences from her classical piano background, as well as her many other musical ventures, such as her time filling in on lead guitar for the all-Asian “Chinatown Dance Rock” band The Slants. On her latest full-length album, The Golden West, she discusses “moving on from the troubles of the past and forging a promising new tomorrow” with “her wood nymph voice.” From banjo grooving “Moving On” with its catchy slide guitar and whistling combo, to the haunting “Pale Ghosts,” it has been described as “a kind of surreal, groovy portal of escape, where I am blasting her music on my magic radio as I drive down some forgotten coast in the middle of an Indian Summer with my best friends from childhood.” (-Carole Banks Weber,

This spirit of connection is one that runs deep in Gayle Skidmore’s writing, and the root of that comes from a background of loss and trauma. Her early childhood was marked by the tragic loss of several young friends, as well as her uncle. In her very first journal, at the age of 8, she began by writing a song about death and loss in order to process these events. “It just came naturally to me,” Skidmore reflects, “like breathing, as they say. Without ever deciding, ‘I’m going to be a songwriter,’ I just began writing songs to process my life.” It was as cathartic as it was intrinsic, and a few years later, she began recording these songs with a close friend on her dad’s old tape deck. When her friend shared Lisa Loeb’s “Tails” album with her, she realized that she could share these songs with more people, and set up her first gig at a café at age 14.

Gayle’s dedication to her craft has paved the way to opening for the likes of Jason Mraz, Lisa Loeb, The Jamestown Revival, Sean and Sara Watkins, Sam Phillips, and Coeur d’Pirate. She has recorded with such artists as The Softlightes, Bushwalla, Jason Mraz and Tyrone Wells, and continues to explore new styles. Her song “Only Ever You” features Dave Catching of Eagles of Death Metal on guitar. Recently transplanted to The Netherlands, she continues to enchant with her singular, transportive style, and her heartfelt performances. A crowning moment was opening for her hero, Lisa Loeb, at San Diego’s beloved venue The Casbah in 2013.

In 2007, Gayle recorded two songs with Jason Mraz in his home studio, a studio she returned to in 2019 to record with Jeff Berkley, who also recorded Jason’s upcoming single. She returned to this studio in 2009 to record backup vocals for Bushwalla’s acoustic hip-hop album. Marking how far she has come, for Gayle’s last folk single “All My Life” (2020), she returned to Ohmgrown Studio once again, this time for a bigger production. This single features strings composed by Olivier Manchon of Clare & The Reasons, backup vocals by Clare herself, drums by Nucci of The English Beat, Rick Nash on bass, Jeff Berkley on guitar, and a vocal chorus of some of San Diego’s best and brightest singer-songwriters, including Billy Galewood of Bushwalla.

Having overcome many challenges- a mountain of loss and a relationship that ended tragically, Gayle Skidmore has a depth to her writing and performing that is as poignant as it is hard-won. Though she has lost count, she knows that she has written over 2500 songs. Currently, Gayle Skidmore is living with her husband in Hilversum, The Netherlands. She released a song every week in 2019 and 2020 for her fans on Patreon. Throughout her dark moments, Skidmore has always felt that music is a gift, one that she has worked tirelessly to develop and share, to give others a taste of the connection, healing, and hope that she found through transforming her pain into beautiful music.

Gayle Skidmore finds endless inspiration in the whirlwind of life, has never experienced writer’s block, and is always experimenting with new formats. Her love of whimsy is evidenced by the visual elements she adds to music, which includes three self-illustrated colouring books. Germany’s prominent newspaper, the Seuddeutsche Zeitung, named her “Die Schutzpatronin der Gartenzwerge,” the Patron Saint of Garden Dwarves, which she proudly vaunts. When she isn’t busy learning a new instrument, singing, painting, or writing lyrics and melodies, she composes parts for her cellist and violinist. Gayle enjoys baking cookies and making origami for her fans.

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