Maggie Council
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Maggie Council

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF
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The winners of Rene Marie’s Voice of my Beautiful Country Contest have been announced! In light of Rene Marie’s latest release (listed in A Blog Supreme’s The Best Jazz of 2011 So Far?) contestants were asked to share “their beautiful country” with us. We received all kinds of wonderful submissions, from musical compositions to photographs to artwork. Browse the entries.

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to enter. Rene Marie reviewed all the entries herself, and ultimately decided to award first place to Maggie Council for her moving composition “Bingo Bus on the Trail of Tears.” See all the winners below.

Congratulations goes to:

Maggie Council – Musical Composition: “Bingo Bus on the Trail of Tears” - Motema Music

You may not have heard of Maggie Council, but she's far from unknown, having shared stages with Al Stewart, Joan Armatrading, Hot Tuna, Steve Earle, Warren Zevon...yeah, I was shocked too (oh, and that reminds me: she opened for Michelle Shocked, as well). Council blends Joni (especially in the title cut), Melissa, Rickie Lee, Melissa Ferrick, and kindred chanteuse / provocateur / composers into a persona that's light and breezy while biting, satiric, and warmly intelligent all wrapped in one. Her compositions run to modern folk strains layered up in her own backing vox atop stripped down but rhythmic backgrounds, everything informed by a vivacious ennui (an odd conflation, true, but one listen will convey what I mean).

The recording has a slightly boomy and hollow big-room quality that dips the disc in a blues atmosphere even more than is otherwise present, veneering a patina of sepia and magnolias onto the brownstones and back alleys of the mode. Council's voice alternates between Betty Crocker sweet and upbeat, and then Mae West tart and knowing, someone who sees the bullshit and ignorance but is amused by it while not being fooled. Nonetheless, the tone here is positivistic amid many other virtues. Look especially for numerous very cool unusual decorations like her own voice-brass recessed "horn" backing in the opening cut, Nebraska Avenue.

Though she has six sessioneers on Not in the House, this is really all Maggie Council, everything else a matter of shading watercolor tints beside the singing and playing (guitar, piano, bass, toy piano)…except perhaps for the drums, which are kinda hard to muffle no matter what the context. The entire thing is perfect summer music, designed to cool you off a bit in the balminess of the presentation, and, since that season is almost here, ya might wanna think about not replacing that raggedy damn malfunctioning air conditioner in the back parlor, which is gonna cost ya an arm and a leg anyway, and just get this CD instead.
It's a thought.
Track List:

* Nebraska Avenue
* You Were Dancing
* When Mama's Happy
* Palm Trees in my Back Yard
* Waking Up

* Ordinary Dias
* Not in the House
* Coulda Been
* These Two Boys
* Picket Dancing

All songs written by Maggie Council.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
- Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange


Shaking the Hive - 1991 (CD)
Only Ones - 1997 (CD)
Not In The House - 2009 (CD)



It's all about the groove. Maggie Council writes songs on guitar, bass, and piano. Sometimes in the studio she plays all the instruments on a given track.

Maggie has earned songwriting and performance awards from Creative Loafing, JAM magazine and others. In June, 2011, she won Motema Music's national contest with her song "Bingo Bus on the Trail of Tears" and performed her song with jazz vocalist Rene Marie and her band at Blues Alley in Washington, DC. Later that year, Rene invited Maggie to perform with her at the Straz Center in Tampa.

Since 1992, Maggie's played bills with a diverse array of pop, blues, folk and rock artists from Acoustic Alchemy and Joan Armatrading to Ronnie Milsap and Matt 'Guitar" Murphy to Michelle Shocked and Al Stewart to Townes van Zandt and Warren Zevon.

Not to mention Hot Tuna, Guy Clark, The Band, Steve Earle, Steve Forbert, Robert Earl Keene, Jr. and Chris Smither.

Her original music has graced airwaves on four continents and American Indian Satellite Radio, WMNF (Tampa), KPFT (Houston), Whole Wheat Radio (Alaska), WLRN (Miami), WSLR (Sarasota), KBOO (Portland), charted on non-commercial radio stations in ten of fifteen U.S. test markets, and been downloaded in over 30 countries.

Maggie was the first American artist to be featured on FATEA's quarterly compilation CD, in 2009. FATEA is a 23-year-old UK magazine devoted to acoustic music.

Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Maggie studied History and developed a soft spot for Anthropology when she should have been studying music. She now makes her home with her husband and their kids in Florida, where there are palm trees in the backyard.