McKee & Stone
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McKee & Stone

Band Rock Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"“Sneakin’ Around Town with Teddy Midnite”"


When Folly Beach resident, singer songwriter, Ted McKee (aka Teddy Midnite) took an early out from his corporate job some years ago, his plan was to make a living with his music and live on the marsh. Heading up 8 different bands of various genres including Sneakers, Swing Soup, Bojamma Blues, Moon Dog, Windwalker, McKee & Stone and Boss Hawg, Ted might be the hardest working musician on the Charleston scene. In addition to playing live gigs 6 to 7 nights a week (sometimes 2 or 3 in one day), he finds time to write songs, arrange music, record in his own studio and still keep a slight hand in the financial planning business that allowed him to ditch the coat and tie. Born in Atlanta to an Army officer, McKee comes from a long line of musicians. He started out playing guitar in a folk duo with his brother on banjo before the boys progressed to rock and roll. The line doesn’t stop with Ted. His 21 year old niece, Bonnie McKee, recently on tour with Ryan Adams, signed a multi-million dollar deal with Sony when she was still in her teens. Bonnie has an album of all original tunes called “Trouble” that is finding a niche on pop stations nationwide.
I first heard Ted McKee play at the Sand Dollar over twenty years ago with his long-time group, “The Silver Dollar Band”. The band played great rockabilly tunes by The Flying Burrito Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Emmy Lou Harris, etc. and featured Deenie McKee on lead vocals. Through the years Ted toured the Southeast playing with various artists such as John Brannen and Jack Williams.
Admirably, McKee has stayed true to his heart in a very tough business. He recently made time to talk about the craft of songwriting and his experiences in the music industry.
CFT: What inspires you to write songs?
Ted McKee: “I write a lot about the human condition, people that I meet, mostly about my own conditions. If I have a friend who is in trouble, I can actually feed off his troubles and write a song about it or I’ve also written songs about girls that have come out and danced, just the way that they dance…”

CFT: I know you play a lot of original material when you perform, why do you think its worth people’s time to listen?
TM: “I feel like I have a gift of imagery, that I can create colors and images in people’s heads when they hear the lyrics. And people have told me that, and I totally enjoy writing like that because it gives me the same type of sensation. I guess that’s why. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a top hit or anything, at this point in my life it really doesn’t matter to me. It’s an art form and I think it’s the colors that are on my palette at the time.”

CFT: How has your songwriting evolved from your early attempts to your latest?
TM: “Well I felt my earlier stuff was more “immaturish” actually. I didn’t consider myself as being an in-depth songwriter and after living through some things and some different influences, I felt that I matured a little. So yeah there’s gonna be a difference and I hope the songs that I write in the next 10 years are different than the songs I just wrote in the last ten.”

CFT: Do you have a favorite song that you’ve written?
TM: “I think one of my favorite songs is “Where the Blue Heron Flies” just because I like the way the melody goes. It makes me think of the Low Country and how much I love it here.”

CFT: Is that a song you feel could be commercially successful?
TM: “Nashville told me it wasn’t. I had a professional songwriter listen to the song and he wrote a critique. He said he didn’t think it was commercial enough to be successful. But that doesn’t really mean that much to me, you know they have a certain formula. If it doesn’t fit into that formula or that niche, it’s not going to work.”

CFT: Do you have any regrets about your music career?
TM: “Yes of course I do. I would like to be in a place where I traveled around and did my own songs and that’s all I did. I guess the biggest regret is that I didn’t educate myself on songwriting as a craft until later on in life. I wish I had done it a lot earlier.”

CFT: Who has had the most influence on you as a songwriter and musician?
TM: “Lately it’s been Tom Waits, Steve Earle, and Cole Porter… Bob Dylan, certainly some of my wilder things that I’ve written he kind of inspires me. I like the way Cole Porter puts music together, melodic lines. For the jazz songs that I write, I kind of like it.”

CFT: What advice do you have for young singer songwriters just starting out?
TM: “I’d just say listen to a lot and try a lot of different things. You know I do a lot of different genres of music and I write in every genre because I get bored with the same one all the time. It’s like I run out of ideas, then if I go to something else, it renews my inspiration to the one that I just left. Now I’m in another genre, that kind of works…for me. I think everybody’ - Charleston's Free Time

"CD Reviews, Etc."


CD Review
Mike Gross / WVOF-FM / Fairfield, CT
“The beautiful SC beach country is home to a new and very enjoyable Western Swing band called Swing Soup. They have recorded a fine album of 11 original tunes, all written by the band’s very talented lead vocalist, guitar and mandolin player and album co-producer, Ted McKee.”
“The album opens with a very swinging Magic in the Moonlight and then goes to a smooth local Western Swing atmosphere for Where the Blue Heron Flies. The album contains touches of all moods of western Swing but still stays beautifully in the genre…The final tune is a dandy with a southwest theme titled Cowboy State of Mind.”

CD Review
Joe Baker / KWES FM / Ruidoso, NM
“I can remember the first time I ever heard this style of “Swing” music several years ago, I was introduced to a sensational group called Hot Club of Cowtown. SWING SOUP has a distinctive and refreshing up beat style, all their own. My ears really perk up when I hear swingin’ original music. There’s no standard cuts on this CD, folks.”
“My very first thought as I heard this CD was “Lookout for Number Two!” I am very impressed with SWING SOUP as this great group finds a place on Joe Baker’s Backforty Bunkhouse Show. The self-titled CD “Swing Soup” needs to be in your library today.”

Copyright The Post and Courier Sep 25, 2003
The College of Charleston's songwriters’ series sprang out of the annual writers’ conference hosted by the English Department throughout the 1990s. When folkie legend Tom Paxton passed through twice in the middle of the decade, Creative Writing department founder Paul Allen decided to begin hosting an annual songwriters' series. Up to this point, the series has played host to some of the more outstanding contemporary songwriters around, notably New England tunesmiths Josh Ritter and Bill Morrissey.
This year's installment will be a round table featuring four songwriters to take place tonight at Physicians Auditorium on the College's campus. Local talents Ted McKee, Jay Miley, Michael Flynn and Frank Carlier will all perform tonight.
I spoke with Allen, the concert organizer, about the show.
Preview: How did you decide on these four guys?
Paul Allen: "Michael (Flynn) is a songwriter's songwriter. He is one of the best lyricists and musicians I know. His songs are surprising, funny and heart wrenching. Besides, he is a former student from the College of Charleston. After graduating, he went to the famous Berklee School of Music in Boston and played Boston and New York a lot. Now, he has moved back down here, and I'm glad. His lyrical twists and turns remind me of a cross between Paul Simon and Randy Newman. That's as high a praise for songwriting as I can offer. But he still is all Michael.
"Ted's (McKee) newest album 'Swing Soup' is a terrific turn for him. He'd been doing a roots/acoustic thing and has moved more into western swing. He's incredibly versatile.
"Jay (Miley) plays a bluesy folk with some jazz and rock progressions thrown into the mix. It's a true here's-what-it-is kind of thing. He lays it out simply but not simplistically.
Good lyrics with a 'real' quality to the music. Nothing fake or artificial there. His just released album, 'Last Man Standing,' is terrific.
"Frank Carlier's music is well known here and abroad. He's a multitalented musician, stunning in his mastery of several instruments.
He teaches lessons at Mount Pleasant Music. Frank is the kind of music man that in another time we might see in roadhouses and on foyers to bawdy houses -- a gruffness polished by years on the road and playing for folks who need someone to mirror their rough lives."
P: What makes the event special?
Allen: "These guys are true pros. You might get this sort of treat in Nashville regularly, but it's rare in Charleston that four such pros can get together for a single night's performance. A couple of them had to turn down gigs just to do this show."
P: Where will it be and how much does it cost?
Allen: "It's in the Physicians Auditorium in the Science Center at the College of Charleston at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (tonight). It's $8 general admission and $5 for students of any kind."
P: Don't you teach a songwriting class?
Allen: "Not a 'Song Writing' class, but a class on 'Writing Song Lyrics,' in the summer. That grew out of what I saw might be a need for our students, trying to help them with some poetic elements of song lyrics. I've been stunned at how much the students have taught me. We've got some terrific songwriters.
Before he went on to Berklee, Michael Flynn did some of his songs as his senior symposium project. Owen Evans, of Beverly Owens, is another. There are too many to name. But that course is a matter of all of us teaching each other. I'm very proud of them."

- Post & Courier


McKee & Stone
Ted & Eddie Live
Swing Soup
Teddy Midnite


Feeling a bit camera shy


Ted McKee, the son of an Army Officer originally from Atlanta GA grew up traveling the world. The middle child in a family of 7, the McKee musical talents rippled through like waves. Relocating to the Lowcountry of SC over 30 years ago gave Ted a taste of island livin'. Determined to ditch the coat & tie, Ted left his job as a bank VP in '99 to play music full-time. As the leader of 8 different acts, he plays guitar or piano in a variety of venues and events throughout the area.
From Fairfax, SC, Rodney Stone is multi-talented musician and vocalist in his own right. After turning down a scholarship to The Juliard to play rock and roll on the road, he too landed in the Lowcountry. Rodney plays Congas with the duo but he is an accomplished guitarist, bass player, pianist & percussionist.