Scott Hallock
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Scott Hallock

Fountain Hills, Arizona, United States | SELF

Fountain Hills, Arizona, United States | SELF
Band Americana Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The beat pulsates through the veins of this musician"

The beat pulsates through the veins of this musician
by Michael Scharnow, Fountain Hills Times Editor
Scott Hallock plucks the strings or tickles the ivories and one can sense the generations pulsating through his veins.

The Fountain Hills man comes from a family that is very music oriented, and Hallock forges ahead with attempts to make his mark on the music world.

And those musical fingers are very busy - he is comfortable in many aspects of the musical industry, from singing and performing to giving lessons and laying down tracks at his homemade studio, aptly named Barrel Cactus Studio.

As a testament to the musicallegacy through the generations, his latest CD, "Stories," features on its front cover a 1910 photograph of his great-great grandfather, Rudolph A. Shaffer, plucking away on a banjo.

Scott Hallock is a versatile musician who is comfortable playing a variety of instruments as well as handling the technical aspects of running a music studio

The CD also contains a 16-panel booklet that not only features lyrics but personal stories about the songs that he wrote and sharing family memories ofhis father, grandpa and great-great grandfather.

One of the songs is called "Grandpa," and it was inspired by Hallock's late father, who continuously told him stories of his ancestry. The CD also features five songs performed on the banjo and recorded around 1960 by Franklin C. Shaffer, Hallock's great-grandfather. As if that weren't enough, the CD also has a music video, which Hallock filmed for his environmental song, "Believe It's Real."

He is currently compiling another CD, called "Cover Boy," which will feature a play list of famous cover songs over the decades. "They will all be popular songs that people will recognize," Hallock says. "Whenever I play people seem to request these songs, so I thought I'd put them on a CD."

Without a doubt, Hallock is a guitarist, singer and songwriter. Yet revealing the technical nature of music, Hallock prides himself on being an audio and recording engineer as well as a producer. In a display of his versatility, on "Stories" Hallock plays the mandolin, acoustic/electric six and 12-string guitars along with bass, harmonica, zube tube and various percussion.

Hallock is endorsed by Breedlove guitars and mandolins and John Pearse strings.

"I've always liked performing the best," Hallock says. "I've always been in bands, even through high school and college."

He first started playing the electric guitar, but he seriously took up the acoustic guitar during his college years. His "career" was informally launched during his sophomore year in college when he started playing in various English pubs. It's been non-stop since.

In 1998 he produced and released his first CD entitled "Tapping the Grey Sky, More Than I Can Carry" with duo partner Bob DiGirolamo in New Jersey.

With more than 1,000 CDs in his musical collection, it's no surprise that Hallock is influenced by the acoustic folk, bluegrass, rock, country and pop music of the `60s, `70s and `8Os as well as contemporary music of the `90s. "I really like good story songs with a catchy melody," he adds. "I tend to like the sounds of acoustic guitars, especially when playing solo. But like Neil Young, I like to switch over to the electric and crank up from time to time.

"When I have time and feel inspired, I write songs."

While living in New Jersey, he also was a member of the band Altakan for two years and contributed to its "Red Wheeling Spuning" CD. In 1999 he produced Maria Woodford's first solo CD, "Brighter Path."

Hallock's original song "Mr. Bear," was selected for the "Poet Man Acoustic Rainbow Sampler #2" CD, which has received airply worldwide. In 1999, "Mr. Bear" was awarded seventh place in the 16th annual Mid-Atlantic Songwriters Contest sponsored by the Songwriters Association.

Hallock has performed at a variety of venues including festivals, county and street fairs, coffee houses, restaurants, bars, libraries, bookstores and private parties.

Locally he has appeared at Mountain View Coffee, Euro Pizza Café, Cold Stone Creamery, Another Point of View, Great Fair and the Tap House. He currently is featured every Friday evening at Don Pablo's in the Colonnade Mall in Phoenix. On Mondays he teaches music lessons to aspiring students at Nova Records, where his CDs are available for sale.

Hallock has appeared twice on Channel 3's "Good Morning America" to perform and promote his CDs. He is scheduled to appear on the show a third time Aug. 11.

"My main goal is to increase my fan base in this area," Hallock said. "I want to find more venues to showcase my music and entertainment, in places where people appreciate good music. "With moving out here two years ago from New Jersey, it's really kind of like starting over.

Hallock also would like to get back on the circuit of backing up "big name" acts. In his travels Hallock has met, worked with and/or performed on the same program with many prominent musical artists including Livingston Taylor, Arlo Guthrie, Emmy Lou Harris, Michael Martin Murphy, America, Jars of Clay, Gary US Bonds and others.

Even though Barrel Cactus is a converted garage, and the sound booth a former closet, Hallock takes great pride in his modern equipment and his mastery at the sound board. "This studio is up and running, and I try to be fair with the rates," he says. "I like to offer it back to others who are just beginning."

Meanwhile, the beat goes on for Hallock. He will continue to play music, teach music, produce, write songs, whatever it takes. "Making contacts is the name of the game in many businesses, and it is definitely true in the music business," he concludes. "Talent, experience and versatility are a musician's best assets for success."

Judging by Hallock's career to, date, he is well versed in all three of those aspects.
- Fountain Hills Times

"Scott Hallock Cover Story in Acoustic Scene"

Originally from New Jersey, Scott Hallock started calling Arizona his home back in December of 1999. He was, however, no stranger to valley gigs, as he has performed here for several years. Sometimes a solo act, sometimes as a duo, or even with a full band, Scott continues to make his music his profession, and has already had much success. With several CD projects under his belt, and his first solo CD due out this spring, Acoustic Scene took the opportunity to find out what's in the mind of this successful, local musician.

What made you choose Arizona as your new home?
My mom moved out here eight years ago, and even before that we came out

to visit family. I always liked the Phoenix music scene. I was able to get gigs here every time I visited, and soon developed a Phoenix fan base. The weather was another reason for moving here. You never have to worry about being snowed out of a gig. The cost of living is less in Arizona than the East, and since l am a full time musician, this was a real important part of my decision to move here.
What one thing do you want people to know about your music?
I would like people to know that I wear a lot of different hats and am a versatile musician. If you have only seen me play two unplugged songs on an acoustic guitar at an open mic, that really is not painting a very broad picture of me and what I do musically. I play a variety of instruments, percussion, harmonica, electric and acoustic guitar, bass, mandolin, and vocals. I like backing up other people or taking the lead.

At bar and restaurant shows I play with background tracks on CD for a full band sound. No one that has seen me at Fiddlers Dream would probably know that. I play songs from the 50's to today's hits, country, rock, folk, no-depression, alternative, children's music, and classic rock. I really like good story songs with a catchy melody. I tend to like the sounds of acoustic guitars especially when playing solo. But like Neil Young, I like to switch over to the electric and crank up from time to time. When I have time and feel inspired, I write songs.

I understand your first solo release is due out this Spring. Tell us a little about that.
This CD was started in New Jersey before I moved out here. I put it on hold to produce Maria Woodford's CD, and for the first six months that I lived here, I did not work on it. However, it is now near completion, and hopefully will be released in early Spring. It is a collection of ten songs; eight written by me and two written by college friends. I was going for a more acoustic folk feel with this CD. On the More Than I Can Carry CD the folk stations would say it's a bit rocky, and the rock stations would say it is a bit mellow. They just didn't get it. I mean Paul McCartney had "Rocky Raccoon" and "Helter Skelter" on the same album. Bob DiGirolomo (Tapping the Grey Sky) and I were big fans of many 70's groups like the Dead, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. All of them mixed up tempos and feels, and instrumentation. We were going for a variety; we did not want every song to sound the same.

The first song on my solo CD, entitled Scott Hallock Stories, is called "Grandpa" and is written in bluegrass style. I wrote about different stories of people in my family from stories that were handed down to me from my father, Duncan. That is where I got the chorus, "Stories handed down from father's father" The CD cover is a picture of my great, great grandfather holding a banjo. All the songs come with a full list of credits, lyrics and a story. Like VH- 1 Storytellers I take you inside my head when I was writing these songs. The package concept is an old family scrapbook, with a three page cardboard fold and a sixteen panel booklet. The second song, "Red Line" was written by a college friend, Seth Miller, and I perform it as a duet with Maria Woodford. The song, "Have" is a tribute song to the Beatles. At the end of the CD I include five tracks of solo banjo played by my great grandfather from an old record he cut.

You have done some producing in the past, such as Maria Woodford's album, Brighter Path. Any plans to pursue more of that out here in Arizona?
I would be interested in doing some more producing. A friend of mine, Mike Alicke from the NJ band, Alaskan, is coming out here for a visit and we might start to work on his solo project. I have a small studio setup in my home, and am planning to finish my own CD ofcover songs, which is about half completed.

How is that role different for you when you were working with someone else to produce a project, as opposed to writing and playing your own material? How would you separate your own style from that of the musician you are working with, or is there a common ground?
Maria Woodford is a very strong and focused artist. It was easy to work with her. She came to my studio already knowing the songs she would record. She even knew all the tempos which made it easy to set the drum machine forher click track. That would be asimilarity with both of our CDs. Almost all the songs on Brighter Path and More Than I Can Carry started with one guitar and a click track and then we added other parts. Maria had written all of her own songs, with the exception of one or two which Alex Radius co-wrote. With More Than I Can Carry, I had many more responsibilities. In addition to producing, I had to play different instruments on all of the songs. The mastering, mixing, packaging, graphics, photos, and any other details you can imagine were left up to me. On Brighter Path, my role was focused on producing, which involved engineering, playing on some of the songs myself, hiring all the musicians, and helping to arrange the different instrumentation for each song. Maria had her own graphics and photos done. I selected the song order and put her in touch with a mixing studio, mastering studio, and duplication company.

What do you like/dislike about the local music community here, and what would you like to see happen?
Well I was very upset when Bob Zucker closed up his Web page. He had been really helping me with online CD sales. He was also posting all my show dates. He provided a real important service at a local level and unfortunately not enough people took advantage of it. His hits were up, but people did not buy enough CDs. Selling CD's has been a real problem for me. To make a CD sound like Maria's or mine it takes a lot of money and time. 'More Than I Can Carry' took over four years to complete, and I am not sure when I will ever break even on it. I tried hard to make it sound as good as if it had been done at a top of the line studio with a million dollar budget, and I think I came close. It upsets me when people pick them up and then just put them down, without buying them. Tonight, I sold one CD to a seven year-old girl who asked me to sign my autograph in crayon. It really made my day! People are too often hesitant about taking a chance on an independent CD. The younger kids were burning their own CDs for friends and now they just download the MP3 from Napster. They do not have to buy CDs anymore. I have a thirty year old friend who told me that he had not bought a CD in six months. He downloaded a copy of U2's new CD before it even hit the stores. So, I see CD sales in the future to be a problem for all musicians. Here in Phoenix, I would like to see people support local musicians more. I would say to our audiences, if you enjoyed a show, buy a CD to take home. It is probably not somethingyou can get in a store and supplies are limited. Most musicians do not print more than a thousand, so, who knows, it could become a collectors item!

Who had the biggest impact in influencing you, and why?
I have so many influences; I have a really eclectic taste. The one constant group that I keep going back to is the Beatles. They will never disappear. When I was in first grade I remember having Beatles 45's. I would play air guitar along with them, and dress up and make a stage out of chairs. They are still with me in whatever I do today: songwriting, engineering, producing, singing - it is all trying to measure up to them. Later, I would have to say the Grateful Dead. I leamed so much from this one group: blues, bluegrass, rock, jazz, psychedelia, country, folk, ethnic music, improvisation and great covers too. They had interesting harmonies and great writers, like Robert Hunter and John Barlow. Jerry Garcia played great banjo, acoustic and electric guitar, and pedal steel. If you look at the credits of his first record he played every instrument except the drums. That same CD gave us great songs like 'Sugar Ree', 'Loser', 'Deal', 'The Wheel', 'Bird Song', and 'To Lay Me Down.' I really can not say enough of what this band meant to me and the world.

You have had great success with getting some cool gigs with some big names, and done quite well getting your name out there. Other than your obvious talent, what's your secret?
I work really, really hard. The business side is not what I enjoy because it takes time, away from creating and playing music, but it is the most important thing to get your name out there. What I have found at this level is that no one books you better than yourself. If I do not get gigs, I will not have money to pay my bills, so that is a real motivator. I make a lot of phone calls and I always have an extensive press kit in the car ready to drop off at prospective venues. When I see a new room opening, I stop in and tell them what I am about. That is the best way to do it, in person. As for working with 'big name' artists, I have often been in the right place at the right time and because of my experience in sound engineering as well as performing and writing, I have had the opportunity to do sound for some of these performers, and to play with them, as well. Making contacts is the name of the game in many businesses, and it is definitely true in the music business. Talent, experience and versatility are a musician's best assets for success.

- Interview by Hank Thomas Acoustic Scene

"Scott Hallock Stories CD Review"

• Scott Hallock's new solo release Stories would best be described as "Eclectic Folk". An acoustic singer/songwriter with a variety of instrumental talents, Hallock combines a number of different styles of folk -- as well as more contemporary music -- into an enjoyable album. Fans of acoustic folk, bluegrass, folk rock, and pop music from the 1960s to today can find something here from Hallock, which appeals to their tastes.

Currently residing in Arizona, Hallock plays a good mix of instruments - mandolin, harmonica, percussion, acoustic and electric 6 and 12 string guitars, bass and zube tube, all which are included on this recording. Hallock plays each of these instruments with the skill of a seasoned veteran.

This album deserves a lot of praise. Hallock includes songs that could fit into several different generations and genres of music. Throughout the album, he maintains his own personal style and although each song is unique, they all fit well together. Hallock starts with a typical sound of a particular genre and adds his own flavor to it. This gives the listener the essence of a particular style which keeps the song within a certain comfort level, but at the same time adds new and different sounds which keep the listener interested and eager to hear more.

To accompany his instrumental talent, Hallock has a strong, pleasant voice with good range, and impressive lyrical abilities. His lyrics are relevant to the world today, and it is apparent that a good deal of thought and emotion has gone into them. Hallock is able to put his varied talents to work, and produces songs that are instrumentally, lyrically and vocally solid.

There were a number of tunes on this recording that strike my fancy. "Mr. Bear", "So Much More" and "Peace Song" are characterized by some great sounding percussion, catchy tunes and well-blended instrumentals. Melodious vocal harmonies prevail in "Red Line" and "Summer Rain" while the instrumentals in "Grandpa" and "The Move" caught my attention. "Giant" and "Have" sounded well suited to perhaps the pop scene, but still had roots in the folk genre.

The album also contains five additional tracks, which were recorded by Hallock's great-grandfather, Franklin C. Shaffer. These tracks are old time banjo tunes, and make for interesting listening, particularly for someone with an appreciation of the instrument. Although the age of the recording accounts for the odd distortion in sound, the recordings are quite good in quality. Shaffer deftly plays a variety of different speeds of tune in a wonderful finger picking style.

The album contains fabulous backing vocals on some tracks. The addition of a video clip for the poignant environmental song "Believe It's Real" was a nice bonus.

Hallock plays several of the instruments on this album himself, and adds other instruments played by live musicians as well. “Stories” is a well produced album by Hallock, with a good sound. This versatile musician has a knack for adding his own style to any type of music, and arranging it in a way which keeps people listening.
– Cheryl Turner, Rambles Internet Review site, October 2001
- Cheryl Turner, Rambles Internet Review

"Scott Hallock Stories CD Review"

• Scott brings a new, young man’s voice to folk that sounds like it might be more at home on a Broadway cast album (minus the dramatics). He has a very easy listening/adult contemporary style about him, like James Taylor, but with more ambition in instruments. Listening to “Summer Rain” is like enveloping yourself with a warm coat against all the elements devised.

Perhaps Scott’s most successful outing is that which ended up on an Acoustic Rainbow Sampler, “Mr. Bear.” The story relates to a stuffed bear who’d like to be real like The Tin Man and various other organ-less, heart-filled characters. “I need to be real,” he said. “I long to be real.” This waltz, orchestrated with fiddle, mandolin and assorted rhythms normally not associated with folk, is much like a kid’s story, complete with satisfying ending, in which “someone up there heard his wish, and now that bear’s able to feel.”

Stories is a good name for this disc. 49 minutes and 15 tracks go by with small town skill, like a traveling salesman with a keen eye and a cool response system.

Listening to the opening bluegrassy “Grandpa,” the warmth and positive intake begin their fun magic on any ‘ole sour mood you’ve got yourself into. The orchestration of the entire CD makes this release a necessary tool for living.

Scott is in demand. In the 1999-2000 season he played the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Phoenix Folk Festival, Tucson Folk Festival and about 5 other events with Folk or Songwriting in the titles. He’s also shared stages with Livingston Taylor, Gary US Bonds and other well known musicians.

Heard enough yet? So go listen.
– Ben Ohmart,
- Ben Ohmart,


Scott Hallock Stories LP, Scott Hallock Live From Arizona LP, Tapping The Grey Sky More Than I Can Carry LP, Alaskan Red Wheel Spinning LP. Mr. Bear single on Poet Man Acoustic Rainbow, Grandpa single on Oasis CD sampler. New CD coming out 2010.




Scott Hallock is an acoustic guitarist/singer/songwriter, and professional entertainer who is well known on the New Jersey and Arizona music scenes. In addition to his original music, he plays over 500 cover songs in the genres of acoustic folk, bluegrass, rock, country, tropical rock, reggae, contemporary Christian, and alternative rock from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's.
In addition to being a performer, Scott is an audio recording engineer and producer, with his own studio. In 1998, he produced and released his first CD Tapping the Gray Sky, More Than I Can Carry, with duo partner Bob DiGirolamo in New Jersey. At his Barrel Cactus Studio in Arizona, Scott has produced, recorded and performed on many local and national AZ artists’ CDs over the last ten years.
Scott's original song, Mr. Bear, was selected for the Poet Man Acoustic Rainbow Sampler #2 CD, which has received airplay worldwide. In 1999, Mr. Bear was awarded 7th place in the 16th Annual Mid-Atlantic Songwriters Contest, sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Washington, DC. In 2002 Scott received honorable mention in Billboard magazine for two original songs, Angels in the Sky and Mr. Bear from his Tapping the Grey Sky CD. The Grandpa Song, on his Stories CD was released on an Oasis radio sampler in 2003.
On his second CD entitled Stories, Scott plays a variety of instruments including mandolin, acoustic / electric six and twelve string guitars, bass, harmonica, and percussion. This CD is a unique, creative package of Scott's original songs, and includes a 16 page booklet of photos and stories of his family heritage. The CD also contains a music video of his environmental song Believe It's Real, which was filmed, by Scott, as well as additional tracks of his great-grandfather playing the banjo.
Scott has performed at a variety of venues including festivals, county fairs, community events, restaurants, corporate events, libraries, bookstores, coffeehouses, churches, senior centers, private parties and weddings. From 1999-2009 he has performed at the N.J. Black Potatoe Festival, Falcon Ridge Festival (NY), Phoenix Folk Festival, Tucson Folk Festival, Prescott Folk Festival, Flagstaff Folk Festival, and the Phoenix Songwriters Gathering in Arizona.
Scott has been a featured performer three times on Channel 3, "Good Morning Arizona," in 2001 and 2002. He has also played and has been interviewed on, KXCI FM 91.3 Tucson, KXAM 1310 Phoenix, KRIM FM, Payson, WMLN 91.5 FM Milton, MA, and NJ cable TV, and has been featured in Arizona and New Jersey newspapers.
In April 2003 Scott performed at the opening of the Linda McCartney's 60's Photograph Exhibition in Phoenix with guitarist, extraordinaire, Laurence Juber, formerly of the McCartneys' band, "Wings." In May, 2003 Scott was given the opportunity to record in the state of the art recording studio of the touring John Lennon Songwriting Educational Bus.
In his travels, Scott has worked with or performed on the same program with many prominent musical artists including, Kenny Loggins, Livingston Taylor, Michael Martin Murphy, America, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Riders in the Sky, Gary US Bonds, Al Perkins, Rex Fowler of Aztec Two Step, John Cowan, Richie Havens, Levon Helms John Sebastian, and Bert Lams of the California Guitar Trio. Scott’s Trio has been the opening act for six Arizona performances by the legendary Limeliters.
Scott has artist endorsements with Breedlove Guitars, John Pearse Products, FBT Audio, LR Baggs Pickups, and D'Addario. Through these endorsements he has participated every year from 2002 to 2009 in the NAMM Show, the world’s largest international music manufacturers' convention, in Anaheim, California. At the 2007 and 2009 NAMM Shows he played in the Martin Guitar booth with well known musicians Laurence Juber, Graham Nash and Jeff Pevar. In addition, Scott has done promotional work for the Guitar Center, often performing there to demo various types of equipment.
Scott also enjoys teaching guitar to many students of all ages.