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"The World Needs a Lil' Margaret Scranton"

by Michael Mercer ~ October 15th, 2008.

Margaret Scranton may have been born too late. As an artist, her outlook reflects those of the music revolutionaries from the late sixties/early seventies. “You just can’t lowball everything� she said during our conversation on the telephone yesterday. “I don’t understand what’s happening today; the craziness with our children, but I do know that the human spirit will always seek the truth, where ever it may lie.� “Hey, look; kids are going to want to eat ice cream all the time, we all did, but that doesn’t mean you feed them nothing but ice cream at all hours of the day!� She feels obligated to do more, give more, and provide an example for the meandering youth. These feelings however; wanting to contribute, do not sit idle in the rock-n-roll world of Margaret Scranton.

Hailing from a bloodline of strong teachers (both grandparents were educators), Scranton splits time between her art (both music and photography) and teaching music to young kids. “Technology has made people lazy� she said. She tries to give her students a strong sense of self first, and let them develop their skills from there. This learned self reliance can manifest in rare acts of follow-through. Something that is wholly lacking amongst young people today. “I try to teach a simple concept: Don’t accept what’s been handed to you, and stand up for yourself.� If only more of our full-time teachers shared her passion and drive, we would surely see a difference in the attitude of students today. Scranton says we need to re-learn how to truly commit to something, anything; whether it be our job, hobby, or chosen form of artistic expression.

The art of commitment is something Scranton knows intimately. This is evident through her own thirst forMargaret Scranton Pic Kool knowledge and musical education. Acknowledging Randy Rhodes as an integral source of her inspiration was not enough for this motivated artist. She wanted to learn and soak up as much as she could; about his playing, and guitar theory in general. So, who did she enlist for this musical education? The mother of Randy Rhodes! Now there is a story in itself, but perhaps for another time. Scranton also cites Van Halen as another inspirational band. She saw them live in 82′ (what a time to see those guys; at the peak of their greatness) and was hooked. Clearly she has ideas about what she likes and how to make things happen. In this world of instant gratification, her sheer will and determination are a beacon for struggling artists trying to keep true to their own visions.

While speaking of other artists that have carried this torch before her, we got onto the subject of the masterfully talented Tori Amos. “Tori gave me permission to be myself.� “If we all had the same plastic surgeries we wouldn’t be very interesting, now would we?� Being a huge fan of Amos myself, I can relate to Scranton’s feelings about her artistry. Tori Amos has never been afraid to cover the socially taboo; whether in her songs, or even say the things we’re all scared to say (her song “God� for example, and the video; which set the hairs of right wing Christians ablaze all across the country at the time).

Her world view is also mightily optimistic, which is yet another refreshing side of Scranton. “Evil has no power� she says, “only seduction.� A great line; stated plainly, with no superfluous adjectives or political bantering for effect. This streamlined, positive point of view is perhaps the greatest looking glass into her music; which is seductive and raw in its emotional charge. Her sound rocks, yet is surprisingly polished. “I feel like I need to give people some kinda hope� she said with the type of conviction that will get her what she wants if she makes the right moves. Check out some of her songs on her myspace page here.

The Margaret Scranton band will be playing at the Pine Street Bar & Grill this Friday in Livermore. We’ll be there, so come on down and enjoy some good ol’ rock-n-roll!! -

"Scranton Rocks at "She Riffs""

by Michael Mercer ~ January 26th, 2009. Filed under: Bands of the Bay, Bay Area, BuzzOfTheBay, Concerts, Featured bands, Guitar, Indie, Show reviews, The Margaret Scranton Band, Uncategorized.

The Margaret Scranton Band joined other leading guitar ladies for the “She Riffs” event at the Red Devil Lounge last Friday evening. The event was formulated as a way to showcase top notch female guitarists by creating an environment that would enable them to go for it on-stage. What better way than to book varying acts with one thing in common: Women that rock on the six string. The crowd that stormed the club were eager to hear some good ol’ fashioned rock-n-roll, and there were many devotees in attendance, which made for an energetic audience.She Riffs Flyer

Unfortunately we were only able to catch The Margaret Scranton Band (which did not seem unfortunate to us at the time, as Margaret killed it). Her command of her beloved instrument was staggering. Luckily we were able to get right up front, and spent their whole set basking in the wonderment of Scranton’s guitar licks. She was obviously having the time of her life, and that energy was as magnetic and engaging as any multi-platinum artist could muster. She expressed both joy and a bit of nervousness at the size of the crowd (it was packed for their performance) but she did not lose a beat. She was a pro up there, which had to be somewhat challenging as the band welcomed a new singer for this show (apparently their former lead vocalist moved to New Mexico).

We can not comment directly on the performance of the other bands on the bill, as we did not experience their sets first-hand. According to the many people we spoke with regarding the music throughout the evening the other bands were all up to the task and gave their fans a night to remember. The other acts sharing the bill with Scranton were Gretchen Menn (of the band Sticks and Stones), Katie Colpitts (with Dolorata), Shelley Doty and Groovy Judy.

The organizers of the event are lining up another night in the Spring, and we will be sure to catch all the acts for the second go-around. This concept is an interesting one, as female guitarists are few and far between. After experiencing Scranton work her magic however, one thing is abundantly clear: Women can indeed rock the house. -

"Margaret Makes Guitar Player mag!!"

My bandmate Margaret was selected as one of 10 featured guitarists of the month in Nov. Guitar Player mag! Here's what ace axe editor Mike Molenda had to say:

"Guitarist Margaret Scranton has a delightfully snotty tone and she really knows how to dig into a riff until it dances into your brain. Her short solo at 1:40 cuts into the mix with a soaring bend, says its piece, then shuts up. Nothing in excess here--Bravo! - Guitar Player Magazine

" Podcast"

Margaret Scranton and bassist Jane Tyska are interviewed by Frank Butler for as they talk about music and photography.

Check it out! - Frank Butler

"Margaret @ Bottom of the Hill"

It's a funny thing in the music world. There's just a lot of macho guy power going on. (Must be all that drum-banging and cool gear). And that's a-OK. But people, women know how to rock too, and Margaret & The Crazy Diamonds are proof of that for sure. They'll be joined tonight at Bottom of the Hill by Luvhed and The Hormones.

--by Kari Hulac -


Born Ready EP (2006)
Genuine Article LP (2007)



Margaret Scranton is an accomplished lead guitarist and songwriter based in Oakland, CA. Her original music can be described as melodic hard rock, and one of her greatest influences is guitarist Randy Rhoads of Ozzy Osbourne fame.

Margaret is a dynamic performer and has been playing guitar in various bands for over 20 years. She was recently selected to headline an industry showcase at the Derby in Hollywood.

Her current band, Scranton, plays at prominent local venues including The Red Devil Lounge, Bottom of the Hill, and The Uptown. Margaret is also the guitarist for the Hormones, an all-girl Ramones tribute band who have upcoming shows at Slims and the Little Fox Theater. She’s a fine-art photographer, printer, children’s guitar teacher and hopes to make a difference in the world with her music.

Margaret’s EP “Born Ready� is available on Itunes and CD Baby.