Teddy Midnite (ted mckee)
Gig Seeker Pro

Teddy Midnite (ted mckee)


Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sneakin' Around Town With Teddy Midnite"

"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’s different.”

In regards to the craft of songwriting and the Nashville formula for a commercial hit, Ted points out that creative writers like Tom Waits and Steve Earle have ignored all the rules and still found success. In his own style, McKee’s prolific songwriting seems to flow as effortlessly as the ocean breeze."

Copyright 2005 CFT - Charleston's Free Time

"Ritual CD Review"

Uncompromising in his music as ever, Ted McKee’s latest release, entitled Ritual is a universal leap from his previous commercial works. Ritual is a compilation of 10 songs with an expressive look at the many philosophies that encompass spirituality set to a variety of Celtic, Rock and Native American rhythms. The diverse Pagan flavored melodies make every track worth its own mention.
Opening with “The Man in Green”, it generates playfulness in a markedly upbeat acoustic Celtic tempo with McKee himself on guitar, mandolin and Pennywhistle. The lyrics are easy to listen to and bring forth immediate imagery of the “Jack in the Wood”. Believers of this philosophy draw on Mother Earth and nature as the true spirit of the soul.
Track 2, “On the Wings of a Gypsy” takes a deeper turn into the airy-fairy sphere. This song has a beautiful melody and soothing little chorus line that carries the philosophy from “The Man in the Green” and as the song says “takes us all home on the wings of a gypsy”. Home being that beacon of light many claim to see as they enter the next phase of existence.
The next track, Ritual dives into the 4 elements that are considered to be the only constants in the world, “Earth, Fire, Air and Water”. This track follows along with reference to the Circle of Life. Here the melody line becomes a steady rhythmic Native American sound with a strong drum beat driving it upward.
Track 4, “Avalon” could be a feel good pop song. “Avalon” draws the listener in with lyrics about peace and love, taking you to a place in the past, before the petty nature of humans began to war with each other.
Track 5, “Rising Tide” flows in love and light with Goddesses and Gods. The theme drifts with the current during the flow of man’s eternal search for fulfillment in a world gone astray from the planet’s natural rotation.
Track 6 will probably bring more commercial success for the CD than any others. This toe tapping Celtic flavored ballad invokes a vision of worshippers encircled hand in hand as the story of Rianne (Ree-ann), a witch of long ago who is burned at the stake for the usual reasons, unfolds. The brilliant fiddle accompaniment on this tune by local musician, Allan Thompson strikes a perfect note along with the chattering chant of clapping hands. It’s a great song for the next historical film portraying the scandals of Salem or for anyone daring to produce a film with a definitive Wiccan slant.
Track 7, “Rise” picks up the Native American beat and sticks true to the genre. The haunting flute tracks by Jon Phillips and the eerie taunt of maracas call upon the great Spirits of a West long gone to unify people as one body of energy.
“Lady in the Moon”, Track 8, is a departure in some respects from the other songs. In this call to passion, McKee seeks to find the sparks of a love burning bright. Although it is not meant to be romantic, the immediate interpretation might be such. The Lady in the Moon refers to the Goddess prevalent in the beliefs of Witches and Wicca’s dating back to the Celts celebration of “Lammas” and the Irish Gaelic holiday of “Lugnasadh”. In simple terms these holidays denote the day representative of 'first fruits' and early harvest and is considered by Witches one of the four High Holidays or Greater Sabbats of Witchcraft, occurring 1/4 of a year after Beltane. Most non-Christian spiritual believers utilize a Goddess as their focus of worship.
“Blessed Be” is my favorite song on the CD and that is high praise from a cynical, non-believing skeptic. Ted’s vocals on every track are his rare combination of Van Morrison, Tom Waits and Sinatra. Even William Shatner has nothing on Ted McKee. In “Blessed Be”, Ted continues to weave a thread into the Circle of Light and the Five Points of ancient beliefs, as the energy and the fire within lingers in a soothing harmony with female back-up singers chanting “blessed be”. Enticing guitar licks drive the simple beat and the lyrics paint a Sistine Chapel of love in the message to let all believers be as one. The song is finalized with an oratory message (hence the William Shatner reference) with Ted reading aloud in his mesmerizing voice quotations by Kahil Gibran, Black Elk, St. Augustine, First Corinthians and Goda Ghia.
Track 10, “Sophia of the Dune”, outlines a man’s quest for enlightenment, love and truth. The striking melody develops like a journey from an acoustic ballad to a Celtic experience with a soulful Cello accompaniment by Matt Walker, who sat in the studio at Folly Beach last spring to lay down the exquisite tracks.
New Age, Spiritual, and Philosophical in essence, Ritual is a CD that can give a spent soul a desire to renew faith in something. Moments of reflection on the elements of Nature can open the eyes of most lost travelers and a few cuts off Ritual can satisfy the thirst for something different in this traumatized world. Blessed be.
Ritual is available at www.cdbaby.com/tedmckee2 or by contacting the artist at t - Charleston's Free Time

"Review of Ted McKee – Col. Tamar Alexia Fleishman"

You can’t get more Southern than Ted McKee: his South Carolina ancestor, George Haynesworth, fired the first shot of the Civil War. Ted’s acoustic guitar has a rootsy-Americana feel, with a good deal of bluegrass influence. You can definitely hear this in songs like “Hummingbird Express”. Some of his songs have a more mellow feel, kind of like Gordon Lightfoot.

Ted is certainly versatile: he plays guitar, piano, flute, bass and pennywhistle. In addition to his solo work, Ted plays in 8 (!) bands of different musical genres.

For more information, check out http://www.teddymidnite.com .
- Southern Fried Magazine


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."

By Ashton Tucker - The Post & Courier


April 2007 Issue
Singer songwriter Lorna Roberts is the local coordinator for the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) group along with Danny Meadows. Lorna recently took the time to explain the details of the organization as well as the benefits.
CFT: First off, let’s dispel the myth. Is NSAI just for songwriters who write "country" songs?
Lorna: NSAI is actively working to protect the rights of ALL songwriters, in ALL genres, so in that respect, no, NSAI is for everyone. Having said that, Nashville is still
predominately a Mecca for songwriters writing country or gospel or Americana
music, although a host of other folks live in Nashville now, including
Sheryl Crow and Donna Summers.
CFT: What is NSAI and what are the benefits of membership?
Lorna Roberts: Nashville Songwriter's Association International is the largest songwriting organization in the country. One of its main objectives is to help protect the legal rights of professional songwriters. NSAI was instrumental in Congress passing
the Songwriter's Capital Gains Tax Equity Act in Jan., 2007; so that
songwriters now pay 15% instead of the 40% they were paying in taxes when
they sold their catalogs. Another of its main goals is to help develop and
educate people so they can become better songwriters. Current members can send up to 12 songs a year to be evaluated by pros. We also do critiques in our local workshop. NSAI has monthly "Pitch to Publisher" nights in Nashville that all members can participate in and yearly song contests anyone can enter.
CFT: You recently attended a week long event called Tin Pan South in Nashville. How do you feel it helped you?
Lorna: It was awesome! I saw ten shows in five days! I always love Tin Pan South shows, because the actual songwriters sing their songs and tell the stories behind the songs. I come back inspired to write MORE songs and BETTER songs, to work HARDER and not give up. One of the Saturday night shows featured a guy named Barry Dean, who has had cuts by Martina McBride and Reba. He and I went to Song Camp 201 together and here he was sitting on stage, singing his hits. What's the difference between him and me? First of all, he's hugely talented, but besides that, he was really DRIVEN to succeed - he's worked really hard on his writing AND he moved to Nashville. Seeing him inspired me to take it more seriously.
In addition to Lorna, several other Charleston based songwriters stepped up to the plate to provide their insight. Carroll Brown is the previous owner of Charleston Recording Studio now owned by singer songwriter Jay Miley. Carroll started the Monday Songwriter’s Night at his restaurant, The Oceansong Café. After it closed, Chad Luik at Sunfire Grill & Bistro encouraged the group to move West Ashley. David Moulton, a regular participant on Mondays is a published author and a songwriter. His experiences in life lend an interesting twist to his many songs. Steve Schultz is a relatively new face on the NSAI scene but his exceptionally positive attitude is inspiration itself. Ted McKee is a Charleston based musician who as noted in past issues of CFT writes and plays in almost every genre of music on guitar and piano. His all original CD, Swing Soup was nominated for 5 awards by the National Academy of Western Music. Ted himself was nominated for Best New Male Vocalist. The CD continues to sell worldwide on CD Baby.
CFT: Why did you become involved with NSAI?
Lorna: I was impressed with the number of programs that NSAI offered to aspiring songwriters; especially, I liked the fact that we could establish a LOCAL workshop and learn more right here in Charleston without having to go to Nashville, L.A. or New York.
Carroll Brown: I joined in Nashville to help with networking and meeting writers. My friend Richard Leigh was president at the time and encouraged me to join.
David Moulton: I first joined NSAI in Southern California in the late 1980s in an effort to learn all I could about songwriting and the music business.
Steve Schultz (Dr. Steve): To learn proper songwriting formats in order for the listener to better connect with the lyrics and melody line. Also to be more integrated with serious songwriters developing a craft based on proven techniques.
Ted McKee: To make contacts, get inspired, and get professional feedback on my songs.
CFT: What impact has it had on you as a songwriter?
Lorna: I feel like I'm a stronger writer and able to write more commercial songs now because of the NSAI classes, “Songposiums” and song camps I've attended. I also love the feedback I've gotten from people in the business who are affiliated with NSAI -
people I would not have access to if not for NSAI.
Carroll: The local monthly meetings are difficult for me to attend, and the "lessons" are a bit 'general' but the fun and kinship are a great source of support. When I'm in Nashville, the meetings there are very specific and useful, especially a - Charleston's Free Time


2005 – RITUAL



Ted Haynsworth McKee (AKA Teddy Midnite) is the son of SC born parents, Elizabeth Yeadon of Sumter and Edgar Stanton McKee of Darlington. Born in Atlanta, the middle child of 7 children, Ted grew up traveling the world during his father's career as an Army officer. Ted started playing guitar at 13 in a folk duo with his brother, Bill before the boys progressed to rock and roll. He played his first club gig at age 14 at The Branding Iron, a notorious dive in Ft. Smith, AR. After he finished high school in Atlanta, Ted attended college in Georgia and did a stint in the Army. Still playing music, Ted moved to the Lowcountry in the 70’s after much time on the road in the band "Grace" with John Brannen. The band had occasion to play with another Lowcountry great, Jack Williams. The influences of these two powerful songwriters show themselves in many of Ted's early works. Today Ted McKee heads up 8-10 different acts of various genres including Sneakers (Variety), Swing Soup (Western Swing), Teddy Midnite (Solo Piano), McKee & Stone Island Duo, Wing Walker (Jazz), Moon Dawg (Reggae), Blue Skye Band (Country), Bojama Blues and Boss Hawg (Bluegrass). 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 keep a slight hand in the financial planning business that allowed him to ditch the coat and tie. Through his career, Ted has developed an intricate style of composing in different musical genres. Primarily a guitarist, Ted taught himself to play piano several years ago. With his boundless talent he was soon booked as "Teddy Midnite", a name given to him by the late sax player, Robert Pfaeler. Along the way Ted’s natural curiosity about music has allowed him to dive headfirst into a variety of projects. In 2002 The Academy of Western Music nominated Ted and his western swing band “Swing Soup” for multiple awards including Best New Male Vocalist, Best Group (again in 2003), Best Song of the Year for “Cowboy State of Mind”, and Album of the Year. Ted’s album, “Ritual” (2005) is an endeavor into the Spiritual energy of the Universe. "Ritual" is a compilation of songs about Mother Nature, the 4 Elements, the Man in Green and a variety of beliefs considered to be New Age. The Celtic & Native American rhythms are a slight departure from his 2001 release, “The Restless Ones” which is a jazzy rock album. All 3 of these CD’s are also available on CD Baby or direct from the artist at www.teddymidnite.com.
The line of musical notes doesn’t stop with Ted. His niece is pop diva Bonnie McKee, who signed a multi-million dollar deal with Reprise when she was still in her teens. His recent performances include The Lowcountry Blues Bash, The Red Light Café in Atlanta and the famous George’s Majestic Lounge in Arkansas. In 2007, Ted was selected by Narrative Music as a featured songwriter in the tradition of Van Morrison. Last spring, his song “Blues in My Pocket” was picked up for airplay on BLUZZRADIO heard worldwide. You can hear Ted’s band regularly on the Portland, Oregon radio show, “Calling All Cowboys”. Currently Ted resides on John’s Island, SC with local writer, Skye Ocean. He spends his time creating new music with friends in his studio or performing live for private events at Kiawah, Bull’s Bay, Wild Dunes and Seabrook. He plays publicly at Charleston venues like BLU at Folly Beach, Queen Anne's Revenge, Home Team BBQ, Carolina's and DD Peckers Wing Shack. When he’s not playing 6-7 nights a week, Teddy enjoys hiking, boating and traveling with Skye. The next project on his radar is a follow-up to the highly acclaimed “Swing Soup”.

Check out Ted's other Sonicbids EPK's: