Meet the Artist: Morgan Mecaskey (vocals, guitar)
Reaching New Heights: Mecaskey grew up in Cleveland Heights and took piano lessons through the Music Settlement when she was 4. "I loved it and did the classical method where they teach you ear training," she says. "I found a flyer for guitar lessons at a local place when I was 10 or 11 and slipped that to my parents with a note asking them if I could do it. They also took us kids to the orchestra a couple of times a month." She played in the local coffee shop folk act Tinamou from 2007 until about 2011 when the band went on a hiatus. "We're all still friends and every supportive of each other and we'll collaborate with each other."
Pop Appeal: In school full time and working, the jazz performance major at Cleveland State is working on a a few new tunes and plans to take a "writing retreat" over spring break to write more tracks. "I have 20 songs that I will play out. It's definitely pop music," she says, "and for a person who only listens to Top 40, there are hooks and verse, chorus and bridge structures. I listen to jazz, classical and pop and all of that has influenced me." Why You Should Hear Her: Released toward the end of last year, Mecaskey's first solo album, Righteous Kind, is a carefully crafted collection of six tunes that features a range of instrumentation, including violin, trombone, saxophone and flute. "I wanted to have it orchestrated," she says. "A lot of the ideas came musically at first and I envisioned more instruments and the guys who played violin and drums on the record were in Tinamou with me. I want to work on the songwriting and performing and continue to grow as an artist."
Where You Can Hear Her: morganmecaskey.bandcamp.com
Where You Can See Her: Morgan Mecaskey performs with the Rumpke Mountain Boys at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Beachland. — Jeff Niesel