If music is a springboard for emotion, then Tim McGeary knows all too well how to mine it to the max. “I have to write songs,” the accomplished songwriter insists. “Yet, it’s both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that you are able to write and sing songs that can connect to people and bring them to an emotional state. The curse is that I can never turn it off. If I get something in my head at 3 am, I have to get up and get to my guitar or piano so I quickly record something. Otherwise, I won’t be able to get back to sleep.”
McGeary’s dedication to his muse has never faltered, and now, even after a couple of decades of plying his craft, that passion is as intense as ever. It’s the spiritual essence of making music that elicits his enthusiasm…that drives him to connect with his listeners…and that makes it so essential for him to express his emotions and desires.
“It allows me to let go of those temporal distractions that often bog us down, and to share those things that bond us all together as human beings,” he explains. “I’m grateful to have a gift that allows me to do something I to do, and to translate my life experiences into songs that hopefully can touch people in some personal and hopefully profound way.”
Given that dedication, it’s no surprise to find that McGeary’s songs have been tapped for such hit television shows as “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill” and “Glory Days,” as well as the made-for- HBO film “Girl Got Moe.” McGeary’s songs are not only a perfect soundtrack for the Hollywood hit-makers, but for those everyday individuals who can relate to those intimate feelings and connect them with their own.
Indeed, McGeary’s music is filled with insights that are borne from the insights he’s gained from living in a some exotic locales and working at a variety of occupations. His trajectory was somewhat extraordinary from the very beginning; the son of an FBI agent, he was the oldest of ten children. Time spent in the Merchant Marine traveling throughout South America, India and Pakistan provided a rich cache of memories and melodies. Even after relocating to the West Coast of Florida and settling down in an idyllic retreat with his wife of 35 years, he still finds continuing sources of inspiration. For the past two decades he’s been a firefighter and paramedic with the Collier County Fire Department, further evidence of his fervent desire to provide help and support in any way he’s able. Not surprisingly, he was among the emergency personnel who went to New York to help out at Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11. The American flag he had tattooed over his heart, accompanied by the words “Never Forget,” testify to the strength of his conscience and conviction.
Carlene Thissen is a singer, songwriter and author in Naples, Florida, where she dedicates herself to performing, speaking and songwriting, singing and playing piano and guitar at house concerts, clubs, restaurants, festivals and charity events. She also serves the community as Coordinator of a Farm Labor Supervisor Training program at the University of Florida’s Research & Education Center in Immokalee.
Carlene performed in the 1960s and 70s as a young guitar-playing folk singer in northwest New Jersey, doing songs by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell and Melanie. She says the best three days of her life were spent at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969 and she presents a multi-media program today about that experience.
As she explains in her autobiographical song, Back There Again, this Woodstock hippie girl, “…cut her hair and got a career, and lost herself for 30 odd years.” Forgetting her dreams of being a doctor working in ghettos, she became a successful business woman, well known for speeches, articles and books about marketing technology. She ended her corporate career as Vice President for a large market research company in Chicago, became an independent international consultant and then moved to Naples, Florida.
Carlene is a member of Nashville’s Global Songwriter’s Connection, Women of Substance’ Female Musician Academy and the Americana Community Member Association. She visits Nashville several times a year to network, perform and write.