And the Winner Is… Part One
And the winner is…
105.5 Triple M Radio’s Project M finals were held on May 14 at the High Noon Saloon. The three finalists were From the Moon, Derek Pritzl and Katie Scullin. The three survived five weeks of competition which challenged them to write a new song each week based on criteria prescribed to them by the contest organizers. Each week the contestants showed up at Funk’s in Fitchburg where they had to perform their competition in front of judges and an audience as well as being simulcast over the web. The video tapes can be seen at the Triple M website, including the winning performance.
From the Moon played first at the High Noon event. He’s very new to the scene and blends hip-hop vocal styles with acoustic guitar. Although the contestants were allowed to have up to two other musicians with them for the finals, From the Moon opted to play solo. He played a nearly flawless set although it was well under the allotted thirty minutes. He went over well, even if his uneasiness was apparent.
Derek Pritzl was up next, enlisting Dan Walkner (Clovis Mann, Wrenclaw and solo artist) to accompany him. The two played a set of soulful, acoustic roots and blues with Walkner’s slide and lead guitar being a near-perfect foil to Pritzl’s compositions. Pritzl’s voice marries well with his compositional style though the songs bear a similarity. Those minor flaws were aided by Walkner’s picking and backing vocals. The got a rousing reception from the crowd and were a clear contender to win the contest.
Last up was Katie Scullin, a former member of Star Persons and a solo artist (read a review of her EP here). The contest was hers to take and she it took it with force and aplomb. Scullin is an accomplished guitarist and an even better vocalist with a wide, expressive range and the ability to embellish her singing with ample technical prowess. She brought along her brother DJ, a tasty, stylistic guitarist who added lots of atmosphere to the songs along with some impressive soloing. She also brought the aptly-named Travis Drumm who drums with extraordinary Led-Zeppelin-meets-Mars-Volta group Orphan Bloom (read about them here). Drumm toned it down perfectly for Scullin’s well-paced set.
Scullin triumphed in the end, becoming Triple M’s first female winner and winning $1,000 from Ulla Eyewear, the contest’s primary sponsor. She also won a performance slot at Summerfest and she is sure to slay the audience there. She will also have a song featured on 105.5 Triple M and something tells me that that won’t be the last song with which she secures radio play. No sooner did she win the contest than she was asked to perform at this year’s Rhythm & Booms for 94.9 WOLX on June 28. On her Facebook page Scullin stated, “I do not seek fame, I do not seek fortune. I do what I love because I love what I do and that is all. I make music and I am a performer because it’s been in my blood since I can remember. Writing and creating is therapeutic and an expression of myself. This quote says it all. ‘Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.’”
Congratulations to Katie Scullin and the city of Madison will look forward to what is sure to be a long, prosperous music career; one that will do us all proud.