Megan Slankard

Though only in her 20's, singer-songwriter Megan Slankard has independently sold nearly 30,000 copies of four independently released CDs. Megan’s newest release, A Token Of The Wreckage (Spring 2011), is "an edgy alt-rock release that is a breath of fresh air" (Maverick Magazine), “gleaming, grooving, and gritty” (Minor 7th), with "thoughtful construction and clever wordplay" (Performer Magazine). The CD, which was recorded with help from David Bryson (Counting Crows) and Jerry Becker (Train), held a spot in the 10-best selling albums on CD Baby for weeks.

In addition to 12 new songs, the CD also includes Megan’s first official music video, written and directed by Matthew Ward. The video has earned 18,000 plays on Vimeo and You Tube combined.

 In spring 2011, in support of her new CD, the singer-songwriter toured her way across the US, driving 20,000 miles in 7 months. Megan returned home to San Francisco, CA in December to play a sold out show with her band in the grand ballroom of the venerable Swedish American Hall.

“ …every track on Wreckage is a work of art: strong melodies, literate lyrics, engaging vocal harmonies, dazzling accompaniment, and a killer rhythm section.” (Minor 7th)

Megan’s recordings have been gaining substantial industry attention: she won the 2011 IMA Vox Populi for “The Happy Birthday” a song from her newest CD, as well as the 2009 IMA Vox Populi for her cover of Paul Simon’s song “America”. Megan earned the January 2009 Top 5 artist in the Famecast.com Competition and was selected as a finalist in the 2009 and 2008 Musician’s Atlas/Borders Books Independent Music Awards. Additionally, she was selected as a semi-finalist in Discmaker’s 2007 Independent Music World Series and the 2007 International Songwriting Competition.

Megan and her music have appeared on TLC’s “What Not To Wear”, which generated purchases by TV viewers that placed her CD “Freaky Little Story” on the #5 spot on Amazon.com CD sales charts and on the Top-10 Rock Bestseller list on CDBaby.com. Because of the episode’s popularity, the show’s producers featured her in a follow-up episode a year later, bringing “Freaky Little Story” and her third release, “A Little Extra Sun” back into the Top-10.



"An artist who truly understands her style, her vocal ability and her overall sound, and she pursues all that with as much passion and intensity as humanly possible." (Maverick)

In addition to TV, Megan’s music has also been featured on San Francisco AAA station KFOG's compilation CD. She has been featured in Rockgrl Magazine, Owl Magazine, The Synthesis, Fresh Tracks and Women In Rock, in addition to Acoustic Guitar magazine – whose editors named “Freaky Little Story” one of their top albums of 2005. She was a final selection artist for RPM Direct Presents: Unsigned Artists Volume 3 compilation CD; an A&R Online featured artist; a Song and Film Spotlight artist; and, an Acoustic Cafe featured artist on the “One to Watch” syndicated radio program (sponsored by the USA Songwriting Competition). Slankard also co-wrote and performed on the title track of Dire Straits founding member David Knopfler's new record, “Ship of Dreams”.



Megan has also showcased in Boston (NEMO) and Toronto (NXNE), toured three times as support for David Knopfler through Germany and England, and performed at the international festival InGuitar in Zurich (Switzerland).

Megan starts writing new songs this winter for her next album release (tbd).
 

Stories from the Road

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Trip to Cuba J Parks Voyage Air Guitar CubaWe just got back from Cuba. Wow, what a great trip. My wife took her fiddle and I took my VAD-04 to play old time Appalachia music for the folks we met there. No problem getting the guitar on any of the airplane overhead cabin storage.

We met various Cuban musicians, mostly guitarists, who loved to check out my Voyage-Air. They were all very impressed.  

I can’t say how great this guitar is. I am planning to take it in October to Slovenia and Croatia, and I think it will become my “go to guitar” on my motor home/camping trips.

J Parks Read more
Standin' on the corner in Winslow, AZ Don Ablett Windslow AZLast March my wife and I were in Arizona and New Mexico. We didn’t know until we were on top of it that we were passing by Winslow. We had to stop. I almost always travel with my Voyage-Air guitar, so I pulled it out and my wife took this picture.

I just heard about the passing of Glenn Frey. This is my personal tribute to Glenn and such an awesome band.

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Daniel Eriksen Daniel Eriksen BelAirThrough dedication, and years of relentless touring on several continents, Daniel Eriksen has built a reputation as a great slide guitarist.

His style of dirty Mississippi delta blues, infused with New Orleans rhythms, gospel and boogie, has brought him many fans around the world.

See more at: http://www.daniel-eriksen.com



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Voyage to London Here's a couple photos of the trip my Voyage-air and I took last fall to play a gig in London. I had a chance to play at the Ruskin House. Got to meet some absolutely great folks - including Don, who is simply a fantastic guy. I wanted to thank the crowd at the Ruskin House! We had an absolute ball! Then a couple weeks sitting in with trad-musicians across Ireland. The guitar did a fantastic job!  

Keith G.
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Kentucky to Alaska Christopher Cooke sign forest in Watson Lake Yukon TerritoryRecently I purchased a truck in Kentucky and drove it to my home in Alaska, a trip of nearly three weeks and 5,000 miles. I bought a Voyage-Air Songwriter series guitar for the trip, taking advantage of your free shipping offer for delivery in the Lower 48.

The guitar works great and I love it. I played it in a church in Nebraska, on evenings on the road and along the Alaska Highway. The pictures show me with the guitar in front of the famous sign forest in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, and next to an artfully-crafted bear in Prince George B.C. The bear liked it too.Christopher Cooke artfully crafted bear in Prince George BC

One of my grandsons is learning to play and I’m thinking of buying another Voyage-Air for him to take to college next year.

Christopher C.

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David Sinclair - European Tours David Sinclair Voyage Air in GermanyI bought a Voyage-air Premier in 2011 prior to a European concert tour. (I live in Canada) Since then I have been back for several more tours, and my guitar has more than paid for itself in airline baggage savings. I had thought it might be a compromise on my old Gibson, Martin and Avalon acoustics, but with the Fishman rare earth pickup, I got incredible comments from soundmen and from guitarists in the audience. Back home, I have been using it live more than my other guitars.  
David S. Read more
The Guitar in the Holy Land Max Winer Voyage AirIf anyone claims to know me, then they would know one very important fact about me.  I almost never travel without a guitar.  To give a little background on me and my guitar (Rent reference), I started playing guitar in second grade under the tutelage of Jim Hurley.  Jim always insisted to my parents and grandparents that I should only practice when I wanted to practice.  Unfortunately, I did not practice very often.  When fourth grade rolled around, I started violin and mandolin and guitar took a backseat.  Bass came along later and guitar was still in the backseat.  Not until seventh grade did I start playing guitar frequently again.

Now if you ask any of my best friends, I am quite often inseparable from my guitar.  Since eighth grade, I have pursued the guitar much more heavily to become a better guitar player and a better songleader.  It used to be that my grandmother would be angry at me for not practicing.  I bet now she would tell me to put down the guitar and come to the dinner table.  Most teenagers cannot be without their phones for long periods of time, I hate being without my guitar.  

This change happened in part because of camp (This is where the Jewish part of this blog post comes in).  It used to be that I would go to camp and practice music for Shabbat Shira (big Shabbat dance party for those who do not know).  In Hagigah, I practiced guitar for my song leading major.  But during Hagigah, guitar started to take on a whole new meaning for me.  Guitar became a sort of coping mechanism for me.  When something did not go my way, I would play guitar and forget about my problems.  Just before going to camp for Hagigah, I took my guitar with me to Israel for my first trip to Israel.  It was certainly an experience to have my guitar with me, but it is nothing like the experience my guitar and I are having on this trip to Israel.

My guitar is still my coping mechanism for whenever things do not go well.  Sometimes I play my heart and soul out while playing my guitar.  It has come to the point where I can sit for hours at a time and just play my guitar.  At the Bedouin Tent,  I sat for twoish hours straight and played guitar.  There were other people there of course.  Reuben, Leana, Josh, Ben, Rocky, Jacob and Rachel (I apologise if I forgot anyone) sat listening to me play.  They were just there.  In my mind, it was just me and my guitar enjoying the warm night in the desert.  The week of Gadna I could not play my guitar and I will admit it was very hard.  After hurting my feet, I had no real way of coping because I could not play guitar and I could not practice my karate.  When I finally took my guitar out in Eilat, I was overjoyed.  

Quite a few people brought their guitars with them to Israel.  I would have no matter what, but I am very grateful to be playing my Voyage-Air Guitar.  (I promise this is not a sales pitch, just my thoughts about Voyage-Air guitar and how grateful I am to them for making this guitar.)  If my guitar could not fold, traveling with it would be so much harder.  I would not have been able to bring it with to me the Arava or the Negev.  I would not have been able to take it to Eilat either.  The portability of my guitar makes it so much easier to take it everywhere I need to take.  Next week the group flies to Poland.  It will be one of the most trying points in my life because of what we are going to see there.  I am very grateful that I will be able to bring my guitar with me, so I have it to be my support when I am feeling sad about what we are learning about in Poland.  

Back to Jewish part.  Part of the reason I pursued guitar more heavily is to be able to songlead.  I personally find a much deeper spiritual connection when I am pray when I play the guitar and am helping other people find their spiritual connection.  Music is one thing that has always helped me pray and I want to be able to help others through the power of music.  I know the song leading does not require a guitar, but it certainly helps and I am very grateful that I have been helped along by so many mentors in learning how to play the guitar.  Jim Hurley, all the song leaders at Camp Newman, Sarah Edelstein, Dan Nichols and of course my dad have all influenced me and pushed harder to become a better songleader than I was before and I am very grateful to them for that.  Song leading has become so important to me that I do not what I would do without it because it has become part of my Jewish identity.  Even though my Jewish identity has changed some during my stay in Israel so far and I know it will continue to evolve, I know that song leading and guitar will always be a part of my Jewish identity no matter what.

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Holiday trip to Arizona Good thing I had the guitar. Four days in, I'd had enough and was real glad I had it to turn to. We who play know there's a hole in any vacation that doesn't include a guitar. It was so easy popping her into the overhead compartment. Such a relief not having to relegate one of my babies to being tossed about by a baggage handler. Before I got my Voyage-Air, I had stopped traveling on planes with a guitar. Too great a risk of loss. Now, I'm back in the saddle. It's really a remarkable concept. Wish I'd have thought of it. Not only does the fold-up work, but the guitar sounds great. You pulled it off.  Anyway, just want to thank you. As you can see from the photos, you helped make it a great trip. Best personal regards.
- Dave R, NY

Dave R Arizona Voyage Air 0813 Dave R Arizona Voyage Air 0817 Dave R Arizona Voyage Air 0820
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Cleo in Panama

The Voyage-Air Guitar faired well in the jungles of Panama! From the streets of Panama city, to the Embera and La Haciena villages, the guitar was a big hit!

Cleo


Eighteen year old Cleo Shea has been performing ever since she was old enough to climb onstage. For ten years, Cleo has performed at countless theaters, restaurants, and clubs across the country and caribbean islands. From the moment she grabbed her first guitar, she fell in love. Community aid and scientific conservation trips to Panama called for a durable and portable guitar, and the Voyage Air fit the need flawlessly.

 

  

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18 Countries, 4 Continents, 11 months

Bob Smith Chilean-Research-Station Antarctica PeninsulaMy Voyage-Air guitar is a Premier Series VAOM-1C which I bought in Hilo Hawaii last April when I was there for the 50th anniversary Merry Monarch festival. It has been with me since then to Australia, California, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Holland, France, Greece, Switzerland, California, Hawaii, Australia, Hawaii, California, Argentina, Uruguay, Falkland Islands , Antarctica, Argentina, Chile, Peru, California, Louisiana, New York, California, Hawaii, and now back to Australia. 18 unique countries on 4 continents in 11 months.

I principally play finger-style and have been intrigued by the concept of a 'Zero fret' for a while. I found the action a bit high for me so took it down a bit and ramped the string exit at the pegs to relax the guitar too. It is not only playable but I feel it has a sweet sound which has merit on its own, not just a 'travel guitar'. I had pretty much given up on travel guitars because I like to play for the sound, not the exercise and had given away all previous attempts. My next task is amplification which I will likely do using 4 passive K&K pickups with one for the back running to a stereo jack and external use an LR Baggs Mix-Pro stereo in belt preamp.

Picture of me and guitar off the Chilean Research station on the Antarctic peninsula in January.

Great guitar - outstanding value - true to its name!

Regards,
Bob

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Andrew Walker - Isle of Skye

Andrew Walker-His Voyage-Air Isle of SkyeHere she is, gleaming in the sun against the backdrop of Portree Bay in the Isle of Skye. All she's done since I bought her has been to sound better and better, and to travel without complaint from Hastings to Paris and back, and now to the Isle of Skye, the only place in the UK where the weather has a sense of humour. Next stop, Bruges in April via the Eurostar, where sweet tones and ineffable melodies will drift across the medieval rooftops ...


Isle-of-Skye

 

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Nicholas Toth - Olduvai Gorge, Northern Tanzania

Nicholas-Toth-with-his-Voyage-Air-guitar-at-Olduvai-GorgeHere are a couple of photos of me playing my VoyageAir guitar at Olduvai Gorge, northern Tanzania (“The Grand Canyon of Human Prehistory”.) This guitar travels well and plays great (even in the extreme tropical arid conditions on the Serengeti Plain), and is one of my very favorite guitars. The children are local Maasai from the nearby boma (village), who came over to hear me play.
 
You can see me playing the guitar on YouTube, (Also see below) “Olduvai Song” and “Zinjanthropus Blues”.  You can see Bill Kaman (former president of Ovation) playing my guitar if you search “Safari Blues, Tanzania” (Bill is a good friend and great guitarist; he joined us on a 10-day safari to Tanzanian game parks last June).
 
You can listen to our songs about evolution at our web site http://www.stoneageinstitute.org  under “Music Projects”. Our good friend Seymour Duncan (the pickup guy) is our lead guitarist.
 
Nicholas-Toth-with-VillagersYou can watch the video of me playing “Green Onions” with Booker T Jones at our web site under “Music Connections”.

Yours very truly,

Nicholas Toth, PhD

Co-Director, The Stone Age Institute

Professor, Anthropology Department and Cognitive Science Program
Adjunct Professor of Biology and Geology
Indiana University, Bloomington

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

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