Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase Alli Collis

Alli Collis

“ i picked up the guitar in my sophomore year of college. i was 19 and attending james madison university in the heart of the shenandoah valley in virginia. some guy who lived in my dorm taught me two chords and the song 'jane says'. i got that down in one night; shotly thereafter, my father was proud to lend me his one and only guitar. it turned out i could sing a bit, as well. back then, i played mostly bob dylan and other folk music with simple chord progressions and melodies. that got me off to a good start in terms of writing and playing in front of a crowd. today, my biggest influences are contemporary, independent singer-songwriters and anyone who can finger pick with the best of 'em. oh, and the lyrics have to be damn good, too (cliches...blech). some of these people include deb talan, paul curreri, and kris delmhorst. also, i admire greatly and am inspired by my close musician friends: david matthews, austin kuebler, doug kwartler, john-flor, et al... oh, there are way too many to list.

“ i write about travel experiences, good art, and love-of course. sometimes, i feel as though songwriting is my onus. how could one not write after breathing the air atop the swiss alps, dancing the night away in the french riviera, hearing the tone of a gasoline can guitar (handmade by the malawian child who played it), and watching the sun come up over a silhouetted santa maria maggiore? the challenge is to get it all out with the same passion and intensity as it so satiated me on its way in. it rarely equates.

“ my new album coming out this summer is called signal on the starboard. geez, sometimes a signal can be a whisper, and sometimes it can be the most uproaring-est clamor. doesn't matter which unless you're ready to pay it any mind. i'm good and ready.”

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