Sue Skarin McClure, who just released a new CD of a dozen songs she wrote, will perform a concert at 4 p.m., Saturday, July 16, at the First Congregational Church Chapel of the Holy Grail, 2 W. Olive Ave.
The public is invited to hear him sing, play the guitar and the harp.
The CD is professionally produced and engineered by Brad Andrews of Redlands. It is available for $10.
Also heard on several songs were Ed Yarnelle on piano, Ben Davis on guitar and Seana Thompson on cello.
McClure wrote many songs when she was in her thirties, but it took the COVID pandemic as she struggled to find activities to do, that she felt compelled to record the songs as his “living legacy”, the title of the CD.
McClure began writing music at age 13, and in his twenties took songwriting lessons at the Dick Grove School of Music for several years. She has performed professionally as a singer-guitarist since her teens – in restaurants, in a bluegrass band, in a Christian rock band, and many years as a soloist in Los Angeles nursing homes.
She said, “I basically wrote songs about my life, my struggles, my heartache.”
She said she didn’t feel like her songs in the 1980s were commercial and she wasn’t a ‘star’, so she ‘practically closed the book and left that part of my life behind me. At that time, I devoted my time to my children and taught fitness classes – sometimes 13 classes a week.
“In 2019, at 62, and realizing I won’t stay forever, I opened the book and rediscovered these songs written by a young woman I once knew,” she said.
McClure is now calling for a new era where you don’t need a record label but can get along on the internet.
“I never wrote the songs with fame or fortune in mind anyway,” she said. “I just recorded them for myself, but when people heard I was recording, they got interested in a copy of it.”
She said it sometimes takes years for a song idea to come to fruition.
“Then I usually play, and I’ll see the words and write them down. After that, I sit down at my guitar or my harp and usually hear a melody right away. I want to write songs with a positive message or a deeper thought to ponder.
She takes voice lessons with First Congregational Church choir director Bruce McClurg, calling him “the most amazing voice teacher I’ve ever had – and I’ve had some of the best in LA.” .
She enjoyed recording the songs from 30 years ago that took on new life.
“I can look back on a lifetime of memories and share them with others,” she said.
She said her music was influenced by Joni Mitchell, Wendy and Mary, Eva Cassidy, Celtic Women and Loreena McKennitt – “kind of folk but a bit more sophisticated”.