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Colin McCaffrey is an award winning record producer, composer, songwriter, and session musician originally from Westminster, VT. With a BA in Music Composition from Berklee College Of Music, Colin has successfully combined his talents as a teacher, engineer, songwriter, and producer to become a regional “one-stop-shop” for high quality audio production. Colin has scored works for documentary and feature films, commercials, dance productions, choral groups, sacred and children’s music. He has produced hundreds of records for regional artists, as well as audio books/journals. Production clients include Mallets Bay Records, Cumbancha Records, Myra Flynn, Patti Casey, ReBop Records, Ellipsis Arts, Cliffhouse Audio, Moving Light Dance Company, Capitol Grounds, Circus Smirkus, CVMC, Onion River Sports and many more. Colin is a juried/rostered artist with the Vermont Arts Council and has led dozens of songwriting residencies, musical productions and school outreach for the past 25 years in central Vermont and beyond. He was a finalist in 2010 and then won the USA Songwriting Competition in 2012 for best jazz song, and first prize Bluegrass category in the 2009 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. He is staff recordist and engineer for the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Music Composition residencies in Montpelier, VT. Colin resides in East Montpelier with his wife, young adult fiction author Laura Williams McCaffrey.
Born in southern Vermont and raised on a small organic farm in the Connecticut river valley, Colin was the second child in a creative, artistic family of four children. At an early age he traveled with his musical family throughout New England performing Gospel, Irish and American folk songs. His love of stringed instruments and harmony singing gradually drew him deeper into mountain music, Quebecois fiddle tunes, Cajun, Country, and Bluegrass.
After Colin moved to Boston to complete a degree in music at Berklee College of Music he ran back to the Green Mountains of Vermont to sink into the woods and soak up the earthy sounds of the northern Appalachians. No stranger to Swing, ethnic world music, or Rock and Roll, Colin - out of necessity - developed a well-rounded and successful full-time career in music. Colin is a member of the well-known Vermont bands The Stone Cold Roosters, The Goat Broke Loose and Blue Norther as well as a frequent sideman for The Missing Cats, Dr Burma, The Sevens, The Clayfoot Strutters, and many singer-songwriters like Patti Casey, Susannah Blachly, Lewis Franco, Justin Levinson, Myra Flynn and more.
Colin's songwriting and playing are rooted in traditional folk and American forms. Self produced and recorded in 2003, his acclaimed independent release Make Your Way Home fuses bluegrass, country, folk, zydeco, and roots rock into a unique regional hybrid. Seven Days called it a "perfectly balanced, beautiful sounding bluegrass/folk record packed with high quality songs and high caliber musicianship." Colin's guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and bass playing are the backbone of the record that also features Kerrville winner Patti Casey and stellar playing by regional stars Jim Pitman on Dobro and Jeremiah McLane on Accordion. Make Your Way Home was voted in the top-10 Vermont Albums of the Year by both the Burlington Free Press and Seven Days.
Colin's 2001 debut independent release What We've Got was produced in Nashville by 8-time Grammy winner Bil VornDick (Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Ralph Stanley). Recorded December of 2000, this record highlights Colin's country and bluegrass singing and songwriting, backed by session musicians and one-time Dixie-Chick Patty Mitchell singing harmony vocals.
Colin writes music for film, ballet, commercial jingles, and live theater. A composer and arranger as well as a studio musician, sound engineer, and producer; he appeared and played in Nora Jacobson's film 'Letters from my Mother's Early Lovers' as a member of the Clayfoot Strutters. Also with Pete Sutherland, Mark Roberts, and Jeremiah McLane; he wrote, arranged, and recorded music for the 1999 Circus Smirkus production "The Adventures of Robin Hood"on the Epact Music label. This production was the focus of a British documentary film series entitled "Circus Kids" aired on the Disney Channel in summer 2000. Colin has produced 2 Award winning CDs of children's music with Rebop records. Other production credits include Lewis Franco, Susannah Blachly, Allison Mann, Myra Flynn, Justin Levinson and more.
In conjunction with the Moving Light Community Children's Dance company in Plainfield VT, Colin wrote and recorded original scores for two dance productions. In 2003 Falomi and Malula and in 2004 The Fiddler and The Pookah. These community productions were hugely successful and the latter was funded partly by the Vermont Arts Council.
"Colin's music is steeped in a lifetime of knowledge and love for a number of great American musical traditions, and in his own musical adventures he shows keen respect for them without in the least being bound by them."
- Pete Sutherland
"His poignance is in his simplicity, both in lyrics and music. The result...genuine warmth."
- Jim Lowe, The Times Argus
"A rootsy standout among the singer-songwriter set, McCaffrey is an East Montpelier multi-instrumentalist who plays just about everything...mixing old-time bluegrass, folksy Americana and a comforting vocal tone that falls somewhere between Peter Rowan and James Taylor, McCaffrey is a Green Mountain treasure worth unearthing."
-Tom Huntington Burlington Free Press
"His voice, reminiscent of James Taylor punctuated by a bit of high, wide, and lonesome, resonates with a beautiful clarity...his writing, spare, catchy, and clever - is a pleasure to the ear; his songs are poignant and witty."
- Rob Williams, The Valley Reporter