Songwriter/producer/artists, Denny Randell and Biddy Schippers launched their social music network and multi-media project GI Jams ® in November 2009, as a way to spotlight and promote the musical talents of our active duty, Veteran and reserve military artists of all branches, ranks and rates.
The project’s web site GIJams.com, provides the opportunity for military musicians to sign up and have their own profile pages featuring their original songs, performances, bios, pictures and blogs plus, downloads available for 99 cents a song with all profits going to those specific military artists.
The GIJams.com community has grown significantly since its start, as hundreds of military artists and writers have now joined, as well as the many of the artists’ fans and supporters, giving the organization the demand to release GI Jams, Vol. 1: The Original Music Of Our Military Artists, the first in a series of compilation recordings to be issued by GI Jams Records. The CD will be released April 5 and will be available for sale online at the GI Jams Store, by direct artists’ sales, as well as at retail locations. All profits from sales of this nationally distributed compilation album go to the artists.
GI Jams, Vol. 1: The Original Music Of Our Military Artists
features 14 tracks by eight of the site’s most popular artists and bands (five still on active duty and three who are Veterans that served in Iraq, Kosovo and Vietnam). All of these artists performed live in the 2010 GI Jams’ Veterans Day Weekend Show at The Cannery Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The artists featured are (in order of their appearance on the album): Corey Bower (Air Force Airman 1st Class ), Adrian Manuel (Army Chief Warrant Officer), Jerard Brewer (Marine LtCol), American Attitude (Air Force Master Sergeants Shawn Watchorn and Marc Meyers and Technical Sergeant Chris Henderson, and Navy Petty Officer First Class Matt Smithers), Destruction Evolution (Veteran Air Force Master Sergeant Steve Sinatra, Veteran Army Specialist Richie Ibanez and band mates Jim Littleton, Chris Peng and Donnie Nall), Vietnam Army Veteran Ric Ulsky, Dark & McDermid, (with Don Dark, Marine Vietnam Veteran who passed away while this album was being finalized, and band mate Rick McDermid) and Joe Speed Band, (Army Sergeants Jeremiah Eaton and Nathan Harvey).
The album also features two bonus “Battlefield Music Videos” filmed in Iraq between active duty missions; one by the Joe Speed Band performing “Cowboy Soldiers (Please Send Me A Beer)” and the other by Blackhawk pilot Adrian Manuel singing “Freedom” while flying in his helicopter (a ‘first ever done’ video).
Schippers says, “We know many people will want to purchase this extraordinary CD as a way to support the military and we’re excited that it’s so rich in musical talent and diverse styles, including great country, rock, pop-rock and even some wonderful inspirational songs – something for everyone, and we can all support them while enjoying their very special music.”
Randell and Schippers, the project’s founders and co-directors, have been longtime supporters of those who serve us in the military and launched GI Jams as, “a special way to thank and give back through music, which has been such a big part of our own lives, to help and support those musically talented artists who – rather than pursuing their own musical careers – have given themselves to protecting and defending our country.”
GI Jams, Vol 1
is the latest step in their journey to give back, though the pair performed their own most recent Randell & Schippers dance and video hit “Alice In Wonderland” on the 2009 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in a medley with some of Denny’s classic hit songs, including “Working My Way Back To You” and “Let’s Hang On” – featured in Jersey Boys, the Tony awarded hit Broadway show, Smash Mouth’s “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby,” “A Lover’s Concerto” and “Native New Yorker,” Denny’s home town anthem.
GI Jams has to date been highlighted in both the mainstream and military media, from Reuters, CNBC, Billboard.biz, and Celebrity Twitter—to top military publications including Military Times, Stars and Stripes and Military Spouse plus, upcoming coverage from Salute Magazine, Big Blend Radio and KJAG FM.
“It’s amazing that many of these songs were written in tents and barracks after difficult missions and many of these artists have told us that GI Jams has been an irreplaceable outlet for them while under those conditions – as is the feeling of appreciation they receive from all of us who support them.” Denny continues, “We can only imagine the kinds of stressful conditions our artists create under. And we are very excited to announce GI Jams’ release of this first compilation album to be able to present their great talent and have the privilege of sharing their musical passions with the world.”
Visit the GI Jams website.