Griffin Tucker – born to rock the world!

Griffin profile pic“I love making music. It’s my contribution. My legacy. I want rock n roll to live on through me to my fans.”

Charismatic, creative and kind-hearted: Griffin Tucker was born to rock the world! I have had the privilege of meeting Griffin and his family in person and have had the unforgettable experience of hearing him perform live. A true rock star at heart, Griffin exudes an incredible energy when he sings and plays and appears completely at home on the stage. 

Born to Rock!

Griffin Tucker11

Griffin has had an exciting and varied career since he was first featured on this site at 11-years-old. You can read that first article here.

Those of our readers who follow Griffin will know that his supporters are affectionately known as GriFANs and that the buck stops with his mother / manager (known to most as Momma G!) They say behind every great man (or boy) is an even greater woman and this is certainly true of Griffin who has a competent and powerful team in his family, and particularly Momma G. She was kind enough to provide us with an update giving some highlights from the last year:

“As many of you GrifFANs know, Griffin is a drummer at heart and has been since the age of 5.  But did you also know that Griffin is accomplished at many instruments? Piano, keyboards, harmonica, mandolin, ukulele, bass & guitar. In fact, he’s not just any kid who plays guitar. Last summer, he won the coveted TEXAS TOP TEN UNDER TWENTY GUITAR competition at the Dallas International Guitar Show.

Griffin Tucker65

In addition to being a multi-instrumentalist, he’s been gigging since the age of 8.  First, in a Beatles tribute band then he toured with Disney artist Zendaya. Next came Westfield Presents in London England then a KISS tribute band – and, now, he plays as a solo artist whenever he’s not in school.

And, those who are lucky enough to see him perform live are blown away! Not only because of his musicianship but because of his stage presence! He is a ROCKSTAR!!!”

Griffin Tucker63

A Children’s Crusade

For me personally, Griffin was formative in my growing belief that young creatives are the hope for the future. Like so many amazing children, he is largely unaware of the positive effect he has on so many. When I first discovered Griffin he was 10-years-old and I was helping him grow his Twitter following. What struck me then and still does now was his genuine kindness and concern for his fans. This combined with a natural talent and work ethic that is only matched by his modesty makes Griffin one hec of an inspirational kid and – dare I say it – a role model for boys in their early teens. He knows what it is, as Led Zeppelin would have it, ‘to be a a rock and not to roll’.Griffin Twitter

It all sounds rather over-sensational doesn’t it? But what made it strangely fascinating for me is that it coincided with some detailed research that I was doing on the 1212 Children’s Crusade for a musical project.

Brief history intermission! 800 years ago – a time of great political strife – a 12-year-old, French shepherd boy, called Stephen arose as a great preacher. He gathered a huge and enthusiastic following of children and, likely, adults too from all walks of life (some scholars put it as high as 30,000) which sparked a series of critical events across Europe and beyond. Stephen carried a scroll which he claimed had been given to him by an Angel, with the seal unbroken, to be read only by the king of France. The pilgrimage ended in disaster. Intimidated by his powerful following, Stephen was refused access to the king and told, in no uncertain terms, to go home. Stephen did as he was commanded and the scroll was never seen again. There is a record of Stephen meeting the Pope in person who was intrigued by his fervour but told him to come back when he was older and it is likely that Stephen later became a crusader knight protecting the pilgrimage routes to the Holy Land. But I digress…

SuchistheKingdom2013-64

I became fascinated with the image of a Children’s Crusade and what that might look like today. The world of social media is riddled with risks and more than its fair share of darkness. I saw in Griffin a whole new world of possibilities. As well as sharing his talents and amazing music, Griffin has created a community where he supports his GriFANs as much as they support him, sharing in their successes and even asking everyone to pray for them when they are going through hard times.

As in 1212, thousands of people are rallying round Griffin, drawn by his music, his talent and his caring personality. My hope is that the adult world – in our wisdom – are not too quick to reject something which on first glance may appear threatening and out of control. I, for one, am excited to see what the future holds for Griffin and his army of GriFANs!

Looking ahead and an exclusive announcement!

Griffin piano

Griffin has an incredible work ethic and manages to stay well on top of his school work as well as using every spare moment to develop his musical skills. He has plenty of natural talent and is blessed with perfect pitch and a wide vocal range, but much of Griffin’s success is down to his passion, dedication and hard graft. I remember hearing an interview where Griffin shared some golden advice from Momma G:

“Try to be a little better each day”

As simple as it sounds, this is some of the best advice I have ever heard – especially to young musicians in our culture of instant fame and recognition. If you can be dedicated enough to be a little better each day as a musician – and as a person – the only other things you need to reach your goals are some time and patience.

I asked Momma G about Griffin’s plans for the near future:

“Although Griffin doesn’t play much during the school year because he focuses on maintaining his A Honor Roll status, he does love to play for his fans. And, he is set to kick off this summer early this year by playing 2 shows on March 26th – one show is at a party with some surprise guest artists accompanying him on drums & bass; the 2nd is at the Prophet Bar in Dallas with a band named STEEL that he drums for.  But he is most excited about going back to the Dallas International Guitar Show to play on May 1st.

Griffin Tucker60

As Griffin says, “There is nothing better than playing and seeing people sing & rock out.” So if you’re in Texas or can get there, better check Griffin out!”

We are honoured to be able to announce here the title of Griffin’s next release! It is called ‘Who to Be’ and – in the manner we have come to know and love – Griffin will be playing every instrument and singing each vocal the track! He describes it as “a very Paul McCartney/ELO sounding tune.” Release is set for late May and a video will follow in the summer.

Griffin being Griffin 1Meanwhile, do check out Griffin and, if you have not done so already, join the GriFAN army!

Griffin on YouTube

Griffin on Facebook

Griffin on Twitter 

 

 

 

 

 

“International Christmas Child” a Gift of Love That Keeps Giving

Christmas Decor 2014

It is unusual, but I think this is what it feels like to love the world; to place the hope for our future on our children, believing that they can succeed where we have failed.                                                            Matthew Todd

 

matthewnatetodd
Matthew & Nathan Todd

 Each year when I ponder what the Christmas Article should contain, I always consider what will make the greatest impact or best benefit the young artists represented and promoted through this site.

With Christmas being a time of giving, I could not think of a greater example of young artists using their talents to help make a difference in the world than the INTERNATIONAL CHRISTMAS CHILD project.

This CD project spearheaded by a band of brothers from Scotland is a great example of adults helping “Children helping Children”. I asked Matthew and Nathan Todd to share a little about this project with Rivenmaster’s Place and provide insight about each participating young artists.

 Matthew shared;

“I’m coming round to the belief that, just as adults all have an unwritten responsibility to support and nurture children, children have an unwritten responsibility of reminding adults what is important in life. They do this, often, simply by being themselves.”

Guitarist 3D GuyBackstory:

Matthew and Nathan Todd have been running projects for a few years now, all with the goal ‘to inspire and transform’. What could be more inspirational and transformational, they thought, than an album of children singing to help children? What they could not know was, if any would join them in their quest……….

Matthew went on to explain;

“One word could sum up the whole month of October for us: “Apprehension”. The messages were sent out to artists and their managers on October 12 and we awaited the responses. We were asking for a track from about 16 artists which could be included on a compilation album raising funds for Operation Christmas Child. Then the drama began! After several weeks of language barriers, messages going to fake accounts, communications being lost in cyber-space and time rapidly running out, we arrived with 14 young artists buzzing with enthusiasm and ready to submit.”

2015 SantaThe process that followed getting the tracks mastered, artwork made, albums duplicated, website up and promotion started would take pages to describe but, suffice to say, Nathan and I spent many sleepless nights (and days!) at our computers in every spare moment. Nathan being a full time student and a partner in GN Todd (web development), was literally working around the clock, meanwhile I was trying to communicate with 14 different artists, often in languages I spoke very badly or not at all! Then our brother Phil came on board to make our promo video and our cousin Tom got involved with promotion. A generous friend of my fiancé agreed to translate our press release into French, and a professional media consultant got us an article in the Herald. This was becoming bigger every day!

I remember walking into our little Glasgow flat (aka ‘The Ladz Fortress’) about 11pm on a cold November night after a hard day of teaching and choir directing, and seeing Nathan working on the website, Phil (visiting) editing the promo video and Tom working on an animation for our logo. I sat down to answer a message from France and had to stop to think out loud: ‘this is awesome!’ “Nobody told me that making a difference would be this much work, but nobody told me it would be this exciting and fulfilling either!”

ORDER NOW!
ORDER NOW!

The Album:

Our biggest challenge is that people are so bombarded with advertising, especially at this time of year, getting someone to buy something is a real challenge. We in the Western world have also become quite emotionally numb, finding it hard to trust big charities or organizations and no longer believing that buying one CD or even one track on iTunes really can make a difference. To be honest, we are still a long way off our goal which was to raise £2500 (over $4000) for Operation Christmas Child though we are over half way there, but there are other goals which have exceeded our expectations. Every young artist on the album went out of their way to promote the album and some even made personal videos to recommend it to their fans.

There is no currency for inspiration and yet, without it, the whole world could one day just decide to give up. As I promote these young artists, watch them sing and see them sharing their gifts with such passion and enthusiasm I feel a strange tug on my heart-strings. How is it that I can feel a sense of pride and joy in children that are not related to me and, most, not even from my country? It is unusual, but I think this is what it feels like to love the world; to place the hope for our future on our children, believing that they can succeed where we have failed. And, like my God who loved the world so much he wanted to give the best Christmas present anyone could give, it inspires me to give my all to make the world a better place.”

candydivider

 
Featured Artists on the Album in order of track placement
Introductions by Matthew Todd
 
 

Continue reading ““International Christmas Child” a Gift of Love That Keeps Giving”