Owen and I were both featured in an article in the October 27 issue of Vox Magazine. Below are some of the photos and the write-ups on us from Rachel Philips. The article featured two other local musicians as well, and all of us were interviewed on the subject of the Songwriter's Guild, which has helped bring our music to the Columbia community. Click over to read the full article at Vox's website, or check out the excerpts below. Thanks to Stephanie Mueller and Evan Cobb for the photos.
Cordray was raised in the church and has a standing gig at Christ Our King Presbyterian in Columbia. “I grew up with a hymnal in my hands,” she says. She learned to harmonize with her sister and at age 13 and became interested in learning to play the acoustic guitar. She also plays the piano, mandolin and dulcimer. At 18, she recorded her own album of slightly updated traditional hymns, sold copies for $10 each and used the money to buy books for college. She describes her style as Americana and is working on an album titled The Juniper Tree after a fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. By day, Cordray works in MU’s Department of German and Russian Studies. She knows she will always make music in one way or another but doesn’t want to give up her day job. She hopes to continue collaborating with musicians. “I love that we have this vibrant community in Columbia where we can network,” she says.
Originally a classically trained pianist, Owen Stroud wanted to improvise and make up his own music. He would listen to different artists then write his own songs. Stroud says his goal is “imitation with the purpose of development.” Eventually, Stroud developed his own unique style and combination of musical genres. “I am folk, country, rock and blues in a blender,” he says. Stroud is a native Texan and often writes about life there. He has absorbed a lot of history and stories from Texas and believes songs should communicate a message but leave the listener with a bit of ambiguity. Currently, the 23-year-old is interning with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) and considering a career in ministry. He is working on expanding the list of places he has performed and says the Songwriters Guild gives him a chance to get experience.