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Smiths Landing: Sunday Sessions Featuring Toree McGee
August 11 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Blessed with a rafter-reaching soprano ranged voice that emanates grit and fire, Toree McGee describes her music as a blend of “Woodstock rock ‘n’ roll, and sparkly country.” This eclectic style is equal parts percussion-driven swagger and playful melodies. Behind the northern California native’s powerful, edgy vocals is a candid, bubbly personality, along with a natural, effervescent stage personality inherited from a family filled with performers.
McGee’s grandparents were part of a traveling gospel quartet. Her father, who performed in a garage rock band, and her mother, who loves classic country music, instilled in Toree her passion for music.
The vivacious entertainer’s own performing career began early, as a karaoke singer at The Red Caboose, a biker bar and grill owned by McGee’s aunt and grandmother. “Before I could speak in full sentences, I was singing in front of people,” McGee recalls. Toree, with her sister and their parents, would often spend weekends helping out at the establishment. “It made us really well-rounded, because we got to know people from all walks of life.“
McGee grew up in a close-knit community, her days filled with family, school, church, and music. She was enrolled in vocal lessons at age seven, and went on to participate in choirs and singing competitions throughout high school.
By her late teens, Toree was performing in several cover bands, in addition to performing her own live shows. “My goal has always been to sing and to sustain myself as a singer,” McGee says. Armed with faith and pluck, McGee placed her bet and traded four years of college for the real-world education of full-time performing. “If I had taken four years to go to school, I wouldn’t have the experience of playing with a live band, or have had so much time to develop my voice and the direction I wanted to go.”
Toree’s musical style embodies elements of her influences, ranging from the soulful country sounds of The Judds and LeAnn Rimes, to the rock of Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith, and especially the engrossing vocals of Janis Joplin. “I have always been a really big fan of Janis Joplin” McGee says. “I love her uniqueness and how you could feel her emotion when she sang. I have a bright personality, and the jagged edge of rock n roll isn’t where I wanted to stay. Country music makes me happy and I always come back to it.”