Three Los Altos residents with a passion for music and gardening have joined together to create their own band, The Song Gardeners.
Since forming last year, the band has received numerous awards and nominations. Most recently, the single “Warrior of Light” topped the New Age Music Guide’s January chart. The song “Love Flows” ranked No. 4 in One World Music Radio’s Top 30 tracks of 2020 and reached No. 2 on the June 2020 New Age Music Chart. “Love Flows” was also a finalist for the Global Peace Song Award.
Singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Corrie Dunn and Mary Gospe started the band. They were previously in a band called Cool Fire with other Los Altos residents. Dunn and Gospe have known each other for nearly 20 years; they met when their sons were in elementary school together. Since then, the two have been great friends and shared a common interest in music, Dunn said.
The two decided to explore songwriting instead of covering other people’s work. They took songwriting classes at Foothill College and hatched a plan to create their own band in which they would write and produce original music.
With their mutual love for gardening, Gospe and Dunn came up with the name The Song Gardeners. Soon after, Chris Day, who was also a member of Cool Fire, joined the group as the bass and guitar player.
“Both Corrie and Mary are insanely talented, and they both have extraordinarily beautiful voices,” Day said. “And they’re both very, very talented songwriters as well, so it’s kind of like being in a band with Carole King and Joni Mitchell. They are also both absolutely lovely human beings, two wonderful people, so I really enjoy the company, too.”
The Song Gardeners have released four songs and said they classify their band as “New Age pop with a chill vibe.” So far, the group has released “Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu” and “Love Flows,” both last June, “Altered State” in September, “Love Is the Magic of Change” in November, and then “Warrior of Light” last month. The group aims to spread messages of positivity and empowerment through their music, members said.
“(Something I want our listeners to take away from our music is) definitely freedom. Freedom to be yourself and be empowered to do the things you want to do,” Gospe said. “I’d say it’s really about being true to yourself, being authentic to yourself, and shifting from fear to love. That is an underlying theme of all of our music.”
Gospe added that she and Dunn got their songwriting inspiration from their meditation journey. Gospe said she has been on a spiritual journey for several years and teaches a meditation class.
“(The songs are) kind of my lessons that I’ve been learning through my spiritual journey. And so a lot of the songs are really affirmations back to myself,” Gospe said. “So you almost get like this whole education in spiritual lessons by listening to the songs.”
Dunn said last year’s trip to Los Angeles to record Gospe’s solo album “Time to Soar” proved inspirational. They attended a yoga studio with meditative music, something they had never done before.
“And since then, our goal is to write inspirational music,” Dunn said.
Although the pandemic has made life more difficult for the band, the members have been able to power through. The group is still recording new songs virtually, with each sending snippets of their parts.
Later, their producer, David Scheibner, puts it all together.
Additionally, Gospe said the entire band is saddened by not being able to play live; they often did so in downtown Los Altos.
Although The Song Gardeners are still relatively new, Gospe said music has always been a big part of her life. She wrote her first song at age 16.
“I grew up listening to rock ’n’ roll from my older brothers, and then my dad was a jazz musician playing with big bands as a stand-up bass and violin and piano, so I just grew up surrounded by music,” she said.
Gospe said she considered music to be a hobby growing up but always dreamed of pursuing it. At the same time, she added, she was “practical,” earning a degree in business and working as a marketing consultant for three decades. She recently quit to focus more on her music.
Dunn has also been surrounded by music since a young age. She grew up performing and playing regularly in Fresno. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in music, she has worked as a music teacher in the Los Altos School District.
Day said he also got into music as a teen, loving, listening and playing all types – from classical to jazz.
The Song Gardeners, currently recording a new song for release, said they hope their uplifting messages will shine through in their music and help make the world a more compassionate and harmonious place.
“I want (the listeners) to take away the meaning that we try to give to each of our songs, and that mainly is to inspire people to make the world a peaceful, kinder, more accepting place,”
For more information on The Song Gardeners, visit thesonggardeners.com.