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SIMONE SIMONTON: Drummer and Songwriter
Simone Simonton lives in Nashville, and divides her time between writing songs and touring as a drummer with up and coming artist Drew Baldridge.
Simonton’s songwriting successes include: Baby Girl, Down in Mississippi, Speed of Life and Fly Away – (Sugarland), from the Multi-Platinum selling debut album Speed Of Life.
Simonton moved to Atlanta after graduating with a Music Performance degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She began her professional music career touring with the Indigo Girls and earning album credits as a drummer/percussionist. In the late 90s, she co-wrote music and lyrics for four Coca-Cola radio ads. In 2005, following her touring and songwriting experiences with Sugarland, Simonton started her own band, South 70, where she was the primary songwriter and band leader.
Simonton was given her first drum kit when she was seven, so from an early age she learned to recognize and master timing, space and arrangement. She naturally integrates groove-driven phrasing and a unique sense of melody into her songwriting. Throw in over three decades of stage and studio experience, and she has certainly developed an ear for a great song. “For me, a brilliant song is one I can’t get enough of - whether it’s the story, melody, groove or dynamics, it’s always how those elements work together and play their roles so magically.”
Growing up in rural Southern Illinois, Simonton was the oldest of six, on a farm where her family still owns and runs a fourth generation sawmill. “My parents have always encouraged and respected me for who I am. My siblings and I were raised knowing freedom and discipline, and taught to understand the value of both. My creativity is a reflection of growing up surrounded by love, hard work, having dreams and taking risks to chase those dreams. It’s who I am, and those ingredients are definitely alive in my drumming and my songs”.