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Chicago singer-songwriter Rory Sullivan, has received acclaimed from country music star Sara Evans to Windham Hill Records Founder/Grammy Winner Will Ackerman. Sullivan took the grand prize for the CD Baby and Sarah Evans songwriting competitions in 2013 and 2nd place in the recent Indie International Songwriting Contest.
Since quitting his day job at The Post House Diner back in 2005, Rory hit the pavement and has played over 550 clubs, colleges and festivals, opened for acts Stephane Wrembel, Luke Brindley, James Maddock, Eric Andersen, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Craig Bickhardt, Mutlu, Todd Carey, Curtis Peoples, and many others. His songs have been featured on a compilation album with Emmylou Harris, John Oates, Neko Case, Cyndi Lauper, and Shelby Lynne to benefit animal awareness, and he has seen steady airplay on NPR, satellite, internet, and college radio.
His song "Better Now" was featured in the powerful documentary film series, "Finding Seoul", which was co-written with filmmaker, John Sanvidge. Tim Westergren of Pandora Radio says, "Rory's music represents a particular part of our catalogue, independent artists who are getting a lot of exposure."
Sullivan spent the majority of 2014 in preparation for his Kickstarter campaign, entitled 'The Fan Project', which was successfully funded on May 1st raising almost $14,000. 'The Fan Project' consisted of Rory writing, recording, and releasing 2 songs a week to the backers of the campaign, in which pledgers would then vote on their favorite 7 of the 14 songs sent to them. The songs will appear on the new album in the fall of 2014.
His debut EP "Here All Along", produced by Grammy Winning Producer Will Ackerman, features Sullivan's acoustic roots and songwriting and features an all-star lineup of musicians, including T-Bone Wolk (Hall and Oates, Carly Simon), Steve Holley (McCartney and Wings/Elton John), and Eugene Friesen (Berklee School of Music). His latest studio release "Rory Sullivan and the Second Season" produced by Justin King in Brooklyn NY, features his music with full band production and NYC backing band, "The Second Season".
In pursuit of his career, Sullivan relocated from his hometown of Newark, Delaware to NYC in 2011 and then again to Chicago in the Fall of 2012 to begin the next phase of his artistic journey. These past few years Rory has taken home four grand prize songwriting awards, including the CD Baby Songwriting Contest, which ranked over 3,000 songs winning him over $10,000 in prizes, including a flight to NYC for a recording session. He also won grand prize for the Sara Evans Songwriting Competition, awarding him a Facebook feature on Sara's page, thousands of dollars worth of prizes, and a message from Sara herself. "I'm always drawn to songs with amazing lyrics, songs that really make you feel emotion or you feel like you're right there in the middle of it. "Ride The Rails" by Rory Sullivan really struck me the first time I heard it.", said the country music singer.
"Brilliant song writing, guitar skills of a soloist and a disciplined voice as big as a house and you have one of the most impressive young singer/songwriters I've heard in a long long time." - Will Ackerman (Grammy Winning Artist/Producer)
"I'm always drawn to songs with amazing lyrics. Songs that really make you feel emotion or make you feel like you're right there in the middle of the song. "Ride The Rails" by Rory Sullivan really struck me the first time I heard it. It reminded me of a song that I recorded called "Restless" a few years ago. I didn't write "Restless" myself, but was immediately drawn to it and the feeling of traveling and just heading out into the unknown. I get that same feeling when I listen to "Ride The Rails". - Sara Evans
""Out Of Here"..... fabulous!!! I certainly was inspired by your music." - T-Bone Wolk (Hall and Oates, Elvis Costello)
"Rory Sullivan has an effortlessly smooth and comforting voice, backed by the natural warmth of a finger picked acoustic steel string, steeped in the swampy roots of where traditional Americana mixes with contemporary." - Brian Thompson (ThornyBleeder.com, DIY Daily)
"Album is full of very solid songwriting, featuring some really skilled and tasteful musicianship." - Drew Biscardi (New Sound Magazine)
"In a style of music that can sometimes feel passé, Rory Sullivan makes it clear that there are still great folk songs to be written." - Jordi Oliveres (Feast Of Music)
"Rory Sullivan is the real deal. If the music industry were solely based upon talent, Rory would be a household name so do yourself a favor and discover him." - Gregory Douglass (Award - Winning Independent singer/songwriter/The Creative Advisor)