I grew up with the radio on, AM-FM all day long. . ."
-Marcel, "Country Rock Star"
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Double fiddles and a child's voice open "Country Rock Star," Marcel's debut single from his forthcoming Mercury debut CD. Guns and Roses, Johnny Cash, Mellencamp, Springsteen, Brooks and Dunn and The Bee Gees all figure into his rap-speed lyrics, putting Marcel's musical inspiration where everybody can plainly see them.
Named for famous Los Angeles Kings player Marcel Dionne, Marcel Chagnon left his home in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan and spent several important years moving from town to town, playing hockey in the juniors and semi-pros. It was while he was traveling that he taught himself to sing, play guitar and write songs.
It didn't take him long to get spotted for his other talents, and besides swinging a mean guitar and a meaner hockey stick, Marcel has appeared in a variety of commercials (GAP and AT&T Wireless) and television programs ("The Young And The Restless," and "Courage" - FOX), while he honed his songwriting skills.
After developing a local fan following as a performer in Los Angeles, Marcel took a cue from the movie "The Thing Called Love" and decided to risk everything by driving cross country to Nashville's famed Bluebird Café and standing in line to perform at the weekly open mike night. "I was number 37, and the odds were that I wouldn't even get a shot, but I managed to be the last one on stage. Barbara Cloyd, who manages the show, ran up to me afterwards and handed me her card. I called her that next day."
"Barbara opened the door for me," says Marcel. "I continued writing songs and recording demos and the next thing I know I'm getting calls from Luke Lewis (chairman of Mercury Nashville) and mega-producer Byron Gallimore (Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, JoDee Messina). It all happened very quickly but almost simultaneously I get a call from the person that I wanted to record with and the label I wanted to be on, it all just fell into place."
The first public glimpse of what came from that synchronicity is "Country Rock Star," which is written by Marcel and Kevin Savigar. Co-produced by Gallimore and Marcel, the tune is both a nod to Marcel's past and a window to his future, one that promises to put him at the front of the pack.
Gallimore and Marcel continue to work in the studio putting finishing touches on the album that is expected to be ready for release in August 2002.
Asked what the similarities are between professional hockey, acting and singer-songwriting, Marcel responds, "They all take 100% effort, focus, willpower and belief in yourself."
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