Feature p.11, Melange Magazine, Summer 2020
Scott Simpson is a songwriter, poet, educator and indie music producer who lives in Spearfish Canyon. He’s been songwriting and recording songs since age six or seven, and since 2000, has produced and released more than 27 albums (most available on all digital outlets).
Scott was a high school and college English teacher and theatre director for many years and completed his Ph.D. in Creative Writing in 1997. After publishing for several years in various poetry publications (including a 2000 nomination for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry), Scott began to transition his writing focus from poetry to songwriting.
Scott has been a Learning Specialist with Rapid City-based Technology & Innovation in Education for more than ten years. During that time, he co-developed and now co-directs the WoLakota Project which provides resources and training for schools throughout South and North Dakota and elsewhere in the implementation of Native American Essential Understandings and Culturally Responsive Education. A key part of his work is facilitating Circles of Trust in which individuals come together in retreat to engage in respect-filled conversation and personal storytelling.
Scott has composed music for several educational documentary films, including Tasunke Witko, an award-winning documentary film about the life of Crazy Horse. He also composed and directed the music for the Black Hills themed musical, Deadeye’s Wild West, produced in Spearfish and Lead in the summers of 2014-15.
Scott performs occasionally in the Black Hills region, but his focus is primarily on songwriting, recording and producing via his indie-studio, Dancin’ Moon, at his home in Spearfish Canyon. His work spans genres including folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, jazz, Americana, pop, AltGospel, orchestral soundtrack, acoustic instrumental and even rap. His goals in songwriting and composing are the same as they were in his poetry—to explore, to expand, to work through challenging experiences and to mark a clear trail he can follow back home… or that others can follow and extend. Scott loves connecting with his community here at home in the Black Hills and has also enjoyed building a digital community around the globe through platforms such as Amazon, Spotify and Apple Music.
All of his work can be accessed at www.ScottSimpsonMusic.com.
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