Meet Our Artists
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Tom Abbott

 

A native of Eugene, Oregon, Tom began playing guitar when a college friend failed to repay a $100 loan and Tom walked out of his house with an old Harmony F-hole guitar. It's been downhill ever since, singing and playing with numerous "pilot" bands along the way. Tom spent an almost 22-year career in the Air Force, flying A-10s and F-16s all over the world in peace and war. He is a songwriter, musician, and producer on Operation Encore. Tom is also a pilot for Southwest Airlines, living in Litchfield Park, Arizona. He joined our first album as both a studio musician and songwriter, with “In Tent City,” inspired by his time serving in the Gulf War. He returned to OE with “I’ll Let You Know,” a song about relationships and the uncertainties we all face.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Theresa Bowman

       
 

Theresa Bowman (formerly Theresa Denofre) was born in the Philippines and grew up as a Navy brat. At age four she began to play piano, and by junior high she demonstrated great vocal talent. In high school, Theresa picked up both cello and ukulele, and she continued her passion for music while serving as an air battle manager in the U.S. Air Force. Fortunately, her ukulele was small enough to accompany her on deployments! Theresa separated from the Air Force in 2017, and she continues to write and perform music in the Seattle area, keeping her fans up to speed through her website and blog at www.filitaliana.com. Theresa was recently selected as one of We Are The Mighty’s “Mission Music” Top 5 Finalists for 2017. 

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Keith Broker

 

Keith Broecker discovered a cheap souvenir guitar exiled to the back of his brother’s closet when he was 12. A curiosity boiled inside him as he plucked the strings for the first time. Eventually, that fascination developed into a hobby, and after experiencing the rush of a live performance at his local community college, Keith became passionate about creating music.

Keith was a U-2 pilot and flew many other aircraft during his time in the service. After living all over the United States as an Air Force officer, he retired and settled down in California with his family.  His song “Late November” is a high-energy journey that tours listeners with a fast paced acoustic guitar, full of intricate picking and layered with a skillful solo.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Brett Cato

 
 
 

Having developed a love for the old planes and nostalgia of the WWII era, Brett joined the Air Force and became an Aircraft Loadmaster on C-141 Starlifter aircraft.  His duties carried him to the far reaches of the globe and his songwriting went with him, chronicling his experiences in Desert Storm and other conflicts.  His experiences with 9/11 and Operation Enduring Freedom  prompted him to write a song and co-produce a music video for the Air Force.   He is now a retired veteran having served 22 years active duty.

His inspirational compositional style was developed from listening to artists like Johnny Cash, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin.   His song "Love Me" is a ballad about relationships and struggles with post traumatic stress.  He began his own band in 2012 and currently performs in the Destin, Florida area. 

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Stephen Covell

 
       
 

Stephen Covell first picked up a guitar at age 17, and he has been creating music ever since. He enlisted in the Army in 2006, serving as a combat medic in the 82nd Airborne on two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A recent graduate of the University of San Francisco Writing program, he is currently finishing his first book, "Bring Your Gun To Work Day." He returned for Operation Encore’s second album with a song that inspired the album title, and has recently produced a new EP through Operation Encore, Longing For the Hills.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Dani Figueroa (2018 New Artist)

 

A veteran of both the Army Reserves and the Marine Corp, Dani served as an Administrative Specialist, a Heavy Vehicle Operator, and a driver team lead on two security details. She deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and medically retired in 2014 as a result of injuries sustained during her final deployment.
Dani is an acoustic/unplugged artist who enjoys a minimalistic approach with very few instruments. Inspired by artists such as Pat Benatar, Sarah Mclachlan, and  Delores O'riordan, her unique covers provide an opportunity to hear lyrics in a different way and her original music contains encouraging messages that focus on how we live our lives today.  A humble spirit, instead of performing, Dani strives to create a shared experience with her audience while honoring individual efforts and those that have been lost, hurt, or betrayed.

 
 
 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Rachel Hill

 
     
 

A musician inspired by her Kentucky roots and a deep commitment to her faith, Rachel Harvey Hill is a military spouse and mother. She began her love for music as a child; Rachel sang with her family and at church, and through a great deal of support and encouragement has developed into an exceptional songwriter and vocalist. Through her music Rachel recounts experiences she and her family have shared throughout their time in the military. She has recorded songs on both Operation Encore albums, including “Another Trip Around the Sun,” and “I’m Going Home,” a song about longing to return to our roots.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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The Real Doug Lane

 
         
 

Raised in south Texas, Doug now resides in Utah with his wife, four kids, and Dodger the boxer. He enlisted in the Army in 2000 after a sly recruiter convinced him to audition for the Army band as a saxophonist. Doug was soon assigned to the 1AD Band in Germany. He deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004, where he played concerts for troops, supported ceremonies, and performed lots of guard duty. While Doug has been performing in various groups for more than a decade, he recently began playing his own music publicly as The Real Doug Lane.  Doug joined Operation Encore’s second album with his song "Faces,” inspired by his grandfather, a World War II veteran.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Jerry Maniscalco

 
 

A Mississippi native, Jerry Maniscalco first picked up a guitar at 16 and he has been writing and performing original music ever since. In 2003, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 2007 and entering service as an SH-60B Seahawk pilot. During his time in the Navy--including 3 deployments and a remote tour--he found that music allowed him to unwind and escape. Jerry recorded two songs on our debut compilation album, the upbeat “Wake Up,” and our unofficial anthem, “We Are.”  He rejoined OE for our second album with “Waiting," written from the perspective of a pilot's spouse waiting for her husband to return home. Jerry continues to write music and play locally in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Meghan Richards

 

Meghan Richards grew up around the military--her family has a long history of service, specifically as Air Force officers. So she chose to enlist in the U.S. Army, spending 5-years as a combat medic. This is Meghan’s first time collaborating with Operation Encore. Her song, “We Might Not Agree,” was inspired by her decision to take a different career path as a “sort of declaration of independence,” while also expressing gratitude for the lessons she learned from her family and her time in the military. Meghan and her family live in Austin, Texas.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Matt Stake

 

Matt Stake grew up in a small town in central Ohio, where music was always part of his life. After graduating high school he joined the Ohio Air National Guard as a C-130 engine mechanic, later transitioning as a maintenance officer while working as a schoolteacher. Matt released his first album, Overrated Life, in 2005. He later teamed up Mike Brown to form BrownStake Music, LLC, an independent publishing company. He lives with his wife and three kids in Ohio. Matt recorded two songs on our first album: “One More Day,” and “Time For Me To Go.” He returned to Operation Encore as a co-writer on “Pleased to Meet You,” and as co-writer and featured artist on “Chasing Hearts,” a song about taking risks and plotting your path in life.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Logan Vath

 
       
 

Logan Vath was born and raised in Nebraska, where he began writing and playing music in high school. He joined the Navy in 2009, serving as an Aerographer’s Mate and bringing his guitar with him along the way. After leaving the Navy in 2012, Logan decided to pursue music. He released his first EP, Better Man or Ghost, in 2013. Logan joined the project with “Once Was,” a captivating song about learning from mistakes and gaining new perspective. A prolific songwriter, he recently released his latest EP, In the Presence of the Kingdom, and he has a new EP on the way.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Steve Wilson

 

Steve Wilson is an award-winning singer-songwriter and a veteran of both the Army and the Air Force. The son of a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, he served for 16 years as an Army paratrooper and a B-52 Electronic Warfare instructor. He later settled in Dallas, Texas with his wife and four children. Steve has created a unique style that comes through clearly in his return to Operation Encore. Steve recorded an updated version of “Cold Steel Rain” for our first album, and returned to our second compilation with “The Words,” about the impact music has on humanity and its capacity to unite. Inspired by a glance into his youngest daughter's room, it's an autobiographical roadmap of Steve's lifelong dream to play music, but touches on the way war affects the veteran.

 
 

Daryl Klenda
Meet Our Artists
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Andrew Wiscombe

 
 

A folk musician based out of Utah, Andrew Wiscombe’s style has been referred to as foot-stompin’ street music. He showcases his musical talents in one-man band fashion, playing up to five instruments at once. A Berklee trained award-winning songwriter, Andrew has a unique ability to clothe stories, words, and emotions in American roots music. A married father of two boys and former U.S. Army sniper, he joined Operation Encore with “The River, the Lark, the Pine,” an upbeat song about having the guts to play music in front of people, and being okay with yourself regardless of what others think.

 
 

Daryl Klenda