Meet Our Artists
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Theresa Denofre was born in the Philippines and grew up as a Navy brat. Theresa began her music career very early. At age four she began to play piano, and by junior high, she demonstrated great vocal talent. Eventually, Theresa branched out musically and developed an interest in stringed instruments. In high school she picked up both cello and ukulele. Fortunately, her Ukulele is small enough to accompany her on deployment, so she has had the opportunity to practice and write music from anywhere.
As an active duty officer, she often performs with just her ukulele and pre-recorded music on Ableton Live. Theresa draws inspiration from island acoustics and sultry vocals of female artists. Her song “Your Lullaby” was the first song she ever wrote and completed. The song offers multiple vocal harmonies stretched over soft ukulele strumming, it is a simple love song evocative of the greatest female artists of long ago.
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.
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.