Geoff McBride is Family Man First
March 21, 2012 by Danny Burns
If Geoff McBride seems unfazed by all of the attention he’s gotten recently, it might be because he’s been in the spotlight before.
Videos from his days with Arista Records can be viewed on YouTube. Geoff‘s time on the Billboard charts signed to a major record label afforded him the opportunity to work with famed artists Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendegrass, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Holliday, and many more. That experience gave him an insider’s insight into what he was about to face when he auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice” singing competition last summer.
The values instilled in him as a boy were another essential element on his journey through the roller coaster of emotions The Voice put him and his family through. He dedicated his initial performance on the show to his father, O’Neil McBride. On his Facebook page, Geoff explains “First of all, I am a husband and father. Secondly, I am a singer, songwriter, and performer.”
Photo courtesy WJHG
On a recent visit to his home, we found a calm, confident man with his lovely wife, Lisa, and their three beautiful children, River, Zoe, and Hunter.
Geoff told us his awakening to music and its influence on him began, like many R&B/Soul singers, in church. “That’s all I did. That’s how music started for me.” Returning to those roots later in life, Geoff sang at Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, in the nineties. “I was at Northpoint, one of the biggest churches in the world. I did every service they had for seven years.”
After marrying Lisa and moving to Florida in 2006 with two young girls and a boy on the way, he was able to hit a new stride as a songwriter/performer with the help of guitarist/songwriter, Tim Jackson. When the two began to collaborate musically, they also became best friends.
“My mom used to tell me this” Geoff stated. “Good friends are cultivated. Your best friends are cultivated.” He and Tim have cultivated a musical friendship that has produced several albums. Their album, “If It Wasn't for the Heartache”, was one of the top ten nominees on the Grammy ballot for Best Blues Album in 2010.
It was his brother, Dennis McBride, who first mentioned a reality TV music competition to help get his wonderful voice heard by more people. When Geoff passed the suggestion along to his manager at that time, Ashleigh Sanford in New York, she thought it was a great idea. She arranged the auditions with The Voice and Geoff was chosen to appear on the “Blind Audition” portion of the show, where the judges compete for the artists.
When Geoff began to sing Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”, judge Christina Aguilera turned her chair around almost immediately, lighting up her “I Want You” banner. Cee Lo Green also turned around, but Geoff had already made up his mind and chose Team Xtina.
Although he didn’t make it past the Battle Round and into the top twenty-four, Geoff is thankful for the boost The Voice has given him. “I’m grateful for avenues like this. But it really depends on where you want to go with your career. Mine, it’s done justice to it simply because I’m back out there now.”
There’s also a new album in the works. It’s a “soul record with a modern edge to it”. About the songs on the album, Geoff said, “I wrote every one of them; a lot with Tim (Jackson) and other gifted Nashville songwriters.”
“The Voice put me back in touch with my career and where I want to go. I want to be a part of bringing soul music back. And so far, I’m on the road to doing that. Some people might say, Geoff, that was his last shot. My last shot is when I’m not breathing any more, pushin’ up daisies.”
“The main thing I want people to realize is that The Voice is not the end for me. It was a vehicle. This is only the beginning of a long journey for me.”
We hope his journey crosses our path many times in the future, and that he’s making beautiful music for the rest of that journey.
Toward the end of our conversation, and after being very patient for two long hours, Zoe approaches Geoff and informs him that “Daddy, we’re trying to launch Hunter’s thing into space.” To which Geoff replies “Make sure everybody’s clear before you launch.” Soon after, while we were chatting with Lisa, Geoff went out to supervise Hunter, Zoe, and River as they launched Hunter’s space vehicle. Life keeps rolling on at the McBride house…
Story by Danny and Marla Burns.