The Respond Project

The Respond Project produced two collections of female songwriters, including 17 GRAMMY®-nominated contributing artists. All project proceeds benefit domestic violence service and prevention non-profit organizations. The first release, Respond: A Compilation by Boston Women to Benefit Respond, Inc. (Signature Sounds, 1999), a 2-CD set, features songs from 27 Boston-area songwriters including Mary Gauthier, Lori McKenna, Mary Lou Lord, Catie Curtis, Kris Delmhorst, Jen Trynin, Patty Larkin and Juliana Hatfield. Respond was featured in stories on VH1, NPR, CNN and MTV, and was named the #1 album of 1999 by the editor-in-chief of Billboard Magazine, Timothy White. White called Respond, "One of the most important and courageous records of the decade." The project was featured in a showcase at the Newport Folk Festival and in over 50 Respond concerts in clubs, theaters, colleges, festivals, and coffeehouses. Project artists celebrated Respond Inc.’s 25th anniversary with a major benefit concert and the project was one of the top 50 most played albums by US folk radio. Respond was nominated as “Album of the Year” at the 2000 Boston Music Awards and designer Connie Sharar and artist Stephanie Garcia won a Society of Illustrators Award for their album cover design. Respond is dedicated to the memory of contributing singer-songwriter Alexis Shepard.

The project’s second release, Respond II (Signature Sounds, 2003), features 32 songs by artists from Boston and beyond including Dolly Parton, Elly Guerra, Aimee Mann, Indigo Girls, Bebel Gilberto, Tanya Donelly, Patty Griffin, Joan Baez, Angelique Kidjo, Neko Case, Suzanne Vega, Odetta, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. The Boston Globe’s Joan Anderman noted that Respond II was ". . .a match made in heaven. Music lovers get a remarkable collection of songs [and] an important issue gets attention and financial support." The project was recognized by the Points of Light Foundation and the production team won an award in the Harvard Business School Business Plan Competition - Social Enterprise Track. Respond II was played in all Starbucks stores and was nominated for a Boston Music Award. Respond II is dedicated to the memory of Timothy White. We thank him for his heart, generosity of spirit and support. RESPOND, Inc. continues to celebrate his life with its annual Timothy White Take A Stand Award.

The Respond Project raised over $250,00 for its benefiting organizations, RESPOND, Inc. and the Family Violence Prevention Fund (now known as FUTURES Without Violence). Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, RESPOND, Inc. was one of the first programs in the United States to offer shelter and assistance to victims of domestic violence. RESPOND Inc.’s 24 hour hotline is 617-623-5900. Based in San Francisco, FUTURES Without Violence has been providing groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world for more than 30 years. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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Respond Press

"One of the most rewarding and important developments to emerge out of the Boston music scene this year.  The release would be admirable even if the songs were not top shelf, but this is a superb collection."

- Ken Capobianco, Community Newspapers September 23, 1999


"Though the Respond CD might have just been another good deed floating in the ether, it stood out from the pack because it's a great album that is musically and thematically cohesive, hardly common in Compilation Land.  . .  Covering folk, pop, country, and rock, the album is a vibrant, engaging, heartwarming listen."

- Sarah Rodman, The Boston Herald, September 19, 1999


"As this 2 CD collection displays, New England's folk scene is experiencing its most fertile period in 40 years.  This showcase of contemporary Boston-area female singer-songwriters is uncommonly moving in its content . . . it is also poignant and empowering in its aim”

- Spotlight Review, Billboard Magazine, January 23, 1999


Letter grade "A"

- The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia, January 21, 1999


**** (Four out of four stars)

-The Cape Cod Times, February 7, 1999


"This is a truly amazing record . . . it features some of the most gifted contemporary singer/songwriters (female or male) of the East Coast, truly showcasing a wealth of experience, talent, and beauty.  If only all cities breathed music like Boston.  This is not a hit-or-miss album, every song that is contained in this compilation is worthy of being included and the manner in which this project came together is a nice reminder that music can heal some wounds."

-, 1999


"A stellar group of female singer-songwriters"

- The Boston Globe, September 23, 1999


“We had a marketing meeting where the VP of marketing mentioned that we were going to offer Respond, and the entire staff clapped.  I’ve been attending that meeting for 20 years, and I’ve never heard applause in that room.”

-Marshall Wilcoxen, VP A&R, Columbia House, quoted in Billboard Magazine, May 29, 1999


(Three and a half out of four stars) "If the two-CD set Respond did nothing more than showcase the variety and consistent excellence of female singer-songwriters in the Boston area, it would be a success.  But because both Respond and its concert benefits Respond Inc . . . this set is a must-buy. . . . Respond is a rare animal - a good-cause album that's actually good."

- The Boston Herald, December 13, 1999


"One of the strongest and most comprehensive local compilations in recent memory"

- The Boston Phoenix, November 27, 1998


"an absolute knockout lineup of artists . . . the quality of the songs is wonderfully good"

- The TAB, December 1, 1998

"Respond plays like a who's who of Boston's ripe singer/songwriter community . . . [a] stellar release."

- Northeast Performer, January 1999


“Compilations have been around for decades, but every now and then one will appear that stands above the rest, and Respond is surely one of those, a watershed recording that captures Massachusetts artists at a most opportune moment.”

- Mixx Magazine, Summer 1999


"One of the best and most powerful compilations to come out of the acoustic music community in years”

- Music Matters Review, October 1999

Respond II Press

". . .a match made in heaven. Music lovers get a remarkable collection of songs [and] an important issue gets attention and financial support."

- Joan Anderman, The Boston Globe, January 17, 2003


". . . the songs have been chosen with great care. By focusing on the heart of the music rather than just the genre, this compilation takes seemingly disparate elements . . . and weaves them into sonic pattern that is cohesive, complex, and altogether compelling."

- Michael Simmons, Amazon Editorial Review


"This compilation will become a valued part of your record collection"

- Dan Aquilante, The New York Post, January 22, 2003


"Tough to find a better cause and it's tough to find a more colorful cast than the women who bring their songs to life on the double disc compilation "Respond II"...  Some of the set's best moments include the sweet soul of Wanetta Jackson...Susan Tedeschi's deep dark blues...and Sleater-Kinney who let their loud, raw guitars hang right over the edge of the jukebox...A fine opportunity to get exposed to lots of new music, while simultaneously taking a stand against domestic violence."

- Kevin O'Hare, Inside Playback, January 19, 2003


"Respond II" has won praise from Billboard, Rolling Stone and MTV for its diverse mix of styles. By selecting songs with care, [its] producers . . . were able to create a compilation that moves smoothly from rock, to folk, to Latin, to country.”

- The Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2003


Four stars “Don't buy it just because it's a great cause: You'll probably plunk down the money for the well-known artists -- which include Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Ani DiFranco, Sleater-Kinney, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Aimee Mann. But there are also a bevy of lesser-knowns who deserve your attention, including Deb Talan, Erin McKeown and Ely Guerra."

-- Dave Ferman, Fort Worth Star Telegram, January 24, 2003


Four stars "Charming...the lineup of female performers is eclectic...but the music flows together seamlessly...(the songs) focus on the strength and vulnerability of the human spirit."

-- Jim Abbott, Orlando Sentinel, January 24, 2003


"A magnificent feast of female talent"

 - Folkwax, January 2003


"A virtual who's who of female musicians, a strong compilation, and the cause is beyond reproach."

-Rob Thomas, Capitol Times/Rhythm, 2003


Four and 1/2 stars "As compilations go, "Respond II" is a rare embarrassment of riches. . . a multi-genre spectrum of performers, the compilation is loaded with emotion. . . a heady collection. . . a bounty of good songs"

- Chuck Campbell, Knoxville News-Sentinel, January 31, 2003


“With artists like Aimee Mann, Dolly Parton, Ani DiFranco, and Sarah McLachlan performing old favorites as well as previously unreleased material, this double disc compilation just might become your personal Spring soundtrack.  From the Indigo Girls' hauntingly beautiful acoustic version of “She's Saving Me” to the African/Brazilian exuberance of Angelique Kidjo's “Tumba,” Respond II leaves no musical palette untouched as it swings wide the boundaries of sound in celebration of women in song.” 

- Skirt Magazine, April 2003

"the CD's wonderful intentions aside, a finer collection of  women's music could not be found"

Women Who Rock Magazine, March/April 2003

Respond Project Production Team


Producer: Charan Devereaux

Associate Producers: Kris Delmhorst, Esther Friedman, Sandi Hammond, Jennifer Kimball, Jess Klein, Pamela Means, Linda Nawn, Jenny Reynolds, Colleen Sexton, Linda Sharar, Alexis Shepard

Mastering: Jonathan Wyner at M Works

Legal Services: David Herlihy

Art Direction: Connie Sharar

Cover Illustration: Stephanie Garcia

Photography: Mark Morelli and Frank Monkiewicz

Label Support: Jim Olsen at Signature Sounds Recordings

Publicity: Full House Promotions

Respond II

Executive Producer: Charan Devereaux

Producers: Michelle Dietz, Linda Nawn, Johanna Richwagen, Matt Smith, Jessica Smyser, Sonya Tarnow Brown

Associate Producers: Kris Delmhorst, Esther Friedman, Sandi Hammond, Jennifer Kimball, Jess Klein, Pamela Means, Jenny Reynolds, Colleen Sexton, Linda Sharar

Legal Services: David Herlihy

Mastering: Jonathan Wyner at M Works

Art Direction: Connie Sharar

Cover Illustration: Stephanie Garcia

Label Support: Jim Olsen, Mark Thayer and Flora Reed at Signature Sounds Recordings

Publicity: Cyndi Harles

Respond II Project Advisory Board (2003)

Janet Axelrod

Max Bazerman -  Professor, Harvard Business School

Meryl Bralower - Co-Founder and Board Chair, Social Venture Partners Boston

Kelly Campbell - Partner, The Bridgespan Group

Michele Courton Brown - President, FleetBoston Financial Foundation

Marla Felcher - Author and Adjunct Lecturer in Non-Profit Marketing, J.F. Kennedy School of Government

Dan Fireman - President, One Family Campaign and Senior Vice President, Willowbend Development Corp.

Judy Garlan White - Editorial Art Director/Graphic Designer

Denise Gorayeb - Senior Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Judith L. Herman, M.D. - Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Deborah Hopkins - Senior Advisor, Marakon Associates

Ira Jackson - President, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Maria Kalligeros - President and Co-Founder, Patrice Tanaka & Company, Inc.

Vivien Li - Executive Director, The Boston Harbor Association

Georgianna Meléndez - Executive Director, RESPOND, Inc.

Bill Nowlin - Owner, Rounder Records

Patricia O’Brien - Dean, Simmons Graduate School of Management

Eileen de los Reyes- Bilingual Program Specialist, Boston Public Schools and Co-Author, Pockets of Hope

Ester Shapiro- Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston and Research Associate, Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Public Policy and Community Development

Shawna Slack - Principal, YankeeTek Ventures

Gerald Slavet - Chairman and Creator, "From the Top" and Senior Partner, MB Management Corp.

Esta Soler - President, Family Violence Prevention Fund

Michael Watkins - Associate Professor, Harvard Business School

Marti Wilson-Taylor - President and CEO, YWCA Boston