Great Outdoors-Inspired Songs

CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN by Gary Lucas (co-writer of Jeff Buckley’s hits MOJO PIN and GRACE, and Joan Osborne’s Grammy-nominated song SPIDER WEB). Gary’s soaring and motivational rock song with horns and a wailing chorus, “Climb the highest mountain so you can stand tall!” 

Gary and his rock band, Gods and Monsters, will perform at the Iridium, NYC, on May 31. He’ll include some of his classic Chinese pop with long-time collaborator singer Feifei YangClassic folks from the NYC rock and punk scene (bassist Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers, Elliott Murphy, David Johansen), and drummer Billy Ficca (Television, Waitresses, Washington Squares), and saxophonist/analog studio owner Jason Candler) are in Gary’s band. Ernie, Billy and Jason do sessions. 

Then look for a full show of Chinese Pop from Gary and Feifei, on July 25, at  The Loft at City Winery NYC
8pm.  That show will feature dreamy ’30s Shanghai Pop, 

and new Mandarin versions of songs by Bob Dylan and other great artists. 
  (more info on Gary's Chinese pop: http://garylucas.com/www/edgelive/edgelive.shtml

TWINKLE LITTLE STAR by Miss Amy is one of the most pure-in-heart versions of the classic lullaby that you're ever going to hear!

 a perfect song for the news this Hanukah (Dec. 12-20). She sings the ingredients in this festive ditty which sounds good late night/early morning.

FROM EVERY MOUNTAINSIDE by Dan Berggren is for the Fourth of July, and is the same melody of "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Dan's version is about fighting for the environment and liberty to keep us strong.   

From Every Mountainside

My country, ‘tis for thee
I’ll fight for liberty
To keep us strong.
When power is shared by you, 
Not just a chosen few.
We know what we must do 
To right the wrongs.

Don’t take for granted 
Seeds that were planted 
Centuries ago.
Seeds of democracy, 
Nurtured with honesty, 
Become our liberty 
When we share the load.

My country, I love thee.
Long may thy flag fly free;
for you I stand.
But I don’t appreciate
The way some do generate
A national pride that’s based on hate 
Of another land.

This world may never be 
Completely trouble-free,
And yet we cling.
Let us who share this place 
Do so with strength and grace. 
We are one human race
Of thee I sing.

traditional tune, words ©2004 Dan Berggren 

Listen to Our Spotify Playlist


Spirited Instrumentals

 Spirited music is our name and game and work! :)
All my New York City-area friends are invited to the Cutting Room, on Friday, April 27, at 7:30 PM for  Legends of Boston.
Who are these Boston musicians? Two different acts: Magic Dick & Shun Ng AND Johnny A. (and his guitars.)
Magic Dick is J. Geils' harmonica player and Shun is an entertaining acoustic guitar player, and he reminds me of an acoustic Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen rolled into one with a voice inspired by Michael Jackson. In fact, Quincy Jones says he was blown away by both Shun's  "soul and his science – his creativity and his uniqueness is astounding.” 

This is their song: SPACE, which is available for licensing. 
Follow the link for their cover of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxAZ3YyjtPg
Johnny A. and his guitars cover the Left Banke's “Walk Away Renee”: https://youtu.be/9IRetoeEecc
He'll be doing a set of British Invasion SongBook.  

This is the link to order tickets for Magic Dick & Shun Ng and Johnny A.. https://tickets.thecuttingroomnyc.com/event/1655553

The Cutting Room is at 44 East 32nd Street, in New York, and the phone number is 212-691-1900. The website is http://thecuttingroomnyc.com.

Quick heads up about Holiday music including Halloween songs like the Gentle Giant instrumental, SPOOKY BOOGIE.  Hammond organ and great horror cues!


The Legends of Boston At The Cutting Room, April 27

Please share downloadable flyer of
Legends Of Boston, April 27, NYC
Magic Dick & Shun Ng and Johnny A. will perform at the Cutting Room, April 27 at 7:30 PM.
The Cutting Room is at 44 E. 32nd Street, in New York City.
Admission is $25 in advance/$30 day of show (with a minimum food/drink of $20 per person).
The venue phone is 212-691-1900.

The soulful blues rocking duo of Magic Dick (the legendary harmonica player for Boston's legendary J. Geils Band) and guitarist/vocal sensation Shun Ng EP is called ABOUT TIME.

Since 1969, Magic Dick has toured the world playing and blowing away clubs and stadiums with the J. Geils Band. But he heard Shun Ng’s album, FUNKY THUMB STUFF, and wanted a musical collaboration with the upcoming musician, “Shun’s sound simply made me feel very alive and induced in me a synchronous alignment of musical DNA as if it was his intention as well as mine all along!”  

Shun Ng is an award-winning fingerstyle guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter, known for his unique style which infuses elements of Soul, Funk, Blues and Jazz. He’s won praise from legendary producer, Quincy Jones, who says, “I was simply blown away by both his soul and his science – his creativity and his uniqueness is astounding.” Shun is a recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame 'Holly Prize' and winner of 'International Artist of The Year'  at the Boston Music Awards.  

Shun explains the goal was to “make music in a way that no one had quite done before while remaining grounded in our roots. Magic Dick brings a powerhouse attack with ferocious precision and a killer groove to this duo. I have great respect for him, he has seemingly done it all, but is still constantly trying to push the boundaries of music and chase the best in himself, a true artist. To be working with a true Boston legend is a real privilege."

"Just Me...and My Guitars" is what Johnny A. calls his solo concert.  For nearly 20 years Johnny A. has travelled the world effortlessly gliding through, bending and blending, musical genres to deliver his own unique style of instrumental guitar music.

To quote the LONDON FREE PRESS (Johnny A. is...) "a musician who resists easy categorization and that's always cool by us." JAZZIZ Magazine perfectly stated, "Johnny A. has eclectic musical vision and the skills to realize it... A.’s music is both accessible and sophisticated." 

Never content with complacency, and always up for a challenge, Johnny again takes an adventurous musical left turn to present his distinct, instrumental guitar approach for the very first time in a completely “solo” intimate atmosphere. 

With strong emphasis on melody and arrangements from the British songbook of the 1960s, he brings his fluid guitar style to select venues all across the United States. 
The evening promises to be a very special "living room experience" with some of Johnny's favorite songs and stories all of which have molded him into the musician and person he is today. 

It's no wonder that Gibson and Epiphone guitars have honored him with not one but three signature model guitars designed to his specifications.  Don't miss this rare and unique opportunity to see Grammy-Nominated, Boston Music Hall of Fame Inductee and one of America's finest instrumental guitarists, Johnny A., up close and personal. 


Songs We All Can (or Should) Understand

I gave myself the nickname "Phoenix," after a comforting industry man from Phoenix talked with me late night on the phone. He helped me instill the me in my dreams.  

With that, here are Themes of Empowerment--the Phoenix Rising From the Ashes, and that we can comfort one another.

BACKBONE Emily Hurd 
Turning one's weakness into a strength as she recovers from an abusive situation. Americana similar to Alison Krauss' music.

Waltz tempo with acoustic guitar and other gentle instruments supporting comforting voice supporting a friend suffering from abuse by her man.

It takes a worried man to sing a worried blues. Sounds like Tom Waits, Sylvester the Cat, and a howling dog.

CHECKING OUT  by Allan Holdsworth Scatty vocal jazz with guitar, bass, drums.  
The collapse one feels from wearing his heart on his sleeve. Relaxed and loose vocals from a British tenor named Paul Williams who sounds like Jack Bruce.1982 release from Allan’s 5-star I.O.U. album.

BORN BEAUTIFUL Jon Mullane  Upbeat pop song like something by Maroon 5, with an important message for anyone with low esteem. The song is partnered with a variety of Mental Health associations, and has won a number of video awards including the Music California Video Awards and International Music and Entertainment Award (IMEA). 


2018: Flourishing Advertising Playlist

We work in the spring, and hope the season’s rebirth and optimistic attitude can saturate the world.

I have New York City shows from Hank Wedel, whose song LISTEN was covered by the great Irish folk singer, Christy Moore.
Friday, March 30: Saints & Sinners, 59-21 Roosevelt Ave., Queen
Sunday, April 1, 9 PM: Tom Clark's Treehouse at 2A, 25 Ave A (Upstairs), NYC 
Monday, April 2, 11 PM: Rockwood, 196 Allen, NYC
Sunday, April  8, 9 PM: Tom Clark's Treehouse at 2A, 25 Ave A (Upstairs), NYC 
Wednesday April 4:  The Harefiled, 769 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 

One of Hank’s recent songs is “Living in the Land of Love.”
My West Coast friends are invited to a Tribute to Allan Holdsworth at the Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA, Saturday, April 14 at 5 PM. That was Allan’s hometown venue. 

Vintage Guitar Readers chose Allan as 2017’s Featured Artist AND Jazz Player.  Scroll down at this link for a stupendous and sweet write-up for Allan’s contribution to music and also to see a gorgeous illustration by Sean Thorenson/VG Archive. http://www.vintageguitar.com/28719/2017-readers-choice-awards/.

Listen to 2018’s advertising reel either on SPOTIFY at spotify:user:leightonmedia:playlist:6Fm9lYqYlUEFjBZwYFrQsC.
 or SOUNDCLOUD at https://soundcloud.com/leightonmedia/sets/songs-for-advertising.

It's been an amazing few years working with Phoebe Legere. I came in as she was working on Americana music, which she'll be playing festivals for this year. We're on the road to confirming Maine and Ithaca. Recently I got to see her create a project from beginning to premiering in front of an audience. Her play SPEED QUEEN just finished at Dixon Place, and will be at more venues. TBA: Florida and more New York City.

AMAZING LOVE Phoebe LegereCaribbean influence. Reggae. She plays accordion on this. The song is about #Love finding her when it was most needed.

Upbeat pop song like Maroon 5, with an important message for anyone with low esteem. What’s inside a person is more important and meaningful than outward appearances.  Recently the “Born Beautiful” video won it's fourth award from the Music California Video Awards.

Alt pop, joyful song “I’ll stick around, this is my favorite feeling, floating in your arms” with reverb. A pop-punk version of “I’ll Melt With you.” A little “happier together”-ish interlude.

GLOGG Emily Hurd 
Classic Christmas pop music, clever lyrics like “Let’s go shovel the sidewalk in a relative sense.” There is an underpinning lyric “Because there’s wine” throughout the song. bells and electric guitar.

Two Songs with Traditional roots:

It takes a worried man to sing a worried blues. Sounds like Tom Waits, Sylvester the Cat, and a howling dog.

Same melody as “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”  This version is about fighting for liberty to keep us strong. The song takes a political stand for democracy and freedom. flute, guitar, male and alto female folk voice.

Our 2018 Flourishing Advertising Playlist


Renown Electric Violinist Joe Deninzon Teaches and Performs at UIUC April 4

Joe Deninzon is teaching and performing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Wednesday April 4, 2018.
Master class is at 11:00 (Smith Memorial Room); lecture is at 3:00 (0304 Music Building); performance is at 7:30 PM (Colwell Playhouse, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts).  
Admission to all events is free. For further information please contact rudolfhaken@gmail.com.

Hailed by critics as "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” Joe Deninzon has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Renaissance, Kiss’s Peter Criss, Phoebe Snow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Robert Bonfiglio, Les Paul, and as a soloist with the New York City Ballet and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Joe is the lead singer/electric violinist of the progressive rock band, “Stratospheerius.”

Joe Deninzon's Krannert performance at 7:30 pm will last ninety minutes with no intermission, and will include original compositions and virtuosic jazz, hip hop, rock, and classical solos played on the 7-string Wood Viper electric violin.

Please share downloadable flyer. 


Topical Song: "The Ducks of St. Stephen's Green" by Dean Friedman

A song about Peace and history to the Easter Rebellion

Dean Friedman’s THE DUCKS OF ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN might offer a solution to some communities to stop fights amongst one another.  

This song is an old time waltz melody, based on a true story, about how ducks stopped daily warfare during the Easter Rebellion, in Dublin, Ireland in 1916. They were hungry.

This year Easter is April 1, and it’s a time of hope as it’s spring, and we want to raise ourselves from the dead of winter, and emerge with positive energy. 

Dean is performing this weekend, Friday, March 23 at McLoones in Asbury Park.  Visit this link for more info. https://mcloones.ticketbud.com/dean-friedman-e5bd63a55bf2
Contact me ASAP for the guest list.

The Ducks of St. Stephen’s Green

Let me tell you a short story of bravery and glory,
a tale that’s both true and surprising
‘bout a muddle in the middle of a puddle in Dublin
in the week of the Easter Rising
in the week of the Easter Rising

It was 1916 in St. Stephen’s Green, when the Irish Citizens Army
was defending the Square from the british troops there
as the fighting grew savage and stormy.
as the fighting grew savage and stormy

The bullets were flying and soldiers were dying
but the gamekeeper name of James Kearney 
said, “I’d rather retreat, but my ducks have to eat
They’ve no knowledge of freedom or tyranny
they’ve no knowledge of freedom or tyranny.”

Then he took a bold stand, a white flag in his hand
“Hold your fire,” he shouted and pled
and then to his surprise, both sides heeded his cries,
as his ducks waddled over to get fed
as his ducks waddle over to get fed.

There were mallards and muscovies, crested and blues
There were harlequins, pintails and wigeons,
there were winged necks and pekins and buffleheads too
and a handful of seagulls and pigeons
Yes, a handful of seagulls and pigeons

And then each afternoon, every squad and platoon
held their fire and laid down their arms
as the gamekeeper tended his ducklings and ducks,
not a feather on their heads did they harm,
not a feather on their heads did they harm.

So step left, step right, my fine feathered friends
Let your webbed feet guide you, but make haste
as you waddle and flap, as you waddle and quack.
There’s a war being waged beside you,
there’s a war being waged beside you.

© 2017 by Dean Friedman, All Rights Reserved


NEWSFLASH: New single from Phoebe Legere: Mama Was a Junkie (Optimistic Kitty)

SINGLE RELEASE from the Soundtrack of the upcoming Album SPEED QUEEN.  

SPEED QUEEN is Phoebe Legere’s new Solo Opera about lesbian action hero, butch billionaire bon vivant Joe Carstairs. 

“Mama was a Junkie” contains elements of jazz and chamber music in addition to Legere’s signature Trap-influenced beat. 

“Mama was a Junkie” was written to acknowledge the many children at-risk served by Legere’s nonprofit Foundation for New American Art. 

The musicians are top New York City players: guitarist Sean Harkness, bassist Skip Ward, drummer Rob Mitzner.

Phoebe Legere’s 2017 album Heart of Love went to #18 on the national Roots chart. 

Phoebe’s play SPEED QUEEN:The Joe Carstairs Story: Sex, Speed and High Society, premiered at Dixon Place earlier this month.
The final dates for this run are March 23 and 24. 
Dixon Place is at 161A Chrystie Street, in New York City (between Bowery and Kenmare, and near subways J and D). 
Tickets are $19 in advance, $22 at the door, and a $1 for NYU students. 
On sale link https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/984019.
The venue number is 212-219-0736.
The website is Dixon Place.org

The Message: This play is dedicated to all the #GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) sisters who have bravely gone before.   

Listen to MAMA WAS A JUNKIE on spotify. 

CDBaby at: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/phoebelegere14 


Elliott Murphy's PARTY GIRLS & BROKEN POETS on Vinyl


Elliott Murphy’s classic 1983 album PARTY GIRLS & BROKEN POETS will be released by MURPHYLAND RECORDS on high quality 180g Vinyl on 9 March 2018 in Europe and the USA and expect both MURPH THE SURF (1982) and MILWAUKEE (1986) in re-mastered vinyl editions later this year. Order the vinyl albums at: www.elliottmurphy.com/store.

Completely re-mixed from the original analog 24 Track tapes and re-mastered, PARTY GIRLS & BROKEN POETS is ready to be rediscovered by both new and old fans from one of the most original and classic American rock singer-songwriters.

PARTY GIRLS & BROKEN POETS was recorded in New York City at Battery Sound Studios in the shadow of the fallen World Trade Center and features guest appearances by David Johansen (New York Dolls), Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes) and avant-garde saxophonist Peter Gordon. Elliott’s regular band at the time was monumental in itself: Richard Sohl (Patti Smith Group), Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) and Tony Machine (The Heartbreakers).

Murphyland ML0002LP

Critics praised Elliott’s 2017 album, PRODIGAL SON (4 **** Rolling Stone France) which was produced and mixed by Elliott’s son Gaspard Murphy, an outstanding producer in his own right. Gaspard utilized hi-tech procedures to restore the original tapes of PARTY GIRLS AND BROKEN POETS  to pristine condition, making it possible for him to re-mix this legendary record using all the modern technology available while keeping the integrity of the original recording. 

Also recently released: AQUASHOW DECONSTRUCTED  (2016) - a new version of the classic Elliott Murphy album Aquashow (1973) which will surely go down in rock history as an important work from the golden age of rock ’n roll that marked the beginning of a storied musical career that continues strong thirty-five years later. 

Elliott will be on tour in the USA in Autumn 2018.

For more information and/or interview requests please contact Anne Leighton: leightonmedia@aol.com  and Anne@AnneLeighton.com.


SonicVoyageFest Rocks Downtown, April 19

(Sponsored by Favorite Progressive Rock Radio Show, the Fest Features Edensong, 2BirdsBand, and Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius)

Downloadable Flyer for April 19
SonicVoyageFest at DROMNYC
SonicVoyageFest is presenting three transcendent acts redefining progressive rock for a new era at downtown NY’s First Sonic Voyage Fest at DROM, on April 19 starting on 9:30pm.
Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, Edensong, and 2Birds  are featured.
DROM is at 85 Avenue A, in New York City.
Admission is $15.
The ticket buy links are

The website is http://www.dromnyc.com
The venue phone number is 212-777-1157.

Sponsoring SonicVoyageFest on April 19 are two favorite progressive radio shows:
Captain Phil’s Planet, heard alternative Thursdays on WUSB 90.1fm and 107.3fm. Stream at www.wusb.fm.
Plastic Tales from the Marshmallow Dimention, heard Monday nights, 9 till 10:30 PM on WNYU RADIO 89.1fm and wnyu.org. (note: “Dimention” is the correct spelling for the NYU Radio Show..)


Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson praises New York’s Edensong as “a great example of the contemporary face of progressive rock.”

Edensong’s history as a band is just as long, epic, and unpredictable as its music. The 2018 lineup includes long-time members like viking-bearded singer/guitarist James Schoen, second singer and bass playing hobbit/spider-demon TD Towers, and hypnotizing “dancing muppet” flute player Barry Seroff. They are joined by the virtuosic koto player and composer Kento Iwasaki, and drummer Nicholas DiGregorio, whose improvisational skill, jazz background, and hallowed status as a longtime friend of the band (largely responsible for turning the founding members onto prog in the first place!) makes him the perfect addition to the lineup.

The group’s albums are their self-released 2008 debut “the Fruit Fallen,” 2016’s ”Years in the Garden of Years” (Laser’s Edge).  The songs prominently feature immersive new textures, from lush keyboard and orchestral arrangements to esoteric percussion from around the world, such as hang drum and Balinese gamelan.  The group’s a festival favorite, most recently appearing at 2017’s ROSfest. 2018 will be an equally ambitious year for Edensong as they will be performing their first UK/European tour with a set at the legendary Summer’s End Festival in Wales.


Led by electric violinist/vocalist Joe Deninzon (www.joedeninzon.com), who has been called “The Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” Stratospheerius have showcased their “frenzied mélange of progressive rock, jazz fusion and funkabilly” throughout the world. Their latest album, GUILTY OF INNOCENCE features contributions from Renaissance's Rave Tesar and jazz artist/Testament guitar Alex Skolnick.  Their live performances are filled with funky dance grooves, rip-roaring guitar/violin jams, and hooks that mix jazz, funk, rock with Gypsy influences. Stratospheerius was a winner of the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition, and was named “Best Jam Band” in the Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards.

Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius features: Aurelien Budynek-guitar (Cindy Blackman, The Dan Band, Rock of Ages, Daredevil Squadron), Jason Gianni-drums (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Rock of Ages, Mike Portnoy/Neil Morse Band, Daredevil Squadron), and Randy McStine-bass (The Fringe, Sound of Contact, Stu Hamm, LoFi Resistance)



Violins and composers –GABE & TONY BIRD, cello – GEORGE CROTTY,  bass – EVAN WIERZBICKI,  drums-MARTIN BEUX

Started in 2014, 2BIRDS BAND is a unique strings-based ensemble with rhythm section that explores the boundaries of violin and cello through different styles of music. Fusing classical tradition and contemporary styles, the band presents a new way of approaching strings with a sound both cultured and groovy. It has been performing and teaching clinics in Boston, New York, Toronto and France. The band released albums “First Flight” (2015), “For Lack Of A Better World” (2016) and “String Groover” (2017).

2Birds are favorites of leaders in the violin world. Says Christian Howes,“2Birds Band are not only funky and sexy- they are rooted in serious musical study and capable of referring at any moment to their roots in Bach, Debussy, Beethoven et al.”  Jean-Luc Ponty cheers: “Bravo! I’m glad to see young compatriots at a level that I rarely hear! Very good on all points, groove phrasing, musical expression, and original compositions…” 


Created Memorial Day 2015 by three incredible bands: Circuline, and Shadow Eden & Stratospheerius, Sonic Voyage Fest’s purpose is to create a night of music that dazzles with virtuosity, ignites the senses, and pushes boundaries.  Writes ProgSheet’s editor John A. Wilcox, “Sonic Voyage Fest was like General Tso’s chicken: spicy, filling, and I already want more!”

Listen to our SonicVoyageFest Spotify Playlist