5/10/15

Sonic Voyage Fest Announces Local Opener Mavara in Newmarket, NH on May 24



Fest Bands—Circuline, Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, and Shadow Eden Look Forward To International Influence Of Mavara 

New Hampshire’s Mavara will be joining Circuline, Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, and Shadow Eden as opener at the Sonic Voyage Prog Fest at the Stone Church on the 24th of May.
Sonic Voyage Fest runs from 6:30 pm through midnight.
There will also be a series of two afternoon master classes on songwriting and on improvisation for $10. total admission.  
The Stone Church is at 5 Granite Street in Newmarket, NH.
Admission to the Fest is 9.99 in advance at $12 at the door.
The venue phone is 603-659-7700.
The website is www.stonechurchrocks.com.

Mavara is opening the Sonic Voyage Fest at the Stone Church,
Newmarket, NH on Sunday, May 24.
Now based in New Hampshire, Mavara, is Iran’s first premier progressive rock band. The name Mavara translates to “beyond everything you think” in Persian. The band was formed in 2001 by composer/keyboardist Farhood Ghadiri. Also in the group are singer Ashkan Hamedia, keyboardist Anis Oveisi, bassist Sina Khodaiefar drummer James Welch, and guitarist Scott Abene.

The group has released three albums with the most recent called SEASON OF SALVATION. Since arriving in America, the band has been the subject of television programs  on ABC Television and MCTV. The website is www.mavaraband.com

Sonic Voyage is a new, traveling progressive rock festival featuring three modern rock bands: Circuline, and Shadow Eden & Stratospheerius. All three bands have joined forces to create a night of music that dazzles with virtuosity, ignites the senses, and pushes boundaries.

The premiere Sonic Voyage takes place in New England this Memorial Day Weekend.

At the Stone Church there will be master classes between 3 and 5 pm on Songwriting for the first hour and Improvisation for the 4 pm hour

In addition to the Newmarket show, Sonic Voyage Fest kicks off on Friday May 22 at Sully’s Pub in Hartford, CT. 

On Saturday May 23, Sonic Voyage Fest is at Ralph’s Rock Diner, Worcester, MA. Other bands on the bill are Ben Levin Group and Joe Stump’s Black Knight Castle.

INFO ON SONIC VOYAGE'S SPONSORSHIPS FOR VETERANS AND STUDENTS    

The Sonic Voyage Fest is looking for sponsors to pay for the opener and for admission of interested veterans or students who might be going through financial hardships but would feel an event by musicians would help them. Please contact Anne Leighton, who works with Joe Deninzon, at 718-881-8183 if you can either help financially or know a veteran or student who’d benefit from going. 

THE BANDS WHO CREATED SONIC VOYAGE FEST

Shadow Eden, Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, and Circuline Now Available for Interviews. Please contact Anne Leighton at 718-881-8183

Shadow Eden

SHREDGUY RECORDS recording artist Shadow Eden deliver well crafted, listenable songs which feature virtuoso performances designed to please the ear of musicians and music lovers alike. 

"Shadow Eden combine elements of progressive rock, fusion and guitar-driven metal into well structured, highly musical, and very listenable tunes.”-Shred Academy.

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius 

Led by electric violinist/vocalist Joe Deninzon (www.joedeninzon.com), who has been called “The Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” Stratospheerius has showcased their “frenzied mélange of progressive rock, jazz fusion and funkabilly” throughout the world. The New York-based group has opened for The Levin Brothers (Tony and Pete), Tim Reynolds, Mickey Hart, and John Scofield… 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. 

Circuline

What do you get when you take two theatrical lead vocalists, a keyboard player from Juilliard, a musical savant playing guitar, and a drummer with progressive rock in his DNA? The new modern ProgRock band Circuline.  Performing m elodic and cinematic rock for the 21st Century, their original music combines elements of classic progressive rock and modern rock. The "Tribute" part of their show covers British and North American progressive music that was played on the radio in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, such as Yes,  Genesis, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Sound of Contact, and Pink Floyd.


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5/6/15

Please Meet Kalamazoo's Fly Paper



Fly Paper Making New York City debut on May 12
Please welcome the Kalamazoo-based band Fly Paper.  The web site is http://www.flypaperrock.com. 

The group will be making its New York City debut at the Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1, 196 Allen Street, in New York City on May 12 at 7 PM.  Please note this is a 21 and over venue.  
The website is www.RockwoodMusicHall.com. If you are in the City next week, come on by and we’ll connect. More dates below. 

Fly Paper is a guitar-based, alt-rock and blues band. Leadsinger Micaela Kingslight is the daughter of famous guitar maker John Kingslight. Her singing voice is akin to Sade, Norah Jones, Fiona Apple but with a rocking conviction. Her guitar playing will end up to be a big deal, too.  

At the top of the group’s website, flypaperrock.com, is a player that you can click to hear their recent EP and previous album. I can also send you a zip file of some of their songs.

With soulful vocals, a fusion of fierceness and elegance in its guitar sound, and a high energy rhythm section, Fly Paper continues to inspire crowds throughout the country with songs in the alternative blues-rock genre. 

When she is not on the road, Micaela Kingslight teaches at Kalamazoo College, Crescendo Academy of Music, and the Kalamazoo Academy of Rock.  Fans have heard Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmore, and Jimmy Page influences in her playing. Bassist Joe Chamberlin fills the space between with a style grounded in both modern and classic rock sensibilities. Sam Rice brings to the drums, the rock groove inspired by both the Smashing Pumpkins’ Jimmy Chamberlin and the flair of Buddy Rich, along with saxman/keyboardist Marty McLean.

The group’s current EP, 3X3 has a song, “Sing, Sing, Sing Along” that is its music video, directed by Michigan native Ben Woody.  Ben is a friend and a multimedia graduate student who has been chronicling Fly Paper over the past few years (in addition to documenting a variety of athletic projects that can be seen at GoGriffs.com). The songs include “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Bigger On The Inside,” and “Say What You Mean” and they tend to capture the band members’ awareness of life, in general, and they can often be found hiking, and Micaela practicing Yoga.

The group has been playing all over the United States with shows from the Florida Keys and Miami to Santa Monica, CA, and Sun Valley, Idaho, to Bremerton, WA. The group is a festival favorite, playing Wild Mountain Faire in Northern California, plus Deadwood Jam, as well as appearing at Michigan's Jamma Wamma Music and Arts Festival, Hoodlilldoo Music Festival, Southwestern Michigan Harvest Festival, and Big Rapid's Cranker's Fest. 
  
Fly Paper have shared the stage with a diverse group of acts including Styx, Stray Cat Lee Rocker, Delhi to Dublin, Mystic Roots, Marcia Griffiths, Jann Klose, Roster McCabe, the4onthefloor, Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers, Josh Davis (from NBCs the Voice) Funktion, and Jamie Lono.

Other music in the group’s history include the fan-funded CD, LIVE AT THE GLOBE THEATER and a DVD.  The group’s debut album, FLY PAPER came out in 2011. In 2013 they released an album, DREAM. 

In 2008, Micaela was awarded the Emerging Artist Grant from the Gilmore Foundation to record her first solo album STILL.  She also won Indiegrrl International Songwriting Contest for her song "Aurora.”  

TOUR DATES 

May 8  LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern, South Bend 
May 10  The Livery, Benton Harbor, MI  
May 12 Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
May 16  Mojo’s,  Jamestown, NY  
May 22  The Workshop Brewing Company Traverse City, MI  
May 23  Short's Brewing Company, Bellaire, MI 
May 28  The Filling Station, Traverse City, MI  
May 29, 30 Ore Dock Brewing Company, Marquette, MI  
June 11  Rockford Brewing Company, Rockford, MI 
June 19  The Deck, Muskegon, MI  
June 20  Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI  
June 25  Celadon Summer Concert Series, Grand Rapids, MI  
August 06  The Mitten Bar, Ludington, MI  
August 07  River's Edge Brewing Co., Milford Charter Township, MI  
August 08  Cow Pie Blues Festival, Caledonia, MI  

4/15/15

Mandala's MIDNIGHT TWILIGHT: 18 Years in the Making


MANDALA, The Band

Rhys Marsh — voice, guitar, mellotron, sitar, rhodes, rebab, pedal steel

Francis Booth — bass guitar
Will Spurling — drums, percussion, tablas

with:
Anna Giddey — violin
Natalie Rozario — cello
Peter Keserue — harmonium

Coming out May 5 is Mandala’s album, MIDNIGHT TWILIGHT on Norway’s Autumnsongs Records (distributed by MVD in North America).

Mandala's debut album, MIDNIGHT TWILIGHT, is an exhilarating combination of Western and Eastern folk music, mixed with heavier forms of progressive rock, all wrapped in an early-‘70s glow.

Mandala was formed in London in 1997, by Rhys Marsh (voice, guitar), Francis Booth (bass) and Will Spurling (drums). Their plan was to create music that represented all things analog, specifically their love of valves, vinyl and VU meters. They wore flares and large-collared shirts with pride, quickly becoming one of the most talked about bands in the college, performing regularly in the weekly foyer, on TV shows and in end of year productions.

By 2005, they had a new sound that encompassed violin and cello, which they presented at concerts across the UK and North America. They recorded and self-released two EPs — one showcasing their ability to rock out, albeit this time with a string section, and the other showcasing their acoustic material. The sound was penned by The Guardian newspaper as “Folk Noir.” At this time also, Mandala’s music was attracting the attention of fans in Scandinavia through MySpace.

The group played hundreds of concerts, though never recorded a full album. In 2006, they decided to call it a day. The band members ended up pursuing other musical projects, Rhys Marsh even moving to Norway to begin a successful musical career there. They remained friends — in fact, in the years between 2006 and 2012, they had grown even closer as friends.

In 2012, the ideas for getting back together were sparked, and in 2014 the band flew to Norway — heading to Autumnsongs Recording Studio in Trondheim. For 10 days they were accommodated in the Autumnsongs building — a solid concrete bunker, with no windows. The time of day quickly became irrelevant, as they set up in the studio to record in the truest way they could: live, together in the same room, surrounded by room mics and lava lamps, allowing the instruments to bleed over each others' tracks. They only time they ventured outside was for dinner, which always ended up being a barbecue, on the mountain next to the studio, during the hours of the MIDNIGHT TWILIGHT.   

From the first playback, they were blown away by the sounds that came through the monitors. They were even tighter as a band than they had been years before. Suddenly, it felt as though the three of them had grown so much as people and musicians that they were able to fully express the songs as they should be heard.

MIDNIGHT TWILIGHT has been 18 years in the making. We hope you agree that it's been worth the wait.

Critics’ responses:

Album Cover for Mandala's MIDNIGHT TWILIGHT.
“Folk-noir”
The Guardian

“Knife-edge atmospheres & Eastern-tinged melodies”
The Independent

“Haunting atmospherics, with an icy edge.”
Time Out

“Atmospheric romanticism”
The Metro

“As if Jeff Buckley met Radiohead in a subterranean cellar”
Musician Magazine

####


4/11/15

Sonic Voyage Fest on Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-24, in New England

Sonic Voyage is a new, traveling progressive rock festival featuring three incredible bands: Circuline, and Shadow Eden and Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius. All three bands have joined forces to create a night of music that dazzles with virtuosity, ignites the senses, and pushes boundaries.

The premiere Sonic Voyage takes place in New England this Memorial Day Weekend with modern rock bands Circuline, Shadow Eden and Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius performing on:

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 - Hartford, Connecticut
–Sully’s Pub at  8:00 pm

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 – Worcester, Massachusetts
–Ralph’s Rock Diner at 8 pm
Other bands on the bill are Ben Levin Group and Joe Stump’s Black Knight Castle

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 – Newmarket, New Hampshire
–The Stone Church at 6 pm.
–[opening band TBA] 
There will be master classes between 3 and 5 pm on Songwriting for the first hour and Improvisation for the 4 pm hour at the Stone Church event. We are currently doing this in New Hampshire on Sunday May 24 at the Stone Church.  

The Sonic Voyage Fest also looking for a local from the Newmarket, Dover, Exeter, NH area to be the opening act for the New Hampshire gig.  Those interested in opening for the Newmarket gig should e-mail to Anne@AnneLeighton.com a short note, plus links to performance videos online.  Include contact name, phone number, and website. Deadline is April 24. Note: Only e-mail is the way to contact us for the opener, who will be decided by the 1st of May).

INFO ON SONIC VOYAGE'S SPONSORSHIPS FOR VETERANS AND STUDENTS    

The Sonic Voyage Fest is looking for sponsors to pay for the opener and for admission of interested veterans or students who might be going through financial hardships but would feel an event by musicians would help them.  Please contact Anne Leighton, who works with Joe Deninzon, at 718-881-8183 if you can either help financially or know a veteran or student who’d benefit from going. 

THE BANDS WHO CREATED SONIC VOYAGE FEST

Shadow Eden, Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, and Circuline Now Available for Interviews. Please contact Anne Leighton at 718-881-8183

Shadow Eden

****SHREDGUY RECORDS** recording artist Shadow Eden deliver well crafted, listenable songs which feature virtuoso performances designed to please the ear of musicians and music lovers alike. 

"Shadow Eden combine elements of progressive rock, fusion and guitar-driven metal into well structured, highly musical, and very listenable tunes.”-Shred Academy.

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius 

Led by electric violinist/vocalist Joe Deninzon (www.joedeninzon.com), who has been called “The Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” Stratospheerius has showcased their “frenzied mélange of progressive rock, jazz fusion and funkabilly” throughout the world. The New York-based group has opened for The Levin Brothers (Tony and Pete), Tim Reynolds, Mickey Hart, and John Scofield… 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. 

Circuline

What do you get when you take two theatrical lead vocalists, a keyboard player from Juilliard, a musical savant playing guitar, and a drummer with progressive rock in his DNA?  The new modern ProgRock band Circuline.  Performing m elodic and cinematic rock for the 21st Century, their original music combines elements of classic progressive rock and modern rock. The "Tribute" part of their show covers British and North American progressive music that was played on the radio in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, such as Yes,  Genesis, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Sound of Contact, and Pink Floyd.
Downloadable poster for the Sonic Voyage Tour


Downloadable poster for May 23 Fest in Worcester, MA



4/6/15

Jethro Tull - The Rock Opera


Ian Anderson Presents 8 Shows Only in The USA This November

Ian Anderson celebrates the life and times of the English Agricultural inventor, Jethro Tull, with the announcement of a new series of concert tours beginning September 2015.

The shows tell the story of the original Jethro Tull's life, reimagined as if in the near future and illustrated with Anderson's best-known songs from the rock band Jethro Tull repertoire.

The performance is in a quasi-operatic structure with virtual guests on video and some  additional newly-written songs to round off the elements of the story. 

Heavy Horses, Farm On The Freeway, Songs From The Wood sit alongside Aqualung, Living In The Past, Wind-Up, A New Day Yesterday, The Witch's Promise, Locomotive Breath and other favourites – often with slightly re-written lyrics to better tell the tale.

Accompanied by David Goodier (bass), John O'Hara (keyboards), Florian Opahle (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums) and surprise virtual guests, Ian Anderson begins the touring schedule in the UK followed by Russian, European and South American dates before the end of the year.

DATES:  
November 1: Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL
November 3: Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI
November 5: CITI Performing Arts Center, Boston, MA
November 6: Kings Theatre, Brooklyn, NY
November 7: Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA
November 8: Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT
November 10: Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
November 11: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ


3/31/15

Acadian Cousins: Phoebe & Ray Legere

Legere: Phoebe and Ray Release ACADIAN MOON

Legere & Legere's album cover, ACADIAN MOON
He’s a two-time BLUEGRASS ARTIST OF THE YEAR East Coast Music Award winner, and has played with great folk acts including The Band.

She’s a downtown NYC, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer, who has played with John Hartford, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Don Cherry, Steve Martin, and Boston, New York and Cleveland Orchestras.

He’s one of Canada’s premiere fiddle/mandolin players. She’s an award-winning songwriter, poet and painter.

And they’re cousins! Legere features Phoebe and Ray Legere. Each carved unique careers in the music world. Phoebe and Ray recently united to pay tribute to their Acadian roots and created a new Ep of Acadian-influenced music. entitled, ACADIAN MOON on Phoebe’s Big Moose record label.  

Phoebe and Ray connected because a family member Léo-Paul Léger, from Moncton, N.B., President of the Famille Legere, googled “Legere.” to see if he could locate any long-lost Legeres displaced during The 1700s’ Great Acadian Diaspora. Léo-Paul found www.phoebelegere.com and invited Phoebe to the Congrès Mondial Acadien.

She put her accordion on her back, hopped on a Greyhound Bus, and sang a song at the reunion, “After about 8 bars, four handsome Legere cousins jumped up and started playing the spoons with me! Everybody was clapping and cheering! It was the greatest party of all time!”

Léo-Paul told Phoebe, she had a Canadian cousin named Ray, who was “the best fiddler in Nova Scotia.” “Leo showed me Ray’s photo. ‘Goodness gracious!’ I said. ‘Ray looks just like daddy when he was young’ So I googled Ray and found  www.raylegere.com. Ray is just so nice and brilliantly talented as you can hear for yourself when you listen to our EP ACADIAN MOON!”

Congrés 2014 was in Edmundston, N.B., “I wrote a song for our family. It’s called ‘L’Acadie.’ I played the song at the reunion.”  Then Phoebe sent the song to a friend in France, who sent it to a radio programmer in Germany, “He loved it, and he sent it to a radio lady in Canada, and next thing you know she called me up and said, ‘This is so great, won’t you and Ray please do some more songs?!’” 
“I called up Ray, ‘May I drive up to Memramcook and play with your band? We’ll record a little album that will be down-to-earth and real, with the flavor of an old-time kitchen party!’”
Well, how could he say no to a cousin!
Songs on the ACADIAN MOON EP are in a mixture of French and English: “Cajun Moon,” and French: “L’Acadie,” “Bel Bel Bel,” and in English: “OK Cupid.”

Please watch “OK CUPID” the first video from Legere at bit.ly/1BUvQ0i . The video is a selfie shot on Phoebe's new Iphone 6.  There were also dance scenes from Phoebe's award winning original musical play Shakespeare and Elizabeth - choreographed by Catherine Turocy.

PHOEBE LEGERE is a songwriter and resident of Maine, and of Acadian and Abenaki (First Nations) descent. She sings, and plays piano, accordion, cello, Native American flute, organ, buffalo drum, synthesizer, guitar and cavaquinjo. She has created the Shamancycle, a giant, 15-person, ride-able Eagle sculpture-vehicle, running on alternative energy. Legere will be performing on the solar stage of the Shamancycle at the San Francisco Makers Fair this May 16th and 17th. At age 16, Phoebe made her Carnegie Hall debut and was signed to Epic Records. Her original song “Marilyn Monroe” was a hit on college radio in 1990, and her accordion song “Amazing Love” was in the Top 40 on Adult Contemporary in 1997. She starred in cult films including Mondo New York and Toxic Avenger 2 and 3. She opened for David Bowie, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music in 2000. Phoebe has released 15 CDs of original music, and has appeared on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS City Arts, and Charlie Rose. She has sung at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and at the Congres Mondial Acadien. Recently Phoebe appeared on HBO, singing her original song about the environment, “Hip Hop Frog” (now available on iTunes).

Based in New Brunswick, Canada RAY LEGERE is the 2003 and 1996 ECMA (East Coast Music Award) Winner for "Bluegrass Artist Of The Year.” One of Canada’s premiere fiddle/mandolin players, the Amherst, Nova Scotia native is a five-time winner of the Eastern Division Bluegrass Awards for both Mandolin and Fiddle, plus the Canadian Bluegrass Awards, Woodstock, Ontario’s Open Mandolin Championship, and the Old Time Fiddle Championship in Sackville, New Brunswick. He has shared the stage or played on recordings by many favorites including David Grisman, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, The Band, Tony Trischka, Doc Watson, Bela Fleck. Ray has recorded on hundreds of sessions, TV SHOWS, and has five solo albums to his credit.

3/13/15

Daevid Allen, Jan. 13, 1938-March 13, 2015


It is with great sadness that we report the passing away of the great Daevid Allen, for many years the leading light in the anarchic collective Gong. Daevid lost his long battle with cancer, and the world is a little less sunlit as a result.

Daevid Allen was the kind of mercurial, inspiring individual whose free-thinking nature positively touched the lives of all who came into his orbit. When the Australian-born Allen first arrived in England in late 1960, he ended up as a lodger in the home of Robert Wyatt’s parents; the first Beatnik to be seen in the Kent countryside. Allen brought a glimpse of a different world and way of living to Wyatt and his friends, and later, as a founder-member of British psychedelic pioneers Soft Machine, added his unique vision to British rock music at the time.

It is as a founder-member of the sprawling collective Gong that Allen will be most closely associated; born out of the Paris Spring Commune of 1968, their debut album Camembert Electrique was memorably released in the UK in 1974 on the nascent Virgin Records label for the price of a vinyl single. Gong were never blessed with a stable line-up; Allen left the band in the mid-seventies, but reformed Gong in the early nineties. The latest Gong album – I See You – was released late in 2014, and was greeted with universally glowing reviews, a brilliant restatement of Allen and the band’s enduring musical and lyrical values.

Although Daevid Allen’s death at the age of seventy-seven is a sad loss, his lasting legacy – an unapologetic desire to live, explore, entertain and inform through his remarkable body of work, outside of the world of the everyday – will live on.

####

This is a February 27 video of Daevid performing a piece from Khalil Gibran's The Prophet in Bryon Bay, Australia where poets and artists gathered to help celebrate his life and work.   daevid allen - poet first and last - Pizza Paradiso - 27 Feb 2015 from Planet Gong on Vimeo.

"For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountaintop, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."

3/10/15

David Clayton-Thomas Sings SOUL BALLADS His Way

LEGENDARY FORMER BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS LEAD SINGER’S LATEST ALBUM INCLUDES DISTINCTIVE RENDITIONS OF CLASSICS BY RAY CHARLES, OTIS REDDING, SAM & DAVE, AND SAM COOKE
The latest album by legendary vocalist David Clayton-Thomas delivers splendidly on its succinct title. Soul Ballads, now
available in the U.S. on Airline Records after its initial release in Canada (where the singer resides), consists of 10 seminal soul ballads, every one of them expertly interpreted by Clayton-Thomas. If you didn’t know better, you might think these timeless anthems were created specifically for David to wrap his warm, expressive pipes around.

“The keyboard player for Blood, Sweat & Tears for many years during the ‘80s was Lou Pomanti. And he’d been bugging me for the longest time to do an album of all those great songs that we used to do together back in the old bar days, when we played five shows a night on what they called the Yonge Street strip here in Toronto,” says David, who was in the midst of completing his autobiography and about to receive his star on Canada’s Walk of Fame when he decided to make this album. “I didn’t have much new original material. But I called Lou up and I said, ‘Lou, I think the time has come. Let’s do it!’”

In addition to playing piano throughout, Pomanti produced the set in Toronto. “We didn’t go looking for obscure songs that nobody had ever done before. We went looking for those great iconic tunes,” Clayton-Thomas continues. “We decided to do them with a full orchestra: 15 strings, eight horns, rhythm, percussion, the whole bit. And of course, utilizing modern recording studios.” 

Assembling the set list was a labor of love. “They’re just basically songs I’ve always wanted to sing,” David says. “A very challenging album too, because if you’re going to go and put vocal performances up against Otis Redding and Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, you’d better be on your game, you know? Pretty tough competition. But we just set out to basically pay tribute to all those artists and those great songs.”

The set opens with David’s distinctive rendition of Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “Midnight Train To Georgia.” We stuck very close to a lot of the arrangements, but I didn’t want to just clone the arrangements and make it like a cover album,” he says. “We wanted to bring our own thing to it. So since I don’t have the Pips, and I’m a huge Gladys Knight fan--I think she’s one of the greatest singers ever--we decided to do the background parts with the horn section instead.” 

Few 1960s soul anthems pack a more powerful punch than Sam Cooke’s hopeful “A Change Is Gonna Come,” its message resonating strongly with David. “I idolize Sam Cooke, and I had sung ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ a thousand times in the old days,” he says. “So it just fell right back into place very, very easily.” Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions’ similarly inspirational “People Get Ready” receives a welcome revival on the set as well.

David underscores his love for Otis Redding by revisiting two of his Stax/Volt classics: the tender “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (which Otis wrote with Chicago soul great Jerry Butler) and Redding’s contemplative posthumous smash, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.” “Otis Redding was one of my idols, along with Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and Ray Charles,” he says. Roly Platt’s harmonica winds plaintively through Clayton-Thomas’ remake of “Dock Of The Bay.” “That’s because I can’t whistle!” David laughs.

 That enduring allegiance to Brother Ray’s catalog is immediately apparent on lavishly arranged treatments of Charles’ versions of “Ruby” and “You Don’t Know Me.” David does a splendid job on Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ lush “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (the original featured Teddy Pendergrass, another timeless soul voice), and really brings the heat on an intense rendition of Sam & Dave’s uplifting Stax classic “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby,” complete with a punchy horn section. 

Transforming Bobby Hebb’s catchy “Sunny” into an after-hours torch number works like a charm. “The song I’m really intrigued with on the album that I like the most and has been getting the most airplay up here in Canada is ‘Sunny,’” he reports. “And that’s a song we did totally different. We did it as a slow ballad, as opposed to the up-tempo version that I had heard.”

Throughout Soul Ballads, Clayton-Thomas’ longtime love affair with each song shines through bright and bold. “I’m a fan of every single artist on that album,” he says. “That’s why I chose the songs. And those are all artists that basically informed my style when I was growing up. One week I’d sound like Ray Charles, the next week I’d try to sound like Sam Cooke!”

Here Clayton-Thomas sounds like no one but himself—the same mighty vocalist whose unforgettable front work on Blood, Sweat & Tears’ “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “And When I Die,” and his self-penned “Spinning Wheel” made the expansive group a full-fledged 1969 juggernaut. 

Soul Ballads and David Clayton-Thomas: what a perfect combination!

##





2/28/15

Artify Norwood Seeks Musicians For its Event March 28

Contact: Anne Leighton: 718-881-8183
This is our temporary logo.  Get ready, because we're
working with some artists on the "To Be Announced" logo.

 Info@ArtifyNorwood.com

ARTIFY NORWOOD would love to hear from Bronx-based musicians and poets at  info@artifynorwood.com.

Please send links of your websites and music videos online. Please include your zip code, as well.

Artify Norwood has some performance opportunities available on March 28 at our kick off Artify Norwood event on at Beso Lounge, at 320 E. 204th Street (between Hull and Perry), in The Bronx. This is near the D Train. The March 28 event runs from 3 till 7 pm.

Please note that the performers must be living in the Bronx, ideally in Norwood, Allerton, Williamsbridge, Fordham, Little Italy/Belmont, Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Olinville, Bedford Park.

Website VOICES OF NY calls "Artify Norwood" "A new movement...bringing artists and businesses together in the Bronx neighborhood to promote the arts in a new way that helps both artists and the businesses that will be sponsoring them."  It is the goal of Artify Norwood that artists (musicians, writers, visual artists, dancers,...) make money from their art. The group's founders, Fernando Tirado and Anne Leighton, are focused on Artifying the Norwood section of the Bronx.

For more info, please call 718-881-8183.


JOIN US ON FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/groups/RESPECTPROARTISTS

2/7/15

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius' new single "GUILTY OF INNOCENCE on Feb. 14


Buy “Guilty of Innocence” at www.cdbaby.com/cd/stratospheerius4


Progressive rock/jam Band Has Four Singles From Upcoming 2016 Album Release 
Joe Deninzon &  Stratospheerius are releasing four singles throughout 2015, culminating in a full-length album in 2016.  The songs will be available for downloads (CDBABY, Amazon, BANDCAMP, iTunes) and streaming (SPOTIFY, Reverbnation…)  and anywhere that mp3’s are in orbit.

The songs are performed and produced by Stratospheerius, and engineered and mastered by Rave Tesar (Renaissance), mixed by Alex Salzman.  

The first single was “Behind the Curtain” which LET IT ROCK’S Dmitry Epstein writes “Deninzon sings, yet the only magic to happen here comes from his strings attack when Joe loosens it all to get into the eye of the hurricane where the calm reigns. There’s madness, too, but one you would like to be in sometimes – if only for the attention it draws. Step in the zone, the.”   Behind the Curtain was also picked up in China for mobile phone distribution.

The cover of Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius'
single, GUILTY OF INNOCENCE
The next song will be released by Valentine's Day (February 14) and is called "Guilty of Innocence." Joe says it was “inspired by my 2012 stint in jury duty and deals with crime and punishment. I was presiding on a rape trial and the guy who I thought was guilty got off practically scot-free.  

Get “Guilty of Innocence” at www.cdbaby.com/cd/stratospheerius4

The lyrics include: “We are all guilty of innocence 
We are all blissful with ignorance 
We're planting doubt with a weak defense 
Run to the hills and jump the fence 
…. We're all in handcuffs theoretically   
A room full of people in solitary

Coming up after that will be “Take Your Medicine” and “Face.”  Dates are currently to be announced.

Stratospheerius' members are Joe Deninzon-electric violin/mandolin/vocals), French guitarist Aurelien Budynek (Cindy Blackman, Vernon Reid), bassist Jamie Bishop (The Syn, Francis Dunnery), and drummer Lucianna Padmore (Primordial Jazz Funktet).

Stratospheerius' musical range combines progressive hard rock with elements of jazz, "fiddle funk," and Gypsy influences. The group was a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, won the Online People's Choice Awards in the Cornucopia Festival, and was named "Best Jam Band" in Musician's Atlas Independent Music Awards.  The band has recently been profiled in both PROGRESSION (the Bible of progressive rock) and DOWNBEAT ONLINE. 

BLOGCRITICS compares Deninzon to "Jeff Beck (as a) "fiddlemaster with a streak of humor."  

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER praises Stratospheerius for its "funky electric violins, driving guitar rhythms, and fevered drumming layered in an explosive fashion." 

The band is on the soundtrack of the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay-produced movie, VIRGINITY HIT.

Joe has written the book on Electric Violin--literally; Mel Bay books has released his "PLUGGING IN: A Guide To Gear and New Techniques for the 21st Century Violinist." Joe has been called "The Jimi Hendrix of the Electric Violin," because of his innovative performances on the electric seven-string violin.  While leading Stratospheerius since 2001, Joe has worked with Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Les Paul, Phoebe Snow, and Ritchie Blackmore, and performed for President Clinton.  He can be heard on over 100 recordings and jingles as a violinist and string arranger.  He is writing his first electric violin concerto to premiere in 2016.

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2/5/15

Daevid Allen of Gong writes to his fans

My artist Daevid Allen of Gong has made an important decision in his battle fighting cancer.

Gong's Daevid Allen
I have not changed a single phrase, space, punctuation mark as these are Daevid’s words.
He has posted this note in the news section on his website.  www.planetgong.co.uk

I also want to make you aware while my colleagues at UK’s Snapper/K-Scope music and I were doing the promotion of the new Gong album I SEE YOU this past fall, Daevid Allen fell ill with cancer and its subsequent treatment. Today he posted a message, on the band's website: www.planetgong.co.uk/news/current.shtm 

Anne Leighton, 718-881-8183
  




Hello you Kookaburras,

OK so I have had my PET-CAT scans (which is essentially a full body viewing gallery for cancer specialists, ) and so it is now confirmed that the invading cancer has returned to successfully establish dominant residency in my neck.

The original surgery took much of it out, but the cancer has now recreated itself with renewed vigor while also spreading to my lung.
The cancer is now so well established that I have now been given approximately six months to live.

So My view has Changed:
I am not interested in endless surgical operations and in fact it has come as a relief to know that the end is in sight.
I am a great believer in "The Will of the Way Things Are" and I also believe that the time has come to stop resisting and denying and to surrender to the way it is.

I can only hope that during this journey, I have somehow contributed to the happiness in the lives of a few other fellow humans.
I believe I have done my best to heal, dear friends and that you have been enormously helpful in supporting me through this time 
So Thank you SO much for being there with me, for the Ocean of Love 

and Now, importantly, Thankyou for starting the process of letting go of me, of mourning then transforming and celebrating this death coming up - this is how you can contribute, this would be a great gift from those emotionally and spiritually involved with me. 

I love you and will be with you always
 - Daevid xxx -

12/9/14

Annie Haslam Re-Releases Her Classic, “Live Studio Concert Philadelphia 1997” - Autographed DVD

The band supporting Annie on LIVE STUDIO CONCERT 
PHILADELPHIA 1997:keyboardist Rave Tesar, singer/guitarist/
keyboardist Davd Biglin and drummer Joe Goldberger.
Renaissance frontwoman/solo singer/artist Annie Haslam has just released her classic performance video on DVD of a Live Studio Concert she did in Philadelphia in 1997 for the Prism TV Network.   

Annie’s new DVD has just been released on her own label, White Dove Records, and is available to ship exclusively worldwide.


Annie created her own digital store, which has most of her back catalog including two Christmas albums, IT SNOWS IN HEAVEN TOO and SNOWBALL.  Find digital releases also of her albums: BLESSING IN DISGUISE, UNDER BRAZILIAN SKIES, ONE ENCHANTED EVENING, THE DAWN OF ANANDA, and WOMAN TRANSCENDING at: musicstore.anniehaslam.com.  These albums are also available on iTunes, Amazon, Beats Music, Deezer, Google Play, Rdio, Spotify, and YouTube Music Key.


The LIVE STUDIO CONCERT in PHILADELPHIA 1997 was recorded and produced at Philadelphia’s Sonic Studios in standard definition in original 4:3 aspect ratio and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. It features three Renaissance songs: “Carpet of The Sun,” “The Young Prince and Princess,” and “Captive Heart.”

The DVD features Annie's songwriting skills in collaboration with Tony Visconti on “What He Seeks” and “Pool of Tears,” Rave Tesar on “Sleepless Mother,” and David Biglin on “Summon the Angels” and “Seashell Eyes.” Tony produced her 1994 BLESSING IN DISGUISE CD. 


In addition to an audio and video crew, Annie filmed some of the experience with her own video camera, (“The Haslam-Cam”)   Band members were keyboardist Rave Tesar, singer/guitarist/keyboardist Davd Biglin and drummer Joe Goldberger.  She remembers, “They played flawlessly and sounded more like 6 than 3 musicians.  It was exhilarating; each song had the audience singing along." 


Ordering the standard DVD (NTSC all-region and plays on modern PAL DVD players) for $19.99 includes an autograph from Annie, plus an immediate digital download of the audio tracks.  The package includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads in MP3 and FLAC formats.

 
Annie Haslam is an English progressive rock vocalist, songwriter, and painter residing in Pennsylvania, USA. She is best known as the lead singer of the classical rock band Renaissance since 1971, and for her long and diverse solo singing career.  On December 20, Annie, again, headlines her holiday concert In the Spirit of the Holidays at the Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA (www.st94.com).  In April 2015 Renaissance will be touring the UK and Europe.

The longtime Captain of her own ship (including re-forming Renaissance with Michael Dunford in 2009 (before his passing in 2012), touring, writing, establishing a career as a visual artist, and working with animals), Ms. Haslam owns most of her solo catalog. “I would rather control my life’s work,” she states.  In owning my music, I can always keep my products available, and stay in touch with my fans.”


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