"I love my mask, I love my mom, I love my dad."
Prog Rock & Classical Musicians Collaborate on New Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius Single “Storm Surge”
Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius’ new music video, “Storm Surge” is out on YouTube. On October 28 the song will be on all streaming media and as a music video on YouTube. The song features a combination of musical guests from different generations of prog rock and classical music. Legendary Saga frontman Michael Sadler sings lead on the song which deals with the anxiety many people feel these days. Fernando Perdomo (Jacob Dylan & The Echo in the Canyon Band,) plays acoustic and electric guitar. Multi-instrumentalist prodigy Rachel Flowers plays both piano and flute on the song. Classical players include cellist Ruti Celli and the New York Philharmonic’s Yulia Ziskel (also Joe’s wife).
All the guest musicians, plus Joe’s bandmates—guitarist Michelangelo Quirinale, bassist Paul Ranieri, and drummer Jason Gianni—play in the music video, which has a “pandemic”music video vibe. Joe organized and edited the production.
“Storm Surge” is a writing collaboration between Joe Deninzon, Jason Gianni, and Michael Sadler. Inspired by “The Storm,” a short piano piece by 19th century German composer Friederich Burgmüller, that Joe kept hearing his 10-year old song Max practicing, Joe sketched out a slowed down version of a rock power ballad, and played around with structure and chords. Joe continued to woodshed the arrangement, recording a string arrangement, and his drummer sharing part of a song he’d been working on. Michael and each of the instrumentalists elevated the song.
Joe’s always wanted to use outside singers in his music. He and his bandmates have been longtime fans of the 1980s Canadian band “Saga,” known for their hits “Wind Him Up” and “On The Loose.” When Joe played the Progstock afterparty in 2018, Michael loved their set, and has continued to rave about the band. “He ended up contributing a jaw-dropping vocal performance, enhancing the melody, and adding Queen-esque harmonies.”
Electric violinist/vocalist Joe has been called The Jimi Hendrix of the electric violin. Stratospheerius has showcased their “frenzied melange of progressive rock, jazz fusion and funkabilly” throughout the world. The New York-based group has opened for Martin Barre, Alex Skolnick, John 5 & The Creatures, Gary Hoey, Mike Stern, Tim Reynolds, Mickey Hart, and John Scofield, among many others. The group’s influences include Yes, Spock’s Beard, Muse, Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and King Crimson. Stratospheerius was a winner of the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition the Musicians Atlas Independent Music Awards. They have been featured in Progression, Relix, Downbeat, and Jazziz, among other publications. Their last album on Melodic Revolution Records, Guilty of Innocence, has been widely acclaimed by critics and fans.
Joe says that with all the problems the world is dealing with, “are creating a future of uncertainty. There’s a storm that’s raging inside of us right now.”Credits
Music and Lyrics by Friederich Burgmüller, Joe Deninzon, Michael Sadler, Jason Gianni
Engineered by Rave Tesar
Mixed and mastered by Rich Mouser
Produced by Joe Deninzon
Joe Deninzon-electric and acoustic violin, acoustic guitar, vocals
Michael Sadler-lead vocals
Rachel Flowers-flute and piano
©2020 All Rights reserved.
Released by Melodic Revolution Records
By Joe Deninzon, Friederich Burgmüller, Michael Sadler, and Jason Gianni
waves pound the oceans
wild winds fill my slumber
darkness pulls me under
Caught in a storm surge
shackled and submerged
restless dreams they haunt me
drowning in this mad sea
The storm raging inside me
I reach for you but I can’t breath
mouth wide open I can’t scream
my life flashing by me
The storm raging inside me
tidal waves that surround me
every night it’s the same dream
drowning in this mad sea
C 2020 by Joe Deninzon (Fiddlefunk Music), Michael Sadler, Jason Gianni
Artist/Social Media/Video Producer Beverly Garland Available for Interviews
Beverly Garland’s YouTube Channel and job, “I Love To Draw Cats” is a multiple winner. Most recently she was a triple threat in this year’s Cat Writers Association Muse Awards. Her YouTube channel shows Beverly, the pencil artist, in action. She tells stories about the cats she draws them for her adoring fans.
ILoveToDrawCats’ YouTube channel and (https://www.youtube.com/c/ILoveToDrawCats) won:
The MUSE Medallion for the “Social Media Excellence: Humor and Entertainment” category.
Her video drawing Jugg, the Tortie Pet Portrait was presented with the Kari Winters’ Rescue and Rehabilitation Award.
The CWA President’s Award (“Best of the Best” of all MUSE winners)
Deb Barnes, who served as President for the Cat Writers Association through September 2020, awarded “Jugg” and Beverly’s YouTube Channel the “Best of the Best” Award, because “this entry captured my heart with its compelling use of storytelling, drawing, and videography…..I enjoyed each and every video portrait immensely, admiring the talents of this very creative artist who uses our current technologies so well….
“The drawings are exquisite works of art and the use of colored pencils to create the finest of details – from the delicate wisp of a whisker to the beautiful twinkle in the cat’s eye, the window to the soul of a cat, each drawing is beautifully representative of the commissioned cat, becoming a treasured, keepsake, work of art.”
Ms. Garland is a self-taught artist, whose cat portrait business developed organically through a confluence of events and circumstances, became a reality at the beginning of 2019. “I was interviewing people about their beloved cats, making drawings, and editing together videos for each one. It was my dream job!”
Whatever Beverly’s worked at, cats found their ways into her focus. She earned her Masters’ Degree in Geography and the Environment, in part, by writing her thesis on feral cats! She was deeply involved in Trap-Neuter-Return, even taught TNR classes for Spay Austin.
With roots in Illinois and Texas, Beverly’s been living and traveling with her partner, Cobra, and one of her senior cats, in a retired school bus! “We usually cover 5000-plus miles each year. Creating cat portraits is the perfect business to do on the road in a confined space.”
The Cat Writers Association is a Global Cat-centric professional organization, dedicated to excellence in written, visual, and audio media. The CWA is an organization that supports existing members and seeks to mentor those new to the profession. Its goal--since 1992 – is to improve the quality of cat information for the general public and to inspire, educate, and inform. Visit catwriters.org.
This is Beverly's award-winning video, Jugg the Tortie
Number 1 in Hungary & Germany, Building in North America
"Living in the Gap/Hungarian Pictures” is the 11th album by Mandoki Soulmates. It’s finding and building support in North America, because of the music and unity themes. We’re setting up interviews with Leslie Mandoki, the leader of “the band of bandleaders.”
The release of “Living in the Gap/Hungarian Pictures” (Cleopatra Records) follows the 2018 USA tour of Mandoki Soulmates, including a performance at New York City’s The Beacon Theater. Just passing 350,000 streams of the album, and reaching over 1.3 million people on Facebook.
Mandoki Soulmates is currently planning to tour the USA and Germany late 2021. In the meantime, Leslie’s finding ways to thank and support, “all the frontline workers, doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, supermarket workers--all the people, who kept the world turning and took care of our daily needs and our lives…”
The album “Living in the Gap/Hungarian Pictures” features a Who’s Who of Classic Rock: Ian Anderson, Jack Bruce, David Clayton-Thomas, Bobby Kimball, Tony Carey, Simon Phillips, Chris Thompson, Al DiMeola, Mike Stern, Randy & Ada Brecker, saxophonist Bill Evans, Supertramp´s John Helliwell and Jesse Siebenberg, bassists: Steve Bailey and Richard Bona, former Snarky Puppy keyboardist Cory Henry, and the Cutting Crew’s Nick Van Eede.
Leslie teamed up with his Soulmates Ian Anderson, John Helliwell, Bobby Kimball, Al DiMeola to record the song “WeSayThankYou,” donating all royalties to US charity organizations (The United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the WHO (World Health Organization) and The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City).
The album topped the Amazon Classic Rock Charts in Germany end of 2019, and is growing throughout the world including “Eccelente supergruppo” writes StoneMusic.it. Mandoki Soulmates is finding support on prog, classic rock, singer-songwriter and fusion playlists, especially with the songs: “The Torch,” “Living in the Gap,” “Wake Up,” and both “Young Rebels” and “Old Rebels.” Thanks to a great campaign from the Planetary Group, over 70 radio stations in North America, alone, are playing Mandoki Soulmates. This includes medium and high rotation on tastemaker and buzz stations KFAI-Minneapolis/St. Paul, KPSU-Portland, WDCE-Richmond, VA, WICR-Ithaca, New HD Radio w/ Zach Martin, KVCU-Boulder, WRHU-Hempstead.
WUSB-Stony Brook’s Captain Phil Merkel’s been spinning Mandoki Soulmates all summer, “my biggest takeaway from the entire work is the amount of caring and empathy Leslie has for everyone, especially us here in the USA as we struggle to cope with that monster COVID 19. I am so glad we have Leslie looking out for us. Give it a listen, you won't be disappointed.”
Making a Scene writes “Leslie Mandoki is making a scene! The band is pure sophisticated jazz rock, or as Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer) put it, ‘One of the best bands you’ll ever see.’” The late Mr. Lake, also, dubbed Mandoki Soulmates as “the band of the bandleaders”!
Canada’s LetItRock calls “Living in the Gap/Hungarian Pictures”, “A glorious thing.” Classic rock’s Strutterzine gets the message: “The impact now is so much bigger and the result is a journey which should be heard by as many people as possible…”
Why are so many of us pushing for Mandoki Soulmates to be heard? Leslie says, “Music is the greatest unifier and nothing is more timely than to raise our voice to unify the world and to build bridges over the gap we are living in, to get out of our news bubbles and echo chambers.”
House of Prog Radio writes, “the coming together of such a diverse cast perfectly expresses the album’s lyrical theme of unity, which couldn’t be a more timely message for today’s world.”
Since escaping from the Iron Curtin in the 1970s, first becoming a refugee in Germany, and then creating a life that included running the largest recording studio in Europe, Leslie’s life has been dedicated to unity, and it shows—in part—because of the pleasant and hard things he went through in order to achieve the Great European Dream. Recently Leslie told Germany’s Tekdeeps.com that “rock and roll means revolution and rebellion for a better world.”
New Spoken Word Album from Elliott Murphy and Olivier DurandThe Middle Kingdom is a dramatic spoken word with music album comprised of a selection of poems from the Elliott Murphy collection of the same name. Read by Elliott, himself, with accompanying music composed and performed by his long time musical partner Olivier Durand and mixed and produced by Gaspard Murphy, the result is a surprisingly powerful album whose provocative lyrical images are lifted to yet another dimension with sympathetic and moving musical themes.
The idea for this unique project was born during the coronavirus confinement in France when it was impossible for these two long-time musical collaborators to perform or record together, because Olivier Durand lives in Le Havre and Elliott Murphy in Paris. Elliott proposed that Olivier choose a selection of poems from Elliott’s second book of poetry The Middle Kingdom that he could relate to both musically and lyrically. After deciding upon 18 titles Olivier composed and recorded accompanying musical themes in his home studio in Le Havre. After contributing his own musical ideas to the title cut, producer Gaspard Murphy mixed the final album with state-of-the-art HD sound. The subject matter of the poems themselves go from rock ‘n roll “On The Death of Prince” and “Last Night I Dreamed About Lou” to the very autobiographical “The Middle Kingdom.”
With a career of nearly half a century Elliott’s done it all with over 35 albums of original music since his debut album Aquashow (1973), six published books including two volumes of poetry (40 Poems in 40 Nights & The Middle Kingdom), short story collections (Cafe Notes & Paris Stories), three novels (Marty May, Poetic Justice & Diamonds by the Yard), and a starring role in the feature film Broken Poet based upon his 1980’s short story The Lion Sleeps Tonight which includes a rare cameo appearance by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa. He’s also the subject of the award winning 2016 documentary, The Second Act of Elliott Murphy. and his journalism has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and other international publications. Elliott’s autobiography Just A Story From America will soon be available as an Audiobook.
In 2015 Elliott Murphy was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. In 2018, Billy Joel inducted Elliott into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, stating, “His songs are honest and literate and pure, and those songs have attracted audiences far beyond his country. I’ve long envied his bravery and integrity, and I’ve always admired his lyric skill.”
The Middle Kingdom is available on iTunes/AppleMusic/Spotify/Amazon and all streaming platforms.