Logo Test 2           The Film Solver In Select Theaters January 29th
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Interview with the Cast of Solver

Solver Photo Front PageThe feature suspense filled PG rated film Solver opens in theaters across America on January 29 and simultaneously is being released on the digital streaming services of Amazon and iTunes. There is not a single weak actor in this film from the local Sheriff Riley (played by Timothy Brennen) to the lead actors Kerry Knuppe as Alex Derringer and John Ruby who plays Luke Williams. The two other protagonists are Jesiree Dizon who makes a spectacular major film debut portraying Nadine Simms and Antonio Jaramillo as badass Demien LeBlanc who will give you nightmares, while your eyes are still wide open.

Solver is the brainchild of actor / producer John Ruby and producer / screenwriter Jack Kelley who crafted a mystery that is chalk full of clues that easily engage the filmgoer, has as an underlying element a budding romance between Luke and Alex and even serves up amateur sleuth Diego Gonzalez played by Pablo Castelblanco. Luke Williams works in the corporate world of the big city and his grandfather with whom he was very close passes away, taking Luke back to his roots in small town America. What begins as a trip to tidy up his grandfather’s affairs and to take care of funeral arrangements, becomes the catalyst for a high stakes adventure.

John Ruby talks about why he thinks Solver will appeal to audiences, “What is really fun and exciting about this film is it is a mystery adventure where you have certain pieces of the puzzle, but you don’t have all of the pieces until the end. What I enjoy about that and I think what people will enjoy is you are putting the pieces together, as the protagonist Luke is putting it together. Sometimes you are ahead of the story and sometimes you are behind the story, but the picture is not exactly clear on what is going to happen, until you get to the end and then you look back and it all makes sense. I think that makes for a really fun film. It also keeps you on the edge of your seat, because you are waiting to see what happens next. How is this person involved? What is their relationship? Are they on the good side or the bad side?”

Jack Kelley provides some background Read More

Sass Jordan - Racine Revisited

Sass Jordan Photo Front PageRacine Revisited is a fabulous new album from Rock singer and songwriter Sass Jordan. The original album Racine was first recorded in 1992 and Jordan refers to it as her most successful album to date. The new album is not simply the same songs remastered or remixed, but instead the decision was made not to go back to 1992, but to record all of the songs again only this time as though they were being recorded in 1975.  

“We did that on purpose, because the question that I had to the people I was working with was, why the hell would anyone want to buy a record that they already have? We wanted people to talk about 2017 is the 25 th anniversary of the release of that record. That record was a big record for me. I think it was the biggest record that I ever did. There are a lot of fans that were directly affected in some way.  

I said if we record it again, let’s put a twist on it. Instead of bringing it up to date and making it sound all spangly (This word is a Jordanism) fresh in 2017 why don’t we make it sound as much as possible and to the best of our ability as if it was recorded in 1975. Let’s record it as if we were in 1975.

There aren’t any click tracks and there isn’t any Auto-Tune. We adhered as much as we could to the idea that it was 1975 and not 1992 and not 2017. That is when I would love to have made this record,” says Jordan.

The album opens with “Make You A Believer,” a powerful, vocally driven song, backed by strong guitars from Chris Caddell and Derek Sharp (The Guess Who), electric bass by Rudy Sarzo (Queensrÿche, Ozzy Osbourne) and booming drums and percussion courtesy of Brent Fitz (Alice Cooper, Streetheart. It is a song that can best be described as Gospel meets edgy Rock and Sass Jordan says that would be a good way to describe her vocals, as well with some Blues mixed in for good measure.

“It (“Make You A Believer”) is the centerpiece of the album and when that song came out every other song followed in quick succession (as far as being written). When that song was written the record labels gave us a tremendous and Read More

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Actress Charlene Tilton

Charlene Tilton Front Page PhotoI had a lot of days with really dark times and that were really challenging. There were times when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Things had happened, but I have also had some really blessed days and some really good days. Even on the darkest and most challenging days the one thing that I will say is life is exciting no matter what it brings,” says film, television and stage actress and playwright Charlene Tilton.

Charlene Tilton did not have time to be bored in (2017), even if that was in her nature, as she co-starred with Lauren Aliana in the movie Road Less Traveled, as an eccentric wine making aunt, had another major role in Second Chance Christmas, as the meddling mother of Katrina Begin’s character Caroline who is dealing with amnesia and she appears in the drama Vengeance: A Love Story with Nicholas Cage and Anna Hutchinson, as the mother of two meth addicts and a drug dealers. In the latter role she says some of her own friends did not recognize her when they saw the film. She appeared on the revived Battle of the Network Stars and she wrote the script for a one woman play Tammy Faye Tweets. At the beginning of 2017 Charlene Tilton starred in the stage production of Driving Miss Daisy. Along the way there was a stop in October of 2017 to speak at Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids, hosted by Seth Rudetsky in New York City, just one of several charitable causes that Ms. Tilton is involved with.

Charlene Tilton talks about Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids, a star studded evening that featured Broadway stars, Tony Award winning actors and producers, as well Grammy Award winner Stephanie Mills and stars from television and film. 

“Everybody comes in and donates their Read More

Marcella Detroit

Marcella Detroit Photo Front PageDetroit (also known as) Marcy Levy is in her words “the thing that wouldn’t go away.” She says that half in jest and half seriously, as she has enjoyed an incredible career as a stunning vocalist, a good guitarist, one of the best songwriters on the planet and more recently she has added to her vast repertoire fashion designer.

For the sake of this interview we are going to toss accepted writing style out the window and dispense with referring to her by only her last name and default to Marcy or Marcella Detroit. After all when this writer asked at the beginning of the interview if she had a preference she said in a mock, snooty, upper class British accent “No you may only call me Marcella,” before saying yes it was okay to call her Marcy, and for the record Marcy was in fact born in Detroit. This is the first part of a two-part interview with Marcella Detroit aka Marcy Levy.

Marcy toured as Marcella Detroit on two separate occasions with Eric Clapton and co-wrote several songs with him. She toured with Bob Seger, Leon Russell and was the co-founder of Shakespeares Sister (with no apostrophe) who stayed perched in the # 1 spot on the U.K. charts with their song “Stay,” for eight consecutive weeks.

It is simply not possible to name all of the people with whom she has worked as a session singer, but we will name a few, Aretha Franklin, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Al Jareau, Bette Midler, Burt Bacharach, Leiber and Stoller and Carole Bayer Sager. Her songs have been recorded by Chaka Khan, Belinda Carlisle, Al Jareau and Philip Bailey.

She also recorded the duet “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” with Sir Elton John, as well as recording duets with artists such as  Read More

 

Interview with Imogen Tear

Imogen Tear Photo Front PageActress Imogen Tear just turned fourteen years old and she has already won several awards and when you are in a conversation with her she sounds like she has been at this for years. In fact, she has been acting for years, not many years, but the past five years. Throughout the conversatino you are also reminded of something else that she is a teenager and she still sees the world through the eyes of a teenager and in a very positive way. She defaults to superlatives when describing the people who are her friends and while talking with enthusiasm about the television and movie sets on which she has worked. She also does something else that immediately stands out and that is that she expresses gratitude often for the opportunities that she has been given, for her family and for other actors who have helped her along the way.

She talks about winning the Young Entertainer’s Award for best actress in a television series (awarded to those between the ages of five and twenty-one). Recently, she also won a Joey Award for Best Lead Actress in a television role (an award, which is also given to youth actors).

“I won the award for my role as Hattie in When Calls the Heart and it was an incredible experience. It was my first time ever going to LA and the experience was totally amazing!

I never go anywhere thinking that I am going to win otherwise I will always disappoint myself. Even after I win I remind myself that awards are the result of hard work. It was pretty amazing, because it was my first award ceremony ever and winning on top of that was super cool. I was quite surprised to win something, because there were so  Read More

Maria Schafer - To Know Love

Maria Schafer Front Page PhotoTo say that Maria Schafer is an old soul, a beautiful and classic voice from another era would seem to be stating the obvious, whether she is singing the Harry Warren and Mack Gordon song, “The More I See You” or Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” when she demonstrates her smooth, effortless scatting ability. Both songs are from her current album To Know Love. Where does that old soul vibe come from?

Maria Schafer explains, “I have always been a quiet, curious, studious type of person. It was not that I didn’t get along with children my own age; it was just that as I was growing up I was more interested in spending time with adults. I (wanted to know) what they were concerned about and I wanted to be a part of their conversations. I loved to do well in school and I was very shy. I loved to read and I was interested in the culture of the old school society that was presented in old movies from the forties through the sixties.

In high school I came across a movie called The Girl Can’t Help It featuring Jayne Mansfield and Julie London. Julie London plays a sultry ex-lover of one of the male leads. She keeps coming up in the movie singing “Cry Me A River,” which is the song that got me into Jazz. The way in which people conducted themselves and the way they communicated was always a little more attractive to me than present day communication styles. It branded me as an old soul and I hear that quite often.

One of the benefits for me of being a singer rather than an instrumentalist is we get these wonderful lyrics that are poetic and heartbreaking or uplifting, but they are poetry. We have the opportunity to sing those and they should not only be sung, but they should be conveyed in a way that is very personal and in a way that is very impactful to  Read More

Rebecca Staab - Film & TV Actress

Rebecca Staab Photo for Front PageFilm and television actress Rebecca Staab recently talked to Riveting Riffs Magazine from her home in California. The former supermodel who was born in Kansas and who grew up in Grand Island and Omaha, Nebraska discussed a wide range of topics from one of her passions, rescuing dogs, to her partner in life William, to touching upon her love for home renovations, which she warned this writer would easily comprise an entirely different interview, to talking about how she enjoyed an illustrious modeling career and currently is one of the film and television industry’s most respected actresses, careers that this former straight A high school student never had her heart set on. In this the first part of a two-part interview with Rebecca Staab she talks about her childhood and later her modeling career. It is our hope that our readers will get a sense for this funny, determined, down to earth, brilliant and engaging woman who recently starred in the ABC television miniseries Somewhere Between, as Colleen DeKizer, was Elizabeth Barrington in the television show Port Charles, is currently shooting the pilot for the television series Manopause, appears as Camille Richfield in the 2017 film Coming Home for Christmas and who has appeared in a plethora of films and television shows, some of which are still in various stages of production. 

“I was born in Kansas, but we moved to Omaha when I was seven. I just have an older sister and a younger brother. My sister is one and one-half years older than me, but my brother is nine and one-half years younger. There were two childhoods in a way. There were a few years when there was just my sister and then my brother was Read More

Celia Berk

Celia Berk front page photoThere is something about listening to a singer who knows how to infuse each and every phrase of a song with authenticity and when she is accompanied by superbly orchestrated musicians playing exquisite arrangements that puts you right in the middle of the scenes that she has vividly brought to life. Celia Berk’s interpretation of the songs on her current album Manhattan Serenade accomplishes all of that. The collection of thirteen songs by composers and lyricists such as David Heneker, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart, Cy Coleman and David Zippel and others is Ms. Berk’s love letter to the city she has lived in and around her entire life. This is home for Celia Berk and in the midst of the hustle and bustle and masses of people she finds beauty and peace. That is really what this album Manhattan Serenade is all about.

It is about a woman who was born in Manhattan and grew up on Long Island, before eventually moving back to New York City, as an adult. As a young girl her mother would take her to the Opera on Saturdays and Celia Berk’s father inspired within her a love for the Great American Songbook.

“My mother took me to the Opera and she started out when she first came to the city and they had a subscription at the Metropolitan Opera. My father, because he commuted all week long into the city, the last thing that he wanted to do (was come back to the city) on a Saturday afternoon.  Frequently I was the one who went with my mother. I saw some of the absolute greats doing the Opera repertoire. That was my whole life,” she Read More

Maria Elena Infantino Interview

Maria Elena Infantino Photo for Front PageSinger and actress Maria Elena Infantino will be performing on November 3rd (2017) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for the opening ceremony of the ARPA International Film Festival’s screening of the film Dalida. Dalida is based on the life and career of the legendary singer by the same name and as Infantino notes, of course she will be performing one of Dalida’s songs.   

Maria Elena Infantino’s performance at the ARPA International Film Festival could not come at a better time, as she continues to develop a new one woman show (she is well celebrated for her Édith Piaf show), this time featuring the music of Dalida.

Infantino says, “Dalida sang in fourteen languages. She was the Disco queen and she was huge in the seventies. She inspired me in the sense that it is so dramatic and theatrical to represent her life on stage. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary since her passing. I met the actress and the director from the movie Dalida, which was filmed in France and I thought why don’t I do this? She had such a wonderful life and for two years I have already incorporated some of her songs into my show. I sing “Bambino,” and “Paroles, Paroles,” the famous duet that she did with Alain Delon. I think I will be doing a show about her very soon, because everyone claims her. The Lebanese love her, the Armenians, the Egyptians, the Italians and the French. I would combine all of these cultures together and you can imagine the audience I would get with such an international flavor. It would unite all of the nationalities together. Read More

Stew Cutler - Every Sunday Night

Stew Cutler Front Page PhotoDrop on in every Sunday night and hear us play. After listening to Stew Cutler’s album Every Sunday Night that is exactly what you will want to do and you will be checking out his website to figure out where he is playing his next gig. For the first time in more than a decade (our fault not his) we sat down with the affable guitarist / composer and talked about his new album.  

The album opens with “The Grind” introduced by Nick Semrad’s organ, percussion by Bill McClellan and a scintillating guitar solo by Cutler. If you like Funk and you salivate over a good groove with a late night nightclub feel then you are going to love “The Grind.”

Cutler talks about when he first started working on this album in 2015, “I was trying to arrange for somebody to come into the club and to just record us there, but for a variety of reasons I couldn’t get it to work. I went to a studio where I had previously recorded and I was very comfortable with the place, plus the engineer (Rich Gaglia) is brilliant. I thought it could flow pretty well if we came in and just more or less played live. It was recorded in one and one-half days.  There aren’t a lot of overdubs.  “The Grind,” was done in just one take.

I met Rich when I was still involved with Fountainbleu (Entertainment Inc., the record label) and I recorded a record there called So Many Streams. We played these songs and we didn’t do it piece by piece. There were no overdubs and there were no songs when I decided I would add acoustic guitar or there was a second synth track. There was none of that, but at the same time Rich Gaglia did his tinkering. He’s tremendous.”  Read More

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Kerry Knuppe - New Films

Kerry Knuppe Photo Front PageThe feature film Solver will be in theaters early in 2018, which means once again one of Riveting Riffs Magazine’s favorite actresses Kerry Knuppe will also be on the big screen. Knuppe is one of the most versatile and gifted actresses in film today with other film credits including a major role in Like A Country Song and Nicole Conn’s A Perfect Ending, where she played the daughter of Barbara Niven’s and the late John Heard’s characters.

Solver was a really fun project that we did and we filmed it in upstate New York.  It is a mystery adventure and it has Antonio Jaramillo who was in Shades of Blue and me. He played the bad guy and he was really fun to work with. The people that we worked with were so wonderful. It was so fun to be in a small town where they were appreciative of us being there. It was a different feeling.

It is a fun story and a “what’s going” on mystery kind of a thing. It was a really fun project,” says Knuppe.  

Solver directed by Xandy Smith and also starring John Ruby and Jesiree Dizon, also had some interesting moments before filming began.

Kerry Knuppe shares one of those moments, while laughing, “When I was cast they said you have a week to prepare and I said I would like to come out a couple of days before we start shooting and shadow a mechanic (her character is a mechanic), so they said that was fine. They spoke to the person who owned the mechanic shop where we were going to be filming and he also said that would be fine. He was really great and he showed me how to change the oil and all of that kind of stuff. I was fiddling around with what he had been showing me on this car and a customer came and he asked the owner if he had a new assistant. He said no, no there is a film they are going to be shooting and she is here to shadow me for the day. (The customer) called me over and he said he tells me you are an actress from LA. Read More

Peter Himmelman - No Calamity

Peter Himmelman Photo Front PagePeter Himmelman is a lot of things and he does them all very well, he is a guitarist, film and television scorer, a composer, a lyricist, an author and he is also a motivational speaker to corporate America. Peter Himmelman is also a husband and a father and we do not want to lose sight of that, because early in his career Himmelman had a very realistic opportunity to explode globally and become part of the very upper stratosphere of Rock artists, but he chose to redefine his career and placed his family as the first priority in his life.

Fast forward and Peter Himmelman is the go to guy for Fortune 500 companies who are looking for a way to refresh and to renew their corporate vision and to expand the vision of their employees. He also has a brand new album with a collection of songs that are thought provoking and that possess contagious grooves and rhythms. We should also point out that these songs were written prior to the fall of 2016.

That is borne out when Peter Himmelman talks about why he chose the title No Calamity for the album, “I just liked the sound of it. It is a lyric from one of the songs on the record. I chose that title well before any elections were in full swing, just to let you know that it is not a comment on any particular thing. It is more of a personal thing.”

Himmelman talks about his unusually named song “245 th Peace Song,” “I think I picked that title, because it is subtle irony, as there are so many songs that are extolling peace as a way of life. The song is personal and introspective in a way. It could allude to the interrelation piece between two people. It could be societal in some ways. It asks questions (about) the holes in people’s lives (that have) to be filled. It is a statement, but “you’ve got to be careful what you fill them with.” “The anger in people’s hearts needs to be cooled,” and then it says, “but you have to be careful what you cool it with.” Read More

Amy Black and Memphis

Amy Black Photo Front PageNashville based singer and songwriter Amy Black is a lot of things, but there are some things that we should dispel immediately about what she is not, just in case readers get the wrong idea from some of the titles for her original songs from her new album Memphis. Her song “It’s Hard To Love An Angry Man,” is not about any men she knows, unless we want to count the men she has encountered and observed at Home Depot (more about that later) and it is definitely not about her main squeeze, her hubby, whom she describes as her Zen master. The killer tune “The Blackest Cloud,” in no way suggests that Amy Black suffers from a Chicken Little syndrome either, far from it, as in the view of this writer she projects as being a happy, positive individual and our conversation was often punctuated with her laughter.

Memphis is the fourth album that Amy Black has released and in some ways is a continuation of the stylistic thread of her previous record, The Muscle Shoals Sessions.

Talking about the evolution of her music Black says, “I think the shift started with my second album, This is Home that I recorded in Nashville and you can definitely hear on the first three songs on that album a little bit more of a soulful, Blues thing going on, before the rest of the album goes onto singer / songwriter kind of Americana.

About the same time that I was recording the Nashville album I had this day booked at Muscle Shoals and I was going to record this song called “Alabama,” that I wrote for my grandfather who was from the Muscle Shoals area I thought it would be cool to go to FAME (Studios) and record that song. (Instead) we knocked it out  Read More

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Actress Barbara Niven

Barbara Niven Photo for Front PageBarbara Niven is a lot of things, but if you were to ask her, she would probably tell you that what she is most proud of is being a mother and a grandmother. She waves that flag proudly and so she should. Barbara Niven, the actress has appeared in more than one hundred feature films and made for television movies. Her roles have been as diverse as currently starring as Megan O’Brien on the Hallmark Channel’s wildly popular Chesapeake Shores, where she is the prodigal mother who returns home to her five adult children and her ex Mick O’Brien or in her role as Delores Swensen, mother to amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen played by Alison Sweeney in the Murder, She Baked mystery movies, also Hallmark productions and the middle-aged Rebecca Westridge in Nicole Conn’s A Perfect Ending with the late John Heard and Jessica Clark,  a story in which her character is trapped in a loveless marriage and she falls in love with another woman.

While there is a part of every actor invested in every role that they play or at least there should be if that role is to be performed well, not every moviegoer or fan who sits in front of their television sets on a Saturday or Sunday night gets an opportunity to discover who the real person is behind the character. We invite you to spend a few minutes with us as we chat with an incredible woman, who seems to find the perfect balance between strength and kindness, while not being afraid to lend her voice to causes she truly is passionate about such as, animal rights, anti-bullying, human rights and helping others to realize their dreams. As Barbara Niven so often likes to say, “Don’t stop five minutes before the miracle happens.”

For those readers who are not familiar with Chesapeake Shores, now in its  Read More

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