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Joan Severance - Manifest Your Mate

Joan Severance Front Page PhotoWhat do you do when you are a super model who has graced the covers of every notable fashion magazine for decades and who is also a film and television actress? You have been the face that launched campaigns for Versace, Armani and Chanel. You were asked to endorse Maybelline, Clairol, L’Oréal and Revlon and you have had a career in which you were in demand as a model for top designers worldwide. Well if you are Joan Severance you are confident enough to let your thick hair stay gray and you write a book called Manifest Your Mate. Severance also acts as a personal coach providing guidance to others in the area of manifesting their mate, as well as other areas of their lives. There may be those who are somewhat dubious about how someone so beautiful and accomplished could possibly understand their plight of attracting Mr. Right to their lives, so we posed just that question to Joan Severance when we chatted with her recently.

“First I would say to them, they are incorrect in making the assumption that I can attract any man that I want.  They are incorrect and they don’t know my life and I can’t (attract any man that I want). You can’t just go and get exactly what you want, because of your looks or your status. That’s not it. They can make assumptions and I can say the assumptions that they make are probably not only about me, but those assumptions are against themselves.

The book and the content of the book (as well as) the method in the book really have nothing to do with me or with looks. The method is known to work.  It is not about how you look, but it is about understanding the power that is within each of us, which is not an exterior power. It lies within every single person, no matter who you are or what you look like, what your job is or your opportunities or lack thereof.

It’s that power that connects you and it is the belief and understanding what those words actually mean. What those words mean to me is I truly believe that if I ask I’m going to get whatever it is. I am not asking the other person and it has nothing to do with that man that is actually speaking  Read More

Jesse & Noah - Southern Usonia

Southern Usonia cover art front pageIn an alternate reality Jesse & Noah’s (Bellamy) album Southern Usonia would be topping the charts in America or at least some of the songs would be, because the lyrics are great, but we have come to expect that of this duo, and there are some great guitar solos that make your ears perk up. It just so happens that the album title plays to that alternate reality.

Jesse explains, “It could refer to the American South in an alternate reality.”

To which Noah adds, “Usonia is an archaic term for the United States that was favored by Frank Lloyd Wright and some other great thinkers of his day.  Everyone in Americana was making “identity” albums. It plays with that idea by coming from a place that doesn’t exist. It’s an imaginary identity album!”

The ten track album opens with “This Town Was Built On Heartbreak Songs,” which pays homage to Nashville where both Jesse and Noah live. The companion music video has cameo appearances in the audience by some storied musicians, singers and songwriters.

Noah explains, “We wanted people with some history behind them. We put the concept out there and ended up with a group of legends with a deep history in Nashville (such as), Tanya Tucker, Deborah Allen, T. G. Sheppard, Ronnie McDowell, and (of course) the Bellamy Brothers (David Bellamy is the father of Jesse and Noah and Howard is their uncle).”

Jesse says, “We knew that we wanted to do a video, but ultimately we didn’t know what form it would take. Our friends at the publicity firm Webster & Associates were kind enough to help us coordinate with some of the country legends on their roster. To work with cinematographer Joshua Black Wilkins had been on our to do list for a long time as well, so this was a perfect opportunity to collaborate with him.

Nashville Palace was chosen as the location for sentimental reasons, because we used to go there with our grandmother when we'd visit Nashville while growing up.”   Read More

Design by Lara Krude


Peek and Cloppenburg Photo One

Peek & Cloppenburg KG Düsseldorf Designer for Tomorrow Award 2017

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images All Rights Reserved, protected by copyright  ©

Fashion Designer Pamela Quinzi

Pamela Quinzi Photo FivePamela Quinzi, a fashion designer originally from Rome, Italy, via Milan and who now makes her home in New York City, is considered to be one of the rising young stars on the international fashion scene. Her collection of couture shoes, Kilame is popping up in boutiques in Beverly Hills and in New York City and since there are no two shoes exactly alike you can also contact Pamela Quinzi directly through her website and follow her on the official Kilame Facebook page. Pamela Quinzi also has an accessories collection, but her main focus right now is Kilame. In the past she has collaborated with some of the world’s leading designers and fashion houses to design dresses, handbags and other accessories and she still does create new designs for dresses, jewelry and accessories. Kilame however is her baby and she works feverishly day and night to grow the international presence of her brand (the shoes) and it has earned her the nickname Cinderella of New York.

During our recent conversation Quinzi was in the southern part of Italy on the coast of the Adriatic Sea for a month where she works closely with manufacturers, creating new styles and in May she will be heading back to Los Angeles for the second time in 2017.

“I had been before to LA for traveling and for checking out everything, but this was the first time for the collection to be in LA and a whole new world opened up to me.  I will be in New York and then in Los Angeles for a month in May. I will be with the showroom (in Los Angeles) that is representing the shoes for all of the celebrities. We had a connection with the Oscars through Blanca Blanco the actress. We are (making connections) every day in photoshoots and we have other Read More

Jenny Jones - Blondies Recipe

Blondies Recipe front page photoJenny Jones hosted her own nationally syndicated talk show but that was just one of many jobs that Jenny has held, including waitress, bookkeeper, author, comedian, musician, singer, songwriter, caterer and chef.

Jenny Jones Easy One Bowl Blondies

You only need 3 tablespoons of butter for these yummy, chewy bars. Toasting the pecans makes a huge difference in taste and there’s almost no cleanup if you line your pan with foil. Do not overmix or overbake. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes:       16 servings

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons butter, melted & cooled

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 

Read More

Pegi Young Releases RAW

Pegi Young Photo Front PagePegi Young’s new album RAW featuring her band The Survivors opens with the plaintive song “Why,” a question one party or the other always seems to be left asking when a divorce takes place. RAW is Young’s musical chronicle of her journey through divorce from Neil Young. “Why,” a song written by Kelvin Holly, Spooner Oldham and Pegi Young asks the question “Why’d you have to ruin my life?” The song looks through the eyes of the one being left and she wants to know why he avoided the hard questions and she says he was not straight with her. The playing of Holly, Oldham and newcomer, bassist Shonna Tucker is perfectly balanced and serves as a fine accompaniment to Young’s vocals.

Guitarist Kelvin Holly has performed and / or recorded with Little Richard, Bobby Blue Bland and Gregg Allman to name a few. He also was a studio musician at Muscle Shoals. Keyboardist Spooner Oldham was also part of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section and he has played on such iconic songs as Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman,” and Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.” He co-wrote  “Cry Like a Baby,” for The Box Tops and “I’m Your Puppet,” recorded by James and Bobby Purify, a tune that rose to # 5 on the charts. Shonna Tucker played with the Drive By Truckers and appears on records by Booker T. Jones and Bettye LaVette.

As for the album RAW, Pegi Young says, “When (the album) was done and I was listening to it as I was driving down the road one day, I thought shoot this is like the soundtrack of the stages of grief. It was all over the map emotionally as I was for a good amount of time after things changed as dramatically as they did.

I was fishing around for a title in my Read More

Lene Fogelberg - Beautiful Affliction

Lene Fogelberg Front Page PhotoIt almost does not seem appropriate to refer to Lene Fogelberg as an author, because that moniker almost sounds too distant, too formal, for the young Swedish woman, for really she is a storyteller and that has a much warmer feel to it, as does her book, Beautiful Affliction A Memoir. Not many people write their Memoir when they are still thirty-something, but Lene Fogelberg has already lived a lifetime and more. Her story begins as a young child in Sweden when the doctors determined that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her health and how throughout her life when it became apparent that something was going on inside of her and that she could not do even the simplest of activities without tiring quickly, that indeed something was wrong. This is also a love story, about the love of Lene and her husband Anders who met when Lene was twelve years old and he was fourteen. It is the love of a family, their two young daughters and Lene and Anders’ parents. It is about how Anders’ job transfer to America for the briefest period of time, slightly more than a year, became the catalyst in enabling doctors to discover that if Lene did not have open heart surgery quickly that she would die.

Like no other book that we have ever read before Beautiful Affliction A Memoir will have you crying, will have you believing once again that miracles really do happen and will have you grow in admiration of Lene Fogelberg and be moved by her husband’s devotion to her. The book also ends on a bit of a funny note, but we will leave that for the readers to discover for themselves.  Read More 

October Wish from Australia

October Wish front page photoSarah Gurry and Matt Leffanue from Melbourne, Australia comprise the musical duo October Wish who just released their first album Grief And Grace. If you are looking for a reference point for their music you are going to find that a little more difficult genre wise, because they do an excellent job of blurring those lines, while keeping the songwriting and the music at a high level. There is a little bit of Blue Rodeo’s “Try,” in their music, a touch of Matchbox Twenty’s “3 AM,” a dash of another Melbourne, Australia band, Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” and a smidgen of Coldplay, reflected Gurry and Leffanue’s songwriting.

The production quality on Grief And Grace is excellent with producer Michael Oliphant at the helm. Oliphant who is also a superb keyboardist, singer and songwriter is well-respected by those in the Australian music community.

Sarah Gurry talks about their music, “Because we took so much time (the album was recorded over three years) and we weren’t scared to take time with it we didn’t race any of the songs over the line. I think it has a natural breath about it and sometimes it opens up into orchestral moments that really just showed us what they wanted us to do. Probably one of the best examples is the song that we just debuted as a clip (“Caught Up In This Lie”). Going into the recording process we thought we would have to rewrite it. Matt at one point wanted to ditch it. My partner Johnny was saying that’s my favorite song. You’ve got to keep it  Read More

Nancy Valentine - Lovesome

Nancy Valentine front page photoLovesome is the name of Nancy Valentine’s current album and we would love some more of that and if you are patient you are going to get more, because she has already recorded five songs for another album. On the cover of her album it says Nancy Valentine sings the music of Billy Strayhorn, to which we might add, she sings it pretty well.

The album opens up with Boris Kozlov’s double bass introducing Ms. Valentine’s exquisite vocals as she coos “You Better Know It,” a song by Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, with a new arrangement by John di Martino. There is a sultry tone to Nancy Valentine’s vocals that is further enhanced by her “in the moment” phrasing. Harry Allen (tenor saxophone) and Joe Magnarelli (trumpet) take turns soloing. The song also lends itself to Valentine showing off her scatting chops.

The torchiness, if the readers will permit us to invent that word, is evident throughout Nancy Valentine’s interpretation of Billy Strayhorn’s “So This Is Love,” as she is accompanied elegantly by John di Martino on piano.

“It (the album) didn’t start as a tribute to Strayhorn. I like to get that out of the way. I am just an interpreter of this fabulous music written by the composer Billy Strayhorn and that has surrounded my life.  I have tried to find as many of his songs as possible that resonate with me and to bring them to the public and to have him stand on his own separate from Ellington. This is what it grew into. We didn’t have enough music to fill  Read More

 

Elisabetta Russo

Elisabetta Russo front page imageElisabetta Russo is an Italian soprano soloist and Opera star who was born in Bari in the Puglia region of Italy and who grew up in Calabria in the town of Cariati. She now makes her home in Los Angeles, California and recently she received her green card. She has performed with some of Europe’s and North America’s most well-known members of the music community including, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster and Renato Bruson.

Describing her childhood she says, “It is a beautiful city in the Calabria region. I had a loving childhood and I was raised in a very loving family who always supported me. Living in Cariati it was nothing short of an amazing privilege, because I was incredibly lucky to play by the sea, inspired by nature and the coastline. I was twelve years old when my father brought home a magazine, along with a Classical CD of the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. I fell in love with the story, but most of all with the beautiful music. It was my soundtrack for the whole next month. I just couldn’t stop listening to it.

I used to sing Pop music as a child, but then I am an old soul and Rossini, Verdi and Puccini were the right companions for the musical adventure that I was about to start.”

During her youth Elisabetta Russo played Classical piano and she also took vocal lessons. She later auditioned for the S. Cecilia Conservatory of Music in Rome, from which she graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor degree in Vocal Art and she also has a Master’s degree cum laude in  Read More

Anna Danes Has Found Her Wings

Photo front page Imagine if you will for a moment living in three different countries by the time you are eleven years old and having to escape the first one under the guise of a vacation. Then you achieve scholastic excellence in your new found home, begin a promising career as an attorney, give it all up for love and move to a fourth country. As a single parent you think you are giving your child a gift by providing her with singing lessons, she stubbornly refuses to take part in them and then magic, at the suggestion of the vocal coach you take the rest of the lessons and you launch a career as a Jazz singer, topped off by recording your most recent album in the very same studio where Frank Sinatra once recorded. It sounds a little farfetched I know, except all of this really happened and it could not possibly have happened to a more deserving person than the warm and gracious Jazz singer Anna Danes, who now makes her home in San Diego, California. This is only part of Anna Danes’ story, read further and you will discover a courageous lady who is always looking forward, who does not dwell on the disappointments of the past and who just released her second album.  

Anna Danes’ story begins in Gdansk, Poland, “Life (in Poland) was certainly very, very different than it is here, especially on the economic side of things and with personal freedoms, because there were none.  It was the time of the communist regime in Poland and so things were scarce and you had to fight to survive every day.  You couldn’t leave the country, unless the government gave you permission to leave the country.  You couldn’t speak your mind and if you could speak your mind it could backfire and it would affect your  Read More

Design by Lara Krude

Lara Krude

Peek & Cloppenburg KG Düsseldorf Designer for Tomorrow Award 2017

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images All Rights Reserved, protected by copyright  ©

Nilla Nielsen Releases New Album

Nilla Nielsen Photo Front PageSinger, songwriter, musician and suspense novelist Nilla Nielsen may be the best kept secret outside of Sweden or at least to North American music fans. The very congenial Swede has just released a brand new album Good Day and it opens with a fabulous the fabulous title song. It starts out slowly, before hitting stride as a mid-tempo song and Nielsen’s vocals are backed by strong musicians, Bengt Johnson on drums, Niklas Ekelund (electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin), Erik Urban on bass, Tomas Pettersson on Hammond organ and Nilla Nielsen also plays harmonica.

Nielsen describes “Destination Unknown,” in this way, “It is about a true adventure. I was traveling around in Sweden with my best girlfriend at the time and we met so many wonderful people. When I sing this line about, “Angels in worn out shoes,” it was a homeless person that we met on the street and it just moved us. We had a very special connection. The song is about us traveling around, all of the meetings, how open the feeling was, how open the world was and how it felt. We were never alone. It doesn’t matter where you are, (because) it is about who you are there with.”

Most of the songs on the album were both mixed and mastered by Nilla Nielsen, with the exception of a couple of them that are from older recordings, but she mastered those ones as well in her own studio. Good Day, the album, showcases Nielsen’s ability to easily transcend genre boundaries. 

“It (the album) is put together from different sessions in different places and different collaborations. The bonus track (“Dark Side of the Moon”) is an old recording with my friend Lasse Lindbom who produced it and I just put it on, because otherwise Read More

Christine Flowers, Jazz & Mini Ninjas

Christine Flowers front page photoTake a white American girl who grew up in North Carolina and Georgia, and who attended the first integrated school in the state of Georgia, where many of her fellow students were the children of civil rights activists, mix that with listening to a healthy dose of Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy on Sunday mornings and she has now lived in Paris, France for most of her adult life and what do you get? You get a terrific Jazz singer named Christine Flowers, who is also a voice actress, and recently launched her own YouTube channel featuring weekly ten minute restorative and therapeutic yoga sessions. You also get a woman who knows who she is, has strong convictions concerning human rights and who appears to be very comfortable in her own skin.

Looking back Christine Flowers describes herself as, “I really am an artist and I was a failure at academics. I was so flighty and I was so daydreamy about other things, music and poetry and all of that stuff.  I didn’t (care) about anything else. I was just allergic to that stuff. The funny thing is when I finally got out of high school and had I not graduated out of a performing arts high school (she pauses) all of my credits were because I was a singer, an actress and a dancer or I don’t think that I would have graduated.

There were a few years that went by that all I did was act and sing. Then I decided to go back to university. I realized that I was quite good at studying and academics. It was a choice and I even got really interested in physics and astronomy. I found out I was really, really good at that, but the only thing was, I wasn’t good at math. I got my head around the theory about it, but I couldn’t go ahead in that discipline, because I didn’t have the head  Read More

Scott Tarulli New Album

Scott Tarulli front page photoWhen a big name performer utilizes quality musicians to accompany their performances the contributions of their sidemen and women can sometimes get overlooked when the glare of the spotlight is on the featured performer. There is also however, another train of thought and that is smart and talented artists surround themselves with people who make them look good and often give them a lot of space, so their talents can be showcased as well. Scott Tarulli falls into the latter category and he has recorded with and / or shared the stage with the likes of, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, Mark Egan, Ira Coleman, Nile Rodgers, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel, The Temptations, Bernard Purdie, Chuck Rainey, Peter Eldridge and Guthrie Govan.

Scott Tarulli has also released three solo albums, Transitions in 2002, September in Boston Live in 2004 and the 2012 release of Anytime, Anywhere. There is also a fourth album in the works for 2017.

In addition, to being a very good guitarist and composer, Scott Tarulli teaches at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Scott Tarulli’s story begins in Medina, Ohio where his family lived until Tarulli was ten years old. At that point they moved to Boston and he has lived in the Boston area ever since.

“My dad’s side (of the family) was very artistic, although nobody actually entered the arts. My mom’s side was very musical. She played piano and she sings. All of her siblings are musical and very natural musicians. I grew up hearing my aunt play, hearing my mom play and my mom played records  Read More


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Cindy Alexander and Deep Waters

Cindy Alexander Photo One BEarlier this year Cindy Alexander released her album Deep Waters, a collaborative effort with Colin Devlin of The Devlins. It is Cindy Alexander’s best album yet. It is a collection of songs that are original tunes, with two exceptions a cover of “Heaven’s Wall,” by The Devlins and Jann Arden’s “Good Mother.”

The new album opens with Cindy Alexander covering “Heaven’s Wall,” a 1990s song by the Irish band The Devlins, from their 1997 album Waiting. She has always had a good voice, but this song fits very well with Alexander’s vocals and her phrasing is excellent. As the song builds to a crescendo at the 2:30 mark Cindy Alexander’s connection with this song is evident as she repeats the chorus “Come on, take my hand, we’ll rise above it all / Then we can meet as planned outside of heaven’s wall.” 

“When I was going through Colin’s material, before we were going to start writing together, I was listening to his music and I came across this song. It is a Devlin’s song from the ‘90s and it hooked me. I loved the groove and I loved that the beat was relentless, but there was this slow and steady build. It kept going through my head and it was an earworm. When it came time to put the songs together I thought it would be nice to cover one of his songs. I love the guitar solo by Colin,” says Alexander.

The album Deep Waters was difficult for us to get through the first time and only because each of the songs is so well presented that the tendency is just to keep replaying them, before finally convincing yourself to move on to the next song.

The current album originally started out with the premise that there would be a series of EPs with different songwriters and producers with which Cindy Alexander would collaborate. Colin Devlin was one of them.

“It is completely the brainchild of  Read More

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