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Andrea Celeste Is Amazing

Andrea Celeste Photo Front PageAndrea Celeste is a singer and songwriter who makes her home in Genova, Italy, a bastion for Italian musicians, singers and songwriters and although she is still in her twenties, Andrea Celeste has been turning heads in several circles in Italy since she was a teenager and in recent years music fans and journalists in other countries have begun to take note of her talents. She is completely fluent in Italian, English and Spanish and she can somewhat navigate her way through the German and French languages, plus she is also studying Portuguese. During our conversation Andrea Celeste who is equally comfortable singing Pop, Gospel, Jazz and Soul music hinted that her next album may have more of an international flavor and it may be recorded in several different languages with a return to a Jazzier feel to the music. She is also getting close to releasing her most recent album Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope, wow! It took two years to complete this album. We were mastering it this morning and I couldn’t believe this, because the album took so much time. I think it is a good production and that we have good songs. I can say this, because they are not just my songs. I wrote the songs with Massimo Trigona who is a friend of mine. He is a fretless player and he is an amazing musician. We started to write together two years ago. I had a very hard period of my life when my father died and I was a little bit confused and sad. Massimo came into my life as a friend. He is (great) musician. We said let’s try to write songs together. It was like a jam session and we wrote thirty songs in two months. He also plays Read More

Gypsy Soul - 20 Years of Great Music

Gypsy Soul 2016 front page photoGypsy Soul, the husband and wife duo of Roman Morykit and Cilette Swan, augmented by an assortment of musicians, just announced the North American release of their new album, simply titled True. It is their thirteenth recording and the songwriting, instrumentals, vocals and production capture the essence of this superbly talented and equally congenial twosome. There are no weak links with this collection of eleven songs.    

When asked to reflect upon the fact that Gypsy Soul has established a musical legacy that has endured for almost twenty years, Roman Morykit says, “It is interesting, because I have never even given it a lot of thought. It is just one of the things that we do, it is like breathing. It’s like it is time for another record, we have enough material. It is part of who we are and what we do. It is only when people like yourself who are friends and fans point out that we have made thirteen albums that we realize we have had a career of (almost) twenty years as Gypsy Soul. It will be twenty years next year.

Back to Cilette’s earlier point, it is short and time flies by and all of a sudden you are on number thirteen. It is astonishing to us actually that we have managed to keep doing this for this long.”

For the Oregon couple, the story of Gypsy Soul begins twenty-seven years ago in Edinburgh, Scotland.

That would make us twenty-nine now,” says Roman. Read More

Petra Wahlgren

petra wahlgren photo for front pageAs you are reading this, Swedish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Petra Wahlgren is in the midst of a big holiday season concert tour, Christmas Night, which takes her to most, if not all of Sweden’s cities. It has been a busy year for Wahlgren and her second major tour, as she performed with legendary Swedish Rocker Dan Hylander and David Carlson another highly respected Swedish musician, singer and songwriter. Petra Wahlgren also was in Nashville during the fall of 2016.

“It is a pure Christmas concert tour. We go around all of Sweden and this year we do twenty-four cities. That is nearly every city in Sweden. I play the violin and do the backup vocals in it. I do some second keyboard and some percussion as well. We have two artists Magnus Carlsson and Jessica Andersson and this is the fourth year (for the tour). Magnus has been one of the artists every year. For Jessica this is her third year I think,” explains Wahlgren.

We digress for a moment to talk about that violin, “I went to Nashville in September and I got myself a five string violin. I am really excited about that, because in past years I have been carrying both the violin and the viola and this year I will just need to bring one instrument, because the five string has the extra lower string, just like the viola (giving it more range). This is like two instruments in one. It is perfect.  I have played it for two gigs, so it is very new. I think it is the same with Read More

Sweden's Stefan Gunnarsson

Sefan Gunnarsson ThumbnailMeet Sweden’s pinball wizard Stefan Gunnarsson, who has forty-five pinball machines in his personal collection. That would be a fascinating story on its own, but this is not the story of a man who relaxes in the far nothern town of Boden, Sweden, by playing pinball, but instead it is about the musical journey of a man who some might say is a musical genius and who as a childhood protégé was playing with adult aged bands. Stefan Gunnarsson has gained a stellar reputation as a multi-instrumentalist, a composer, a television personality and as a producer.     

Stefan Gunnarsson’s journey began in the same town he now lives in, Boden, on the coastline of the Baltic Sea and approximately a ten hour drive by car, north of Sweden’s largest city Stockholm.

Gunnarsson says, “Boden is a pretty small town way up north. There are about 25,000 or 30,000 people living here.  It is pretty close to the Polar circle and it is very cold in the wintertime, with lots of snow. It is also a military town, with a big military tradition. My father was a trumpet player in a military orchestra. It became like an institution and it turned into other things than just a military orchestra. They had a big band and they played a lot of different music (instead of) just military music. As a four, five and six year old I loved sitting during rehearsals with the big band and listening to the music and checking out the drummer. The drums were my first love.  I started (playing drums) when I was four or five years old.  Read More

Emy Persiani From Rome

Emy Persiani Photo OneFrom an early age Italian singer Emy Persiani seemed destined for a career in music. She is the daughter of preeminent composer and pianist Cesare Persiani who also performed with some of Italy’s most highly acknowledged artists including conductor, arranger and musician Cinico Angelini, Pippo Barzizza (composer, conductor, arranger and music director), singer and actor Alberto Rabagliati (The Barefoot Contessa, Montecarlo and Il Vedovo, The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t – as Santa) and songwriter, musician and band leader Gorni Kramer.   

About one of the people her father performed with Emy Persiani says, “You probably know Gorni Kramer (She sings a song in Italian). He is very famous in Italy and I don’t know if he is famous in America, but it is a kind of Swing after the Second World War made (famous in Italy) and my father played piano for him.

My father was a very famous pianist and when I was born my house was full of piano notes. My father was the most important figure in my family of course, first for the music and he got a diploma at The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which is a very famous music academy here in Rome and in Italy. He played Classical music, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven and Mozart. He was born very early in the 20th century and fifty years before me. That is an important fact, because a lot of the heritage from, I don’t if that is the right word him comes to me from the early years of the 20th century. He was a piano player between the two world wars and he was a very famous piano player after the Second World War.  Read More

Alyse Black

Alyse Black front page photoWhen you listen to Austin, Texas (by way of Seattle, Washington) singer-songwriter and musician Alyse Black cover songs such as “You Belong To Me,” (first recorded in 1952), “Seven Shades of Blue,” (Beth Nielsen Chapman) and “The Story,” (Brandy Carlile) you are struck by a few things, first of all her beautiful vocals, her connection to the lyrics even though she did not write them and her ability to stay in the moment. All three songs were originally going to appear on on her new still to be released self-titled album, which has at its helm as her producer Eric Rosse, however it has now been decided to release those songs on a separate recording. The album will feature some original songs by Ms. Black including “Put Your Feet Up,” a song about getting to the end of the day and cuddling with your honey. Another song “Wildest Dream,” which will be on the new album we suspect provides a glimpse into the personal life of Alyse Black and the many parts of the world she has experienced, as well as reflecting her love for her her husband and children. “Make Love + Laughter,” is about self-discovery.

When complimented on making “You Belong To Me,” her own, especially since it dates back to 1952, decades before Ms. Black was born, she says, “Yes, I like to joke that it has been covered by Bob Dylan and the  Prime Minister of France’s wife. It has been covered by everybody.  I am horrible at (trying to make a song sound exactly like someone who did it before). I am horrible at it (she laughs).

This is a really fun story. I wrote in a journal years ago Read More

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