POP - Crossover

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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

Kate Bass - Songs of the Open Road

Kate Bass Front Page PhotoIn recent years singer and songwriter Kate Bass had the opportunity to return to her personal roots and her career roots and it brought back special feelings for her. Most recently in July of this year (2017), Bass returned to perform in Alaska where she grew up listening to music ranging from Beethoven to The Beatles and a time when the animated film The Little Mermaid served as one of her early inspirations to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a singer.

“Alaska was a particularly special tour for me, because it's my home, and I'm very proud to be from such an amazing place. I hadn’t been back in about five years, after my family moved out of state, so it was even more emotional for me because of that. The community out there is very strong, so I saw a lot of very special people from my past, and it really felt like the homecoming I was dreaming of having. My mother even flew out to surprise me. It was a very special moment getting to perform the song "Denali" in Alaska, since I wrote it about missing Alaska and wondering how I could ever find my way back there,” says Kate Bass.

Reflecting upon her childhood she says, “Alaska is one of the most beautiful places that I have been to in the world. There are vast amounts of wilderness, with big towering mountains and I grew up in Anchorage right on the coast. At least a couple of times a week you would be driving on a highway on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and on the other side there would be a mountain. It is   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

Nicholas Wells - Now and Then

Nicholas Wells Photo Front PageYou don’t have to have an exceptionally trained ear to realize that Nicholas Wells is a pretty special musical talent and while you are talking to him you also realize you are talking to an exceptional person. Is he a singer and songwriter? Yes. Is he an arranger and producer? Yes. Oh by the way he also plays the piano and guitar. With the release of his EP Now and Then Nicholas Wells gifted the world with some of the most beautiful songs that you will listen to this year, including the title track “Now and Then,” a song that can be interpreted through the lens of young love or perhaps of two friends that once were.  It is not a song about a breaking heart or a bitter memory, but quite the opposite. It is filled with warm memories

Wells talks about where his songs originate, “Usually the song will come after something significant happens. I will get a feeling that will hang around me for days and it will end up in a song or else it won’t go away. If you are not writing a song for yourself (but instead pitching it to someone else) you still have to find where the song is coming from, because you can really sniff out when a song is not authentic. It was always about go back to your muse. Who hurt you in the past? Let’s bring all that stuff up now, so we can start writing,” he says laughing lightly.

If you find yourself going through a challenging time or perhaps you have a friend who is going through a difficult period in their life you may find yourself playing Nicholas Wells’ song “What I’m Here For,” over and over again, as it is a very inspirational and  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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