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Dakota Danielle - Country EP

Dakota Danielle Photo OneCountry music singer and songwriter Dakota Danielle who grew up in the small town of Teutopolis, in southern Illinois blends the heartfelt lyrics of her original songs with good vocals and drives her tunes with her guitar playing. Her six songs EP opens with “When It Rains,” is it a metaphor for when difficult times come along. It would have been easy to default to cheesy clichés, but instead what Dakota Danielle created is a song that uses the imagery of rainstorms and individual raindrops to depict individual trials and being deluged by them and barely being able to keep one’s head above water.

“I came up with the melody first and then I like the saying when it rains it pours. It was something that has happened to me before in my life, including the last year when I was trying to get my EP together. I wrote a song about when it rains it pours, as when a lot of bad things hit you and you have to stay strong to overcome that. People enjoy the melody and they relate to the (words),” says Danielle when talking about the song.

Dakota Danielle’s entry to the Country music scene is timely, unlike her entry into life, which was premature, very premature.

“I am an only child and I was born one pound and eleven ounces. I was a preemie baby. I was born September 7 th and I was supposed to be born in December. I was in the incubator until Christmastime and then I got to come home as a Christmas present,” she says.

As for Dakota Danielle’s musical influences she says the were almost non-existent in her immediate family, “My mom used to play guitar a little bit in college, but other than that music is really not their thing. Both my parents are really creative. My mom with art, but music wise I had a great grandpa who was always very musical and kind. Other than that I have aunts who can sing in the choir and stuff like that.

I picked up music really late. I took up piano when I was seven and I took that for a couple of years. Tennis is the big thing that runs in my  Read More

Marcella Detroit Interview

Marcella Detroit Photo Front PageMarcella Detroit (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 Alice Cooper, Robin Gibb, Jimmy Ruffin and Johnny Lee.  

Marcy grew up in Detroit, Michigan and her father loved to play his ukulele. They would also sing together. Singing was always a part of Marcy’s life. In school she sang in school choruses, choirs, duets, trios, quartets and quintets from the Read More

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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.”  Read More

Cindy Morawetz - Fashion Designer

Cindy Morawetz Front Page PhotoThe story of German fashion designer Cindy Morawetz who established her own brand DREZZ2IMPREZZ is both inspiring and amazing. With more and more celebrities wearing her dresses and jumpsuits she can now fondly look back to where even though she did not realize it at the time, it all began, in her teenage years and she can look forward to a bright future. She already has her sights set on making a big splash on the American fashion scene.

Cindy Morawetz started designing her own clothes when she was a teenager, but she very emphatically says “absolutely not,” when asked if that was when she first started thinking about a career in the fashion world.

“I never had this idea, because it was only just for me and I never studied this. I only had fun doing things for myself, because everything that you could buy I did not like. If something was not done like I would have liked it, I recreated it.

My family is also very conservative, so they told me I had to study something to get good money, so after school I started to study (to be) a lawyer. It was my family’s idea but I only studied for one and one-half years and I noticed this wasn’t something that I could be creative doing. Absolutely not. This was the moment when I knew I had to do something creative, but I didn’t know what. Studying fashion was not an option, because my family did not have the money to send me to the school and I had no idea that I could ever earn money with this fashion stuff. It was always only for me. Later on it was never planned, it just came.

I started to look at other designers  Read More

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

Actress, Mary Jane Wells - Heroine

Mary Jane Wells Photo Front PageWhether she is talking to you on the phone or you are watching her act in a film or she is narrating a book the first thing you notice about Mary Jane Wells is the command that she garners with her voice. She possesses great vocal technique, Wells is articulate and the tonal quality of her voice is magical. Mary Jane Wells uses her voice in another way however, to draw attention to a very important issue sexual assault in the military. Her one woman play titled Heroine is a true story of a lesbian soldier named Danna Davis (a pseudonym that we will use throughout this interview) who served in the United States army.

Mary Jane Wells talks about first becoming aware of Danna Davis, “A friend of Danna Davis and who knew her when she was in basic training approached me while I was on the set for (the film) A Perfect Ending. She gave me a script that she had written with Danna Davis and then she told me that they had written a part for me. I read it and I was very flattered. I thought, this sounds like a true story and it has a ring of authenticity about it. It was thinly veiled in artistic license.  I spoke to her and that script really didn’t go anywhere or not yet anyway. I gradually got to know the person behind it, the survivor and whose story it really was. We became friends over the course of several years. I also said to her now that nothing has happened with it being a screenplay would you mind if I tried my hand at it as a stage play?

I am not famous in any way and I couldn’t really help in terms of leverage and getting her script made at all, but I do have a lot of theater experience in the U.K. and that is more where I thought I might have some inroads. The possibility of it actually being told in the public arena is a very important healing ritual for her.  Read More

Makeup Artistry of Margret Avery

Margret Avery Photo for front pageFor someone who never planned on a career as a celebrity makeup artist, Margret Avery has done a good job of becoming one of America’s most sought after artists. A very small sample of her clients has included, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Barbra Streisand, Isabella Rossellini, Annette Benning and Naomi Campbell. Margret Avery has worked with some extraordinary photographers including, Helmut Newton, Denis Piel, Herb Ritts, Eric Boman and Irving Penn, to name but a few. She has worked with major brands such as, L’Oreal, Max Factor and Revlon.

She says, “I never thought of having a career as a makeup artist first and foremost. It never entered my mind.  I came to New York City from Ohio to go to college. I went to Parsons School of Design and my major was fashion design.

I came from a lower middle class family in Ohio and there wasn’t any money to put any of us six kids through college, so I had to put myself through college. I had a partial scholarship the first year and then full scholarships onward. I had to work a lot and at one point I had three part-time jobs with a full load of school. At one of the part-time jobs I met two guys who were aspiring photographers and they wanted to keep taking my picture. I felt so free in New York and being able to have this creative expression. Studying fashion design, I wore different wigs and makeup and clothes every day and it was like a game to me. It was a lot of fun. That is why they wanted to take my picture.

I however, am not comfortable with  Read More

Dina Morrone - The Italian In Me

Dina Morrone Front Page AActress Dina Morrone has appeared in feature films both on screen and off as a voice artist and she has also appeared in a whole host of commercials.  The Canadian / Italian actress who has called Los Angeles home for many years now is likely the voice that you heard at numerous high profile awards shows, as she introduced the celebrities walking out on stage.

With all those options exercised in Canada, Italy and America, Dina Morrone says, “My love and my passion would be for me to only write plays and to be a solo performer, whether it be through the acting of my work or the reading of my pieces on stage.”

Despite the fact that there was a period in Morrone’s life when she was in denial of being the daughter of an Italian immigrant family, it was her embracing of her Italian heritage, in addition to the coaxing of a few friends and acquaintances that resulted in one of her most successful theatrical achievements, her self-produced play The Italian In Me.

Her one woman play prompted renowned Canadian film director Norman Jewison to say, “Not since Moonstruck have I seen such Italian wit, humor and charm.”

American actor and producer Maray Ayres describes Dina Morrone’s performance in The Italian In Me this way, “"Every now and then talent  Read More

Girl In Between - Anna Daniels

Anna Daniels Photo Front PageTo say that there is a little bit of Anna Daniels in her character Lucy Crighton as portrayed in her novel Girl In Between, set in Rockhampton, Australia would be pretty accurate. The affable Australian author, who is an award winning television presenter for her work on the Australian network ABC and who has produced and contributed content for radio and television including the BBC production John Bishop’s Australia, grew up in Rockhampton and like Lucy Crighton whose kelpie (a breed of dog) is her constant companion, Anna Daniels also has a kelpie. Lucy the character and Anna Daniels in real life share career similiarities and Brian, Lucy’s dad Brian seems to at least in some ways resemble Daniels’ own father.

The Crighton family is to say the least a very interesting family and so are their friends, Lucy’s best friend Rosie and then there is the matter of Oscar and Ben, the two lads who move their mother in next-door to the Crightons. The Crightons are not a dysfunctional family at all, we prefer the term refunctional (yes we invented that word) and once you get to know them they will teach you how to rethink the things you thought you had all figured out.

Anna Daniels says that her book Girl In Between resonates with “women from twenty-five up to seventy-five years old. I didn’t write it with men in mind, but a lot of guys have been reading it and getting in touch with me and saying that they are really enjoying it. It is obviously from a female voice and a female point of view, but I don’t  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  Read More

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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 Read More


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  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 really beautiful there.

“It is a surprisingly cultured place. There are a lot of people who move up there. Very interesting kinds of people move to frontier areas like Alaska. Both of my parents were musical, although they weren’t professional musicians. It was an  Read More

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Film Review - Super Speed Dates

Carolyn Bridget Kennedy Front Page PhotoCarolyn Bridget Kennedy’s short film Super Speed Dates which made its Toronto premiere September 8 th (2017) at the Toronto Independent Film Festival at the Carlton Cinemas presents speed dating in a quirky and fun fashion. Kennedy wrote the script for, produced and starred in this comedic expose that takes a look at dating or even finding a date in today’s hectic world when time is at a premium, work takes up the majority of our waking hours and many are faced with the simple challenge of where to find potential people to date?

Whether we are talking about speed dating or some form of online dating or similar there are always adventures, misadventures and in some cases love is found. As for Carolyn Bridget Kennedy’s cast of rather, hmm, shall we say rather interesting characters, film fans will have to be the judge as to whether or not this is art imitating life.

Kennedy says, “I started with the concept of whether superheroes, attending as their alter-egos, could be good dating material.  I then brought in the concept of speed dating as the format for the dates. I wrote the script so that the viewer is left to interpret whether the male characters are actually the alter egos of the superheroes or just men who are simply weird (Editor’s note: We are siding with the latter option!).  The comic book fans may latch onto the characterizations and Easter eggs and hopefully enjoy it from that perspective.  Others may be entertained by the quirky, but honest, responses from these characters. In either case, the answers the men give to the questions at the event reveal that the men are not really “super guys” as far as potential dates.  The female characters represent the observer trying to figure out what the men’s responses mean.” 

Carolyn Bridget Kennedy says she drew upon some of her own experiences, as material for her script, “Having attended some speed dating events, I know that frequently there are standard  Read More

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