Diane Marino by AJ Shapiro

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Angela Parrish - New EP Soon

Angela Parrish Photo front pageThe first thing you notice about Los Angeles based, Kansas born and raised, singer-songwriter-musician Angela Parrish is her vocals. Her vocals to the casual listener sound effortless as she masters Jazz, Americana and lighter Pop songs, but to the trained ear, one realizes right away that this is an artist who has invested a lot of time in honing her craft. The second thing that jumps out at you as you listen to songs such as, “Higher,” “The Couple Down The Hall,” “Hand Me Down,” and “Noon In Denver,” is Angela Parrish is a skilled songwriter.  In the autumn of 2015 Parrish will be releasing a new EP and she collaborated with producer Jamie Candiloro who has worked with artists such as Courtney Love and R.E.M. and who regularly composes and produces for television and film.

Life began for Angela Parrish in the small town of Newton, Kansas and she has one sibbling, a younger sister Abbey.

She says, “Newton is a small town and it has a small town feel and I like everything about that.

I come from a family of music appreciators. They participated in choirs or lessons growing up, but I am the only professional musician in my family.  I am the only one in my family, who went into it, but everyone in my family is supportive and they have a strong appreciation for music.

My parents had me late in life. They were in their mid-forties when I was born and the music of their generation was always playing.  There was Carole King and a lot of James Taylor, hits from the sixties, Rock from the seventies, Linda Ronstadt, Peter, Paul and Mary and a lot of folk. My dad listens to a lot of traditional Country artists such as Kenny Rogers, the Oak Ridge Boys and good groups with harmony.

My musical path has been really twisty. I had a longer path finding my voice as an artist and writer, but I wouldn’t trade it, as I have had so many wonderful influences.  I have tried so many different things and been exposed to so many different sounds. I went to college for Jazz piano and at one point I thought I might go in that direction and then more of a straight ahead Jazz artist, but I wound up as a songwriter. I discovered this part of me that was influenced by Folk, Country and Americana music and what I listened to as a child. It has helped me to come full circle. It is absolutely true for me that way.”  Read More

Joanne Tatham Out Of My Dreams

joanne tatham front page thumbnail"You Taught My Heart To Sing,” the McCoy Tyner and Sammy Cahn song opens Joanne Tatham’s new album “Out Of My Dreams,” and Tatham’s vocals are out of this world. Add to her lush vocals the scintillating piano solo by Tamir Hendelman, the wonderful John Clayton on bass, Peter Erskine on drums and an accompaniment by saxophonist Bob Sheppard and you have an all-star cast. Platinum award winning singer and lyricist Mark Winkler is the producer and the result is a gorgeous collection of songs and an experience that definitely should not be missed by any true lover of Jazz music.

Jamieson Trotter beautifully arranged Harry Nilsson’s “Without Him (Without Her),” and Trotter also accompanies Joanne Tatham on piano. As for Ms. Tatham her phrasing is masterful. She makes this song dance and likewise the scenes dance in the listener’s imagination.

She says working with Mark Winkler was great and, “It is nice working with a singer. Singers “get it,” and they understand singers.  He has a really good grasp of what works for Jazz. He is very patient and he explains himself well and what he needs or what he thinks the project needs. He is a lot of fun to be around and it should be fun.  He is very organized and he works well with people and we have similar tastes. It was a joy to do this with him.

Mark and I knew each other from being on the same circuit and we would go to see each other’s shows. Then one day a couple of years ago he said I would like to produce an album for you.  I am no fool, so I said sure, when do we start? We sat down and we started talking about the kind of music that we like and we wanted to do what we like. We really hit it off. We were a good team. There were a number of tunes that I had been doing around town in clubs that I had not yet recorded and I enjoyed and I thought were really a good fit for me.”

As for the title of the album it is drawn from the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II song “Out Of My Dreams,” the closing number.

“I always liked “Out Of My Dreams,” since I was a little girl. I am not a big fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein stuff. I always preferred Rodgers and Hart.  It is a little more sophisticated and a little smarter, but this tune always spoke to me. Because I like Jazz waltzes, I like that as a  Read More


Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid

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Asha Puthli In The Studio Again

Asha Puthli Photo Front PagePop / Jazz singer Asha Puthli. with some assistance from her friends Ron and Mara New, has been recording songs for a new and yet to be named album. When Ms. Puthli left her homeland India in the 1970’s and traveled to America on a dance scholarship, armed with a background in Classical and Opera music, her goal was to bridge the Indian and American cultures and to record and perform the type of music she had listened to on the radio shows Voice of America, hosted by Willis Conover and Radio Ceylon.

“I listened to what was called Radio Ceylon in those days and now it (the country) is called Sri Lanka. I was fascinated by Jazz, because of the similarity of Indian music and Jazz in so many ways, in the sense of the freedom and the improvisation quality and a lot of it used chords (similar to) raga music, which I was studying. It was Jazz, which I was so passionate about, but it only came on for an hour. The other one was the Voice of America.  Radio Ceylon taught me Rock and Roll. It had Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and Cliff Richard. Little did I realize that one day I would meet Pat Boone and one day I would do a television show with Cliff Richard. A year and one-half after I left for America Willis Conover, was playing Ornette Coleman’s album that I had sung on, so it was like a cycle coming complete.

In Willis Conover’s autobiography called Broadcasting To The World he mentions John Coltrane and me as being the first people to bring Indian music to Jazz and mixing the two genres of music,” says Asha Puthli.  Read More

Kimmie Rhodes & Cowgirl Boudoir

Kimmie Rhodes 2015 front page photoCowgirl Boudoir an album released in March of this year by Kimmie Rhodes on Sunbird Records is a family affair, as her daughter Jolie Goodnight appears on background vocals and one of her two sons Gabriel Rhodes produced the album. There were songwriting collaborations with friends Johnny Goudie, Colin Linden and Gary Nicholson, while others were written either solely by Kimmie Rhodes or in collaboration with Gabriel Rhodes.  The songs once again demonstrate Rhodes’ prowess as a songwriter and why over the years iconic artists such as Emmylou Harris, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, Wyonna Judd, Waylon Jennings and several others have recorded the songs that she has written.  

Cowgirl Boudoir is a musical experiment we decided that we would have.  I have been working as an associate producer on a documentary that is going to be presented by the Country Music Hall of Fame and (I am working) with a producer named Eric Geadelmann. It covers the period of time from the late sixties until the mid-eighties. This is when all the different influences started to come in and a lot of people came back to Country music, with The Byrds and Dylan and all of that. When I did my show Radio Dreams I listened to a lot of different music. I was revisiting a lot of music. For (many) years I was writing a lot and focusing on that and I wasn’t really listening that much to what other music was out there.  Then I did the Covers record and I also started working on this documentary. I really revisited a lot of the music from that era and I became more and more aware of the influences that are in my music.

Johnny Goudie is a guest on my record and I sing with him on his song “I’m Falling.” He is a young writer and to me his voice sounds like a young John Lennon. I love his voice and I love Read More

Tomorrowland - Film Review

Tomorrowland front page thumbnailDirector Brad Bird in his comments about his new feature film Tomorrowland comments, “It is about the journey not the destination,” and that is a very apt way to perceive this film that boasts a tremendous screenplay and storyline crafted by Brad Bird (The Incredibles), Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen. The movie starts off with a dialogue between George Clooney’s character Frank Walker (as an adult) and Casey Newton portrayed by American actress Britt Robertson. It is a conversation that takes place in the here and now or is it in the future? It is a film that compels us to take a look at decisions and choices made in the past that guide our present lives and that dictate future outcomes.

This movie has a little of everything in it. There is action, drama, humor, some great special effects and there is a hint of romance, but not in a way that you would expect. Most of all there are outstanding acting performances of course by Clooney, certainly by Robertson, but also from thirteen year old British actress Raffey Cassidy as Athena the common thread between Frank Walker and Casey Newton. Child actor Pierce Gagnon also puts in a solid performance, as Casey’s brother Nate Newton. Hugh Laurie appears as David Nix, but his acting is somewhat limited by the narrow emotional scope of his character and we will leave it at that, so we do not spoil the plot. Amazingly enough Raffey Cassidy is rumored is said to have performed a number of her own stunts (as revealed in a studio interview with Robertson) and during her own interview Cassidy talks about taking martial arts lessons and gymnastic lessons to prepare for her part in this film. Audiences are going to fall in love with the charming Raffey Cassidy and who the young actress is when she is not in front of the cameras seems equally as charming. Tim McGraw appears as Eddie Newton, the father of Casey and Nate.  Read More

Cherie Currie Interview / Review

Cherie Currie Reverie Artwork for front pageIf you only have enough money to buy one album this year then buy Cherie Currie's brand new album Reverie. Cherie's vocals have never been better and the song "Inner You," is an absolute musical gift. The album is produced by Jake Hays, Cherie Currie's son and he contributes vocals to many of the songs and takes the lead on "Shades Of Me," another treasure. Reverie is the best Rock album that Riveting Riffs Magazine has heard in many years.

In the 1970s Cherie Currie was the lead singer of The Runaways, an all-girl teenage group managed by the late Kim Fowley. Although, there is no doubt that Reverie sends a loud and strong message that Cherie Currie is an exceptional solo artist, she collaborated on the songwriting portion of this album with Fowley and Hays and Lita Ford another former member of The Runaways lends her vocals to Currie’s new album.

Cherie Currie sat down with Riveting Riffs Magazine to discuss her new album, three days after it was officially released through iTunes.

She says, “It took over a year (for the album to come together) and it happened when Kim Fowley reached out to Blackheart Records to see if there was any paper (legal contract) between myself and them, which I did not have one. He had heard that I had said that I would work with him again, so he reached out to me, knowing that I was a free agent. Working with Kim again was something that I wanted to do. It was a way to bury the past and to start over and that’s what we did.” Read More

Tamara Champlin - Rockin'

Tamara Champlin Photo for front pageTamara Champlin’s vocal and songwriting repetoire is as diverse as the cities in which she has lived. Born in St. Louis, she lived her early childhood years in Arkansas, had a brief stop in Chicago and graduated from high school in Houston, Texas and today she  makes her home in southern California. Champlin has the ability to belt out a Rock song with razor sharp and gritty vocals as she does with her original “Stone Cold,” also recorded by Paul Rodgers (Bad Company, The Firm, Free, The Law), for his album Laying Down The Law and the Rock / Funk “You Won’t Get To Heaven Alive,” another original creation by Champlin bears witness to vocals that are reminiscent of Janis Joplin. Tamara Champlin draws the listener in with her emotive phrasing on the mid-tempo, love letter “Chasin’ The Moon.”  Her “Backstreets of Paradise,” immediately gets you moving to the music and as good as the music is, throughout these songs, it is definitely Tamara Champlin’s powerful and quality vocals that drive these tunes.

Tamara Champlin has three gold records to her credit as a songwriter and her own album, “You Won’t Get To Heaven Alive,” charted in the top twenty in Spain, while her song “Tragic Black,” went all the way to # 1 in Germany.

She has collaborated with artists and songwriters as stellar and diverse, as her husband Bill Champlin (Chicago, Sons of Champlin), Michael Caruso (her longtime songwriting collaborater),  Swedish songwriter, producer and musician Douglas Carr who has worked with some   Read More

Ellen Johnson and Sheila Jordan

Jazz Child Photo Front PageSheila Jordan is one of Jazz music’s greatest innovators and as a singer she has more than once influenced the direction and styling of singers who followed in her footsteps. In 2012 the National Endowment for the Arts gave its most prestigious award in Jazz music, the Jazz Master to Sheila Jordan. The recognition that Jordan received is particularly noteworthy, because she made her mark in bebop music at a time when it was a difficult path for most women. It was not the first time that Sheila Jordan had a prestigious award bestowed upon her. In 2008 Jordan received the Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Award and she has been honored as the recipient of numerous other awards. In late 2014 Ellen Johnson, a vocalist, lyricist, actress, writer and educator had her book Jazz Child A Portrait of Sheila Jordan published.

Ellen Johnson says, “Sheila Jordan was the only singer at that 2012 award and she was the only woman (to receive the award that year).  That is significant, because there are not a lot of women (who have received) the NEA Jazz Master award.  It was a very, very important award for her. I think more than anything it was the acknowledgement that she stood with her peers at the same level. I know how much she loved Charlie Parker and how she loves all of the musicians who are here, but who also those who have passed away. Think about the people that she was with, the people she was hanging around with and whom she was influenced by, Charles Mingus the first bass player that she ever played a live performance with, you have Lennie Tristano, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, George Gruntz and George Russell. These are some of the heavyweights of our Jazz world. To be recognized (with the Jazz Master award) was a huge, huge thing for her and it was   Read More

Julie Budd Interview

Julie Budd front pageShe was born Edith Claire Erdman, in Shore Haven, New York, the daughter of Saul and Joan and when she was three months old her parents bought what she describes as “a big old house” on the corner of 54 th Street and Avenue K in Brooklyn. You have known her for most of her life as Julie Budd, a prolific singer and a well-respected vocal coach. She was one of three daughters and her immediate and extended family was instrumental in cultivating a love for music early in Julie Budd’s life.

She recalls, “My mother was an outstanding singer, not a good singer, she was an outstanding singer. My grandfather, my mother’s father, used to write music and so did his brother. There were a lot of people, my cousin Emily Remler was a world class, Grammy Award winning international star. She was a very famous guitarist.”

Then the memories start to flow and you can hear the warm glow in Julie Budd’s voice as she says, “My sister Jill took me into Manhattan to see Fiddler On The Roof.  I was about ten or eleven years old and I had never seen a Broadway show before and it was a matinee, a Sunday matinee or something and Jill took me on the train from Brookyn. In those days, it is not like today (her voice deepens), people go to the theater and they don’t look all dressed up and that annoys me.  It really annoys me, you see a ten million dollar production and somebody is wearing shorts. I still get dressed up and I got very dressed up that day and so did Jill. We went into Manhattan and we saw Herschel Bernardi in Fiddler On The Roof and it was glorious (you can still hear the excitement in her voice).  I will never forget the opening scene, it was the bottle dance. Remember the bottle dance?  I couldn’t even breathe it was so exciting.  Read More

Meja Is Tying Yellow Ribbons

Meja front page photoSwedish singer, songwriter and human rights activist Meja will be releasing her 11th album (two of which were with Legacy of Sound) Stroboscope Sky in April and it will feature original songs such as, “Blame It On The Shadows,” and “Sleepless.”  Since making a big splash on the music scene in Sweden and America in the early to mid nineties with Legacy of Sound and co-writing the Dance hit “Happy,” with Anders Bagge, a song that charted on the Billboard top ten in America, Meja has become a music icon at home in Sweden, a superstar in Japan and is highly respected in the American music community, as well as many other countries. In addition to her songs “Happy,” and “All ‘Bout The Money,” American music fans may remember Meja for the duet and music video “Private Emotion,” that she recorded with Ricky Martin. Music however, is not the only thing that Meja is passionate about, as she is an accomplished painter and sculptor and she is a human rights activist.  She is currently collaborating with Amnesty International to draw attention to and to seek the release of an American, Albert Woodfox from Angola prison in Louisiana where he has spent the past forty-two years in solitary confinement for a murder conviction that has been overturned three times by the American courts, but the state of Louisiana has refused to honor those appeal decisions and Woodfox has remained in jail.

Meja wrote the song “Yellow Ribbon,” (not to be confused with a song of a similar name made popular by Tony Orlando and Dawn) and on January 15 th of this year released the companion music video to draw attention to the Read More

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid

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Niecie Shows The Other Side

Niecie photo front pageThe new album (released November 2014) by Niecie, a Detroit singer and songwriter is aptly named, The Other Side, as this collection of songs, current and past reminds us that the critically acclaimed Blues artist has far more sides and influences in her music than to be pigeonholed simply into one genre.

“I decided to put out there more of a certain edge about myself. I showed more of my raw Rock Blues, my saucy R&B, my Funky Soul and the edge of my Blues. This album shows the different styles that I have incorporated throughout the years. There are the hits off of my recent release Wanted Woman that are in the first round of Grammy nominations. Someone nominated me for what is called the first round of consideration.  What the recording academy does is they sit and they listen to see if it is a viable entry to move on to the point where folks can vote for it. I am honored that the recording academy has acknowledged me and for it to happen at this point is a highlight of my career.  I tried to portray my different styles (on the new album) and that is why I chose the songs that I did.

What I am trying to do with this CD is to reach other radio markets and to get into the mainstream more and where there will be bigger audiences,” says Niecie.  

The seeds for Niecie’s vast music palette were sown early in life, as she explains, “My mom played keyboards and we grew up with this big organ with the flip things like at church, but not with the big, big pipes (demonstrating with her hands stretched out wide).  As far as the music influence in the house, my dad was into big bands and he also loved Boots Randolph on the saxophone. I still have my dad’s Boots Randolph records. Then he flipped over and he liked stuff like ZZ Top and music like that. I had a brother who was into the Vietnam era and Woodstock. (He liked) all of the organic music, Hendrix in the day, Janis Joplin, Black Sabbath and Bad Company.  It was the late sixties and early seventies music, Jefferson Airplane.   Read More

CALICO the band - Interview

CALICO the band Photo Front PAGEThree singers, songwriters and musicians from Southern California has been steadily increasing their fanbase, radio airplay of their original songs and have performed more than 200 gigs during the past twelve months and as we go to press, they are once again touring, this time in the Pacific Northwest. They are defined by beautiful, pristine harmonies and they strike a good balance between writing and performing thoughtful songs and other tunes that are just outright fun. Manda Mosher, Kirsten Proffit and Aubrey Richmond are the three ladies of CALICO the band and before they joined forces all three of them were already highly regarded artists. The group is riding high in the saddle these days as their debut album Rancho California receives rave reviews from music journalists throughout America.

Manda Mosher says the seeds for the album Rancho California were first sown when she and Kirsten Proffit got together to write some songs.

“It really had to do with the inception of the band and that was before we knew it was going to be a band. It really just started with songwriting. Kirsten had an idea to write some songs together, so we started as a songwriting team and it was the inspiration from the quality of the songs that we were producing together and singing together, as well as the harmony that sparked an interest in continuing to do that.  We thought wow this is special and different than anything that we had been doing on our own.  We were creating a new sound.

We started out by making some demos of the songs.  Kirsten is a production partner with Steve Berns. They have a long history of working on projects together, as a production team, so Kirsten brought us into Steve’s studio, which  Read More

Violette From Paris, France

Violette Photo Front PageAs we talk to French singer, songwriter and musician Violette we will unabashedly admit that Riveting Riffs Magazine is a big fan of her music and of the person as well. In the late fall of 2014 Violette released her album Falling Strong, which takes its name from the song of the same name and that appears as the second track on the record.  While we have watched the Berklee College of Music graduate evolve as an artist Falling Strong represents Violette’s most diversified and accomplished album to date. She recorded songs in French and English, in addition to her first duet, one with Louis Cato (Mariah Carey, John Legend and Marcus Miller).

About “Falling Strong,” the song, Violette says, “I called Louis and I said I wanted to write, so we went into the studio together and he said what do you feel like writing? I was listening to Motown all of the time and it is very much going through my veins right now. I said let’s take this thought there and see what happens. We laid down drums, bass and the guitars and I was singing all over, so we could see what we started to like.  I went home with that track and I figure it has that Marvin Gaye vibe also. Nobody knows it yet, but Louis has an incredible voice, besides all of the other skills, so I thought he would be the one for the duet.”

Violette elaborates about Cato’s musical abilities, also noting that he co-wrote another one of the album’s songs with her, “Annabelle.”

“He is a wonderful musician. He is one of these aliens who can play an instrument (drums, bass, guitars) at a level that nobody would expect.  He is an outrageously talented fellow.”

“Falling Strong,” which has an Read More

Craig Pilo In Concert

Craig Pilo 2014 drums

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S'Candy from Norway and Denmark

S'Candy Front Page Photo“We have met a lot of people over the years and we made our way to where we are now. It’s not the beginning, but it’s the beginning of S’Candy,” says Rosa Sparks Skotte (Denmark), one of the four young women, all of whom are in their twenties and who comprise the Norwegian / Danish Pop group S’Candy. The other three members of the group are Lisa Tverrå Johnsen (Norway), Christina Elnaes (Norway) and Marie Røri Lillesaeter (Norway).

The group which is being jointly managed, artistically developed and produced by Swedish singer, songwriter and musician Douglas Carr (Ace Of Base, Björn Skifs, Nick Carter, Meja, Jessica Folker) and Laila Samuels a very accompished singer-songwriter musician, who was the former lead singer for the Norwegian group The Tuesdays, recently released their debut single, an up-tempo song called “Damage Control."

The first things that you notice about the members of S’Candy are, they have great poise and they are not naïve newbies to the music scene, as Rosa mentioned when she drew attention the fact that each of them was already very accomplished music professionals prior to the group being formed. You also notice their amazing harmonies.

“I believe since we all have been singing solo and also in choirs and stuff, that we are used to harmonizing or singing second voices. It is easy to work in that way, because we all have experienced it before.

I also believe that Douglas and Laila have good ears when it comes to music and voices and when they heard us perform they saw the potential in us being together,” says Lisa.

Christina says, “(Our Music) is maybe Pop and a little bit of R&B. It has harmonies and it is melodic. It is Scandinavian Pop music.” Read More

 

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