Friday, March 30, 2007


Continuing on the musical guide I've promised...I'd like to bring up another artist.

His name is Foy Vance. I have been listening to a couple of his singles for quite some time now but haven't really gotten the chance to spread the word.

Because of his recent single release on iTunes...and a couple of his songs being played on (dare I say it?) Grey's Anatomy, I get the feeling that he is hard at work on an album.

In the meantime...Check out his myspace.

Listen to homebird. It is a remarkable track. Soulful? Indeed.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Swing Awakening

So here's the deal. I am going to have a run in the Broadway Musical "Spring Awakening." I have been auditioning for this show since last september and I am thrilled to join the cast. I will start as a swing and primary understudy for the lead (Melchior). I feel so fotunate to be a part of such a thrilling new piece of theatre. I'm sure the next two months will be very exciting. I will let all of you know when I am going on.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Good news!

Can't talk about it too much...but I have some very good and VERY unexpected news.

Will post more when everything is signed and sealed. ;)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Pirate's Gospel

As promised, I am going to start mentioning artists that I am listening to and interested in. I recently was on a crazy hunt for a new singer/songwriter that I liked. After hours of listening to 30 second samples of completely unoriginal material on iTunes, I finally came across a girl that I thought was worth the $9.99 for an album. Before I bought her CD, I checked out her music on her myspace page. I was blown away. Her name is Alela Diane. Her lyrics are wonderful, but it is her voice that truly makes her a stand out. It's easy and beautiful, but it has a great amount of depth and drive behind it. I have been listening to her album, "The Pirtate's Gospel," non-stop for the past week. It's fantastic. "The Rifle" is one of the best tracks I have heard this year.

I will say that I think some of the material not featured on her album is some of her best work. "Dry Grass and Shadows" is a track that you can hear on Alela's Myspace, but it is not found on the album. Trust me, this is not a song you want to miss. A breathtaking nostalgia piece, "Dry Grass and Shadows" features spectacularly thoughtful lyrics.

Alela is signed to a small label in Oregon named Holocene Records. I am very interested to see where her career goes from here. or

Monday, March 05, 2007

Soul Searching

To me, a voice without soul is not a voice worth listening to.

Harsh? Not really...

I don't want to waste my time just listening to technique or gorgeous high notes. It's all great if it's there, but if it doesn't have a raw, soulful emotion behind it, it just isn't worth it.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Just look at where having-soul landed Jennifer Hudson. But lately, I have had the hardest time finding new artists and musicians who I think have an ounce of soul in their music. It's as if all the new bands of today are falling into two catagories: an ainxty over-produced emo-rock sound...or an emulated Nick Drake-like whisper. What people are forgetting is that it's not just about the sound. Nick Drake had more soul than any of these new "indie" singer-songwriters could even wish for. And all this post-punk-emo-rock became popular because the founding musicians who created the sound had a great deal of passion for it...and (unfortunately) it spoke to a lot of ainxty teens. Ha.

Sam Cooke is a god to me. He is the king of soul. Or Mr. Soul, as they called him. Everyone knows that. I grew up worshiping that man and his voice and I still do. But you don't have to be a motown artist from the 60s to have soul. Just look at Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, Damien Rice, Sufjan Stevens, John Lennon...Freddy Mercury! These are hardly the names you would think of at first when someone mentioned "soul"...but that's what these artist have/had, which is what has made them so special. Judy Garland wasn't an incredible vocalist but the woman could sing! What poured out of her mouth was a sound that was so emotionally and deeply rooted, it continues to bring millions to tears. A voice like hers captivates. It draws you in and makes you loose your breath until her final sigh.

Soul is the difference between a Musical theatre star and a Musical theatre lead. Legends are born on stage in New York because of their ability to access their emotional root and vulnerability through song. Sutton Foster is such a force right now because she feels every lyric, every note, every rise and matter how cheesy. Victoria Clark can melt you as soon as her mouth opens because she is inspired by her material and lets the music take her on a ride. These performers aren't just singing their songs, they are experiencing them. They have a true passion and awareness of music and it's emotional effect. It is simply thrilling when a performer has the ability to give so much to their audience. I believe you have to be a very vulnerable and open person to have that skill.

That skill carries through onto a recording. Singing should never be about making one clean and clear take. The most haunting, thrilling, and heartbreaking recordings are full of imperfections. Sam Cooke's voice wasn't a masterpeice, neither was Ella Fitzgeralds. What they brought to their sound, and the emotional gut they brought to every note, was beyond masterful. It was genius.

Music is my greatest passion. I am always on the hunt for new artists. I am going to start posting about the new artists that I come across...or what I'm listening to. I'm out to find the soulful pop artists of today!

Who can I tell you about right now? There are a couple of British imports to look at. Amy Winehouse is huge in the UK right now. Her twist of contemporary R&B and Billy Holiday-like howl might be why. Download "Rehab". Also look at Paolo Nutini. At only 19, has a shockingly gripping voice. His lyrics are at times a bit juevenille, but they are typically very moving. His voice is so mature and so far beyond his's very easy to forget his age. The guy has got something special. Download "These Streets."