Everything that's happening in my world
I made it to the local papers! Really nice feature article about my teaching/lecturing a photography class in Penn. this past Tuesday. It was such an amazing and rewarding experience working with these students. The conversation went far past photography into music, video and our culture. We talked about combining all the elements of art in all that we create.
It can be so difficult these days to do this sort of thing via Zoom, however, I have to say this afternoon was nothing short of magical. Here's the article
CLARION-LIMESTONE ART STUDENTS HAVE VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP
I hope everyone is hanging in during this rough spell we all find ourselves in. No one could possible prepare for, or imagine how life could change so quickly.
Every year, I DJ the Dance This Way benefit for the Felix Organization, and we raise a lot of money to send foster kids to Camp Felix where they not only have fun, but they learn life skills to help them navigate the world. I also get to DJ for Darryl McDaniels from RUN DMC and that is a huge thrill for me too. But this year, unfortunately the event can't take place due to our lockdown and social distancing. Instead, the Felix Organization will be holding a virtual online fundraiser telethon style, Friday evening, May 1st at 8pm on Facebook. This year, I won't be DJ-ing, but instead I will be singing one of my songs from my home. Please join us, and if you can ... donate!
Big love to you all, and please stay safe 💜
Felix Organization link: https://www.thefelixorganization.org/
Thanks to Charley Crespo for this wonderful review of our show at LOLA on the Lower East Side last Friday night opening for Steve Conte. I'm blessed with these wonderful musicians,
who make time for me when they're not on the road, and they really made the night magical;
Tony Scherr - guitar (Bill Frisell Trio, Sex Mob), Mark Plati- bass (David Bowie),
G. Wiz- drums (Norah Jones, Cabin Down Below, Twilight Singers),
Charley Giordano- accordion (Bruce Springsteen), Michelle Casillas -vocals (Ursa Minor)
and guest singer James Maddock.
Seems fitting to get this review today on Bruce Springsteen's birthday, the guy who told me to put together my own band back when I was first starting out. SO GLAD I LISTENED TO THE BOSS!
All in all, it was a packed club with good vibes all round. That's all I need!
Link to article below:
Last night at The Bowery Electric I was invited to be a part of a really wonderful benefit Derek Cruz curated, raising money for Dementia. Good vibes for a good cause. I also had the pleasure of singing one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs 'It Ain't Me Babe' as a duet with my good friend James Maddock, backed by an all star band w/members from The Patti Smith Group and Blondie (Clem Burke, Matt Katz-Bohen, & Tony Shanahan). Here's a little clip from the show.
I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday, and a belated Happy New Year to you all!
While 2018 was a really challenging year on many levels, I was graced with several really standout experiences over the past 12 months. Here's a few of them...
In photo collage below; me DJ-ing at The Bowery Electric (photo Jini Sachse), Performing w/Mark Plati, and w/Charlie Giordano, me with the official Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin Book (I have a photo in it), photo by Karen Fleisch, who also designed the awesome Victorian coat I'm wearing, and last, the Cover of my latest single with The Rousers 'Take A Ride To The Lower East Side'
My DJ year: First off, I DJ-ed a number of guest spots at Rumpus Room, The Bowery Electric, Berlin, and Coney Island Baby. Even though my private work keeps me busy, it’s always good to hit the clubs every so often to keep the vibe fresh. All the weddings I DJ-ed last year were gorgeous, and my couples were lovely to work with. The corporate and private events were pretty special as well, and I even got to share the bill as a DJ with one of my all time favs, Stevie Wonder. Now, that’s special! Flying down to North Carolina to DJ the Black and White Ball for the Mint Museum was a blast, and one of the curators Tweeted “she turned a black tie event into a house party”! On another note, NY Magazine included my thoughts in their latest wedding issue ‘NY Weddings’, which included a list of songs about fire for a ‘weddings by a fire’ theme. I love that NY Magazine has invited me to be a part of so many features over the years, and have continued to keep me in their sources as a top DJ in this town for events.
Music and Photography: My single with The Rousers ‘Take A Ride To The Lower East Side’ had it’s debut, opening Paul Cavalconte’s ‘Cavalcade’ show on WFUV, kicking off an hour of LES themed songs (do check out the video on YouTube). The single I recorded with hit songwriter Bruce Sudano (who was also a producer on the Broadway play ‘Summer’ about his wife Donna Summer) also had its video debut. We also got to do a live-stream concert for Paste Magazine/Day Trotter, which was pretty awesome. Bruce wrote a beautiful duet, and I was thrilled to be asked to sing on it. I also recorded a duet with Cody Mellville for his album ‘Bonds Eye’ as well last year, and the reviews were fantastic! WTSR 91.3fm dedicated a whole hour to my music, and a live on-air interview, and Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius XM is still playing a couple of tunes from my last album ‘Right On, Alright’ on a regular basis. For me, few things compare to the rush of turning on the radio and hearing my song come on. Gotta turn the volume way up! Last October, Lynn Cappiello at MNPR Magazine wrote a fantastic feature article about my DJ-ing, songwriting/performing, & photography. Speaking of photography, I hit the jackpot this year when a photo I took, as a teen of Jimmy Page was included in the first official Led Zeppelin book, curated by the band, and put out by Reel Art Press. This gorgeous book will definitely be a future collector item. The publishers had me take a photo of myself holding the book for the Zeppelin book site… that was fun! Btw, my Flickr site where I showcase most of my photography surpassed a million hits, how cool is that!!! A million is such a wonderful number. Seriously it is!!! In 2018, I was also fortunate to be included in quite a few, packed house, really fun shows, slinging my guitar and singing my heart out. I’ve been test driving a lot of my new material for the next album ‘Astoria’, which I will be doing a crowd-funding campaign for next month. After the heartbreak of losing my long-time friend and bass player Tim Luntzel to ALS last year, I’ve joined forces with Mark Plati who will be playing bass on my next record. Mark was David Bowie’s music supervisor as well as guitar & bass player in his touring band. He also mixed and co-produced a few of Bowie’s records, and I’m so lucky to have him playing with me when he’s not touring! I also wrote a new Christmas song 'I'm Coming Home For Christmas', which I debuted at The Treehouse in December with Charlie Giordano (Bruce Springsteen Band) on accordion. It went over so well I think I will be recording it for a holiday single later this year.
So here we all are at the top of 2019, and I’m feeling optimistic that this is going to be a pretty cool year for me, and hopefully you too! Stay tuned!
Yesterday was an awesome day. AWESOME! I had the opportunity to go back to my high school, St Jean Baptiste, and give a lecture with a Q&A about music, art, and life as an artist to these amazing creative beautiful girls in the very same auditorium where I got my start as a teenager. I have no doubt that these young ladies will be making some serious noise in the years to come with whatever road they choose to take with their creativity.
SUGGESTED READING- a few books and websites to check out (mentioned in lecture)
Bird By Bird- Anne Lamott
Poemcrazy – Susan G. Wooldridge
On Writing – Stephen King
The Songwriter’s Handbook – Tom T. Hall
Music Marketing for the DIY Musician ; Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack on a Low Budget – Bobby Borg
All You Need To Know About The Music Business (9th Edition)-
Donald S. Passman
CD BABY (where you can release your own records... some good DIY articles too)
SOUNDCLOUD (where you can discover indie music, and upload your music to share with friends and fans to stream or download. Free and Pro plans available)
RECOMMENDED MUSIC STUDY- fantastic course, (and it's FREE!)
TEACH ROCK -Steven Van Zandt from Bruce Springsteen's E Street band, as well as founder of the Sirius XM radio Station 'The Underground Garage', and actor on the TV series The Sopranos, and Lilyhammer has organized an amazing teaching program about the history of Rock and Soul music. Fascinating and inspiring... check it out
It's been a long while since I've written a new Christmas song, but I woke up a few weeks ago and this tune came to me all at once. Just in time too, because I was booked for a holiday party at The Treehouse, and one of the charming things about this particular party is that all the musicians are asked to try to write a new tune to perform. Nothing like a homework assignment to get me motivated. Here's a little snippet of 'I'm Coming Home For Christmas', performed with the fantastic Charlie Giordano on accordion, who you might recognize from Bruce Springsteen's band. I plan on recording this with a full band to be released for Christmas next year!
Also check out the second link here for my ol' song 'Forever Christmas Eve' recorded back in the 90s. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone!
Thank you Anthony Bessel from WTSR 91.3FM for inviting me to do an on air live interview today, as well as featuring all the songs from 'Right On, Alright', and my new single project with The Rousers 'Take A Ride To The Lower East Side
Last night, at the Rockers on Broadway benefit at (le) poisson rouge, surprise guest Pete Townshend (The Who), was a pretty fantastic, and uplifting surprise. The money raised goes to Music Cares, The Felix Organization (charity I work with) and The Path Fund. Here's a shot of me on the red carpet, and a little clip of the fantastic Pete Townshend that I caught.
Wonderful article in NMPR Magazine by Lynn Cappiello about me, my project with The Rousers, & the new single 'Take A Ride To The Lower East Side'.