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”! DJ-ing the annual Felix Organization 'Dance This Way' benefit was a huge success this year, and we raised a lot of money that will be used to send many foster children to Camp Felix. Sharing the stage yet again with Felix co-founder Darryl McDaniels from RUN DMC is always a blast. I will always love his rhyme for me that he Tweeted last year "Dina Dina, ain't none meaner, she rocks the house, I know cause I seen her". 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