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Kelly Cheats

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Kelly Cheats by Trevor Mercer.jpg
Photo credit: Trevor Mercer

Kelly cheats, or so I'm told.

Seriously, the Kelly Cheats band got their name from an incident at a poker game. I'm sure it serves them well as it's both intriguing and easy for the audience to remember. So they can be sure to come back to see the band the next time they're in town.

There's no cheating when it comes to their sound. A well seasoned group of musicians that like to have fun. Currently finishing up the final touches of their second, soon to be released, album Out of the Patch. 

Always ready to tour the southeast they will be appearing this weekend at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Charlotte, North Carolina (Friday, October 23rd) with their blend of rock, reggae, pop, and blues.

English: Example of a piano staff. Español: Ej...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever wanted to record or use a song but didn't know who to contact for the rights to distribute your copy on CD, stream it, or use it in a film? Not an easy  thing to do.

The first step it to check with a mechanical licensing agency such as the Harry Fox Agency. A mechanical license is what you will need to distribute a copy of your song on a CD or stream.  A syncronization license will be needed for TV or film.  You may also need additional rights from the publisher.

Crystal Tyler.jpgJade Castle Studios is an asset to the upstate area, the Carolinas, and beyond.  It is a place where actors, performing artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, and artists of all kinds can meet and rub shoulders with one another.  You can attend classes or rent space for your projects such as a songwriter's club, writer's club or as a space where you could audition actors for your upcoming film.

Started earlier this year and operated by Crystal Tyler it is just beginning to take hold and needs your help.  If you are able to give just a small amount to assist with this well intensioned project it will help filmmaking and the performing arts thrive in the community and their will be some perks for you as well.

"Crystal and Jade Castle have been a great resource for me in connecting with other professionals. Whenever Other Vision needs to look for talent, I give Crystal a call. Through Jade Castle, she's already helped connect me with so many other great film professionals in the Greenville area." - Collins Abbott White - Other Vision Studios

If you can't afford to donate then please share this message with your friends so they can learn about Jade Castle Studios and how it might benefit them.

Learn more about Jade Castle Studios in the article below by The Greenville News and in my conversation with Crystal.

Kira ABYFM1.jpgKira Bursky is a talented young lady, filmmaker, and musician.  I always look forward to finding out what comes next from her.  She splits her time between home in Ahseville, NC and Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.  A boarding high school where she is in the Motion Pictures Arts program.

Kira has just directed and completed her short film Clean which was made for the Asheville 48 Hour Film Project and won the award for Best Cinematography.   Recently I had the opportunity to talk with her about the film and some of her other work.  Find out what what she has to say below.

2012 Grammy Winners

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Grammy Award

Image by CousinJacob via Wikipedia

Record of the Year
Rolling in the Deep - Adele

Album of the Year
21 - Adele

Song of the Year
Rolling in the Deep - Adele

Best New Artist
Bon Iver

Best Pop Solo Performance
Someone Like You - Adele

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Body And Soul - Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse

Best Pop Instrumental Album
The Road From Memphis - Booker T. Jones

Best Pop Vocal Album
21 - Adele

Best Dance Recording
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex



kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

Dubbed as Hell Raisin' Country, Early Ray is certainly catching fire and heating up stages all around the Carolinas and the Southeast!

This young magnetic, good-looking country singer-songwriter delivers his powerful songs with a rock edge, but with the core of a country purist.

 I love the intro to his bio, which reads: I've never liked bios much as they are typically filled with cream puff quotes about how artsy, powerful or amazing an artist's music is.  Instead, I'm going tell you a little about myself...


Country music lovers, and country music artists, down here in the South... we don't separate the artist from his music. We liken it back to Hank Williams Sr. and George Jones, Loretta and Dolly. Music and Life Experience co-exist, co-mingle, and are so inextricably intertwined that they are one in the same.


Good goin' Ray! You ARE it!

UP CLOSE ~ Ananda

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kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

Ananda Image

Public Domain Image by Burman2k via Wikipedia

My first impression when I heard about this musical act was the interesting and unusual name. Taken from Sanskrit, Ananda means perfect bliss. After a first hearing, we quickly realize that the name is a perfect fit for this ultra-talented duo. A gentle intertwining of beautiful piano and violin, weaving threads of melody and harmony as each player improvises upon the suggestions of the other. It truly is blissfully beautiful music to hear!


Classically trained musicians, PJ Brunson on piano and Laurie Neal on violin, masterfully perform classical masterpieces, traditional Celtic treasured and their own inspired original pieces with a new age feel.


Their latest CD, Still Waters, is a mixture of the duos own new age compositions and traditional classics, seasoned with a slightly modern flavor. Rife with originality and laden with the talent of these two performers, this album is one that you will want to hear again and again. I passionately recommend it!


kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

If you are a musician, (like me) you got 'em! It's the promises we make to no one but ourselves this time of year... usually involving being a little more dedicated to our instrument(s), honing our talents, and so many of us, (me included,) promising ourselves that we will Practice! Practice! Practice!  Hey! How else are we gonna get to Carnegie Hall, right?


Of course, ALL OF THE ABOVE is on my list of musical resolutions this year! (Just like last year and the year before, and... well. You know as well as I do!)


I DO resolve to be a better musician this year! And I DO resolve to practice more! But... in 2012, I have added another layer to my musical resolutions. 


Music is by far my first love. From my earliest memories, I have always dreamt of living my life filled with music, making it my career and my life's ambition. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to fulfill that dream, at least in part, most days of my life.

UP CLOSE ~ Auld Lang Syne

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kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

We sing the song every New Year's Eve, right? But... what the heck are we singing about anyway?


Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days of Auld Lang Syne?


Give me your hand, my trusty friend,

And I will give you mine,

Let's drink a cup of kindness now

For Auld Lang Syne.


For Auld Lang Syne, my love,

For Auld Lang Syne,

Let's drink a cup of kindness now

For Auld Lang Syne!

Admittedly, I sang this number for years with a total misconception of message these traditional lyrics seek to implore.  Craving to know the meaning of these mysterious words, I did a little research and I discovered the real meaning behind the song and why it has been so popular hundreds of years!

As we ring out the old year and ring in the new, it is our long-honored custom to see the upcoming New Year as another chance for a fresh, clean start in our lives. It a time to relinquish our old habits, forgive wounds and insults of the past, make pledges to ourselves and others to begin anew, to make this year better than the last and forget things of the past. After all, it's a NEW YEAR! 

But, what about the words to this old ballad? What wisdom do they convey?


UP CLOSE ~ Blackmore's Night

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kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

English: Candice Night performing in 2009 with...

Candice Night (Image by Nick Soveiko via Wikipedia)

With just two shopping days left before Christmas Day, here's a quick and easy gift for the music lover!


I was quite pleasantly surprised when a friend gave me one of the most refreshing Christmas CD's I've heard in a long time! Winter Carols by Blackmore's Night.  As soon as I heard the first cut from the album, I was hooked.


I knew that this collection of age-old Christmas Carols, arranged and performed with a Celtic flavor, (one carol even has Gaelic verses,) was right up my alley! Not only the Christmas traditionalist, but also the music traditionalist in me, revels in the sweet medieval sounds of these hauntingly beautiful old songs. In listening to these ancient carols, we get a sense of the time-honored traditions of the holiday and our souls connect with the people of Christmases e're gone.


UP CLOSE - Musicians Christmas List


kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

English: Taylor, Acoustic Guitar, model 314

Taylor Guitar (Public Domain Image by  YDHM via Wikipedia)

Still pondering what might be the ideal gift for the musician or music lover on your list? As the days count down, we sometimes find ourselves at a loss for ideas.


Being a performing musician myself, as well as being married to a bass player/guitarist who also tunes pianos as a primary job, I've become somewhat of a pro at finding great gifts for the musical type.


Check out some of these instruments and accessories that are bound to strike a note in perfect harmony with your favorite musicians, from stocking stuffers to the biggies that Santa himself will be singing along with!


First, a couple of biggies:



These rich-sounding, quality guitars come in many models, both acoustic and electric, and are known for rare burl woods and unusual, artsy inlays. Priced from around $600 for the lowest end acoustic, (the 3/4 scale mini-acoustics can be found for as low as $300,) to about $6,000 for specialty models, (such as the 'Running Horses" inlaid fret board, the pricing is considered mid-range in the guitar world.


UP CLOSE ~ Paul McCartney

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kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

Paul McCartney
Paul_McCartney and Linda McCartney - Wings

Image by Jim Summaria via Wikipedia


*   This UP CLOSE feature is dedicated to the vegetarian community around the world! (Of which I am a part!)   *


Few artists can hold a candle to the blazing flame of Paul McCartney! An all-time megastar with an amazing career of almost forty-five years, the longest ever string of hit songs written by one songwriter, fabulous never-aging good looks, a fan base that has not diminished over the years, but grown, a knightly title from the Queen and a 2011 concert tour, McCartney has certainly made his mark on the world.


Grammy Nominations

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English: Bruno Mars performing in Houston, Tex...

Bruno Mars (Image by Brothers Le via Wikipedia)

Record of the Year
  • Rolling in the Deep - Adele
  • Holocene - Bon Iver
  • Grenade - Bruno Mars
  • The Cave - Mumford & Sons
  • Firework - Katy Perry

Album of the Year
  • 21 - Adele
  • Wasting Light - Foo Fighters
  • Born This Way - Lady Gaga
  • Doo-Wops & Hooligans - Bruno Mars
  • Loud - Rihanna

Song of the Year
  • All of the Lights - Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)
  • The Cave - Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
  • Grenade - Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
  • Holocene - Justin Vernon, songwriter (Bon Iver)
  • Rollin In The Deep - Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)

See the rest of the nominations at:



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kristy Marett.jpg

English: Michael Buble walks the Red Carpet at...

Image by Dallas Bittle via Wikipedia

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and owner of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

Michael Buble

Q:        Who has extraordinary musical talent, extraordinary good looks, extraordinary stage-presence as well as world renown, an extraordinary talent for turning classics into ultra-modern, an extraordinarily diverse fan-base, AND just came out with a Christmas album?

A:        YES! Michael Buble!


(Okay.... Big swoon!)


Michael Buble... he's the one with the silky voice, the one that hushes all women's conversations the moment one of his songs comes over the radio, the one who sells out every venue he books worldwide, the one who has the very best, youngest and hottest musicians around, both in studio and in his music videos... he's he one! (Move OVER, Frank Sinatra!)


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Ozzy Osbourne, Prince of Darkness, at the I Am...

Ozzy Osbourne (Public Domain Image via Wikipedia)

kristy Marett.jpg

Kristy Marett is a singer, entertainer, and onwer of Arts and Expressions - One Place For All Your Artistic Expressions! 

In honor of HALLOWEEN, an UP CLOSE tribute to the man who possibly started it all!


Ozzy Osbourne is as popular today as he ever was, (maybe even more). A heavy metal icon who is adored by school children AND their grandparents, with a musical career that has spanned more than 40 years! Not too many artists can boast such a broad and diverse fan base, particularly considering the Ozzy persona of 'crazy-bad-boy'. Or maybe that's a part of the appeal!


Born John Michael Osbourne, (Ozzy picked up the nickname in school,) rose to fame as the lead singer and front man for the English heavy metal band, BLACK SABBATH, whose debut album was released in 1970. The band's sound was radically different, and helped spawn the heavy metal genre, and Osbourne was later dubbed "The Godfather of Heavy Metal".  (Thanks Ozzy!!)


To date, Ozzy has sold over 100 million albums worldwide as a solo artist and as a member of Black Sabbath. Early on,  for Black Sabbath, albums, Paranoid and Master of Reality, enjoyed fabulous success worldwide.


Osbourne left Black Sabbath in 1978 for three months to pursue interest in a solo project he called Blizzard of Ozz, but returned just months later. Then, Ozzy was fired from Black Sabbath 1979. Ozzy himself reports that the causes were mainly due to 'all the drugs', not just his own partaking, but everyone in the band.

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Shot of singer and bassist in recording studio

Image by Laurahuet via Wikipedia

Here's a site and a recording studio that records one band a day, every day and puts the songs and/or videos up on it's web site.  Based in Rock Island, Illinois, the sessions are free for whatever band is passing through and has made arrangements with the Daytrotter staff.   A session lasts for a couple of hours and is something like live recording in that there are no overdubs or re-takes.  What you do is what you get.  Like the old days before multi-track recorders.

Check out the video below to get an idea about how this concept works and also visit their website to see the content they've produced.

Bundle of CDs.

Image by typester via Wikipedia

Want to sell your music on Facebook?  The Music Store Widget from cdBaby is what you need.  It's free for existing cdBaby artists.  If you don't currently have your music registered with cdBaby you're missing a great way to sell your music either digitally or with CDs/Vinyl at not only Facebook but many other digital outlets such as iTunes,, and Spotify.

The cost to sign up with cdBaby in minimal.  $39 for a complete album or $9.99 for a single.  I have been a cdBaby member for years (  It has helped me spread my music far and wide as well as giving  the satisfaction of periodically receiving a check for CDs sold and royalties for plays on digital music sites.  I even had one song picked up for a movie as the producer had heard my songs at cdBaby.

Check out the video below about this exciting new service from cdBaby and how to get started.

Carolina Legends: Earl Owensby

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Earl Owensby - Challenge.jpgEarl Owensby's first film as a producer was the movie Challenge (1974)  which became a hit in the U.S. and abroad.   In it Owensby  played the lead role of Frank Challenge, a Senate candidate that would not sell out to the mob.  This was the spark that eventually led to the creation of Earl Owensby Studios in Shelby, North Carolina.

A number of films were shot at his studios and he starred in many of them.  Some of the people that were cast in his movies include David Allan Coe (singer/songwriter) , Lorne Greene (from the Bonanza TV series), and Paula PoundStone (comedian). 

There are many writers, actors, and crew members that got their start in Owensby's studios and have gone on to make a name for themselves in the film industry.  One of them is Leon Rippy, a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina best known for his roles in The Patriot, Stargate, and Saving Grace who did several movies with Earl in his early days as an actor.  

In the 80s Duke Power Company's Cherokee Power Station , a nuclear power plant being built in Gaffney, South Carolina was never completed.  Earl bought the abandoned plant and created what was at the time the world's largest underwater sound stage.   This is where James Careron's movie The Abyss was filmed.

"Earl Owensby has received numerous honors for his success and achievements. Honors granted Mr. Owensby include NC Hall Of Fame, #15 of the top 100 people in NC in 100 years, Award UNCC North Carolina, and numerous others. Many schools and Universities refer to Earl Owensby when teaching the movie industry, specifically, classes at Duke University, Gardner Webb University, as well as a section in the North Carolina History Books."

Earl Owensby Studios is still in operation and has sound stages totaling 90 thousand square feet.   They have an underwater filming pool with 7 camera ports and underwater lighting, makeup and dressing rooms, wardrobe and property departments, carpentry shop, special effects, kitchen, dining, and lounge areas.  Also an onsite hotel,  1570' runway, recording/mixing studio, editing  and screening rooms, and production offices.

Earl Owensby Studios website:

After creating a music video for a band she loved and sharing  it online,  director Catrin Hedstrom was sent a take down notice from the band.  This left her with a music video and no music.

She is providing the visuals so someone else can create the music.  You also can re-cut using the visuals kit the website provides.  The elements are under a Creative Commons license and all you have to do is credit the website by including a link to the site wherever you share the work that you create.  In turn they will also share a link to the work that you've created on their blog.

The Concept - THEY CALL US /ANIMALS/ from THEY CALL US /ANIMALS/ on Vimeo.





The Boss Micro BR BR-80 is a great little multi-track studio built into a form factor that fits in your pocket.  It comes bundled with Cakewalk's Sonar X1 LE for editing your tracks once you've transferred them to your computer. Can be used as a field recorder with either it's internal mics or by using it's guitar and line inputs..

  • Three modes: MTR (multi-track recorder), eBand, and Live Rec
  • Records directly to SD/SDHC memory card (up to 32 GB)
  • High-quality stereo condenser microphone built in for instant audio capture
  • 64 V-Tracks and eight simultaneous playback tracks
  • eBand function for phrase training and play-along tracks
  • Huge library of built-in backing and rhythm patterns
  • World-class COSM® amps and effects onboard
  • Use as a USB audio interface with built-in effects
  • SONAR X1 LE software included