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English: Fats Waller, three-quarter length por...

Fats Waller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I've seen a couple of Broadway musicals in my time and more than a few musicals  and plays on stages large and small here in the south.  There's nothing I enjoy more than a small intimate theatre with a local production.  Why?  I guess it's recognizing the talent we have in our own midst. Another reason is I sometimes know the performers and am blown away by seeing them transform themselves into someone so different from their normal selves that I start to forget what they're like in real life.  That takes a lot of work I'm sure, and when it happens it's both beautiful and inspiring.

The other thing I like about small theatres is that I can see, hear, smell, and  sometimes even taste (smoke bombs for instance) what is happening on the stage.  All the while with my attention focused on that actor or interaction I'm most  interested in.  No camera leading me back and forth.  I'm in control of the viewpoint.

One such musical that I saw locally which really impressed me is Ain't Misbehavin'.  It's a story, almost 99% musical, about Fats Waller, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter and piano player that was popular in the 20's and 30's.


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Resurrection After-party Album Cover.jpgResurrection After-Party is the latest album from Stephanie Wolfe.  It is being released on her Chipped Polish Records label tomorrow, February 14th, Valentines Day. 

This album is heavy into electronica.  My favorite song is Excited although Something Wicked is very popular too.

Chipped Polish Records is committed to female artists in the genres of pop, electronica, rock, and experimental music.

Thomas Lorenzo on acoustic guitar

 (Photo credit: Fgil65 via Wikipedia)

If you enjoy music and poetry and have never experience an artists in the round type of performance you should attend this one presented by The Charlotte Singer-Songwriters and Poets Circle.

Five performers present their songs and poetry, taking turns on stage, for your enjoyment.  Sometimes artists that are touring the country are booked to perform and at these in-the-round events.  So you never know what to expect.


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.


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KiraBursky by Abbey Sacks.jpg
Photo and Makeup by Abbey Sacks
Kevin Skinner America's Got Talent 2009 in Las...

Kevin Skinner America's Got Talent 2009 in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Casino (Photo credit: bcbusinesshub via Wikipedia)

America's Got Talent is a popular TV series featuring a variety of performers competing to be the winner with a Las Vegas show of their own.  

The finalist and many of the favorite and top acts will also appear in the America's Got Talent Live Tour  after the TV competition ends.  So this is a great opportunity to break into the big time.

Don't miss your chance when they come to a city near you.

Find the city closest to  you below.
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.
John Mellencamp (singer, songwriter, and guita...

John Mellencamp (Public domain photo by Peter Rimar. via Wikipedia)

What do you get when you put John Mellencamp and Stephen King together then add T-Bone Burnett for good measure?  A musical called Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.  

Conceived by John who enlisted the help of Stephen King as the writer, it's a southern gothic musical about a sibling rivalry that turns to tragedy.  John wrote all the songs for the musical.  After more that 10 years of collaboration they brought on T-Bone Burnett (music producer of O Brother, Where Art Thou? and many others) to help pull it all together.

The musical will have shows coming this October and November in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa.  In addition it will be released as a digital and hardcover book.  The soundtrack which is available on iTunes includes Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Taj Mahal, Ryan Bingham, Roseanne Cash, and John Mellencamp with Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz.   

See the promotional video for the musical below.

A ball of fire singer out of Tennessee with an acoustic guitar, and a harmonica playing rhythm section of a fella from Texas punching out the beat.  That's what you get when you see Shovels and Rope.

Cary Ann Hearst
and Michael Trent now call Charleston, South Carolina home and have recently been touring the U.S. in support of their new album O' Be Joyful.

Check them out below in their recent appearance on The David Letterman Show.

To Russia With Love

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Dreamkiller2.jpgLet's send Christy Johnson and the Dreamkiller Band to Russia.  You can help by liking them on the ULikeUs page now through January 31st.  

ULikeUS is a competition where artists compete to bring their music to Russia.  The top twenty bands that gain the most attention at this stage will compete for a panel of judges to see who gets to go to Russia and play their music.  More about that here.

To vote for Dreamkiller go to the ULikeUs voting page.  Find Dreamkiller and vote by clicking on the Facebook or icons.

Check out the Dreamkiller Watch This video below and visit their web page.  Also, like this page so all your friends can vote too!

Nederlands: Darrell Scott @ Paradiso (Amsterda...

Darrell Scott (Photo credit: Erik Joling at nl.wikipedia)

Darrell Scott wowed a packed audience at the McCelvey Center last night with his guitar prowess and remarkable vocals.  The event is part of the Southern Sound  Series being presented at the center over the next few months.  Other performers coming up in the series include The Secret Sisters, Ruthie Foster, Suzy Boggus, and Abigail Washburn.

Keeepers of The Culture Awards were presented to Alan Miller, Pat Veasey, and Joe Zdenek for their contribution in keeping cultural events and education alive in York County, SC followed by Scott's performance.  

Darrell is a Nashville session musician as well as singer/songwriter and performing artist.  He has collaborated with other performers such as Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Tim O'Brien, and Guy Clark.  Scott's song Long Time Gone, from his album Real Time with Tim O'Brien was covered by The Dixie Chicks sending it to number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.


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At the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC

Robert Filion - Carolina Theatre.jpg

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

Henninger Media Services is having a seminar this week on Music For Picture.  The areas top producers and composers will discuss how they make music for films and why it is important to create a mood for the audience.

  • Importance of music in film and video.
  • Value of a composer vs. the value of a library.
  • What producers and directors need to know when working with a composer.
  • Live musicians vs. Sample-based performances.
  • Music technology.
  • How music fits into modern production workflow.



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?