Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Valentine for my Singer's Salon

 The rumbling of chairs being moved about greeted people finding their way into Deagan Music for the Salon...donations were taken at the door, coats were hung, and nerves were allowed to freely fly, as Michelle Costello serenaded her friend Martha in the anti-anteroom. Musicians gathered, singers stared into space and I tried to say howdy to anybody who looked like they needed direction or a reason to live. Once Maggie had us ready to go, bottles of wine were opened, and folks were settled in, announcements were made and I guided anyone who wanted to through a short meditation for grounding. Just to get it going...The Red Apples played a couple of tunes and we were off!

The Singer's Salon is growing into a growling, pawing, purring, spawning musical beast. Every month fascinating folks with divergent musical tastes and sometimes surprising creations emerge and share their unique talents with us. YOW!
Where to begin? Omar Jano keeps surprising us. This time with not only a cool Depeche Mode cover but with a new original tune, "Moonlight". Ron and Dave of Red Apples fame, helped him flesh out his uplifting, rock ballad. Who knew he was such a romantic?
The lovely 16 year old Kieley joined us for the first time from the Meetup. After her Mother informed me that she would accompany herself on piano, I asked her what she was going to sing. She said she had put together her own compilation of Eminem songs. (!) You go girl I thought. And she did. Talk about making the material your own! And nice voice. Come back soon, Kieley.
Tracy Karbel, who apparently has quite the fan base,  performed a simply hilarious version of a lesser known Weill/Gershwin classic, "The Saga of Jenny".  I'm so glad she "made her mind up" to sing that 'cause she had us all in stitches with her wit and stage presence.

Michelle Costello, the aforementioned practicer, and a new-comer to the world of string instruments, braved the stage to accompany herself on ukelele. She crooned the tender tune "Tonight You Belong to Me" with a true old-fashioned sweetness that moved us all. MORE PLEASE.

Unbelievably next was Charles Smith who performed Verdi's "Di Provenza il mar" with original lyrics about the pitfalls of the current ecomony! Very clever lyrics indeed and with beautiful piano playing to boot.

Erick Deshaun Dorris, with his usual fervor and flair covered Tori Amos for a change and finally, (or so we thought) Elmer, also from the meetup group, on unplugged electric guitar, and sans microphone, performed an original, "Beat Box Heart" and followed up with a cover of a Johnny Cash cover  "Hurt". Nice. We dug it.
The group broke up as various audience members had to go on their way; other performers and audience were chatting and comparing notes when Barmey showed up with his guitar. Not wanting to turn him away, we listened to him serenade us in the little alcove in the back of the space. His stunning guitar technique was arresting on the Portishead cover as well as an original tune from his band. I hope to hear more from him as well. We all had an amazingly musically awesome time. Stay tuned for next month's Salon and more...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Poster for February Salon!

The February Salon is going to be VERY exciting I do believe! See my blog about the January Salon (previous to this one) for an update about the Meetup, the upcoming Singer's Workshop, and other such stuff! In the meantime, prepare thy hearts and thy flowers....or put on your Lincoln beard....Feb 12th, Sunday at 7:00.

News of the January Salon and then some.

                                                Omar Jano and yours truly before the Salon
                                        Maggie in the space at Deagan Music, chilling at the piano
What a great event the January Salon turned out to be. Here I am thinking, okay, everybody is going to have holiday hangover, it will no doubt be a poor showing. And I was okay with that. But lo and behold, people started calling me and emailing me and texting me, and rsvping on facebook. What the heck I said to myself I said. Hey Maggie, I yodeled, peeps are a-comin'!
So just what and who did happen? An amazing amount of musical diversity happened, that's what! The Red Apples (myself, my beloved Ron Lowy and Dave Lenef, both on guitar) did a mere two tunes, including trying out a new Amy Winehouse cover...that was fun for me. Omar Jano did a cover of "A Stranger" by A Perfect Circle with Maggie on the Rhodes providing some "mood";  it was pretty groovy. We are all enjoying his progress. G'Omar. Another of my students, Jessica Garcia, accompanying herself on guitar, sang a striking original tune, that was quite advanced, given her 13 years. Her singing was excellent as well! Thanks to her mom for bringing her all the way from Bolingbrook to participate.
We heard Marie Cole Hunt's sumptuous sounds again, this time joined by her husband, Henry. Together they performed a stirring rendition of  "Avinu Malkeniu" by Max Janowski, after which Henry regaled us with his version of that classic of all classics "O Sole Mio".  I really enjoyed his beautiful tone on the sotto voce passages.
Barb Selvaggio made her first appearance at the Salon, showing off her blues harp chops as well as her singing, with an assist from The Red Apples. We hope she will share her talents with us again soon! Klaudia Siczek got up and performed with a little coaxing, and got a great round of applause for "Funny Honey" despite her case of the nerves. That's the way to tackle it!
I think we all enjoyed the several original songs Victoria Fuller performed. In fact her song, "The One For Me" has been stuck in my head for days! I love it! Here is a link to her facebook page if you'd like to check out more of her tunes:
 Erick Deshaun Dorris has become a regular at the Salon-lucky us! His original songs are upbeat, quirky, and soulful, with interesting piano bits, and dude can wail. Bring it on ERICK! Here is a link to his band:
Now, David Zizic is an old friend and colleague of mine and I haven't heard him sing for a while. He really surprised me with his powerful and sometimes even humorous version of "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret. Hope we see more from him, and of course, EVERYBODY!
Dave Lenef of Apple fame, closed the show with a sweet new original tune on the ukelele he's been working up called, "My Shirt and I". It has a great vibe and fun lyrics, everyone totally dug.
Afterward, much hobnobbing and no sobbing were enjoyed by all. There is such a great feel to what is happening at the Salon. Many thanks to Maggie Dahlberg for her tinkling on the ivories, and her space, Deagan Music. Stay tuned for the February Salon, on the 12th; we are now on Meetup and have bunches of new members! SO it may be a madhouse....which would be awesome.
Here is a link to our new Facebook page, please, if you like it, "Like" it!
You can click on the "event" to rsvp if you like.
And here's a link to the Meetup:
And finally a link to my website! I will be starting a new Singer's Workshop March 1st! So put it on your calendar!
Happy Singing all!