Thunderous Applause for the Soul of a Musician Series with Gina Chavez and Johanna Chase

Sunday night’s Soul of a Musician Series provided the perfect remedy for a week’s worth of SXSW exhaustion with inspirational ‘fire water’ from Gina Chavez and Johanna Chase? Chavez, wrapped-up her SXSW schedule Sunday night at The Iron Cactus with her 9th show of the week while the West Coast native Chase trekked all the way in from LA for SXSW and the 133rd Soul Series show.

In its fifth year, the Soul of a Musician Series provides a forum for musicians to play music in a loving, receptive environment in order to explore the various emotional and spiritual dimensions of their music. The musicians perform one or two hand-picked original songs, then series host Rev. Merrill Wade leads an interactive discussion with the artists about the inspiration and spirituality behind those songs.

Chavez and Chase played a back-and-forth, song-swap set in which Chavez led off by debuting ‘She Persisted’. “This song’s not all that deep,” claimed Austin’s 2015 Musician of the Year before unleashing the righteous and unapologetic tune. A lack of depth is most certainly not an issue with ‘She Persisted’. It’s the sort of bold and empowering songwriting Chavez fans admire in her music.

Chase followed with ‘Gangster of Love’, a gorgeous love song with hints of spiritual vulnerability. I’m ashamed to admit, I was unfamiliar with the SOLO.B singer-songwriter prior to the Soul Series event. However, I was pleasantly surprised once she dove into the zoot suited, grass roots ‘Gangster of Love’.

The entire set consisted of 8 total songs between the ladies and concluded with a passionate duet of Chavez’s ‘Fire Water’ from 2015’s critically acclaimed Up.Rooted. The theme of the evening was “thunderous applause” and both musician deserved that and more. I’m not certain why it took 133 shows for me to check out the Soul of a Musician Series. But, I will definitely be visiting The Iron Cactus more frequently on Sunday evenings from here on out.

 

http://www.stmattsaustin.org/Music/4soul-of-a-musician-series.html

https://www.facebook.com/SoulOfAMusicianSeries/

http://ginachavez.com/

http://www.johannachase.com/

 

 

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Weezer Debuts ‘Feels Like Summer’ From Forthcoming Eleventh Album

Being a Weezer fan is like playing with fire, eventually you’re going to get burned. Beginning with 2005’s questionable Make Believe the nineties nerd rockers began a steady decline culminating in the magnum opus of asinine albums, Raditude, which includes ‘Can’t Stop Partying’ a track that exudes so much cringe you’d be at risk of a wince-induced aneurysm. It appeared idiosyncratic frontman Rivers Cuomo had been blinded by the need for their tracks to pander to the mainstream, alienating long term fans of 1994’s widely considered classic, The Blue Album and 1996’s rough around the edges diary-like confessional, Pinkerton. Then all of a sudden they released the self referential ‘Back to the Shack’, lead single from ninth LP Everything Will Be Alright in the End, which saw Cuomo beg forgiveness for his musical sins confessing ‘sorry guys I didn’t realize that I needed you so much, I thought I’d get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucked.’ This upward trajectory continued with last year’s California inspired White Album with its crunchy guitars harkening back to the group’s glory days. Now with the release of ‘Feels Like Summer’ it appears Cuomo has forgotten once again that disco does indeed suck.

Whereas on Pinkerton, Weezer drew influence from Giacomo Puccini’s 1904 opera Madama Butterfly, on ‘Feels Like Summer’ their reference points derive from bland chart toppers Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots. Commencing with a sing-a-long baiting barrage of ‘na na nas’ the band descend into the mediocre realm of middle-of-the-road pop rock featuring a chorus doomed to soundtrack MTV commercials with Cuomo’s banal repetition of the hook ‘and it feels like summer to me.’

Rivers recently annotated the lyrics to ‘Feels Like Summer’ on Genius discussing how on the pre-chorus the ‘powers that be’ wanted a severe autotune but he fought against it. How heroic. It makes you wonder with soon to be eleven albums, two of which occasionally crop up on ‘best of’ lists and millions of fans the world over, why record company tinkering would still be an issue.

The track is tipped to be the lead single from the upcoming Black Album, the apparent antithesis of the sunny White Album with Cuomo elucidating how it will feel like ‘an urban environment, night-time and gritty and hopefully [with] a lot more modern, synthesized sounds, samples maybe.’ The band’s use of more electronic instruments shouldn’t be sniffed at though, if they play their cards right there’s the potential to craft something as magical as The Postal Service’s Give Up, with Weezer displaying on numerous occasions their musical dexterity, it’s just a shame that this taster of what’s to come is so painfully underwhelming. Hopefully everything will be alright in the end.

 

Written by: Matthew Barnard

 

Cover photo: Brendan Walter

4th Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards Winners

The 4th Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards took place on February 15, 2017 at the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin, TX presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and hosted by music mavens Ray Benson and Dale Watson. The event honored the best of Ameripolitan Music as voted by the fans.

Over 95 nominees and avid Ameripolitan music fans packed the theatre to celebrate the best of Ameripolitan Music; a music genre originally coined by singer/songwriter Dale Watson, defined as having a prominent root influence, not conforming to the ‘country’ of today. It is broken into four related subcategories: Honky Tonk, Western Swing, Rockabilly and Outlaw. Artists and bands can fall into one or more of these categories.

The Ameripolitan Music Awards, a 501(c)3, was created under the leadership of Texas Honky Tonk legend, Dale Watson, to acknowledge the exceptional creativity and dedication of roots artists whose work does not readily conform to the tastes of today’s “Country”, or other music genres and organizations. Ameripolitan Music LLC and The Ameripolitan Music Awards were founded to benefit and acknowledge these artists. It also provides fans with a means of finding these artists and their music.

The Ameripolitan Music Awards acknowledges those Ameripolitan artists whose music honors tradition while demonstrating exceptional originality, creativity, and musicianship. Through their work, Ameripolitan music is now being defined. The Awards also acknowledge Ameripolitan DJs and venues that promote these artists and their music along with honoring a living legend who has kept the tradition alive through their music and perseverance.

2017 AMERIPOLITAN MUSIC AWARD WINNERS
HONKY TONK FEMALE: Leona Williams
HONKY TONK MALE: Jake Penrod
HONKY TONK GROUP: Gary P. Nunn and the Bunkhouse Band
ROCKABILLY FEMALE: Lara Hope
ROCKABILLY MALE: Lance Lipinsky
ROCKABILLY GROUP: The Silver Shakers
WESTERN SWING FEMALE: Kristyn Harris
WESTERN SWING MALE: Pokey LaFarge
WESTERN SWING GROUP: The Western Flyers
OUTLAW FEMALE: Darci Carlson
OUTLAW MALE: Hank3
OUTLAW GROUP: Dallas Moore Band
AMERIPOLITAN VENUE: Lil’ Red’s Longhorn Saloon
AMERIPOLITAN MUSICIAN: Chris Casello
AMERIPOLITAN DJ: James Riley
AMERIPOLITAN FESTIVAL: Nashville Boogie

The 2017 “Keeper of the Key” Award went to Junior Brown, while the evening’s highest honor, the “Master Award” was presented to the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis.
Led by an all-star band, nominees dazzled the audience with performances, including numbers from Leonna Williams, Jason Roberts, Jake Penrod, Marti Brom, Bonnie Montgomery and many others. There were also special performances by Lance Lapinsky, James Inveltd, Jessie Dayton, Rosie Flores, Dale Watson, and Ray Benson.
Celebrity presenters included Andy Langer, Rosie Flores, KOKE FM’s Rita Ballou, James Hand, Johnny Knoxville and Tito Beveridge of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Sirius XM’s Dallas Wayne also jumped into the announcer’s seat for another year.

JMR_5836 - Marquee

JMR_6140 - Co-Hosts - Dale Watson, Ray Benson

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JMR_6194 - Darci Carlson, Winner

Photo Credit: Jennifer M. Ramos (Photos 1,2 and 6)

Photo Credit: Sandra Dahdah (Photos 3,4 and 5)

Article courtesy of: Nicole Shiro

CO/NTRY Release New Single ‘Cash Out’

Enigmatic, inexplicable and impossible-to-Google band ‘Country’ have had a make-over. Taking the stage as a slightly more distinguishable Co/ntry with their new single ‘Cash Out’, the Montreal-based duo weren’t exactly what I expected.

Synthesized vocals and what can only be described as a vaguely piano-esque overlay that would make a-ha jealous, the pair aren’t exactly what I’d call ‘post-punk’, as their social media dubs them. More like synth-pop meets the 80’s on a dark, street corner.

Welcome the pronounced noughties-beat and listen as it gives way to the promise of a retro sound. It feels old but exciting, and then you hear the eccentric, isolated vocals.
Band members, Beaver Sheppard and David Whitten, concocted this single during a low Sheppard found himself in after working 100 hours a week in a restaurant; something, I’m sure, a lot of the listeners can relate to. Something we can’t relate to, though, is the unrecognizable lyrics that fill ‘Cash Out’ – a little bit of a wail mixed with their own special kind of sound; the boys recorded this song for themselves. I don’t think they particularly care what we have to say, and I love it. It’s a deadly combat against the conformity of music, they don’t care and they shouldn’t have to.

I picture either Marty McFly dancing to this track, or Fry from Furterama; but in that one episode about his dog, you know the one I mean. There is no in-between for me. I guess, what I’m trying to say, is the 80’s are making a comeback, and they’ll be at SXSW this year just not caring – and maybe in latex.

An abundance of synthesizers in tow, the boys will be doing what they do best and performing their music with that perfect dosage of sleaze; they are known for donning bondage, after all. But whatever they wear, it’s bound to be a pretty interesting display and I wouldn’t want to miss it.

Catch Co/ntry during SXSW on the March 17th at Swan Dive, in the midst of their tour across America this month and look out for the full track list, released on April 14th. This band is full of surprises, and I’m counting down the days to hear the rest of the album.

Tour dates:
17/03/17 – SXSW – Swan Dive – Pop Montreal Showcase – 1am – Austin, TX – USA – w/ Hoan + Best Fern, Forever, She Devils, Samito
17/03/20 – MOTR – Cincinnati, OH – USA
17/03/22 – Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON – Canada – w/ Billy Moon + Fresh Snow + Whoop-szo
17/04/13 – Fairmount Theater – Album Launch – Montreal, QC – Canada
17/05/13 – Distortion Festival – Matahari Loft – Montreal, QC – Canada – w/ We Are Wolves, Avec Le Soleil Sortant de Sa Bouche

 

https://www.facebook.com/countrymontreal/

https://countrymtl.bandcamp.com/

 

Written by: Megan Matthews

 

 

FRANK OCEAN SEES BOTH SIDES LIKE ‘CHANEL’

THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Sound the new Frank Ocean claxon; shut down the internet, tell your Mum you love her. ‘Chanel‘ premiered on Ocean’s Beats1 radio show, blonded – and given we had to wait four long years between the punchy channel ORANGE and the pristine blonde, this is quite the treat.

Frank impresses immediately within the first four lines of the track; “I see both sides like Chanel” relaying quadruple (yes you read that right QUADRUPLE) meanings within 6 words. Referring to the Chanel logo – consisting of two C’s, his own bisexuality (a trait he apparently shared with the fashionista), witnessing his lovers battle between masculinity and femininity as well as referencing Coco Chanels role ‘seeing both sides’ of the war while working as a Nazi informant, Oceans lyrical brilliance soars.

The instrumental continues the subtly stylistic sweetness that glided so seamlessly beneath Oceans smooth musings on blonde, with interesting and progressive content and context always ensuring he remains head and shoulders above his contemporaries. This aside following the going-independent-at-your-prime mantra, Ocean is really beginning to emulate his idol, Prince.

Ocean’s typically sensitive and sarcastic flow lays high in the mix aside his most openly homosexual lyrics to date. Low-key choppy snares and looping emotive piano chords commend the former Odd Future member’s vocal acrobatics on a heart-belting hook that will be stuck in your head for the foreseeable future after just one listen.

Many are hoping this release means a new full-length project from Ocean is due to come, but I would wager this is a cut that didn’t make it on to blonde that Ocean felt was strong enough to stand alone as a single. And he’s right to think so.

Keep making music Frank.

https://soundcloud.com/user-530897727/frank-ocean-chanel

 

Written by: George Gould

Album Archaeologists: DZATA- UNDERGROUND (1984)

In the 21st century a click of a mouse opens up a world of obscure music, but some albums fly under the radar; forever lost in time on the musty shelves of second-hand record stores. We are the Album Archaeologists and for $5 or less we aim to dig up the albums you won’t find on Spotify.

To be completely absent from the internet is a considerable achievement. Even a quick Google search of my name (a daily ritual) regurgitates blush-inducing YouTube videos I made when I was too young to know better, remaining forever etched on the world wide slate due to my temporal misplacement of the passwords. Dzata (pronounced duh-sha-da) don’t exist beyond a Tumblr post featuring an image of their only evidential album, Underground, so it was with giddy anticipation that I approached this LP wondering what on earth lay between those grooves.

I was immediately attracted to the record; perched at the forefront of the World Music section with its jungle snaking out of the nondescript London tube station like a screenshot from a British reboot of Jumanji feat. chilled out parrot and perplexed Simba. Produced by Nick Robbins who has a résumé as diverse as engineering work on The Pogues’ Waiting for Herb and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Dzata (translated as lion or strength) clearly endeavour to bring colourful afrobeats from the African plains to the grey streets of Brixton.

The sun-soaked ‘Summertime’ doesn’t just break the ice, it melts it, with its marriage of synths, saxophone, bass, guitars and dense percussion paving the way for other buoyant afrobeat numbers such as ‘It’s My Life’ and the instrumental ‘Peter Pete.’ The latter is a particular highlight with its mid-track drum break and tenor and alto saxes working in tandem, although I couldn’t help but feel how it wouldn’t sound out of place as a 1980s sitcom theme tune complete with character freeze frames and garish title card.

It’s testament to the band’s instrumental flourishes that vocals come across as superfluous with weak choruses and uninspired lyrics in abundance. Meteorological based ditty ‘West Wind’ is reminiscent of Boney M minus the disco, with jazz vocalist Laka Daisical explaining how the flow of gases ‘blow, blow, blow’ leading me to want to sing how the track ‘bore, bore, bores.’ Elsewhere ‘Have You Heard the News’ follows in the tradition of insipid choruses with repetition of call and response lines ‘have you heard the news? No, no, we don’t know’ leading you to wish someone would just tell them the fucking news.

Although a lot of fun Underground isn’t a record I would recommend seeking out; feeling very much of its time and lacking any kind of cultural significance to justify its existence outside of an eighties bubble. Missing the musical experimentation of other afrobeat artists such as genre pioneer Fela Kuti or the psychedelic drenched musings of William Onyeabor, Underground steers dangerously close to muzak territory and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nandos playlist. That said this implies the album’s bad, it isn’t, the instrumentation is of a high calibre and the musicians sound like they are having a great time and really that’s all that matters. A bit more digging could uncover exactly who Dzata are but for now they remain a mystery. There are far worse records I would erase from the digital world.

https://soundcloud.com/matt-barnard-976515159/dzata-peter-pete

 

Written by: Matthew Barnard

Dallas R&B Hybrid Producer Ish-D Premiers ‘Holding Aces’ Video Ft. Lakei Day

Dallas’ hottest new arrival, Ishmael Davison, aka Ish D, is bringing a new hybrid age to urban music. The 24-year old producer/songwriter/engineer fuses provocative R&B with House elements and unorthodox songwriting into a genre bending, trance inducing experience.

His first lead single, ‘Holding Aces’ featuring Lakei Day, is a sensual tribute to love and lovemaking. “Holding Aces is about what it feels like to fall in love,” Ish says, “and it’s a smashup of things that I love musically.” The video focuses primarily on Lakei Day and her evocative vocals layered over smooth R&B keys. The beat gradually pulsates leading into a House vibe dancing through the chorus. “The video is dedicated to my other half, who’s a dancer,” Ish Claims. “I figured she’d enjoy it.” ‘Holding Aces’ was written while Lakei was head-over-heels in love and Ish D does a fantastic job capturing that emotion with this salacious track.

‘Holding Aces’ is now available for purchase on iTunes and the artist’s website.

http://defdisco.com/artist/ish-d

https://www.facebook.com/ProducedByIsh/

 

Written by: Douglas Leach (Douglas@trackrambler.com)

Rambler Playlist March 13th

This week’s playlist is all local and loCal artists jammed packed with funky soul and psychedelic pop.

I’ve had CAPYAC’sDisco Muse’ on repeat all friggin’ weekend. This smooth, infectiously groovy track is soul consuming and pleasantly mood altering. ‘Disco Muse’ is from the duo’s debut album, Headlunge, released last June. It’s a nu-disco slow jam doused in sexy soul and polished with a jazz coating. Slightly more mellow than CAPYAC’s usual dance-inducing flare, but just as delightful and captivating.

Los Angeles producer/vocalist Elohim is a top artist to watch in 2017. Her euphoric sound  is unapologetic and authentic, blending elements of Chopin, Hendrix and Radiohead. ‘Love is Alive’ is a brand new, collaborative track between Elohim and dance-pop duo Louis The Child. The dreamy track features Elohim’s signature euphonic vocals and an enchanting hook layered over a strumming bassline and luscious echoes.

Congratulations to the just crowned Austin Music Awards’ ‘Best New Band/Female Vocalist’ Jane Ellen Bryant. The Americana-rock songstress has had somewhat of a meteoric year since dropping her debut EP, Twenties, back in July. Her latest track, ‘All In My Head’, is a little more thick and soulful then JEB’s rockier hit, ‘Twenties’. However, her spirituous voice is as bold and sultry as ever.

Psychedelic rockers, Foxygen, lit up Conan O’ Brien’s stage when the duo consisting of singer Sam France and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado performed their latest hit, ‘Follow the Leader,’ backed by a total 16-member ensemble. This funky 70’s-era American Bandstand-esque jam from the duo’s Hang album is packed with a symphony orchestra and textured to the core. It’s a lavish arrangement feature big brass, popping percussion and sweet backing vocals behind France’s leading sass.

 

Posted by: Douglas Leach (Douglas@trackrambler.com)

 

Photo credit: Daniel Cavazos (Jane Ellen Bryant)

Terrence Spectacle Debuts ‘Lone Dirt Road’ off Sophomore EP

Terrence Spectacle has been showing out for Dallas since the age of 14. The alternative hip-hop artist gained a large DFW following with his much anticipated 2014 debut, NuDallas. His rookie album lived up to the hype and the eccentric lyricists showed glimpses of greater, untapped potential. Now at 21, Spectacle has refined his sound and seems destined to blow beyond The Metroplex boundaries with his sophomore EP, One Summer Night, due out March 31.

Produced by DEFDISCO signee, Ish D, the 5-track EP represents a new direction for Spectacle. “One Summer Night is the culmination of years’ worth of growth, condensed into cross genres, rapping and singing,” states the lyricist.

Spectacle recently previewed the EP’s lead single, ‘Lone Dirt Road,’ a jazz-infused, retrospective track with a progressive heartbeat. “Lone Dirt Road is my curveball. It’s what nobody ever expected me to create,” claims Spectacle.

At the pulse of the track is an organic bassline splashed with sensual guitar strings creating a genuine authenticity unattainable through manufactured beats. “The live band experience allowed me to peel back layers of my own artistry, giving me the freedom to do as I please.”

A versed singer-songwriter, Spectacle’s leisurely flow delivers with confidence and composure through lucid wordplay reminiscent of influential jazz poet Langston Hughes. His crisp enunciation and articulate message provide a refreshing vigor to a genre saturated with artists mumbling over simplistic clichés.

‘Lone Dirt Road’ shows an obvious progression in Spectacle’s artistry. If the track is any indication of what to expect from One Summer Night, 2017 could be a huge year for an artist on the brink of national recognition.

Catch Terrence Spectacle at the One Summer Night Release Party on March 31 at Cinderblock located at 4622 E. Grand Ave., Dallas, Texas 75223.

Doors open at 7 p.m. with live music starting at 8 p.m.

The event is welcome to all ages and a ticket link will be released shortly online for $8 tickets in advance ($10 at the door).

 

https://terrencespectacle.com/

https://www.facebook.com/terrencespectaclemusic/

 

Written by: Douglas Leach (Douglas@trackrambler.com)

BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL COMES TO BASS CONCERT HALL

BROADWAY’S NEWEST SMASH HIT
BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL

PREMIERES IN AUSTIN AT BASS CONCERT HALL MARCH 21 – 26, 2017

Producers Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing announce that the Tony & Grammy Award-winning Broadway hit Beautiful—The Carole King Musical, about the early life and career of the legendary and groundbreaking singer/songwriter, will make its Austin premiere at Bass Concert Hall on March 21 – 26, 2017.

“Carole King might be a native New Yorker, but her story of struggle and triumph is as universal as they come – and her music is loved the world over,” producer Paul Blake said. “We know that audiences throughout the country will embrace this show just as Broadway and London audiences have.”

With a book by Tony® and Academy® Award-nominee Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil. The show opened on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (125 West 43 Street) in January 2014, where it has since broken all box office records and recently became the highest grossing production in the Theatre’s history.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (Ghostlight Records), won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and is available on CD, digitally, and on vinyl. Beautiful opened in London at the Aldwych Theatre in February 2015 and launched its First National Tour in September 2015.

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song.

Check out the recent interview below with Beautiful – The Carole King Musical cast member, Alaina Mills who is cast as Swing; Understudy for the role of Carole King, Cynthia and Genie as well as the Dance Captain in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. This is one busy lady!

1. Tell me about your role in Carole King.

As Dance Captain with Beautiful, I maintain the choreography and the choreographer’s intentions! Doing a show eight times a week is fascinating on the human body and mind. The performers, completely subconsciously, can shift their choreography ever-so-slightly and develop new habits, and they don’t have any idea! It becomes second nature to them, and new movements will pop up- an added flick of the wrist, or getting rid of a detail because maybe there is a small injury they don’t even feel. I have to figure out why that’s happening and try to get it back to its original form, or maybe find a solution if someone is feeling a tweak in their knee, for example. Also, spacing can easily shift and performers are so good at adapting to their surroundings that if one person shifts, before you know it, the whole production number could have shifted. I just tweak here and there. It requires patience and kindness toward everyone’s individual performance since everyone out there is always doing their absolute best. They’re an awesome and receptive company, even when they don’t always know right away what I may be talking about since their subtle changes are so subconscious. As a swing, I perform when someone is ill or on vacation and such. Sometimes it can happen in the middle of the show, unfortunately, but that’s what us swings are there for so that the show can go on and so that our cast mates can go take care of themselves! I understudy Carole, Cynthia, Carole’s mother, and two of the ensemble ladies. I enjoy not knowing what can come next and exploring the different psychologies that make up the lives of the the world of Carole King, including Carole King herself! It keeps my brain constantly working and my body and voice have to be ready at a moment’s notice. It keeps me healthy and keeps me grounded and my parents get to travel around when I’m on for someone they haven’t seen me do yet! I

2. Why do you think the story of Carole King is so popular?

I think the story of Carole King is so very popular because she was one of the voices that helped shape the lives of every person who listened to music at the time. Everyone who grew up with this music has a nostalgia attached when they hear the songs- they remember where they were when they heard one of these songs for the first time. Maybe they got their first kiss, maybe they danced to it in high school, maybe they have a tie to their childhood home listening to the records. The attachments are endless. And all the while, maybe they didn’t know the lives of the songwriters writing tirelessly and endlessly in the Brill Building and/or 1650 Broadway. That was a whole world many didn’t know about. I love hearing the reactions from audience members when they see our show tell the creation of a song they hold dear. Being able to see the genius in these writers’ minds is part of what makes this story so fascinating to watch every night. They were real people who reached a generation, and Carole King kept on reaching when she developed Tapestry. It was a new generation of writing that spoke to and reflected on a changing generation. They were going through Vietnam, they were beginning to experience new and free love without boundaries, and they were free to express both the highs and lows of that love and Carole King invoked that in Tapestry. And this story delves into what inspired her to write that music. I think it inspires all humans who see this story to know that Carole personally went through what a lot of people went and still go through and that through the power of art and the natural human condition, we can all rise up out of difficult times and see how “beautiful” the world is, even when life hands you what you don’t always expect nor always desire. Goodness and beauty can come from anything. And people are reminded of that when they leave the theatre.

3. What is your favorite scene and please describe without giving to much away?

Hmmmm, my favorite scene…that’s difficult! I think it may be the final scene with Gerry Goffin and Carole. It occurs before she makes her big solo debut after Tapestry is released and she’s won Grammy after Grammy for it and she’s prevailed after some extremely tough personal times. This little scene (without giving too much away!), is one of strength, forgiveness, and deep human understanding and connection. That after all Gerry and Carole went through together, after time has passed, and Carole has embarked on a new journey, it was all meant to be and all meant to take pride in. That everything they went through, even in the darkness, ended up providing light and love. It’s so beautiful to watch and it’s so deliciously intimate and a perfectly written cherry on top of our story.

4. What is your favorite song?

My favorite song is also so difficult to pick! I think it may be Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s number one hit “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” I LOVE the setup of how they wrote it, the unsureness in writing it, and the AWESOMENESS of what it became. And our two Righteous Brothers are pretty darn stellar at it. They fill every theatre and audience member with glorious sound. It’s pretty magical.

5. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Everyone who sees this show feels incredible afterward. I remember seeing it on Broadway the first time and I was astounded at the knowledge I gained about the time period and who these people were. Not to mention hearing and seeing these outstanding performances. And I realize how lucky I am to be a part of it and sometimes when I forget that, hearing and seeing the show every day reminds me that no matter what life hands me, and all of us, that it is a beautiful life to be apart of if we let it. That’s what Beautiful-The Carole King Musical leaves you remembering. And that’s an amazing thing to feel walking away from a show. That, and of course, THE SONGS! They’ll be stuck in your head! Come on out and enjoy and feel beautiful!

d 1650 Broadway

 

TICKETS:       Start at $35. Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, the Bass Concert Hall box office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com

 

Interview by: S. Leigh for Macaroni Kid

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus