Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Matt Ryanz • It's Love to Me

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Matt Ryanz is helping to show all the talent isn't found on either coast. Some of it can be located in the Midwest, as the singer/songwriter is based out of Chicago. Ryanz first shared his music in 2012, when the EP 'It's Never Enough' was released. A few years later, Matt has a new single and music video, and he is eager to once again share them with you. Matt creates an electronic aural experience, and then adds stirring visuals to complete the journey. "It's Love to Me" is a beautiful and romantic story, one that is told to great effect with the video. It was directed by Laine Kelly & Donny Smutz, and features Carlos Tejero as the adorable waiter. Of course, the center of the music video is the song, written and performed by the sexy Ryanz. This is the music video for "It's Love to Me".

I just love the relationship we see in the video, and the joy it brings. You can purchase the single "It's Love To Me" from iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. You can also purchase the music video from iTunes. For more about Matt Ryanz, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Out To Kill • Poster & Trailer

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The credits for the film 'Out To Kill' will feature several names I not only know, but also have been featured in this blog before. The movie stars Scott Sell as a private detective investigating the death of egotistical music maker Justin Jaymes. I was not familiar with Sell before this trailer, but hope to learn more now! 'Out To Kill' was written and directed by the talented Rob Williams, who also is listed among the producers of this Guest House Films venture. I love Williams' work, and 'The Men Next Door', 'Role/Play', 'Make the Yuletide Gay', '3-Day Weekend', 'Back Soon', and 'Long-Term Relationship' are all films he has made, and all of them have made it into my DVD collection. Justin Jaymes is played by Tom Goss, a musician who has been featured many times on this blog. Tom is also a personal favorite of mine, both for his great music, and his great personality. I can't wait to check out the movie, if this movie trailer is any indication. Check it out.

Before he was murdered, Justin Jaymes made a great music video that was already featured on this blog. "You Didn't Know How Hard" is a fantastic Hip-Hop song, giving us all a glimpse into the world of handsome gay rapper Jaymes. The video is almost as intoxicating as the song itself! This is the official music video for "You Didn't Know How Hard".

You can purchase his final single on iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon. The film is now hitting the festival circuit, so you might be able to catch it soon. The DVD is also scheduled for release in the Fall. To learn more about 'Out To Kill', visit the official Facebook page. You can also check out Guest House Films on their official website. You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook. You can learn all about the films I listed about, as well as a couple of collection of film shorts.Get to know them, for I am sure you will love them. To learn more about Tom, visit his official website. You can also follow him on Twitter, or like him on Facebook. Check out his touring schedule, for you won't want to miss him if he is playing in your area. Tom is currently on tour in Europe, but will be back in the States very soon!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Looking Back at Torch

Torch Singers
Clockwise from Top Left: Edith Piaf, Patsy Cline, Judy Garland, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Sarah Vaughan

As I have been a bit busy as of late with my niece's wedding, I thought I would revisit this post from about three years ago, for it is all about love, and some magnificent ladies who can sing pretty darned well. The original post was titles 'Torch', and posted on June 21, 2011.

We are back in that smokey club, listening to the ladies sing the blues about love and loss, and matters of the heart. They stand in a simple spotlight, where you can see the smoke wafting through the air. In the background, you hear the tinkling of glasses being raised, drunk from, and collected by the wait staff. There is a whisper that stays steady in the room. But when the really good torch singer comes out, a hush will fall over the room. She will dictate the feeling of the room, be it sadness, hurt, or desire. That never changes. A clear example of the power of the lady in charge is Sarah Vaughan. With her legendary jazz stylings, she delivers a light sweetness to Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington's "The Nearness of You". There is just a hint of longing, just enough to keep it interesting.

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley, if she wasn't one of the great torch singers of all time, then she would have been the perfect source of material for many a song. From her struggle in the music business because she didn't fit the standard of feminine beauty in the day, to dying in a tragic plane crash at the age of 30, Patsy Cline used her gorgeous voice to garner the success and respect due her talent. Her "Walking After Midnight" added just the right amount of strength to temper the plaintiff quality a lesser singer might fall victim to that trap.

The French knew here as "The Sparrow," or, en Francais, "Piaf." She was born Édith Giovanna Gassion in Paris. She has long been regarded as France's greatest popular singer of all time. One reason was the sheer emotion she would bring to the songs, especially the ballads. Take, for instance, "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" can be translated as "No, I'm not sorry for anything." The song is sung in French, composed by Charles Dumont, with lyrics by Michel Vaucaire. It is most famously sung by the one and only Sparrow, Édith Piaf.

In 1964, Dame Shirley Bassey sang a song by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, from the musical 'The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd'. She was the first to record "Who Can I Turn To?", although it would later be a hit in the United States by Tony Bennett. She also performed the Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray song, "You'd Better Love Me".

When it comes to torch singers, it is tough to deny Judy Garland is up there with the best of them. When she was just 14, she filmed her first song for the movies, "You Made Me Love You". She didn't stop singing until she passed away 33 years later. Many of her great songs were about love - either looking for it, or having just lost it. She added her own touch of melancholia to Charlie Chaplin's "Smile".

Bartender, I'll have another round.

For Mandy & Mark • Married

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Later on today, My niece Mandy will be getting married here on the farm, joining her life path with that of Mark. You can see the happy couple above. I will not have pictures later, for I will not have my camera at hand. I will instead be a member of the wedding party, standing up for my niece. I thought and thought, but finally decided on the proper way to mark the occasion. I thought I would start the day with a song from the Broadway musical, 'Cabaret'.

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'Cabaret' was based on a book written by one of my favorite authors, Christopher Isherwood. He wrote 'Goodbye to Berlin' in 1939, and later the book was the basis for John Van Druten's 1951 play, 'I Am A Camera'. In 1966, John Kander and Fred Ebb adapted the story into a Broadway musical. In 1972, the film version was made, starring Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, and Michael York, and featuring the direction and choreography of the great Bob Fosse. There have been several revivals since then. The storyline focuses on the life of several people living in the rise of the Nazi Party in 1931 Germany, and how it took its toll on them all. In particular, we see the budding romance of Fräulein Schneider, a German landlady, and Herr Schultz, a Jewish vendor. While they fall in love, the political climate had other things in mind. In the 1998 revival, Fräulein Schneiderwas played by Mary Louise Wilson and Herr Schultz was played by Ron Rifkin. This is the song "Married" by Tony nominee Wilson and Tony winner Rifkin.

You can purchase the 1998 New Broadway Cast recording of 'Cabaret' from iTunes and Amazon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jason Walker • Tell It To My Heart feat Bimbo Jones video

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Bold, brash and breath-taking, it all is part of the experience when listening to the music of Jason Walker. That is certainly the case when Jason collaborates with Bimbo Jones on the Taylor Dayne hit, "Tell It To My Heart". About a month ago, I posted about the single, but now there is a music video, and I can't stop watching it! Filmed on the streets, the video was directed by Patricia Nieto. This is Jason Walker featuring Bimbo Jones with "Tell It To My Heart".

"Tell It To My Heart" can be found on 'Love/Sexo'. The song can be purchased as a single on iTunes and Amazon. 'Love/Sexo' is a 23-song release featuring some of the top performers of Dance and Pop music recording now. You can purchase the album from iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about Jason Walker, visit his official website. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter, and 'like' him on Facebook. For more about Bimbo Jones, visit their official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook, and 'follow' them on Twitter.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Matt Gold • Appreciated

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When I saw Matt Gold had a new music video out, I was instantly excited and couldn't wait to watch it. And to hear it. You see, ever since I head his first album, 'Drown Before You Swim', I've been a fan of his voice. And soon as the video began to play, I was excited, for it has a new sound and feel. While his earlier work has a personal feel, their is a delicious lightness to "Appreciated", and I just love it. And the music video is every bit as tasty, as it has such joy and whimsy. Just hit play and you will understand why I love Matt Gold's "Appreciated" so much!

I must assume that you now must love it too! The combination of animation and stop-action video adds to the light feel, and makes the video very bit a banquet for the eyes as it is for the ears! I had to buy it, and put it in my April 2014 playlist! "Appreciated' can be purchased from iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. To learn more about Matt Gold, visit his official website. He can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Corday • Riding a Rainbow

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The moment I read the email from Jennifer Corday, I went directly to iTunes to download the new single from the band Corday, "Riding a Rainbow". Not only am I a fan of the music of the Rockers, I am also impressed the money is going to charity. Jennifer was inspired to write the song while training for the AIDS Lifecycle ride. "The actual ride takes place June 1-7, and is 545 miles, from San Francisco to Los Angeles," she explained. "There are thousands of cyclers and this will be an amazing journey!" What she delivers is a beautiful and uplifting song I will listen to again and again. It might have been inspired by a bicycle ride, but it is asking us to be brave, and follow your dreams. This is Corday with "Riding a Rainbow".

The money from the sales of "Riding a Rainbow" will be going to AIDS Lyfecycle, a worthy charity. Jennifer needs $3,000 to participate in the ride, and you can help her get that done. You can purchase "Riding a Rainbow" from Jennifer's online store, iTunes, and Amazon. For more about Jennifer Corday, visit her official website, or you can 'like' her on Facebook. To learn more about AIDS/Lifecycle, visit their official website.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tim Campbell • High School Disco

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I was first introduced by Tim Campbell when he was doing a Christmas duet with one of my favorite singers, Anthony Callea. A little bit of diligent research and I learned Tim was a talented actor and singer, as well as being Anthony's partner. And I was very excited when news broke that Tim signed on for his own album. I was doubly hyped when I saw a music video was released. I do love it when a handsome stud-muffin like Tim Campbell gets the makeover to be the geeky guy, only to soon show his true sexy side when the lights are burning bright. Damn, I guess I should have announced "Spoilers!" first, but after you check out the music video for "Play That Funky Music", I doubt you will mind at all. The song is the first off his debut album 'High School Disco'. The song was written by Robert Parissi, the lead singer of the band Wild Cherry. It was a huge hit for the band, making it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. It was the only hit for the band. In the video, Tim plays the geeky music teacher being run over by his students. He seeks a bit a relief when he breaks out in song, only to have the kids so impressed they join right in with him. This is the music video for Tim Campbell's "Play That Funky Music".

'High School Disco' is a collection of great songs given a fresh sound by Campbell and his cohorts. The album includes a bunch of songs that have been played and loved by generations of high school students, all looking to have some fun on the dance floor. Covering music by The Jacksons, Madonna, George Michael, Roxette, The Monkees, Simple Minds, The Isley Brothers, Peaches & Herb, and others, 'High School Disco' made me happy from the moment I hit play. Here is a taste of the album, with great clips of what went on behind the scenes.

See, you thought you couldn't like him more, or Find Tim any more adorable, and then you watched that video! But when I listen to 'High School Disco', it is the music that gets me going. Tim's voice is strong, and so filled with charm and charisma. I am particularly fond of "Holiday", "Footloose", "Faith" and "Shout!", and "Play That Funky Music". I have to admit, I love all 14 tracks, and can't get enough of 'High School Disco'. Whenever I listen to it, it is like an explosion of fun and joy takes place in my mind. So glad I own this!

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'High School Disco' can be found in the Untied States on iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about Tim, visit his official website. You can also visit the official website for the album, which can give you information of the tour in Australia. If only I was in the right hemisphere, I'd so be cheering Tim on at as many performances I could attend! As for the social media, you can 'like' Tim on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter. He is a blast to follow, and I would highly recommend you do it. Right after you buy 'High School Disco'.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dark Monday • Neil Patrick Harris

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Top: Neil Patrick Harris with Christina Hendricks. Bottom: The cast of 'Company'.

To mark the occasion of the wedding this coming Saturday of my niece Amanda to her wrestling madmen, Mark, I thought I would bring up a little Stephen Sondheim, for it is impossible to go wrong with Sondheim. When I combine Stephen Sondheim with Neil Patrick Harris, it only gets better, right? And when I start off with a shirtless picture of NPH, it is beyond good, and into the levels of tasty that shouldn't be allowed, at least not in respectable blogs. Well, thankfully, this blog is not the kind of blog that might keep you from enjoying a little Stephen, a little Neil, and a little "Marry Me A Little" from the 2011 production of 'Company'.

Neil Patrick Harris was just the cherry on top of this star-studded production. Also in the cast were Stephen Colbert, Craig Bierko, Jon Cryer, Katie Finneran, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Lazar, Jill Paice, Martha Plimpton, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jim Walton, Chryssie Whitehead, and the always amazing Patti LuPone. You can purchase the DVD of 'Company' starring Neil Patrick Harris from Amazon. You can also rent of buy 'Company' from Amazon Instant Video. The production can also be found on iTunes, where you can rent or buy it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dark Monday • Dancin'

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In 1978, Fosse had an idea that was really new. He wanted to do a show that pulled music from popular culture, with no real story or singing. He proposed that idea for 'Dancin'', starring exactly what the title suggests, dancing. The music came from so many sources, be it Pop, Rock, Swing, or any other form of music. He wanted nothing written for the show, just music that could inspire him to make magic. The show utilized the music of Neil Diamond, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johnny Mercer, Carole Bayer Sager & Melissa Manchester, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Sigmund Romberg, and John Philip Sousa, among others.

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One of the songs was "Sing! Sing" Sing! (With A Swing)", written in 1936 by Louis Prima, with the most popular recording being by Benny Goodman that same year. The performance was featured on the Tony Awards telecast, so we are lucky enough to have that preserved for all time. This is the Broadway cast of 'Dancin'' in the musical number "Sing! Sing" Sing! (With A Swing)".

For this production, Bob Fosse was the Tony Award for Best Choreography that year. It was his 7th win, and he eventually ended up with a remarkable 8 Tony Awards for choreography. He also had another for Best Direction of a Musical for the 1973 production of 'Pippin'. The show ran for almost 1,800 performances, ensuring it was a big hit. In fact, because Fosse co-produced the show, 'Dancin'' became his biggest financial success in the theater.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Celebrating Doris Day

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Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, this past Thursday Doris Day turned 92 years old. (Wikipedia says 1922, but IMDB says 1924, so I might be wrong there.) I remember being a child, and watching Day movies with my mother. She was often in comedies with handsome men, like Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Rod Taylor and James Garner, who also piqued my interest. Sometimes she sang, both slow ballads and uptempo numbers. But no matter what she was doing, I remember loving every minute of it. I think it helped my mother seemed to love her as well, and often said people said she looked like Doris. Several decades later, I remember those times, and still stop channel surfing to watch Day in a film when it is playing on TCM.

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Doris Day also had a career as a singer, starting off as a big band singer in 1939, first being hired by Barney Rapp to front his band. Doris also went on to work with bandleaders Jimmy James, Bob Crosby, and Les Brown. I will start with a recording with Day did with bandleader Brown, "Till The End of Time". The song was written by lyricist Buddy Kaye and composer Ted Mossman in 1945, the same year it was recorded by Brown and Day. This is "Till The End of Time" as released by Les Brown and his band of Renown with singer Doris Day.

The next song had music by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Irving Caesar, and was written for the 1925 musical 'No, No, Nanette'. The version of "I Want to be Happy" I am most familiar with is more than likely the one by Benny Goodman, but since it has been covered by so many, it is tough to say my favorite. Day had started working with the Page Cavanaugh Trio in the late 1940s, and they made some great music. In 1950, Day recorded it for the album 'Tea for Two'. This is Doris Day singing "I Want To Be Happy" with the Page Cavanaugh Trio.

"Make Someone Happy" was found in a Broadway show with music by the great Jule Styne, and lyrics by the fantastic Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The show was 'Do Re Mi', and it played on Broadway in 1960. Immediately, some of he great talents were lining up to record the song. Day did just that, putting it on her 1960 album 'Bright and Shiny'. It was a great fit for her voice. This is Doris Day singing "Make Someone Happy", recorded with Neal Hefti and His Orchestra.

The last song on this post is a fun one, off the 1964 release 'Latin for Lovers'. "Quizás, quizás, quizás" is a popular song by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés. The song was a hit in 1947 for singer Bobby Capó. English lyrics were written by Joe Davis, which were not a translation, but a new set of lyrics. That version, known as "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps", was first sung by Desi Arnez in 1948, and was quickly recorded by several others. Day was not the first in line, for it took 16 years for her version, but it was worth the wait. This is Doris Day singing "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps".

So Happy Birthday, Doris Day! For more information about Doris Day, visit her official website. In 2012, to mark her 90/88th birthday, the collection 'With a Smile and a Song' was released, containing some great music. You can find it on iTunes and Amazon.

Cake • Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps

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The song "Quizás, quizás, quizás" was written in 1947 by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés. It was a hit that same year for singer Bobby Capó. The following year, lyricist Joe Davis wrote English lyrics, only it was not a translation, but a new set of lyrics. That version, known as "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps", was first sung by Desi Arnez in 1948, and was quickly recorded by several others. That would include by a certain famous movie star I take a listen to this evening. But almost 50 years after the song was written, it was recorded by American Rock band Cake for their 1996 album, 'Fashion Nugget'. This is Cake with "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps".

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

'Love/Sexo' from Peace Bisquit

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Peace Bisquit has released a new collection of songs that will surely put your weekend in overdrive. I first head of the album via the talented Jason Walker, whose sensational cover of Taylor Dayne's "Tell It To My Heart" was featured on the blog a few weeks ago. But now the entire album is available for purchase, and it is sensational. But with 23 songs from so many truly gifted artists, often in collaboration with other talented people, this is something special. Aside from the aforementioned Jason Walker, there is also Michelle Williams, Amanda Lepore, Carmen Electra, Miss Lawrence, and cirKus, as well as the other fantastic performers featured below.

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The Ones are an American electronic dance music band, best known for their 2001 hit UK single, "Flawless". Paul Alexander, JoJo Americo, and Nashom Wooden make up the group, who formed in Greenwich Village when the trio worked together at a Patricia Field boutique. They are still going strong, and sound fantastic on "Face and Body", the track off the album. Featuring the Russian duo of Fagault and Marina, the song glides along like it is floating on ice. The music video is a visual banquet, a delicious meal for the eyes. This is The Ones with "Face and Body (John J-C Carr Fashion Mix)", featuring Fagault & Marina.

Well, it is no secret I am a fan of Cazwell's music, as he has been featured on the blog many times. So when I learned he also had a track on the collection, I was excited to hear it. When I read he was teaming up with 'Ru Paul's Drag Race' alumni Manila Luzon, that only made it even better. The song was written by Cazwell, and produced by the rapper and NY DJ Richie Beretta. In fact, Beretta and the artist Roxy are both featured artists on the track, making this collaboration both sexy and strong. And those attributes are enhances by the video, for it is always a bonus to watch video of Cazwell in the tub. This is Manila Luzon and Cazwell featuring Roxy and Richie Beretta with "Helen Keller (Jodie Harsh Remix)".

Brooklyn has long been a hot bed for indie Rock musicians, and that continues to be the case. That is where you can find keyboardist and vocalist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino, known professionally as Matt & Kim. The duo truly took off in 2009, when the music video for "Lessons Learned", in which the pair get naked in Times Square, went viral, and earned them the "Breakthrough Video" award at the '2009 MTV Video Music Awards'. The song "Let's Go" was first heard on the 2012 release, 'Lightening'. A great new remix gave the song new life, and a place on this collection. This is Matt & Kim with the song "Let's Go (Stefan Dabruck Remix)".

Finally, we come to one of my favorites off the album, along with Walker's. It comes from a very talented veteran of the music industry. Angie Stone first came to the attention of the industry in the 1980s, when she was 'discovered' as part of The Sequence, a Rap trio. But she also found success as a solo artist, allowing her stunning voice to really shine. "Life Story" originally appeared on her 1999 album 'Black Diamond'. But with a new remix by Stefan Dabruck, the Gerry DeVeaux and Craig Ross song has a new freshness, and Stone's voice is as amazing as ever. This is Angie Stone with "Life Story (Stefan Dabruck Remix)"

You can purchase 'Love/Sexo' from iTunes and Amazon. The iTunes version also includes seven music videos, rounding out with the addition of 30 tracks to your collection, while also being less expensive that the Amazon offering. For more about Peace Bisquit, visit the official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook, and 'follow' them on Twitter.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Theo • When You're Not Around

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You wanna know what can make me crazy? Yes, I know that is a long list, but at this moment, it is finding a great song and not being able to buy it yet! And such is the case when I first heard "When You're Not Around" by Theo, the Canadian singer/songwriter who simply made me drive to Toronto to hear him performing live a couple of years ago. I was excited when Theo alerted fans to tune into 104.5 CHUM FM, and that is when I first heard the song, and had me cursing at iTunes and Amazon. Well, allow me to introduce the song to you. This is the Pop confection that is Theo singing "When You're Not Around".

No you understand what I mean, right? It is fun, upbeat, sweet and also so very clever. It is the fine songwriting I have come to expect from Theo when I first fell in love with his music when I first heard "Lazy Lovers" back in 2009. That song inspired me to order imported copies of the album, wait for each and every music video, and eventually to drive to Toronto in 2010 and catch his 'Taking It All Back' tour, and see him live three times while I was there! It is not often a handsome boy has enticed me to use my passport, and this is one guy who did. You can find the charming Theo on social media, where you can 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter. And maybe, if you have a friend in Canada, you might be able to convince someone to purchase it and email it to you. This is a must-have song for my musical collection, and should be for your iPod as well! You can also see if you can catch it on Chum FM, which you can hear here. You can also request the song on the website, as well as via Twitter.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sam Smith • Stay With Me

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Last month, I wrote about British soul singer Sam Smith, featuring music off his first EP, 'Nirvana'. (To read that post, click HERE) Following his amazing performance on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, he seems to be the name many are talking about. He performed two songs during the show, both to be tracks on his upcoming release, 'In The Lonely Hour'. The first song he performed was the stunning "Stay With Me", which also happens to have a brand new music video out. It was written by James Napier, William Phillips, and Smith. The soaring and dynamic ballad is so touching, and shows off the depth of Smith's voice. This is Sam Smith with his song "Stay With Me".

With his second performance, Sam took on the gorgeous "Lay Me Down". The song was written by James Napier, Elvin Smith and Smith. Napier had also co-written 'Latch', the song by Disclosure that brought featured vocalist Smith to the attention of many. The song is, at first listen, a simple song that shows off the versatility of Smith's talents, but a second listen will give much deeper understanding of the power and depth of his voice, and his ability to communicate an emotion-steeped performance. The song toys with moods and tempo, and is really amazing. This is Sam Smith with an acoustic version of "Lay Me Down".

It must be noted that in performing the two songs on 'Saturday Night Live', Smith delivered flawless vocals. The studio version of "Lay Me Down" is even more interesting, with the drums taking the lead in the musical landscape so beautifully painted by Smith. You can pre-order 'In the Lonely Hour' from iTunes, both the Deluxe Edition, as well as the Standard Edition. It is also available on Sam's online store. If you are too impatient to wait for the June 17th release, you can still find 'Nirvana' on iTunes and Amazon. For more about Sam Smith, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter


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