Monday, November 30, 2009

New Music - Casey Stratton Free Download

Singer/Songwriter Casey Stratton just offered a new holiday recording for the season. A Winter Moon is a collection of thirteen songs, old favorites and a two new songs as well. There are old chestnuts like Coventry Carol, Ave Maria and I Wonder As I Wander, sung to perfection by Casey, whose voice is in top form. There is also Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, all Renaissance choral pieces, almost reaching the Gregorian chant level in beauty and grace. And Shir Amami, a song traditionally in Hebrew, with great harmonies and rhythms.

But the real surprise off the collection is God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, performed in a mash-up. It is rather inspired, even genius. He's been kind enough to offer it as a free download, and rather than spoil it, I suggest you get it for yourself by clicking here. And while you are at it, you could buy the whole collection, it is well worth it. You can purchase it here. I think I have a new holiday favorite.

Dark Monday - La Cage Aux Folles

la cage aux folles,John Barrowman la cage aux folles

La Cage aux Folles is a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman. It was based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, and focuses on a gay couple: Georges, the manager of a Saint-Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment, and Albin, his romantic partner and star attraction. The farcical adventures that ensue when Georges' son, Jean-Michel, brings home his fiancée's ultra-conservative parents to meet them truly allows the show to kick into full-gear.

la cage aux folles,graham norton
la cage aux folles
la cage aux folles

The musical's original 1983 Broadway production received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The success of the musical spawned a West End production and several international runs. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and the 2008 London revival garnered the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.

la cage aux folles

The show opens with Georges introducing the Cagelles for the first time. In the original Broadway production, there were at least 2 females in the Cagelles, and they ended this number by taking off their wigs, revealing their sex. This caused some controversy, as many thought it a sell-out move to make the audience more at ease. In subsequent productions, they are played by men. The following clip is from the 2008 London revival.

The show was groundbraking, bing the first Broadway musical to star male lovers. This, of course, was made easier by the success of the French movie of the same name, but was still provocative at the time. Song On The Sand was a beautiful love song, with Georges singing about his love for the star of the drag show and his long-time love, Albin. This clip shows Davis Gaines singing from a 1993 concert, Jerry Herman's Broadway at Holiday Bowl.

The most memorable gon from the show is I Am What I Am, a show-stopper to be sure, as well as an international hit pop/disco for Miss Gloria Gaynor. It is sung by Albin, who flies in the face of societal pressures and proudly proclaims 'Life's not worth a damn 'til I can say world, I am what I am.' George Hearn played it to perfection in the original production, but there was many complaints when he went on the Tony Awards and sang the song in a tuxedo rather than doing the number in drag. In the revival on London's West End, the role of Albin was played by many different stars, including Graham Norton and most recently by John Barrowman. This is a clip from Barrowman's appearance on the Paul O'Grady Show in September.

The show most certainly broke some barriers for the LGBT community, showing gay men and drag queens to be real people to the musical audience. It might not have suited everyone's taste, but it certainly helped open the minds of many who went to see it. And it gave us I Am What I Am, a song that is a staple at every Gay Pride Parade I have ever seem. The official website of the London revival here.

Anthony Callea Tours With Whitney in 2010

Anthony Callea, one of my favorite singers, is scheduled to support Whitney Houston on the Australian leg of her world tour. The dates are as follows:
Feb 22 : Brisbane (Entertainment Centre)
Feb 24 : Sydney (Acer Arena)
Feb 27 : Hunter Valley (Hope Estate Winery)
Mar 01 : Melbourne (Rod Laver Arena)
Mar 04 : Adelaide (Entertainment Centre)
Mar 06 : Perth (Members Equity Stadium)
Mar 07 : Perth (Members Equity Stadium)

Anthony earned his place on this tour singing brilliantly, like in this live performance of When You Believe from Prince of Egypt. Even live, that voice just makes me happy.

Wish I lived where it wouldn't be a 14 hour flight... For more information about the tour and Anthony, click here for his official website.

Christmas Music - Ricky Martin

ricky martin ricky martin

Ricky Martin singing Ay Ay Ay It's Christmas. Ricky has much to celebrate this season, with the children. Hope he has a fantastic holiday season!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great Music - Dave Koz

Out saxophonist Dave Koz has given us some great music through the years. And he seems like a great choice to allow everyone to relax after a long holiday weekend. I thought about it, and decided to just post some songs from the movies. So enjoy!

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Moon River

Somewhere With Anita Baker

Find out more about the music of Dave Koz at his official website here.

Derek Nicoletto - Random Act of Kindness

How better to celebrate a Sunday afternoon than to talk about random acts of kindness. It seems Western Union has sponsored a Random Act of Kindness Tour, and it includes giving away $50 gift certificates. Check out their FaceBook page here.

Derek and the Darling frontman thanks Western Union, Wyclef Jean and director Julian Rad for the $50 gift card. Music: "Alabaster Sky" from the upcoming Derek and the Darling debut release here.

Sunday Worship - How Great Thou Art

Yes, it is The King singing about the Lord. What could be better?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Rocks - Bay City Rollers

bay city rollers
bay city rollers
bay city rollers

In 1976, five tartan-trimmed Scots took the world by storm. The Bay City Rollers were the 70s version of the Jonas Brothers, turning the heads of teenie-boppers around the world. Alan Longmuir, Derek Longmuir, Eric Faulkner, Stuart "Woody" Wood and Les McKeown shook their shaggy heads and the girls screamed for more. The band came together in 1973, with Nobby Clark on lead vocals instead of McKeown. At the end of a year of struggling, Nobby decided to leave and they brought in McKeown. At the end of '73, they released Remember (Sha La La La), which became a bit hit in the UK.

But it was two years later, in late 1975, that the Rollers released Saturday Night and became an international phenomenon. The song was originally recorded with Nobby on vocals, but with McKeown's rerecording, the single took off. It was a #1 hit on the US charts, as well as many other places in the world.

In the middle of 1976, the Rollers released a cover of the Dusty Springfield song I Only Wanna Be With You and scored another hit, reaching #12 on the US charts.

By 1978, the Rollers were finding it hard to get the next hit, and after some acrimony, McKeown left the band and was replaced by Duncan Faure. The band put out three more studio recordings before calling it quits in 1981. Currently, most of the original group are touring the UK and Europe, and are suing the Arista Records for money they feel due. I am sure that will be in litigation for years to come.

Great Moments In Movies - Kinky Boots

Chiwetal Eljofor repeatedly stops the show in the movie Kinky Boots. It is the story of a a shoe factory in England that has lost it's place in the industry, the son [played by the sexy Joel Edgerton] left to run the business, and the drag performer who saves the day.

Eljofor [who is a stunning man] plays Lola, the astonishing drag queen who not only can design a wicked pair of boots, but can shine under the spotlight as well. Here is Lola and friends showing off the latest line on the fashion runway.

I love this movie, and you can buy it from Amazon for less than $18 here and under $15 at CD Universe here.

Christmas Music - Bing Crosby & David Bowie

Bing Crosby used to have Christmas specials every year, and one year he had David Bowie as a guest, and together they had an incredible duet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Worth Another Listen - Sade part 3 of 3


This is the last installment in my appreciation of the great Sade. As I said before, Sade has been long overdue on the blog. The group consists of singer Sade Adu, guitarist and sax player Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Spencer Denman, and keyboardist Andrew Hale. In 1984, Diamond Life, Promise and Stronger Than Pride releases. Next came the 1992 release, Love Deluxe. Eight years after the first album, Sade was still selling, earning a #3 on the US Billboard Top 200 album charts.


The first single was No Ordinary Love, and it went on to win the Grammy for Best R & B Performance by a Duo or Group. The video is exotic and exquisite.

The third single off the album was Kiss of Life, which scored a Top 10 on the US charts. On the song, the group put their own particular spin on a pop rhythm, and allow Adu to soar with the vocals.

By Your Side was the first single off the 2000 release Lovers Rock. It is just a beautiful love song.

So there ends my Sade journey. I could have listed more songs, but I picked 10 really great songs. For more information about Sade, I check out the previous installments in the series. I am looking forward to the release of Soldier of Love on February 8, 2010. You can also check out the official website here.

Live Music - Josh Zuckerman CD Release Party

josh zuckerman
josh zuckerman josh zuckerman

I can't help it, hot rockers make me melt. Josh Zuckerman is definitely is one of them. Out, proud and sexy, I love when I catch a new video, like I did this morning. Josh performed The Devil Went Down To Georgia in a mash up with several other songs, and I do think he is bringing Sexy Back. This was at his CD Release Party for his latest album, Got Love?

Josh is a gifted guitarist and violin player, which is really hot! And his natural rasp is just as enticing. You can purchase Got Love? on iTunes here, or from CD Baby here. And you can check out his official website here.

Christmas Music - Johnny Mathis

Is it Christmas without Johnny Mathis? I don't think so. I could ramble on about the perfection of his voice and his interpretation of the songs, but instead I will just run the videos.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Oh Holy Night

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Worth Another Listen - Sade part 2 of 3


This is the second installment of my appreciation of the great Sade. As I said before, Sade has been long overdue on the blog. The group consists of singer Sade Adu, guitarist and sax player Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Spencer Denman, keyboardist Andrew Hale, and drummer Paul Anthony Cook, who has left the band. In 1984, Diamond Life was released, and spawned the singles Your Love Is King and Smooth Operator, and they both scored on the charts.In 1985, Sade released Promise with the single The Sweetest Taboo. Singer Sade Adu also had a single from the movie Absolute Beginners, Killer Blow.


My favorite song is the haunting Is It A Crime, a 1986 single from Promise. It might not be the highest charting single from the group, but it has an aching and longing that still touches my heart 23 years later.

The next album released was Stronger Than Pride, the 1988 release that was #7 on the Billboard album charts. The first single, Love Is Stronger Than Pride, followed by Never As Good As The First Time, an airy and breezy song that played with rhythms and melodies like few pop songs ever have.

The second single was Paradise, another song with jazzy beats and an almost Brazilian feel, with a smooth Samba rhythm. It topped the R & B charts, and hit #3 on the Adult Contemporary charts.

For more information about Sade, I will have one more coming in the series. I am looking forward to the release of Soldier of Love on February 8, 2010. You can also check out the official website here.

Happy Thanksgiving - Covington Brothers

Bucky and twin brother Rocky Covington sent out their Thanksgiving wishes via their @BrosCovington Twitter account. I am a fan of Bucky's music, and he has a new EP, Bucky Covington Live From Rockingham. You can purchase it here. You can check out his website here. The following is a video from his debut self-titled CD. The song is It's Good To Be Us.

Worth Another Look - Santa Claus & The Munsters

Harvey Fierstein as Mrs. Claus

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! A little bit of the Macy's Parade for you all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Worth Another Listen - Sade part 1 of 3


Sade has been long overdue here on the blog, and then I heard from both @xolondon and @wondermann5 that the band is putting out a new CD next year, a full decade since the last release. Well, color me giddy, because that is fantastic news! So I will run a three-part series for Sade as a Thanksgiving special over the next few nights.

Despite what many might think, Sade [pronounced shah-DAY] were a group consisting of singer Sade Adu, guitarist and sax player Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Spencer Denman, keyboardist Andrew Hale, and drummer Paul Anthony Cook, who left the band in 1984. Once Cook left, the band stood strong together to this day, adding additional musicians when touring, and bringing in studio musicians for recording. In 1982, Adu, Metthewman, Spencer and Hale were part of a Latin soul band named Pride, and formed a side band, along with Cook, moving in a different musical direction. What they wanted to do was a fusion of jazz, pop, r & b, and an inherent sensuality, and they soon left Pride to strike out on their own, writing their own music to put their own stylistic imprint on the music business.


In 1984, Diamond Life was released, as was the first single. Your Love Is King introduced the world to the sultry voice of Sade Adu, as well at the amazing sound of the band.

The final single off Diamond Life cemented the bands place in music. Smooth Operator soared on the charts, hitting #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, the US R & B chart, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

In 1985, Sade released Promise. The album followed through on the promise of Smooth Operator, landing in the #1 position on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. The first single, The Sweetest Taboo, topped the Adult Contemporary charts, was #5 on the Billboard Top 100, and #3 on the R & B chart.

Also in 1985, Sade Adu was cast to appear in Absolute Beginners, Julian Temple's ode to the Mod Generation staring some of the coolest names of the 80ss, including David Bowie. She played singer Athene Duncannon, and sang the song Killer Blow. By the way, if you love the 80s and haven't seen this movie, rent or buy it right away!

For more information about Sade, I will have more coming in the series. I am truly looking forward to the release of Soldier of Love on February 8, 2010. You can also check out the official website here.

Live Music - Tom Goss @ World Cafe Live

Tom and fansJustify Full
L to R: Joe, Mike, Tom, Jen, me, Kathy and Mandy

Sunday night I went to see Tom Goss at the world Cafe Live in Philadelphia. I went with my niece, Mandy, and my sister, Kathy, and two people she works with, Joe and Jen. The place was packed, standing room only. Tom was playing with Christine Havrilla, a local favorite. We heard this was to be Christine's last show at the world Cafe before she moves out west, and her fans certainly showed up in force for the show. Tom had his own contingency there, many people I recognized from prior shows. I got to spend some time chatting with Tom's partner Mike, before and after the show, always a bonus point.

Tom Goss
Tom Goss Tom Goss
Tom Goss Tom Goss

Tom performed some of my favorites, including Rise, Till The End, Come Around, and others [I can't help it, I love his music] as well as one of my favorite covers, Crazy. Tom never disappoints, and I had a great time. Larry and hubby are going to see him on December 2nd, and I certainly can't wait to hear their thoughts.

You can find Tom's official website here.

GLEE TV - Hairography Preview

Tonight at 9PM/8PM Central, GLEE premieres the Hairography episode. According to IMBD, the episode will guest star Eve, and is about:
Concerned that Sue is up to no good, Will pays a visit to an instructor of a competing Glee Club to see what information Sue may be leaking, which leads to the club getting a look at their hair-rising competition. Meanwhile, Kurt gives Rachel a makeover to impress Finn, but he may have ulterior motives.

To catch any episodes you've missed, you can find them online for FREE at Fox On Demand here or on Hulu here. For videos from the show, and links to the songs, click to Rickey.Org here.

Update - Sad Britney - Christopher Dallman

Well, seems I was correct in my thoughts on the latest EP from Christopher Dallman, Sad Britney. Or at least much of the buying public agree, since it is #6 on the Singer/Songwriter charts. You Go, Christopher!

If you still need to purchase it, here is the iTunes link. For those of you who don't have a relationship with iTunes, you can try this alternative site here.

Happy Birthday Derek & Jimmy & Joni

Some friends of this blog have a birthday today, so I figured I would take the time to celebrate them!

Derek Nicoletto, lead singer of the late band Telling On Trixie and currently with Derek and the Darling, is having a birthday today. If you Tweet, you can wish him a good day at @DerekNicoletto.

Jimmy Adams is a talented musician from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and part of the band Eric & the Adams, with Eric Himan and Jimmy's sister, Angel. Jimmy's Twitter account is @JimmyDeanAdams if you'd like to wish him a great day.

Joni & Me

My friend, Joni, lives in Florida, and celebrated her birthday yesterday. So happy belated birthday, Joni! Joni and I have had some great fun on New York trips to see Grease with Ace Young, and I hope more fun to come.

Worth Another Listen - Gayla Peevey

In 1953, 10-year-old Gayla Peevey recorded I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas and what a better way to start the holiday season than to play an ode to what it means to every child when Santa pulls up at the end of Thanksgiving Day Parades everywhere.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Video - Wes Carr - Love Is An Animal

Wes Carr
Wes Carr

I am a little late with this post, but I really like the song a lot. Australian Wes Carr released Love Is An Animal a bit ago, but it takes a bit for me to catch up with the things going on Down Under. I just recently purchased his latest offering, The Way The World Looks plus Under The Influence EP. It is a long title, but it is essentially a re-release of his debut album with a second CD, with 9 more songs, including an really nice acoustic version of this song.

I bought the new CD/EP with the help of Lucy from the Wes Carr Hub Forum [@WesCarrHubForum], a buddy on Twitter. Got it shipped up from Australia, and am enjoying it on my iPod. For more about Wes Carr, you can visit his official website here.

Tom Goss On Tour Winter 2009

Band email


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