at www.RARWRITER.com      

--------------------"The best source on the web for what's real in arts and entertainment" ---------------------------

Volume 1-2016






Use this link to add your email address to the RARWRITER Publishing Group mailing list for updates on activities associated with the Creative Culture and Revolution Culture journals, and other RARWRITER Publishing Group interests.


ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.


(Click here)

Currently on RARadio:

"On to the Next One" by Jacqueline Van Bierk

"I See You Tiger" by Via Tania

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"Music Hot Spots"




























Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.







Don't take RAR's word for it! Click here to go to Vlad's MySpace to hear his work!



DANIELA TORCHIA has a richly layered and diverse sound that draws on her European heritage - Austrian and Italian parents, born in Spain - and incorporates Latin concepts to produce surprisingly muscled pop-rock that sounds right for television theme music. She veers toward the romantic, but the calibrated power-rock guitar sound underlines a strong defiant streak that plays in interesting juxtaposition to her sweet, confiding vocal style. This is pretty powerful pop rock stuff, a big sound that always seems to find room for a Segovia-style guitar section. Again the dynamics work to emphasize the emotional range of the songs.

Daniela has an odd pedigree that includes teenage years spent as a circus performer - seriously, swinging from the Big Top to be rescued from gorillas - followed by a successful stint as a modern dancer. Says Daniela - "Yes I danced for many years and have done many musicals and Bob Fosse style dance shows. That was my first passion but music took first place. I did Grease, Pippin, West Side Story and Fosse Reviews on a local level in Los Angeles. It was great fun."

After that show business apprenticeship, she started translating into pop songs the stream of consciousness thoughts and poetry that, as a young girl, she had poured into journals, and she started playing out at open mic nights and showcases. Eventually she got the help she needed to realize her power folk-rock vision from Tony Kaye, renowned keyboardist for Yes, Bad Finger and David Bowie. Kaye, Daniela and Producer/Studio Owner Brian Yaskulka teamed to produce Daniela's 13-track debut release Have No Fear.

The initial reactions have been impressive. Daniela received several nominations for the 2006 Rock City News Awards, including Outstanding Solo Artist and Outstanding Folk Artist.

Daniela can be seen at local venues, including the Lava Lounge and the Cat Club, in Hollywood, the MuddHouse in Northridge, the Taverna Club in Encino, and elsewhere.

Daniela Torchia in concert



First Time

Don't You Worry

So Little Faith

Take Me As I Am 




Copyright © 2006-2007 Daniela Torchia, all rights reserved 


Daniela's MySpace site also features her MP3s: Go to http://www.myspace.com/danielatorchia




Daniela's site has the following piece on her Music page. It may be of interest to a lot of people, and may even other songwriters wanting to get their starts as performers.


"Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood, California is the place to be on Monday night for an open-mic: A place where everyone sings and goes back for more. When the sun sets, and the night life begins, gutsy singer songwriters enter Kulak’s Woodshed to walls packed with music memorabilia, theatre seats and a four poster bed to bravely perform their latest compositions to a discerning audience and live action web-cast cameras. This is exactly where Daniela Torchia landed one infamous December night. It was a place to have fun and sing, but it turned out to be much more. From that first night, an invaluable network developed into what came to be the production team for Have No Fear. From the lead guitarist to the producers, the drummer to the photographers, the make-up artist to the graphic artist, Kulak’s Woodshed on Laurel Canyon was the start of it all."

Have No Fear Production: Brian Yaskulka, of 7th Level Productions in Hollywood, got on board to start the two-year project along with Tony Kaye, keyboardist for YES, Badfinger, and David Bowie. Their interests were peaked by the eclectic new sound of Daniela’s sultry voice mixed with Spanish Flamenco and American Rock. The all-consuming musical journey resulted in the production of Have No Fear. Knowing Daniela was fluent in Spanish, Daniela’s manager suggested she record a Spanish version of the album. Through Kiki Wow, the wild and fearless MC at Kulak’s, Daniela found George Alayon, of Genius Productions, and within a few months SIN MIEDO was produced and mixed.

Over 15 musicians played on Have No Fear, from Tony Kaye, to Robin LeMesurier on guitar, who toured with Rod Stewart and Johnny Hallyday. Incredible touring and studio musicians, especially the “guitar-king”, Cole Coleman, gave their talents to Have No Fear.

Production spanned two years from the original production meetings with Brian Yaskulka to the last day of mastering at Marcussen Mastering.- from Daniela's website.


RARWRITER REVIEW:  Have No Fear - Daniela Torchia CD (click here)




I wouldn’t be the first to speculate on the potential of COREY LANDIS, the Ohio-born transplant to L.A. whose acerbic, witty piano-based music has rightly been compared to that of Warren Zevon, Billy Joel and Tom Waits. He has qualities that may elevate him to the upper echelons of "Cole Porter-dom." You’ve probably seen him, if not playing around town at The Derby and The Mint then on the FOX sitcom “That 70s Show,” where he had a recurring role as the young Red Forman.

Corey seems first and foremost, however, to be a writer who is comfortably associated with song. His website bookends him with iconic L.A. writer Charles Bukowski and, curiously, non-writer Elvis Presley – Corey was born on the day Elvis died, which also happened to have been the birthday of Bukowski. He hardly needs the coincidental connections, because his music nicely establishes an identity all his own. He is a soloist, a guy best taken with minimal accompaniment because, as good as the music is, you want to hear the words.

Corey released Feast of Scraps, his first LP, in 2003. From his website - "Feast was written, arranged, performed, and produced by Landis in his home studio over the course of about six months. It's a lo-fi, acoustic chronicle of frustration, failure, and the trying to hold on to something when everything around appears to be crumbling.” His song "New Year" from Feast of Scraps was voted a finalist in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition, placing in the top .5 percent of around 15,000 entries.

In 2005 he released 14 Old Messages, his second LP, another home studio production that featured his playing every note on the recording, including guitar, piano and trumpet.

Corey is currently working on mixing his third LP, which is a studio recording with string and woodwind arrangements by Joey Newman, (That would be Randy's nephew. You see symmetry here?) "...as well as the fantastic ear of mixer Greg Hayes, recalling records such as Elton John's self-titled release, Randy Newman's Sail Away, REM's Automatic For The People and the works of Biff Rose and David Ackles.” - from his website.










Corey Landis was nominated in the Outstanding Solo Artist category for the 2006 Rock City News Awards.  


At Christmas

Be Nice to Me



Copyright © 2006-2007 Corey Landis, All Rights Reserved



Click here to download a .pdf of the RARWRITER review of Corey Landis (Urban Myth Records).



Songwriter on The Attacks!

Corey Landis Brings Rock Band to The Mint

Los Angeles, California - Corey Landis is a clever singer/songwriter who has been featured numerous times at RARWRITER.com. Last month, in a break from the piano stylings that have been his persona, Corey debuted a rock band - Corey Landis and The Attacks - at The Mint in L.A. He is back again this week, and hits the stage at Club Good Hurt later this month.

Corey spent a little time telling us about the change in his musical direction.

"Most of the songs I've ever written--starting way back when I was just a kid--come fully arranged in my head, complete with bass, guitar, drums, etc. I grew up on Billy Joel and Elton John, and from the beginning, that was the kind of music I wanted to do--pop/rock. But I never had a band. Not even in high school when everybody has a band. So I wrote my songs, recorded them with just my piano, and hoped someday I'd get to hear them more fully realized. And then with the help of technology, I was able to fill in the blanks a little myself, although the results were limited and far from ideal (see "Feast of Scraps" and "14 old messages").

"When I saw this approach wasn't working, I knew I had to make the most of being by myself: write and choose tunes that can stand up without much help, and have live players fill in the blanks with tasteful but limited strings, etc., the way it was done on those records I mentioned that inspired my last album ("Corey Landis"). Once THAT was done, the next logical step--one that i'd been putting off for a lifetime out of fear, amongst other things--was to get a band. Find people to play with so that I could play the rock songs I've written with live people. That way the record will sound better, and the folks at a live show will get more enjoyment out of the experience. I've found few people like to sit and watch a guy alone on the piano sing songs they don't know. But with a band, they can handle it.

"So it's just the next stage in the game. In a way, it's back to the start, but done the right way. I want to do a piano-heavy indie-rock record, with no guitar. Very much like Ben Folds Five and what Elton John's early trio used to do.

"It's not disavowing what I did on the last record. I'm proud of it. But I don't have allegiance to any style. It's what I like about Bowie, Costello, Dylan, etc. The songs are what makes them who they are. Every time I finish a record, I think of what's something DIFFERENT I can do. And for me, as lame and simple as it may seem, it's to play with a band. Everything else is the same, really. I write the songs, I record the demos, and then I share them with the band and we figure out what to do.

"I like a lot of loud, heavy music. We are by no means Metallica, but now I feel a lot more open and able to rock out a little more, which I haven't been able to working solo in the past."

Read more on Corey Landis by clicking here.




From his website - John Pieplow blends various musical influences including Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison and John Lennon. Backed by soulful singer/dancers and a racious touring band, John seamlessly mixes material ranging from rousing blues/gospel numbers to revealing personal ballads. 

John Pieplow played the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater with Huey Lewis and the News and Chicago in June 2006, and there again with Earth, Wind and Fire and Chris Botti in August 2006. He's opened for five-time Grammy-nominees Ambrosia at the 1500 seat El Rey Theater in Los Angeles and multi-Grammy and Oscar-winner Christopher Cross at the House of Blues Sunset Strip and Maria Muldaur. Sean Healy Presents, leading music promoter/booker in Los Angeles, says John is "one of the top ten drawing bands in Los Angeles." It's the combination of Johns velvety vocals, original lyrics and unique musical style which blends blues, jazz and pop sounds that draws the crowds. Current band lineup features renowned literary agent/manager Joel Gotler (Sting, James Elroy) on harmonica, and offers audiences an intimate experience that fuels the soul. 

This year, John has entered the film and television music world by writing and performing the music for the NBC-produced, ABC prime-time show "Sons and Daughters", produced by Lorne Michaels. John Pieplow has won several music awards including "Best Alternative Band 2004" and "Best Solo Artist 2003" and a 2005 nomination for "Best Guitarist" by LA's Rock City News. In addition to his musical appeal, John's career as a film director of cult favorite "StrangeLand" has earned him a dedicated following of fans. In the past year and a half, John Pieplow has performed more than 80 shows at premiere music venues in Los Angeles. Famed hotspots include House of Blues, Key Club, Whiskey A Go Go, The Roxy, The El Rey Theatre and Viper Room. John recently completed his first album with gold-record recipient and producer Kevin Valentine in Los Angeles.

ABOVE: John Pieplow at the mic. BELOW: John Pieplow LP cover (photo by Ken Sax; artwork by Jacques de Groot)


John Pieplow MP3s can be heard at his MySpace site at www.myspace.com/johnpieplowmusic





Javelyn walked away with the 2005 Rock City News Best Female Solo Artist of the Year award and this year picked up another Rocky for Outstanding Folk Band. The model turned folkie has cultivated quite a following with her twice a month Santa Monica indie music nights, Java With Javelyn. From her website - "Javelyn is an 'everywoman' singing songs that touch common chords of everyday life that everyone can relate to from love songs to responsibilities to one's self to community building.

"Earlier this year, Javelyn released her second CD Cut to the Chase and most recently had a music video release, available to be seen at Javelyn's Videos . She toured with her first CD which charted on Gavin between Sarah MacLachlan and Matchbox 20 on the Hot A/C charts, had airplay on over 200 radio stations nationwide, and had rave reviews from press, DJs & online sources."

"Javelyn has acted in theater, film, video, national commercials, print and MC work and has just graduated 2nd City Comedy Improv Training Center in LA. She plays keyboards and has her own music publishing company. Currently, she is acting in an independent film and doing shows at Second City, Los Angeles. She is a member of NARAS, SAG, ATAS and AFTRA.    

"The influence of professional acting schools and roles help paint the melodic, sassy, at times, theatrical, style of Javelyn’s lyrics and song-weaving. Javelyn literally ‘fell into’ music by being hired from a modeling gig to be a part of a 4-piece classic rock cover band where she cut her teeth singing and playing keyboards in the pounding world of cover bands. “Basically, most of my songs are very personal. I write a lot of them to me, to my own soul. I’m not one of those artists who have 500 songs sitting on the back shelf. I only write when I’m inspired or can’t hold in what I have to say any longer. If I write with other composers, I always come to the table letting the music and tracks tell me what to write – kinda strange and magical how it works out that way.”    

Javelyn’s most recent CD "Bustin' Loose" is available via iTunes, as are all her cuts from her first two CDs. She has several music videos available for viewing on MySpace.  











ABOVE (Top): Javelyn looking pretty. ABOVE (Bottom): A still from one of Javelyn's videos. BELOW: Javelyn released Cut to the Chase in 2004. Bustin' Loose was released in 2005.

You can hear Javelyn's MP3s at her MySpace site at www.myspace.com/javelyn





CHERISH ALEXANDER has been making music since she was seven years old, and making it at a high-end professional level for more than a decade now. It has been paying off in all kinds of ways, most recently with a 2006 Rock City News award for Outstanding Female Solo Artist.

Cherish landed a deal back in the ‘90s with Warner-Chappell publishing, which gave her multiple opportunities to do something she thought was needed in modern songwriting – realism. From her website – “I am about trying to bring the realism of life back into music. Recently, the musical cliche has been to fabricate yourself into whatever is hip, and you can feel a sense of loss for real music. Finally, I think there’s a slow resurgence of singer/songwriters and a place for me.”

It seems like finding a place for herself in the music business hasn’t been a big problem. Cherish landed a track on a benefit LP, Harmony with the Homeless, in 1995. Former pop star Tiffany sang Cherish’s tune "You Don't Belong Down Here." Then later that same year, Cherish and drummer Billy Baker founded the rock band Painkillers, adding guitarist Curtis Hooker and bassist Matt Boyd. The band released a 16-track LP titled Medicine for the Soul and landed a track (“In Between”) in the soundtrack of the Burt Reynolds movie The Last Producer, another (“Good Enough”) in 2000 Sundance feature Alligator Alley, and three other tunes in the television series “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven.”

Cherish showed up in two Cyndi Lauper music videos, playing lead guitar for two tracks off Lauper’s 1998 LP Sisters of Avalon. The opportunities just kept coming. Cherish created the theme song for the pilot of “Wheeler's World for the Comedy Central Network. She landed her tune “State of Mind” on the MTV pilot of “The Party Machine,” and her tune “Caffeine” was highlighted in “Aftermath,” a made for TV/CBS movie of the week starring Meredyth Baxter, Robert Urich and Diane Ladd.

Cherish created a remake of the 1970's Thelma Houston song “Don't Leave Me This Way” featured in two episodes of “Fashion Television” on E! Entertainment Networks. She contributed “What About Me,” co-written with Billy Baker, and did a remake of the Young Bloods song ”Get Together” for the PBS documentaryThe Teachings of Jon.” Cherish created two songs for Chicks of Rock and West Coast Rock as part of a four-game Moshpit Software computer set.

In 2003, Cherish’s song Goodbye” was on the playlists of over 50 radio stations nationally. In 2004, Cherish was asked by Producer/Writer/Director Bryce Zabel to write songs for his TV mini-series remake of the 1972 classic The Poseidon Adventure.

Cherish has worked with independent artist Jessica Hallett, contributing her tunes “Say Goodbye” and “More Than You Know” to Hallett’s LP, which was co-written and produced by Billy Baker. She also contributed her tunes “Hello to June” and “Goodbye” to the soundtrack of Dante’s View, another feature film project.

The Winning of Hearts & Minds

Cherish has multiple roles regarding the independent film The Winning of Hearts & Minds. She is in charge of music supervision including writing, performing, producing and recording the score and soundtrack of the Steve Becker-directed film. Cherish also plays the role of Lipstick, the lead bass player in the Maxitit band, the centerpiece of the film. Maxitit performed a 2004 showcase (with special performance by Brittina Spearguilara) at Swinghouse studios in Hollywood prior to the start of production of the film.

Cherish will be releasing a solo LP, Fallen Awake, in early 2007. The song is all hers and she will support the LP with a tour.




Blue Skies

Heaven's Here


Buy Me Love





Copyright © 2006-2007 Cherish Alexander, all rights reserved 


Cherish's MySpace site also features her MP3s: Go to http://www.myspace.com/cherishalexander  




If Cherish isn’t quite busy enough with all of her writing projects, she is also playing bass, portraying John Paul Jones, in the all-girl Led Zeppelin tribute band Moby Chick. You can find out more about the band at their MySpace site at www.myspace.com/mobychickband.





JIMMY LEE YOUNG, the Native-American world music singer/songwriter who once went by the name Crystal-Phoenix, has been popular on the L.A. scene since releasing his first CD, Apache, in 2001. In fact, he has been something of a darling in the awards-obsessed L.A. music community. He won a Rocky for World Artist of the Year at the 2006 Rocky City News Awards. He received a double nomination at the LA Music Awards, with his single "Anduhyaun" nominated for Single of The Year and Jimmy Lee nominated as Male Singer Songwriter of the Year in the Americana category. The song was recorded with drummer Gil Gabaldon II, and the following native artists: Three time Native American Music Award (NAMA) winner Felipe Rose of The Village People, NAMA 2005 Female Artist of The Year Yolanda Martinez, 2005 NAMA Best Country Album winner, Qua Ti Si, seven time NAMA nominee, native flautist Eddie Three Eagles. Lead guitarist Ricky Lewis also appears, playing lead guitar and bass.

Jimmy, on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, fronts a five-piece band with drummer Gil Gabaldon II, Dave Chalala on lead guitar, backing vocalists Carl Rabun and  Amanda Guthrie, and Vic Grady on bass.


Jimmy Lee Young MP3s are available for listening from the Music page of his Crystal-Phoenix site at http://www.crystal-phoenix.com/cphoe_music_01.html




Jimmy Lee Young released his CD Apache in 2001 when he went under the name Crystal-Phoenix.




CINDY ALEXANDER won NBC's 2006 "Star of Tomorrow" talent competition. (You can go to her website to see a video of her rehearsal for the show, which is great.) It is a continuation of a string of successes that include L.A. Music Award nominations in the Songwriter of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year categories, and included Album of the Year for See Red, her debut effort. She has gone on to land tracks on compilation LPs, on movie soundtracks (Here on Earth, Smokers, Sugar and Spice, among others) and television soundtracks (Party of Five). Cindy’s the real deal as a performer, a heavyweight talent with a great voice and outstanding musical chops. She’s a real pro whose touring partners include America, Suzanne Vega, The Bacon Brothers, Joan Osborne, The Bangles, Gin Blossoms and other established acts. Her second LP, Smash (2003), was again nominated the L.A. Music Awards Album of the Year. She is on a roll, going from one success to the next, all of which is nicely detailed on her site.

“Pnut,” as she is known to her fans – an allusion to her low birth weight – has become a darling of critics and a proven crowd pleaser. In 2005 she released her third LP, Angels and Demons, which has been called “a masterpiece” in some critical corners. Cindy connects. Not long ago she did a live radio performance on KLOS 95.5 FM that sold out her entire available inventory of the CD.  All she needs for continued career expansion is more exposure, and she's working on that.

Cindy did the USO Pacific Rim tour in January of this year, performing at U.S. military installations in Japan. Since then she has stepped away from her regular performing schedule to work on a new album. 

HOUSE CONCERTS - RARWRITER recently did a profile on San Francisco House Concert Producer Drew Pearson, and it is interesting to learn that Cindy Alexander is available for such intimate events. A gifted performer, she would be extraordinary to see and hear in this type of setting. - RAR




Cindy Alexander has four clips of tunes from Angels and Demons posted on her MySpace site at http://www.myspace.com/cindyalexander 






LIZZY WILLIAMS performs as a six-piece unit fronted by the strong-voiced singer/songwriter Liz Chaffe (pronounced Chaffey), but “the band” is really more of a duo with a supporting cast. Liz and guitarist/mandolin player David Williams are the musical leaders of the unit, which produces an essentially acoustic-based light rock that focuses heavily on stewardship of the environment, animal rights, and the search for God. Says Chaffe – “My quest for God is continual and this has always inspired me in the music. It's not really a quest however because I feel the existence of such a being in my life already no matter how difficult times seem. I usually write about things that are uplifting, (it's just the way it comes out) however as I continue to play out on the club scene here in Los Angeles, different writing is beginning to happen and I definitely like where I am going with it.”

Chaffe and her unit – Williams, Michael Moore, Chief, Raven and Tiger Shaw – released their first LP Magic 8 recently. It is an upbeat affair that Chaffe acknowledges on her website “does not represent to the fullest what we are live, which is not as poppy…”

Liz Chaffe is a New Yorker who came to Los Angeles to continue her pursuit of an acting career, but seems to have been diverted in that interest by her teaming with the multi-instrumentalist Williams, who has become an inspiration to her songwriting talents.

MP3s can be heard on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/lizzywilliams.




Krister Axel is someone who caught my attention as I was exploring nominees in the Rock City News Awards. He is a soulful white boy, with a European sensibility developed through having started his music life abroad. He put it all down in words and sent me the following:

"I will write up a recap of my career so far as best I can, and you can choose to use or not use whatever you like. It's sort of a long road of
a story.

"I started playing piano at a very young age, both of my older sisters
had mandatory piano lessons that they hated so by the time it got to me
my parents didn't even bother. We did still have a piano that I was
drawn to, and immediately I was writing my own songs - that first note
I ever played on a piano was part of a compositional effort, by the
time I was 12 years old I was writing a lot of piano ditties.
At that time my family moved to Paris, France, and I begged my father
to buy me a keyboard for that Christmas of 1986, which I was lucky
enough to get and it came with a 3-track sequencer. Around this time as
well I started listening to the Cure, which would remain a seminal
influence for me to this day. At my school, the American School of
Paris, I quickly developed a good relationship with the electronic
music teacher and I was in his course every semester, which was my
first experience with midi and sound modules. I became good friends
with Adam Cohen (He is signed to EMI Canada, I believe), the son of
Leonard Cohen who is my age and was a student at ASP at that time. We
were both just beginning our careers as songwriters at that time.
Another student at that time who was a year younger than us was Chris
Stills (V2 records), the son of Stephen Stills who incidentally took
the same bus to school that I did. In Paris I also began a lifelong
fascination and appreciation for poetry, which was to become my major
in college.

"When I returned to the US, I began to play guitar as well, but about 5
years would go by before I would actually invest in a guitar for
myself. Having already taught myself much about music theory, it was
easy to conceptualize which notes the strings were, and so forth, so
playing upside down and backwards as I continue to do was a logical
choice. Later, in college, I would stumble across a few records by
Elizabeth Cotten that would reinforce my confidence in such a unique
style of fingerpicking. My last year in High School would finally see
me taking my first music theory lessons, but at this point I found it
was largely unnecessary - although I had a very good teacher by the
name of Anthony LaMagra, I never found the satisfaction in classical
performance that I got from songwriting, so in the end he became more
of a theory mentor and friend than a performance teacher.

"I went to college in the summer of 1991 at Madison, WI, and quickly
began performing in a number of local clubs with numerous cover bands
strictly as a piano player. I was never interested in playing anything
but piano, and then later electric piano, and organ. I abhorred the
idea of a keyboard player constantly flipping through different
patches. I took a job as a record store clerk in the shop of a friend,
and it seemed by very fortunate luck that the same summer, I think in
1993, I happened to be working in a record store when both Soul
Coughing and G Love would both be featured on the same CMJ promo disc.
That was a glorious summer, and they both remain very important
influences for me.

ABOVE: Krister Axel in the studio recording his LP Permanent Friday Night.

"After soundcheck for a show at Shank Hall in Milwaukee around the same time, I stumbled across a review of Chris Whitley's Dirt Floor. Thus was born another lifelong appreciation for me, and to this day I
consider myself foremost a student and follower of Chris's sensibility
and vocal intonations, if not directly of his style of songwriting
which has gone through a number of different transformations. My band throughout those years was called Sunshine Allison, and we released two records on our own label and toured the region incessantly. Among our most glamorous shows in those days was an appearance with Soul Asylum at an outdoor festival in Iowa and an opener at the Cubby Bear in Chicago for Leftover Salmon, who praised our eclectic flavor of progressive rock.

"As time went on, I began to yearn for a simpler, more lyric-oriented
approach to the band's presentation which was at the time more weighted towards long instrumentals and drum-circle type interludes, which to this day is largely responsible for my percussive style - especially on the organ, which arose from long hours in practice on the agogo bells and the shaker.

"So I moved to Los Angeles, in the summer of '99, and quickly became involved with a band called Revolver principally as a keyboard player, as well as a band called Paper Sun where I was also a co-writer and singer. With both bands I played the local scene from 2001-2002 at places like the Roxy, Molly Malone's, the Dragonfly, Zen Sushi, the Hotel Cafe, and the Mint. After Revolver had been shopped to Elektra records by Tom DiSavia (now a V.P. over at ASCAP) and just barely missed the cut, I began to conceive of a solo project where I am the sole writer and producer. I have finished my third album as Krister Axel which will be released this Spring. Aside from those already mentioned, since I have been in Los Angeles, I have had the pleasure of working with such artists as:


to name some of my favorites. By now I am an accomplished studio
keyboardist, as well as songwriter and producer.

"I have appeared on MTV twice now, both times with Epic artist Cheyenne Kimball (once for a live broadcast to HDTV called Music with Altitude shot in Breckenridge, CO, and once during an episode of her reality show for MTV simply called Cheyenne).

"My song 'Throw Your Arms Around Me' has been featured prominently in a movie called A Colombia directed by Ryan Byrne that has won a number of awards in the 2005-2006 festival circuit.

"I continue to write songs just a little bit faster than I can record
them, but I'm not complaining. Thanks for taking an interest, and
please direct any of your readers to KristerAxel.com to read a more
in-depth account of my exploits."





Copyright © 2006-2007 Krister Axel, All Rights Reserved 


See Krister Axel's MySpace site at http://www.myspace.com/kaxel





2005 Release - Permanent Friday Night




Sixteen year old Cheyenne Kimball has been touring the country in support of her first LP, The Day Has Come, and her MTV reality show (“Cheyenne”). Since winning “America’s Most Talented Kid” at age 12, Cheyenne has been on a roll. The young Epic Records artist has become a television star in both the U.S. and Canada, has singles on the radio (“Hanging On” and “One Original Thing”), videos on MTV and VH1, and a track (“One Original Thing”) on the Aquamarine movie soundtrack. She released an iTunes exclusive single (“Drift Away”), is soon to release a DVD of her reality show, and will soon release another single, “Four Walls,” which she performed as part of the 2006 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Cheyenne heads to Nashville next to record her second LP. Besides singing, Cheyenne plays the guitar and writes her own songs.

RAR Note - This kid is really good. My daughter pulled me to the TV one night to watch her perform on "Fridays" on Cartoon Network and I was struck by her ability as a singer and a player. Really impressive. She's a good vibe, too. There is an adorable video of her dancing around her guitar that plays on her homepage that I can hardly get by when I go there, it's just too cute. Cool idea, really well done.



L.A. Acts        More L.A. Acts        Hollywood Weird        L.A. Acoustic





©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), November, 2018






Copyright © November, 2018 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)