Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Songs I Love to Sing: You and I

I decided to go back into the archives and dust off this little gem that my family and I sang at my vocal recital in 2011. Ingrid Michaelson's, "You and I". This is one of my favorite memories, singing this song with my crew. When we first got Ingrid's album this song would be on repeat during family trips. The kid's love it. I performed it in my recital and then we went into the studio and recorded it. The simplicity, the sweet message, and of course the stomping and clapping of the finale are irresistible. If you will notice in the video, Chester really gets into it. He feels the same way about Queen's, "We Will Rock You." Stomping and clapping = loads of primitive fun! So, sit back and enjoy my family's cover of, You and I.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Songs I Love to Sing: Both Sides Now

Joni Mitchell. I can think of very few songwriters that have the ability to be unabashedly vulnerable, and set their life experience down on paper as she is able to do. So personal and yet, so universal. Incredible. This song never fails to bring me into its grasp as I sing it. Even just a simple warm up run through will bring me to tears. Personally, I do have a lot of life's questions answered, but there are always those trials that pop up that throw you for a loop. There is always that person you meet that comes in like a whirlwind and you are not sure how you feel after they leave. There is always that storm you didn't see coming when everything was so lovely, sunny, and calm. I guess that is the tapestry of life, and how we choose to deal with each trial, person, and storm determines the outcome in the end. So many things go through my mind as I sing this song. The universality of this song holds true depending on the day and what I have going on in my life. It sometimes feels like a great therapy session and by the time I am done singing I can have a good cry, make some resolutions, and move on. So, please enjoy my cover of, Both Sides Now:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Songs I Love to Sing: Last Name

 "Last Name" sung by Carrie Underwood is the most contemporary song I performed for my recital. I grew up listening to John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, The Mandrell Sisters, and Dolly Parton. The country stars that were on TV and the radio, the more mainstream 1970's stuff. So, when I think of country music, those are the artists that come to mind. That is country music to me. So, when preparing for this recital I had to explore other decades to see what was out there. I had already become a devoted fan of Patsy Cline in my early 30's, but I hadn't found too many country artists beyond the 1980's that resonated with me. Even when it comes to rock and pop music I am an old soul. But, I found a track that was an acoustic version of "Last Name". I like Carrie's voice and thought it would be fun to try it out. And it turned out to be a real showstopper. One bit of trivia, I don't think this track was meant to be a vocal track. If you notice in the first verse just before the chorus I have to elongate my phrasing to fit the lyrics in. The guitarist added some extra counts in there, but I found my way around it. Again, the main reason I chose this arrangement is because my voice is very different from Carrie's and I didn't want people to automatically associate this version with hers. That is a tip when doing covers, find an arrangement that veers from the original or come up with your own arrangement and then it becomes more about your interpretation and hopefully the audience will not continually compare you to the original artist while you are singing. Enjoy!