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Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
I grew up in Royal Oak Michigan, the Red-Headed Middle child in a family of Six Children. My mother played piano and often as a family we gathered around our Grand Piano for sing-alongs. My Father born and raised in Ireland and accustomed to singing often joined in and also played the "Spoons" or Harmonica. I started singing in church after being recruited to the church choir at about age 8. I had been singing a popular hymn with the congregation when suddenly everyone fell silent. I of course was mortified thinking I was doing it wrong, but ends up they just wanted to hear me sing and thus I was recruited to the chorus. I used to spend hours in the basement on weekends listening to Moms old 33 1/3 rpm record collection and some of her 45 rpm collection (they had the little spider insert to make them compatible for the older LP record player) This really was how I came to love the "oldies" the standards of the 30's , 40's and 50's. I developed a real taste and love for the artists of that time, everyone from Della Reese, Dinah Shore, Rudi Valley, the King Sisters, Harry Belafonte, Perry Como, Bing, Count Basie to Mario Lanza and More... I don't remember as a child making a conscious determination about being an "artist" I just remember always singing. I remember the folks on the block always saying they could hear me singing all the way down the street and how much they enjoyed it. That's is what I remember - that it brought joy to others. I think that might be in my perspective the most important aspect of being an artist - to have a strong desire to please and bring joy to others while having the gratification of self-expression through song.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Todays music world is literally opened up to all artists, but success will be defined differently for everyone. I think getting gigs depends on what you're serving up - finding your audience, then performing well. You definitely need to get exposure and that can come through the social media platforms we all know but you must be consistent in your efforts. It is wonderful to use social media as a way to build your relationships, your followers and showcase or highlight yourself and your music. Networking in person and building collateral industry relationships is of the utmost importance. Go out and listen to others music, meet people, stay in touch with what others are doing as well and get feedback from your followers and theirs. Listening provides learning opportunities.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
OMG... yes ! Everyone has Blips and Bloopers.... Embrace the mistake like it's the best thing you've ever done if you can. I have definitely laughed off mistakes with self deprecating humor , I have also just kept going and then did something totally awesome to help offset the error - remember LIVE is here and then gone in a second - so people will forget if you just keep going and you are keeping them interested, keeping their attention. I am impossibly human just like everyone else - sometimes people just like to know we're all capable of messing up! I've seen Cher do it.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
I am currently not touring - I find touring to be tiring - however it does get you the maximum potential for exposure. I am currently working on a new show .. who knows I may take it out on tour
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
I just moved and revamped my personal studio. I work on a Yamaha Clavinova (same as Elton John) and I will never change that ! I just upgraded to some new Bose L1 compact speakers for more portability when I need to take my own equipment. I was using some JBL equipment the just became too heavy to lug around. I upgraded to Yamaha Tyros5-76 to travel with since that is the lightweight clavinova version that will play the same digital files should I need them.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
you know I use every method I can find that is cost-effective. Of course radio play is important and I am fortunate to have some rotations on the East coast, Canada and Los Angeles that help greatly. Among many other smaller stations that regularly accept my new music. That in turn helps the I-tunes and I also use most of the popular streaming radio services and monetize on you tube. I also write and submit music for film and commercial work through Taxi and Go DIY.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Tony Bennett because he is a living legend and sings the music I love - Tony always strives to make a definitive version of the songs he sings - makes it his own which is very important. Also Mike Bible - another artist in appreciation of the Standards and Jazz with an eye on taking retro tunes and keeping them very today through interpretation and arrangements.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
I am putting my new 90 minute show in a new (still being built out) venue in Sedona Arizona. The show is set to open in September of this year and will rotate in and out of Sedona as well as some Casino's in the Valley (Phoenix)
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Traveling. I just returned from Cannes and a tour of the Cote D'azur (south of France) C'est la plus belle du monde!
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in the next year or so?
New Videos - that is the most requested item from fans - especially for the song "notorious" which I have been trying to get done - so much fun !
Exposed Vocals: Any Shout-outs?
Always - shout outs to my 3 Sisters (my life-long partners in Crime) Otto D'agnolo, "E" Deems, Kenny Thames, and ALL the fans that take the time to communicate with me, follow me and "share" me with others in their world.