heart

Jonathan Coulton Set to Release Artificial Heart

Jonathan Coulton speaks to the outcast in all of us, in the voices of characters we know from our own sad little lives. Some of them may be monsters - mad scientists, giant squids, zombies - but his talent is in turning offbeat subjects into deliciously hooky pop songs that move us in surprisingly personal ways.

His upcoming album, Artificial Heart, produced by John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants, is due out this Fall. It's a new direction for Coulton - he leaves behind the home recording gear for a studio filled with talented musicians and guest vocalists including Suzanne Vega, John Roderick of The Long Winters and Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara.

The album opens with “Sticking to Myself”, a blistering, high-energy song about finding success, and then tearing it all down. “Nemeses” is a duet between Coulton and The Long Winters’ John Roderick that suggests the only real way to bring meaning into your life is to find your own worst enemy. “Good Morning Tucson” is a highly singable pop song about an aging morning news anchor who one day finally loses it. The album’s title track, “Artificial Heart," has a bouncy, joyful melody that can't quite mask the feeling that drastic measures are sometimes worse than the problems they are trying to solve.

Artificial Heart is Jonathan Coulton’s first album of all new material since his infamous 2006 “Thing A Week” series, during which he created 52 musical pieces in 52 weeks. It's a strong addition to an already impressive discography that spans a decade. His song “Still Alive” is the closing soundtrack to the video game “Portal," and was awarded “Best Original Vocal Pop Song” in 2008 by the Game Audio Network Guild. This year, Coulton was asked back to write “Want You Gone," a song for Portal’s long awaited sequel.

Lady Antebellum Reveals New Album Details!

Multi-PLATINUM country music group Lady Antebellum is sharing new details today on their forthcoming third Capitol Nashville studio album OWN THE NIGHT, in stores Sept. 13.

After sweeping the 2011 GRAMMY Awards earlier this year, the singer/songwriters returned to Nashville to focus on writing and recording the follow up to their top selling NEED YOU NOW.  The trio penned 10 of the new disc’s 12 tracks, including their fastest rising and current Top 10 single “Just A Kiss.”  Collaborating again with veteran producer Paul Worley, Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott also return as co-producers.

"We're definitely more in tune with each other musically and personally than ever," said Haywood. "It's an exciting place to be. This album was created from the ground up—we are writing these songs, playing these instruments and creating these arrangements.  With OWN THE NIGHT, more than ever before, I think we share a real feeling of accomplishment both as a band and as friends.”

"Our only hope and expectation for this record is that it will build on the first two," adds Charles Kelley.  "At the end of the day, we just want our fans to be able to say that we continue to give them solid albums with solid songs they can enjoy from start to finish."

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OWN THE NIGHT Track List:

1. We Owned The Night

2. Just A Kiss

3. Dancin’ Away With My Heart

4. Friday Night

5. When You Were Mine

6. Cold As Stone

7. Singing Me Home

8. Wanted You More

9. As You Turn Away

10. The Love I’ve Found In You

11. Somewhere Love Remains

12. The Heart Of The World

Frank Sinatra's inaugural Reprise album reissued on Concord

Concord Records marks the 50th anniversary of a pivotal transition in Frank Sinatra’s career with a digitally remastered version of Ring-A-Ding Ding. Under license from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE), the album is set for release on June 7, 2011.

By the end of the 1950s, Sinatra had spent nearly ten years on Capitol, where he’d made some outstanding recordings. But at the dawn of a new decade, he was eager to establish a creative environment of his own making — one that would open up new territory to explore and take him a step closer to realizing his unique creative vision.

The result was the establishment of Reprise, his own record label and his primary base of operations for the remainder of his career. His initial recording on the new label was Ring-A-Ding Ding, a 1961 album that not only captured Sinatra at the top of his game with a self-confident swagger, but — with the help of songwriters like Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, and arrangements by Johnny Mandel — also captured the optimistic tenor of the period.

In addition to the 12 songs from the original recording, the 50th anniversary reissue also features two bonus tracks — “Zing! Went The Strings of My Heart” and a previously unreleased version of “Have You Met Miss Jones?” The packaging also includes extensive new liner notes by Frank Sinatra Jr., who shares personal memories of his father during the founding of Reprise and the making of the album as well as annotations and insights for each track.

“As the new decade began, like Midas, everything Sinatra touched turned to gold,” says Frank Jr. “His movies were box office blockbusters, his records were gold, his concerts were standing room only, and with the help of his tireless efforts, he had been very instrumental in helping his friend John F. Kennedy become the 35th President of the United States. It was no wonder that for Frank Sinatra, the period of time in which he was living could only be referred to as ‘Ring-A-Ding Ding.’ The music in this premier Reprise recording reflected that state of mind in every note.”


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TRACK LIST
Ring-A-Ding Ding
Let’s Fall in Love
Be Careful, It’s My Heart
A Foggy Day
A Fine Romance
In The Still of the Night
The Coffee Song
When I Take My Sugar to Tea
Let’s Face the Music and Dance
You’d Be So Easy To Love
You and the Night and the Music
I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

BONUS TRACKS:
Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart

Jim Bianco Set to Release 'Loudmouth'

Critically acclaimed indie musician, singer, songwriter and producer Jim Bianco announces the release of his third LP Loudmouth on April 5. Funded entirely from his fiercly loyal fan base, Loudmouth is a return to form as Jim Bianco goes at it again: speaking to the sinner and the heartbroken in all of us, sifting through the filth and wreckage in his crooked heart and putting it to music in a way that makes women want to simultaneously sleep with him and slap him in the face; and men want to pick a fight and sing along.
And so Jim Bianco goes at it again; exposing, embarrassing and offending ex-girlfriends, future girlfriends, fellow singer/songwriters and, most notably, himself. Speaking to the sinner and the heartbroken in all of us, Jim Bianco has sifted through the filth and wreckage in his crooked heart and put it to music in his new record, Loudmouth. And as always, he’s done it in a way that makes women want to simultaneously sleep with him and slap him in the face; and men want to pick a fight and sing along.
The songs on Loudmouth explore the reckless depths of a touring musician, the devastation of a broken heart, the irony of being in love with someone who treats you like shit and the whimsical inclinations of a temporary secretary who dreams of being an elevator operator.
“There is humor on this record, but there is a darkness that comes along with it. You’ll get an occasional laugh, but it won’t be free. And there is no love song. There are songs of lust, songs of loss and songs of longing, but no love song.”  Bianco, who has always been a fiercely independent artist, funded the record entirely through his fans.“With the decline in funding for the arts that we’ve seen over the past few years, and the fact that music is so accessible that it’s essentially free, I’m thankful that I can put out an album and tour independently with only the support of my fans. I’m grateful that, as an artist who has a direct relationship with his fan base, I can continue making the music that I like for the people who want it – all without a middle-man to muck up the process.”
Bianco’s fans are also grateful for the direct line they have to him.  But it’s not only about the music.  There’s a sensibility that Bianco radiates in all his art. “I began blogging from the road just to pass the time.  There’s something redemptive about having people read about my follies and laugh and cry along with me.”  Bianco’s writing has received such a positive response from fans that he is in the process of publishing a book of short stories, which he plans to sell on tour in 2011. As if that weren’t enough, Bianco has recently taken to writing, acting, directing and editing his own silent films, which have garnered not only the attention of his fans, but of cinephiles, including Lorenzo DeStefano, the head of the Ventura Film Society. "Jim Bianco's new silent films embrace and expand on a lost era of filmmaking...they illuminate the human spirit in a way that is honest, charming and at times quite profound."
But at heart, Bianco is a performer. And he’s no stranger to the stage, having toured with the likes of Squeeze, Shelby Lynn, Imogen Heap, Joshua Radin, Josh Ritter and Loudon Wainwright III, to name a few. He’s been part of the legendary Hotel Café tour since it’s inception. His live show can take you on a voyage through the weightlessness of falling in love, or into the dark, dirty depths of the red light district of your imagination. With a firecracker’s presence on-stage, vocal chords that crack the plaster, and an occasional burlesque dancer, it is truly a wonder to watch him command a room.  Over the years, Jim’s music has been featured in a wide array of formats from key placements on in films and high profile TV shows including True Blood, performances on late night’s Craig Ferguson and NPR’s Mountain Stage.
With Loudmouth, Bianco feels that his live show will be catapulted to a new level. “These songs demand more of me because of their candor,” says Bianco.  “ They require all the tricks of my past performances – the intensity, the burlesque, the gitter; but also a resounding honesty that I’ve realized is fundamental in all worthwhile performances.”
Loudmouth captures the playful wit and spirit that has always defined Bianco, but is a marked departure from his earlier works. There’s plenty of mischief on the record, but there’s a certain maturity too. Not the kind of maturity that involves mortgages or afternoon naps; but the kind that is required to create something timeless.
With Loudmouth, it’s as if Bianco has transformed himself from the juggling clown of the circus into to it’s ringleader. But make no mistake - he’s still in the circus.  And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Jim Bianco Tour Dates
Jan 20 - Rockwood - NY, NY
Jan 27 - Rockwood - NY, NY
Feb 4 - Rockwood - NY, NY

Kristy Lee in the Bowery | 12/2/2010

Not to be confused with American Idol’s Kristy Lee Cook, Kristy Lee says she’s the real deal. Indeed, she is.

Catherine Russell CD Release Party Monday April 12 at Dizzy's Club

World Village/harmonia mundi proudly announces the release of vocalist Catherine Russell’s Inside This Heart Of Mine on April 13, 2010. Her third album for the label, Inside This Heart Of Mine is a collection of 13 songs -- tied together by the special place these songs hold inside the heart of Catherine Russell.

It's a heart that's warm and effusive, bluesy and erudite, bold yet vulnerable, passionate yet ethereal. Just listen to Cat's masterful reading of “Troubled Waters”, a seldom heard tune scored by the Duke Ellington Orchestra for both Ivey Anderson and Mae West, performed here as a sultry meditation. Then there's “We The People”, a never before covered Fats Waller tune from an originally unreleased recording, a tongue-in-cheek populist manifesto from the previous Great Depression, which implores legislators to provide “syncopation” as the surest way to “please the people.” The Spencer Williams languid blues melody, "Slow As Molasses", was originally recorded as an instrumental by Luis Russell in 1929 with his band The Jungle Town Stompers. Wordsmith Rachelle Garniez added lyrics just for these sessions, allowing Cat’s evocative vocal spin on the new creation, some 80 years following her Dad’s original version.

This decades spanning collection of songs, originally performed by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee, Maxine Sullivan, Howlin’ Wolf, Wynonie Harris, Fats Waller, and Catherine’s father, Luis Russell, draws from Vaudeville wit, Tin Pan Alley tune craft, New Orleans swagger, Swing Era sock, the European Cafe, Jump Blues jive, modal Delta Blues, and Django-esque swing, with an immediacy and a timeless quality that’s refreshingly oblivious to current “trends”. Here in you’ll find works by Hall of Fame Songwriters, like Andy Razaf, Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler, Alec Wilder, and Willie Dixon, as well as being introduced to newer Contemporary songs with an old-time vibe by Rachelle Garniez and producer, Paul Kahn.

For the sessions, Musical Director/Arranger/Guitarist/Banjoist, Matt Munisteri (Holly Cole, Little Jimmy Scott, Brock Mumford), assembled the cream of New York City based players, including trumpet great Jon-Erik Kellso, who contributes arrangements, trombonist John Allred, and saxophone/clarinetist Dan Block. The rhythm section includes players from Catherine Russell’s road tested band, including stride and swing connoisseur Mark Shane on piano, Lee Hudson on bass, and Brian Grice on drums (Count Basie Orchestra, Eartha Kitt). Additional players on the album include legendary hipster Howard Johnson on tuba, Rachelle Garniez on accordion, Sara Caswell on violin, Neal Miner on bass, and Rob Garcia on drums.

Catherine Russell is a New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a native of Panama who moved to New Orleans and then New York City, becoming a pioneering pianist/composer/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong's long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, an outstanding bassist and vocalist, has performed with Mary Lou Williams and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Considering her roots and family pedigree, it’s no surprise that Catherine Russell is a one-of-a-kind singer and musician. Cat is in demand as a backing singer and multi- instrumentalist, having performed and recorded with artists including Steely Dan, Levon Helm, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Carrie Smith, and Rosanne Cash.

Of her debut album "Cat", (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), she made critic and Sinatra biographer, Will Friedwald's top 10 list who stated "She is a fresh and original voice. The most exciting debut album I've heard in a long time."    "It's a delight to hear the real thing in Catherine Russell", wrote the dean of jazz writers, Nat Hentoff, in The Wall Street Journal.


Catherine Russell's second album on World Village, "Sentimental Streak", was released in 2008 to universal acclaim, hitting the Billboard and I-Tunes Jazz Charts, and JazzWeek and Living Blues Radio Charts. Cat was a guest on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and NPR's "Fresh Air". She won the prestigious German Record Critics' Award in the Jazz category and Living Blues magazine's 2008 critics' poll as "Artist Deserving More Attention." L'Acadamie du Jazz in France chose "Sentimental Streak" as finaliste for Prix du Jazz Vocal 2008, while Grammy Award winning writer and jazz critic Francis Davis picked "Sentimental Streak" as Vocal Album of the Year in the 2008 Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll.

Since the release of her albums, Catherine Russell has performed on three continents. She's been the surprise hit at major events including the Chicago Blues Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Bern Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Lotus World Music Festival, I Love Jazz Festival in Brazil, Panama Jazz Festival, and at premier venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, and Yoshi's in San Francisco. All Music Guide says, "Russell emerged as a retro old school vocalist for the ages."

Catherine Russell's "Inside This Heart of Mine" is a personal selection of gems from the 1920s through the Present; vital interpretations, bursting with soul and humor. Deepening the approach of her previous recordings -- an off-the-beaten-path song selection, sparkling small group acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach -- with "Inside This Heart Of Mine", vocalist Catherine Russell joins the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song.

Catherine Russell CD Release Party
Monday April 12
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street,
(33 West 60th Street)
NY, NY 10023
(212)258-9595

Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction-LIVE!

The first Mimi Fishman Foundation on-line charity auction of the new decade has just launched. The auction features over 30 limited edition posters from Phish’s 2009 tour, including the end of year Miami run and Festival 8. All the posters are signed by each of the members of Phish and in most cases the poster artist as well; Phish famed artist Jim Pollock included. Making the posters extremely rare is the fact the band signed only 5 posters from each show.

The beneficiaries of the auction proceeds include the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments, a wonderful organization that extends services to visually impaired children ages birth to three as well as their families - as well as the SPCA of Syracuse, an organization which was very close to Mimi’s heart and where she got her cat Valentine.

Visit the charity auction site.

Krishna Das releases New Album, Tour Dates

Called the “Chant Master of American Yoga” by the New York Times, Krishna Das will release Heart As Wide As The World, his first studio album in ten years, on March 2nd. The album is a collaboration with David Nichtern (“Midnight at the Oasis”) who produced and played guitar. Jerry Marotta (Hall & Oates, Peter Gabriel) on drums, percussion.  As well as, world musicians Steve Gorn on bansuri flute and Benjy Wertheimer on esraj, amongst an array of other instruments.

Layering traditional Hindu kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation, Krishna Das has been called yoga’s “rock star.”  With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das – known to friends, family, and fans as simply KD – has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling chant artist of all time, with over 300,000 records sold.  His first studio recording in a decade, “HEART AS WIDE AS THE WORLD” invests KD’s magnetic chanting with an electrifying rock ‘n’ roll sensibility informed by a lifetime of experience and musical love.

Krishna Das has been recording his popular and much-loved albums of kirtan since 1996. Having made numerous pilgrimages to India throughout his career and meeting teachers of many spiritual traditions, Krishna Das follows the path of Bhakti yoga – the yoga of devotion – and brings a lifetime of spirituality into his music. Over the years, his collaborators in the studio have included Rick Rubin on Door of Faith, Sting on Pilgrim Heart and Mike D in a 50-person kirtan choir on Breath of the Heart, also produced by Rubin.


Krishna Das has toured extensively through North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America, and counts Madonna and Mike D of the Beastie Boys amongst his fans. Krishna Das will be touring this spring with Deva Premal & Miten, dubbed “The Johnny and June Carter Cash of chant” by Yoga Journal . Together they are creating an extraordinary series of concerts across the US, highlighting the newfound popularity of kirtan and mantra chanting. These musicians, who have enjoyed a worldwide grassroots success the past decade, are each celebrating the release of new albums with their first co-headlined tour.

Krishna Das LIVE with Dava Premal & Miten:
03/24    Seattle - Moore Theatre
03/25    Portland - Crystal Ballroom
03/27  Los Angeles - Wilshire Ebell
03/28   San Francisco - Warfield Theater
03/30    Phoenix - Mesa Arts Center
03/31    Tucson - Rialto Theatre
04/01     Santa Fe - Lensic Theatre
04/03     Denver  - Paramount Theatre
04/05     Dallas - Unity Church
04/07     Atlanta - Variety playhouse
04/09     Philadelphia - Keswick Theatre
04/12  Chicago North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
04/14    Boston - Somerville Theater
04/15    New York - Webster Hall

Getting to the Heart of Mickey Hart

Next week, Mickey Hart will make an historic appearance at the 10,000 Lakes Festival. This will be the first year that two founding members of the Grateful Dead will be on the same bill, though they will play on different days.

Cameron Tapp: A Mate with a Big Heart

Cameron Tapp - photos by Janie Franz- for the Grateful Web

Last week, Australian singer/songwriter Cameron Tapp made his US solo debut, not in a coffeehouse or intimate club, but as the processional singer at a fan's wedding. He flew almost 10,000 miles to sing his hit song as Jesse Ihry walked down the aisle of a Fargo, ND church.

Jesse had discovered Tapp's song, "The Guide," on iTunes well before she and her fiance had made their commitment to each other. The song had been recorded in 2006 on Loss of Signal, a CD by Tapp and his band mates under the name Borne. That song had also been licensed and featured on the television program Friday Night Lights and on October Road. "The Guide" became a Single of the Week on iTunes and earned the band a slot at SXSW last year, marking the band's first appearance ever in the States.  Last year, Borne won four Music Oz awards in Australia, including Artist of the Year, and Tapp was tapped as Best Singer/Songwriter.

When Jesse and her fiancé became engaged last June, they began the search for sheet music for "The Guide" because the church didn't permit recorded music during the wedding service. "We looked and looked online everywhere and could not find it," Jesse said. Out of desperation, she went to the Borne website, and emailed every contact person she found there, asking for sheet music.

But there was a problem. Tapp didn't have any sheet music. In fact, he didn't know how to write musical notation. Tapp explained that in a personal email to Jesse and made a few suggestions. One was to have a singer with a good ear listen to the song and learn it; another was to do some sort of video over the internet and show how he approached the song, explaining chords, bridges, and vocal treatments. A third was simply to fly him to Fargo. Jesse's reaction was unbelief. "I thought he was joking," she recalled. "Then, we realized he was serious." That's when the wedding couple decided to consolidate their student loans and give up their honeymoon to get Tapp on a plane to Fargo.

"The thing with this song is so surreal," Jesse said. It was more than just having the singer of a famous band coming to her wedding. "It is the meaning behind the song and having the actual singer here. It's something that you'll never forget."

And for Cameron Tapp, it is just as special. "I'm a sucker for a love story," he said in a phone interview last week and repeated during a relaxed lunch in Fargo the day after the wedding. "It's such an honor to be asked to sing....To be asked to play a song that you've written at someone's wedding is such a beautiful thing. It is a wonderful thing for any artist to be asked that because it means that your song has done what it was supposed to do, which was to reach people, to talk to people. That's what music is for. It's not for bank accounts."

As Tapp, his publicist Christian Quilici, Grand Forks ND singer/songwriter Ron Franz, and I lingered over drinks, we were very aware how much this remarkable story had brought strangers together, not just Tapp and the bridal couple, but all of us. "It's a beautiful story and people love to hear beautiful fairy tales," he said.  "The song was born (pardon the pun) out of love.  Jesse's life is about how she's found pure love again...These kinds of stories just don't come along very often."

But even more strangers got into the act. Tourism Tasmania organized a $10,000 honeymoon package for the couple. It will cover airfare and high-end resort accommodations. The costs are being covered partly by the Tasmanian tourism bureau, which is a government entity, and by airlines, car rentals, and other hospitality industries.

Though the wedding is over, Tapp, however, is not flying back home immediately. He is using this trip to strike out with some material as a solo performer. Some of the live radio spots he did in Fargo, especially at a country station, proved to him and to some new fans that his new material was more universal that the pop genre pigeonhole Borne had been put into.

Tapp is comfortable playing acoustic guitar, but it wasn't his first instrument. Surprisingly, it was the harmonica. And, not blues, but straight harp. "My father played a beautiful mouth organ," Tapp said. "We use to go camping a lot as children with my parents. We'd always have a campfire, and we'd sit around it and sing songs. Dad would play the harmonica and tell us stories of his past... I had a beautiful, wholesome childhood." Later, Tapp picked up drums and then guitar when he was about ten.

Tapp's father, Paul Tapp, today is an author of children's fiction and adult non-fiction books. When Cam Tapp was a boy, his father also wrote songs. "I used to sit around and listen to my Dad play his songs on the acoustic guitar."

Songwriting came naturally to young Tapp. That carried through to his work with the pop entity called Borne. But Tapp quickly asserted, "Borne primarily is me," Tapp said. "It's a Moby-type situation. I've always had the inspiration to write songs. I take them to my producer, and we work the songs. Then the boys come in and play the material with me and we compile the tracks. And when the time comes, we'll go out and play the music."

While Tapp was in Fargo, he brought some new tunes with him. "Winter Chill" tells the tender story of when his father and mother were apart when the elder Tapp served in the Vietnam war and how their letters and the moon they both watched every night kept them connected. This was one story he heard a lot around the campfire. It's a tune that fit very nicely aired on a country station live.

Another song, Tapp is showcasing is "Dacridium franklinii." It was a song his father wrote about the Huon pine, the Dacridium franklinii (now called Lagarostrobos franklinii). "The Huon pine tree grows only in my native state, which is Tasmania," Tapp said. "It's the oldest and slowest growing tree in the world." Individual trees have lived for almost 2,000 years and whole forests stands have survived uncut for over 10,000 years. "When my father wrote this song, they were chopping down these trees to make a dam," Tapp recalled. "That song had a huge impact on my life."

Tapp wrote of the song, "Dacrydium Fanklinii is a lullaby, a lullaby that was sung to me at bedtime as a child. As I fell asleep the verses took me to cool and tranquil Gondwanic forests where the Huon pine tree lives. It was in these forests that I spent the better part of my childhood."

He decided to record it on a compilation CD called Forests Forever that was released this year by the Wilderness Society Initiative to raise money and awareness for the continued destruction of old growth forests. That CD included cuts by two other well-known Australians, Xavier Rudd and John Butler.  Though the Huon pine is now protected, its plight is similar to what else is happening in the country. "Quite recently, there has been a massive debate in my home state of Tasmania about a wood chip mill they are trying to build," Tapp explained. "They are trying to log areas that have vast tracts of old growth forests." Not only is this of concern to Tasmanians but it also can impact the rest of the world.  "These big huge tracts of forest store massive banks of carbon," Tapp said. When the trees are cut, this carbon is released. "So it would be a great global warming crime if they don't stop doing this to wood chip these trees for paper."

It is a plaintive song that makes good use of Tapp's vocal range, his passion, and his crisp acoustic guitar playing. "I went down to Tasmania quite recently," Tapp said, "and I went into the bush to one of these areas that they are going to log and I played that song in the wilderness." That helped launch the CD. (You can catch a youtube video of the song).

These stripped down tunes like others he will showcase this week in CA rely on Tapp's unusual finger and plectrum combo style on his Australian Maton guitar. He demonstrated that for Grand Forks singer/songwriter Ron Franz and then let Franz have a go at his favorite guitar.

Tapp's guitar work is clean and rootsy.  But the strength of each of these new songs hangs on the power of Tapp's vocals that sometimes whisper and sometimes erupt from the heart in a mourning cry. Both skills uplift lyrics that speak of relationships between people and between people and their environment.

On the coattails of his generous, unpretentious hands-across-the-waters gesture, Cameron Tapp will put his foot into the waters of the American acoustic music scene when he brings his solo show to the Plush Cafe in Fullerton CA on Tuesday June 17 at 7 pm and to the Hotel Cafe (unplugged) in LA Wednesday June 18 at 8 pm. Check him out. There are depths Cameron Tapp hasn't fathomed yet in his songwriting career. Let's hope he continues to bring his talents to American shores.