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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Album Review – Take A Chance by Abigail Jerri

If you have not yet heard about the music of one Abigail Jerri, it’s about time you do.

This young musician from suburban Pittsburgh, PA released her first album in 2016 and it is well worth checking out.

Entitled “Take A Chance,” the recording includes a total of seven songs. And while the official category according to CD Baby is Pop, it is anything but conventional. Jerri uses classical instrumentation and smooth, soft but strong vocal to create her own unique vibe. The artist meshes what I interpret as elements of jazz, country, rhythm and blues and even light rock to express herself though in a sweet vocal style. She brings out the emotion in the lyrics and I’d recommend you take some time to get to know her work. This young lady could really go places.

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Here’s her Youtube video channel.

 

Amy Oestreicher in her hit one-woman musical Gutless & Grateful

Following sold-out runs at The Triad NYC, The Bijou Theatre, United Solo Festival, Barrington Stage Company (Tony-Award winning William Finn’s Cabaret Series) and a nationwide tour from Washington D.C. to Hawaii, the captivating Amy Oestreicher will bring her hit one-woman musical Gutless & Grateful back to NYC at the internationally acclaimed Metropolitan Room on February 5th and 25th, 2017.  Through interwoven song and dialogue, performer Amy Oestreicher shares a primal piece of live-storytelling – weaving her near death experience and inspiring perspective with an eclectic set of songs, hilariously highlighting struggles, triumphs and “beautiful detours” in her life.

“Gutless & Grateful is not a story about a victim, but one of a survivor. Amy has channeled the pain of her experiences into something far greater.” – Michelle Alerte (Woman Around Town)

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Nominated for “Best Theatre Debut” in 2012 (Broadway World), and Bistro Awards Top Pick, and featured in Huffington Post, Gutless & Grateful, takes audiences on a musical journey of determination, grit and “guts” as Oestreicher shares her humor, her strength, and her soaring vocals with the world. Oestreicher’s script was inspired by the thousands of journal entries she kept over the six years she endured unable to eat a morsel of food or drink a drop of liquid.  Co-conceived by Oestreicher and musical director David Brunetti, the show is directed by Broadway-veteran Jerold Goldstein, also on piano.  “Gutless” also features the song “Still Alive” which was written for Amy by acclaimed composer David Friedman with lyrics by TV personality and lyricist Kathie Lee Gifford, after she appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show in 2011.

“One part moving testament to human indomitability, the other a thoroughly satisfying evening of song. While each element is strong enough to stand on its own, combined they illuminate and enhance each other. Rarely have I seen narration and song so artfully meshed, and Oestreicher’s likeability, good humor, interpretive skill, and manifest commitment to what she is saying and singing make us not only understand her story, but also feel it on a very deep level.”
-Roy Sander (critic for BistroAwards.com)

Amy had ambitious plans for Broadway, until she abruptly developed a blood clot the week before her high school senior prom. After being rushed to the hospital, her stomach exploded in the operating room, and after both her lungs collapsed, she nearly died. After waking up from a coma several months later, she was told she no longer had a stomach, and it was unknown whether she would ever be able to eat or drink again . After 27 surgeries and six of the past ten years unable to drink a drop of fluid, Amy’s digestive system was miraculously reconstructed and she learned that the human spirit heals through “gutsiness”, gratitude, and an overabundance of humor.
Amy Oestreicher is an artist, author, speaker for RAINN and TEDx, writer for The Huffington Post, award-winning health advocate, actress and playwright, eagerly sharing the lessons learned from a decade of trauma through her writing, performance, art and speaking.  Amy’s story and show have appeared on the TODAY Show, CBS, WNBC Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, Unmistakable Creative, Good Housekeeping, among others, and her writings have appeared in over 70 notable lifestyle, wellness, and arts publications.  Amy’s “beautiful detour” inspired her to create the #LoveMyDetour movement, a campaign inspiring people to flourish because of, rather than in spite of challenges- also the subject of her ’16 TEDx Talk and upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour. Oestreicher will also be giving another TEDx Talk this February in Virginia.

Oestreicher’s story is always inspirational and surprisingly funny.” – Paulanne Simmons (Times Square Chronicles)

Come for a moving night of song, stories and possibilities, all in a 70-minute musical comedy. Gutless & Grateful is no ordinary one-woman show, but a powerhouse production that leaves the audience in tears, laughing hysterically, and savoring every last bite as though it were their very first.

Amy Oestreicher in Gutless & Grateful plays the Metropolitan Room on 34 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010, on February 5th at 7pm and March 26th  at7pm.  Doors open 30 minutes beforehand.

Tickets start at $24 and there is a two drink minimum.. Tickets and information are available at http://metropolitanroom.com/event.cfm?id=239500 and by calling (212) 206-0440

For more information on Oestreicher’s unique story and highly esteemed show, visit www.amyoes.com  and follow her on Twitter @amyoes or Facebook @amyoestr

The poetry of Johnny Cash

Anybody who has even a casual knowledge of music history knows about the one and only Johnny Cash. He was known for his deep words and often melancholic tone. But until recently, few realized that we also wrote poetic works.

In a book called “Johnny Cash: Forever Words,” his son collected 41 pieces that he had skillfully crafted and had them published for music and literary buffs. I got my copy a few weeks back but have not yet gotten much of a change to delve in.

If this is something you might like, check it out today.

It is available at retailers such as Amazon or can be ordered at your local bookseller.

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Lastest Musical Release By Anthony Rankin

Years ago, a talented musician named Anthony Rankin started out doing shows in his native Pittsburgh. After a number of albums, he took off to continue his career in the East Coast music capital of Nashville. This is the video from his latest release “Pony Tail.”

Poetry , Video and Audio! Oh, My!

Quite a lot of art today focuses on more than one type of media. However, it’s not that often that you may find a creative effort that uses more that two at a time. This powerful video just just that.

The poem “The Dash In Between” by Youtube member Borrowed Light And Broken String and adds in intense music as well.

Be warned, it deals with some emotional subject matter but feel free to check it out in the below video.

Like Finding New Musical Artists to Listen To?

If you’re an avid music fan, or even if you aren’t but just enjoy discovering some new bands or artists once in a while, I just came across a tool you might find enjoyable and useful.

Music Map

Here’s how it works. Just click this link to Music-Map and from there enter the name of an artist whose music you like. Click the search button and you will be shown a list of artists who might appear to you. the closer they are to the name of the original search you put in, the more likely (at least in theory) you might be to like their songs.

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How Creativity Therapy Saved My Life

By Amy Oestreicher

My name is Amy Oestreicher, and according to doctors, I am a “surgical disaster.”  However, at 28, I feel truly blessed.  I may not have a stomach, but I sure am hungry for life.  It started in 2005 – a week before my senior prom.  It was our second night of Passover, and my stomach started hurting.  My dad said it might be gas, but he took me to the ER for an x-ray, just in case.  On the way there, my cheeks actually puffed up, soon after, I collapsed, and I woke up from my coma months later.  Apparently, there was a blood clot on the mesenteric artery that caused a thrombosis, and when they cut into me, my stomach actually burst to the top of the OR.  Both of my lungs collapsed, I went into sepsis shock, and I needed 122 units of blood to keep me alive.   At 18, I was read my last rites.

When I finally awoke from my coma months later, the doctors finally told me what was going on.  I had no stomach anymore, I couldn’t eat or drink, and it was not known when or if I would ever be able to again.  What do you say to that?  I was shocked – I had been too sleepy to be hungry, but now that I knew what the real circumstances were, I was devastated.  I was confused, like I had woken up in someone else’s life – where was I?  Who was I?  I remember I was once so desperate for answers that I googled “How do I find myself?”

Part of me wanted to curl up in a ball and disappear, part of me wanted to throw something.  I was frustrated – I had just gotten my college acceptance letters – was I the victim of some cruel joke?

One day, I picked up a paintbrush.  And my world changed.  I had found a way to express things that were too complicated, painful and overwhelming to put into words.  Suddenly, when the uncertainty around me seemed frighteningly unmanageable, the strokes of my paintbrush could soothe me as I created a peaceful world that my soul longed to rest in as a place of peaceful solace.  My passion could ignite instead of my anger and despair.  And slowly, the good feelings overwhelmed the bad because I could control the positive world portrayed on my canvases with what my subconscious chose to create.  And I still believe that attitude is everything.

You don’t need to be an “artist” to make art – all you need to do is start somewhere.  Art doesn’t have to be “good”, it just has to be “real.”  What draws me back again and again to my paintbrush is that when I hold it in my hands, no one can judge me – all that matters is what I’m feeling inside.  Through painting, I’ve discovered feelings I’ve suppressed that I had never even anticipated.  Every day I come to my painting, I may be feeling something diferent.  I could paint the most joyful expression in the world, or just a giant tear drop – but every time, I always walk away feeling better.  I’ve realized what I was feeling – and I’d rather feel everything than nothing at all.

Creativity became my lifeline.  What I wanted to keep my mind and heart numb to not deal with difficult circumstances, art could help me unlock those feelings and truly express myself.

Who knew that art would make my medical trauma become the most amazing adventure and lesson of my life?  Art helped me process what I was feeling.  But most importantly, art served to be the greatest reward, acting as a medium where I could still engage with my community, reach out to others, and make a difference in this world while utilizing my passion.  Arts were my way of connecting with the world, sharing my story, and spreading my message of hope, strength, and finding beauty in whatever life brings you.  My art may be self-taught, but it is personal, uniquely me, and a mosaic of what I have been through.

As a child, the arts were my passion and identity.  When my traumas occurred, they became my lifeline.  Now that I am out of my medical crisis and into a life of health and vitality once again, the arts are how I can reconnect with the world, make a difference, and raise awareness – awareness ofthe power of ones internal resources, awareness that there are many ways to heal externally and internally, and awareness of the human potential and spirit.  An awareness of gratitude – that every day and moment should be celebrated – that life is a canvas, an open score, a bare stage, waiting for us to join the dance!

I found art accidentally on my way to healing physically, emotionally and spiritually and have learned that it is one of the most rewarding, forgiving, beautiful ways to find my way through the darkness and into the light.  I may have found it accidentally, but because of art, I have found myself again.  Although left with a few scars, I am long past my bleak days in the hospital.  With, my wonderfully supportive family, my passion and a paintbrush, I was able to keep my soul alive for that uncertain time in my life.  Life may always be predictable, but art can always find the beauty in the detours.

BIO:

Amy Oestreicher is a 28 year old actress, musician, teacher, composer, dancer, writer, artist, yogi, foodie, and general lover of life.  Surviving and thriving through a coma, 27 surgeries and other trauma has inspired Amy to share her story with the world through her passionate desire to create and help others.  Piecing her life together after her initial dreams of performing musical theatre took on a beautiful detour into broader horizons.  Amy has written, directed and starred in a one woman musical about her life, Gutless & Grateful, has flourished as a mixed media and acrylic artist, with her art in multiple galleries and mounting dozens of solo art shows, and continues to share her story through her art, music, theatre and writings.

More information on her unique story, as well as her creative ventures can be found at amyoes.com, and visit her blog http://www.allspiceandacrylics.blogspot.com/ for her newest art, music and inspirational musings.  You can also visit her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AllspiceandAcrylics?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

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