Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sonya!!!

Sherman had the wonderful fortune of being invited to a showcase last night at Seattle's Jazz Alley. The invite was to come and hear a new artist who has been chosen to be the second release on Starbucks' Hear Music Debut Series. Hmmm...Starbucks??? Not sure what to expect and a slight hesitation I have to admit. Well, the minute I heard the CD I knew I had to check her out! Sonya Kitchell is a 16 year-old singer/songwriter with the chops and skills of someone many years her senior. Her stage presence was charming and her performance was out of this world! Her stage banter was the only reminder of her youth, her guitar playing and vocal capabilities were on par with the best. We were all witnessing the birth of a star and we knew it! She started singing at age 8 and studying voice at 10. It was at the ripe old age of 12 that she wrote a song that would change everything. After the attacks of Sept. 11th, Sonya wrote a song that she eventually performed at the Special Olympics. An article in her local newspaper resulted in her formation of a band to perform that and other songs. Over time, Sonya won music competitions and was spotted by Velour Records in 2004. Sonya released her first EP, Cold Day, that same year. Her full length debut, Words Came Back To Me, on Velour Records was discovered by the folks at Hear Music and will be released in conjunction with Velour on April 4th at all Starbucks locations. Get ready Sonya! You are about to hit the big time! I think the dollar sign sunglasses she jokingly put on during her performance last night are the sign of times to come! She is an absolute delight and someone we will be hearing from for many, many years to come. Her perfect combination of pop, jazz and folk will lead her all the way to Carnegie Hall on Feb. 1st for the Music For Youth Tribute to Joni Mitchell. This is her chance to rub elbows with many artists who have paved the way for her. I can't think of any advice they can give her besides keep doing what you are doing! She is a tremendous talent whom I wish much success and happiness. Look for her CD in Starbucks and all music retail outlets on April 4th and the first single, "Let Me Go" should be hitting radio soon!

Seems like Jenny Lewis isn't the only Rilo Kiley member forging her own way. Blake Sennett appears to be doing the same, but in a noticeably different manner. Sennett formed the dreamy pop group The Elected a few years ago and has released their second full length Sun, Sun, Sun on Sub Pop. Their 2004 release, Me First, felt a bit more in the Riloo Kiley vein, but their latest is pure 60's/70's pop glee! This is the soundtrack you need for driving up the coast of California. It is at once a Beach Boys tribute and a nod to the likes of the Dead. There is much less country sensibility and much more fuzzy pop on Sun, Sun, Sun. Sennett's vocals on "Biggest Star" are impeccable! A song with lyrics that sound like they should be leaping at you, are delivered in such a heartfelt, hushed manner that the song's meaning changes. "Would You Come With Me" is another standout track. This is the song you turn on when hop in the car and take a drive along the water. It's born for the radio. Actually, I could hear that one on AM radio and it would sound sensational! Sennett is on to something here. A nod to a bygone era that we desperately need a taste of today!

Short post today. Sherman has a good time waster for today FlyGuy!

Have a great night. See you tomorrow!

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