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Songs on "The Other Side" 

     I have a new album coming out soon -- hopefully by the end of summer. It thought I would take some time and let you know a little about each song on the album. But this first post is just some general information about the album itself.

     I have a few other albums that I have out over the years. My first album was a Christmas themed album of popular holiday songs. It was upbeat and featured some great string arrangements recorded in Nashville, TN. I loved doing that recording -- it was the first time I had ever had free reign in a recording studio. Before that, I had done one recording in a friend's home studio, but he was a novice engineer. That was a two-song recording of two of my original songs. I played guitar and added a friend playing bass on one of the songs. I was never really happy with that recording -- I felt like my budget didn't allow for what I was hearing in my head. Other than that, were some demos that I made on my own. But this first Christmas cd was fun and exciting. There was a full orchestra, and I got to do background vocals, and overdubs -- the whole shebang! It was so much fun I couldn't wait till the next time I could be in a studio again.

That next time was actually quite a few years later. I had moved from Nashville back to Massachusetts, where I am originally from. I had a plethora of original songs, and I had shopped them around individually. But my own recordings of them were done on garage band. My talent is as a singer and a songwriter, not as a producer! So when I was approached by a Texas-based recording company, I jumped at the chance to record an original album of 8 songs. Although I had some input into the instrumentation and arrangements of my songs, I didn't really have a theme. I just picked 8 of the songs that I thought were production-worthy. I loved the arrangements on that album, and I felt at the time that it was a reflection of the best songs that I had written over the years. At the time I recorded it (2012) it was the best thing I felt I had done so far. The album is called "Rain on Friday."

Well, moving ahead, the next album that I put out is called "Classic." It contains cover songs of many of the classic songs that I grew up listeneng to. That whole album was done on my own with Garageband. I recorded the tracks myself -- mostly using synthesizers and loops, or playing my piano and guitar live. It took a long time to do, and I learned a lot about production. But I still couldn't wait to get back into a real studio with a proper engineer and live musicians.

Around 2014, I decided to record another Christmas album, because of the three recorded albums out there, that first Christmas album I recorded still was selling the most downloads. Each year, it would pick up sales again. So I thought that maybe I should record a new Christmas album. This time, I chose holiday songs that were a little off the beaten path -- like Joni Mitchell's "River" and Amy Grant's "Grown-up Christmas List." Again, I recorded in my bedroom at home, using Garageband loops and my own instruments.

In 2016, the company that recorded "Rain on Friday" approached me again to do another recording of original songs. I was in the middle of a breakup with my boyfriend at the time, and I had a lot of anger and thoughts about leaving and being left behind. That album became an EP of originals called "Leaving>" THis time, I did not go to Mustang, TX to their studio to record. We negotiated arrangements, instrumentation, and tracks via the internet, and I recorded my vocals from home (in my bedroom once again) when I received the final instrumental tracks. Then I sent back the vocals, and the engineer mixed the songs.

In 2016, I started to wonder if I would even write songs again. It had been a while since I had written anything that I thought was worth recording. I had lost both of my parents, and I had gone through the breakup with my boyfriend. I was not in a good frame of mind emotionally, and I didn't know what to write about. I went to a songwriter workshop in Nashville, The workshop was given by one of my favorite writes, Beth Nielsen-Chapman. I learned a lot, networked with other songwriters and musicians, and got to meet Kathy Mattea. But I really didn't write anything of merit. The following year, I went back to Nashville for a workshop given by Mary Gauthier. During that time, the Trump Administration was wreaking havoc on our immigration policies. ON the last day of the workshop, Mary gave us a copy of a poem about the Statue of Liberty and told us to go off for an hour and see what we could come up with. In that hour, I found an old upright piano and wrote a complete song about my grandfather, who came to the US with his family from Italy when he was a small child.

And that's where this new project "The Other Side" began. I know this has been a bit lengthy, but from now on each of my blogs will explain a particular song on the new album!


Blog #2 9/15/19

" Well, when I started this blog back in June of 2019, I planned to write a little each month about the songs on the new CD "The Other Side." A lot has happened since that first blog post. But I guess I should go back to the place where I left off! 

So........ Mary Gauthier gave us that writing prompt about immigration, and I wrote that first song about my grandparents coming to the US from Vieste, Italy. When I think about the courage it took to brink a family to a new home -- a place you had never seen! My mother's father came to the US with his parents and sister and brothers. My grandfather was a baby. It was at his father's insistence that they came here-- my grandfather. His wife, my great-grandmother did NOT want to leave her home in Italy. She refused to learn the new language. She wanted so badly to go back to her beautiful home in Vieste. But her husband loved everything American! He got a job, and had his children enrolled in American schools -- at least till they could quit and help him work! My Grandfather's name was "Libero" but when his sister Julia took him to school to enroll him, she thought the name sounded too Italian, so she told the teachers his name was "Paul." From then on, my grandfather was called Paul.

Paul got older and didn't much lick the work his father did. He was fascinated with American cars, and fount his work as an auto-mechanic. He met my grandmother, Lucie, and they were both very young. Lucie was French/Canatian, and that did not please Paul's parents. The two ran off and got married in a nearby town, and Paul's parents saw that they were serious and made them come back home and have a proper Catholic wedding! 

Baby's came soon enough -- first my Uncle Joe, and then my Mom, Lucie (yes, named after her mother!) My grandparent's bought a house in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and the rest, as they say, is history. You can hear the story my life's history in the song "A Different Kind of LIfe" in my new Album, "The Other Side."  Stay tuned........