By Sally Deering
Elena Zazanis, Alex Finger, Amanda Levie, and Amy Elise belt, croon and harmonize songs without any instruments, just a pitch pipe to locate important first notes. Theyâ€™re known as Cabaret Sauvignon, â€œa female a cappella ensemble covering tantalizing tunes from torch to top 40.â€ The four songstresses layer their voices in harmonies that modernize classics like â€œBie Mier Bis Du Shoenâ€ by The Andrew Sisters and put a twist on Top 40 Pop hits like BeyoncÃ©â€™s â€œCrazy in Loveâ€.
Cabaret Sauvignon can be seen in their first cabaret performance A MYSTERIOUS A CAPPELLA MURDER CABARET at the 16th annual Midtown International Theatre Festival in Manhattan for two shows, July 30 and August 2. The show is described as a â€œreality-theatre tale where four female vocalists meet in fierce competition, surmount their backstage backstabs, form the a cappella group Cabaret Sauvignon, and allegedly murder their manager.â€
Â River View Observer “Best Pick” Emerging Artists Band
By Sally Deering
Jersey City festival-goers know Joe Palumboâ€™s band â€œThe Better Lettersâ€ because the group performs at the 4th Street Art & Music Festival every year and has a huge local fan base.
The bandâ€™s first album â€œMixed Feelingsâ€ was released in June 2011 and now fans of the group can look forward to the August release of a 3-song EP â€œPlay it Straight,â€ which will also be free for download on the bandâ€™s website, www.thebetterletters.com and available on iTunes.
Hereâ€™s how Palumbo describes the title track:
“â€™Play It Straightâ€™ has a nervously paced verse which evokes a sense of paranoia in the listener as voices whisper from every dark corner. The protagonist is a victim of his own misconceptions of how others view him and interpret his actions. The tension in the high-pitched guitar breaks echoes this uneasiness. The solution offered is “…give the people what they want … Play it straight”Â but they may as well be saying “be yourself”… Could this be another song about having developed ever-changing multi-stable perceptions from wading in the bottomless stimuli pool of the vast and lawless Internet?â€
Palumbo, who was born and raised in Eastern Long Island and plays guitar also writes the bandâ€™s original songs.The Better Letters is going on tour in Feb 2013 starting in Pennsylvania then heading west to Minneapolis and south to Georgia. Palumbo says:Â â€œI love playing live, especially every day.â€
The Better Letters started as a two-piece in late 2009 and three more band mates joined the following year. The band features Abraham Something on keyboards, Ben Brunnemer on guitar, Steve Goldberg on drums and Darryl Specht on bass guitar.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t cutting it for two people,â€ Palumbo says. â€œWe had to expand quickly. I asked my friend Ben (to join the group). We had been on a job together painting somebodyâ€™s wall and we started talking about the band and I brought him along.Â Steve and I were working years ago in separate competing bakeries, which was kind of funny. Thatâ€™s kind of our connection.â€ Continue reading MUSIC VIEWS- The Better Letters-Tri-State Area Band Releases Second Album
Â Life on the road can be an exhausting and liberating experience for any performer but for a rock band on tour, the road becomes a testing ground for new material, a venue to get the word out about the music and – with any luck – a step closer to a record deal. New York-area rock band Your So-Called Friends has been touring the East Coast, southeast and Midwest since October 2010, playing its original tunes in local clubs and with each show, tightening grooves and polishing their performance. On March 5th, Your So-Called Friends takes a break from the road to make their New York City debut at Crash Mansion on the Lower East Side. Continue reading “Your So-Called Friends”-Local Rock Band Takes Touring Detour to Debut in New York
Born and raised on Long Island, Richy Petrello has seen his career come full circle; complete with a meteoric upswing and a tumbling downfall, only to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. If you knew Richy back in the day, he was a fierce Sax cat – the man was a Rock and roll terrorist, terrorizing his own body with alcohol and drugs, waking up in his own vomit.
Richy lived this clichÃ© of sex, drugs and rock and roll for many years; Continue reading The Partridge Family meets the Red Cross? Mother Teresa with a saxophone.
Debut CD from The Sons of Saint Rocco
is a roots of Rhythm & Blues explosion
The River View Observer sat down with Phil Granito and talked about his debut album, The Sons of Saint Rocco, which “drops” this week, to talk about the tracks, life, and whatever comes up.
RVO : I have to say the record sounds like fun from beginning to end.
Phil: I was doing it for fun. I brought in a lot of friends to work with me. Bobby Jay and Angel Risoffs both came in and helped me out with the vocals. Bobby sang bass on all the tracks and Angel performed the background vocals on BOOT â€˜EM UP. Just terrific, and very humbling, the caliber of players who came together for me. These guys have played with Chuck Berry, Darlene Love and Bo Diddely, just to name a very few. It’s not about name-dropping, you know, it’s about heritage. They’ve been at the center of the scene for the last quarter century and they feel the same way about this music as I do.
RVO: Yes, it’s obvious from listening to the performances that there’s a deep knowledge here, but also a very authentic passion. Continue reading DO YOU WANNA ROCK? The Sons of Saint Rocco-Music Interview -Phil Granito