* Your musical inspirations?

Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Cher, Prince, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder, Marvin
Gaye to name a few - and countless underground music artists, like King
Britt, 4Hero, Amel Larrieux, Joi, Masters at Work, Groove Armada... I also
love Sade, Bob Marley and bossa nova, brazilian,latin and african music,
all of the bollywood stuff - world music also keep my mind open..

 * Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

Marvin Gaye
"What's Going On"

...a timeless record... he recorded it despite the fact that Motown
didn't support his desire to make such a deep and at the time
controversial project - he put his ass on the line artiscally...and few
artists then or now are willing to go from pop to deep!! It's a huge
influence on me... to this day - he went from "Pride and Joy" ...and all
of those great pop songs - great duets with Tammi Terrell - to "What's
Going On" ...and beyond. One must respect the growth.

Stevie Wonder
"Songs in The Key of Life"

I remember the first time I heard it - they played the entire album on the
radio - I was sitting in my Mom's car ... and I just cried, I was so moved
- and I was a teenager. Music when it moves people beyond the groove - is
so powerful. Stevie Wonder is another artist - who evolved - with
meaning... from "Fingertips" as a child to so many powerful records. He
writes from the heart -and around the time I recorded my albums "Affairs of the
Heart" and "Intimacy" I was more interested in pushing myself as an artist and

Diana Ross
Greatest Hits

She is a true Icon - all others should forever bow before her - for the
glamour, the pristine, pure vocals. She doesn't get enough credit.


One the greatest live performers of all time. Prince is a true visionary
and I admire him. Artist, musician, composer, producer, entrepreneur...
everything he's done...from the first album - and currently - and he does
it his own way!


Nile Edwards and Bernard Edwards brought fashion and pop music into a new
era..Sister Sledge and all of the CHIC stuff - got all of the R&B acts out of sequins!!!
International appeal...classic dance, R&B, Pop.

Two Pages

Released in the U.K. - this record made me want to keep going in the music
business after a brief and disappointing stint at Atlantic. It opened my
eyes up to the creative and rich world of underground music. Artists,
writers and producers, putting it down for the "love" - that's what it's

"Nuyorican Soul"

One of the greatest albums ever! George Benson,Tito Puente, Jocelyn Brown..
produced by Masters at Work this is dance, jazz, R&B, and Latin curled
into one delicious groove start to finish.

I will leave it here - otherwise my list will be long - and all over the
place - these are the most key for me...

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

See 4Hero quote! Music can be the tool to make you dance, cry, think, and
inspire. I try to respect that as a fan and artist.

Jody Watley Bio

Whilst career longevity might be a foreign concept to a lot of artists, some endure the highs and lows and remain staples in music throughout the decades. Grammy award winning Jody Watley, via a reputation forged both as a part of Shalamar and as a solo artist, is a prime example of such prolonged occupational stamina. Affectionately referred to by her dedicated fans as "The Queen of Cool", Jody has effortlessly performed R&B,Pop,Dance, and Jazz, while avoiding marketing trends and formulas. Simply put, Jody Watley has always done her own thing!

Released independently on her own label Avitone Recordings in conjunction with Shanachie Entertainment, is "Midnight Lounge". Emerged in the ambience of underground dance rhythms and sophisticated funk, Jody has successfully avoided the pitfalls of veteran artists that either lose touch or record music somewhere between pop and bad...for the sake of selling records. Jody Watley remains fresh, a true artist unafraid to take risks. The release, recently named "Pick of the Week" by People magazine is a combination of warm sounds and reflective lyrics of soul, jazz, R & B and the album's ever present dance vibes that usher her into a new era. The sensual beats and Watley's sultry voice will undoubtedly make bodies move on dance floors, at swanky lounges, dance clubs and even at home!

In recent years Watley has broadened her international and eclectic fan base with successful releases in Japan, England and Europe, working with such progressive labels as Giant Step, Chillifunk. MAW,AVEX and Handcut Records, in tandem with her own Avitone Recordings.

Launching a successful online boutique, and website has also kept Jody working diligently in the new millennium. One of her compositions was recorded by the multi platinum group Destiny's Child. "I'm very comfortable where I am..." Watley states. "I've been the teen sensation, as a part of Shalamar, I've been the Pop Diva...the Fashion Ingenue...I've been very blessed! And whether I'm in or out of the spotlight, I'm intent upon having balance in my life. The majority of my time has been spent being a good mother, which is my number one priority, the most important job with the least recognition! I try to live a life as stress free as possible! Making music is what I do...among other things, but it is not my life.." Jody also states the importance of being an entrepreneur, and having ownership of her music.

"Women need to be more than eye candy, objects and's a new era..and I embrace it!!"

Jody Watley emerged in 1987 a solo star, fresh and beautiful, singing and dancing and looking like a confident pop queen. Jody’s debut single, "Looking For a New Love" was a smash hit with an instant catch phrase ("Hasta La Vista ...Baby")- an influential slice of dance-pop with an unforgettable trend setting video. Her self titled debut album had several more major hits, including "Don't You Want Me", "Still A Thrill", which showcased Jody's deep alto vocal, "Some Kind Of Lover" and "Most Of All". Her ingenious, stylish videos raised the bar not just for dance music, but for women in the business-especially women of color. At the 30th Annual Grammy Awards, Jody was named Best New Artist.

Behind the style there was substance - an experienced songwriter and producer who never settled, never stopped growing and trying to break new ground. Jody continued her platinum run with 1989’s "Larger Than Life", which featured "Real Love". " I wanted to continue to make an impact. Jody recalls. "When we made the video, I wanted to be on the runway! Though I was compared to artists who were more into high energy choreography, I was about individuality, attitude and high style!" Other notable Top Ten Hits from Larger Than Life include the ballad "Everything", and "Friends", a duet with Eric B. and Rakim. "Friends" another first of it’s kind - a collaboration with a mainstream act and hip-hop artist. In 1990, Jody released a million selling home video, Dance To Fitness, another first for a Black woman! Jody continued to be visible appearing in ad campaigns for GAP , and fashion layouts in such high profile magazines as Harper’s Bazaar , VOGUE, and Rolling Stone and Essence. Jody Watley was also named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.

At the time, it was uncommon for artists to crossover into fashion. Watley has been featured on numerous magazine covers around the world. Further recognition came in the form of several award nominations, including MTV Music Awards, and the NAACP Image Awards.

A remix album, You Wanna Dance With Me? was a platinum success as well. That year Jody further stretched out, contributing a jazzy rendition of "After You" to Red, Hot, & Blue, an AIDS Awareness charity recording of contemporary stars singing Cole Porter. Earlier in her career, Jody Watley took part in Bob Geldof's Band Aid. Singing among such stars as Sting, Bono from U2, George Michael, the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas" helped raise millions of dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia.

In the new decade, as commercial radio embraced the newer hip-hop and new jack sounds, Jody chose a more organic route. " My music has always reflected more of my life, than my desire to strictly sell mass quantities of records." Jody states. "Affairs of The Heart" and "Intimacy" presaged the current retro soul movement of today's new artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Maxwell.Clearly, Jody had more on her mind than the latest groove. "Affairs.." and "Intimacy" represented an artist unafraid of change, and unafraid to let her music reflect her maturity. Released amid corporate changes within MCA, Jody experienced minor marketing and promotional support for her new sound and artistic vision. " I was disappointed and dismayed for a while, but when you remember why you make music in the first place, it helps to inspire you to move on."

There were still modest hits on these records in the U.S. and abroad. "I Want You", "I'm The One You Need","Your Love Keeps Working On Me". The controversial spoken word "When A Man Loves A Woman", also heralded the next level of artistic expression for Watley - her video directorial debut. In the U.K. Jody topped the dance charts with the controversial Driza Bone Remix "When a Man Loves A Man". Jody acknowledges a devoted fan base, that includes the gay community.

Jody also worked with legendary composer Henry Mancini for the soundtrack to the Blake Edwards film "Switch". The standard "It’s All There" further showcased Jody Watley’s sultry vocals.

In 1995, Jody took an independent and entrepreneurial path releasing "Affection", on her own Avitone label. During that year Jody also appeared on Broadway in the hit musical Grease! as Rizzo, and appeared in the prestigious SAKS FIFTH AVENUE CATALOG.

Jody released the dynamite singles "Off The Hook" and "If I’m Not In Love" on Atlantic Records in 1998, which both hit No.1 on the Billboard Dance Charts. The album "Flower" was released in Europe and Asia. The critically acclaimed release was championed by many U.K. magazines, including Blues and Soul, and Echoes magazine among others.

A highly sought after import, "Flower" continued to bring acclaim to Watley.During this time, Jody also reunited with her former group Shalamar to work with Babyface on his updated rendition of the Shalamar classic "For The Lover In You". This collaboration also included rapper/actor LL Cool J. Jody could also be heard on the high profile soundtrack to Eddie Murphy’s remake of Dr. Doolittle, with the classic soul tinged "Lovin’ You So".

In 1999, the group Destiny’s Child covered the Jody Watley penned "Sweet Sixteen", which can be found on the multi-platinum The Writing’s On The Wall. MCA Records released "Jody Watley's Greatest Hits", as well as "The Jody Watley Millennium Collection" in 2000.

"The Saturday Night Experience Vol.1" released in Japan in 1999, was a musical fusion of underground dance music. This relaxed and atmospheric EP ran the gamut of house, drum and bass, ambient jazz and R & B. "The Saturday Night Experience" truly reasserts Watley's versatility as an artist. An alternative "EP" version was later released exclusively on the internet, via the website: "It's very liberating to work outside of the traditional industry system right now. That's a different game. There is a music business that's commercial and very sales driven, and there is a music business and audience that thrives simply on the love of music."

Jody Watley returned to the dance floor in 2000 with the Masters At Work produced "I Love To Love" featuring Roy Ayers. " I enjoy working with different people. Each project I’ve recorded has brought out a different side of my writing, and vocal approach. My formula, is that I don’t have one! I believe wholeheartedly in growth and moving forward. It may not be the most commercial approach in an era when artists are under enormous pressure to sell big numbers, but it’s the approach that is most appealing to me right now." Jody states emphatically.

In 2001, Jody released the single "Saturday Night Experience" on Giant Step Records. With remixes done by two of dance music's prominent producers, DJ Ron Trent, and Blaze. "The Saturday Night Experience" is also a part of the sterling compilation "Giant Step Sessions Vol.1" mixed by Ron Trent released in October 2001. The original, has been called a modern day lullaby, appears on Soul Sessions Vol.1 released on Giant Step Records in July 2002. Watley has also recently collaborated with world renowned deejay/producer King Britt for the project "King Britt Presents:Black To The Future".

"Dance music has a lot of soul, not just the cold techno stereotype. I'm blending the warmth and musicality of jazz & rhythm & soul, with danceable grooves...and as always, my lyrical take on life and love. I'm inclined to present a more "boutique" approach to making music now.I've adapted the notion that I want to appeal to the music fan looking for something more eclectic and unique."

While the masses are herded from one trend to another, fans and music lovers should know Jody Watley hasn't gone anywhere, she's simply remaining true to herself and her music.
Jody Watley Boutique


Your musical inspirations?  

The Carpenters and Journey

Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians? 

Sarah McLachlan "Afterglow," Madonna "Confessions  on a Dance Floor," Conjure One "Extraordinary Ways" t.a.t.u. "Dangerous and Moving"

Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music has helped me in every difficult time in my life. Music has had a strong presence in my life. Every song is a key to those times.

The Other Side


As an accomplished musician, songwriter, and producer LOU has just released his CD titled "The Other Side" consisting of primarily instrumental tracks. This phenomenal album shows the many sides of LOU and his talents as an artist. The albums 12 tracks were all beautifully created and are individually unique.   One of the albums Club side tracks "Dream 3" was played on NBC's hit television show Medium, starring Patricia Arquette.

"The Other Side"- LOU's most musically talented album, is a revolutionary concept which divides the album into three parts, a Club side, a Piano side and a Bonus side.  LOU was inspired to create a three-sided CD to reach his fans no matter the mood they were in. Whether they are looking for high-energy club beats, romantic candlelight dinners or alternative remixes with legendary rocker Lita Ford, "The Other Side" has a side catering to each mood.

The Club side, tracks 1-4, are non-stop, high energy with fast beats, melodic keyboards and mesmerizing vocal bursts.  The Piano side, tracks 5-9, will give fans an overwhelming feeling of emotion with the compelling combination of piano, strings, violin, oboe and flute.  The Bonus side, tracks 10-12, gives listeners an extended remix of "Only You", and a slow mix of "Beyond."  The CD ends with an un-released track titled "I want to be loved" featuring Lita Ford on vocals and guitars.

LOU has been playing piano and writing music since he was 7 years old, growing up in Massachusetts.  Knowing he has an intense love for playing and writing music, LOU played keyboards for a few local Boston bands while he was in high school.

Having influences like Billy Joel, Phil Collins, The Carpenters and Journey, LOU decided the best place for him to be was in California. Shortly after high school he packed up his things and moved to L.A. to follow his dreams and create music.

LOU released "Light of the Moon" on Cornerworld Records in 1998, and received tons of praise for the record.  His fan base soon became enormous, and he now has a dedicated following which travel all over the country to hear him play.

It was LOU's eclectic variety of talent that sparked interest in Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone, who offered to direct the first video off "The Other Side" for the Club side track "Only You".

Looking ahead, LOU has big plans for 2006. He will embark on a national tour, work on writing and producing his vocal album and begin writing and producing his Christmas album to be released late 2006.

November 2005


*Musical inspirations?

My musical inspirations are life, love, emotional issues of joy and pain. Cornerstones of the human spirit.
 * Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?
Bob Dylan's work from 1962 till 1966, Stephen Still's work with the Buffalo Springfield and early Crosby, Stills and Nash, David Crosby's work with the Byrds and his work with Stephen and Graham, Roger McQuinn's work with the early Byrds, Dan Fogelberg's body of work, and my all time hero Richie Furray, a man who gave much with little in return.

 * Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music helps me get from one career stepping stone to the next which can be quite difficult.
 * Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing--

Music finds a way into our heart giving us hope and comfort where nothing else can go.  

Henry Paul

Blackhawk BIO

BlackHawk is a meeting place for many musical journeys.

Henry Paul has been a part of three great bands, The Outlaws, The Henry Paul Band, and BlackHawk. These share three common denominators: harmony, melody, and lyrical integrity. Dave Robbins is an architect of popular music, from the songs he's written for Eric Clapton to the unforgettable Restless Heart. Anthony Crawford, a songwriter and key bandmember with both Neil Young and Steve Winwood, has found his way to the doorstep of this band's future.

These three men put their indelible stamp on one sound - BlackHawk.

Henry Paul BIO

Born on a farm in Kingston, New York, Henry moved to central Florida as a young boy. In 1966, He played his first music gig in a coffee house in St. Petersburg, Fla. In 1969, Henry moved to Greenwhich Village, New York, to pursue a career in music. While living in New York he retraced the footsteps of his hero Bob Dylan and played on the streets to make a living while cutting demos for Epic Records. With an invitation to play a concert in his hometown, he returned to Tampa in 1971. There, Henry and Jim Fish formed the country rock group Sienna with future Outlaw members Monty Yoho and Frank O'Keefe.

In 1972 Sienna disbanded and the Outlaws were formed with Frank, Monty, and Hughie Thomasson. They started playing clubs and added Billy Jones. By 1974 they were on the road opening shows for several estblished groups including Lynyrd Skynyrd. Clive Davis of Arista Records discovered them and signed the group to their first record deal; they became the new label's first rock band. Their self-titled debut album quickly went gold on the success of hits like "Green Grass and High Tides," and "There Goes Another Love Song." In 1977, after recording two more albums with the Outlaws, Henry left to pursue a solo career.

The Henry Paul Band recorded four albums for Atlantic Records. Their 1979 debut Grey Ghost included songs such as "So Long," and "Grey Ghost," which was dedicated to the memory of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant. The second album, Feel The Heat, had more of a rock edge and included the title track, as well as "Whiskey Talkin." Their third album, Anytime, included the top-40 hit "Living Without Your Love" and live show highlight "Crazy Eyes." Henry's last, self-titled album with the Henry Paul Band featured the haunting song "Tragedy."

In 1983 Henry disbanded the Henry Paul Band and reunited with Hughie Thomasson of the Outlaws. Their collaboration lead to the 1986 release of the Outlaws Soldiers of Fortune. He remained with the band until 1989, when he left again to start a new career in country music.

In 1991, Henry formed the group BlackHawk with the successful songwriting team of Van Stephenson and Dave Robbins. Together they added a new musical dimension to country music with their three-part vocal harmonies and introspective songs.


Photo by Sam Erickson

* Your musical inspirations? Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

i am inspired mostly by artists who can channel universal feelings
though their own unique lens to make a new and beautiful and moving
thing... i find that in songs by elliott smith, jeff buckley, tori
amos, john lennon, pj harvey, aimee mann, bjork, bob dylan, led
zeppelin, miles davis, chopin, the cure, leonard cohen... but i also
find it often in films or books or paintings and find it equally

 * Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

i think music has helped me though EVERY difficult time in my life

 * Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing--

it is something mysterious and amazing, the way that sounds can access
our emotions and speak to our hearts - i very much respect the
awesomeness of that power.
~ lauren hoffman


The Story 

i remember when john lennon was shot: i was three years old and it was a momentous occasion in our household - a house where music was religion and bob marley, dylan, and the beatles were gods. we lived a secluded country hippie lifestyle with no tv, and music was my main link to a world beyond our boxwood hedge; i remember listening to my parents records, gazing at the pictures on the enormous colorful sleeves...

the names of friends from my childhood fade - after my parents divorce we moved around so much it was hard to keep track of people - but the records i listened to remain: the rolling stones' some girls, sting's dream of the blue turtles, prince's purple rain, bob dylan's infidels, madonna's material girl, bruce springsteen's born in the usa

i tried playing a lot of different instruments but nothing stuck until i was 13 and got my dad to teach me basic guitar chords. by then he had discovered a local bartender named dave matthews and was helping him hone his songwriting and put together a band. i was often hanging out while they worked on songs: dave playing a new 'jam' with half-formed lyrics for my dad, my dad giving feedback and suggesting changes. soon, i started writing my own songs.

as a teenager i felt completely fucked-up: angry, different, depressed, outraged by the world, by societal norms and expectations; i was self-destructive and i under-achieved... but, alone in my room, i taught myself the guitar and wrote songs. it was something that seemed like it mattered. it was a release, it was a place of honesty. but i knew enough about the music business from my dad to be weary of it and i wasn't planning to pursue life as a performer - in fact i hoped to be involved, like him, behind the scenes.

in my senior year of high school the dave matthews band was gaining success and i was interning in their merchandise/management office. one night i caught a ride up to catch dave playing a solo set (i always liked him better solo than with the band) at a place called the birchmere outside of DC. the opening act was a solo singer/songwriter, playing a telecaster guitar and singing like the devil and god were fighting a duel in his belly. his name was jeff buckley and he was on tour supporting his first release, the 'live at sin-e' EP. we met backstage and spent almost all of dave's set smoking a joint in the dressing room and talking. he talked about music and playing and singing and writing with an innocence and passion that i, ten years his junior, was too jaded to relate to... but it inspired me. he encouraged me not to sit on the sidelines, to sing if that was what my heart told me to do, to write from my gut and put myself out there no matter how difficult or scary it would turn out to be.

that night changed my life.

when jeff died four years later, it was one month before my debut record was to come out on virgin records. the advance copy i had mailed to him was still in transit on the day he waded into a river in memphis and never came out. i don't think i've fully recovered - i don't know if i ever will.

but i am still inspired. perhaps now more than ever.

you see, over the years, since that time, i've been conflicted... i had a major-label deal, then got myself out of it. i went to back to college and studied dance and fell in love and lived like a normal person for awhile. i lost my inspiration, found it, lost it, and found it again many times. i wanted a career in music, then changed my mind, then changed it back. maybe i was being a bit of a brat, but all of it has led to where i am today, finally firm in my chosen path, seeking the humility and selflessness that allows for the transcendent, honing my skills so i may be a better conduit for the muse, remembering all of that innocent passion i found in jeff's voice, and trying, with every note and every song, to honor that memory.


* Your musical inspirations?  

John Whelan, Des Hurley, Ivan Miletitch, XTC, Yes, Joni Mitchell and Timo Alakotila

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

Musicians: as above plus Maria Kalaniemi, Shanti Paul Jayasinha, Vasen, Roger Wilson, Sileas, Ian Carr, Chris Wood and Andy Cutting, Zephyrus, Tin Hat Trio, Tom Waits, John Dipper, Arvo Part, Marcus Turner, Jackie Daly, William Walton, Benjamin Britten, Valentin Clastrier, Richard Galliano, Nic Jones, Karen Carpenter, KT Tunstall, David Bowie, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton and Timo Myllykangas.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Many. Sometimes to wallow in self pity and sometimes to lift me up and sometimes just to make me realise that when there is nothing else, there is always music. And that is sheer joy and contentment.


Born London 1963

Karen Tweed started to play piano accordion under her first teacher Joe Coll at 11 years of age and went onto study with Lawry Eady, Warren Eagle and finally John Whelan under whose guidance and tuition she won the first of 5 All Ireland Championships in 1977.

To date, Karen Tweed is featured on over 20 Cds with ensembles such as The Kathryn Tickell Band, The Poozies, SWĹP, Ian Carr and Karen Tweed, The Two Duos Quartet and May Monday.

She's now available for tours with Christy O'Leary and Bert Deivert.

Karen Tweed is established as one of the finest exponents of the piano accordion and is also in demand for her work as an arranger, composer and tutor. Her playing which moves with ease between blistering melody lines and soulful backing, has been described as 'mercurial, subtle and astounding'.

1990 saw Karen leave a full time Art & Design teaching post at Bexhill High School, Sussex to become a professional musician, working with the Poozies, The Kathryn Tickell Band and Sally Barker & The Rhythm respectively. Since then, her playing has taken her all over the world, giving concerts in Hong Kong, Cairo, Lesotho, Istanbul, Japan, Europe, The US and Quebec.

She is immensely respected for her collaborative work with the Anglo-Swedish ensemble SWĹP; the English collective,'The Two Duos Quartet' and more recently her 'May Monday'project with Timo Alakotila received critical acclaim from BBC Radio producers to music events organisers throughout Europe.

This project which combined her composing skills with cross cultural arrangements using folk, jazz and classical ideas has led to a new commission from The Sage Gateshead / PRS Foundation entitled 'The 4K Plot'. Scheduled for November 2005, the performance brings together the large scale images of Scottish painter Keith McIntyre, the traditional dance ideas of Kerry Fletcher and the new music composed and performed by Karen Wimhurst (clarinets) and Karen Tweed (accordion). This will be premiered at the Baltic Art Gallery on the River Tyne in Newcastle, England and is an interactive piece for 'wind, sole and drawing instruments'. 

Karen is a regular tutor at Folkworks Summer School, Durham, England and was the Guest Director of the Adult Summer School for 3 years. She has taught at the World Music Centre at the University of Limerick, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Hovra Spelmanstamma in Sweden and Accordions at Witney, Oxfordshire.She has also taught on the Folkworks Adult Education Project in Gateshead

A highly respected tutor, she was also engaged in setting up a series of workshops training tutors for Folk Music education in Wales. From Sept 2001 - Aug 2003 she was a core tutor on the BMus Degree in Folk and Traditional Music at Newcastle University/The Sage Gateshead, England.

She has been on the organisational panel of 'Training In Traditions'; a project aimed at identifying the needs of training tutors in the Folk Music field. From 2000-2002, Karen was one of the directors/organisers of 'Folkbeat Derby', a community festival encompassing workshops in traditional instruments, voice and dance, with evening concerts and dances. The performers and tutors come from all over the British Isles and Europe and the festival aims to encourage a wider understanding and enjoyment of British / European Folk traditions by hands on experience with professional artists.

Drawing from her background in Irish traditional music, she houses a wealth of musical history with a respect for other European traditions making her music accessible yet individual.

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