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Ms. Fridrich

6/6/17 - Special Guest: Katie Hargrove

Thanks Katie Hargrove for joining us on this week's epic episode!  Lots of laughs and a great time!

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Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Flood by Annie Stokes (Indie/Folk)
  2. Save Me by Katie Hargrove (Pop/R&B)
  3. Good Kind of Crazy by Haley Fahey (Rock/Indie Rock)
  4. New Regent by Hyetension (Hard Rock/Rock)
  5. Devastation by Elizabeth II (Hard Rock)
  6. Hearts Intact by Ms. Fridrich (Rock/Indie Pop)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Brian used the "Upbeat Play It Loud" playlist from DCMusicRocks.com to clean and pack his house while moving last week.  Definitely recommended next time you’ve got around the house work to do!

Donations are requested for the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series.  http://www.fortreno.com/

2017 New Releases Playlist added to the website, so you can more easily find the new ones we're referring to each week!

NEW RELEASES

Jackie & the Treehorns - Writer (single)
Annie Stokes - Flood (single)
Sub-Radio - Up (single)

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

These are just a few we mentioned on the show, there's some every night, visit our Local Music Calendar to browse them all! 

Fri-Sun, June 9-11
VA Southpaws, Sub-Radio, Wylder, Jason Masi & MORE @ Celebrate Fairfax Festival in Fairfax, VA

Fri June 9
Vintage#18 @ Hamilton Loft in DC

Sat June 10
Hayley Fahey Band @ Piney Orchard Street Festival in Odenton, MD
Aaron Myers @ Sixth & I Synagogue in DC

Sun June 11
Heather Mae, Billy Winn @ Capital Pride Festival in DC
Teddy Chipouras @ Jammin Java in Fairfax, VA

Tues June 13
Turtle Recall @ The BullPen in DC

Thurs June 15
Color Palette @ U Street Music Hall in DC
Ken Wenzel @ Blackwall Hitch in Alexandria, VA

->UPDATED LINK! Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



KATIE HARGROVE

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

This young, blue-eyed-soul singer is a sultrier kind of pop star. Katie Hargrove’s new self-titled debut EP, released on Transoceanic Records, is “everything I have--rolled into a few bars: it’s real, it’s painful, it’s empowering and it’s true.” Music was always an important part of Katie’s youth. The native of Knoxville, TN, began performing at age 10. She was classically trained and competed nationally in piano, but began to favor the guitar once she hit her teens. Her early influences were Carole King, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, and Tupac. She continued to sing and write songs through high school and college, especially when things got rocky in her life. “Music is my outlet…during the ups and downs…I knew no matter how silenced I felt, my music would always give me a voice.” After graduating from the University of Florida, she moved to Washington, DC, where she now calls home. After briefly touring and playing at national charitable and community events, she was chosen by the US Dept of the Interior to perform in the Christmas Music Program at the White House this past December.

She has performed alongside Aaron Carter, “American Idol’ Kris Allen, Jason Lancaster, and Death of Paris. But when 21-year old Katie Hargrove stepped into the studio for the first time in Philadelphia, at Morningstar Studios, she almost cried she was so nervous. “I think singer-songwriters wait their whole lives hoping and dreaming of a day when their music will be more that a project,” Katie says. Together with multi-Grammy award winning producer Glenn Barratt (Elton John, Diana Ross, Shirley Caesar, Melody Gardot), producer and industry veteran Jock Wanamaker, and Morningstar engineer Dave Schonauer, Katie sought to “create something bigger than just ‘a song’ or ‘an album’ ” and to let the work resonate on its own merit.  From the hundreds Katie had written, the final songs chosen for the EP were the ones that “kept her up at night”, whose deep, forthright lyrics spoke to the subjects of love, seduction and bargaining with loss. Arranger John Conahan (The Crossing, National Cathedral Choir, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center) and the producers employed a team of luminary musicians to play on the record: strings from the Philly Pops; Grammy-winning trumpet player for Michael Jackson, Matt Cappy; guitarist for R&B legends (the Sound of Philadelphia, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Gladys Knight, Regina Bell) Ron Jennings, and touring guitarist for Elvis Costello and Amos Lee, Ross Bellenoit. The collaboration generated just the right balance of soul and punch, vulnerability and swagger. And now, with this debut album, Katie delights in her greatest passion: sharing her music with the world. Her music embodies the new generation of strong outspoken female pop singers, and has earned her comparisons to both Adele and to Alanis Morissette.



Links

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's music scene. Let's get to know our star here, Katie. This young, blue eyed, soul singer is a sultry our kind of pop star. She describes her latest EP as, "Everything I have rolled into a few bars." It's real, it's painful, it's empowering, and it's true. Music was always an important part of Katie's youth. Growing up in Knoxville, TN, she began performing at age 10. She was classically trained and competed nationally in piano. Really, piano?

Katie:     I did.

Brian:     I'm impressed. She's a piano player, but began to favor the guitar once she hit her teens. Her early influences were Carol King, Jimmy Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, and Tupac, which is an amazing collection of influences there. She continued to sing and write songs through high school and college, and after graduating from the University of Florida, which by the way I went to Florida State.

Katie:     Rivals.

Brian:     We'll talk about that off the air later. She moved to Washington DC where she now calls home, and her music embodies the new generation of strong, outspoken female pop singers, and there is an amazing generation of those. I first came across her music when I was listening to that track, Be My Baby on the Metro, and it connected with me. Now, listeners, it is such a treat to now have her here in the studio to share her with you. It's with great pleasure that I formally introduce Katie Hargrove.

Katie:     Hi.

Brian:     It is such a treat to have you here. Tell folks, the evolution of music in your life now. I brought up piano, I brought up guitar, go back for us, kind of run us through the progression of how you go to being the recording artist you are today.

Katie:     Wow, I mean, how much time do we have?

Brian:     The shorter version is good.

Katie:     Yeah, my dad played guitar, and he was a singer-songwriter growing up. I think I always heard music. I started picking it up and it was never a quiet day at our house, because someone was always playing music. Whether it was my dad and I playing music together, or us going to a show, or listening to a new album, we always picked albums and we would listen to them at dinner. If it was your night, you would play music. I think a little by little it just started to become my life. Around 10, 12, is when I switched to guitar and I started writing my own music. It just blossomed into a thing that I kept up with. Then I started performing in little talent shows, and things at school, and doing drama, and things like that. I think little by little I was like, "I like this. This is good," so I just kind of stuck with it.

Brian:     Wow, and now you moved up to DC, and you recorded this album now. The name of the album is ...

Katie:     It's self-titled, Katie Hargrove.

Brian:     Self-titled, Katie Hargrove. At what point did you decide, okay, I'm going to record this album? How did that happen?

Katie:     That's kind of a long story. Short Cliff Notes version.

Brian:     I've been asking the long story questions, I love it, it's like hitting home runs. Okay, talk to us.

Katie:     I performed for a family friend of mine, who I was introduced to on a back porch. I played Lost Our War, and Save Me, and she cried. She loved the songs, she loved them acoustic, and she has a friend, and he has a studio, and she introduced me to him, and she told me off the bat, "He a tough cookie, and if he doesn't like your music he's not going to be afraid to say that." I was terrified, and I met with him, and of course I was sick, and my voice sounded terrible, and I played, I think I played Lost Our War and The Last, which are both on the album. I remember him just shaking his head, and Jock, he's one of the producers on the album, he was like, "Yeah, okay. Well, send me all of your music and we'll start talking about this." I was like, "Nothing is ever going to happen. He hated it." At the time I was working at ...

Brian:     This is how he lets you down easy.

Katie:     Yeah I was like ...

Brian:     He's just like, "Oh yeah, yeah it's good. Yeah, we can go out on it."

Katie:     I was working at Vans, the shoe store, at the time. I was like, "I have to get to my shift, I don't know what I'm doing here." Little by little we started cultivating through email, and he was like, "I have this studio up in Philly, and you should come up," and blah, blah, blah. It just became a thing. Then it was like, "Okay, I should probably accept this is happening, that we're going to go to a studio and record this." The best part is I had never been in a studio, ever, I had never toured a studio.

Brian:     Wow.

Katie:     I had never done any of that. To walk in and be surrounded by these incredible musicians, I mean, one of the other producers, Glenn Barratt, he worked with Diana Ross, and Melody Gardot, and I mean it was just intense. You know? I'm sitting here, like little girl who wrote all of these songs in her bedroom, and then, "Oh there's Matt Cappy, Michael Jackson's trumpet player, it was just ... It was insane.

Brian:     Wow.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     Now so you worked with all of them then. Well let me back up, so when I went and saw you, I caught you at the Ellipse Rooftop Bar, one of the gigs you had. Now it's just you and your guitar sometimes, you're doing the singer-songwriter thing.

Katie:     Yep.

Brian:     On the album there's a lot, all kinds of strings, and amazing sounds. Talk about how did your guitar singing turn into all of that.

Katie:     I sent them hundreds of songs and they chose a select handful of songs.

Brian:     Wait, wait, hundreds?

Katie:     I sent them a lot of songs.

Brian:     Okay.

Katie:     All recorded on my phone.

Brian:     On your iPhone. Okay.

Katie:     Yeah. They picked out the ones that they thought were the punchiest, most ear catching tunes that they could make into something that would be radio worthy, you know, I had never been on the radio, I had never really promoted myself in that way. I sent them all to them and I guess John Conahan, he was the arranger on the album, and he wrote out everybody's music, and everything. I think Jock, John, and Glenn, all kind of got together and created this musical piece. Before we would sit to record every song, they would kind of give me what they thought was going to happen. Like, "This is kind of what we've arranged. What do you think about it?" We'd kind of bounce ideas around, and come up with something we were all comfortable with. I was very comfortable in the studio, and I think they really made it a place where it wasn't just like, "Well, this is what we've figured out is going to be your song, and that's it, and here you go." It was beautiful. It was the chance to really cultivate something as a group, and it was all in like four days.

Brian:     Wow.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     What an epic weekend and what a great result. My compliments to John, and Jock, and ...

Katie:     Glenn.

Brian:     ... and Glenn, for the amazing arranging.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     Just amazing, I love the result that came from that. Now talk about you on the personal side. Outside of the music thing, what is life like for you? Hobbies, what's outside of music?

Katie:     I love working out. I do solid core, which is like a Pilates class. I like to think it's like a much harder version of a class I've ever done before. It's on like a reformer, and it kicks your butt hard, and I love it.

Brian:     Okay.

Katie:     Let's think, what else? Sadly, I'm really into reality TV.

Brian:     Stop, really?

Katie:     If we're being honest.

Brian:     Okay, all right.

Katie:     If we're being honest and this is the honest me, then yes.

Brian:     Okay. Now tell me more. What does that mean? What do you watch? What is that?

Katie:     I'm just intrigued by people's lives. I feel like there's no need to even watch fiction shows, because people are crazy, and they're so interesting. I don't know.

Brian:     It seems like fiction when you're watching reality TV.

Katie:     Yeah, like Real Housewives, and all these new shows, it's just ... No hate, I love it. Keep it up, you know?

Brian:     What's the latest one that you've been watching?

Katie:     Probably just some version of Real Housewives, or who knows? Yeah, probably Real Housewives.

Brian:     Real Housewives?

Katie:     Or Below Deck, the one about the deck crew.

Brian:     Yeah.

Katie:     I'm into it, yeah.

Brian:     That's awesome.

Katie:     So lame.

Brian:     Okay.

Katie:     It's so lame.

Brian:     All right, now what about ... What's something in your music collection that might surprise us?

Katie:     Like album wise?

Brian:     Yeah, or like song, or artists, or ...

Katie:     I don't know, I've always been into 80s music, I'm a big 80s person. I'm always ...

Brian:     Okay, what does that mean?

Katie:     I love Foreigner, and Been Waiting for a Girl Like You, that's like one of my favorite songs ever. Play it at gigs, and I don't think people realize how much I'm putting in to it. You know what I mean? I'm like, "Okay, you all have to clap, I'm clapping on the inside." I don't know.

Brian:     I think every musician has been through them clapping on the inside too, actually, that's a ... You're there, and you're playing music, and everybody is paying attention to what they're doing, and you are ... Yes.

Katie:     Yeah, you're giving it your all. That's all you can give it, right?

Brian:     That is wonderful.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     I love it. Now you had mentioned your earliest memory with music, you had mentioned your parents, and playing music for the dinner table? Go back to that. Early memories of music.

Katie:     Early memories, we always listened to music at dinner. If it was your night, like if it was your turn, you would play a recent album, or recent song you'd heard. It was your chance to kind of be like, "Oh do you like it? Here it is," like a little indie band you found, my parents kind of just let me have free reign of the computer, which probably could have been a bad thing, but I just searched songs, and I just found all of these different musicians, and I just feel in love with music and kind of cultivated my own style from that.

Brian:     Is there a song that comes to mind that you played for them that was a home run, or something, that comes to mind?

Katie:     I don't know. I think often times I would play them songs thinking I was like the finder, like I would play Carol King, or something, and they would be like, "Yeah, sweetie. Mm-hmm (affirmative), yep, we've heard of her."

Brian:     We've been listening to that for years, yeah.

Katie:     Yeah, so I think I tried really hard to be cool, and my parents were like, "You're great."

Brian:     Excellent, excellent. Now, one of the last questions that I always love to ask on this show is if you could offer one piece of advice what would it be?

Katie:     I would say if music, and being an artist, is really what you want to do, just give it your all. Give it everything you have and even during the days when you think, "This is never going to be anything, and I'm never going to amount to anything as a musician," those are the days you really need to be your number one fan. If I hadn't been that, then I never would have had the chance to even step into a studio and create the masterpiece that I consider my album. No matter what comes of it, I'm proud of it, and that's ... You have to be proud of your work and kind of give it your all.

Brian:     That's hard, how do you get through those days where you just, "God, why am I doing this?" How do you do it? How do you deal with it?

Katie:     I write music, I write songs, I mean Save Me definitely didn't come from a place when I was having a great day. You know what I mean?

Brian:     True, okay.

Katie:     I think those are the times where you have to harness that energy, and that feeling, and emotion, and realize that you're probably not alone in feeling that. There's probably a ton of people who would really love to feel that with you, and be supported in the process.

Brian:     All right cool, and if folks want to find out more about you, and follow you, where do they go?

Katie:     I would say best site would be my website, KatieHargrove.com.

Brian:     Got it, KatieHargove.com. Social media?

Katie:     I'm on Instagram.

Brian:     I always like to ask, what's your favorite one? Because everybody has a favorite one that they always stick to.

Katie:     I mean, for the longest time it's been Instagram. I love Instagram, but recently it's been Twitter. I tweet a lot.

Brian:     A lot of tweeting.

Katie:     Yeah, a lot of tweeting.

Brian:     All right, she's a tweeter guys, look out.

March 21, 2017 - Special Guest: Rachel Levitin

^^Episode Is Live Now - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if issue)^^

National Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Rabbit Hole by the Woodshedders (Indie/Americano)
  2. Lucky Penny Blues by Rachel Levitin (Pop/Rock)
  3. Tell Everyone by Derek Evry (Rock/Pop)
  4. Turn Away by Paul Santori's Random Opponent (Rock)
  5. As You See It by Taylor Carson (Indie/Pop)
  6. Lighter bones and eyes that see for miles by Ms. Fridrich (Rock/Indie-Pop)
  7. Art Acord by Zia Hassan (Folk)

NEWS & LINKS

  • Arlington's IOTA Club and Cafe is at risk of being redeveloped. The developer, Regency Centers, is holding public meetings to present their plans.  Join the facebook group to stay up to date and find out how you can support this local music icon.
    www.facebook.com/SaveIOTA/
  • Moral Hangover's 2nd Annual Latin Rock Tribute at Tropicalia
    2nd Annual Latin Rock show on Friday, March 31st, featuring local band Moral Hangover, Indigo, and Latin Velvet @ Tropicalia. 100% of the money we collect will be used to help fund a Startup in South America that will help get out-of-school children back to formal education, by teaching them math through music.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1859104074345477/
  • DCMusicRocks.com has been updated so now one full page is dedicated to the DC Artists Database.  The incredible music and video playlists are broken out on their own page now.  Continuing to make DC's Music easier than ever to find and follow.
  • It's Rachel Levitin's Birthday!  Her Birthday party is Thursday 3/23 at Tortoise and Hare in Arlington, VA.  
    Ladies Night on Stage Presents: Rachel's Birthday Show
    https://www.facebook.com/events/207466589720255/

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



Rachel Levitin

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Bio:

"Rachel Levitin embodies passion," or so its been said of her. 

Levitin's performance career started in middle school with chorus and expanded with school plays, school music festivals, and talent shows before picking up guitar and trumpet at the age of nine. 

A few years later, while home alone on a Saturday with her just her dog by her side, Rachel took her first stab at a original songwriting after finding inspiration while watching a Backstreet Boys special on ABC Family Channel at age twelve.

Solo performances of her original music started at age fourteen and she hasn't looked back since.

Known for her high-energy performances, thoughtful lyrics, and positive storytelling, Levitin released her debut EP "Nearly Broken" with great support. The five-song EP even reached number one on Amazon Music's Adult Alternative New Releases Charts in October 2015.

Levitin's most recent release -- "Get Back Up" -- made its world premiere on WERA 96.7 FM's DC Music Rocks and is the song that kicks off her next chain of events. Her hope is to have a new EP of motivational, feel-good songs ready for a release around this time next year.


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     Rachel Levitin's performance career started in middle school with chorus. Solo performances of her original music started at age 14, and she hasn't looked back since. She's known for her high-energy performances, her thoughtful lyrics, and positive storytelling, which I can vouch for personally because I have seen her on stage many times. She released her debut EP Nearly Broken, which reached number one on Amazon's music adult alternative new releases chart in October of 2015. Then her most recent release, "Get Back Up," we actually did the world premiere here on DC Music Rocks. My favorite memory about that is that Rachel was, you were in an Uber-

Rachel:   I was.

Brian:     And she took video or Instagram Live or whatever it was.

Rachel:   Whatever it was.

Brian:     She did video. I got to see video of her sitting in the car with her Uber driver listening to her world premiere on the show, which was, as a host, that was one of my favorite memories that I have so far is seeing that. That was amazing. Thank you for sharing that and for letting me do the world premiere because that song, check out "Get Back Up" by Rachel Levitin because it's awesome. Now I've talked too much. Listeners, it's with great pleasure that I introduce Rachel Levitin.

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     Thank you for being here.

Rachel:   My pleasure.

Brian:     Tell us about now, the music started, there's trumpet and guitar, we talked about that. But I just said that it started with chorus.

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     How did the revolution happen to where you are now from then.

Rachel:   Basically, I was lucky I went to a bunch of good schools growing up. When I was in middle school, I went to the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago, Illinois. It wasn't the biggest school, but they had a really good supportive community of teachers. I was into the arts, and in fourth grade, that was the year that you could sign up and start doing chorus or band, so I decided to join both, although band was my preferred choice just because I really enjoyed playing trumpet. What happened was, you know how when you're in school, you get to pick your instruments?

Brian:     Yeah.

Rachel:   I was trying out things. I tried the flute, couldn't get a peep out of it. Then I was trying to decide "Do I want to play drums or trumpet?" Looking back on it now, either one was going to be equally loud. Either one.

Brian:     It's so true. In different ways, yes.

Rachel:   In my mind, I decided "Oh, no, trumpet would be the better choice." So I tried that one, and I could play it right away. That, plus the other afterschool activities was the guitar class, and I just started within a few weeks of each other, and I've just been playing them ever since. I was nine then.

Brian:     Now do you still play trumpet often?

Rachel:   I do.

Brian:     Or guitar more frequently now?

Rachel:   Yes, guitar much more frequently. But from ages nine to eighteen, trumpet was really more my primary ... I started songwriting at 12, so high school was kind of like peak songwriting time, I guess. But trumpet was my big thing for middle school, high school, and did some in college at AU, American University, but really, my trumpeting days were more of a high school thing. I loved it, and now I get to ... You'll hear some trumpeting on a track we'll play later on in the show.

Brian:     Yeah, we got a sneak peek coming. You get to hear Rachel play trumpet on another artist's song, which is really cool. Tell us about you outside of the music then. Are you a homebody? Do you hang out a lot? What's life like for you out there?

Rachel:   I'm a definite extrovert, but I need time to sleep and recharge those batteries. I think it was a couple weeks ago I was either playing a show, going to a show, or helping with a show every single day in one week. I've learned that I can't do that. I got very tired, but I made it out okay. Extroverted definitely. Outside of music, I would say I'm a music fan, so I go to a lot of shows. You can find me at Jammin Java, or IOTA, or 9:30 Club, or DC9, or wherever more often than not.

Brian:     Which is, I can say, I have seen ... One of the great things about the DC music community is you start going to shows, and then you start seeing people you know. There's so many times where I've gone to shows, and I didn't know Rachel was going to be there, and there she is, and now I got another friend who's at the show. I love it. She is definitely a music connoisseur and an awesome support artist. By the way, she kills it on the trambo ... Tramboline, that's a trampoline and a tambourine together if you didn't know, it's called a tramboline.

Rachel:   Very fun.

Brian:     She actually played the tambourine, although you know we should have you play the tramboline.

Rachel:   Tramboline.

Brian:     Bring a trampoline on stage, that would be-

Rachel:   Let's do it.

Brian:     Anyway, I've spent enough time on that. All right. Tell us about a funniest moment that comes to mind from your performing memories that you've got.

Rachel:   Funniest moment. Well, this is pretty funny. In April a few years back, I forget what year, it's kind of irrelevant to the story, I saw a post on Facebook. One of my friends posted that her friend was organizing a pop-up chorus to sing with Damien Rice at the Lincoln Theatre as part of his sold out show.

Brian:     Whoa.

Rachel:   And we were the surprise to end the concert, to do his, what's it called, the encore. He surprised everyone with this chorus at the end of that specific tour. So me and my friend Jason Mendelson of the MetroSongs-

Brian:     Yes, he's been a guest on here, too. He's awesome, yup.

Rachel:   Yes, yes, yes. We ended up in that chorus together, but a day before I was supposed to do that, I was transported to the ER because I had a kidney stone.

Brian:     Oh my gosh.

Rachel:   I'm pretty young, so-

Brian:     Right.

Rachel:   Stress, it happens, folks. Hydrate. It's the most important thing you can do for yourself. When you're stressed and drink coffee like I do. Drink water. Don't Gilmore Girls it. Drink water.

Brian:     Public service announcement by Rachel Levitin.

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     Drink water. Okay, got it.

Rachel:   I drank a lot of water after that, but I did sing on stage with Damien Rice with a kidney stone in my body at a sold out show on a Friday night at D.C.'s historic Lincoln Theatre.

Brian:     That is amazing and hysterical at the same time. Wow.

Rachel:   And painful.

Brian:     There you go. Yeah, I can only imagine. I drink a lot of water, so I'm hoping-

Rachel:   Good man.

Brian:     I can't ever relate to that story actually, but we'll see what happens. All right. Tell us about what's something in your music collection that might surprise us.

Rachel:   Oh, I'm a big dixieland and big band jazz fan.

Brian:     Really?

Rachel:   Yes.

Brian:     Like what?

Rachel:   Benny Goodman, all that old school, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, anything that you would hear on the street in New Orleans with those marching bands for the weddings, that kind of stuff. The first reason I fell in love with trumpet was Louis Armstrong.

Brian:     Well, there we go. Yeah, and boy, he's got ... That's, wow, cool stuff. All right. So she's kind of a pop indie amazing performer herself, and yet, there's big band, dixieland jazz. I love it. All right. Your earliest memory with music, what comes to mind?

Rachel:   Oh, that's easy. My dad was a singer-songwriter and guitar player, although I don't think I ever heard any of his songs, so I don't know if he actually did that when we was an adult, but when he was younger. When I was a little kid, we had this tiny, mini red guitar that my grandma got me. I thought it was a real guitar. I thought I was playing it when I really wasn't. My dad would play guitar, and then we would write songs about like farm animals or something. I remember one was called Pink Flamingo. I don't remember how it went, but I remember that it happened. So I have that memory. So it goes back as far as my memory actually takes me.

Brian:     Wow. The Pink Flamingo memory with your dad. That is cool. I love it. All right. What about the first memory performing? What comes to mind?

Rachel:   Oh boy. Well, the first time I performed an original song, I don't remember where it was because there's a few different examples I can think of, but I know that my legs ... I'm pretty confident. Now, you would never know that I would ever be nervous. Every once in a while, I get a little stage excitement, I wouldn't call it stage fright, but excitement like-

Brian:     Stage excitement. I love it.

Rachel:   You're a little bit buzzed, all naturally and everything. But my legs used to shake underneath me. Mentally, I was good to go, but my body was saying "no, no, no." They would start tremble beneath me, and I had to learn how to push through that. The first few times, I definitely almost like fell to the ground because my legs were not going to hold out underneath me.

Brian:     Wow. Do you have like a tactic or something that you use to work through it? Or you just learned over time to work through it?

Rachel:   I just learned that I have nothing to worry about.

Brian:     Got it. That is pretty cool. Wow. What about a funniest moment on stage? What comes to mind?

Rachel:   Oh boy. I should've thought about it. I should've done my homework on this one. Funniest moment on stage? That's tough. I think recently, well, I don't know if it was funny, but my band and I have a good time. We only just formed this July, and every time we end up taking on-the-stage selfies or things like that. It's not exactly funny, so that's kind of not an A-game story, but we have a good time. We're a bunch of jokesters.

Brian:     Taking selfies on stage.

Rachel:   It's fun.

Brian:     I love it. Yeah.

Rachel:   I don't have a selfie stick or anything like that, but you know what, we like to goof off.

Brian:     There's still a chance. You can still make that happen, you know.

Rachel:   Well, I called them a bunch of goofs because you should see the Facebook message group that we have. It's basically just a bunch of emojis that we keep sending back and forth to each other. Shout out to Graham, Kendall, and Alex. You guys are hilarious.

Brian:     Oh my god. Have you stepped into the GIF game yet?

Rachel:   I feel like I need to, but we haven't gone that far. We've added some bitmoji to our game.

Brian:     I'm going to tell you a secret. If it's a Facebook group, there's a button that says GIF.

Rachel:   Oh, there is?

Brian:     Go in there. Try it.

Rachel:   I've just never pressed it. Oh boy.

Brian:     Your group will just one-up on the GIF situation.

Rachel:   Oh, they're going to love it.

Brian:     It's going to be amazing.

Rachel:   Get ready, fellas.

Brian:     Tell us about a time you tried and failed?

Rachel:   Tried and failed. Well, let's see. Good question. I feel like I'm using dead air. Tried and failed. I remember I really wanted to be a first chair trumpet at the jazz band. I went to Interlochen for two summers in Traverse City, Michigan to study jazz. Looking back on it now, yeah, did I want to want first chair or whatever? Yeah, I did, but I wasn't like the rest of the kids there. I was, but I wasn't. Whereas they all planned on being professional instrumentalists when they grew up, which I'm not opposed to it, I just at that point in my life wasn't so sure about my route in life. And being there as a trumpet major instead of a songwriting major, it kind of changed the game for me. But I love jazz. I auditioned, and I ended up, I think, getting fourth chair. At first, I was disappointed, but then I realized "You're not practicing. That's your fault. If you want to be a higher chair, you should probably practice."

Brian:     Yes, this is good.

Rachel:   So here I am at a world-renowned camp for instrumentalists, and I wasn't practicing. So, yeah, of course I would get fourth chair. Then I started practicing. That was just the ... I went back for two summers, so that was just the start of the first summer. Then I practiced it, and I think I got up to third chair, and maybe even sat in on some second at that point. But you have to remember, these are kids from all over the country, all over the world who-

Brian:     Right, in a really competitive thing.

Rachel:   This is what they want to do.

Brian:     [crosstalk 00:11:37] you're a fairly gifted trumpet player, too. We hear you on guitar on stage a lot, but you with a trumpet is also a really good thing it sounds like.

Rachel:   Yeah, I got to get my chops back, but I have a few concertos in my bedroom that I can probably still play if I practiced.

Brian:     I feel like that's a "That's what she said" thing. I don't know.

Rachel:   Right, work it in.

Brian:     Anyway. Concertos in the bedroom. I love it. Anyway.

Rachel:   Ba-dum-bum.

Brian:     All right. One of my favorite last questions to ask is what's one piece of advice that you would offer?

Rachel:   Just don't compromise yourself, and don't be afraid.

Brian:     Say more on that. Don't compromise yourself.

Rachel:   Know what you're capable of, and don't sell yourself short. Confidence is hard to come by. I know a lot of people who struggle with it, but I know a lot of people who don't, and I really just comes down to knowing that ... When I sing, I know that I'm supposed to be doing that, and it feels good to me. So if you're doing something that feels good to you, do it, and don't let anyone inside your head and make you think that you shouldn't be doing it or you're not good at it. Just do it.

Brian:     If folks want to follow or find out more about you or follow you, where are the best places for them to go?

Rachel:   Best place to go is I love Instagram the most just because I'm a, I would like to say, a novice photographer or something of that nature.

Brian:     Nice.

Rachel:   I do like to take photos of animals and concerts. So if you like cute animals or music, follow my Instagram. It's R-H-L-E-V-I-T-I-N. I'm also on Twitter, and I have a Facebook page for my music, and then just rachellevitin.com.

Brian:     Rachellevitin.com, that's the magic spot. You had mentioned earlier, and I want you to share with the listeners about Tony Lucca and the story that you were saying.

Rachel:   Oh, Tony Lucca. Yes.

Brian:     Yeah, talk about that real quick.

Rachel:   Tony Lucca. We go way back now. I became a fan of Tony Lucca in 1999 when the Disney Channel was airing a Mickey Mouse Club marathon because that was peak NSYNC years. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling, they were all on the show, but so was Tony Lucca, who was also on The Voice season two. I've been a big fan of his music for a long time. I first saw him open for NSYNC back in, I think it was 2001. We met back then. I have an autograph and picture from then. Fast forward to 2010, got to interview him for a website I was writing for at the time called We Love DC. Fast forward a few years, there was a chunk of time I think I saw him more throughout a year than I saw my own family just because he would come here for concerts, and I wouldn't go home that much. We just go way back, and he became a good influence on me.

                  This past weekend, I flew home to Chicago to celebrate my birthday, a milestone birthday, with my immediate family. We had Tony come, and we played a little house concert for everyone, then went out to dinner. For the first time, I got to play two original songs with someone who had a really big influence on me. I'll never forget it, and I'm really grateful. Tony's back here on April 9th, I believe, yes.

Brian:     Well, Tony, shout out to you. I love that story. That's amazing.

December 27, 2016 - All-Music Episode

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FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Insight - Fort Knox Five w/ Asheru (Funk)
  2. Haterz 24/7 - See-I (Reggae/Funk)
  3. Calabassas - Pleasure Train (Rock/Indie Rock)
  4. Sailing Empty Tonight - FuzzQueen (Rock/Indie Rock)
  5. Hero - Heather Mae (Pop/Singer-Songwriter)
  6. Contact - ddespair (Pop/Indie)
  7. One More Good Thing - Uptown Boys Choir (Rock/Alternative)
  8. Nights At the End of the World - Ms. Fridrich's Messy Ann Band (Rock/Indie Pop)
  9. Baby Bought A Ticket - Lesson Zero (Rock/Indie Rock)
  10. I'll Make a Man Out of You - In Your Memory (Hard Rock/Post-Hardcore)
  11. Afraid of Living - Declan Poehler (Rock/Alternative)
  12. The Mob Goes Wild - Clutch (Hard Rock)
  13. Without a Hitch - The Beanstalk Library (Rock/Alt-Country)
  14. The Arrow and the Song - The Orchid (Rock/Post-Rock)
  15. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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