Vonda Shepard: Vonda and her piano. That’s SOLO, the new album which features many of Vonda’s originals (“Lose My Way,” “Don’t Cry Ilene,” “The Sunset Marquis,” “Soothe Me,” “I Know Better”) as well as some favorite cover ballads (“Walk Away Renee” and “You Belong To Me”).
SOLO provides the perfect opportunity to get to know Vonda’s earthy and accessible style and her intimate interaction with her audience. During the coming year, most of Vonda’s shows will feature just her heart, voice and piano. This includes more openers with Sugarland, with whom she’s worked since 2010. The clarity of her voice and the grace of Vonda at her piano on SOLO shows the beauty and richness of Vonda’s music. Says RED at Redhotvelvet.co.uk: “It’d be hard to argue that the Californian is a bad performer. She’s incredible… Shepard gracefully pounds the grand piano and manages to ooze a presence which seeps into the spellbound audience… it’s thoroughly refreshing to see such inherent talent performed naturally with such sunny disposition… Delectable.”
With over 12 million album sales to her name, two Golden Globes, two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actor’s Guild Awards as well as the Billboard prize for selling the most television soundtrack records in history for the hit TV series Ally McBeal, Vonda is a world-renowned artist who continues to delight audiences with her magnanimous live performances. She dedicates songs, tells stories, and at the same time, projects dynamic charisma and intimacy with her audience.
Just as Vonda’s songs reflect an independent woman with profound and self-reflective insights on relationships, her approach to running her career in today’s ever-changing music scene is based on that same strength and sense of purpose. She is a consummate artist and businesswoman with her own label, Hotele´ Records. ”I love the idea of making and releasing my own records exactly the way I envision them, then going on the road, getting the music out there and having a blast doing it all. I have a tremendous amount of energy for music and life.”
Born in New York City, Vonda’s family moved to Los Angeles when she was a child, and by age 14 she was performing original material at small L.A. clubs. She played keyboards and sang with Rickie Lee Jones, Al Jarreau, and Jackson Browne, eventually opening for Browne in the U.S. and Asia. She has also performed with the Indigo Girls and The Funk Brosthers (a highlight of her life), and she has shared the stage at music festivals with Sting, The Eurythmics, Santana, and Matchbox 20.
“Can’t We Try,” her duet with Dan Hill, hit #6 in 1987. In that same year, Vonda secured her first solo deal with Reprise Records and two years later her eponymous album was released. The Top 10 AC Radio and VH1 hit single “Don’t Cry Ilene” brought her outstanding and unmistakably bluesy voice to a wide audience and caught the attention of the critics. In 1992, her follow-up album, The Radical Light was released.
Vonda has always taken a unique approach to her career, attracting everyone from established music artists to television producers to rally behind her. In 1995, no longer with Reprise, Vonda borrowed money (and Jackson Browne’s studio) to make her third recording, It’s Good, Eve, and released it independently. It was this album that caught David E. Kelley’s ear right at the moment he was searching for a voice for his new TV show Ally McBeal. Throughout the show’s five year run, Vonda performed on each episode and produced the show’s music, recording almost 500 songs featuring artists including Gladys Knight, Sting, Barry Manilow, Al Green, Chubby Checker and Jon Bon Jovi.
Most recently, in addition to opening for Sugarland’s summer 2010 and 2011 tours, Vonda has been performing at her own international and domestic concerts, plus numerous private and fund-raising events. Vonda has also been in the studio recording her next album.
Feisty Folk is the best description cooked up thus far to describe L.A.based singer- songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sara Dee. Her incomparable and vintage vocal stylings are reminiscent of high-profile artists such as Amy Winehouse and Melody Gardot. In 2011, Dee produced and released her debut album, "In Joy," and in 2013, "Born Curious," with over 500 albums independently sold. Dee has since gained an international fan base and shared the stage with Golden Globe and Emmy winner Vonda Shepard and 3x Platinum Billboard Artist Anna Nalick. Her most recent album features fellow Los Angeles-based artists, including piano man Aaron Beaumont (of Mots Nouveaux, Milan Records), who LA Weekly calls "a new Elton John." Dee's melodies range "from beautiful and soft to severe and raw" - a 1920's speak-easy flare with flavors of an acoustic/gospel-based sound.
Dee has enjoyed radio play on KRUU FM with her two singles "We Can Be Love" and "Make Believe," (In Joy, 2011) also catching the attention of Dirty Hippie Radio who wrote, "beautiful, retaining a twang of the rawness she possesses... an almost eerie polka gives way to a piano- and organ-based jazz-blues beat. Straight from the go, Dee makes it clear she's got pipes. A voice strong enough to clean the rust off nails... Pretty meets gritty. Tribulation finds hope."
Cindy Alexander: Cindy Alexander is an L.A. based Singer/Songwriter, winner of a multitude of awards including David Foster's/NBC Star Tomorrow, L.A. Music Awards Songwriter of the Year/ Independent Pop Album of the Year, All Access Magazine's Best Female Pop Vocalist, and Just Plain Folks Song of the Year and Female Artist of the Year. Even with all the accolades and a "record deal" as the prize for winning a music reality show, she's chosen to stay a steadfast independent on her own label JamCat Records, which she created in 1999.
Thanks to internet exposure and a loyal international fan base, this indie artist has been able to travel the world with music as the key to her adventure. Known for songs that people sing along with, lyrics they quote to their friends, and a wicked sense of humor in between poignant songwriting, her live performances have charmed audiences and critics alike. Pnut (sounds like "peanut"), as she is affectionately known by her fans (the Pnut Gallery), has toured and shared the stage with America, the Bacon Brothers (Kevin and Michael Bacon), John Hiatt, Joe Bonamassa, Rick Springfield, Suzanne Vega, Joan Osborne, Edwin McCain, Marc Cohn, Dishwalla, Art Alexakis (Everclear), Gin Blossoms, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Karla Bonoff, Howard Jones, and the list goes on.
Cindy's music has been featured on US, European and Japanese compilations with Aimee Mann, Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan, and in movies (Here on Earth, Sugar & Spice, Dorm Daze 2, Smokers) and television (So You Think You Can Dance, Party of Five, various MTV and VH1 reality shows).
After taking a few years off to be a full time new Mom to her twin daughters, Cindy was finally getting back to music and performing in 2012 with the release of Every Rise & Fall (her 5th CD). However, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in summer of 2013. Cindy handled the experience of a double mastectomy and reconstruction in the ways she knows best - by openly sharing the journey with humor and blunt honesty, and of course, through song. Her new CD "Curve" is due out late summer 2014. With "a new set and a new set"... this spunky survivor is back at it, and stronger than ever.
When asked what drives her to be an artist, she answered:
"What compels me to share my creativity is what I call the 'life of song.' It's the journey from Inspiration, to a spark or current in my heart, to something that pours from my pen to paper, from my fingertips to my instrument, from within my body and out through voice...to the space between me and the listener and hopefully, into that listener's heart, where it takes on an additional meaning, if not an entirely different one than I had imagined... And then perhaps, it's shared with a random friend and the journey continues. That's the life of a song. Music is a connection, a healer, and it's magic."