What will be featured? A story about Westcoast Music / Californian Rock since The Sixties 'til nowadays. The documentary has been shot in 2011 and 2012 in California, in The USA as well as in France by Stephane Basset as a director. See the video teasers at the end of this article.
Discover again the hits of this amazing music ("Hotel California", "Ride Like The Wind", "Long Train Running"... The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Randy Newman...) along with great images and exclusive interviews:
Bobby Kimball (Toto), Christopher Cross, Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin, Michael Sembello, Arnold McCuller, Alessi Brothers, Sam Andrews (Big Brother), Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane), Henry Diltz (photographer), Gael Benyamin (Geyster, NightShift)...
Also in the documentary "California Dreaming" some interviews of french medias and hosts that take care here in France about this music : Georges Lang (RTL), Jean-Michel Canitrot (RFM, Skyrock Connection, Rock Connection), Arnaud Léger and Jean-Luc Raymond (Westcoast Rendez-Vous)...
"Star Story: California Dreamin' " will be broadcasted again on September 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm (french hour).
Crédit images : PylaProd : Christopher Cross, Bobby Kimball (Toto), Jat Graydon and Bill Champlin featured in the documentary.
June 23, 2012, we have had the chance to set up a Marc Jordan interview in Paris. Marc Jordan is a amazing Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, session musician, and actor. The last time he did a concert in Paris was at Disney Village in 1997... What a great memory!
Here, Marc speaks of his past career : The "Mannequin" (1978) and "Blue Desert" (1979) albums period as well as the LP gem : "A Hole in the Wall" (1983). Also, he tells about his friends Bruce Gaitsch and Janey Clewer, also about his beginning career as an actor in "Score : A Hockey Movie" (with Olivia Newton-John) and about his last album "Crucifix in Dreamland".
Sonic Station is a new Westcoast AOR Project put together by Alexander Kronbrink (a swedish guitarist, composer and producer). Alexander is a young musician who learned his skills working with smooth Jazz star Jonathan Fritzén – who lived in his neighborhood. Later on – after being introduced to Lee Ritenour - Alexander started to see a clearer direction in his playing. Through Ritenour he discovered the music of such giants as Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins, composer and producer David Foster and guitarist Jay Graydon, to mention a few.
While studying music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, he teamed up with Marika Willstedt, a singer and piano player and they started writing music and playing together. This collaboration turned out to be the beginning of the Sonic Station record. Marika is today a well known artist and session musician in Sweden after appearing as pianist and teamleader in a prime time tv-show on national television. She sings and plays keyboards on the Sonic Station record and has also written most of the lyrics. Two of the songs have lyrics by Alexander’s father, Hans Kronbrink.
During the second half of the 00’s, while working on his Sonic Station project, Alexander also played the guitar with different artists and groups. Among them the thrilling side project Moonlight Sailors with, once again, his friend Jonathan Fritzén on keyboards, accompanied by drummer Aron Mellergård and bass player Henrik Linder. The last two are the founders of amazing group Dirty Loops, celebrated by both Lee Ritenour and Jay Graydon! Mellergård and Linder have also contributed with their talents on the Sonic Station record.
From the very beginning the Sonic Station project has been based in the 80’s AOR music (influenced by Toto, Mr Mister and Journey) and the West Coast-sound of Airplay and Chicago. To get the most quality out of each song Alexander, who composed ten tracks and also produced and arranged the whole record, engaged four singers with different singing styles and voices: Marika Willstedt, Magnus Bäcklund, Kristoffer Fogelmark and Tove Lo.
Backed up by a long line of session musicians and Alexander’s brilliant guitar playing Sonic Station is an expressive and warm record, where each song has an obvious and immediate hit feeling. With Sonic Station, Alexander Kronbrink has taken the 80’s into the future!
On february 8th, we had the pleasure to meet Laura Mayne and release a video interview with her to talk about her career with NATIVE and her return on the musical scene with her recent EP "Native song book vol.1" and upcoming new studio album "Seule et sans armes" to be released soon.
Laura had a very successful career with Native, a duet with her sister Chris, during the 90's. For their second album "Les couleurs de l'amour", they worked with an american team including Billy Steinberg, Jon Lind, Diane Warren and others. It features the song "Dans ce monde à part" which had been covered by Cher under the title "Taking Back My Heart" on her "Believe" album. Laura was also chosen to sing the Pocahontas's theme movie and be the voice of that character for the french version of that popular Walt Disney movie.
If you don't already know who is Laura Mayne, it's a big mistake and I recommend you to discover this very talented artist now!
Two weeks ago, we were invited to join our friends The Alessi Brothers and Orleans to their concert in Amsterdam. What a great night at the PANAMA, where the 2 bands delivered their best performing their hits in front of an audience of fans dancing and singing. The next morning we were pleased to meet again Larry Hoppen & Lance Hoppen (Orleans) at their hotel to shoot an interview and learn a little more about Orleans's past, present and future. Enjoy!
There are a few great moments in this life about amazing music. One of these was an acoustic session of the band VENICE(Kip Lennon, Mark Lennon and Pat Lennon) during the afternoon of June 29, 11 in the legendary studio of free format radio dee jay Georges Lang at RTL (rue Bayard, Paris, very closed to the Champs Elysees avenue) for a great acoustic session and an interview of VENICE that you can listen to on RTL tonight November 2, 2011 at midnight - french hour (or live on RTL website) from midnight to 3 am. If you love harmony vocals, guitar playing and great songs: be there or be no where!
This precious afternoon, in Les Nocturnes studio at RTL radiostation, VENICE live in acoustic in Paris was a real blast. Some other members of The Wall live tour (Roger Waters) have been featured on this acoustic session too: Jon Joyce (original background vocalist from PINK FLOYD - THE WALL album), G.E.Smith (guitar player - Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall & John Oates) and Robbie Wyckoff as lead singer (with Roger Waters).
November 2, 2011 at midnight on RTL... Let's listen this fabulous acoustic live session from the band VENICE with an exclusive interview of Mark, Kip and Pat Lennon during the program LES NOCTURNES de GEORGES LANG. RTL website has put a special page for this event. The program will be also available online on RTL Les Nocturnes website as soon as possible! Enjoy and keep on rocking!
Kiki Ebsen’s career has taken her full circle. From the beginning as a young pianist, she has had the pleasure of having many musical influences, including her mother, aunt, and her cousin – keyboardist Jim Pugh- who is a member of the Robert Cray Band. But it was during her successful college career at the California Institute of the Arts, where she won the Collegiate Entertainer of the Year award and embarked on a touring career with the legendary band, Chicago, as a keyboardist and MIDI technician. Two tours and one record later, she moved on to a musically challenging tour with Al Jarreau. This put her on the map as an ‘A-List’ player, and she has since had the opportunity to play with artists such as Boney James, Belinda Carlisle, Tracy Chapman, Michael McDonald, Colin Hay, Christopher Cross, Stephen Bishop and many more. Today Inside Musicast welcome her as she launches her latest solo release, “The Beauty Inside.” Inside MusiCast welcomes the lovely and talented Kiki Ebsen.
Work Of Art is what AOR music is all about! Have you ever dreamt of soaring melodies, heavenly hooklines and a musical technique to die for? Then these Swedish boys have it all for you! This band was put together for the first time in 1992 when Herman Furin and Robert Sall met while attending the SÖL school of music. However it took them about 15 years to convince singer Lars Sarfsund to come in to the project full time and devote his time and efforts to the amazing songs the two of them wrote during the years.
In January 2007 WOA released their first official demo which immediately caught the attention of critics and fans on the Melodic Rock scene. This soon led to a record deal with Frontiers Records who immediately picked up the band impressed with the quality of the songwriting and performing abilities. “Art Work” the band’s debut was released about one year after the band finished their demo, causing a huge buzz in the Melodic Rock audience, gathering some comments as “I´m really digging this record for an ultra smooth dose of traditional Westcoast / AOR” by Andrew J. McNeice of Melodicrock.com and “the best album of its type I´ve heard in years” by Phil Ashcroft of Fireworks Magazine.
Influences like TOTO, Journey and Giant can be easily recognized in their sound, but if the debut album “Artwork” could definitely show that the band was trying to find its way, the follow up “In Progress” shows three guys who have matured a lot their abilities and gel together in a very natural way.
“In Progress” gives the Melodic Rock fans all that they’re looking for with songs that stick in your ears from the first second and amazing musical licks. This is the record which everyone was waiting for and if the work’s now “In Progress” who knows what will happen when it will be finally done?
Robert Sall kindly sent me a few words about WOA's brand new songs.