Saturday, February 21, 2009
Ripe with Femininity and Edge
Singer/Songwriter Gretchen Witt uses threads of folk, country, and pop to weave a sound ripe with femininity and edge.
Gretchen grew up aahwl-sweet-n-peachy in the nice countryside of Ohio before moving at age 18 to the barbarous streets of New York City where she soon thereafter developed culture shock. It’s been a great shock. She graduated from N.Y.U.’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Drama, an education during which she scribbled lots of rhymes (where she should’ve scribbled exam notes) on the corners of her classroom notebooks. Compelled to perform original material, she decided to re-route her knack for performance towards song-writing. She has studied classical piano for eight years, has recently taken up the guitar, and has sung under her breath (to the annoyance of nearby others) all of her life. No one has yet, since this joyous departure into song-writing, been able to pull her away from the strings, the keys, or lyric-inspiring pencil set.
She was selected as a Finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk Competition, as a Top 5 Finalist in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Troubadour Competition, The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival's Emerging Artist Showcase, and has received multiple honors from the Mid Atlantic Song Contest (2007 Silver Prize in Folk Category for "Sun on My Back", 2007 Honorable Mention in Pop Category for "Sunday Night", 2007 Honorable Mention in Folk Category for "Say So", 2006 Honorable Mention in Folk Category for "Consequence", 2006 Honorable Mention in Folk Category for "Soft Spot").
She plays regularly in New York City with her band at venues such as The Living Room, Makor, and The Bitter End, at festivals across the country including South by Southwest, The Heart of Texas Music Festival, NEMO (Boston), The Dewey Beach Festivals, The Black Potato Music Festival (NJ), and at The National Association of College Activities (NACA) Conferences where she was awarded three showcases within her first year. She frequents Folk Series such as The Eclectic Cafe, The Church House Concert Series and Acoustic Long Island. Gretchen recently opened for Pete Seeger at The Beacon Sloop Club's Alternative Energy Festival.
Her vocal style is frequently compared to that of Alison Krauss, Natalie Merchant, and Tracy Chapman, however her style remains unique. The lyrics of each song have been widely agreed upon as the cornerstone of her work. Come to a show, and listen closely.
Expect to be surprised !!!
Praises by others for her performances:
"... thought-provoking lyrics that exude femininity and edge, catchy rhythms and a pure voice, Gretchen Witt has captured my attention. She's got the flair of Mindy Smith and Alison Krauss mixed with a little Catie Curtis and Jewel. "
"Soft rock is the key ingredient in her recipe, with a knack for writing a good catchy hook being her secret ingredient. Sure she may write a cooking book worth of great recipes like these five songs but what of her actual vocal ability? Well imagine a genetic blending of Tracy Chapman, Norah Jones, and perhaps Natalie Merchant and you’ve got Gretchen’s crooning. New York City are you prepared?”."
ON THE SAME PROGRAM WITH
An Inspired Healing Angel
A beautiful voice and guitar accompaniment bring Denise Romas’ special sound to well-known songs and her own well-written and often poignant originals. She is inspiring, heart warming and very moving — with a colorful sense of prose and lyrical mastery. Her voice is angelic and superb, her song writing is delicate and meaningful and her instrumentation is very tasteful.
Denise has been a part of the Long Island acoustic music scene for a quite some time. She performs with Ira Perlman in the show Lonesome Traveler about Lee Hays of the Weavers, which was presented at the Hard Luck Café in February 2004 to a packed house. The show is based on the book by Doris Willens The Life of Lee Hays and weaves his songs together with a narrative on his life and travels. The show has played many times at venues across Long Island.
While not on stage in venues across Long Island, Denise can be found ‘on stage’ in her elementary school music classroom, where she feels honored to be each day, and says “There is nothing like the sound of children singing to sweep you away to a joyful place.”
... come and find yourself in a joyful place
Praises by others for Denise's latest CD: INSPIRED:
Links to her songs or visit her web site:
Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:
Our host tonight was Ira Perlman,
and our open mike featured performances by: If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...
Our host tonight was Ira Perlman,
and our open mike featured performances by:
If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...