Saturday, November 21, 2009
Meg Braun has her tough and sweet voice, much funkier than your usual singer-songwriter — she has great stories that are not a bit generic.
Not very long ago on a snowy winter night, stuck at home with the flu, Meg Braun recorded her first original tune – into her home answering machine – and an urban singer/songwriter along the lines of Shawn Colvin or Suzanne Vega was born.
Then not so many years later, the philosophy major from Toledo, Ohio, found a home hosting the open mic at the legendary C-Note in the creative cauldron of NYC’s East Village. Charged up by the gritty energy of the city, with periodic escapes to peaceful SummerSongs retreats, Meg composed the songs on her debut CD, Tomboy Princess.
“My inspirations come from a lot of different places,” Meg says. “On this CD there is a lot that came from my childhood and teen years - what is personal can be universal - but a lot of my writing philosophy comes from the idea that you don't have to use facts to tell the truth.”
In this way, Tomboy Princess is rich in truth. The driving theme is how we connect with each other through our relationships familial, friendship, love. In songs both sweetly melodious (“Once Upon a Time”) and solemn (“No More Happily Ever After”) Meg uses the language of fables and folk tales to illuminate the modern world. Even a song taken from the headlines, “Runaway Bride,” assumes the bright halo of a fairy tale, while a straightforward coming-of-age story like “New Orleans” becomes a vision of wider worlds, both real and imaginary.
In songs both sweetly melodious and/or solemn, Meg Braun uses the language of fables and folk tales to illuminate the modern world. Even a song taken from the headlines assumes the bright halo of a fairy tale, while a straightforward coming-of-age story becomes a vision of wider worlds, both real and imaginary.
R ichard Cuccaro of AcousticLive! in New York City and Beyond writes:
Praises by others for her performances:
ON THE SAME PROGRAM WITH
"... singing and playing that sound as real as Mississippi red clay ... Fantastic solo guitar ! ..."
A ngelo M. is a gifted musician with incredible dexterity on finger-picking guitar, slide Dobro and mandolin. He makes your jaw drop when he sits down and blisters the frets. He has a beautiful voice and a great sense of style — his guitar playing and vocals complement each other wonderfully!
After the bankruptcy of the steel mill he worked at, Angelo M. (short for Melasecca) made the seemingly unlikely transition from steelworker to touring artist. Reviews hail him a “Brilliant Guitarist” with an “Excellent Voice” and call his performance “Powerful”. His music is featured in the PBS TV Series Roadtrip Nation, and he won recognition in both the prestigious Mountain Stage New Song Contest and in Billboard's Song Contest for Thirty Years; a song from his debut CD Far From Home. Pennsylvania is his home, and his acclaimed new CD Steelwork is a tribute to his former working life.
Born in Philadelphia, and currently based in Central Pennsylvania, Angelo M. was the youngest of four boys and influenced by music, as far back as he can remember. With his older brothers all teenagers before he could walk, Angelo’s house was always filled with music. It was the twangy guitar sounds of the early sixties that planted the ambition in an eight-year-old boy to learn how to make his Christmas-present guitar reverberate just like Duane Eddy's. Before he was 10, Angelo had his first paying gig; by 11 his trio was playing old "pop" & country instrumentals for VFW Posts; by age 16 he was playing in high school bands and doing shore gigs. The most prolific band of his youth, The Four Sunns continued into adulthood until family responsibilities pulled Angelo away from the music circuit and onto the back porch. In 1990, Angelo began performing publicly again in a variety of set-ups from soloist to power trio; roadhouse boogie & blues band to the popular acoustic duo, Angelo & Paisley. But, it wasn't until recently that Angelo M. began his singer-songwriter and solo career in earnest when he left his decades-long job in a PA steel mill.
Angelo has shared bills with many talented musicians including: Roger McGuinn, John Sebastian, Dar Williams, Chris Smither, Shemekia Copeland, Cephas & Wigging, Peter Mulvey and more. And whether it’s his intricate finger style on the acoustic guitar, some searing slide work on his Dobro, or the high and lonesome strains of his mandolin, you’ll be sure to enjoy this gifted artist who is just beginning to hit his stride.
Praises by others for his performances:
Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:
Our open mike tonight featured performances by: If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...
Our open mike tonight featured performances by:
If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...