PRESS RELEASE SAMPLES
AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST COLTON DIXON RELEASES HIS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED DEBUT ALBUM “A MESSENGER” JANUARY 29, 2013 ON EMI-CMG/SPARROW RECORDS
Dixon Scores Two First Week #1’s in Christian & Gospel Digital Sales For Debut Single “You Are” and “Never Gone”
(Nashville, TN)—Set to release his inspiring powerhouse debut album A Messenger on January 29, 2013 on EMI-CMG/Sparrow Records, American Idol Season 11 finalist COLTON DIXON is already a chart-topping artist via the recording’s two lead singles, “Never Gone” and “You Are”—both of which were released in the fall of 2012. Heard by more than 360, 000 on last summer’s American Idol Live Tour across the U.S., the multi-talented singer/songwriter’s uplifting power ballad “Never Gone”—produced by multi-platinum selling production trio Red Decibel--was an immediate hit digital single, selling 21,000 units its first week and heading straight to #1 on the iTunes Christian & Gospel singles chart, Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs, and Christian/Gospel Digital Songs charts.
Written after the whirlwind Idol experience, during which Colton found it easy to lose sight of his spiritual center, the track’s instant success put Colton in unique company: he and Jennifer Hudson are the only 7th place finalists in Idol history to reach #1 on a Billboard chart. Colton’s performance of “Never Gone” on the tour marked the first time an Idol contestant has performed an original song (that he co-wrote) on the annual Idol tour. “You Are,” Colton’s subsequent debut radio single, also hit #1 its first week on the iTunes Christian & Gospel singles chart, Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs, and Christian/Gospel Digital Songs charts.
The fiery anthem was selected as USA Today’s Song of the Week upon its digital release October 30. Though Colton’s goal as an artist is more about touching people’s lives through his music than achieving impressive out of the box stats, The Hollywood Reporter reported that he is only the third American Idol alum to achieve the top position on the Christian/Gospel Digital Songs chart—following Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying” and Carrie Underwood’s “How Great Thou Art.” Both singles are currently available on both iTunes and Amazon. Boldly declaring the infinite power of God in our lives, Colton penned “You Are” to lift the spirits of a close friend contemplating suicide. The singer’s healing and heartfelt lyrics are universal in their power to bring light out of darkness: “When I can’t find the words/To say how much it hurts/You are the healing in my heart…You are the light that’s in the dark … And when my circumstance leaves me with empty hands/ You are the provider of my needs…”
The power of these lyrics is one example of how Colton embodies the collection’s title concept of A Messenger, which comes from a favorite scripture about a messenger never being greater than the one who sent him. The title also comes from the name of the Christian rock band the singer fronted for several years in his late teens in his hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In the years before Colton went after his dreams on American Idol, Messenger led worship at his current church (New Vision Baptist Church) while also performing original material doing various gigs around the Nashville area. Colton describes A Messenger as “a good way for me to put things in perspective in terms of my personal faith. To make sure people realize, that while I am sharing honest emotions and experiences based on this, I’m just playing the role of messenger and putting God first.” The collection will feature 11 pop/rock tracks that showcase the singer’s trademark balance of vocal tenderness and intensity, his energetic piano playing and, above all, a sense of hope and inspiration.
Colton worked with a notable team of writers and producers which includes: Red Decibel, the team of Adam Watts, Andy Dodd and Gannin Arnold (Kelly Clarkson, Jeremy Camp, Switchfoot), who co-wrote “Never Gone,” “Shape Of Your Love” and “In and Out of Time” with Colton; mega-producer Busbee (Daughtry, P!nk, Switchfoot, Smash Mouth, Keith Urban), who co-wrote “You Are” (with Colton and Colton’s friend, Jared Martin) and the dramatic, theatrical “Noise”; renowned Nashville based songwriter Zac Maloy (Daughtry, Plain White T’s, Carrie Underwood), who penned the power anthem “I’ll Be The Light” with Colton and Dave Bassett (Shinedown), co-writer of “This Is Who I Am.” Colton wrote “Where My Heart Goes” with top gospel writer/producer David Garcia (whose credits include former Idol contestant and fellow EMI CMG artist, Mandisa) and Ben Glover, named ASCAP’s Christian Songwriter of the Year for 2012.
The stripped down, acoustic driven “Let Them See You” was written by Scotty Wilbanks, touring keyboardist of Third Day. In support of his new EMI-CMG/Sparrow Records album, Colton will be touring as a special guest with Third Day, starting February 21, 2013.
SOUTHERN CAL BASED HUSBAND AND WIFE DUO BRUCE AND CHRISTINA BALDWIN— COLLECTIVELY KNOWN AS ASCENT—SHARE THEIR ‘SECRETS OF FLIGHT’ WITH AN ECLECTIC FULL LENGTH SET THAT IS “PART ORGANIC, PART MACHINE”
Continuing the celebration of their beautiful and creatively exciting and fruitful rock and roll love story that began nearly 15 years ago, Southern California based husband and wife duo Bruce and Christina Baldwin—collectively known to their ever-growing fan base under the artist name Ascent—share their eclectic Secrets of Flight on a new full length collection that perfectly captures their evolving aesthetic.
Fully living up to and embracing their bold tag line “Listen and be changed forever,” Ascent on these 11 tracks blends the pop sensibilities of Christina (lead vocals, lyrics) and the progressive rock and jazz influences of Bruce (acoustic and electric guitars, bass, acoustic and electronic drums,, songwriter, composer) in an expansive, genre busting wrap of acoustic beauty, electronic textures, melodic simplicity and orchestral complexity. One of the keys to the rich emotional connections the duo creates is Bruce’s ability to compose music without restraint, opening the way for insightful lyrics (by him and Christina) and unique melodic arrangements behind her poignant and emotional vocals.
Both Secrets of Flight and their previous acoustic recording Extravagant Turmoil tap into all of the emotions that define our humanity--beauty, tragedy, triumph and sorrow—with no holds barred. Their personal relationship also adds uniqueness to the way they create music together. Because they live together, they’re able to work on music anytime and have dedicated two rooms in their home for music making purposes. One is a typical band room that contains acoustic and electronic drums, a PA, guitar amp, mic stands, a vocal effect pedal and a homemade effects board they affectionately call BESSIE (“Baldwin Elite System of Synchronized Integrated Effects”).
Fortunately, as Christina points out, “Our neighbors are very kind and tolerant of our musical noise. In fact, they have commented on how great our practices are and how great a drummer Bruce is.” Ascent can find numerous extended neighbors, friends and fans all over Southern California who have heard them perform in a wide variety of settings, from coffeehouses in Orange and Los Angeles counties to such hotspot club venues like The Dakota Lounge in Santa Monica and the House of Blues in Anaheim as part of Warfest. While the name Ascent is inspired by the fascination with birds, flight, technology and the yearning of the spirit for something more, their logo (a crow who is part organic, part mechanical) reflects the unique mix of sounds in their current approach to recording and performing.
Christina adds, “The band name and the logo both reflect our part organic, part machine essence as we are part organic (my vocals) and part machine, including Bruce’s use of a HandSonic, aWave Drum, looping pedals, electronic orchestration software, etc.” The key track that sums up their working and romantic relationship is the edgy and rumbling yet ambient pop-rocker “Adaptation,” whose lyrics—which flow like a chronicle of their individual lives and what each brought to the relationship--Christina wrote as an anniversary present to Bruce during a lean time when she couldn’t afford to buy a material gift. Four lines say it all: “We are a testament. We are sacred. We are the amorous. We are splendor.” One of the most progressive rock leaning tunes is Bruce’s clever “Talking In Circles,” which reflects on the corporate world where everybody is talking loud but saying little of value.
The lilting, emotionally revealing “Indigo” is one of Christina’s shining moments, as she sings words of reality and encouragement for a friend who was diagnoses with MS several years ago. “She’s going through a difficult time, but she’s still beautiful,” the singer says. “Act of Grace” is similarly powerful, about a friend of a friend who took her own life. “Bruce and I have been happily married since 2006, but we’ve been a couple since 1998,” Christina adds “We know each other’s passions, quirks, pain points, and needs. We nurture one another and support each other during trials and celebrate together when successes are achieved. We understand each other instinctively. We know what each other are capable of, so we push each other to achieve something even better. There is a high level of respect for what one another bring to the band.”
TEEN POP SENSATION ALANA LEE—WHOSE DEBUT SINGLE AND VIDEO “BUTTERFLIES” SCORED OVER 12 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE— SET TO HEADLINE AT SUMMERFEST 25 IN BREA, CALIFORNIA SATURDAY JUNE 2
The Orange County, California Based Artist Has Just Released Her Third Single, “This Is Me,” To iTunes Emerging teen pop sensation Alana Lee (www.alanaleemusic.net) may still feel some “Butterflies”—her debut single and video which snagged over 12 million views on YouTube—but she’s ready to share the stage with a batch of iconic pop music powerhouses at the upcoming 25th Summerfest in Brea, California. Alana performs on Saturday, June 2 (the middle day of the three day weekend event) at 3 p.m.
Other performers at this year’s festival include Starship, Rick Derringer, Bobby Kimball (original lead singer of Toto), Skip Martin (from Dazz Band and Kool & The Gang) and the tribute bands DSB (Journey), Bostyx (Boston and Styx) and Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Previous Summerfest headliners include Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, The Pointer Sisters, Peter Frampton, Sugar Ray and The Commodores.
Alana has also just released “This Is Me,” her infectious third single, to iTunes. The video can be viewed at Her previous singles include “Butterflies” and its follow-up “Synchronize.” Alana kicked off 2012 with a coveted artist profile in the New! Discover & Uncover section of Clear Channel’s iheartradio.com, visited by millions of music seeking fans each month. Among her latest media appearances is an interview with A Teen View. Alana is also planning to attend Rockin A Cure, a third annual fundraising event for cystic fibrosis, at The Vault Orange County in Orange, California on Saturday, May 5.
Alana recently appeared on Young Icons—a nationally syndicated television program about young people changing the world, produced by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios. The songstress also earned two 2011 Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA) nominations including Best Pop Song for “Synchronize” and Best Music Video for “Butterflies.” Alana has also recently been spotlighted by OC Weekly, OC Music Scene, Finding-Cupid with David Cruz, American Perspective, PopYOUlarity.com, Suite101.com and PBS (KOCE-TV).
GREG LONDON’S CAREER COMES FULL CIRCLE!
AFTER TWO YEARS ROCKIN’ THE RIVIERA AND LVH IN LAS VEGAS, THE SINGER AND MASTER MUSICAL IMPRESSIONIST HOSTS THE 2012 HOLLYWOOD MUSIC IN MEDIA AWARDS (HMMA) NOVEMBER 15 AT THE FONDA THEATRE
The Two Time Nevada Magazine “Entertainer Of The Year” (2009, 2011) Won An HMMA In 2009 For His Recording of “Everything I Own” And Was Nominated Two Years Later for “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”
Fresh from conquering Reno and most recently Las Vegas, Greg London (www.gregorylondon.com) is ready to rock L.A. as the main host of the 2012 Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA), set for Thursday, November 15 at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. The powerhouse vocalist, recording artist and master musical impressionist is a renowned presence at the HMMAs, winning for Best Adult Contemporary Song (“Everything I Own”) in 2009 and receiving a nomination in the same category for his original tune “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” in 2011.
“I’m very excited and honored to be asked host the HMMAs, which have been a very important part of my life and career these past few years,” says London. “The opportunity to do so truly means I have come full circle. I’ve had the opportunity to perform in London’s West End, achieve my dream of being a headliner in Vegas and now return to Los Angeles, where I can jump start my recording career after a little time away. “What I like about being the host of the show and not simply a guest host,” he adds, “is the challenge of bringing a smoothness and seamlessness to the awards ceremony, while adding some entertainment value between awards and performances. I’m good at keeping things interesting, and that is my goal in hosting the show this year.”
London assumes his duties during a unique and exciting transitional time in his career. After two years receiving rave reviews (and designation by Nevada Magazine as “Entertainer of the Year” in 2011) for his “Impressions That Rock!” show at the Riviera and later the LVH (Las Vegas Hotel, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), he chose not to renew his contract. Since May, the multi-talented entertainer has performed at private events everywhere from Los Angeles to Paris (he owns a castle in Bordeaux!) and headlined on The Gem and The Dawn, two crown jewels of the Norwegian Cruise Line. As London contemplates his next big career move, he is enjoying the opportunity to headline in onboard showrooms whose ensembles include big horn sections that bring him back to his musical roots as a trumpet player.
In addition to performing a show that blends “singing as Greg” with a segment featuring his trademark musical impressions (Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, Johnny Cash, etc.), London’s “artist in residence” status with NCL includes the opportunity to do meet and greets and host talks for 40-70 fans each week. Performing for the first time in years with a brass section has inspired some new creative directions for London as a recording artist, and he is currently connecting with various arrangers and collaborators to help create a “style that’s more old school with a cutting edge—and with a hot horn section.” London’s Las Vegas show took his former show ICONMAN and refashioned it as a dynamic culmination of his long and incredible journey, where a man in his youth hears a singular guitar and heads out on his own Hero’s Journey.
The ever-developing concept (presented as “chapters” with each new imagining) was created by London and written in the classic literary format of “The Hero's Journey,” with theater director David Taylor (“Cats”) and London playwright Paul Miller. At the end of 2009 London garnered a “Best Impersonation” credit by Rolling Stone Contributing Editor David Wild, in The Huffington Post for his spot-on take of Ozzy Osbourne performing a duet with Kermit The Frog. In 2009, Greg London’s ICONMAN was voted “Best Show of Northern Nevada” by Nevada Magazine. The Asian Times London proclaimed The ICONS (the original version of the show in London) as “The West End’s First Smash of 2007.” The Sacramento Bee called it “The Show of the Year” for 2007-2008. As a recording artist, the singer’s version of “Everything I Own” was the highest charting new artist release and highest charting release on an independent label (airplay charts) of 2009.
London scored back to back Top 5 singles on the FMQB Adult Contemporary Radio Chart with covers of Bread’s “Everything I Own” and Little River Band’s “Cool Change.” London also made Music Connection Magazine’s list of Hot 100 Artists of 2009. In 2008, he appeared in the independent film “The Dukes,” playing a member of a washed up doo-wop group that turns, comically, to a life of crime. His cohorts are Chazz Palmenteri, two time Academy Award nominee Peter Bogdanovich and renowned character actor Robert Davi (“Die Hard,” “Profiler”), who wrote, directed and co-produced the film. “I’ve been writing a lot of new songs lately, and definitely want to start recording again and see where that takes me next,” says London. “For now, I’m happy living a great life, doing private functions and feeling like an island in the middle of the ocean, bringing joy to people I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to meet. I’m a believer in God and the Universe and have faith that everything will work out the way it is supposed to for me. I’m excited about the opportunities heading my way, beginning with hosting the HMMAs next month.”
WORLD OF ARTS SHOWCASE ANNOUNCES EIGHT NEW ARTIST PARTICIPANTS
The Entertainment Capital of the World Becomes A Visual Arts Mecca With the Debut of this Event at The Wynn Las Vegas December 20-22, 2012
Bringing to the Las Vegas Strip a long overdue celebration of the visual arts and artists, the World of Art Showcase is holding its inaugural event (www.worldofartshowcase.com) at the Wynn Las Vegas December 20-22, 2012.
WOAS is pleased to announce the addition of eight new artists to the event. Receiving First Honors in the Portrait Society of America’s 2011 International Portrait Competition as well as certificate of excellence the previous year, former graphic designer Casey Childs (www.caseychilds.com) has received notoriety and recognition for his work nationwide and is collected both publicly and privately. Cuban-American Cesar Santos (www.santocesar.com) studied at Miami Dade College and the New World School of the Arts before traveling to Florence, where he rained at the Angel Academy of Art under the tutelage of Michael John Angel, a student of Pietro Annigoni. He has been the recipient of numerous accolades including a first place award in a competition sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lauri Blank’s (www.blankstudio.com) sense of “Romantic Figuratism” brings a sense of peace and reflection to the modern day world.
Having appeared on numerous magazine covers, Blank in 2002 was selected as the artist for the Grammy Awards; her “Post 911” Grammy work symbolized the patriotism of a nation blended with our love of music. Exhibited widely across the U.S. and many international exhibitions in Europe, Leon Oks (www.leonoks.com) is able to retrieve the sweetness and ignore the bitterness of his years in the Ukraine, under suffocating Soviet bureaucracy. The women in his paintings are vessels of creative power and span the range of human emotions—she is Nature, Mother, Joy, Sorrow and Struggle. Marcelo Daldoce, who once studied and lived at the Nucleo de Arte art school in Brazil, began his career as an intern in an illustration and design studio before working in advertising agencies. For six years, he worked from his own illustration studio, Macacolandia, with three partners.
English artist Mario Parga, Executive Director of WOAS, is known equally for his virtuoso guitar music (www.marioparga.com) and his twenty five years as a painter (www.marioparga-art.com) specializing in portraiture, figurative, landscapes and still lifes in the contemporary and classical realism styles. He has painted numerous high profile portraits for private collections around the world, painted murals (including all the murals at Chingle Hall, England, build in 1260 AD, as featured on a BBC documentary), exhibited with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters at the Pall Mall Galleries of London and had one of his Old Master copies (Bouguereau) auctioned by world renowned fine art auctioneers Bonham’s of London. Mario is a member of the Portrait Society of America. After graduating in 2002 with a BFA in illustration from Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City native Ryan S. Brown (www.ryansbrownart.com) furthered his education by attending the Florence Academy of Art (FAA) in Italy.
In addition to teaching at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art between 2004-2006 and opening up his studio to students for several years, he was the top award winner of the John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship in 2004; won a Fellowship to the Hudson River School for Landscape; and won “Best Painting of the Year” at the Florence Academy of Art in 2007 as well as the President’s Award. Ryan has recently been on the faculty of the First Annual Plein Air Conference in Las Vegas in 2012, as well as the Portrait Society of America Conference in Philadelphia in 2012. In 2005, Southern California native Tony Pro—who received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from Cal State Northridge and studied with famed illustrator Glen Orbik, was awarded the highly coveted Best of Show award at the 14th Annual Oil Painters of America Show. That year, Pro, a signature member of the California Art Club as well as an honorary member of ACOPAL and an adjunct professor of art at Cal Lutheran University, was one of the Top Ten finalists of the Portrait Society of America show in Washington, DC.
The groundbreaking vision of David Goldstein, COO of Jerry's Artarama—the world's most loved art material supply company—the World of Art Showcase (WOAS) is very much a cause to reestablish the arts to their rightful place within society. It is an exclusive show for professional artists from across the U.S. and around the world to sell their art and make important personal connections with art buyers, collectors and galleries. Fashioned as a harmonized presentation of the finest original contemporary paintings, the exhibition is fast establishing itself as a world class cultural event. Its primary goal is to promote the most talented contemporary painters in America, with work ranging from classical to modern.
Collectors are encouraged to view, compare and reserve favorite paintings on the World of Art Showcase online gallery, and then later at the show meet the artists/galleries who painted/represent the works and make purchases directly from them. The show is also open to potential art collectors and general visitors who may have thought about investing in art but need guidance. Goldstein and Parga see this as a completely new way of viewing and buying art, reflecting the start of a completely new age for the arts Goldstein, a passionate art collector, and Parga, a musician, professional artist and Las Vegas resident, chose the Wynn Resort as their desired venue for WOAS for its amazing style and luxurious atmosphere as well as owner Steve Wynn's reputation as one of the world's top 10 private art collectors. The prestigious presentation of artwork on display in the two vast ballrooms at the Wynn is the centerpiece of a multi-faceted three-day "Celebration of the Senses” that includes live music, dance, boutique bourbon, fine wines, handmade chocolates, pastries, gourmet food and culinary arts.