new album

All posts tagged new album

It’s no secret that Alfie Boe and Michael Ball, having had such a success with Together in 2016 are teaming up for a new album this year.  Now you can pre-order – and there’s a DVD available too!  Take a look at the video:

Click here to place your pre-order from the official store – what are you waiting for?

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Recently returned from Cape Town where he created the role of John Crichton-Stuart in the new musical Tiger Bay, a role written especially for him no less, John Owen-Jones tomorrow releases a compilation album, Bring Him Home.  A mix of musical theatre songs taken from three previous albums,  John Owen-Jones (2009, Unmasked (2012) and Rise (2015), there are also three new tracks to delight fans: Maria, Why God Why and Suddenly.  In addition to this, John is soon to embark on a short solo tour of Wales – click here for dates and venues.  All in all, with Tiger Bay moving to Cardiff in November and a trip stateside in September, 2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for John.

Given his super busy schedule, it was a delight to catch up with John over coffee this week to talk about the new album although of course, you’ll forgive us if we strayed onto all things Les Mis.  Like Alfie, it was through Les Mis that I first became aware of John – the Valjean Quartet at the 25th concert to be precise.  Talking about that incredible moment where Alfie first starts singing, John says that “being in the room when we first rehearsed that and everyone’s hair was blow off when Alfie hit that top note”.  Lovely to hear that the other Valjean’s thought that as it’s the same for most of us too.  As for Alfie, Les Mis is the show in which John first rose to prominence; at 26 he was the youngest actor to play Valjean.  He says of this time on Broadway that “I was very lucky at 26 that I had the chance to play Jean Valjean and I grabbed it with both hands”.   Since then he has returned to the role several times, most recently on Broadway again and for a short run in Dubai and doesn’t rule out another stint in the future “if the opportunity is there again, why not?”

Of the three new tracks on Bring Him Home, one is related to Les Mis and that is Suddenly, the song that was added to the movie version and as yet, has not been recorded by many people.  As such, it sounds fresh and exciting which is no mean feat for a song from a thirty year old musical that everyone is familiar with.  In understated style, John calls the song ” a nice little tune” and it fits in perfectly with the theme of this album which draws heavily on John’s roles with both Les Mis and Phantom, both of which are huge in Japan.  John has played several sell out shows there and in once concert last year, John says that the audience refused to leave the auditorium until he came back for a further encore – the musical director came back on stage without shoes and socks!

As for the other new tracks, Maria was chosen as West Side Story was the first show in which John was ever on stage and is a song he’s always wanted to record as a result.  Apparently it took him this long to actually do it because his mum’s not keen on the song but “she can skip that one”.  Great choice of song – despite there being many versions of this song out there, John’s acting ability enables him to bring an emotional depth that is not always heard.  Similarly personal, Why God Why from Miss Saigon was the song John performed at his audition for drama school and is a song that he has performed live for a long time.

As mentioned earlier, next week sees John embark on a short solo tour of Wales and he says that the set list will consist of mainly musical theatre songs with one or two others in the mix as well.  A number of local choirs will be joining John, not to mention Rhys Meirion in Rhyl and other guest artists.  Sounds fantastic!

Bring Him Home is released on Sain Records on 9 June and is available here:

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Mention Jennifer Warnes to music lovers in the UK and you’ll probably expect most answers to include her Oscar winning movie songs Up Where We Belong and (I’ve Had) the Time of My Life.  However, Warnes is a respected singer and writer going back many years and there is much more to her career than those two (admittedly mega selling) songs.

Recent years have seen Warnes collaborating with a number of artists before returning to record a new solo album.  That will hopefully be released by the end of this year / early next year but in the meantime, tomorrow sees the first UK release of Warnes’ 2001 album, The Well.  Why the gap? Well, legal wrangles and what Warnes described in our recent interview as “a chaotic time” in the music industry and the life of her recording career meant that The Well could not receive a UK release.  Now, Warnes owns the master and in her own words, she can “do whatever I want with it”.  I began our interview by asking how it felt to be talking about music that had been recorded over fifteen years ago.  Not surprisingly, Warnes’ feels mostly “relief…the only reason we make records is so that people can listen to them and they can’t do that if they’re not released”.  This was said with a lot of passion and I wondered if, given the struggles, the end result of The Well was worth it.  The answer was of course yes because singing and pursuing a career in the music industry is not a choice to Warnes, rather she describes it as her destiny.  All careers have rocky moments and hers have been with the corporate side of the industry as opposed to the music side which she calls “bliss” in comparison.  Her last word on this was “I’ve paid a great deal for lots of things but I’m still here”.

Still here and still releasing great music no less.  Listening to The Well as a newcomer to Warnes’ solo music I was struck by the emotion and passion of the vocals.  This is an album constructed around a raw, throaty, emotional voice and it works.  The tracks are embued with blues, country, R&B and a hint of bluegrass and most invoke a deep sense of emotion which is, I gather, what Warnes was after; she cares about the listening experience.  Indeed, when asked how she chooses the tracks for her albums, Warnes said that she asks herself if “this song will cause a stir in the heart of the listener?”.  Warnes went on to describe her criteria for choosing songs as this: they have to speak to her life at the moment and they have to suit her voice and personality.  As a group, they have to be happy bedfellows, hanging together as a whole.  During the interview it becomes apparent that recording in a studio is a passion for Warnes, indeed she describes it as a “beautiful process, in which you’re chasing an invisible spirit”.  A further comparison comes from cooking – you can cook with the same ingredients time after time but sometimes the result is perfection and making records is like that.  Sometimes it just comes together perfectly.

My favourite tracks on the album are two of the simplest tracks: Tom Waits’ Invitation to the Blues and Billy Joel’s And So it Goes.  I felt more of an emotional pull from these two stripped back songs, more so perhaps with the Billy Joel song.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, Warnes is best known in the UK for her duets with Joe Cocker and Bill Medley and there are two duets on The Well.  Of the two, I most enjoyed Patriots Dream with Arlo Guthrie and I asked her what it’s like singing a duet as opposed to a solo song and this was her answer: “well, how is it making love with yourself or with someone else (laughter)?”.  I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting that answer! I meant to go on to ask about the duets on this album but instead, we talked more about duets in general.  Warnes says that many of her happiest times have been singing on stage with someone, experiences in which they are both feeling an almost spiritual connection.  Jo Cocker was the name that was volunteered along with this statement.

The Well draws on a welter of emotions that are clearly personal to Warnes and the overall effect is to leave the listener with an emotional response to the music.  Since my interview with Warnes clearly denotes that this was her intention, she’s done a great job.  If you’re a fan of bluesy, folky music then The Well is a great album.  It’s also a great way to discover that there’s a lot more to Jennifer Warnes than just a great voice.

The Well is available here:

Jennifer Warnes Well

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Hot on the heels of the news that Alfie Boe has recorded Barcelona on Katherine Jenkins’ new album, we heard the song live for the first time.

Alfie and Katherine appeared at the “Live at Edinburgh Castle” concert ahead of next week’s Commonwealth Games and while all the pop acts got at least two songs each, the classical acts had to put up with only one, much to the consternation of their fans!  Twitter and facebook were (and still are) awash with comments along the lines of “why only one song”.

Still, in the case of Alfie and Katherine, what a corker their one song was!  If you haven’t seen it yet, or even if you have and want to see it again…and again…and again, here it is:

If you want to pre-order the album, click on the image below:

katherine jenkins

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Earlier in the year, Alfie Boe fans were thrilled to discover that he was recording a song for a Decca label mate’s next album.  Speculation was rife as to the artist in question and the song they would sing together…now I’m happy to say that I was right and Alfie will be appearing on Katherine Jenkins’ new album, Home Sweet Home.  The  song is Barcelona, so memorably performed with Laura Wright at the Freddie for a Day evening last year.  This version made the top 5 f the recent Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Duet poll so no pressure for this version then!

Click on the album cover below to order through the thoughtsofjustafan Amazon store:

katherine jenkins

 

Alfie fans were spoilt when the album was released as it was released on the same day  Serenata.  Serenata is also available for to buy, so if you haven’t yet done so, click on the album cover below:

 

Great to see Alfie duetting with Katherine on her new album, they have sung together before, although this will be with first time on an album.  The previous occasion was at the Classic Brits in 2011 when they teamed up for a John Barry tribute and again at Edinburgh Castle in advance of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (just don’t ask Alfie what Commonwealth sports he likes!):

 

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Alfie Boe’s new album, Serenata, can now be ordered via Amazon UK!

Originally scheduled for an October release, it’s now due out in November but to ensure you get your copy, just click on the album cover below to buy from the thoughtsofjustafan Amazon store.

serenata

 

 

What an exciting time we have to look forward to with Alfie!

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The day has arrived!  Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore will shortly be entering the studio to record their new album of musical theatre songs and – as a special treat for you – we can now reveal the track listing exclusively, right here, on thoughtsofjustafan!

If you remember, Michael and Sean asked for readers to help pick the tracks and promised that the first person to pick a song that made the final cut would have that song dedicated to them – so congratulations to the ones that were chosen:

Not while I’m around – Sweeney Todd – dedicated to Pamela Eubanks
Every Single Day – Harmony  – dedicated to Maureen Goldsworthy
If Ever I would Leave You – Camelot –  dedicated to Beverley Eagle
If I loved you – Carousel – dedicated to Lilian Evans
Memory – Cats – dedicated to Cynthia Shepherd

Serenade – The Student Prince
Where or When – Babes in Arms
Not a Day Goes By – Merrily We Roll Along
Bui Doi – Miss Saigon

Stay tuned for the winner of the free CD  – this will be picked when the album is ready for release!

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(a little bird tells me that there may be a couple of extra tracks just for subscribers)

 

 

Just a reminder…

Only a few days to get this exciting news exclusively before everyone else!

Here at thoughtsofjustafan, we’re all about sharing good music with as many people as possible – especially if its music from Alfie or that he appreciates. So what better way of doing just that than telling people about the wonderful music that comes from Alfie’s brother, Michael Boe?

I’ve just had exciting news from Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore that they’ll be entering the studio to record their new album shortly and – as a special treat for you – they’re revealing the track listing exclusively, right here, on thoughtsofjustafan.

To repay their kindness, lets spread the word about their album. To get this exclusive sneak peek at their track list, all you have to do is subscribe to thoughtsofjustafan.

Tweet this post and share on Facebook would be great too! Use the hashtag #michaelboeseanashmoremusic

The track listing won’t be shared anywhere else fora while so what are you waiting for?  Get sharing…and let’s show Michael and Sean how much we love what they do

To get you in the mood, here’s a clip from Michael and Sean’s previous album, A La Voix, for your listening pleasure:

Thanks for supporting great music and all things Alfie.

 

michael and sean

Great news this week for all those Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore fans – a new album is in the works!  Following on from the success of their last album, A La Voix, available from North Star Opera (click here to buy), Michael and Sean are heading to the studio soon to record an album of musical theatre songs.

Now for the exciting bit!

Michael and Sean are keen to get suggestions for this new album, as yet untitled, and are running a competition to win a copy of the CD!  One suggestion will be picked at random.

To enter, do the following:

fill in the comment box below,

tweet your suggestion to @mashboe

post on facebook  (click here for the page)

As an added incentive, Michael and Sean will dedicate each song on the album to the first person to suggest it  – so get thinking!