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A Winter Blessing: Songs for the Season by Seay
- posted by Spirit Within, RJ Lannan, Christmas on 12/18/2007
Seay A Winter Blessing
John Nipp - Spirit Within Radio
Seay's CD "A Winter Blessing" is the most innovative I've heard in a long time. Each track made me excited to hear what would come next. Simply beautiful and brilliant. A must have.

RJ Lannan - New Age Reporter
Wrapped up in gossamer and topped with a gold star is the holiday offering from exceptional songstress Seay. Her exquisite voice once again reigns in clarity and deep beauty. Her style and composition are a gift. She layers voices like icing on a holiday cake. I liked every cut on A Winter Blessing. I assure you will be pleased from the tinkling first notes to the ending refrain of All Around the World. Seay has a range between Annie Lennox and Enya, but her style is her own. Enjoy. Notable cuts are All Around the World, Carol of the Bells (exceptional), Winter Light and Whispering Pines.

Carol Swanson - Christmas
Care to drift in space with the stars? Hush--and feel the magic of Seay's A Winter Blessing: Songs for the Season. This unabashedly new age album creates a lush ethereal landscape. The offering features Seay's lovely vocals framed by considerable electronica, all emphasizing contemplative moods and pastel palettes. You will feel yourself drifting away into the starry void after the first few notes. In truth, it matters little where you are heading; this music is all about the ride. A Winter Blessing provides the ultimate chill-out music.
Rating: Excellent
Somewhere Within by Joe Bongiorno
- posted by John Iverson - CKUW on 12/18/2007
Solo Piano to Warm Your Heart!
This album is easily the best new age solo piano recording to be released this year, and the quality rivals releases by such noted pianists as David Lanz and George Winston. Upon listening it is obvious that Joe plays straight from the heart, and his technique is absolutely stunning! In his capable hands the music never becomes tedious, as he utilizes the full range and nuances of the instrument to paint a beautiful picture with an engaging sound. Plus the songwriting skills of Joe Bongiorno match the quality of his musicianship, and all of the tracks on this album are extremely well written.
So from the beautiful opening track “Walk With Me” to the final strains of “Beyond Forever”, you are taken on a magical musical journey by Joe Bongiorno, and during that time your spirit is allowed to explore that secret place which can be found “Somewhere Within”. This is music that is charming and inviting, and you will want to listen to it often! I really enjoyed this album, as it was one of the most pleasant surprises in the solo piano genre this year!
Rating: Excellent
waterslide by The Bonedaddys
- posted by Ben Dugas on 12/17/2007
A cup, no make that a bowl, of Gumbo Please!

Ask any person what gumbo is and they'll start to tell you what's in it. They'll tell you about the gravy and how thick or dark it should be. Some will tell you it should have okra in it and others, particularly Cajuns, say that in its purest form gumbo doesn't have okra. Some say it's not a gumbo if you don't start with a roux yet others (often those who don’t know how to cook a roux) never use a roux in their gumbo. Everyone has their own idea as to what gumbo is.

Being from south Louisiana (and being a Cajun myself), I know what's in it isn't that important - it's the final product that counts. There has been a wide range of meats used in gumbo from shrimp to crabs to sausage to chicken to rabbit to ham and just about everything else in between. It wouldn't surprise me if there were even a Spam gumbo eaten on occasion. Gumbo was a fascinating metamorphic culinary invention that enabled yesterday's meal to become today's. Whatever meat was left over in the icebox (notice I didn’t say refrigerator) became part of today's gumbo. If you have it – throw it in. Some people make "turkey salad" the day after thanksgiving but I can tell you in south Louisiana there is a high concentration of turkey gumbo every year around the last week of November.

So what does gumbo have to do with the Bonedaddys' waterslide CD? This CD has just about every instrument imaginable. It has just about as many styles and an equal number of musicians (shades of a George Clinton / Funkadelic concert – if you've seen one, you know what I'm talking about). Stir it all together and simmer it over a low fire and you've got an awesome gumbo. If you have it - throw it in. Feel free to check the list of "ingredients" here and here.

If you're making a gumbo it makes sense to start with the first step – makin' roux. The Bonedaddys, I'm learning, aren't into making just an average roux. They're making something extra special that they won't forget about for a while to come. And they're going to have more fun making it than eating it. This is a great tune that's making me a little hungry myself.

Naturally after eating some good New Orleans cooking you've got to go out on the town. Unfortunately in this town some things can get a little out of whack, especially on a full moon. When you start doing things you never expected – and sometimes won't remember - it's easy to Blame it on the Moon (but often it's not the moon that should get the blame). The 'daddys' have done a masterful job of capturing the moonlit streets and curves with this track, probably my favorite with all of its subtle sounds of the streets (although I find myself singing Waterslide and Heartbreaker just as often). Be careful and don't get too crazy, you don't want to make the voodoo queen mad.

Oughta Give it Away? After eating some gumbo and walking the streets of New Orleans, what else would you expect? Another hard-driving, relentless tune. Be careful or you might catch yourself joining in with the gang in encouragement.

In Reverend Singer, a recurring theme reveals itself. Why is it that what's worth having is always the hardest to get? Just remember that banks used to be much less secure than they are now. Why are there foot-thick vaults today? The good bank robbers figured out how to get into the six inch ones. Never fear. For every lock there's a key. This is one track worth unlocking.

What about Louisville Flame? Surely there's one horse that won't finish this race. Was the moon full last night? This is a song many will relate to more than they'd like.

The day we got this CD my partner stuck it in his computer and listened quietly through his headphones while working. I didn't hear much from him until the end when he proclaimed that I just had to listen to the Hula Girl (Dancing on My Dad). I thought that was a rather bold name until he clarified that it was dancing on my DASH, not DAD. Whew! That changed the first impression a little (not that the first one didn't fit) but the new vision that it generated in my mind smacked me square in the forehead. I knew that hula girl when I was much younger. I also knew the guy that would go meet her folks. The song fits him well.

I can only imagine what some of the writing sessions must have been like for this CD. I can picture a bunch of guys sitting around at the local bar - or better yet, on Bubba's front porch - laughing and reminiscing about the good ol' days and out pops a new line. I mean, when's the last time you heard the term "rodknocker" or thought about the hula girl (or the dog) on the dash. It wouldn't surprise me if the phrase "coffee, tea or a flick of my Bic" came out somewhere in those discussions. Or what about "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never never ...". You know where I'm going with that. Some of these guys probably picked up some good pocket change returning Coke bottles for the deposit. Oh man what coulda been, eh? "Hey Bubba, what's that your hound dog's lickin' up off the porch?"

It's hard to listen to a CD without beginning to make some comparisons to other music you've heard. In the case of this CD, I have yet to stop. I've heard shades of Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr., Tower of Power, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Cray, Spyro Gyra, War ... let me just stop there. Don't feel bad if I left yours out because they're probably in there somewhere.

This CD is fun from start to finish and in the middle they’ve packed in way more fun. I would think seeing them live would be even more fun. I'm guessing that the audience works up more of a sweat than they do. Living in New Orleans I've seen a lot of live music acts and I can promise you these guys would steal the show time after time.

The one song that seems to be missing from this CD is "Epidemic" because with such an infectious lineup of songs you're certain to get infected too. I'm not going to speculate on what the affliction might be but it won't be something that brings you down. I can't get over the fact that my wife and kids like it just as much as I do. When's the last time YOUR wife danced around snapping her fingers while cleaning the house? This is a must-have CD that you’ll regret if you don’t catch.

Gotta go ... time to eat some more gumbo! The sooner I run out, the sooner I’ll be makin' more roux.

Rating: Excellent
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