I got advance word that the upcoming episode of Cocktail Nation, to be posted online on 8/9/2014, will feature the title track of my CD, "Necessary Evil." Thanks to the host, the guru of all things cool and swank, Koop Kooper. It's honor enough just to appear on Cocktail Nation, but to be on the same playlist with Tony Bennett, George Shearing and Vince Guaraldi is this girl's idea of Heaven. http://www.cocktailnation.net
I'll be doing a song this Friday at a fundraiser for the Sammons Center for the Arts, along with about a dozen great Dallas singers. I decided to do one of my favorite songs, "Feed The Birds" from "Mary Poppins" (I take in homeless and handicapped parrots and cockatoos). If you can't make it to the show, I added a video of the song from another performance last Christmas. Hope you enjoy it!
Just got word that I have been nominated for a 2014 Artists Music Guild Heritage Award for Best Female Vocalist. I was already told I was an AMG nominee for Best Mainstream Artist. I thought there must have been a mistake, but no: I'm actually nominated in TWO categories! The Grammys didn't even nominate me for one, so thank you, AMG voters! If you are an indie artist, I strongly recommend that you check out the Artists Music Guild. It was started by music industry insiders who were tired of seeing artists ripped off and wanted to start an organization to help educate musicians in how to make a living through their talents and avoid exploitation, help them network with honest industry professionals, and recognize and promote quality and talent, regardless of fame or promotional budgets. I am looking forward to attending their convention and awards telecast in Charlotte in November. Other indie artists might want to check that out. They have some really terrific seminars scheduled.
Thanks to the Artists Music Guild (artistsmusicguild.com), which just notified me that I've been nominated for Mainstream Artist of the Year for 2014! I was nominated for Best Female Vocalist last year, so I guess I've gone from cult to mainstream. A lot of artists might not like being called "mainstream," but when your lifelong dream is to play Vegas in 1962, it's a thrill and an honor. Can't wait for November, when I'll be in Charlotte for the AMG convention and awards telecast. BTW, I would encourage other indie artists to check out the AMG. It was founded by music industry professionals who wanted to help upcoming and indie artists make a living in the music business without being ripped off. Their convention offers honest, valuable seminars for artists on various subjects, presented by successful recording artists, managers, longtime label executives, etc. Check it out.
I just added "Midnight Sun" to the songs playable on ReverbNation. It's from my first CD, "Keep It To Yourself," as are several of the tunes I have posted here. If you like it, I hope you'll pick up a copy of the CD at CD Baby for the budget price of just $7.97: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lauraainsworth2 You can also download it there.
But the CD is better, and you get my picture!
The story behind this song is that it started as an instrumental by Lionel Hampton. Johnny Mercer was driving through the desert late one night on his way home to L.A. when he heard it on the radio. He was so taken with it, he found a phone booth, called the station, and had the DJ tell him what it was and play it twice more. He wrote the lyrics all alone in the desert in the moonlight, which might explain the exotic, evocative feel of the song. I hope you like my vocal, and I'm sure you'll love Brian Piper's brilliant piano improvisations and John Adams' gorgeous stand-up bass.
I just posted a song for free streaming or download. It's my take on Irving Berlin's 1919 classic, "You'd Be Surprised," just cut one afternoon for fun with the great Brian Piper on piano and John Adams on bass. This is a track I normally give away to people who join my mailing list, so if you like it, please sign up on RN or by dropping a note to firstname.lastname@example.org (I promise I'll never spam you), or at least Like my Facebook fan page. You'd be surprised what all I post there!
I apologize for not getting back to everyone as quickly as I'd like. I mostly had to be away from the computer this week, and had a problem with RN's word verification program when I was on. I appreciate those of you who have become my fans, and I promise, I will check out your music, too, as soon as I can, hopefully this weekend! xox, Laura A.
Dorian Gray helps me announce that I'm going to be performing in India and Dubai later this year. I haven't broken it to him yet that he can't come. http://youtu.be/hujeb2_5l4c
Happy 92nd birthday today (Apr. 11) to Ernie Felice, who pretty much invented jazz accordion. He was also a very good singer and one of the pioneers of cocktail jazz.
For several years, my late father Bill Ainsworth was the clarinetist and back-up singer for the amazing Ernie Felice Quartet. Their records sound a bit like John Pizzarelli, only a half-century earlier. They would trade off incredible solos, then come together to play astounding runs of rippling notes, matching each other in perfect unison. I wish my dad had lived as long as Ernie so they could celebrate together today. Check out http://www.erniefelice.com for more.
I'm thrilled, honored, and frankly, stunned, to learn that I'm now #6 in jazz in Dallas. I was also told that the title track of my latest CD, "Necessary Evil," is getting enough play to be "trending." Big band, trendy? How did that happen? I hope I had something to do with it! I know all of you did, so thankyou-thankyou-thankyou for your support!
If you'd like to help keep it trending, I'd really appreciate you giving my platter a spin and sharing it with your friends. I warn you: I like to start with a bang, so don't have the speakers all the way up if you just got the baby to sleep.