Women in Music

by Mary Pierce

This month I am going to keep is short, sweet and to the point. There is so much going on I don’t even know where to start. The Woman’s Blues alliance and 2nd Story Blues are joining forces and the there is about to be an explosion of Blues centered activities in the region. Mona Rodriguez host of the “Assorted Women’s Show,” on WDIY wrote and fantastic book. Christine Ohlman the Bee Hive Queen of Soul is performing at the Stanhope house, Lucianna Padmore is a super cool chick drummer for Stratospheerius and the Coup de Gras, I will be booking bands at STORM nightclub.

 Woman’s Blues Alliance + 2nd Story Blues = Active Blues Community

 The Woman’s Blues Alliance and 2nd Story Blues are two Blues centered organizations that will join forces. Together, the group will support the Blues community by providing an on-line source for networking, group insurance coverage for artists and musicians, monthly National Blues acts, open jam, annual Blues Festival called Lehigh River Blues Jam, youth mentoring programs and a monthly electronic newsletter. Together the highly motivated group will continue to build its network globally to raise awareness and benefits for established and up-and-coming musicians, artists, organizations and charities.

 “This is a long time coming,” said Les Houck founder of 2nd Story Blues who began the process for starting his own Blues centered 501 c 3 in March of 2011. “I spoke to a consultant who urged me very strongly to make sure there wasn’t an existing 501c3 in the community doing the same or similar thing. I thought about that for a while and it made sense so I asked around and found out about The Woman’s Blues Alliance. I have always been a big supporter of the Lehigh River Blues Jam but to be honest I just thought Bev Conklin did that on her own because she has a big heart.”

 In the coming weeks the Blues community can look forward to some exciting things. The Women’s Blues Alliance web site is being overhauled as a fully functional content management system and there are plans to launch in the first quarter of 2012. Announcements are forthcoming on the first local show to be hosted by the newly formed alliance and contract negations for the first national Blues act are almost complete.

 “By joining forces and leveraging the talent and resources from both WBA and 2nd Story Blues, we will be able to provide more to the Blues community in our region,” says Bev Conklin founder of The Women’s Blues Alliance. The new relationship represents the next logical step for two groups that have great passion and vision for preserving and promoting one of America’s only truly indigenous musical art forms… THE BLUES.

 Woman’s Blues Alliance www.wbainc.org

2nd Story Blues www.2ndStoryBlues.com

 Hurt… Hope Understanding Reaches Truth by Mona Rodriguez

 Mona takes it all! Feelings, contradictions, political issues, music, and ideas, she weaves them together with words laying at her readers feet a fine tapestry woven with wisdom and heart that makes you laugh, cry and scream out, “THAT’S MY STORY”… how did she know?

 Mona is a regular person living on this hunk of rock trying to stay grounded, preserving her culture, our culture, the human culture. She reminds us through words that we are all human and she cautions us with out being preachy to be wary of technology and politicians that want to tell you how to think. Through words she offers support and encourages the reader to live out loud and have independent thought, but reminds us to “keep it real”.

 Never, have I held in my hand a small, simple, unassuming collection of words that carried such weight, that moved me as powerfully to laughter, as it did to tears, that was as thought provoking as it was funny, that is so passionate, honest, raw and filled with the tenderest integrity. Mona’s use of the English language speaks to me and it will speak powerfully to anyone who picks it up and makes time for it.

 Christine Ohlman “The Beehive Queen”

Christine Ohlman is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, recording artist, and yes a music scholar. Her nickname, “The Beehive Queen” refers to her distinctive platinum beehive hairstyle. She leads the band Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez whose members include: Michael Colbath (bass), Larry Donahue (drums), Cliff Goodwin (guitar) with whom she has recorded six albums. Additionally, she is the long-running vocalist for the Saturday Night Live Band.

Her performances are hair raising (pun intended), high energy with intensity that just never lets up. She is the Beehive Queen of Soulful funky blues that performs with a style and flair that is charismatic and infectious. The way she can energize a crowd is inspiring. Her songs are well-written, exciting and laced with nuggets of music history. She is a passionate performer who presents her born-to-bad self with just the right mixture of swagger and tenderness.

Her most recent CD “The Deep End” was release in July of 2011 and it contains a few obscure covers including “Cry Baby Cry” a duet with Dion DiMucci. You can find Christine on line at www.christineohlman.net

Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez will be performing live at the Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ on Saturday, January 21. For dress, think leopard, zebra, tiger…that’s the theme for the night for all you cats and kittens!!!!

Lucianna Padmore drummer for Stratospheerius

 Bronx New York Native Drummer, Lucianna Padmore, has been playing the drums since the age nine. Lucianna’s musical playing styles vary from Jazz to Hip-Hop, Funk to Rock fusion. Lucianna is an alumni of LaGuardia High school for music art and the performing Arts. Lucianna has been involved in many different musical configurations allowing her to flex different sets of muscles playing in several bands from R+B Cover bands in and around the city to traveling the states and abroad playing with jazz tuba players Such as Bob Stewart or performing on the same bill with artist like Shirley Horn to Chico Debarge.

 Lucianna is currently performing and touring with the band Stratospheerious a band whose musical range combines jam, fusion, rock, progressive, virtuoso, singer-songwriter, jazz and metal, and describes itself as “psychojazz trip funk.” Stratospheerius has played at colleges, festivals, and clubs throughout the US. The New York-based group has opened for Tim Reynolds, Mickey Hart, The Slip, Ekoostik Hookah, and John Scofield. The group was a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, won the Online People’s Choice Awards in the Cornucopia Festival, and was named “Best Jam Band” in Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards.

Here is their upcoming local dates:

 February 10: 12 GRAPES, Peekskill, NY

February 17: THE SHRINE, New York, NY

February 24: OLIVE’S BAR, Nyack, NY

March 8: THE GRAPE ROOM, Philadelphia, PA

March 10: MOJO’s, Jamestown, NY