Sand Castles a song on many levels

Sand Castles a song on many levels

Sand Castles is a song near and dear to my heart. On the surface it is a song about the fundamental fragility of life and how our “Best laid plans” can all come to naught even when we think we’ve got it all. On a deeper, more personal level it speaks to me of a time when I literally lost it all.

My Castle of Sand was on Foothill Boulevard in the city of Glendora CA. I was a very fortunate man; I had a lovely wife who was pregnant with our first children (twins), we lived in a gorgeous home and I believed with all my heart that the foundations of my life were solid as stone. Then, in a moment as startling and as catastrophic as a lightning bolt, we were informed that my wife had a terminal disease.  In an instant, solid stone turned out to be shifting sand and I lost my wife, my unborn children, my home, everything.

After many years I have rebuilt my life and now live happily once again, but I have never lost the lesson that all things are transient and that we must cherish every moment because we never know when the tide is going to come in.

Thank you for your consideration. Please visit wesgraham.com now or all major digital sites (within the next few days) to download Sand Castles and be sure to join my mailing list.

Advertisements

More of the talent, The amazing Aretha Scruggs

More of the talent, The amazing Aretha Scruggs

I have been so blessed with the amazing talents that have helped me bring this dream to fruition. One of the most notable performers who have lent their talents to this project is Aretha Scruggs.  The number of major artists she has performed with is dumbfounding.  Her most recent outing (that I know of) was her work on Katy Perry’s latest album.  Please visit my website, wesgraham.com  to hear samples of her work.  and don’t forget to join my mailing list. I’ve included Aretha’s bio (from her website)  below to give you just a little idea of how amazing she is.

 

Aretha Scruggs is a singer-songwriter/actress, who has been using her gift of song all over the United States, and now abroad since the age of 4 years old. Having her start in a singing group called the Scruggs Sisters, which contained her three sisters and her parents on accompanying musical instruments, they over time, have sung at various churches, sporting and community events. Opening for such artists as The Clark Sisters, Commissioned, Yolanda Adams and Vickie Winans to name a few, they even got the chance to sing for such historical events as Rosa Park’s 80th Birthday party and the Tuskegee Airmen’s Congressional banquet.

 

 After graduating from UCLA in 2003, God opened the door for her and her twin sister Alayna, to be touring background singers for Natalie Cole and later other such notables as Christina Aguilera and Anita Baker. Through various TV and live show tapings, she has also backed up artists such as Whitney Houston, Patti Labelle, Jennifer Hudson, India Arie, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Tyrese Gibson and gospel greats Donnie Mclurklin, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Israel Houghton, Tye Tribbett, Marvin Sapp and Mary Mary.

 

 She has been blessed now, to travel all over the United States, and to over 14 countries with her gift of song, and counts it a privilege to now speak and sing in both Portuguese and Spanish.

 

 Currently, she can be seen performing live vocals with a jazz quartet called J.Mike & Friends. Combining jazz, gospel, latin, and pop stylings, they are making their name in the industry to bring live music to the masses. In addition, as a certified vocal coach for the past 10 years, she teaches both individual and group vocal lessons.

 

 Since graduating with her Master’s Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Cross Cultural Studies with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology & Global Worship, she has made annual trips to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to host vocal workshops, serve the people of Brazil through philanthropic projects, perform in various churches and jazz clubs and continue learning Portuguese. Her goal is to create a bridge between Brazil and the US and host other musicians and singers through a cultural exchange program.

 

 In all, Aretha is honored to share her gifts with the world for the glory of God.

My Producer, My Friend, My Muse, Magic Moreno

 

My Producer, My Friend, My Muse, Magic Moreno

I have known Magic Moreno for more years than either of us would likely care to admit. Both as a personal friend and as one of the most extraordinary producers and engineers I have ever worked with. It’s fitting that his last name contains the word “more” because that’s what he does. He takes an artist creation (mine in this case) and he makes it “more.”

He has the talent and skill set to take the good and make it great and to take the great and make it epic. On top of that he is truly great as a person and even if I had never recorded a single note with him, I would be proud to call him friend. Please visit my site at wesgraham.com  and take a listen to wonderful work he did for me.

Below is an excerpt from his online Bio but it doesn’t cover even half of this man’s remarkable career.

Magic is an internationally known Producer/Engineer, Writer/Singer/Performer, who has recorded, performed with, and/or produced such artists as Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, David Lee Roth, Aretha Franklin and The Commodores. Including such work style diversification as Jazz with Miles Davis, Country with Gary Morris, and R&B with Michael Jackson, Tina Marie and Natalie Cole. The list goes on to include Tina Turner, Melissa Manchester, Phil Collins, Steve Vai, Gregg Bissonette, etc. etc.  

He has mixed and engineered records internationally for such artists as; Franco DeVita, Ilan Chester, Juan Carlos and Juan Gabrial in Venezuela, Madrid, Paris, Switzerland and Sophia, Bulgaria, mixing the European sensation “Rose Fever” for the Bulgarian Government.

He also toured extensively as the lead singer/writer/producer of the prominent 1990s rock band TREASON, whose highly successful CD Bite Me, received international & domestic acclaim. Along with his nine gold and platinum records and three Grammy nominations, his music has appeared in Motion Pictures and Television alike.

Magic owns and operates Magic Presence Studios in Redondo Beach, California, an exclusively 192K facility for tracking and mixing stereo and 5.1 DVD-A formats, including post production audio for Theatrical, and High Definition Television applications and he is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Treason Publishing and Entertainment Inc.

A Musical Rip Van Winkle

As many of you already know, for some personal/emotional reasons, but mostly for medical reasons, I left the world of music almost completely for a period of more than 25 years. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would revisit that world which had so defined the entire first half of my life. Then, in February of this year almost literally overnight, those reasons simply went away. This, for lack of a better word, miracle, while absolutely awesome, has left me in an “interesting” position. It’s like I’m a musical Rip Van Winkle.

When I walked away (went to sleep in this metaphor) from the music industry it looked like this: The major record labels jealously guarded the gates of success like some black knights of old, studio time was massively expensive and pretty much limited to 24 tracks, and if you didn’t have several million dollars to invest in a marketing campaign you might as well not bother.

Now, it’s like I’ve awakened into a brave new world. The major labels have almost “gone the way of the dodo,” millions of dollars of studio electronics have been replaced by hundreds of dollars of software and anyone with a laptop or a smartphone can literally have a global reach.

This has left me with a very steep learning curve. This is especially true in my case since my musical style has always been “production heavy.” Even with all the technical advances, I’ll probably never be the type to just knock out an album from my bedroom. It feels as if I went to sleep the pilot of a 747 and I woke up to find I’m flying the Starship Enterprise. Thank God, which I literally do, for my navigator and helmsman Magic Moreno, without whose help I most likely would have crashed and burned already.

All I can say in conclusion is that this Rip Van Winkle is extraordinarily grateful that he woke up.

http://www.wesgraham.com

 

Sand Castles, The Second Single?

Sand Castles started life as a simple parable about “Not building upon the shifting sand” but during the production process it grew in meaning. I now see it as a story about a great personal loss I experienced and it was an emotional experience to record it. The song is not mastered yet but this is a small sample.

And on the Bass……….

Bob Fazio

Bob first began playing music at the age of eight when he began keyboard lessons. It wasn’t until years later that Bob made the decision to switch to bass, but his keyboard lessons proved fortuitous as it gave Bob a background in musical theory, harmony and composition that has shaped Bob’s musical style which incorporates not only traditional bass grooves but extended solos and chords.

Bob still owns and plays his first bass, a ’75 Music Man Stingray, but he is most at home on his sevening Conklin. Although Bob first bought a sixing, he eventually migrated to the sevening as it gave him more range to solo—and he uses every note. Bob also still extremely proficient at keyboards as well.

Bob has backed such national acts as Frankie Avalon, Steve Gatlin and Crystal Waters. He has toured the States continuously from 1982 to 1993 and has performed in several production shows such as “From Nashville to Broadway” and “Always….Patsy Cline”. Bob has also toured internationally with the award-winning instrumental group Robert Anthony Aviles & Insight.

Bob’s incredible playing has been featured with such talents as Bo Diddley, Charlie Brown and the Coasters, the Platters, Danny and the Juniors, the New Journey Ministries Church and many others. In addition he is one of the top call musicians for Wayne Foster Entertainment & the Skye Michaels Orchestras.