Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gearing up for Fall

     Hey there, folks! I hope you all had a great summer and are enjoying your Labor Day Weekend. It's almost time to leave the lazy, lethargic, heat-stroke-victim feelings of summer behind, and get back into the swing of things as fall approaches. I, for one, am looking forward to cooler days, and being more productive. And Pumpkin Spice Lattes!!

     This fall is going to be a very busy time in my life. I'm going back to school on Tuesday! Hooray for me! I'm beginning an online Master's of Music Education program through Boston University. I'm sure that will keep me busy. Here are the classes I have to complete: BU Master's of Music Ed Curriculum

     In addition, all 3 of my musical projects are trying to release albums by the end of the year! The Damselles & the TC4 just mastered our first full-length record! Here is a very EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PREVIEW! I might get in trouble for sharing this so early, but I can't help it! It's too tasty! Have a listen~ "Dig Up That Hatchet"- The Damselles & the TC4
    We will be returning from our 5-month long hiatus to perform at this year's Lobsterfest at the Port of Los Angeles on August 15th. Hosted by KROQ!
Port Of Los Angeles Lobster Festival & Music Weekend Lineup Announced « The World Famous KROQ – Alt Rock Music News, Photos, Videos, Concerts

     The Richie West Band is almost finished recording our first LP, as well, due out in January 2013. I'd like to share a very rough mix of one of our favorite Richie West Songs.
"Aching" rough mix- The Richie West Band

     I've also been busy recording my originals, and would love to release a few of them as an EP by November. My life is a juggling act right now, though, so I'll have to see how many precious hours this Master's program is going to eat up.  Anyway, here's one that's pretty close to being done. Not sure if I have posted this on my blog before, but I would like to post it here so that you may compare it to my other projects and hear the diversity of all the styles of music I like to sing. I hope you enjoy it!
"The Most Important Thing"- Brittney Westover

Thanks for keeping up with me, everybody! Cheers!

Love & Grace,


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Still in the Game!

Hey There, Folks! How's your summer so far? Mine is going great! The Damselles & the TC4 have been working closely with producer, Paul Smith, to finish mixing our first full-length album, due out this fall! Here's a preview of a preview of what to expect:
Stay tuned for the "Man Like You" official music video, coming soon!
     The Richie West Band is a little closer to finishing vocals on our first full-length album, as well, thanks to Joe Napolitano and the efforts of lead singer, John Ennis and guitarist/backup singer, Adam Kurtz. John's lead parts are now finished, and all that's left are my lead parts and background vocals, and Adam's background parts in a few songs. After that, Jillinda Palmer and Joe Napolitano will work their hocus pocus and put all the pretty pixie dust and sparkly finishing touches on the recordings, and they will be done. The challenging part will be to find someone to mix and master the recordings at a rate I can afford, and then duplicate some cds. I'm working on putting together some shows for the Richie West Band to play, so keep an eye out and an ear open for that. It will most likely be towards the end of summer. I am really excited to be finishing up this record. It already sounds phenomenal, even missing some vocal parts and barely mixed. I know my dad would be extremely proud. :) 
     Here's what last week was like, as we recorded at Hillandale Studios in Highland Park on the hottest day of the summer thus far. We couldn't turn the a/c unit on in the vocal booth because it would have been too noisy. But we all sweated it out, because we are champions! Thanks to Nick Weidner for filming on that sweaty day, and capturing the moment with these beautiful HD videos!
This one is a two-parter, so here are both parts:
    Later on that same night, I had the pleasure of working with Joe Napolitano and Jillinda Palmer again as we all supported Hi Ho Silver Oh onstage at the Echo for their record release show. Jillinda plays keys and sings backup vocals in that band already, and Joe recorded and mixed the album. I'm a big fan of Hi Ho Silver Oh, so I was flattered and honored when lead singer, Casey Trela, asked me to be part of the chorus of backup singers at this very special event. He even let me have a vocal solo in one song! Check it out:
(Thanks to Mike Escamillo for filming these lovely videos on his iPhone 4S.)
 This was how the show ended. Casey decided to take the whole band into the middle of the audience for an intimate, acoustic encore.  I have never heard the Echo so reverently quiet. It was truly a magical moment:
     I want to thank my friends and family for supporting me throughout my musical journey. Just the fact that you have made it this far through my blog means a lot to me! I am still working on recording my own tracks with the help of my boyfriend, Mike Escamillo. My goal is to have an EP ready to release digitally by my birthday this year. That's only 3 months away, so we better get cracking! I will be posting various stages of mixes along the way to get your opinions. Like this one, for example!
I would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for listening. 
     Oh, and there's one more thing I'd like to share with you all! I have an appointment to audition with the producers of The Voice on August 15th (thanks to Rebecca Balin for hooking that one up!). They want me to prepare 3 songs to sing, preferably contemporary, up-tempo tunes (within the last 5 years). They warned against ballads. I don't listen to a whole lot of popular music, so I was wondering if you have any suggestions of songs that you think might suit my voice well. Thanks for any input or feedback you can give. I love you all. 
Enjoy the rest of July, and stay cool!
Love & Grace,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Howdy, Friends!

     I've had a busy couple of bout you? It's been fun, though. I've been enjoying the sunshine, and leisurely getting things accomplished. Mike has been helping me record my original songs, and my good friends, Joe and Jillinda have been helping me record vocals on the Richie West record, so that's still coming along. Nick Weidner just sent me a video from the first recording session we did back in February, so take a look! (Click the link below!)

Last Two-Step Recording Session Wrap

     Here is a link to a duet that Mike and I recorded together. It's still not quite finished being mixed, but we are getting closer, and I would like to share it with you and get your opinion if you haven't heard it before!

Duet- "To Give You My Love"

     I threw a couple other unmastered tracks from the past onto Soundcloud, so if you enjoy that track, be sure to check out the others!

     Mike and I will be performing this Sunday night, June 10th, at 1642 in Echo Park at 7pm. I am excited to have the backing vocal talents of Jillinda Palmer and Emily St. Amand-Poliakoff on 3 songs with me this time! Here is a flyer for the show:

     And now, just for fun, here is a video of me singing Led Zeppelin at karaoke recently:

     American Idol doesn't know what it's missing! Haha. Maybe the Voice will take me. 

Cheers, Everybody!

Love & Grace,


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Forward!

     Howdy, People! Happy Passover & Easter & other festive spring holidays! Just writing a little update to let you know what's been going on in my little world! I recently got a new job as a cocktail server at a really cool bar/restaurant in South Pasadena called the Raymond & Bar 1886. I've been training and taking tests on menu & cocktail knowledge, but tonight is my first night on my own, which means I get to keep my tips! Hallelujah! Here is a fun little interview with my friend Eve Hammond Bushman, a Santa Clarita-based wine & food blogger. It should give you a little taste of what I do to make money when I'm not playing shows: West Ranch Beacon- Pairing wine & cocktails with song

     The Damselles & the TC4 are taking a much-needed break in our usually-hectic performing schedule this month to focus on finishing up our full-length album. The Richie West Band is *hopefully* going to be tracking vocals this month, if I can find a way to afford the studio time and fit it into my busy schedule. Mike is going to be taking a little time off work this month, and we hope to spend some time FINALLY recording some of my original songs! Yay! Hopefully you will see a few tracks on this website by the end of the month.
     We are also excited to be going to COACHELLA the weekend of April 20th-22nd. Mike and I love Coachella, and I'm especially stoked because TWO of my friends' bands are in the line-up this year! My dear friends Ben Jaffe and Suzanne Santosuosso are in HoneyHoney, and my good buddy James King is in Fitz & the Tantrums. Ben and I have been friends for years, and we have collaborated on many Andy Paley-related projects, including the Thrilling Adventure Show and Spongebob & the Hi-Seas. He also backed me up in 3 annual Jeff Buckley tribute concerts! Suzanne just recently lended me her fiddle and banjo talents on the Richie West recordings back in February. James King and I have been playing in Spongebob & the Hi-Seas together for years, and his incredible Sax talents can be heard on the Damselles' self-titled EP! I'm so proud of my super-talented friends!

     Well, that's all for now. I will be sure to post new recordings as soon as they are finished. Stay tuned! I've got a lot of material coming out later this year! Happy Spring, Everyone!

Love & Grace,


P.S. Here are some photos for your enjoyment! The picture above is me and Helen Chance chillin' on the Sunset Strip after we played in the Hollowbody Lounge at the Viper Room!

And here are some pics of me, Mike, Pepper, and Marley during our family outing last month when we hiked to the waterfall in Eaton Canyon! Hiking is one of my favorite outdoor spring activities. This is the perfect time of year to get out there and be one with nature. It's great exercise for people and dogs!

Friday, March 9, 2012

2 Shows & a Radio Interview Next Week!

Hi Everybody,

     I'm just writing to update you about my fast approaching solo shows. I've got one at El Cid in Silverlake this Tuesday, March 13th, at 8pm:

And another at the Vu in Santa Clarita on Saturday, March 17th, at 3:30pm. This is part of a huge block party where they will be shutting down 8th Street in Newhall and setting up stages, vendor tents, and food trucks. I will be playing inside the Vu. I will be interviewed by Jenna Syde of right before the show, and I believe part of my set will be broadcast live on internet radio! Here is a flyer for the block party:

I have one more show at the end of March, at Lot 1 in Echo Park. As the date approaches, I will remind you all with yet another flyer! I apologize that I haven't yet added any of my original music to this page yet. Mike and I have been working on a couple tracks, and I plan on uploading them to SoundCloud and posting the link on here very soon! In the meantime, here's a little sample of one of my original songs:

   This video was from a performance I had on November 16th, 2011 at Roman Holiday Wine Lounge in Valencia (where I will be bartending tonight! Come visit me if you're in SCV). 

     I've been really enjoying the sunny weather lately. I'm having a lot of fun working out at the gym, gardening, and cooking at home with my sweetheart, Mike Escamillo. I hope you've been enjoying this lovely March we are having, as well. Keep a positive attitude, remain optimistic, and good things will come your way. 


Love & Grace,


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Well, good morning, 2012!

Hi there, New Year!

   You really took me by surprise! I've been plowing through at full steam, and I hardly noticed that we're nearly 3 months in already! An update is long overdue!

     I hope your holidays were as fun-filled and gracious as mine were. I am endlessly appreciative for my family and close friends. Their love and support is what keeps me going.

     Mike and I moved into a new place together with our doggies, Marley and Pepper, on January 8th. It's a sweet little 2-bedroom house in Pasadena. We love the house, despite its many quirks, and the location, and are having a great time fixing it up and turning it into our home. The only thing that sucks majorly is that we were robbed approximately 2 weeks after we moved in! My computer and most of my jewelry was stolen, but thankfully, we were not home when it happened, and they didn't harm our dog, Marley, who was there at the time (Pepper was at my mom's house in Santa Clarita). All that really matters is that we are safe, and we are strong, so we are able to push past this terrible event and move forward with our life together. Thankfully, we had just invested in renter's insurance a mere 3 days before the burglary occurred, so we should be getting a check in the mail soon to compensate for our losses. We're finally getting comfortable here. We love gardening and watching our dogs run and play in our spacious yard! We made friends with the neighbors, and we even planted a Meyer lemon tree a week ago. Things are very peaceful here now.

As for my musical projects, The Damselles & the TC4 have definitely been keeping busy! Last month we branched out from our usual Eastside haunts, and played shows in Studio City, Long Beach, and San Diego. We honored the late, great Whitney Houston at our latest show, which took place at Harvard & Stone on February 15th. Here's the video, in case you missed it:

      The guys and gals of the Dams & TCs went into the studio in December and January to record our first full-length LP of all original songs. We recorded at comp-ny studio in Glendale (the same studio where we recorded the majority of our self-titled EP last year) with producer/engineer Paul Smith, formerly of Capitol Records. We are very pleased with what we got out of those sessions, and can't wait for the album's release in late spring/early summer of this year! The next Damselles show is Wednesday, February 22nd at the Echo with touring Seattle band, Pickwick. We're also playing this Friday at the last night of the TC4's residency at Casey's in downtown LA. For more Dam-tastic action and current events, including photos and video from our recording session, click here:

      I've had such great experiences each time I've recorded at comp-ny that I decided to book the studio to record the Richie West Band's LP this month. We were in the studio all weekend on February 18th and 19th. Be Hussey engineered, and John Ennis and I sang scratch vocals as the band tracked the songs and overdubbed solo sections and additional instrumentation. I can't even tell you how lucky I am to be working with the extremely gifted talents of my Richie West bandmates. I would just like to take a moment to acknowledge them all by name. The Richie West Band is: Adam Kurtz on guitar, Mike Escamillo on piano, Keith Karman on upright bass, Kevin Milner on pedal steel and lap steel, Charlie Woodburn on drums, Suzanne Santosuosso on fiddle and banjo, and of course, my good friend John Ennis singing lead vocals (supported by Adam Kurtz and myself on background harmonies). I am extremely pleased with what the band laid down this past weekend, and I am looking forward to tracking vocals in March or April.

      For those of you who don't know, the Richie West Band is a project that I started with John Ennis a year and a half ago, to resurrect the many country songs my late father wrote in the last few years of his life. This is something I've been wanting to do for the last 14 years since he died. Currently, filmmaker Nick Weidner is making a documentary about the process of getting these songs heard. Last year, I launched a kickstarter campaign to take the band (which was half its size back then) back to my family reunion in Texas so we could play my Dad's songs for his family. It was the trip of a lifetime. We piled into a 13-passenger van we borrowed from my good friend, Rufo Chan, Jr., and drove 24 hours to Childress, Texas. It was an epic experience that I'm sure we will never forget. Although my father has been dead nearly half of my life now, his memory is still very much alive inside me and I know he would be very proud to hear his music rise again.  I am absolutely ecstatic about the arrangements and instrumentation we have used on this album, and I am very anxious to present it to the world!

 Here are some photos from the recording session this weekend, and a couple of videos to give you a sneak preview:

As for my solo project, I have a few gigs coming up! First on the list, I have a very cool show in the Hollowbody Lounge at the Viper Room on March 4th. 

I will be opening with a 35 minute set for my very good friend, Helen Chance, at 7:30pm. Our dear friend, Jenna Syde booked this show for us, and her band, Rue, will be playing a reunion show in the main lounge at the Viper Room that same night! Tickets are $10. Purchase them at the door on the night of the show, and you will have access to the entire venue. There are drink specials for those who ASK for the Happy Hour specials, which include $5 Jim Beam, Tanqueray, Skyy Vodka, wine, etc, and $4 cans of PBR. There is 2-hour metered street parking on Sunset, as well as a $10 pay lot on the property. I also heard that there's a new public lot that's only $1 per hour a block or so down from the club, near the old Tower Records (across from Red Rock). The address of the Viper Room is 8852 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069. This will be my first time playing an entire set of my original songs on the Sunset Strip, so I need all the support I can get! Mike will be accompanying me on various instruments, and will probably sing a duet with me. Please come out and see us and the divine Ms. Helen Chance! Here is her website (she's a super-talented musician and a very clever songwriter!)

     I have been invited to play a St. Patty's Day block party in Santa Clarita on March 17th. They are shutting down 8th Street in Newhall. There will be vendors, food trucks, and stages set up outside. It's an all-day party beginning at noon, with free admission up until 2pm. I will be playing inside the Vu at 3:30. My good friend Nikki Kilker will be playing inside the Vu later that day, as well. That same night, I will be interviewed by Jenna Syde on and play a few songs live on the air, starting around 9pm. So don't drink a bunch of Jameson shots and Irish car bombs before 9pm, because I don't want you to forget to tune in and listen!! 

     Finally, Mike and I are playing a show at 10pm on March 30th at Lot 1 in Echo Park. My good friend Rebecca Balin booked this one for us, and we are very excited to play there! I will post more details about that show as the date approaches. 

That about wraps it up for the first 3 months of 2012. If more cool, fun, and awesome stuff pops up, I will be sure to let you know! Thank you for reading my novel, and I will try to blog a little more often so that my updates will be more like short stories or vignettes in the future. 

Have a fantastic February, everybody (what's left of it, anyway)! Oh! And happy leap year! I hope to see you soon at one of my shows! Feel free to leave me a comment or say hi to me on Facebook. Don't be shy! I want to know about YOU, too! I love you all.

Love & Grace,