Monday, August 27, 2007

Music Review: Alexa Ray Joel

Written by John from Altjiranga Mitjina

Today’s voice to hear is probably the most famous name we’ve featured yet, but still is also one of the most unknown at the same time. Confused? It’s Alexa Ray Joel, the daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley. I have to admit when I first heard that she was trying to be a singer I wasn’t predisposed to like her, it was one of those gut things, she’s the daughter of one of the greatest singer/songwriters and most beautiful women in the world, what else does she want? You just know she’s going to be a prima donna with everything handed to her. Well, I learned that you shouldn’t jump to conclusions, because she’s nothing like that.

I saw Alexa Ray perform at the last Jazz Fest and she put on an incredible show. She has a very strong stage presence, talking inbetween the songs and making the audience feel comfortable. After the show she went to the side of the stage and stood there talking and taking pictures with every fan that came up to her. Listening to her talk she sounded very down to earth and nothing like what I would have expected. I even got a picture with her and she autographed my Jazz Fest hat.

Listening to her at Jazz Fest it is evident that her musical style is all over the place. She is willing to sing a pop song followed by a jazz number than a bluesy song to be followed by a country song. She is not going to be stuck in any specific genre. She even records a cover of a Neil Young song, the one featured for us today. The one constant in her music is the sound of the piano, which considering who’s daughter she is should be much a duh! thought.

Alexa was born January 1, 1986 and her middle name was given in honor to Ray Charles. She started to take classical piano training for a few years before moving on to a five week study program offered by the Berkley College of Music. She only lasted one year at the New York University’s Musical Program before deciding to try her skills on the open road as a performer.

You have to give her credit for not having her father pull strings for her and get her a recording contract. She has decided to hit the small clubs with her own band and build a following and get a recording contract on her own. Her first concert was at a club in Hoboken New Jersey. Afterwards she went on a tour of colleges on the east coast. Her next step was a Hard Rock tour of the East Coast. She has performed at Jazz Fest in New Orleans and the Bonnaroo Musical Festival in Tennessee.

Still not signed to any label Alexa has released an ep of music on her own. It became the first cd sold by Target that was not from a major label. Rolling Stone Magazine named her an up and coming artist in its year end issue. She’s been featured in People magazine and on the NBC Today show.

Alex is currently looking for a record label that will let her record the music she wants and not squeeze her into the style they want her to do. She is still touring and building her fan base the old fashioned way, one fan at a time. Her music is infectious, after one listen I was hooked and her ep soon became one of my favorite listens.

If you're reading this it can only mean one thing, that John from altjiranga mitjina has once again forgotten to provide a blurb after whatever it is he wrote for this issue. All he can say is that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. He'd write more but he'd just forget whatever it was he wrote.


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