Fiery redhead Anna Haas excites the senses instantly with a powerhouse voice and arrestingly honest lyrics, enhancing each line with wildly dramatic stage antics and thunderous, intricate piano playing.
A passionate risk-taker, Haas perpetually explores new ways to use the stage to make each show original and captivating, whether by incorporating subtle dance or fearlessly entering the audience. Staggering the thick line of influence of Lady Gaga and Patty Griffin, Haas is careful to keep the focus on the music, using her on-stage antics as an illustrative complement to the songs.
“I love to entertain, and constantly hunger for the opportunity. But, I care most about writing the truth, and creating a pure and honest reflection of what it means to be human from my personal experiences and observations,” says Haas.
Haas grew up in Nashville, writing music regularly and frequenting shows. When then took off to Boston to study acting and dance at Emerson College, she found herself singing in blues clubs, choreographing modern dance, creating installation art, and performing lead roles in musicals such as “Chicago” and “A Chorus Line.”
Following college, Haas danced her way to New York City, drenching herself in the city’s culture and rediscovering her family’s roots. While dedicating time to the performing arts – auditioning for Broadway shows, choreographing musicals and performing in a modern dance company, it wasn’t long before she rediscovered her voice and focused on writing music again. She became a regular at open mic nights, formed a loyal following and began playing in some of the city’s most celebrated clubs.
“I’m in love with both New York and Nashville. The culture of each is a distinct part of me. I don’t want to choose. I want to continue to be inspired by both. Those two cities are my home,” says Haas.
Haas’ debut album Crazy Is is a timeless yet modern tapestry of stories and musings blending lyrical sarcasm, intelligent metaphor and absolute vulnerability. The songs shift in subject matter from a secret affair and tragic loss to getting stoned with a lover and the imagined loneliness of Marilyn Monroe.
Crazy Is is a thrilling mix of the cities and artists that inspire Haas, and her signature, expressive voice is the crux that a legion of instrumentation swarms around: heavy, soulful piano, ripping guitar solos, ambient synthesizers, bluesy pedal steel, funky horns, and a symphony of strings.
Supported primarily by fans through fundraising website Kickstarter.com, Crazy Is took Haas nearly two years to prepare, record and package. The album was recorded in multiple studios throughout Nashville and New York to create the best sounds for each instrument, using more than 27 of some of the most renowned and Grammy award-winning musicians, who each, stylistically, bring elements of their respective genres to the record, resulting in a wildly original musical creation.
Expect to hear the influences of music’s most distinct artists and Haas’ favorite muses in Crazy Is, from the soulful vocal reflections of Janis Joplin, Adele and Grace Potter and the lyrical wit and catchy piano of Regina Spektor to the angst of Fiona Apple and the passionate, climactic songwriting of Jeff Buckley and Florence Welch.
Haas is a true triple threat, unleashing every aspect of her fire to the public for the very first time to create an explosive experience that is wild, organic and absolutely honest.
Click here to see one of Anna’s videos. (bio and images provided by Anna Haas)
Tegan and Saraare a Canadian indie rock duo formed in 1995 in Calgary, composed of identical twin sisters Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin (born September 19, 1980). Both play the guitar and keyboards, and write their songs. They began playing guitar and writing songs at age 15, forming a band called Plunk without a drummer or bass player. In 1997, they used their school’s recording studio to record two demo albums: Who’s in Your Band? and Play Day. In 1998, they won Calgary’s Garage Warz competition, using the studio time they won to record their first professional demo, Yellow tape, which was followed byOrange tape and Red tape.
In 2002, the band released If It Was You, a foundational moment in Tegan and Sara’s creative path and musical identity. Its fresh sonic template and critical success in the US set up their fourth studio album, So Jealous, which ultimately provided their global breakthrough. On the heels of 6 separate song placements on Grey’s Anatomy, a US radio hit in “Walking With A Ghost”, and a North American tour opening for The Killers, So Jealous cemented Tegan and Sara’s status as one of Canada’s pre-eminent songwriting forces and musical exports.
In 2011, Tegan and Sara released GET ALONG a cd/dvd set that includes a live record and collection of 3 films that give a rare and intimate look into their lives and music, and which garnered the group their first Grammy nomination. The first film, ‘States’ uses American touring footage and interviews; the second film, ‘India’ chronicles their first ever tour of India; and the third film, ‘For The Most Part’ is a special 1hr 10min stripped-down studio concert, shot with a live audience of 75 fans, friends and family over two days in Vancouver, Canada. The live record features music recorded during these concerts.
Last night Blade Studios had the honor of having the duo in for a live listener lounge hosted by Bristol from K945. A small intimate setting was arranged for a group of the stations lucky winners. The power duo graced the listeners with four songs, a Q&A section and much comedic relief. Having to hit the road the same night, the duo wouldn’t do so before treating their fans with a photo op and signing a few autographs. What a pleasure and a joy it was to have Tegan & Sara in the studio and we welcome them back any time!
K94.5 and Blade Studios joined together and hosted a live listener lounge with the young pop sensation Cody Simpson. On last week, Cody graced a few adoring fans with his voice while playing acoustic guitar.
Cody Simpson is an Australian pop singer from Gold Cost, Queensland, who is currently signed to US record label Atlantic Records. Simpson’s rise to recognition was featured on The 7.30 Report in December 2009. He released his debut single, “iYiYi” (which features American rapper Flo Rida), on 15 May 2010. The music video for Simpson’s second single, “Summertime”, was released on 20 September 2010. Simpson relocated to Los Angeles in June 2010 with his family to record his songs with Atlantic Records and his producer Shawn Campbell. That same month, Simpson appeared on Sunrise. On 22 June 2010, it was announced that Simpson would participate in the Camplified 2010 Tour, along with other artists, touring across the United States. The tour began on 5 July 2010 and ended on 14 August 2010. Other tours that year included a middle school tour that took place from October–November 2010 and covered 9 U.S states. An EP, 4 U was released on 21 December 2010. The EP included five tracks in total, four of them being previously unreleased. Simpson recorded a remake of the song “I Want Candy” by The Strangeloves as the main theme song for the Easter-themed live-action/CGI-animated film Hop. In May 2011, Simpson was “egged” during a live performance at Miranda Fair in Sydney. Simpson told Australian radio show The Kyle & Jackie O Show that he was not in fact hit by the eggs, and that he was upset on behalf of his fans because the remainder of his show was cancelled because of security concerns.
Surfers Paradise is the second studio album released on 16 July 2013 by. The album includes the singles “Pretty Brown Eyes” and “Summertime of Our Lives”. Surfers Paradise picks up where Cody’s previous 2012 debut full-lengthParadise, left off, telling the story of how this talented teenage singer, songwriter, and musician, now 16, traded the sunny shores of his native Queensland, Australia, for the sunny shores of Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being performer.
We have said it time and time again that the Shreveport/Bossier area has some of the MOST amazing talent and we have proven it once again by working with the amazing vocalist Gina Dempsey.
Gina began singing country music at an early age on stages like Louisiana Hayride, Billy Bob’s and even showcased on the Grand Ole Opry at the ripe age of 14 and did warm-up acts as either a soloist or part of a group for Ronnie Milsap, George Straight, Tim McGraw, John Anderson, Marshall Tucker Band, John Conlee and many more. Gina has even worked with Harold Shed at Music Mill on a recording project.
At an early age in life Gina decided on a different direction from music. Many years later Gina landed back in church and her passion for music was reignited. For over 20 years now Gina has been apart of the wonderful music team at Shreveport Community Church where she gets to sing praise and worship along side some amazing people and talents like Teddy Grover, their worship leader, Forever Jones, Dez Duron, Willie Jones and many other incredible people.
Currently Gina is working on a project that has been a dream of hers to complete. It’s a country inspirational project which includes a couple of old hymns “revitalized” (as Gina likes to put it) as well as many new inspirational songs that have been thrown in for fun like a blues version of a Patsy Cline song. Gina’s current project is being produced by Jeoff Benward who has also written several songs for the album. Gina even has members of the gospel sensation group Forever Jones, which Jeoff Benward has written for also, blessing her on one of her tracks.
Gina says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the entire team at Blade Studios, everyone has been very professional and accommodating and regarding Chris perhaps one of the best engineers I have had the privilege to work along side_ya’ll are a BLESSING!” The Blade staff feels the same regarding Gina and her team. Blade is looking forward to the completion of this album and even more so it’s release!
Ace Hood’s Trials & Tribulations lands at #4 on Billboards Top 200 with 32.3k albums sold in the first week and Blade Studios was able to assist in this process.
As mentioned in previous blogs, while in town last month, studio time was booked for Anthony Hamilton to lay the hook on track 7 of the album titled The Come Up. Within a number of hours the hook was complete and Blade gained another credit for the work done.
Trails and Tribulations is the 5th album released by Ace Hood since his career began in early 2007. Be sure to go out and get your copy of Trials & Tribulations or down load it off iTunes.
Do you have the July 2013 issue of Mix magazine? If not, be sure to go pick you up a copy. Blade Studios’ own chief engineer, Chris Bell, was interviewed for this months issue. Mentioning recent ventures the studio has partaken in along with the many wonderful amenities that makes our studio here in Shreveport/Bossier one of a kind.
Mix magazine is viewed by users in over 225 countries and is the world’s leading magazine for the professional recording and sound production technology industry. Mix covers a wide range of topics including: recording, live sound and production, broadcast production, audio for film and video, and music technology.
Last month while in town for a concert with Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton stopped in the studio to lay down a hook on an Ace Hood track called “The Come Up“. The album “Trials and Tribulations” has been released today with credit being given to Blade Studios for their participation on that track. Check out the single by clicking on the title. The album can be downloaded on iTunes or purchased at your local record store.
All the way from Charlotte, the North Carolina native Anthony Hamilton came down to good ol’ Shreveport to record here at Blade Studios!
While in town, Anthony recorded a hook for Rap artist Ace HOOD the day before he performed as a featured artist in Mary J. Blige’s tour concert. We were honored to host him and his crew as they entertained us with their music and instantly felt the good vibes and energy they brought with them.
That energy pulsates throughout Hamilton’s first single “Woo,” a feel-good, up-tempo ode to a woman whose sexiness stops men in their tracks. Also produced by Babyface, “Woo is just another way of saying ‘Good God almighty or Lord have mercy,” says Hamilton with a laugh. “You’re minding your business, and lo and behold a woo walks by who messes up your whole focus.”
Hamilton is currently on the heels of that smash hit,“Pray For Me,” recently the No. 1 most added single at urban adult radio. The soul-stirring, Babyface-produced track is the second single from his fifth studio album, Back to Love. The December 13 release is the follow-up to his 2008 gold-certified, No. 1-debuting album, The Point of It All (So So Def/Zomba Label Group). The release marks his first album for the newly restructured RCA Records—and signals the eagerly anticipated next chapter in the multi-talented singer/songwriter’s evolving career.
Anthony’s full album “Back to Love” is now up on itunes.
The studio hosted a live listening session for 99X with two legendary bands:
P.O.D (Payable On Death)
The California based band first formed in 1992, has sold over 10 million albums (including 2001’s triple platinum record Satellite), garnered four No. 1 music videos, three Grammy nominations and over a dozen rock radio hits, including “Southtown,” “Alive,” “Youth of the Nation” and “Goodbye For Now.”
“The band is a fusion of all our musical passions,” says guitarist Marcus Curiel. “We can jump from punk to reggae to rap to metal- the whole process is really organic..”
Lyrically, their 8th record titled “Murdered Love,” finds P.O.D. at its most thoughtful and introspective as the band contemplates their lives and the world around them. On “Lost in Forever” frontman Sandoval shows a mixture of hope and unease on questioning the cruelty of man, as the band also does in the brutal title track “Murdered Love.” “It’s about people who have died when all they brought was love, explains Curiel.
The band carries their passion by reaching out to the community. As Curiel expresses- “I had been doing a lot of outreach to kids, talking at a lot of schools. I see what they go through – suicide, rape, addiction –and that song is just about being vulnerable and honest. They’re wondering if they’re screw-ups, if they’re deserving of love and compassion.”
Their ability to create this connection is what they’re all about. To promote the record, the band has already set up a late spring/early summer headlining tour for June, as well as hitting a number of festivals and larger shows this year. “It seems like there’s Warriors in every city,” says Curiel, noting the band’s affectionate nickname for their diehard fans. He describes them as “loyal” and “compassionate” as their new logo was the result of an online contest with their fans.
Here at Blade Studios, the band has promoted themselves by providing a live listening session on 99X to prepare for their upcoming tour.
Check out their website for upcoming tour dates and updates on their new record, now on itunes.
Another Rock band, Aranda, was originally formed in Oklahoma in 2001. Their first record released in 2008 titled “Aranda” was joined by their second album “Stop the world” in 2012. The band has toured with Shinedown, Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, 3 doors down, Daughtry, to name a few.
In pop culture, artists such as Kelly Clarkson covered “All I ever wanted” and “Whyyawannabringmedown” on her 2009 album All I Ever Wanted both written by Aranda.
The band expresses- “We want to create high energy, keep rocking, keep everybody entertained. We want to involve the audience and make it fun for them,” Dameon says. “Our hope is that you’ll keep coming back for more.”
Within the past year Aranda joined Saving Abel in the summer of 2012 on a nationwide tour with special guest, Redlight King. The tour included stops in major markets throughout the U.S. In August 2012, Aranda supported Theory of a Deadman on several tour dates. They are currently on the road with Daughtry and 3 Doors Down.
The band has also promoted themselves by giving a live listening session for the radio station 99X hosted by Blade Studios. You can find their latest album Stop the World on itunes.
Rebrith Brass Band & Dirtfoot
You might remember Dirtfoot from last months post as they recorded their album titled “Come Up For Air” here at Blade Studios. The album was the first to be produced by Brady Blade and mixed by Chris Bell.
We are excited to announce that their 2nd Kickstarter program was a success, reaching their goal of $20,000 to support of their new album. They are now joined by the soulful Rebirth Brass Band which has added to the funky fresh vibe they produce.
The Rebirth Brass Band, shown above, is not just your typical brass band. Founded by the Frazier brothers in 1983 in New Orleans, the grammy award winning band has been featured on HBO’s Treme as well as local gigs at the ‘Maple Leaf’. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they’ve also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound.
The New York Times describes the band as: “A working model of the New Orleans ethos. As long as everybody knows what they’re doing, anyone can cut loose.”
The band’s has surely proved themselves worthy of this title! To learn more about The Rebirth Brass Band, Check out their website here.
Joshua Smith & VEXX X
It’s not very often that you come across musicians like Joshua Smith. His warm spirit and musicianship has left us touched and inspired. While recording his first album “VEXXing the Code”, I spoke with Josh and began to learn more about his music. Here is his story:
“While I was in the womb, my mother would play The Beatles and Stevie Wonder to her belly. I came out singing. There is an old recording of me around two and a half years old, singing an off-the-cuff song about California and other strange things. I remember watching TV when I was about eight, and a commercial came on for one of those rock album complications. The song they used was Led Zepplin’s ImmigrantSong. I was hooked for life.
Always holding a very diverse musical taste spectrum, I love Michael Jackson equallyas much as Black Sabbath, and Elliot Smith just as much as Dr. Dre. When I was 17 my life changed. Grunge hit my hometown Seattle, very hard, and with it came all this other music from the 60’s and 70’s. My Father sat me down on the couch and had me listen to Pink Floyd’s Shine On you Crazy Diamond front to back. I knew then that I had to learn guitar and one day play the music that touched my soul.
So I took my rent money and went out to buy my first electric guitar. I took it to my first guitar lesson (out of two) and asked the guy to teach me Stairway To Heaven. Helooked at me with that “Are you kidding me kid?” look…But I wasn’t. I was dead serious. I took that song and ran with it, proceeding to teach myself from that point on. While my first band at 18 was a rock and roll band, the years that followed would have me writing and playing in jazz, funk, and soul bands as well. It’s all in there.
The band VEXX X was spawned many years ago at a chance meeting between myself and an amazing bass player by the name of Alex Vouri. Although the name of the band was different, as well as the names of bands to follow, one thing remained the same – our musical connection and friendship. Many drummers would come and go, as well as other guitarists, but we always knew we would continue to play together. Lucky for us we found Brady Blade to play drums on this album to fulfill the sound we were looking for.
This album is the culmination of love and devotion–a representation of my marriage to music.”
It was an honor to have Josh and Alex in the studio as well as his wonderful friend Natalie. Rocking out to his music on a daily basis is what we miss the most! We know that his music will touch the lives of many; the start of a beautiful beginning.
Check out VEXX X on Facebook and tumblr!
Following the Artist..
In a last months post, we were honored to have the incredible Erykah Badu in the house with producer RC Williams recording his new album featuring Snoop, Raheem DeVaughn and of course Ms. Badu, to name a few.
As previously announced, Erykah was featured in Janelle Monaes new single “Q.U.E.E.N.” from her upcoming record Electric Lady.
The song is a self-empowering soul-funk workout featuring a beguiling guest turn by fellow iconoclast Erykah Badu.
Now the track has a video to go with and it’s just as good. Building on the sci-fi themes of Monáe’s masterful debut, The ArchAndroid, we pick up in a distant future where a tyrannical organization has created a “Living Museum” stocked with “time-traveling rebels” caught in suspended animation. These, of course, are Monáe and her band (as recently seen thrashing Coachella), plus “her dangerous accomplice Badoula Oblangata”.
Check out Erykah in the Janelle’s new video below!