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During preparations for the 2010 Huntington Folk Festival, Acoustic Live was sending invitations to all performers in its email showcase folder. When August 2011 rolled around, diverted by a yeara€™s worth of other featured performers, Ia€™d forgotten exactly what Ia€™d seen last summer. Anthony stepped away from the mic at the title line, turned his head slightly, saying a€?What night was it?a€? encouraging audience response, and they didna€™t disappoint.
Like any good spinner of contemporary tales, Anthony can move his audience with more serious material. The song depicts a grave situation during a€?The Troubles,a€? as the IRA fought the British in Northern Ireland, Anthonya€™s childhood home. Even though his childhood was marred by the rending apart of the population, he managed to inject some humor into his repartee.
When I asked how a€?The Troublesa€? affected him, he replied, a€?I was affected mostly by living in a society without any sense of real community or togetherness and I hated that. To the question of early musical influences, he answered, a€?My earliest feel for music came from the radio which was always on and the old record player which was always used in the house.
There were obstacles, both financial and emotional, to overcome for Anthony in the process of becoming a performing songwriter.
Once Anthony gained the respect of others in the folk arena and the support of music business professionals, he was able to quit teaching and sing for a living. One of the most rewarding ways to get acquainted with Anthony is to stream the instructional videos titled a€?Anthony John Clarke Songbooka€? on YouTube.
Late Addendum: Unfortunately the show mentioned above has been cancelled due to a change in Anthonya€™s USA tour schedule. The first one I watched was a rendition of a€?Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke,a€? perhaps his most requested song. There was almost always music happening, but not necessarily with her active participation.
Dartmouth had a relationship with the Royal College of London and Lindsay spent a semester there. This is where her life starts to resemble five miles of twisting water slide at an amusement park. Also, while she was still in college, she saw a flyer on which a rock (but rootsy, folky) band was looking for a cellist. While she had made strides in breaking free of classical constraints, there was a lot more to be done.
I'd done classical harmony, but that was about looking at the page -- it was like math -- it wasn't about what I heard.
The switch to standing with the cello had its genesis with a 5-song demo CD she'd made when she was with the band in New Hampshire. Another new development during this period was the coordination between playing and singing. Dev Ray, her manager, was part of the recording and believed in the product and what she was doing. Local concertgoers can hear her sing what's real and true on January 9 at The Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, NJ. In 1961, a prodigy came east, from Hibbing, Minnesota, and shook the establishment to its knees. To witness a performance by Anthony da Costa is akin to being invited into a friend's living room. At some point, in the near future, it will no longer be amazing that he's so relaxed on stage, but at this point it's still disconcerting. His being selected as the youngest winner ever at the 2007 Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk songwriting competition and to showcase this year as one of the 25 chosen Emerging Artists at Falcon Ridge would suggest that others are in the same position.
While it's true that dipping into his father's record collection and finding Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits changed his life, Anthony's musical education began long before that.
The earliest sign that he had an inclination to be a performer happened on a trip to Disney World. At ten years old, Anthony auditioned for a school play, The Music Man in the fifth grade and landed one of the lead roles (Winthrop). In addition to acting and singing in chorus, Anthony had begun playing in the school orchestra.
Still in 5th grade, using his guitar chops, Anthony began playing in talent shows at school. One month later, in May, Anthony played his first solo gig at Coffee Labs in Tarrytown, NY. Anthony had been playing one or two gigs per month and was advised that he needed to have something for folks to buy.
While the recording quality of the early CDs is very lo-fi, the melodies are consistently engrossing and the lyrics, even the relationship-oriented ones stand up to much of the indie pop music played today. Thanks to his father's aforementioned ever-present video camera, there are plenty of Anthony's appearances on display on YouTube. What sets these songs apart is not only the artistic clarity and focus, but the way they're put across, sung with skill and emotion.
Anthony, at left, paused for a photograph at the 2007 Pleasantville Music Festival with two of his mentors, Fred Gillen (center) and David Massengill (Right). Anthony has performed for the last two years with Acoustic Live at its showcases at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.
As Anthony enters his junior year in high school, he asserts that he still wants to maintain a balance (and a 90+ average!) between school and performing. The path to such early recognition was taken eagerly, like a runner catapulting from a starting block. Our interview, in exploring her lifea€™s path, revealed a person who, for all her dazzling gifts, is still down-to-earth, quick to say a€?thank youa€? to any accolades a€” and a delight to talk to.
As far as influences go, she says a€?It was all over the map,a€? To a listener, ita€™s easy to see that jazz really got in, and got in deep.
About her mom and dada€™s rearing skills, she continued: a€?The daring does come from a place of being supported as a child and as an artist. Her grandfather, who was a jazz pianist and a composer, had passed away when Sonya was very young, and had left her mother his grand piano. Wikipedia, in a somewhat dated post, states: a€?As a 10-year-old, she performed at the 1999 Special Olympics World Games in North Carolina. Sonya has said that she developed as a jazz singer through her studies with Sheila Jordan, a renowned vocalist and educator (Jordan initially became known as an interpreter of the music of Charlie a€?Birda€? Parker and later studied with Charles Mingus and Lenny Tristano). Although she had started studying guitar with June Millington (followed later by lessons with Michael Daves), she was, at this point, fronting the band strictly as a singer. Sonya continued to strictly sing out front with the band as back-up until she was forced to start playing guitar with the band. Her fourth CD, released in 2010, Convict of Conviction, (more of an EP - 7 tracks) is another distinct departure and was, as she says, a€?a collection of music from winter, done with a string quartet.a€? We hear more piano here, as this is where Sonya decided to seriously make use of it. Sonya got a camera from her father when she was 12 and has been an avid photographer ever since.
The foundation for Sonyaa€™s dream to be a singer was built brick by brick, one teacher after another. We hadna€™t filled all of our slots for the unplugged afternoon showcases at our booth and were accepting suggestions for newcomers. Somewhere halfway through, an older balding gent resembling a Shakespearean actor began his set and got our riveting attention. However, I knew Ia€™d earmarked September 2011 for Anthony and I knew it was for a very good reason.
Another video, for a€?The Broken Years,a€? found him standing in front of a banner on which a€?Folk Cluba€? could be read on the right side. It focuses on the divided state of mind between Catholics and Protestants and a wish for a coming together, a communion of souls. Over rolling fingerstyle guitar, he sarcastically recounted the remarks of North Irelanda€™s iron-willed leader, Ian Paisley about a€?sharing power with representatives of the south over a€?his dead body.a€™a€? Paisley, of course, would eventually capitulate and north and south Ireland would achieve a truce. He grew up in Belfast and was in school there from the start of the struggle between Northern and Southern Ireland. I made the decision to leave Ireland in 1974 when there was a nationwide strike and no one trusted anybody.


I remember Ray Charles, Jim Reeves and some classical stuff, old 78s like Phil Harrisa€™ a€?Woodman Spare That Treea€™ and fun stuff like that. As a teacher, it was possible for me to perform some evenings and still work in school during the day, but if one wants to expand and travel to shows, then it becomes too hard to do both. I got Songs for Anton from him when he played the Huntington Folk Festival and downloaded Sing A Chorus With Me from eMusic (the only one they had at the time). Sitting in what appears to be a room at home, with plants in the background, he affably expounds on the motivation behind his songs and demonstrates guitar chords and fingerings for anyone who wants to learn the songs. Over rolling fingerstyle guitar, he sarcastically recounted the remarksA  of North Irelanda€™s iron-willed leader, Ian Paisley about a€?sharing power with representatives of the south over a€?his dead body.a€™a€? Paisley, of course, would eventually capitulate and north and south Ireland would achieve a truce. Then it hit me between the eyes like that nasty thing that Javier Bardem used in No Country for Old Men. Then, she started studying cello in the fourth grade, and this would be her primary instrument from then on, but she still took piano lessons for 12 years in total. She then spent another semester at Dartmouth and followed that with a summer in San Francisco as a bike messenger.
She'd given it to one of the production professors at Berklee, then figured they were too busy to do anything with it. This was in addition to playing the New Year's Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. This CD has been chosen to be played on all American Airlines flights this year and has been named #2 in Music Connection's TOP 25 New Music Critiques Of 2008.
As she sings about the protagonist's sad dance around the kitchen, all your old ghosts will come dancing out as well.
It's a metaphor for her own life and the world, a hope to preserve what's decent about humanity.
This CD has been chosen to be played on all American Airlines flights this year andA  has been named #2 in Music Connection's TOP 25 New Music Critiques Of 2008. From the suburbs of the Hudson Valley a€” a place called Pleasantville -- a sixteen year-old has rolled out. Nothing earth-shattering, no big deal, just two hours (two hours!) of relaxed banter and straight-on music. A 45-minute phone interview with Anthony immersed the author in a torrent of events and activities from the time he was nine years old to the present.
He has been active on the local Pleasantville cable station for ten years, producing three shows per week a€” ranging from talk shows, moderating candidates debates, doing call-ins, but mostly hosting music programs. He'd gotten his first taste of Dylan from the Greatest Hits album in his father's record collection. This was the first of what has become a typical Anthony gig -- two hours straight with no break in the middle.
This was followed by Gary and Anthony -- a nine-song CD co-written with his friend Gary Bierman recorded between November 2005 and April 2006. This was followed by his first full-length (14 songs + 1 bonus track) solo CD, Rearrange (2006) and then, Quality Time (2007). One might think it almost impossible for a fourteen or fifteen-year old to write a credible song about loving or needing someone, but there they are, pressed in polycarbonate plastic. In addition to the aforementioned Kerrville and Falcon Ridge recognition, he was also a finalist in the 2007 Mountain Stage NewSong Northeast Regional contest. They met at the Folk Alliance Conference and played together in the hotel lobby for two hours. We can only hope that his enthusiasm never wanes and that the creative spark continues to bring him joy. Through it all, we hope he retains his rootsy connections; that he continues to sing from that special place inside of the music. He has been active on the local Pleasantville cable station for ten years, producing three shows per weekA  a€” ranging from talk shows, moderating candidates debates, doing call-ins, but mostly hosting music programs. It dips, swoops and flips up into a falsetto at times, not commonly used by women singers a€” like a female version of Al Green.
The first album, Words Came Back to Me, released when she was just 16, put her on the aural map, not just locally, but worldwide. Her parents, both full-time professional artists, had a big impact on their toddler daughter. Although the family lived in a rural area, it was part of the a€?Happy Valleya€? and home of a€?Five Colleges,a€? including Smith and Amherst.
For four years she has taken part in the Vermont Jazz Center Summer Program with Sheila Jordan, and she has won an a€?outstanding musiciana€? award from the University of Massachusetts High School Jazz Festival and a scholarship to its Jazz in July summer program. She had always kept a journal, but the events of that day would become more than just a journal entry. By the time she started performing, she had written about three original songs, and filled out her sets with covers of jazz standards.
Quoted elsewhere, she said: a€?One of the main things I remember doing when I was young, was driving ridiculous distances, just to sing one song at a jam session here, or a show there. Speaking about her development in general, she said: a€?Everythinga€™s happened almost, because I had to [learn new skills]. A sponsorship deal with Starbucksa€™A® Hear Music label brought the CD into coffee shops around the world. In an interview with Howard Berkes of NPR, we hear: a€?Once I started writing I couldna€™t stop. We got an email from Sibyl Moser of the Huntington Folk Society highly recommending someone who we thought was British, Anthony John Clarke. A few clicks later I was looking at one of the many YouTube videos of Anthony and it all came back to me. A resounding a€?Tuesday night is always Karaoke!a€? burst forth.The Brits love their sing-alongs and they love their Anthony John Clarke. The left side was out of the camera frame, so we dona€™t know what town or organization it belonged to. I wanted a guitar when I heard Barry Maguire singing a€?Eve of Destructiona€™ and I loved the seriousness of the lyrics without fully understanding what it was about.
I played support tours and shows with names like the Dubliners, Fairport Convention and so on and learned the business over many years. I asked him why and he said he owned a factory and employed twenty women who gutted and cleaned out salmon and he liked to get them all the same thing as a gift.
The latter contains all the audience favorites and was a great help in writing this article. The videos shift from a sepia-toned grayscale to full color during the instructional part, suggesting added updates.
Students wore uniforms and a major and minor was required She majored in cello and minored in choral.
While there had been the choral experience in early childhood and at Interlochen during high school, singing was pushed far into the background. Not by pushing harder, but by getting better contact; by putting the weight of your arm into the bow, into the string, and then it comes naturally. She sings about a girl who tries to protect a lighthouse from storms with just seven stones, She wants to protect something sacred to her. His teacher quickly caught on that Anthony would not respond to traditional sight reading and used chords to teach him one new Beatles song each week. He appeared at both the Northeast Regional and National Folk Alliance conferences and was noticed by industry professionals.
Anthony met with a BMI representative in Nashville during his Tin Pan South trip (and later for a BMI rep in New York).
Lost in a reverie, she questions an inner voice that says a€?walk away a€¦ walk away a€¦ walk away.a€? The lover she is contemplating comes with a lot of baggage and the mic shea€™s singing into lets us hear every breathy syllable. Her newest album, Convict of Conviction, reveals an artist eager to break new ground every time she puts pen to paper or sets her instrument(s) in motion.
Ita€™s a wonder that we havena€™t heard stories about her first cries carrying a melody as she emerged from her mothera€™s womb.
Their studios were a€?a stonea€™s throwa€? behind the house they lived in and both played recorded music while they worked. The area is also rich in music and home to many bands, such as Fountains of Wayne, The Nields and Winterpills.


That didna€™t happen, she has said, but the lessons have obviously been a huge success in every other regard. She said: a€?I think it was the first time I really understood the worlda€™s suffering and felt really bad about it. In 2003, an article by Seth Rogovoy, of Berkshire Living Magazine, described 13-year-old Sonya this way: a€?poised and well-spoken a€¦ shea€™s not at all haughty and doesna€™t come across as particularly precocious. It was made with Grammy-winning producer Malcolm Burn (Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris) after her tour with Hancock ended. Wea€™d just been introduced to the Irishman transplanted to British soil, Anthony John Clarke. Over and over, as often as they can get him a€” the folk clubs, the festivals and over the years, the pubs. So the protest element in that song and others by traditional singing groups like the Dubliners and the Clancys was highly influential to me and very important.
Also enormously helpful was a copy of Anthonya€™s songbook, An Acquaintance, containing 50 songs, loaned to me by Sibyl Moser. Ita€™s an intimate house concert and I plan on being one of the lucky few to see him again. Anthony later found a DVD in the school library of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.
At the music store, his guitar teacher left and Anthony decided it was time for him to leave as well.
He was at BMI Nashville for a few hours, where he met and played for a couple of producers and publishers. Teachers were within reach and, with her mothera€™s help, she eagerly studied with quite a few.
Her other vocal coach during this period, Rebecca Parris, is a jazz singer similar to and on a level with Carmen McRae and Sara Vaughan and is known as the First Lady of Boston Jazz. I felt the need to do something a€” I had the desire to fix it, even though you cana€™t fix the worlda€™s suffering.
She just happens to be the youngest performer to have sold out the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton two times in a row. If I dona€™t write a song for a couple of weeks, I feel something pent-up inside of me that needs to come out.
After our showcases ended, we had a brief chat and found that he intended to visit the States in the fall of 2011. No doubt, Anthony had been in front of them many times before or they had listened to his albums over and over. Another six albums are out of print, but Anthony states on the website that he will provide copies upon request for a reduced price.
I left the guitar in the case and worked, played poker, tried squash and read the paper worrying about Thatcherism.
There was this really cool thing, when I started to sing and I hadn't had any lessons -- I could go up or down -- finally it fell into this groove of what felt real and right and natural. For me, it's like, make a sound in your belly and try to not interfere with it on its way out. Outside of listening to tapes in the old Honda, this would be his first exposure to their performing style. At this point, in the 7th grade, Anthony was approached by two other students who wanted to form a band. The rock band The Slip joined her for the recording sessions and then later accompanied her on tour. Often when it finally comes out, ita€™s not about me, but ita€™s a song and I feel lighter. Then, with an assist from an inspired co-written add-on, things really spin out of control a€¦ She lifted up her skirt, she grabbed the nearest priest, she began to flirt a€¦She got on stage to strut her a€?Londonderry Aira€?a€¦ Therea€™s nothing like a little irreverence to reach the heart of a folk audience. Sonya saw the gospel choir and thought a€?It was the coolest thing ever,a€? so she asked her mother if she could take voice lessons with Evelyn. I eventually started writing more, then suddenly [the set] was mostly originals and then it was all originals. Sometimes, her father, Peter Kitchell, a highly regarded abstract painter, would hold infant Sonya in a Snugli against his chest and play bongos along with Latin music. Ita€™s really important to me that my songs mean something to people and Ia€™m trying to write songs that are universal.
We might envision the same thing happening over and over again in the many pubs throughout England. I was at a frienda€™s house one evening and he put on Jackson Brownea€™s album The Pretender. Maybe if I learned something about jazz, or how to write chords and songs, it would get me where I needed to go.
I had basic skills, understanding music, but I never considered myself a piano player.a€? That would change many years later.
As two or three years went by, I started to live all of those songs and understand them more deeply. I had watched a lot of local acts in Belfast (and then Liverpool where I moved to) who I thought were not properly cooked [fully developed] and attempting to go too early into the paid shows. He followed that with Russians and Americans, the Al Stewart masterpiece, and we finished the evening off with John Martyna€™s Solid Air, which to this day is still the greatest living collection of songs.
It turned out that, while all the players were top notch, she was tired of hearing regurgitation of standard pieces, tired of accuracy and excellence but with a lack of heart, genuineness and inspiration. Fred told me it was a good way to be getting out my feelings and it was a lot more constructive than other things I could be doing. Sonya got a band together with older students she knew and thus, Sonyaa€™s performing career was launched. I studied jazz, songwriting, cello performance in general, ear training and harmony, all that stuff. When a voice starts this early, with this much force and intelligence, we can breathe a sigh of hope. People were always talking about 'one-four-five' [chord progression] -- I had no idea what they were talking about. In the face of American Idol and all the commercialism that is foisted upon us, here is something that has sprung from the masses. Here is someone who lives inside of his musical creations, who then steps forward and presents them, as a friend, sharing a gift from the muse. Most of the people there have maybe never played with a band before and I never played solo before. A  I learned something from every man I met or exchanged emails with, and Lou taught me a few words in Spanish.A  Ole! We can take a little walk, maybe get our feet wet, and then lie on a blanket and listen to the waves. I do the same thing myself, when the mood strikes.A  And how about this for being an "in tune with women" kinda guy?A  A few days after I had ordered myself 2 new green dresses and several in black to add to my collection from a mail order company named Newport News, he sent an email asking:A  "So, what are you wearing right now?
A  For Christ Sake!!A  How about saving the Taxpayers a buck?A  In addition to that $6 million you've already blown by hovering and covering me, and scheduling a proper Face to Base meeting in your office; at my convenience? Dramatic, but no drama.A  Short black skirt, or long black dress?A  Heels or boots?A  Camo, or commando? Until then, as in the end,there is much more to come.A A A  Once Upon a Time, a little mushroom popped through the moss covered ground of the Southeast Alaska Rainforest.
Grant, Attorney at Law, Juneau, AK From Wedding Bells to Tales to Tell: The Affidavit of Eric William Swanson, my former spouse AFFIDAVIT OF SHANNON MARIE MCCORMICK, My Former Best Friend THE AFFIDAVIT OF VALERIE BRITTINA ROSE, My daughter, aged 21 THE BEAGLE BRAYS! HELL'S BELLS: THE TELLS OF THE ELVES RING LOUD AND CLEAR IDENTITY THEFT, MISINFORMATION, AND THE GETTING THE INFAMOUS RUNAROUND Double Entendre and DoubleSpeak, Innuendos and Intimidation, Coercion v Common Sense, Komply (with a K) v Knowledge = DDIICCKK; Who's Gunna Call it a Draw?



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