Shari Elf

Recent reviews:

Maui connections: Baldwin grad Shari Elf, now a folk artist in Kansas City, Mo., just put out a CD that is so silly, off the wall, and poignant that it somehow recaptures some of the innocence we recently lost. The quirky album features original songs with titles like "Tenderness vs. Watering the Lawn Backwards" and "Jesus at the Hardware Store." Shari's mom, Pat Elf up in Kula, is featured on "The Seamstress," a song with sewing machine and box of pins accompaniment. You'll be able to pick up your copy at Maureen's Gifts & Christmas soon. Guaranteed you'll be smiling. By the way, Shari's art work made from recycled materials is in the collections of Elayne Boosler, Jack Nicholson, Courtney Love and a bunch of other celebs who like to smile.
-The Maui News, Let's Talk By Liz Janes Brown, Sunday, October 21, 2001

"I love your cd! You have a wonderful voice and singing style as well. You will definately be getting lots of airplay on our show. We've made a link to your site, as soon as I can get my roomate to upload the page.
B.C. Sterrett (Oddity Rock radio, Utah, where "I'm Forcing Goodness Upon You" is in the top 10 albums for 2001)

"I've listened to your CD 800 times, I think it's part of my DNA now. We've sold out, bring more CDs!"
-Randy (Music Exchange, Kansas City, MO)

"I am looking forward to "I'm Forcing Goodness Upon You" becoming a cult classic forcing goodness upon the world!!!...a compelling release--your unique perspective on the reality of life makes you a kind of musical philosopher like Socrates!"
-Keith Hemmerling (The Hemmerling Foundation)

"...I have to say it is one of the best things I have ever heard, it makes me and my husband full of smiles. I plan on sharing it with many of my friends."
-Monica and Greg Weinger (Los Angeles)

My mom: "Fun! Excellent! Is this you? Wow!"

December 2001
I knew something was up as soon as I spied that look on her face from her CD art work. I had the same kind of experience when I first looked at the CD art work on Ani Difranco's album "Puddle Dive". The eyes give it away, they have that off the wall, out there, mischievous, I want to play with your mind look. Play with your mind indeed, she has all the mind tools at her disposal, clever lyrics, unconventional yet simple arrangements, and an unorthodox right-on delivery. You take notice right away because it's new, innovative, simple, and good feeling stuff. There is no familiar ground to drag your mind into comparisons, I've tried and frankly I come up blank, so it's like starting with a fresh piece of paper.
Shari is a master at simplicity, there are no complications, the lyrics are everyday surface stuff, no deep psychological underpinnings, you need not be a rocket scientist to get it. The arrangement reminds you of 50's simplicity and innocence, nothing fancy, simple guitar licks, a pleasant melody, a cohesive flow. I can't emphasize the simplicity enough, it totally amazes me how little it really takes to make music work. However, I believe it takes a genius to understand the simplicity and make it work. Shari Elf has done that; it works and works really good. It's all in the eyes.
---harmony ridge music

I'm Forcing Goodness Upon You

I am happy and proud to announce the release of my debut CD "I'm Forcing Goodness Upon You." It all started over 15 years ago, when I turned my first poem into a song. Then I started performing the songs for friends and at open mikes. Then, 4 years ago, I got a 2 song demo deal from Interscope Records which produced two of the songs on this CD. I am proud and happy to be releasing this on my own after not getting that record deal. I have really enjoyed working with many wonderful and creative people on this project including: Karyn Rachtman, Larry Klein, David Baerwald, Jef Davis, Mark Thies, my mom, and Stuart Watson.

Check out the Real Audio Sound Sample

  1. Tenderness Versus Watering the Lawn Backwards
  2. Jerk-a-lator
  3. Happy World
  4. I'm Taking Your Stuff
  5. Bunny (Song for a Crochet Alligator)
  6. Seamstress
  7. Dream a Little Dream of Me
  8. Ring of Fire
  9. Ron's Appliance
  10. Jesus at the Hardware Store
  11. Beach Chair Song
  12. Some Thoughts on if I Should Die (Some Day)
  13. Saddest Song I Ever Wrote
  14. In the Garden
  15. My Automobile
  16. I'm Forcing Goodness Upon You

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Robin Stone

WHO IS SHE? As a native Clevelander, Stone has grown her grassroots following for the last couple of years starting as a singer/songwriter and emerging onto the main market with her full band. She tours the country to promote her record release in March of 2001 entitled, My Heart. She has made waves across over 1,000 AAA, college, NPR and Cont-Insp radio stations charting all along the way. CD's are in stores now!

WHAT DOES SHE SOUND LIKE? She mixes doses of soulfolk, funk and jazz in her acoustic based band of guitar, bass, drums,percussion, cello with a touch of horns. She will grab you with her incredibly crisp and unique voice, versatile and true.

WHY DOES SHE MATTER? Robin Stone matters because she writes about issues that challenge us on many different levels and because she is putting on a show that people will remember.

WHERE DOES SHE FIT IN? This multi-intrumentalist/producer/ songwriter can fill up an audience of any age, in any setting with memorable, sweeping, rockin', groovin' music.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT HER ALBUM? "This music is very complicated and the songwriting very unpredictable. There are so many unique and interesting qualities on this album, one can only sit back and attempt not to be dumbfounded by the musical excellence."

"Being a musician myself, I was tickled by track 10, "blurb". In this track, she becomes very candid, and down-to-earth. It's funny because it's so real! She's reacting to the recording of a song. A few directions to the crew, and a shock, as she finds herself caught off-guard. It's only 11 seconds long, but just enough to make the listener realize that this could very well be a next door neighbor, or a best friend."
~Female Musician

"Stone-who possesses a beautiful voice-plays the kind of neo-folk/light jazz that has made Ani DiFranco a grass roots sensation. Like DiFranco, Stone has tried to build her fan base from the ground up."
~Scene Magazine, Cleveland OH

"Reminiscent of Joni Mitchell of the new millennium. A great deal more inspirational."
`WCSB, Cleveland OH

"Stone, a self-taught multi-intrumentalist, brings a notable funkiness to her unplugged rock approach on her debut CD, My Heart. Those who appreciate the music of Sheryl Cro
w and Carole King will embrace Stone's sound." ~The Times, Valparaiso IN

Robin's music is best described as layered. Rather than put down a blob of clay and spin a pot out of it, she chooses to put sounds and words down in a methodical and textured manner. This is not an album that was churned out in a few days. This is a serious chunk of her life."

MAY, 2000
"For Cleveland native Robin Stone, music truly is a gift that she shares whole-heartedly with the hope of reaching deep down inside and reminding you that you are not alone, that life is precious and that every moment counts.
The unfortunate and untimely loss of her mother helped fuel the fire of Robin's need to go beyond merely being a part of the world, but to embrace its spirit.
Folked up and challenging, Robin captivates with a sweet simplicity, mixing acoustic guitar lullabies with rhythmic cello and tribal-like accents, speaking volumes about life, her life, in a truth that is unmistakably vast and vulnerable. While my heart lies in the hummable "Lullaby", a tune eager to find some somber TV scene to seep its sweet way into, AAA stations should find a smooth, soulful acceptance in the jazzed-up and funky, flute-filled "Scattered". "Do I Hear You" is layered in drum beats, guitar picking and bouncing bass lines that would also do well, and we look forward to hearing more as Robin concludes the late summer recording of her first full-length record.
In the meantime, look for Robin playing throughout Ohio with various other Indiegrrl gatherings nationally to come!"
Get Fancy Magazine’s Pre Release Review By Melyssa Harmon:

My Heart

Check out the Real Audio Sound Sample

    1. My Heart
    2. Light My Way
    3. City Of Wrong
    4. Lullaby
    5. Scattered
    6. I Guess
    7. Down To The Wire
    8. Do I Hear You
    9. Pride
    10. blurb
    11. For You
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    Alexis Antes

    In the past few years, singer/songwriter Alexis Antes has performed on the bill with renowned artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jonatha Brooke, Jennifer Kimball, Joan Armatrading, Stephen Stills, Dan Fogelberg and Three Dog Night.

    She has played her music in venues ranging from area clubs and coffeehouses to college campuses to Blossom Music Center, Cain Park, the Agora, the Brick Alley Theatre, Nautica Stage and the Odeon. Alexis is best known in Cleveland for representing her home town as the only Cleveland artist chosen to perform at Lilith Fair at Blossom Music Center in the summer of 1998. She found continued solo success as a nominee and performer at the 1999 Cleveland Scene Music Awards and Showcase and Time Warner Cable's RoadRunner Rocks Battle of the Bands Competition, where she performed as one of five finalists. In November of 2000, Alexis was accepted in to the Indiegrrl National Performing Member Roster.

    Alexis has been absorbing and performing music all her life. An environment of creativity surrounded her as she grew up with her mother, Bobbie Antes, an accomplished singer/songwriter and musician. By the age of twelve, Alexis had taught herself to play the guitar. At eighteen, she was the youngest founding member of the popular and influential Cleveland-based folk-pop group, Odd Girl Out. From 1990 to 1995, OGO performed on radio and television as well as playing to enthusiastic audiences at sold-out shows throughout the Midwest. In 1994, Cleveland Magazine's Readers' Poll voted OGO as "Favorite Local Band" and "Favorite Local Folk Band".

    After Odd Girl Out split, Alexis found her own voice and a new path as a writer and performer of her own songs. It is the personal nature of Alexis' songs on her debut recording, Stronger, released in 1998, that strikes a chord with her fans. Cleveland's Scene Magazine said of her work on the CD, "Listeners are treated to a lone voice in the wilderness singing introspective, soul-searching ballads about disillusionment, heartache and growth — songs that would not be out of place on a disc by Paula Cole".

    The music, the mood, the strength and the sensitivity of Alexis Antes shows us a blossoming artist firmly, and finally, in control of her own destiny, comfortable in the spotlight at center stage.

    Scene, August 6-12, 1998
    Northeast Ohio Vol. 29 No. 31
    Regional Recordings
    Add acoustic guitar with female vocals and you get a familiar recipe appealing to most Lilith-goers. Alexis Antes' solo debut has these ingredients, but with a refreshing twist - solid, honest lyrics, catchy rhythms and a balance of upbeat and mellow tracks that give the CD an undying momentum.

    STRONGER is a first stop for Antes, but a firm one. Finally going solo several years after the break-up of local folk band Odd Girl Out, she picked up the pen and did a little writing of her own. And apparently a lot of soul-searching, too. You won't find any "Spice"-y pop ditties. You will find the voice of a heart broken and healing. Not to be confused with a standard "love sucks" album or "rage against the ex," Antes' sound is not one of vengeance. Her voice is sincere and intriguing and her painfully realistic lyrics are coated in instrumentation with a folksy feel.

    Beginning with "Stronger," quick, strumming guitars keep a light tone that continues into the second track, "Out There." The mood shifts with "Where Do We Go" - one of the stronger cuts on the CD. Here, Antes' voice is more distinguished than other more soft-spoken songs where the vocals tend to slightly compete with guitar. She glides over lyrics like, Is this just comfort in each other/Or friends turned into lovers/No label to define just what we are.

    "Lifetime of Me and You" is almost lullaby-like, with its instrumentation textured by piano. "Hold On" and "Something More Than This" bring the pace back up to a foot-tapping speed - almost a moodswing with the combination of tempos on the disc. A stronger bass line is revealed in "Shadow the Truth," where Antes croons, If you think that I can't see what's going on/Well I've been around. Wrapping up with "My Light," a tribute to Antes' mother, Bobbie, also a musician who plays piano in several tracks, Antes' delicate, serene voice sends a thank-you to her inspiration. While the instrumentation and subject of the CD is not unique, Antes keeps interest and carves her own niche.
    ----Kristen Hampshire


    Check out the Real Audio Sound Sample

    1. Stronger
    2. Out There
    3. True Desire
    4. Where Do We Go
    5. Lifetime of Me & You
    6. Hold On
    7. Something More Than This
    8. Shadow the Truth
    9. Help Is On the Way
    10. We Stand Alone
    11. My Light
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    Nancy Walker

    "Buffy Sainte-Marie once said that she sings from her toes. Nancy Walker sounds like that. Her original compositions present a fresh and spacious landscape. She's also a leader in cooperative, grassroots promotion of meaningful music in her community." Andrew Calhoun - Waterbug Records

    Nancy's been performing music for the past twenty years in coffee houses, clubs, book stores, festivals and libraries. As a founding member of the nationally recognized Chicago based folk trio "Sons Of The Never Wrong" she brings years of live performance experience to her own musical presentations.

    Embarking on a solo career in 1999, Nancy formed "Female Songwriters You Wanna Hear", an evolving group of women who write, record and perform original acoustic music. FSYWH has performed at many local and regional institutions including the Harold Washington Library and The Chicago Cultural Center.

    With the release of her debut CD "All These Things" Nancy brings a unique collage of imagery and story to her music. Songs from her CD have been heard on WXRT- Richard Milne's Local Anesthetic show and on various folk shows such as WNUR - Northwestern and WDCB - College of DuPage.

    Nancy was one of sixteen chosen to participate in a collaborative CD titled "Big Fish ~ Little Fish Vol. 1" of Emerging Women in Chicago Music, produced by Antje and Ellen Rosner. Reviews of the CD can be found here.

    Nancy was selected to participate in the 2001 Mentoring Project at the Three Arts Club of Chicago. This program, made possible through a grant from the Siragusa Foundation, was established to coach young women beginning their careers in the arts.

    This past year Nancy founded "La La La", an interactive songwriting performance workshop group formed with current Sons member Sue Demel and singer/songwriter Jennifer Bienemann. Look for their workshops at The Old Town School of Folk Music.

    All These Things

    Check out the Real Audio Sound Sample

    1. All These Things
    2. Do You Know The Way
    3. Viewpoint
    4. Modern Dating
    5. Place
    6. Pawnshops & Cafes
    7. When The Day
    8. Guitar Song
    9. As Ruth Prays
    Catalog #nwcd-100 CD $14.99
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