BRET MICHAELS AND JAY DEMARCUS SIT IN WITH DEAN MADONIA! Bret, Jay make singing tour of Music Row bars Poison lead singer Bret Michaels continues to hang out in Nashville and make country friends. Bret and Jay DeMarcus from Rascal Flatts cruised up and down the new Music Row bars area Friday and Saturday nights. Bret and Jay crashed new piano bar Chitown and sang a few with pianists Dean Madonia and Jimmy Maddox. Yes, Bret did Every Rose Has Its Thorn, and the ladies went wild. There was a crush of cell phone photography. Bret and Jay also did some covers of Doobie Brothers and Elton John songs. Then, the dynamic duo headed to Tin Roof and did it all over again. Bret is on the verge of a deal with new country indie label Lofton Creek Records, so I imagine he's trying to meet and collaborate with as many Nashville music makers as possible. (Tennessean.com)” - Brad About You

Tennessean

Sound Check By Brian Hyman Published on May 14, 1998 What you see is what you get when singer-songwriter Dean Madonia takes the stage. In faded jeans, a comfortable T-shirt, and old Nikes, Madonia and his pop-rock songs are as easygoing and fan-friendly as those of his major influences, Paul Simon and James Taylor. Like them, Madonia weaves personal experiences into songs about loss, rites of passage, and -- of course -- love. Sound old-fashioned? Maybe, but that doesn't bother Madonia. Everybody's so damn mad all the time," he says about today's popular bands. "I'm happy." So what's his advice to those perturbed young souls? "Life has a certain amount of suckage, so get used to it and stop bitching!" Madonia's debut CD, Deep Sky, which will be released May 25, steers clear of the angry-young-man thing, mainly because Madonia isn't in that frame of mind. "I don't feel comfortable writing about what I don't feel comfortable about," he says. "I have to write about what I know." Noteworthy tracks on Deep Sky include a moving, Elton John-esque, piano-and-strings song called "Without a Net," which is about a woman Madonia knew, loved, and tragically lost. "The Big Crunch (Stephen Says)," is a trippy ode to scientist and writer Stephen Hawking and the opinions expressed in his book A Brief History of Time. The hard-working Madonia has many weekly solo gigs: Shenanigan's Sports Pub in Hollywood Wednesday and Thursday; Mulvaney's Irish Pub in West Palm Beach Friday; and Tuna's Waterfront Grill in Miami Saturday. But he also performs with the newly formed Dean Madonia Band, which includes Cory Mauro on bass, Scott Tryon on drums, Jimmy Ruccolo on guitar, and Michael Waxman on keyboards. The group will compete in a Battle of the Bands contest at Chili Pepper this Sunday and perform at Madonia's CD-release party at the Poor House May 24. Both clubs are located in Fort Lauderdale. For more information on Madonia, including where you can get his CD, Deep Sky, visit his Website at www.gate.net/ ~madonia/deep.htm. And when you see him at a local gig, ask him why fans and friends call him Underdog, or at least get ready to make a request; Madonia's list of covers contains 179 songs.” - By Brian Hyman

New Times

Playing songs in dark hole-in-the-wall bars for smatterings of drunks who'd just as soon listen to the second hand on their watches ticking.... Spending your days laboring over writing songs only to have bar proprietors tell you that you can't play originals.... Watching bar patrons search for the table furthest from the stage and speakers.... Glumly strumming Jimmy Buffett songs for tourists Music Ear Infection By Brendan Kelley Published: Thursday, April 15, 1999 bent on getting their Floridian culture fix.... As romantic as the starving artist notion is, the reality of being a professional musician locally is a grim one, and making a living off of music is a trick that few musicians can (or want to) pull off. Fort Lauderdale songwriter-performer Dean Madonia knows this dichotomy well. He spends five nights a week in Broward County bars, playing cover songs from his library of nearly 200 tracks, sneaking in the occasional original whenever possible. In the daytime Madonia works at home, composing and arranging the tracks that he records and plays with his band, the Dean Madonia Band. As an original artist, Madonia performs folky, narrative-style, adult-contemporary tunes that appeal to the middle-aged James Taylor/Sting crowd. But when he punches the clock, Madonia becomes Underdog, the alter ego who plays everything from Dave Matthews and Tonic covers to Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens songs. Madonia smartly makes no pretensions about the artistic validity of the latter performances. "I don't consider the cover gigs a part of the music business -- that's the bar business," he says. "You're there to move booze." Unfortunately in South Florida artists as a rule can't make a living by playing originals. Playing other bands' songs is a necessary evil if one is serious about quitting his or her day job. "I try to pay the bills that way," Madonia says with a grin, drinking iced tea at a downtown Fort Lauderdale bar on a recent Saturday afternoon. "It's really frustrating because a lot of people can't tell the difference between karaoke and a real band." Despite the dismal realities, Madonia retains his commitment to succeeding as an original artist, and spends up to ten hours a day working on his own songs. Last year brought a small but satisfying milestone to Madonia: the release of the first Dean Madonia CD, Deep Sky, on his self-started Soft Monkey Music label. Madonia is currently working on an ambitious project -- a show this Friday at Miami's Bayside Hard Rock Cafe, with beer-equipped coach buses chartered to take fans from Shenanigans Sports Pub in Hollywood to the show in Miami. The event is somewhat of a Catch-22: Madonia is losing "a ton of money" on the project, but it will offer his fans, the majority of whom live in Broward County, a chance to see a first-rate showcase of the songs from the Deep Sky CD, complete with string section and previews of songs from the album Madonia is preparing to record. The Dean Madonia Band has played only one show with the viola and cello players who appear on Deep Sky, so the added texture and dimension will be a well-appreciated treat for fans. Madonia's placid, introspective music doesn't exactly conjure images of beer-swilling, bus-partying revelers, a notion he acknowledges with a smile. "I know the record-buying public is, what, 13- to 20-year-olds? I don't really appeal to them," he says. "We're not for the 'everybody-get-fucked-up' crowd either. I think we appeal to a well-read, intelligent crowd that can recognize quality music and understand the occasional literary reference." The bus gimmick is simply an attempt to get his audience to the show. Because Madonia's audience is based in Broward, they're not likely to drive a long distance for a show they could catch near home. "If you don't invite people, they won't come," Madonia says. "You can't make it difficult for them." Madonia's learned those lessons through experience, having played in several bands spanning several musical genres over the last decade. He tells a horror story of being invited to play a charity event at a Bloomingdales in West Palm Beach. The organizers told Madonia and his band that the event attracted an audience of 10,000 the previous year, but Madonia and crew took the stage to a sparse and unappreciative crowd of shoppers and Bloomingdales employees. "It was all old people," he laughs. "It was like Dawn of the Dead. All these old folks and employees were complaining about the volume, and we were playing really quietly and laughing about it while we played. There were absolutely no fans there." So Madonia takes the bull by the horns these days, inviting fans to his gigs via the band's mailing list and Website, which is http://www.gate.net/~madonia/deep.htm. He and the band are preparing to hit the studio again in the coming months, and Madonia continues filling his hours working on demos for the new record, when he's not playing cover gigs, that is. As Underdog (his solo cover act) and with the Underdog Show (backed by his cover band) Madonia will continue to fill his evenings playing to slumped-over drunks and culture-seeking tourists. Just don't ask to hear Jimmy Buffett -- unless you meet the requirements. I have a policy about Buffett songs," Madonia says. "You've gotta have $20 and an out-of-state driver's license. Then I'll do one song." The Dean Madonia Band plays April 16, at the Hard Rock Cafe, 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Admission is free. Showtime is 11 p.m. Call 954-467-2524 for more information. Last week Ear Infection mistakenly printed that the Swarm shows at Elwood's in Delray Beach occur every other Tuesday. The Swarm series actually takes place every other Wednesday, and the the next show features Whirlaway and dot Fash Wednesday, April 28th, at 9 p.m. Elwood's is located at 301 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. For information, call 561-276-6635. -- Brendan Kelley Send music news, gossip, love letters, and witty commentary to Ear Infection at P.O. Box 14128, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302. Or by e-mail: Brendan_Kelley@newtimesbpb.com” - Brendan Kelley

New Times

Dean Madonia members: Dean Madonia (vocals, guitar, keyboards). comments: After saturating the market with original live music for a few years, Madonia is taking a brief hiatus from performing and preparing the followup to his debut CD, the progressive Deep Sky. Madonia says the new CD will “still have a progressive influence but will be more commercial, more radio-friendly in terms of the production.” Deep Sky sold about 1,500 copies and attracted curious attention overseas, where DJs in Russia made it a favorite. Deep Sky also found a fan base in Ireland, Germany, Latvia and on MP3.com, where Madonia is seeing about 100 downloads per month. His Web site is www.gate.net/~madonia/deep.htm. contact: 954/467-2524 or madonia@gate.net.” - by Jake Cline and Larry Getlen

City Link Magazine

Hard Sell At Hard Rock For Dean Madonia SEAN PICCOLI MUSIC WRITER April 16, 1999|By SEAN PICCOLI MUSIC WRITER It's not the fault of a few hard-working local musicians that they picked this weekend, of all weekends, to put on important shows. The news that hip-hop superstar Wyclef Jean would be staging his third annual Carnival benefit concert this Saturday in Miami only surfaced a couple of weeks ago. Local com-mitments already had been made when this competing diversion landed on our calendar with an anvil-weight thud. And it's easier nowadays for big-ticket organizers to spring a one-off festival on a particular market -- with zip for notice -- than it is for local artists to back out of conflicting dates. So if you're not going to Carnival '99 on Saturday or to any pre-Carnival events, there are some home-grown alternatives. Start with the Dean Madonia Band -- please. This weekend could be life or death, avocationally speaking, for bandleader Dean Madonia. His group throws a free concert tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe in Miami, and with enough pricey fanfare to underwrite a disaster movie. Subsidizing attendance is just one of several gestures in support of what Madonia calls "the biggest show we've ever done. He is bringing along a three-man video crew to document the concert and a 32-track digital sound console to record every note. Because that many cameras and microphones need something else to point at, Madonia is chartering a pair of buses to shuttle fans to the Hard Rock. Passengers are promised free beer and prizes en route. The concert itself will feature three string players from a local philharmonic orchestra, sitting in with the band. Madonia's new percussion player, a recent arrival from Brazil, makes his debut that night. The buzz-baiting doesn't stop there: Madonia and his entertainment lawyer are inviting journalists and assorted music-industry heavies to check out the performance. In other words, it's going to be a really huge night whether anybody shows up or not. This is what it takes, apparently, for an unsigned local band to make a dent. Madonia does have some commercial sponsors lined up to help defray costs. But it's clear that he, like most musicians, doesn't have the resources to be leasing Friday-night floor space at the Hard Rock on a regular basis. So lend a hand, live music fans. Get on the bus! Help make this high-wire stunt a success, so Madonia can have a whack at stardom, and maybe start charging his audiences down the road. The bus fleet sails this evening from Shenanigans nightclub, 3303 Sheridan St., Hollywood, site of the band's pre-party. Call 954-981-9702 for details. The Hard Rock Cafe is at 401 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-377-3110. Also this weekend, South Florida groove zealots the Baboons are throwing a CD release party on Saturday night at Tobacco Road, 626 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-374-1198. The album, Evolution, is the band's first. The concert is most certainly not. Doors open to the public at 10 p.m. For more information, drop the band an e-mail at thebaboons@hotmail.com. Sean Piccoli can be reached at spiccoli@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4832.” - SEAN PICCOLI

Sun Sentinel

Sing us a song, piano man Nashville pianist plays The Penguin PHOTO COURTESY OF JONNO DEILY-SWEARINGEN Dueling piano player Dean Madonia lost part of his ring finger in a lawnmower accident in 2004, but his missing digit hasn’t kept him from tickling the ivories. Madonia spends his weekends trekking across the country to perform well-loved classics and original tunes. BY KELSEY WHIPPLE MARCH 19, 2009 | 12:00 A.M. CST Sooner or later, every musician has to decide whether or not he or she has made it. So far, Dean Madonia hasn’t. As he explains: “I always thought the fat guy with the scar was going to come up and go, ‘Hey, kid, you’re great, Sign this, and you’re going to be famous.’” Although it’s clear where the anecdote is headed, disappointment is noticeably absent from his voice. “But that didn’t happen. It’s kind of weird playing the dueling pianos when you thought you were going to be the next Elvis or The Beatles.” Madonia’s life, one spent as a dueling piano player in cities on and between both coasts, is the perfect opportunity for a rocky road metaphor, but he won’t let you use it. As he plays the Yamaha grand over the phone in his Nashville home, Madonia doesn’t waste his memories. Instead, he recycles them, building on each one to complete an engaging version of his life story so far. “My parents got divorced when I was 9, so my piano lessons came to a pretty complete halt,” Madonia says. His father moved to California and left his piano to Madonia in Michigan. “I guess that was kind of like my tie to my father, so I just kept playing.” Although the lessons stopped, Madonia did not, and the results of the 38 years that have passed are best expressed in numbers: four solo albums, around 40 bands, one record label and a 3-year-old son. Along the way, Madonia has also gained a second home. “I’ve played there so many times, I feel like I know Columbia better than Nashville,” Madonia says. “I’ve already turned over a whole graduating class, at least. ... Whenever I see people there, they’ll say, ‘Hey, I haven’t seen you in a long time,’ and I have to be like, ‘Dude, I don’t live here.’” Madonia’s voice is as deliberate as his story is romantic. It never falters but is tested as he describes his lastest setback. Almost five years ago, while struggling with heat stroke and an unyielding lawnmower in his front yard, an accident cost Madonia part of his right ring finger and the tip of his pinky. “Sometimes I look down at it, and I’m like, ‘God, that was really, really dumb,’” Madonia says, and it’s easy to imagine he’s doing so as he speaks — until he laughs. For a while, he thought his career was over. “I don’t believe that the universe is trying to tell me something or anything,” he says. “But I think that when things happen, you have to draw the lessons you can from them. ... I probably play almost as well as I ever played.” He pauses. “Maybe better.” If Madonia had a least important finger, it was the one he lost. “I have to focus on the positive aspect because if you focus on the negative side in something like this, that’s what sends you down the big spiral,” he says. Fellow dueling pianist Brad Heron, who calls “nine-fingered Dean” one of the top duelers around, says he’s “about the best there is on Meatloaf’s ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.’” Heron admires Madonia’s humility. “If I only had nine fingers and I played as good as he did, I’d be telling everyone I know,” he says. Today, Madonia has learned to play smarter, and he focuses on his son, Wolfgang, and his original music on the four days a week he sets aside from trips. Eventually, he’d like to play his own music. Madonia’s original composition “Honor Is Ours” will be featured in the animated movie Foodfight!, starring Charlie Sheen and the Duff sisters, this summer. “When I first met Dean, I realized he was more of a professional musician than just a dueling piano player,” says Keith Daly, general manager of The Penguin Piano Bar where Madonia has played countless times. Daly says Madonia isn’t a showman and doesn’t rely on gimmicks. “Early in the night or on Thursday nights when we’re not busy, he’ll play some of his original music for the staff and me, and it’s really good.” At 47, Madonia is still firmly focused on a songwriting career and constantly has a smattering of projects in the works. No, he hasn’t made it — but he’d like to add “yet” to the end of that sentence. “It’s not the story everybody wants to hear about the dueling pianos,” Madonia says, “but it’s my story.” Event Info Who: Dean Madonia
When: March 19, 20, 21
Where: The Penguin Piano Bar
Cost: 3/19 – Free; 3/20 – Free for women, $5 for men; 3/21 – $5 
Call: 449-8005” - KELSEY WHIPPLE

Vox Magazine (from the Missourian)

Friday, 10 September 2010 00:00 A Great Night of Music at NSAI’s Radio Show!! Written by David W Edwards James Breedwell of the Nashville Music Group hosted the NSAI Radio Show at Hotel Indigo on Sunday, August 29th, 2010. It was a great night of music with a variety of talented songwriters on hand. There was especially a buzz in the air with hit songwriter Monty Powell on the scene to perform with his daughter Rebeka Powell. Monty has written many hit songs for Keith Urban, Diamond Rio, Chris Cagle, and many other artists over the years. He is Keith Urban’s right hand man when it comes to writing hits. Check out his website www.montypowell.com!! You will be amazed at the sheer amount of cuts and hits he has had. The whole evening was not only about great music but a celebration of what NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) does to help songwriters. Through workshops, Pitch a Song to a Publisher Nights, song critiquing, and many other events throughout the year, NSAI is a great place for a new songwriter to start when entering the world of songwriting. They have helped so many songwriters over the years realize their dreams of becoming professional songwriters. Check out their website at www.nashvillesongwriters.com. You can listen to the broadcast of this monthly program on www.wbrn.fm. As usual James Breedwell did a wonderful job hosting the evening with songwriter Dean Madonia helping to introduce the acts. Pat of the Nashville Music Group was on hand to keep everything going smoothly and organized as always. The night started out with a performance by Rebeka Powell, the daughter of jazz singer Anna Wilson and hit song maker Monty Powell. She was accompanied by Monty on acoustic guitar and performed an amazing set. This girl has it all with her beautiful voice and a natural ability to write songs which she obviously inherited from her father and mother. After her performance, I had a chance to talk to Monty and of course he was very proud of his daughter. “She is the complete package with her voice and songwriting skills” said Monty. He commented that he wished he would have been at her level of songwriting when he was 20 years old and jokingly said that he could have already been retired. Of course, we will continue to see Monty at the top of the charts and it won’t be long before Rebeka is riding high on the charts herself. Check Rebeka out at www.facebook.com/rebekahp. David G. Smith was next up and did a great job with several clever songs including “Her Body Won’t Lie” and a song called “Ageless”. David co-writes with several different songwriters around town. Check out David G. Smith at www.myspace.com/davidgsmithmusic. The night continued with Bruce Miller performing next! He sang a great song called “Miracles”. It was about a young man who died just after turning 18 years old. The day after he died a white lily popped up in the back yard at his Mom and Dad’s house. This type of flower never grew in the area because of the soil and climate. They took it as a sign that it was their son sending them a message. The next day 5 more white lilies appeared surrounding the first white lily. That same day they got a call telling them that by their son donating his organs he had saved 5 individuals life’s. Wow, what a story and what a song! James interviewed Bruce afterwards and asked him what his favorite song was that he had ever written. A true songwriter, Bruce replied “the last one he wrote”. He said he loved new songs because they are kind of like a new girlfriend “new and exciting”. He then joked that it didn’t really apply to him though, he was married. He also gave advise to the audience to not let anyone try to change who you are or what your style of music is, just be yourself. Check out Bruce Miller at www.brucemichaelmiller.com. Next up was Dean Madonia who doubled as co-host of the evening’s festivities. Dean is an awesome musician and a very talented songwriter. Dean entertained the crowd with an amazing set. He has been playing the piano since he was 8 years old and has been playing the guitar since the age of 13. He has played with several Nashville acts. Be sure to catch him live if you get the chance, it is worth the effort to go see him. Check out Dean at www.deanmadonia.com. The night continued with a trio of talented ladies that included Sherri Gough, Roxy Randle, and Anne DeChant. Sherri Gough had a great set with songs including Jesus and a fun song called Hot Coal. She gave some great advise that Jeffrey Steele had given her. “You can’t hear what you can’t see. You have to be out there playing and letting people hear you”. Check out Sherri had www.myspace.com/sherrigough. Next up was the very entertaining Roxy Randle. Not only a great entertainer but her quirky personality got her set off to a bang when she moved the recorder used for the radio program during her introduction. She is a fun performer, great songwriter, and has a wonderful voice to match. Check her out at www.myspace.com/roxierandle. The last of the super trio was Anne DeChant. This veteran songwriter and performer has performed at the Lilith Fair, the White House, and has opened for Nora Jones, Train, Vonda Shepard, and Stevie Nicks to name just a few artists. Her high energy set was rare for a songwriter’s night. She stood throughout the set and occasionally would kick her leg up in rock and roll fashion. She sang an excellent song called Running Red Lights. She was a little under the weather and still did an amazing job!! Check her out at www.anneedechant.com and www.myspace.com/anneedechant. Now for me one of the highlights of the night was catching Canadian singer/songwriter Declan McGarry. He started out the set with a awesome song called Summer Heat. It had catchy lyrics such as “I could have kissed you but I was smiling too much”. Declan can flat out jam and he has a great stage presence also. He sang a song called Headlights Glow which was one of the best songs of the night. It had a bit of a Steve Earle feel to it and was just an awesome song. Expect to hear big things in the future from Declan McGarry. Check him out at www.myspace.com/declanmcgarry , www.facebook.com/declanmcgarry, and www.declanmcgarry.com. The night concluded with James Breedwell playing a few tunes. As always James’ tender voice and amazing lyrics were right on to end the evening on a high note. The night was a major success and a great tribute to what NSAI does for songwriters everywhere. Keep up the great job James and NSAI. Be sure to check James Breedwell and the Nashville Music Group out at www.myspace.com/jamesbreedwell. Keep up the great job James and Pat!! For membership information for the NSAI go to www.nashvillesongwriters.com.” - David W Edwards

Atlanta Songwriting

NSAI SUCCESS STORY Before I moved my family to Nashville in 2002, I read about and immediately joined NSAI and started to attend song camps and workshops. Flying out of town every Thursday through Sunday left me little time for my family and zero time for networking, so instead I focused on writing the best songs I could - while staying in touch with and writing with many of my fellow campers. What has kept me going all this time is the belief that a good song will find it's way to the right people. There is NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that NSAI staff members, evaluators, one-on-one mentoring, seminars, workshops and song camps gave me the tools I needed to refine my craft and write my catalog of songs. Not many have heard these songs outside my immediate circle and the staff at NSAI, I hope "(I Called Her) Tennessee," is going to change all of that! I met engineer/producer Kelly Schoenfeld of Daredevilproduction.com through a mutual friend, (it's always someone you know). Kelly knew that I had been writing with the band "Heartland) and asked me if I wanted to write with an artist from Alabama that he was producing. I always say yes, which is both a blessing and a curse to me (time management issues). Kelly showed up at my studio with Tim and his dad and left us alone for a few hours, we talked for awhile and really hit it off. Tim has been playing in bars with his band since he was 14 and was still performing somewhere every week, (reminded me of myself at that age), I was impressed with his talent, dedication and maturity. Tim wanted to write a song about spring break. I had lived and performed in Fort Lauderdale, FL for 20 years, so I know everything about spring break. We just started writing a song about this high school boy who meets a girl sitting on a UT blanket. We didn't have a hook... Tim threw out the line with "... a thing or three." My mom always uses that expression, but We're from MI, so I wasn't sure... He told me that his dad says that all the time, so that was good enough for me. Then all of a sudden it hit me - "I never knew her name, so I called her Tennessee." We knew the song was solid, but that gave it the extra something - Tim looked at me and grinned - we both knew we had something. Tim cut that song and released it on his indy CD "Getting There." When Curb singed him four years later, they took the song and the tracks that Kelly produced, and now it's Tim's new single! I have been writing with and for Kelly and his partner Johnny Dwinell and their artists for 4 years now, and I hope that this single charts, and Daredevil really takes off!” - Dean Madonia

NSAI

Powerful musical tribute shows the lasting impact of a quality leader Posted on February 18, 2015 by Bryan Wendell in Video // 24 Comments It doesn” - Bryan Wendall

Scouting Magazine

Elton John: Huntsville musicians on the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's best albums and more Print Email Matt Wake | mwake@al.com By Matt Wake | mwake@al.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on September 07, 2012 at 10:23 AM, updated September 07, 2012 at 10:25 AM ELTON JOHN YELLOW View full size Elton John is on the minds of local musicians in advance of the singer's Huntsville concert. (File photo) HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Elton John's sense of melody is so deep you could probably hum the liner notes to one his albums and score a Top 20 hit. Plus, the guy has a voice like a sexy female singer's -- think Tina Turner. When a pop star possesses both of these attributes, it typically makes that person very, very rich. Just ask Rod Stewart. And in case you're wondering, therichest.org estimates John's net worth at $355 million. (Yo, Elton, want to adopt a 40-year-old son?) In advance of Wednesday's Von Braun Center concert, I asked three local musicians to espouse further on the songs, singing and piano playing that's made Elton John a hitmaker since the days when you could still advertise cigarettes on TV. Dean Madonia (songwriter, pianist) Favorite Elton John song: "I'm kind of partial to 'Levon' because it had some meaning for my dad as he was getting older. That song still punches me in the gut when I hear it. Album: "Even though it's clearly not his best album, I'm partial to 'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player.' I used to play the piano a lot at school, and a kid whose parents owned a record store stole that tape and gave it to me. He thought I should have it. I didn't have a tape player so I went out and bought a $15 or $20 Radio Shack one, and wore that tape out. Elton John's niche among '70s superstars: "The thing about Elton is he could take (Bernie Taupin's) lyrics and write a melody and chord changes like nobody. He had a distinctive voice. And that pop sensibility, but it was just artistic enough to be different than everything on the radio. First memory: "AM radio. When was 'Your Song,' 1970? I was 8 years old in 1970, lived in the country and didn't have a baby sitter and would listen to AM radio all summer, all day. Elton John, Three Dog Night and CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival) pretty much dominated the radio back in those days. Dean Madonia plays Jefferson Street Pub (111 Jefferson St.) each Wednesday at 8 p.m. through October. Jim Parker (singer/songwriter) Favorite Elton John song: " 'Tiny Dancer'” - Matt Wake

AL magazine

The Local Scene - SANDRA SCHULMAN December 22, 1995|SANDRA SCHULMAN Like the sign on the highway says - "Patience pays. The members of Nectar have been buzzing together since late 1994 after their former bands - Planet Boom and Velvet Revolution - broke up in the same week. "We were all together in the same rehearsal studio bumming out in the hallway," says vocalist Randy Bates. "But then we started eyeing each other's bands for a new lineup. Bates in particular has had more than his share of the biz's hard knocks. Starting out in Los Angeles, Bates fronted two bands, Talk of War and East of Gideon. The latter signed a bum record deal, played gigs with Nirvana and Lenny Kravitz and promptly broke up. About that time he got a call from Phil Varone of Saigon Kick who asked him to move, oh, just a short distance - to Florida - and start a band with him. That band became Planet Boom. In the six months they were together, Planet Boom played some great shows and recorded some never-released tunes. They broke up the week they got international publicity, when Varone returned to Saigon Kick. Guitarist Sean Snyder and drummer/percussionist Chris Johns had been in Velvet Revolution for three years and needed a new direction. They hooked up with bassist Dave Poole, who is a tattoo artist and has left his mark on several band members, and Bates to form Nectar. The band's music is an aggressive combination of alternative rock, metal lite and melodic liquid grooves, given the full sonic treatment on their new self-titled 11 track CD. One thousand copies have been printed. The single Celebration has been the most requested song on Fort Lauderdale's high school station WKPX. Airplay also has extended to stations WZTA, WSHE and University of Miami's WVUM, where the band sat in last Sunday for a live on-air interview with Locals Only major domo Glenn Richards. A video crew caught the whole show, including Bates' MOUTH T-shirt, Chris's gleaming fresh tattoos and Richards pulling out a dusty copy of the only DAT tape in existence of Planet Boom. Clips will make their way into a full length band video. Nectar has been heavily touring the state, and is making plans for an ASCAP showcase in New Yorkand an appearance at a music conference in Nashville. On their way to Music City, the band plans an unusual tour of in-store performances at Spec's stores across the state. They also played at a swinging party at the new offices of Pyramid Records (home to The Band, Joe Walsh, Earthrise album) in North Miami two weeks ago. With all the detours and promises-gone-wrong hopefully behind them, the band celebrates a year together and their new CD tonight at Fort Lauderdale's Crash Club with free drinks, T-shirts and CDs. Drink it in. Miami Hits 100 I sat in on a panel last week to pick the official song for Miami's centennial birthday coming up in '96. Myself, Joel Levy of Criteria Studios, hit songwriter Desmond Child, manager Kevin Jones and several others chose the song Happy Birthday Miami by Mike Adams (of Fort Lauderdale, go figure) that will be played ad nauseam at all events. You've been warned. New Year's Tunes Dean Madonia, formerly of Third Wish, has a few new projects going with a band called Soft Monkey and also as a solo artist. Look for new releases in the spring and lots of local dates. For New Years there are too many choices, as usual. Coral Springs' New World Cafe has the in sync sounds of Inhouse, The Resistance rocks the Jupiter Civic Center, fave raves Rocket 88 bring down the house rockabilly style at the Sapphire Supper Club in Orlando, Midnite Johnny & Smokestack Lightnin hit the Mo Blues Room in Boynton Beach, Squeeze lets the girls play with JOJ and Pills, Pills, Pills. It's been a wild year. Y'all, have a happy. Sandra Schulman's column appears every other week. To rock her world send info to The Local Scene, Entertainment Dept., Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33301.” - SANDRA SCHULMAN

Sun Sentinel - Fort Lauderdale, FL