Posts by Bruce Hilliard

Episode 093–Lisa Satira Brozek “Differently Abled Man” with Bruce Hilliard

“My very intelligent son, stuck in this shell we call Autism. If he was able to tell us how he feels and express himself to me and to the world, I thought, what would he say?”— Lisa Satira Brozek

I can hear you, when I’m not looking at you
I can see you, without staring at you
I can feel you, we don’t have to touch
I’m a differently abled man and I matter so much

–lyrics from “Differently Abled Man”

“(Christopher) is an amazing and kind human being. People have written dissertations on him, his one therapist named her baby after him, and many of his therapists and teachers are still in his life today. But because he cannot socially interact, it makes it hard for him to make friends. You may think he isn’t paying attention, but he understands every word you say, he can hear you, he sees you, he just can’t verbally express it. Imagine how frustrating and lonely this can be, this is his life, everyday. My very intelligent son, stuck in this shell we call Autism. If he was able to tell us how he feels and express himself to me and to the world, I thought, what would he say? So one day I began to write…..and I wrote a song for my son.” – Lisa Satira Brozek on her son and inspiration for “Differently Abled Man,” Christopher Brozek

When local Pittsburgh mom Lisa Satira Brozek put pen to paper to write a touching tribute to her son, Christopher, who has Autism, she had no idea that her heartfelt words would become a worldwide music release. Enter Pittsburgh veteran musician and Top 20 iTunes charting artist, John Vento. John, along with Ron “Moondog” Esser, is a founder of Band Together Pittsburgh, a non-profit that raises awareness for those with autism, and engages them through music programs.

Vento suggested Pittsburgh rock royalty, David Granati for production and guitar duties. Joining David Granati in the studio was his brother, and another member of Pittsburgh’s version of The Wrecking Crew, Hermie Granati (keyboards.) Brother and sister, Christopher Brozek (drums) and Caitlin Nicole (vocals) rounded out the recording line-up. Caitlin, who had always been Christopher’s voice, growing up, sang the melody written by family friend, Kelsey Roche.

“Differently Abled Man” will help raise awareness for those on the Autism Spectrum, with a portion of the proceeds going to the organization. The song will have its official launch at the Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival on July 27th and 28th, at the Syria Shrine Center. The single will be available in digital and physical CDs around the world through MTS Records.

Watch the music video at https://youtu.be/gWJkH9Fs3XM.

“I have watched my son, Christopher struggle on a daily basis with communication,” said Lisa Satira Brozek. “He has trouble expressing himself and putting words into a sentence. He generally needs time to process information that he hears and then also needs time to respond. This can be very frustrating for him, not being able to put his thoughts into a complete sentence.”

ABOUT BAND TOGETHER PITTSBURGH: The purpose of Band Together Pittsburgh (a recognized 501 (c) 3 non profit organization) is to employ the power of music to engage youth on the autism spectrum and their families. Music has the proven capacity to enhance social interactions, build and develop communication skills, and improve motor/sensory, emotional, and academic/cognitive functioning. PLUS it’s FUN!

Music brings us together. Fills our souls. And creates pathways to help those on the autism spectrum to build new skills. The founders of Band Together Pittsburgh have decades of experience in the music scene and in the non profit youth development world. That knowledge coupled with a science based approach provides us with a solid foundation to provide programming. For more information please visit https://www.bandtogetherpgh.org/.

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Episode 092–Deborah Berg “New Road Home” with Bruce Hilliard

Deborah Berg is a performing songwriter and teacher whose distinctive voice, songwriting talents, and warm teaching style characterize her 38-year musical career.

She is proud to be an official Martin Guitar and Sennheiser endorsed artist.

Deborah Berg’s latest release “New Road Home.”
Her newest project, New Road Home (2019) is Deborah’s third solo album and sixth album to date. New Road Home was recorded at Grand Street Recording in Brooklyn, produced by Ken Rich, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in New York City.

New Road Home evokes a musical travelogue that transports listeners to parts both unknown and familiar. Deborah’s inquiring lyrics, lucid storytelling, and signature voice create classic country songs with plaintive bluegrass echoes.

Deborah’s band on this album combines the immense talents of Charlie Giordano (accordion and keys), Richard Hammond (upright bass), Chris Tedesco (violin), Hugh Pool (vocals and dobro), Sherryl Marshall and Stephanie Seymour (backing vocals), Monica Passin (guitar), Ethan Eubanks (drums), and Rich Hinman (electric and acoustic guitar).

Deborah has published and written over 50 original and co-written songs.

In the 1980s Deborah and British music composer, Julian Marshall, formed the duo Eye to Eye and were soon signed with Warner Brothers Records. Gary Katz (Steely Dan) produced their two classic albums: Eye to Eye and Shakespeare Stole My Baby.

In 1999, as Deborah Berg McCarthy, she recorded and produced her first solo album, Places Where I Dream.

In 2006, Eye to Eye recorded a third independent CD: Clean Slate, produced by Rhett Davies (Roxy Music).

With Doug Katsaros in 2009, Deborah co-wrote the new theme song for the public television program, Great Museums, the only nationwide television series devoted to America’s museums.

Ms. Berg’s second solo album, No Rush was released in 2012. Her single, Goin’ Nowhere was played on over 87 terrestrial radio stations. Deborah was a featured ARTIST TO WATCH on iHeartRadio NEW! Discover & Uncover (through Clear Channel).

In addition to studio work, Deborah is currently a choir member and soloists with Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir in NYC. She was one of the featured soloist in the Christmas Eve Special, A Bold New Love: Christmas Eve with Middle Collegiate Church, which aired nationwide on CBS on December 24, 2018.

Since 2013, through the non-profit arts program, Feel The Music!, Deborah has directed The Singin’ Seniors, a vocal ensemble class for elders at the Lenox Hill Senior Center in midtown Manhattan.

Deborah Berg’s Homepage

Deborah’s Facebook

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Episode 091–Neil Fitzsimon On Getting the Best Drummers with Bruce Hilliard

Fitzsimon and Brogan are great, and okay, songwriter/guitar player and music aficionado Neil Fitzsimon is almost a co-host to the Better Each Day show. This episode features some talk about working with drummers Woody Woodmansey, best known for working with “David Bowie and Spiders from Mars”, and Pete Thomas, a member of  both “The Attractions” with Elvis Costello and with Costello as a solo.

Drummer Pete Thomas, top center.
Neil Fitzsimon and Bee Brogan were both members of the band, Pretty Blue Gun, who were signed to an indie label licensed to Sony. They released two albums which were critically acclaimed. Some of the guest musicians included members of The Art of Noise, Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton’s bass player), Tobias Boshell (Moody Blues) and Pip Williams who played guitar on the Walker Brothers’ track, ‘No Regrets’. The albums were produced by Pat Collier, who produced Katrina and the Waves’ international hit, ‘Walking on Sunshine’. The band went on national tours across the UK until disbanding. Neil Fitzsimon, the songwriter, and Bee Brogan, the vocalist, then went on to form a songwriting/production partnership that led to placement of their songs in Film and TV. They also wrote a musical, Jack Dagger, which was showcased at the Greenwich Theatre, London for the Musical Futures Award. It was also showcased at the Bridewell and the Royal College of Music in London. They have also just had a song placed in a USA Sci Fi Feature film. They recently had a track reach number 3 in a French national download chart. All songs are written by Neil Fitzsimon. Vocals, keyboards, drums and engineering by Bee Brogan. All guitars played by Neil Fitzsimon. Fitzsimon and Brogan see themselves as a studio act much in the vein of Tin Tin Out and Talk Talk. Their influences range from The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, Jacques Brel and David Bowie. Their aim is to produce pure pop for now people.

Fitzsimon and Brogan’s Home Page

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Episode 090–Dave Bickler “Eye of the Tiger” to New LP “Darklight” with Bruce Hilliard

In Dave’s words: I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.  My course was set.

I started my musical career as lead singer of the 1970s rock group Jamestown Massacre (Billboard Top 100 Song ‘Summer Sun’) and doing commercial jingle work in Chicago. I was lead singer of the rock band Survivor from 1978-1983 and 1993-1999, and co-lead singer 2013-2014. I was the voice of ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ the theme song for the film Rocky III, and #1 on the Billboard charts for six weeks. The song won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.’ From 1999-2009 I was the singing voice behind the most award winning radio campaign in advertising history (‘Real Men of Genius’) for Bud Light beer. 

Bickler was born in North Dakota, moved to Willmar, Minnesota, and then graduated from Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois. His career began in 1968 as one of two lead singers and a musician in the early 1970s American rock group Jamestown Massacre. The group’s single “Summer Sun” was a Billboard Top 100 and Easy Listening chart entry in the summer of 1972. Bickler met Jim Peterik while doing commercial jingles in the mid-1970s, leading to their future partnership in the band Survivor. 

In 2009, Dave Bickler posted several new songs he was writing and recording for a future solo project via his Twitter account and website. On September 28, 2018, he released his debut solo album, Darklight.

Dave Bickler is best known as an original member of Survivor from 1978 to 1983. He rejoined with co-founders Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik in 1993, staying until early 2000. He was a part of the group for their first four albums: Survivor, Premonition, Eye of The Tiger, and Caught in the Game. Although primarily serving as the band’s lead vocalist during this time, he is also credited with playing keyboards on Survivor’s first two albums (including being the sole keyboardist on their debut album, before rhythm guitarist Jim Peterik began to take over the role on Premonition, although future releases would see Peterik replaced in-studio by session musicians).

Survivor experienced their big breakthrough in 1982, when they were asked by Sylvester Stallone to provide the theme song for his movie Rocky III. The song, “Eye of the Tiger”, soon turned into one of the biggest hits of the band’s career. It had an enormous impact on the Billboard charts, soaring to #1 for seven weeks. The song won the band a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, was voted “Best New Song” by the People’s Choice Awards and received an Academy Award nomination. Thanks to the song’s success and another Top 20 single, “American Heartbeat”, the album Eye of the Tiger peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The song remains popular today. It came in at #18 on the “Top 100 Singles” chart in Billboard’s 100th Anniversary issue and it is well over the 300,000 mark on the iTunes Store, where it once held #9 on their “Top Soundtrack” chart.

Bickler left the band in late 1983 after he developed polyps on his vocal cords and required surgery and voice rest, a condition that would take a year and a half to recuperate from. After leaving Survivor, Bickler continued recording with other groups in the Chicago area and doing commercial jingles and ads.

Dave Bickler’s Homepage

Dave’s Facebook

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Episode 089–Greg Kihn “ReKihndled”…They Don’t Write ‘Em!!! with Bruce Hilliard

NBC called Greg Kihn “Rock’s True Renaissance Man”
Apple iTunes Music called the Greg Kihn Band “A Rock Band of Genuine Consequence”

As a pioneer with the legendary Beserkley Records, Greg Kihn helped write the book on revolutionary west coast rock and roll. He’s toured the world, had hit records, and has won several awards for his hit songs “Jeopardy”, “Break Up Song” and “Lucky”.

After recently obtaining the rights to all his old recordings, Greg Kihn re-mastered & re-released his entire catalogue. In support of these releases and his latest 2018 album “ReKihndled”, the iconic San Francisco Bay area rocker, radio personality and author has been going out with the Greg Kihn Band all across the country. When the Greg Kihn Band wasn’t rockin’, Greg was on the road as part of Rick Springfield’s “Best In Show” 2018 Tour. The Greg Kihn Band and the “Best In Show” Tour Kihntinue to pick up 2019 dates, so check Greg’s calendar for an upcoming show near you.

The Greg Kihn Band consists of Greg Kihn on lead vocals/guitar, Greg’s son Ry Kihn on lead guitar/vocals, Robert Berry on bass/vocals, and David Lauser on drums. Fans who see the band will really appreciate the NEW 90 minute set consisting of all Greg Kihn original material: like the big hits “Jeopardy” and “Break Up Song”, fan favorites such as “Happy Man” and “Can’t Stop Hurtin’ Myself” as well as new material from his latest “ReKihndled” album.

Greg maintains a very strong online presence with a professional website and social media team managed by Michael Brandvold Marketing along with Skyler Turtle @ Riot Mgmt.

For more Kihnformation contact Greg Kihn’s Mgr Joel Turtle @
RIOT Media & Management
info@gregkihn.com
www.GregKihn.com
510-763-7600
www.RiotMedia.com

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