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Episode 058–Ray Dafrico “Tunnel Visions” with Bruce Hilliard

Ray Dafrico – A founding member of legendary Atlanta bands The Nightporters and later Kathleen Turner Overdrive. Guitarist, singer, songwriter Ray Dafrico has been playing original music professionally since April of 1981. He has toured, opened for or performed with artists such as The Clash, The Ramones, The Replacements, REM, Bo Diddley, Joan Jett, Weird Al Yankovic, Peter Tork and more. In the studio he has worked with Peter Buck (REM), Rob Fraboni (Bob Dylan, The Band Beach Boys), Brendan O’Brian (Bruce Springsteen) and Pierre De Beauport (The Rolling Stones).

It sounds like a lifetime of chasing the rock and roll dream.

“Well, I grew up in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, so I was exposed to a lot of power pop growing up and a lot funkier kind of music, plus early punk rock and new wave, so I just thought it was a fun term to use. I like songs with a lot of hooks, and my songs tend to have that quality too, so it just fits. What they call “pop” today is kind of like a negative thing. Pop is not the pop I knew. The Monkees, Beatles, Kinks, Stones, Ramones, Sex Pistols all had great pop songs. So did Sweet, Queen, KC and the Sunshine Band, Ohio Players, etc. I’ve always had a very wide variety of influences, lol.”

A warm summer day, a call to Ray and a lawn mower. All components of one of the best interviews to date.

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Episode 052–Meghan Cary “Sing Louder” with Bruce Hilliard

Meghan Cary didn’t mean to be a musician. But when her fiancé unexpectedly died, she picked up his guitar, figured out how to play it, and wrote her debut, earning her Billboard Magazine’s Critic’s Choice for Best Newcomer. “I wrote my grief into music and sang my way out of the abyss.” Cary continues to share the healing power of music with the community that has rallied around her message of hope and being heard.

Known for her raw honesty and ability to connect with and engage her audience, Cary brings people to their feet and at times to tears with high-energy tunes, masterful storytelling, and lyrics that resonate universally. Cary’s song “Sing Louder”, a call to raise our voices together to make a difference, has become an anthem for the music-loving community.

In fact, “Sing Louder” resonated so well with audiences in her live shows, that Cary was inspired to include some of these fans on her new record of the same name. Cary gathered 48 music lovers in the studio to raise their voices with her on two tracks, “Sing Louder”, and “Responsibility”. Many of them stepped far out of their comfort zones to don headphones and sing into a microphone. They sang with passion, joy and abandon, and it was a profound experience for Cary and all those involved. That energy was captured on Sing Louder. 

“Music is the most potent tool I know to break down walls, slip through barricades, and connect with each other. And when we authentically connect, we can change the world,” said Cary. “Now more than ever we need to be courageous enough to transcend emotional, intellectual, and political barriers, and raise our voices…together.”

Cary began her career on stage as a theatre actress with over 100 credits for her work in the U.S. and Europe, and a successful on-camera and voiceover career. She’s written a one-person show with music, “On the Way to the Waterfall”, which she continues to perform around the country. She is also currently composing music and lyrics for the Broadway-bound musical, “The Accidental Caterer”.

After pushing pause on performing to raise two children, Cary launched back onto the music scene at Philly Folk Fest and was awarded a coveted Emerging Artist Showcase slot at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Cary’s smoky voice, emotional singing, and vulnerable writing continue to win over audiences, and garner favorable comparisons to Melissa Etheridge, Natalie Merchant, Stevie Nicks, and even Bruce Springsteen.

In response to life’s inevitable curve balls, Cary’s mantra is: “If you don’t know the words…Sing Louder!”

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Episode 051–Renée Catrine and Ingrid Oscarsson “Share the Stage” with Bruce Hilliard

Like former guest Ingrid Oscarsson, friend and mentor Renée Catrine hails from Chicago and currently lives in New York City. Having been in various bands throughout the years, Renée was eager to set off on her own to create her own music. She released her debut solo album, Arrival, in August 2016 with the help of Nick Brose (Mucca Pazza) and co-producer Mike Przygoda.

Ingrid and Renée share the stage these days, just as they share the air in this interview with subtle commentary from Omar the 20 pound cat.​

Renée Catrine’s music has been described as “hauntingly beautiful music with poetic lyrics of a keen observer”. Reminiscent of captivating songwriters such as Fiona Apple, Marketa Irglova and Regina Spektor, Renée’s debut album features sincere, thoughtful lyrics set to catchy pop/rock music and lush, orchestrated arrangements.

Ingrid Oscarsson is featured in Episode 042.
​Renée is currently preparing to record her second solo album in New York City this winter. The new music draws inspiration from Arcade Fire, Radiohead and Cœur de Pirate. The album was written in Québec City, Chicago & New York. She is thrilled to be touring the Midwest and East coast this fall & winter to debut the new songs.

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Episode 050–Aaron Hart of Love Stallion with Bruce Hilliard

Love Stallion storms the music scene with original glamorous hard rock, sure to get your heart racing and ears pounding. Power riffs, memorable hooks, and electric flash capture the nostalgia of years gone by, bringing a fresh punch of rock & roll back to the universe in proper style.

Love Stallion began as an experiment; a spur of the moment co-write of the song “Big Rock Radio” by guest Aaron Hart and friend Crayton Huntly (aka Rob McLemore) outside a concert hall in the fall of 2013.  Inspired by the “big rock” sound of the 70s & 80s, rockstars David Lee Roth & Freddie Mercury and bands like Van Halen, Kiss, and Def Leppard, the duo enlisted the help of industry pros Dr. Scott Martin & Kate Emerich. “Aaron Hart w/ Crayton Huntly” played their first show May 1st, 2015 at The Walnut Room Denver to a small crowd of friends.

As the crowd grew, so did the flash & flare of the live show. With the addition of Aero X (aka Aero Marquez) joining on bass, the band became recognized for their high energy live performance, flamboyant wardrobes of sequins, spandex and leather, and their signature Sexy Disco Legs.

The first video single “Slow Release” was released in March of 2018.  Love Stallion’s ‘Unforgettable Ride’ was produced by Steve Avedis (Tony Bennett,*NSYNC) at Colorado Sound Studios and was released on June 2nd 2018.

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