Episode 060–Stolie, Butterflies and Tequila Lips with Bruce Hilliard

Stolie’s world of music began when she was six and started piano lessons. At sixteen, she learned two chords on the guitar and wrote an original song. The Coffee Mug, her first collection of original music featuring 10 songs on guitar and vocals, was self-released on cassette in 1996.

While attending Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL) initially as a Music Education major and constantly playing on campus, Stolie switched her major to English to work on writing (songwriting, that is!)  Shortly after, during a study-abroad program in London, England, she was performing for loose change in the Tube and soon after, for real money at folk clubs. Upon returning to Chicago, Stolie joined an urban studies program with the Chicago Arts Program and, while living on Rush Street and taking classes in Wrigleyville, she got to work on her second collection of original music, the self-titled Stolie, released in 2000. An electro-pop album (Satire-Laden Melodies) followed in 2004 and a self-produced, arranged and recorded collection of pop/rock songs in 2008 (Between the Fake and Real) was featured on Chicago’s Finest Rock station, WXRT.

Stolie has toured the country in support of her original music and with former all-girl trio, Tres Femmes, worked as a publicist and radio promoter for Bloodshot Records and Call Girl PR, has rocked cover tunes in several acoustic duos — The Acoustic Sideshow with Scott Schaefer, with Gina Gonzalez (Lt. Dan Band with Gary Sinise), and with improv comedian Cat McDonnell — and teaches guitar and piano lessons. Stolie was host to a weekly Thursday night acoustic open mic at the famous Murphy’s Bleachers bar in Wrigleyville for 8 years and also provides musical accompaniment for wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours for local music production company, Cage & Aquarium Productions. Nowadays, Stolie mostly plays children’s shows as Super Stolie for birthday parties, park districts, libraries and street festivals and also with her children’s rock band, Super Stolie and The Rockstars.  She released her first children’s CD, When I Grow Up, in 2009, her 2nd, Press Play!, in the winter 2012 and welcomed her third kids’ CD, Family in Harmony, during the summer of 2015.

Stolie’s Homepage

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Episode 059–Sachiko Tiana “Wait for the Dawn” Podcast with host Bruce Hilliard

Her podcast Wait for the Dawn is all about the mindset needed to pursue dreams, goals and passions.

Sachiko Tiana believes that regardless of what we’re facing, the dawn is coming! There is light at the end of the tunnel and the hard things we’ve been through won’t last forever. We weren’t meant to live in survival mode – we’re meant to thrive! The best way for us to thrive is for everyone to pursue what they’re MOST passionate about.

And, she writes and records music. Sachiko’s original songs range from a mix of thought-provoking lyrics to flirtatious love songs to fun and groovy, soulful tunes. People have said she has the smoothness of Sade, the emotional essence of Anita Baker, combined with the lively positivity of Alicia Keys. No matter who you are, you’re guaranteed to leave with a heart full of joy, simply because of the love Sachiko brings to every aspect of her message.

She was born in 1985 in San Francisco, CA to drug addicted parents. Her parents were not married and were often breaking up and making up. Her two younger siblings are the result of each of their reunions. Her mom’s death and her dad’s drug addictions left Sachiko the one responsible for cooking, cleaning, changing diapers while attending school and “trying desperately to seem normal.”

“My dad was dealing with his own pain from my Mom’s death and became even more addicted to drugs, and became less and less useful. I always knew when we didn’t have any money because he would go through withdrawals and not get out of bed for days at a time (and be an absolute terror to be around). He’d send me to buy cigarettes and alcohol, and he would take us along when he finally had money to buy drugs. I would sit in the car and sing at the top of my lungs to distract me and the kids from what was happening. I remember a drug dealer telling me that he could hear me singing and that I was something special – such a strangely vivid memory.”

Music became a huge outlet for her. “From church and school choirs, to recording songs in our garage on the reel-to-reel recorder my dad set up, music was an integral part of my life. Though many of my memories of my dad are truly painful, I do credit him in a myriad of ways for my love of music and songwriting. It was at the age of 10 that I decided I wanted to be a singer.”

Sachiko’s Website

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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 057– Sanar, Halloween, Cranky Ghosts and Bruce Hilliard

With Sanar, the interview experience is always somewhere between scary and funny, folklore and science, evil and good and this time, no agenda. This is a first for the Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show that steers way off course to cover topics that range like dream after eating a trick or treat bag full of Goobers, Whoppers, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Camel Balls with a Hershey’s Tooth Glue chaser. And yes, these are all legit candy handles.

Listen and marvel at the creative Milk Dud induced pontification including but not limited to Tocata in D Minor, healing, malevolent spirits, prison, smells in the attic,  good and evil, Hitler having issues, multiple lifetimes, being strong and dealing with cranky spirits, the unexplained, happy dolphins, the studio, Beatle nerds, my John Lennon t-shirt, treats with Eddie Munster at 1313 Mockingbird Lane and tricks with the Great Pumpkin at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and finally Sanar declining to run for president.

That’s a night’s work and more than the sound effects guy could deal with.

As stated, Sanar is a Sensitive, as opposed to a Psychic. She was born with and developed an unusual empathy for reaching out to not only you and me but passed souls. Her work with the living is in the personal development arena where she assists others in what she calls “removing the layers of past experiences that block the pathway of the soul to reveal the passion, power and possibility of the true self.”
Sanar and I met in person at my studio and recorded a two part conversation focusing on a story that…well listen and hear for yourself. I was honored to have her sitting and facing me in flesh and blood because it made the fore-mentioned sensitivity much stronger than phone, Skype, emails and texting and all of the via-satellite-media we use daily. Despite her life setbacks, she is what I call a “happy medium” and a person that cares deeply about others. When I listened back to the interview I realized how much life there is in a conversation about death. Despite the fact that scary ghosts sell more movie tickets, there’s a little Casper the Friendly Ghost in us all.

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Episode 056- JJ McGuigan Writes Songs and Reaches Out with Bruce Hilliard

JJ McGuigan was born and currently lives in Wichita Kansas. He found a passion for music at the age of 13 when, maybe to his parents’ dismay, got a drum set. He later picked up guitar and started writing songs at the age of 20. He attended Newman University where he played for the men’s basketball team and was an assistant coach there while attending Full Sail University. His main focus and passion is writing songs with an emphasis on lyrics with a message. He has just recently wrapped up a 5 song EP featuring vocalist Garrett Crow and is writing another album with guitarist Brian Elwick.

JJ was diagnosed with OCD at the age of 16, along with depression, anxiety, and depersonalization.  He battled with victories but says he still has to fight sometimes.  He finds that reaching out to others and being open and honest is very important.

“Hearing each others story and learning from one another is very critical I believe  Feel free to reach out to me on my contact page and we can share and talk together.”

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