Episode 055–Battle Between Good and Evil–Sanar Alixandyr with Bruce Hilliard

She’s back and showed up ready to share the scare. In world of social media, fake news and cyber communications, Sanar Alixandyr uses a  fairly unknown technique called Energetic Sensitivity. Normally this is a psychological tool for understanding another person and how you interact with them. Sanar is acutely astute in this talent but a rare ability to take it a step further, to the other side. She can talk with the dead. This episode magically appears just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, a.k.a. Halloween. The interview experience is always a chiller with Sanar, although she is gentle with us lightweights.

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 054–Neil Fitzsimon, Mr. Kite and Mr. Kurt with Bruce Hilliard

I always look forward to talking with Neil. I’ve told him we sound like a couple music nerds sitting down for a beverage. He is so insightful and knowledgable about music and culture that predates his existence I forget he is 35-years-old. Neil and his partner in music and life have an interesting backstory that is featured in previous episodes. Her name is Bee Brogan and she has a vocal talent that connects. An effortless alto voice that just gets better the more you listen.

This conversation encompasses not only Neil’s passion for songwriting but recording as well. We drift off into a talk about Geoff Emerick, one of the recording engineers that worked with the Beatles. Geoff was one of the mad scientists that invented sounds that add to the mystique of masterpieces like Being for the Benefit Of Mr. Kite from the Pepper album.

A bridge over troubled water? The underside of the Young Street Bridge, Aberdeen WA.
My hometown Aberdeen Washington also came up when Neil referred to Seattle as the birthplace of Nirvana. Although never a personal friend of mine, Kurt Cobain is an iconic rocker that comes up in conversation almost daily. And yes, he started the band in this small lumber town with fellow Aberdonian Krist Novoselic in the late 80s. Neil asked if Kurt slept “rough”, or somewhere other than in his bed while still a kid. Who knows? I shot this pic in 2016 of the bridge near Cobain’s childhood house where he allegedly crashed on occasion. Ah, the things of legend. The house where my band rehearsed in the late 70s was about 100 feet from this now shrine. We used to stand under it to BS and stay out of the rain. Who knew?

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Episode 053–Meghan Cary Getting Us Together with Bruce Hilliard

Meghan’s interviews are on top of the standouts of the previous 52 shows. Her positive approach to life and her gift to share it in songs and stories embrace what this podcast is all about. My part is to provide a platform for my guests. The guests do the rest. With Meghan, you just hit record and sit back, listen and feel good.

Melissa Etheridge singing Bruce Springsteen to a Paul Simon groove is what her press kit says. Again, listen, sit back and feel good. She sounds original and authentic. Known for her unabashed willingness to connect with her audience, Meghan Cary brings listeners to their feet and at times to tears with high-energy tunes, masterful storytelling, and deeply personal lyrics that resonate universally. Billboard Magazine advises: “Seek this one out.”

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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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