Ghostlight Records has announced the release of How We React and How We Recover, the new album from three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown. His first solo recording in over a decade is a politically-charged, far-reaching rumination on love, family and music. The album will be available in digital and streaming formats on Friday, June 29, with a physical CD planned for later this year. The release will coincide with New York City Center’s Encores! Off-Center production of Brown’s landmark New York debut show Songs for a New World, which runs from June 27-30. For more information on the album, please visit www.ghostlightrecords.com/jason-robert-brown-how-we-react-and-how-we-recover.html
How We React and How We Recover – partly a response to our fraught political climate, part portrait of an evolving contemporary artist – is Brown’s definitive interpretations of his own compositions, pregnant with emotion, capacious musical energy and symphonic sweep. “I grew up on Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell, but also Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein,” reflects Brown. “All those influences sit within the work. This album has a specific emotional palette and musical aesthetic that rests between rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, folk, gospel and Broadway.”
The opening song, “Hope,” written the morning after the fateful 2016 U.S. Presidential election, was meant to set the tone for the record. “It’s about having hope when you have no reason to be hopeful, trying to capture the positive energy of life in bad times. I still have a tough time performing it, it’s a very direct expression of a very difficult emotional moment.” Ultimately the album is about, as the song “Hope” itself says, being a force of good “in spite of everything ridiculous and sad.”
“The Sandy Hook school shooting just broke me,” Brown continues. “My daughter was the same age as those kids and it mobilized me to do something, anything I could about the scourge of guns in this country. Ultimately, I wrote ‘A Song About Your Gun.’ I had to express my anger, not just for the killing of the innocent people, but the fetishization of this weapon. This object has been placed on a pedestal to become a symbol of who we are supposed to be as a country. I started writing this song to deal with that rage and now it’s become my primary social issue.”
“All Things in Time” – the song which provides the album its title – closes many of Brown’s concerts. With a quiet and clear-eyed optimism, the song says, “we can’t predict what comes to pass, all we control is how we react and how we recover.” “That line really encapsulates both the album and what it’s like to live in this crazy time,” Brown explains. “Let’s just hang in there together. It doesn’t matter if I really believe it, what matters is that I must believe it.”
Other album highlights include “Fifty Years Long,” Jason’s lyrical song originally written for a long-married couple he didn’t know, but which ended up exploring not only his own marriage, but that of his parents and the very nature of relationships, and how they are affected by community, luck and hard work. “Melinda,” infused with the chaos and energy of big band Latin rhythm, is about a rising salsa musician set in the melting pot of 1970s New York City.
“Hallowed Ground” – an infectiously percussive chamber pop song – was inspired by his daughter’s visit to the same performing arts camp Brown attended in his formative years, and the emotions from witnessing her budding musical talent. “Being a father is the thing I had to do to keep being a writer,” he reflects. “There were things I didn’t know how to feel, emotions I never knew existed, or how to express them. I’ve already said all there was to say about myself. It’s very different when you are responsible for other people and every facet of their lives.”
The Grammy Award-nominated vocalist Kate McGarry lends her voice to the bittersweet bossa nova-inspired “One More Thing Than I Can Handle.” Brown recalled, “I was dazzled by her technical facility and unbelievable musicality, but she really connects with the lyrics too. I am honored that she’s part of the album. She’s a special artist.”
“Wait ‘Til You See What’s Next” – the album’s ebullient closing track – was originally written as the finale of the Broadway musical Prince of Broadway, which honors Brown’s mentor, the lauded director Hal Prince. Brown provided arrangements, orchestrations, music supervision, and co-produced the cast album for Ghostlight Records. “As an optimist, Hal genuinely believes good things are going to happen,” says Brown. “His entire life and career are based on not the assumption, but the literal knowledge, that it’s all going to work out exactly the way you want it to. He’s always moving forward with positivity and belief in the future. This song was written to be in Hal’s voice, but by singing it on the album, I started to find that quality in myself. The world is rough right now, but wait until you see what’s next. Let’s celebrate what’s coming up.”
How We React and How We Recover is produced by Jeffrey Lesser and Jason Robert Brown. Stacey Mindich and Kurt Deutsch serve as executive producers.
Brown also is represented on Ghostlight Records with his debut solo album – Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes – in addition to The Last Five Years (2002 Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording, 2013 Revival Off-Broadway Cast Recording, and 2015 Motion Picture Soundtrack), 13: The Musical (Original Broadway Cast Album, Original West End Cast Recording) and The Bridges of Madison County (Original Broadway Cast Recording).
Jason Robert Brown is a composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer best known for his dazzling scores to several of the most renowned musicals of his generation. The New York Times refers to Jason as “a leading member of a new generation of composers who embody high hopes for the American musical.” Jason’s score for The Bridges of Madison County, a musical adapted with Marsha Norman from the bestselling novel, directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, received two Tony Awards (for Best Score and Orchestrations). A film version of his epochal Off-Broadway musical The Last Five Years was released in 2015, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan and directed by Richard LaGravenese. His major musicals as composer and lyricist include: “13”, written with Robert Horn and Dan Elish, which began its life in Los Angeles in 2007 and opened on Broadway in 2008 (and was subsequently directed by the composer for its West End premiere in 2012); The Last Five Years, which was cited as one of Time Magazine’s 10 Best of 2001 and won Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics; Parade, written with Alfred Uhry and directed by Harold Prince, which premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre in 1998, and subsequently won both the Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Musical, as well as garnering Jason the Tony Award for Original Score; Honeymoon In Vegas, based on Andrew Bergman’s film, which opened on Broadway in 2015 following a triumphant production at Paper Mill Playhouse; and Songs for a New World, a theatrical song cycle directed by Daisy Prince, which played Off-Broadway in 1995, and has since been seen in hundreds of productions around the world. Parade was also the subject of a major revival directed by Rob Ashford, first at London’s Donmar Warehouse and then at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Future projects include a new chamber musical created with Daisy Prince and Jonathan Marc Sherman called The Connector, an untitled new piece created with Kenneth Lin and Moisés Kaufman, and a new musical with Billy Crystal. Jason’s songs, including the cabaret standard “Stars and the Moon,” have been performed and recorded by Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, Betty Buckley, Karen Akers, Renée Fleming, Philip Quast, Jon Hendricks and many others. As a soloist or with his band The Caucasian Rhythm Kings, Jason has performed sold-out concerts around the world. www.jasonrobertbrown.com.
4. Fifty Years Long
5. Hallowed Ground
6. One More Thing Than I Can Handle (featuring Kate McGarry)
7. All Things in Time
8. A Song About Your Gun
9. Everybody Knows
10. The Hardest Hill
11. Caravan of Angels
12. Wait ‘Til You See What’s Next
Ghostlight Records has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings – building a library of over 150 records in the last 17 years, featuring some of the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway’s brightest stars. Founded by Grammy Award winner Kurt Deutsch, Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight has won Grammy Awards for The Book of Mormon, In the Heights and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Other notable releases include cast recordings for the 2018 Tony winner The Band’s Visit, 2017 Tony nominee Falsettos, 2016 Tony nominees Bright Star and She Loves Me, as well as Disney’s Newsies. The label has also released solo albums from Patti LuPone, Billy Porter, Sutton Foster, Adam Pascal, Lea DeLaria, Kelli O’Hara, Ben Vereen, Christine Ebersole and more. The label continues to support the new generation of musical theatre composers with their extensive relationships with David Yazbek, Michael John LaChiusa and Michael Friedman, as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Pasek & Paul, Joe Iconis, Ryan Scott Oliver, Shaina Taub, Dave Malloy, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk and Adam Gwon. Sh-K-Boom Entertainment is a producer of the acclaimed film version of The Last Five Years, written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. The label recently became part of the new Arts Music division at Warner Music Group.
Broadway’s Samantha Pauly and Reeve Carney Come To Chelsea Table and Stage
On May 29th catch Samantha Pauly for Memorial Day. Best known for originating the role of Katherine Howard in Broadway’s smash hit SIX the Musical, and her captivating performance as Eva Peron in Jamie Lloyd’s critically acclaimed revival of Evita on London’s West End, Samantha Pauly has carefully crafted an evening that reflects the last few years of her life. Join this Grammy nominee and Drama Desk Award winner as she revisits some career highlights, Broadway classics, pop/rock favorites, and all the fun stuff in between.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carneyreturns to Chelsea Table + Stage June 4th to perform a night of music honoring the artistry of the legendary rock n’ roll supergroup Led Zeppelin. Carney is best known for his portrayal of Dorian Grayin on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Riff Raff in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Reimagining, as well as originating the role of Peter Parker in Julie Taymor/U2’s Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark. He is currently starring in the Broadway blockbuster, Hadestown. Reeve Carney delivers a one-man-show cabaret that feels more like an invitation-only after-party than a traditional concert performance. Don’t miss this special performance from one of Broadway’s leading actors!
The Glorious Corner
TINA TURNER — Talk about a voice of a generation … my generation for sure. I think one of the first records I ever listened too was one from Ike & Tina Turner and Tina immediately caught my ear and eye. 1973’s “Nutbush City Limits” and later “Proud Mary.” Tina was simply dazzling. She passed Wednesday in Switzerland after a lengthy illness and surviving a stroke.
12 Grammys; 3 Grammy Hall of Fame awards; a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; the first Black artist and the first female to be on the cover of Rolling Stone; and, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. And she had her biggest hit when she was in her 40’s. Tina was a ground-breaker in every sense of the word.
From “Nutbush City Limits” to her stunning album, Private Dancer, she was a fierce innovator.
Author Mark Bego who did two tomes on Tina said: “The passing of rock legend Tina Turner is truly tragic. She was an amazing force of nature as a singer, performer, actress, and international inspiration. Having started out with ex-husband Ike Turner, as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the 1960’s, Tina broke free from an abusive marriage with Ike, and became a solo legend on her own. I was privileged to tell her story in the books Tina Turner: Break Every Rule in 2003, and a German language update in 2009 called Tina Turner: Die Biografie. Her story, her legend, and her timeless music will live on.”
For those in the know: British-singer John Miles (“Slow Down”) toured with Tina in 1987. I knew Miles … great, great talent. Here she is with WOR’s Tom Cuddy, back when he was running WPLJ.
SIMON OF THE TIMES — (Via Deadline) Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, who at 81 has just released his 15th studio album, titled Seven Psalms, has revealed a recent hearing loss in his left ear and says the condition has left him doubting he’ll tour again.
In an interview with UK’s The Times, Simon said the hearing loss struck while he was writing the new album. “Quite suddenly, I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it,” he told the publication. “So everything became more difficult.”
The Graceland singer said he was more frustrated and annoyed than angered by the hearing loss “because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself.” The condition, however, has not improved, and he now has doubts that he’ll perform live again, a decision reinforced by both a 2020 bout with Covid and his lack of enthusiasm for singing some of his old songs.
“The songs of mine that I don’t want to sing live, I don’t sing them,” he told The Times. “Sometimes there are songs that I like and then at a certain point in a tour, I’ll say, ‘What the f*ck are you doing, Paul?’ Quite often that would come during ‘You Can Call Me Al.’ I’d think, ‘What are you doing? You’re like a Paul Simon cover band. You should get off the road, go home.’”
Simon, who lives on a large Texas ranch with wife Edie Brickell, reflected on the recent losses of Gordon Lightfoot and Jeff Beck, noting, “It’s just the age we’re at…My generation’s time is up.”
SHORT TAKES — Brutal review of HBO’s The Idol in Roger Friedman’s always prescient Showbiz 411. Friedman goes to great length to say that the machinations of the music business are not accurately portrayed in the show at all. Truth be told: They’ve never been accurately portrayed. To me, the closest they even came was in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant Vinyl. Euphoria’s Sam Levinson is the force behind this one and I didn’t have any desire to watch it. After reading Roger’s take on it, I probably never will. Check it out here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/05/22/cannes-hbo-unveils-the-idol-starring-the-weeknd-abel-tesfaye-and-lily-rose-depp-in-vulgar-gross-outsiders-take-on-pop-life…
Q1043 in NYC giving away DVDs of the recent Neil Bogart-inspired movie Spinning Gold. Sadly, when Justin Timberlake stepped away from portraying Bogart, this movie was DOA. It came out with nary a whisper, terrible reviews and was literally over in three days. I knew Bogart and this could have been a great, great movie. Sad for sure
We wondered about Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam (seen here with Eppy from My Father’s Place and PR-pasha David Salidor) and emailed him? No response so far. We’ll keep you posted … NBC just announced that The Blacklist finale will air -two hours- on Thursday, July 13. Suffice to say, it was a sensational show …
Happy BDay to Bob Dylan; Mike Myers; Cillian Murphy; and Frank Oz.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tony King; Mark Bego; Michael Leon; Adriana Kaegi; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mark Knopfler; Daryl Easlea; Russ Titleman; Donnie Kehr; Cori Gardner; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Jeff Smith; Vinnie Zuffante; Marion Curtis; Angela Tarantino; Michael Fuchs; Sasha Prendes; and ZIGGY!
Parade, Shucked And Some Like It Hot To Perform At HAM4HAM
Ham4Ham host Lin-Manuel Miranda not-so-subtly announced the lineup for the May 26 concert on his instagram.
A New Ham4Ham show, THIS Friday at 4pm outside the Rodgers!
Who KNOWS who’ll show up?
Not THIS budding photoshop wizard!
The series, was revived in support of the Tony nominees for Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical, will welcome Parade, Some Like It Hot, and Shucked to its lineup.
You can see Ham4Ham at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W 46th Street at 4pm on the 26th.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: The World Says Good-Bye To Tina Turner
Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll has died, after a long illness at 83. Turner was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.
Her life story was told in the 1993 smash film What’s Love Got to Do with It and in the 2019 Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, starring Adrienne Warren in a career-making performance.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, TN, Turner became famous in the late 1960s as the singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Their major hits included: “River Deep – Mountain High” and “Proud Mary.”After leaving husband Ike Turner following years of physical and emotional abuse, she staged what remains one of the greatest comebacks in pop music history, scoring massive hits in the 1980s such as “What’s Love Got To Do With it”, “Private Dancer” and “The Best,” with an estimated 180 million albums sold worldwide, 12 Grammy Awards won and sold-out stadium tours around the world.
Turner scored another smash single in 1985 with “We Don’t Need Another Hero, from the Mel Gibson-George Miller threequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She played the ruthless leader of Bartertown in the movie and delivered the memorable line, “Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome!”
She returned to the Top 20 later that year with “It’s Only Love,” a duet with Bryan Adams from his Reckless album, and also was part of the global smash “We Are the World.” That 1985 famine-relief single — written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones and credited to USA for Africa.
Turner also appeared at the intercontinental charity concert Live Aid that summer, performing a raucous, sexually charged duet with Mick Jagger in Philadelphia on a medley of his solo single “State of Shock” and the Rolling Stones’ “It’ Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It).”
Turner’s status as a musical pioneer extended to 1980s television when she became a staple of MTV.
A private funeral ceremony is expected for family and close friends and family.
GMA Summer Concert Series
The Good Morning America Summer Concert Series is backwith a star-studded lineup! 2023 marks the 15th year that ABC’s Good Morning America will host its Friday Summer Concert Series at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.
Performances take place live on Fridays from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM during the “Good Morning America” show, and doors open at 6:00 AM.
Ticket are FREE, but must be requested.
July 8th – aespa
July 15th – OneRepublic
July 22 – Macklemore featuring special guest, Tones & I
August 5 – Hamilton
August 12th – Megan Thee Stallion
August 19th – Demi Lovato
August 26th – Ozuna
September 2nd – Black Eyed Peas
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