Tag Archive: Folk

Stephanie Griffin01Well, once again, I’m loose on the Blog. Recently, I had the good fortune to be introduced  Stephanie Griffin. She’s an eighteen year old musician singer/songwriter from the U.S. (Connecticut).  A student at Quinnipiac University pursuing a major in Communications & Media Studies and minor in music, she’s  been playing piano since she was eight and guitar since since was thirteen. She started writing songs at the age of twelve.

It’s clear that her true passion is music and a music industry career. Over and above  Stephanie’s talent as folk, folk-rock artist, she’s sends of the off the kind of electricity you like to feel  from young artists with talent,  head on shoulders and energy to deliver.

Hi Stephanie! Thanks for taking time out to talk with us.  We’ve given you a bit of an introduction. Is there anything I missed?

SG: No problem, Phil.  I think you picked up on the main points. I am orginally from Hamden, Connecticut. I moved to Wallingford, Connecticut [about twenty minutes away] when I was ten. I seem to have always had an interest for music since I could talk. I remember singing all the time and even dancing to Motown music around my house.  Whenever my teachers from elementary school would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always responded with the clever response: a singer. Yet, once I started songwriting, I thought I would like to song-write as a career as well.

From Motown to acoustic  – that’s a journey!  Tell us a bit about your musical development. Formal training,  your current view toward your development and what you really would like to do in music.

SG:  The only real formal training I had with voice was through middle school and high school in my chorus classes. I regret not being able to have formal lessons with my voice, yet, I’ve learned many important skills  singing through school. For example, I have learned  the importance of diaphragmatic breathing, pronunciation, and singing in a higher voice. When it came to guitar, I took lessons over a summer learning the basics of a guitar, like how to hold it, strum, finger-pick, etc.  As for the future, I would like to go into the music industry as a music journalist or find a career in radio or music production.  I would like to song-write as a career as well.

Tell us about your major influences…where did your interest in music start and what made you Stephanie?

SG:  My first major influence when it came to my passion for music was my mother. I remember her always playing the piano, guitar, and singingto me. In a way, she was a big inspiration for my musical traits. Other influences include Taylor Swift, Hayley Williams, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey.  All of whom have unique voices and styles that I have tried to incorporate into my own musical style.

We’ve all had our good days and bad days in the music business…putting the tough days aside,  what do you consider to be the high point along your career path?

SG:  The best moment in my musical path so far has been picking up the guitar and starting to write music. Whenever I’m going through something in my life, I could most likely get a song out of it. Song writing has been my way to express myself and my emotions. I know it will be something I don’t give up as a musician.

You  have performed many songs…your favorite? Which video do you consider to be your best so far – the one you most want our readers to hear and see.

SG: I have performed many covers and originally pieces. My favorites include anything by Taylor Swift or Sugarland. I suggest the readers to check out my YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/stephii17xo to view videos from when I was at least fifteen to now. The video I recorded recently is just a rough recording of my original song “Erased”. The song is about a break up, where one person pretty much erases every memory of the other person. Towards the end of the song, the other person pretty much redeems themselves and learns to be okay after the separation. “Erased” is also one of my favorite original songs to date.

Very cool! Let’s take a time out to watch the video…”Erased”

Great! thanks for sharing your work work with us.  Before we let you go, I want to back up and “return to the future”.  We covered off on your interests in being a singer/songwriter, but we know you azre culivating other interests as well such as being in the industry in the industry as a music journalist or even  finding a career in radio or music production. Sum it all up for us. What’s ahead for Stephanie?

SG:  My dream has always been to perform. Yet, being realistic, I believe I can find as much success being behind the scenes of future music. I’m very interested in working in the music and focusing on production and songwriting. In the career of music journalism, I could also focus on promoting future musicians and writing about them. I am confident though that my major and minor will prepare me well enough for a career in the music industry. I always want to keep music in my life and want to follow a career that I will enjoy every day.

Stephanie Griffin, thank you again. We wish you the best of luck going forward and hope you’ll keep us in mind here at HorizonVU Music!!!

It was last June that we first posted a review of Kacey Cubero’s new CD,  Fill Your Cup http://www.kaceycubero.com. The self written and produced album was mixed in Nashville by the Grammy award-winning David Z (Prince, Etta James and Jonny Lang). There’s a little bit of everything: the raw rocking anthems I Want More, It’s Alright, and Reserve the Right; a bucolic Old Cadillac; the folksy Feather in the Wind; organic, soulful ballads, What if I Really Love You and Whatcha Gonna Do; the bluesy Set You Free; the evocative steaminess of Under My Skin; the bluegrass tinge of Two Trains; the plaintive longing of Sunday Mornings; and the love letter that is the title song, Fill Your Cup. The CD hit #18 on the EURO AMERICANA CHART in August  http://www.euroamericanachart.nl/0810.html.

The range and versatility of her music is evidenced by her winning the MAVRIC Independent Music Award in 2009 for Folk Song of the Year for Feather in the Wind, and for being named 2006 Artist of the Year by the Santa Barbara Blues Society—the oldest blues society in the U.S.—and representing them in the International Blues Competition in Memphis.

Now Kacey’s on her way to Europe, so note the following dates:



KACEY CUBERO – 9:30 pm

Farnham, UK



KACEY CUBERO – doors @ 8

Bedford, UK

Price: £12



KACEY CUBERO – 8:15 pm

Orange Yard
London GB W1D 4JB
GB 020 7734 5547

Price: £13



KACEY CUBERO – 7:30 pm

South Yorks, UK

Price: tba



KACEY CUBERO – 8:00 pm

Oxfordshire UK

Price: tba



KACEY CUBERO – 8:30 pm

Brighton UK

Price: tba



KACEY CUBERO – 8:00 pm

@ The Freeholder
Farncombe, UK

Price: £8




St. Genis l’Argentiere, France

Price: 8 €



KACEY CUBERO – 8:30 pm

93 Lower Richmond Road
London GB SW15 1EU
GB (020) 8780 9383

Price: £7




Rhone, France



KACEY CUBERO – 9:30 pm

Manchester, UK

We are proud that Kacey is a featured HorizonVU Music artist. You can find her CDs and downloads at SHOP HorizonVU Music http://blog.horizonvumusic.com/?page_id=2068

By: Ilana Donna Arazie, Downtown Dharma — Find Zen in the City

On August 26th 2010, Matt Turk took the stage underground in the cavernous La Pomme d’Eve in Paris’

Photo: Peter Freed

Photo: Peter Freed

University of Sorbonne district. With his 1920s parlor-style guitar, Turk performed two well-crafted sets of his originals; classic American tunes including several from his new release American Preservation. What a treat, as the album is currently No. 20 on the Folk/DJ chart garnering mad spins in 25 states in the US, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Tucked into this cozy subterranean venue, Turk picked in a country blues style à la Mississippi John Hurt as he interpreted Jim Croce’s classic “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim.” The song is about the mystique of New York’s Times Square, perfectly illustrating how adept Matt Turk is with storytelling as he captivated the French audience with his All-American charm.

Turk sang the Steve Goodman classic, “City of New Orleans,” one of the greatest American songs ever written about trains, as well as Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train.” Following these traditional tunes, Matt performed his composition “Hobo Boy” off his 2002 release What Gives. Well-connected to American musical troubadour mythology in his original music, his nature and the covers he chooses to sing, Turk naturally brings a timeless quality to his work.

“Broadway,” also off  What Gives, is a tale of New York City during the inception of the AIDS crisis and the street reality surrounding it. Turk paints a stunning picture without even mentioning AIDS.  His introduction honored the memory of his friend Andy Kessler, who was responsible for building all the skate parks on the east coast of the United States, and also a fellow worker during the mid-90s at God’s Love We Deliver. On the song, Turk’s funky guitar playing evoked, at times, James Brown and Flea. A consummate musician and guitarist, Turk makes it look easy. His solo received great applause and rapt audience attention.

Later, he performed “Silver Ring” off his 2006 release Washington Arms, which tells the story of where he’s from. Audience members soaked in the dulcimer tones of his voice and melodious guitar arrangement while Turk created a vision of New York’s Hudson riverside, green with nature and filled with friends, family, renewal and joy. “Silver Ring” is a grand slam song.
 Closing his performance was his interpretation of Pink Floyd’s “On the Turning Away,” a ballad sung  acapella and clearly an audience favorite.  Evoking age-old Irish ballad-singing found in the pubs of Galway, Ennis and Dublin, this song showcases his genuine compassion as he closes his performance with the message, “Will there be no more turning away?” Exactly. Count me among the many that won’t be turning away from another Matt Turk performance. www.turktunes.com

Ilana Donna Arazie

Downtown Dharma — Find Zen in the City


The Downtown Dharma site is a bit of Cosmo meets Deepak Chopra, offering deep yet fun insights into finding peace and meaning. No need to fly to India or decode new age healers. Find modern wisdom and inspiration you would get from a hip, personal guru every day.

Purchase Matt’s CD American Preservation and downloads through SHOP HorizonVU Music http://blog.horizonvumusic.com/?page_id=2068

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