April 18, 2004

Concert Features Harriet Schock's Students

Harriet SchockI got to meet Harriet Schock, a singer, songwriter, teacher and author I had admired since the '70s, when she appeared in 2002 at a Naked Songwriters Showcase at Humphrey's Backstage Lounge, where I shot this photo of her.

I first became aware of Harriet after she wrote both words and music to "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady," the Grammy-nominated title song of a 1975 Helen Reddy album. Harriet has written hundreds of other songs that have been recorded by artists ranging from Manfred Mann to the Partridge Family, as well as for film and TV. Her web site includes a short "Schockumentary" video about her accomplishments.

Harriet also is a songwriting teacher. Here is an e-mail I received from her regarding an April 22nd concert in Hollywood to celebrate the release of a new CD that features 19 of her songwriting students:

I'm very excited to invite you to the CD release concert for the "Schock Futures" CD, featuring 19 of my best songwriting students. One of the reviews is below. 17 of the featured songwriters will be performing his or her song on Thursday, April 22nd. It's going to be a varied and amazing show I'm sure you will enjoy. Please come!

Here are the details:

"Schock Futures" CD Release Concert

Thursday, April 22nd, 7 p.m.
Celebrity Centre Garden Pavilion
5930 Franklin Ave. (Corner of Bronson)
Hollywood, CA

Admission: $5.00 at the door
Reservations desired but not required
email: harriet@harrietschock.com

Featuring 17 of the artists on the "Schock Futures" CD: Andrea Ross-Greene, Anna Montgomery, Anne Marie Radel, Charmagne Saunders, Elaine Dempsey, Heidi Frank, Joan Enguita, Judy Toy, Kat Parsons, Kelly Fitzgerald of Vesica Pisces, Linda Geleris, Marcos Lopez-Iglesias, Melvin Howard, Rick Hopper (w/Cathy Segal-Gracia vocal, Jeffrey Lass keyboard), Sally Zito, Samantha Lane, and Tanya Winch

Here is a review of the CD by Jimi Yamagishi, Director of SongNet:
Harriet Schock is a multiplatinum songwriter whose songwriting classes are much more than just about the song. Harriet calls it "Becoming Remarkable." This is a collection of work from some of her students, in a wide variety of genres, from hard rockin' blues to simple folk, jazz to rap. It’s all about the song, and a great song works across all genres.

The proof is here, on this CD. There are many levels of production on this disc, some sounding like a high-dollar major label hit, and a couple that almost sound like they were recorded on a boombox in a bathroom, but the heart and soul of each songwriter shines through on every cut. Kudos to Randall Michael Tobin for making them all sound relatively consistent, given the diverse quality of the recordings he had to work with!

Starting off with Nita Whitaker singing "I'm not Britney and I'm Not Whitney…" you know right away where you’re headed. This, like the other songs on this disc, are from a deeper place in the heart and soul of each writer. Nita may not be Britney or Whitney, but she sure could take on Alicia Keys easily with this well produced track.

The next cut, "Sweet Eleven" by SongNet founder Linda Geleris, captures a powerful moment in time as a parent realizes their child is growing up. Even more powerful that the hit "Butterfly Kisses" from a few years back, you begin to realize sometimes the best songs are often not heard because of the way the powers-that-be are all about marketing & not great music.

The clean solo instrument and vocal recordings of Marcos Lopez-Iglesias' "Uncomplicated Cat" and Sally Zito's "Greenline" is a good reminder that there are many excellent live singer-songwriter venues around town where you can experience amazing songs in an intimate environment.

Rick Hopper's "Fly with Me" swings hard, with Cathy Segal-Garcia's vocals echoing some of the finest voices in jazz, with the hot trio arrangement movin' things forward.

There are 19 songs in this collection, each one a carefully woven tapestry from the essence of each songwriter, a personal statement, and a gift to anyone who listens.

The CD is available through: http://CDbaby.com/.

Posted at 6:05 PM in Los Angeles, Music