Mary J. Blige
Carolina Chocolate Drops
In honor of Rule 13 Self-Medicate with Art here are some of Ada’s favorite songs. Click on a title and you’ll be directed to iTunes where you can start filing up your ipod with sounds that lifted Ada up and chilled Ada out. May they do the same for you! If you think of great songs too for self-medication of the soul—post them on our Facebook page.
Lift You UP!
A few of Ada’s favorite singles:
These Boots Are Made for Walkin'
Ben E. King
Chill You OUT.
A few more of Ada’s favorite singles:
Brown Girl in the Ring
|Diana Ross and the Supremes
Bill Brickey & Sue Demel
And a few of Ada’s favorite albums:
|Lady in Satin
Al Green Greatest Hits
Art of Fugue
Aretha Franklin’s 30 Greatest Hits
Are You Experienced
Bach Academy of St. Martin in the Fields released Nov. 28 1994
And if you do think of great songs to for self-medication of the soul—post them on our Facebook page or tweet them!
*Not available on iTunes.
XXX'sand OOO's (An American Girl) by Trisha Yearwood
And yes, that is Huey Lewis co-staring with Reba in the video and it won ACM Video of the Year.
The Making of the Book Trailer for Alice Randall’s Rebel Yell: A Novel
Alice Randall and I met through Craig's List. I was in Nashville looking for bandmates, a record label, a publishing deal, and an odd job. She was in Nashville teaching at Vanderbilt University, mothering a daughter long distance to London, partnering a lawyer husband, launching a book into the world and cyberspace while still partially rooted in her beloved Guttenberg era, and looking for an assistant. I got the job and before I knew it we, in collaboration with Studionow, were making a book trailer.
The idea of a book trailer was new to me, so I had to do some research. I went on the internet, and watched as many as I could. Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and many others had very professional and interesting book trailers. As opposed to a movie trailer, where you have existing footage to choose from, a book trailer must create the world from new media. Such was our task.
At first, there was an idea to do a song inspired by the novel wherein various artists, including myself, would sing a verse. We may still do that, but not yet. We decided to go with an approach that reinforced the importance of marriage to the novel by echoing the form and feel of a rehearsal dinner video, but using a collection of what are presented as "family photographs" depicting two people growing up and together.
The collection of photos were pulled from very disparate sources. The opening photo came from istock, but the beautiful black baby on velvet is a family photograph Alice's husband rescued from a house in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The images of civil unrest and police force came from the Nashville Public Library Metro Archives. The photo of the National Guard lining the front of the State Capital on the day Martin Luther King was killed is particularly fascinating. Another interesting shot was that of a drawing of soldiers and airplanes, set in blue light, on and over a battlefield. This was taken from the front cover of a piece of sheet music that Alice found, long buried, in her piano bench. The piece was a WWII propaganda song called Go and Get the Enemy Blues (music by W.C. Handy, words by Langston Hughes). When we were considering music for the booktrailer we considered that piece. Roy Wooten had some of his string friends play it and it was magnificent but so completely unknown, and so nineteen-forties. We didn't think, despite its intriguing premise that underlined Able's warrrior nature, it would do anything but confound viewers.
I should say, at this point, the booktrailer was very much a collaboration. Reggie Hudlin, director of such films as House Party and Boomerang, gave us invaluable advice in terms of sequence and pacing of the photo collage. Kimiko Fox provided the key insight that the focus of the piece should be on the teenaged Ajay. Bob Delevante, Caroline Randall Williams, Kate Ezell, and Ray Kennedy were with us the whole way providing their high-quality artistic sensibilities.
Once we got the basic framework of the visuals down, we had the other side of the coin to tackle: sound. We knew that we wanted music and possibly some voiceover. This for me, as a musician, is where it really got fun. For the music, Alice wanted a medley of the U.S. National Anthem (The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key) and the Negro National Anthem (Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson) to play as the score to the video.
First and foremost, we were lucky enough to record in artist and producer Ray Kennedy’s Room and Board studio in Nashville. Ray has released albums on Columbia and Atlantic Records and produced for many acts, including Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams. This is the best sounding studio I have ever been in, and Ray, the best music producer I have ever worked with. The warmth of tone in his recordings and the warmth of the relationship between Ray and Alice (who are close friends) were a treat to be around.
Once we got the right playground, we needed the right players. Enter Joseph Wooten and Barry Scott. Joseph is the real deal. Nicknamed the ‘Hands of Soul’ by his equally talented multi-Grammy winning brothers, Joseph has magic in his fingers and musical virtuosity in his heart and mind. The quality of his musicianship is enviable and the quality of his character even more so. He ran in from being on the road with the Steve Miller Band to play Ray's 19th century piano for Alice; reminding her and telling us that he moved to Nashville after singing a demo for her.
If Joseph has the hands of soul, Barry has the voice of God. Barry Scott is an accomplished actor, director, and voiceover artist. Barry squeezed us in before another session but you wouldn't have known it. When he was with us, Barry acted like he had all the time in the world. Barry defines the word professionalism. He arrived in a white Jaguar and a beautiful suit. He gave us five different excellent takes. Barry added needed gravity to the soundtrack. His voice is, at the same time, authoritative and endearing. It is what I hear one of the main characters of the story, Abel Jones’ voice to sound like. He was a perfect fit!
Last, but certainly not least, Faith McQuinn and the good folks at StudioNow, particularly Doug, John, and David, here in wonderful Music Row offices in Nashville helped edit and compile all of our materials into the final video you see today. I hope you have as much fun watching it as I did in helping to make it…and read the book too-it’s great! And Click Here to check out my music.
-Adam Foster, August 2009