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Cindy Stratton and Marius Frank live Thekla 2016


Cindy Stratton live Thekla 2016

Marius Frank live Thekla 2016

Cindy Stratton live Thekla 2016

Feb Newsletter

Good Evening to you all. I hope this newsletter finds you well and happy. Remember, the days are getting longer and Spring is just around the corner..Many thanks to those who came to see Marius and I recently at the Bradford Roots Festival. We really enjoyed ourselves. Chris and Lisa Samuel work so hard to deliver a whole weekend of fantastic live acoustic performances, and once again the event was a great success.
Looking forward to next month, there is going to be a special concert at the Rondo Theatre in Bath on Friday 17th March: Cindy Stratton with special guest Cecilia le Poer Power Me and my special guest Cecilia (a very talented singer songwriter www.thehopegarden.com) will be creating an evening to remember. Expect a Celtic flavour here and there in honour of St.Patrick's night, with lots of original material too.
I will be joined as ever by my fabulously talented partner Marius Frank on bass, guitar and piano, the awesome fiddle player Ali Nourse and wonderful vocalist Susie Wright.
Tickets available at http://rondotheatre.co.uk/ticketbooking
Ticketsource Box Office 0333 666 3366
We sincerely hope you can join us and look forward to welcoming you.
In the meantime, this week I am busy preparing to help Marius deliver a singing workshop at two separate events to be held in London and Sheffield for The Chartered College of Teaching (https://www.collegeofteaching.org/) We are expecting about 700 participants in total....(I'm not scared.... much) and it's going to be a lot of fun. Apparently their first choice was Gareth Malone, but as he was busy we got the call! Can't help but be flattered....
Our wonderful choir Sassparella, are busy preparing a special set which will feature new and exciting material on Friday May 19th for 'Party in the City', the opening night of the International Bath Music Festival. Catch our set at Widcombe Social Club. More about that nearer the time.
That's all from me for now. Love and best wishes Cindy xx


Sept News

Live Photos (Above) from Thekla, Bristol Sat Sept 17th supplied by Geoffrey Head who also reviewed the concert - 'This wonderful set from two very talented musicians kicked off the concert last month by Bristol's first ladies of Jazz, Funk and Soul, Meet Your Feet. Cindy Stratton played first and effortlessly linked a gloriously flexible and crystal clear voice with a deft guitar technique and excellent loop pedal control. Her styles encompassed, Folk, Jazz, Contemporary and Soul and she delivered each style with great skill. Marius Frank joined her half way through the set to add delicate and chiming piano to a couple of numbers and then...Marius strapped a bass on and the music took on a whole new direction and an unfeasible amount of groove, finishing with a respectful and very uplifting cover of 'Kiss' by Prince. The combination of slapped, plucked and tapped bass and effortlessly elegant and soulful vocals was irresistible and enormously entertaining. A very fine set indeed.'


Cindy Stratton and Marius Frank

Summer Newsletter
Its been a while since you've heard form me so I hope that you are all well and enjoying the summer weather. I've got some exciting events to share with you and I really hope to see you at some if not all of them. Firstly on Saturday Sept 17th it will be my pleasure to support Meet Your Feet at the Thekla in Bristol. If you don't know MYF you are in for a treat. Come prepared to dance...not to my music, though surprisingly that has been known but is rather unusual, but definitely to MYF!
I will playing a mixture of original songs, some new, some favourites, and a few choice covers, all accompanied by the wonderfully talented Marius Frank on bass. Tickets are £8, I'll be on around 7.45pm with Marius and you can buy directly from me if you wish. The Thekla holds a special place in my heart for it was here that I performed in the late great Viv Stanshall's comic opera 'Stinkfoot' many moons ago. Some of you may even have seen and heard me singing 'I'm Parakeet to Meet You' dressed as a budgie....Happy days....There was even a fleeting film image of me doing just that quite recently on TV in a documentary about Viv, his life and his work.
On Saturday October 15th there will be a 'Sing with Sassparella' event at The Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon called 'Disco Inferno' and it is a chance for you to participate in a daytime singing workshop and evening concert.
If a nice meal in an intimate cafe/restaurant is more your thing, or if after all that dancing you fancy a more restful evening out, then you can come and hear Marius and I performing at The lovely Rainbow Cafe in Clifton Village Bristol on Thursday October 27th. Seating will be limited, so early booking is advisable. I can't wait. It's going to be a lovely evening showcasing both new and favourite material
Now last but by no means least I have to tell you about a special concert we are planning with Sassparella and the Magnificent AK47's on Nov 12th at The Old Theatre Royal in Bath. This is a very special venue and will be a very special evening with a chance to hear two fantastic choirs, one all female, one all male performing in tandem and putting on a show. Excited? I know I am! Sent with love, hugs and passion, Cindy xx



New Hummingbird Cd

Cindy Stratton -
  Hummingbird

New Release 'Hummingbird' Nov 2014

'Gorgeous, artful and an artistic step few achieve'

'.....with it's piercing intimacy of Cindy's voice against its spare backdrop, elevates Hummingbird to rare and exceptional heights. A truly transcendent album....' Charley Dunlap '
..... At times I am reminded a little bit of Fairport Convention, at other times a little bit of Stevie Nicks, though mostly it sounds like what it is:unique.....' Joel Pfister ( an American review) '
......The new songs are very strong, evocative and haunting.....' Robert Andrews

Review:
Cindy Stratton has been quietly singing, writing songs, making albums for several years in Bath while raising a family, working, teaching. The second part is called ‘life’; the first part is usually called ‘career’ if you don’t have a life. Her new cd, Hummingbird, is the next step in Cindy’s ‘career’ and it is gorgeous, it is artful, and is an artistic step few achieve.
Cindy Stratton has a transcendently beautiful voice — I think it’s gotten more so with time — which ranges from alto to soprano with ease and retains its humanity in higher ranges, often not the case with such highly trained singers.
The album begins auspiciously with a chorus loop fading in to Cup of Good Will, which has the sound of English folk, ominously dark lyrics, and impassioned singing from Cindy.
The sound of English folk runs through parts of the album but certainly does not define it. The next song, Hummingbird, has those folk roots but moves into more modern songwriting and become something of a singing, not tour de force — tour d’elegance is more accurate.
By the time you get to the third song, Love Is The Remedy, folk has receded completely.
It has a very slight Crosby-Stills-Nash feel and, like most of the songs, a very minimal instrumental accompaniment; mostly it is a call-and-response between Cindy and the chorus and it works beautifully.
Cherish The Love goes deep into ambient, atmospheric territory. It has a simple guitar line that repeats like a loop, an insistent chorus of “cherish the love” and Cindy in dark, intimate whisper mouthing the lyrics with the word “hunger” recurring. It reminds me of the original Sally Go Round the Roses by the Jaynetts, it is the shortest song on the album, and I love it.
Wash My Sins Away and Strange Places take elements of the previous two songs and use them in more complex and melodic song forms, particularly Strange Places. Once again, there is very minimal loop-style accompaniment and echoey chorus framing Cindy’s spectacular voice and singing. Both, like the others, have very slow tempos and a remarkable vocal intimacy. These last two songs seem very close to home.Strange Places contains elements of wistful regret and acceptance that bring a tear to the eye of this old man.
The album ends with Burning Babe, a 16th c. poem by Robert Southwell set to music by Chris Wood. It returns us fully to English folk and it is like waking from a spellbound dream the previous four songs held us in.
The album is brief, seven songs averaging just over 3 minutes each, but it feels complete, bigger than it is. The heart of Hummingbird is, for me, those four songs in the centre. The first two songs are excellent and the last, Burning Babe, is far better than Sting’s version but that heart, with its piercing intimacy of Cindy’s voice against its spare backdrop, elevates Hummingbird to rare and exceptional heights. A truly transcendent album.
Charley Dunlap

Hummingbird and other Cindy Stratton cds are available here and CD Baby

'Hummingbird' is an attempt to capture moods and essences.
I put it together over the summer months with the aim of finding a new way of writing and singing that sometimes draws on the healing power of chant like harmonies and rhythms.
The songs probably still put me firmly in familiar singer-songwriter territory, but I hope anyone who has followed my music over the years will also hear something quite new and interesting in what I've done. Every artist wants to be heard and I hope to draw new listeners to my work as a singer and writer. Each song says something about life and love.
When I write I usually want to make something beautiful and timeless.
I hope you will find some beauty in what you hear on this album
.


Spring Newsletter 2015 - Hi Everyone!
News and Gigs coming up soon... Hi Everyone, Well, I have started noticing snow drops everywhere so spring must be on its way! Just want to let you know about a few things that are happening in Bath and Bristol this March. Firstly, our fabulous, all female choir Sassparella have a concert coming up on Saturday March 7th at St. Bartholomews' church in Oldfield Park, Bath. It will be a fun evening of singing, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. They will be supported by the fantastic and delightful Brejeiro, who specialise in Brazilian choro music.
Tickets cost £10 on the door, £8 concs or if booked in advance from www.sassparella.net
Doors open at 7.15. For early risers, you can come and support Sassparella at the Guildhall in Bath on Saturday March 21st at 9 am when they take part in the annual Mid Somerset Festival. Seating will be limited, so please check ticket prices and details with the festival organisers: www.midsomersetfestival.org.uk
Marius and I are really looking forward to Thursday 26th March when, courtesy of Jelli Records, we will be performing at the Bristol Fringe cafe/bar on Princess Victoria Street, Clifton, Bristol. BS84BZ. We will be doing what we do best, performing mostly original songs using guitar, piano and bass accompaniment. I will of course include some songs from my latest album 'Hummingbird'. ' An evening of sensational vocals and amazing bass playing is guaranteed'.
We hope to make it a night to remember! We will be supported by local singer/songwriter Bashema. Tickets cost £5 on the door and can also be purchased in advance from www.bristolticketshop.co.uk
I really hope some of you can make it, it would be fantastic to see you. Well, that's all my news for now. Here is wishing you all a wonderful spring, Love Cindy x

Autumn 2014 - Hi Everyone
!
Just want to let you know that I am very much looking forward to playing at the Rondo on Thurs 20th November and hope to see some of you there. I will be performing some songs from my new album to be called 'Hummingbird' which I really enjoyed making and which has a slightly different feel to previous work as I used my loop pedal to create sound textures and ideas on some of the tracks. The lyrical themes include universal love, gritty hangovers, loss and reconciliation.....just your average typical stuff really!! I will of course be selling some limited edition CD copies on the night. The second half of the evening is dedicated to performing the songs of Kate and Ann McGarrigle, and will feature lots of wonderful singers and musicians including Lucy Mott, Susie Wright, Ali Nourse, Marius Frank, Knud Stewe, Henry Shaftoe and Noll Cooper. I hope it will be a night to remember. Big thanks by the way to all those who came to support the recent concert at St. Michaels Without for EmergencyUK. We were very proud of our wonderful choir Sassparella who headlined the event and sang so well.
See you soon, Love Cindy xx

September 2014 Newsletter
Hello! As I sit here writing this newsletter, looking out of my window, with the leaves on the trees changing colour and observing that summer is busy turning into autumn, It brings to mind Stevie Wonder's fabulous song lyric in 'As', 'the seasons know exactly when to change' ... I hope this newsletter finds you all well and rested after what's after all been a great summer weather wise. I have spent much time this summer working on my new album, which is going to be launched in November, and which I can't wait to share with you! I hope you will enjoy listening to it as much as I have enjoyed working on it. More about that later. So here are a few things to brighten up your days and look forward to this autumn.
September - Firstly the choir Sassparella are going to be busy in a garden somewhere near you on the weekend on Sept 13th/14th, with performances at the Bradford on Avon festival and Stourhead festival of the voice. Sassparella will sing at about 9pm on Sat 13th in BOA, in St.Margarets Gardens, and then you can catch them at Stourhead dotted around the beautiful gardens at various times throughout the late morning and early afternoon on Sun 14th. Maybe see some of you there! Next on Wednesday 17th Sept Marius and I will be performing as a duo at the Mermaid Pub in St.Albans. I am very much looking forward to this return booking having had such a great evening last time! It was fabulous to see old friends and make some new ones. We really appreciate the support and can't wait to see you all again.
October - Sassparella, featuring the tenor Carlos Alonso, myself, ZBella and local community choir Song Club are going to be putting on a concert in aid of Emergency UK, a charity doing great work for civilian victims of war and poverty, at St. Michaels Without church in the centre of Bath on Sat 18th. Tickets cost just £10 and are available from emergencyukbath@gmail.com. November - This is definitely one for the diary!
Please come to the Rondo Theatre in Bath on Thurs Nov 20th to hear an evening of fabulous music by the McGarrigle sisters performed by my band. Hugely influential and spawning a musical dynasty, Kate and Anna McGarrigle were and still are loved and admired by many. Also, and very excitingly I will be launching my latest album on special edition CD's.

I will be joined by band members Marius Frank, Ali Nourse,Susie Wright, Knud Stewe, Lucy Mott and Henry Shaftoe. As usual expect scintillating harmonies and excellent musicianship. Tickets are £14/£12 concessions, and are available from the box office on 01225 463362.
Well, I think that's all for now. Looking forward to seeing you all soon, Love, light and laughter, Cindy !


May Newsletter
25th May
Bristol Acoustic Festival at the Colston Hall - Cindy Stratton with ZBella

Cindy Stratton with ZBella

May Newsletter
Hello everyone, Well it looks like spring is actually here! Not a moment too soon if you ask me. The sun and the longer days come as a relief after winter don't they? We have been busy here preparing for our forthcoming gigs in May, so this is just a reminder to let you know what you can look forward to! Sassparella and CSB/ZBella are taking part in 'Party in the City' the annual free event that marks the start of Bath's music festival on May 16th. You can see Sassparella, our wonderful 40 strong all female community choir at 8pmin St. Swithins Church, and later at 9.00 pm in Hall and Wodehouse you can come and hear ZBella and me performing our eclectic mix of originals and covers, both accapella an with instruments. As well as us there will be plenty of other things going on so it is set to be a fabulous evening.

Cindy with Sassparella

I am very excited to be taking part in this years Bristol acoustic festival to be held at the Colston Hall in Bristol on Sunday May 25th.
Here is the link for comprehensive information about all the stunning performances you can look forward to. http://www.colstonhall.org/shows/bristol-acoustic-music-festival/
ZBella and myself will be performing in the bar at 5pm.
I can't wait! I used to live at the back of the Colston Hall, hearing all the rigging and de-rigging (and boy racers in the middle of the night!) and have always wanted to perform there...
On Tuesday May 27th both Sassparella and ZBella will be performing in Bath again this time as part of the fringe festival on an evening dedicated to the voice in all it's wonderous glory. You can see us in the fabulous Speigletent from 8.50 till 9.15 and there will be all sorts of other amazing vocal treats in store for you. Tickets cost £6 and are available from Bath box office.
Here is a link to the programme that gives you all the information: http://www.bathfringe.co.uk/ Well, I really hope to see some of you later in the month!
By the way it was great to see those who made it to my gig with Marius Frank at The Mermaid pub in St. Albans recently. I had such a lovely time. I'm looking forward to a return visit soon.
I am also very excited to be returning to the Rondo Theatre in Bath on November 20th for an evening of original and Kate and Anna McGarrigle inspired music! That is going to be a very special night. More news about that nearer the time... Well that's all for now, Hope you are all happy and thriving, Love Cindy

Winter 2013 Newsletter
As we approach Christmas we are preparing for the Annual Sassparella Seasonal Concert. It was such a success last year we have decided to make it a regular event. It was a lovely opportunity for friends and family (and the general public) to hear the choir performing in a lovely setting with time to mingle over mulled wine and mince pies during the interval. This year my band will be supporting Sassparella and our accapella group ZBella will be making an appearance. Finally, we have a special guest, a local tenor called Carlos Alonso, who will perform a couple of pieces. It promises to be an entertaining and eclectic evening of musical delights! Do come.
Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Sassparella website: sassparella.net and will also be available on the door - see poster below
Sat November 30th, Cindy Stratton, ZBella, Sassparella at St. Bartholomews Church
Edward Road, Oldfield Park, Bath. Doors open at 7.00. Tickets cost £7/6 concessions in advance and £8/7 on the night.
Really hope some of you can make it. Look forward to seeing you then. Cindy xx



A wee bit of footage from last 'Shadows and Light' rehearsal!

Cindy’s newsletter: March 2013

New Album & Gig News
Dear friends, It looks like spring is on its way.....I can't wait to slough off all these layers of jumpers,cardigans, coats, scarves, hats, gloves....oh to walk out of the house and not have one's face frozen in a rigour-mortis style grimace... To help put a spring in your step, (see what I did there?) why not buy a copy of my lovely new album Naked? I'm so pleased to be able to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it. I do feel there is pretty much something for everyone on it, folk, gospel, soul, Latin.... You can have a listen, download, or buy the CD from bandcamp, or just let me know your address (via the box on the right of this text) and I will post you one.
On a different note here are a few dates for your diary: Next weekend in you happen to be in Bath Marius and I can be found taking part in the literary festivals folk song challenge. Catch us on Friday March 8th at the Hall and Woodhouse bar and restaurant between 5.30 and 6.30 pm, and on Sunday March 10th at The Guildhall between 8 and 9 pm. On Friday May 24th we are taking part in the opening night of Baths Music festival, ' Party in the City'. This is a fantastic event so much great music to see and hear. Catch us at the following: Cindy and Marius at the Guildhall at 7 pm Sassparella at St.Michaels Without (opposite Waitrose) at 8 pm ZBella at the above at 9pm! A busy and fun evening for us! Well, that's all for now, Thanks to all who came to the Rondo, we had a great time. Love Cindy xx

'Naked' Album notes:
This album has some brand new songs on it, some previously unrecorded material and a couple of older numbers that have been re visited.
What’s lovely for me is that the singers and musicians I work with most these days in the Cindy Stratton Band are all featured here somewhere. This makes the album very special for me.
Hopefully the songs speak for themselves, but I have written a little bit about some of the individual tracks.
A big thank you to two special people: Toby Charlwood at Tobes Music, who put in hours of mixing and mastering to get each track sounding amazing, and Marius Frank who spent hours recording me.
Hope you enjoy the album..

Listen/Buy via Bandcamp





This is a special film film made by Tasha Hollywood RIP for 'Missing Pieces'. We had a really great day together, and we tried to capture the spirit of the song. Tasha put her special touch to the animation. People said Cartoon Cindy looked more like the real Cindy than I do!. Lots of fond memories.
A sad song but a happy day. Tasha was a beautiful creative soul.


WINTER 2012
Dear all, Hope you’re all thriving and surviving! Just want to let you know about a concert that’s coming up in February. Here’s some information. Date for your diary Sat 16th Feb 2013 with the Cindy Stratton Band and Z’Bella. I hope to be launching a new CD on that night, so am very excited and very busy preparing and recording songs for it! If any of you have any old favourites of mine that you feel you would like to hear again, but recorded in an acoustic setting, do let me know, and your choice may appear on the new album. More news nearer the time. Thanks to those of you who managed to make it to the Sassparella concert on Saturday at St Barts in Oldfield Park (and if you followed the Venue instructions to St Barts in Bristol… sorry! Not our fault!). It was a fabulous first outing for the community choir that Marius and I are now running. We also had the great pleasure of being joined by Brejiero, who are an amazing ensemble who play Latin American folk music on guitars, mandolin and percussion. If you get the chance to see them, take it! I will make sure you all know about the next Sassparella concert. Both Z’Bella and Sassparella hope to be at the opening of the Bath International Festival next summer. Fingers crossed! Have a very happy festive time and see you soon, Love Cindy

SPRING 2012
Hello all, Wow, the weather has been and still is amazing…making me think of long, hot days and warm evenings to come. However, this is England and it doesn’t do to get your hopes up, but hey, maybe we’re going to have a great summer…
Let me tell you about some of my forthcoming gigs in May and June.
There will be a couple of outings for ZBella our fab four piece singing ensemble, and a special gig in my hometown for Cindy Stratton and Marius Frank! Can’t actually believe this will be the first time I have ever performed in St.Albans, but there we are! I remember as a teenager being very inspired by all the bands I used to see in pubs and going regularly to the civic hall to hear whoever was on that week. It was quite an education! I saw amongst others, Budgie ( VERY loud), ACDC, Split Enz ( who went on to become Crowded House) Dire Straits, the Kinks, and my favourite band ever Talking Heads……halcyon days really…..!
I know the live music scene is thriving in St.Albans and I feel quite honoured to be a part of it for one evening. Marius and I will be performing a lot of my original music and some very choice covers including songs from our recent Joni Mitchell review.
So, if any of you are around and about the area on Tues May 22nd come and support us on Ruby Tuesday at The White Lion in St. Albans. The address is 91Sopwell Lane, St.Albans, Herts AL11RN.
On May 17th, Marius and I plus ZBella will be performing at Widcombe Social Club, Widcome Parade Bath, along with some other fine bands and we are hoping to raise funds to help towards the new exciting venue to be built soon. Come and support what will be a great evening of diverse and wonderful music.
Then on Friday June 1st ZBella will be singing in the United Reform Church in Bath at approx 9 pm as part of the fabulous party in the city to open the prestigious Bath music Festival. Details will be in the programme.
So there is a lot to look forward, not least seeing some of you lovely people along the way!
Big Love, Cindy

Venue Magazine Review of new album 'Portraits of Life and Love'

For this album, singer and songwriter Cindy has gathered together an impressive bunch of local musicians and written some of the most powerful songs of her career.All but one of the 11 tracks were written by Cindy; the exception being a lovely version of the 17th century song 'N'esperez Plus Mes Yeux", featuring just her gorgeous voice and acoustic guitar. Song content and musical style vary widely, with 'Warrior' verging on prog-rock whilst opener 'All Fall Apart' is a real tear jerker. Great credit must also be given to co-producer and musician Marius Frank. Also worthy of mention are the awesome violin playing of Ali Norse and piano work of Stephen Marquiss.
If anything, this album proves that a good songwriter only gets better with age, and Cindy has matured into a brilliant one, this album being far stronger than her early work which almost saw her signed to a major label.
Come back and have another listen, chaps. (Tony Slinger) ****

New Album
Portraits of Life and Love

This new album of music reflects Cindy’s acoustic roots and love of harmony. With melody firmly at the heart of each well-crafted song, Cindy’s voice engages and moves the listener. Each track benefits from a different arrangement, ranging from the simplicity of ‘Autumn Morning’, just voice and piano, or ‘All Fall Apart’, voice and guitar, to tracks like ‘Falling Snow’ featuring bass, percussion, guitar, piano, cello and violin.‘Beyond Black’, the story of a medium and inspired by Hilary Mantel’s wonderful book of the same title, has a dramatic feel, and the beautiful ‘Wild One’ reflects the albums title by telling a story, a portrait of a man, a woman, and a baby. ‘Warrior’ is about a boy going to war told from a mother’s perspective, and ‘Bats in the Belfry’ reflects the desire to escape and leave it all behind, ‘Put her in an aeroplane, send her up to the sky’ ...‘Ne’s Perez Plus Mes Yeaux’, the only cover on the album, is a beautiful 15th century love song by Antoine Boesset: ‘I decided to put this one on because it always goes down so well whenever I include it in a live performance. It’s just such a beautiful melody’, says Cindy
With this recording, Cindy was keen to keep a live feel and mostly recordedeach vocal track in one take, quite a brave move considering how difficult it can e to leave things as they are instead of ‘perfecting’ each little nuance. ‘I was relly keen not to overproduce and flatten out the sound of this album. It’s often so ifficult to capture the energy of a live performance when in the studio, and there i a huge temptation to do it again in case next time it’s even better. Where do yo stop? You can’t go back and do it again when performing live, so I really ried to stick that principle in the studio. It’s all about feel and energy’
It’s Cindy’s intention, with this collection of songs, to present the listener with a refreshing change from at prore commercially oriented music, and to take them on a quiet little journey, wiat prh unexpected beautiful views, and the occasional twist in the road.

 

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