Monday, October 19, 2009

“At Home With Friends”

I was immediately taken by Joshua Bell's new album, "At Home With Friends". It's a beautiful record. One2One gave me the opportunity to review this for my blog and I was thrilled! I hadn't heard much about Joshua Bell before, but once I saw the lineup of talents that would be performing with him, I knew this was going to be something special.

Check out this cast of performers!

Album Tracklisting (Originally performed by):
I Loves You Porgy featuring Chris Botti, trumpet
Come Again featuring Sting, vocals
Oblivion featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Cinema Paradiso featuring Josh Groban, vocals
Para Tí featuring Tiempo Libre, various
My Funny Valentine featuring Kristin Chenoweth, vocals
Maybe So featuring Edgar Meyer Sam Bush and Mike Marshall, strings
Grieg: Sonata No. 3 featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff (Zenph re-performance)
Eleanor Rigby featuring Frankie Moreno, piano & vocals
O, Cease Thy Maiden Fair featuring Nathan Gunn, baritone
Il Postino featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Left Hand Song featuring Regina Spektor, piano & vocals
Chovendo Na Roseira featuring Dave Grusin, piano
Look Away featuring Edgar Meyer, bass and Chris Thile, mandolin
Variant Moods: Duet for Sitar & Violin featuring Anoushka Shankar, sitar
I'll Take Manhattan featuring Marvin Hamlisch, piano

Isn't it so impressive?! Josh Groban, Sting, Chris Botti, Regina Spektor, Kristen Chenowith, Marvin Hamlisch and the list goes on!

Joshua Bell is a Grammy Award-winning violinist and this album is a series of duets (both vocal and instrumental) with some of today's most talented players and singers. I was blown away by the beauty of this album and its diversity of styles. Just fabulous.

Believe me when I say, this is not an album exclusively for classical music fans. I do not classify myself as one who listens to much classical music, or violin music for that matter. I really loved this album and think it will appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

I especially love My Funny Valentine, I Loves You Porgy and Il Postino. But the whole album is gorgeous. I don't think there's a bad track on the whole album.

This album really feels like a night "At Home With Friends"...really talented, musical friends! Wouldn't it be lovely to have a life full of musical friends you could just call over for a night of music? Joshua Bell, in a way, gives us this opportunity. He really does take us to a place that feels like we're a part of the magic. It's wonderful.

Some other links to give you more info:

Joshua’s website:


Harry Connick, Jr. Your Songs

When the One2One Network offered me the opportunity to review Harry Connick, Jr.'s new album, Your Songs, I jumped at the chance. I've always been a fan of his. I love his sultry New Orleans draw and the smooth, sexy sound of his voice.

Your songs is a diverse collection of covers. He covers songs by The Beatles, Billy Joel, Elvis Presley and many others. Here's a tracklist:

Album Tracklisting (Originally performed by):

All The Way (Frank Sinatra)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)
And I Love Her (The Beatles)
(They Long To Be) Close To You (The Carpenters)
Besame Mucho
The Way You Look Tonight
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Roberta Flack)
Your Song (Elton John)
Some Enchanted Evening
And I Love You So (Don McLean)
Who Can I Turn To? (Tony Bennett)
Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole)

I especially love his covers of All The Way, Besame Mucho and Smile. His voice is so smooth and lush. Just lovely and perfect for these songs.

This album is such a nice listen. Perfect for the background of a dinner party or for long summer drives (or fall ones!) If you're a fan of this crooning style, I think you'll definitely enjoy this.

This album is just what it's titled! It's a collection of your songs. Songs just for you that you already love! If you're anything like me, you'll be singing along in no time!

Here's a few links to give you even more Harry Connick, Jr. goodness!

Behind the Scenes look at ‘Making of’ the album:
Harry’s website:


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gas Garden Trivia

Calling all trivia and photo-hunt lovers! Looking for a fun, free way to earn gas cards? Gas Garden Trivia is just that! All you have to do is sign up (It's free!) and start playing games. It's that simple. Plus, everyday a new daily puzzle is posted, complete it and earn 40 points! When you earn 1100 points, you can redeem for a free $5 gas card. It's that simple! I haven't been playing for very long, but I've already earned 1800 points! (I'm saving for the $10 card!)

Be sure to follow Gabby (@GasGardenTrivia) on twitter and sign up for Gas Garden Trivia! Tell her Jodi sent you! :)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brandi Carlile -- Give Up the Ghost

The One2One Network gave me the opportunity to listen to and review Brandi Carlile's new album, Give Up The Ghost, and I was instantly impressed. The first track, Looking Out, is a powerful hook and the strength just keeps coming with each song after that. Her style has been compared to KT Tunstall and Rachael Yamagata. Brandi's vocals are big and full of beauty. Her voice literally soars at moments that are just wonderful. Paste Magazine named Brandi "the best voice in indie rock" and I totally agree. Her voice is a powerhouse with a tremendous range that's really gorgeous.

Brandi also had the opportunity to do a duet with her idol, Elton John, on the track "Caroline". It's a fun, upbeat folksong with great harmonies. This album is full of amazing songs. It's a great variety of tempos that makes the album a really fabulous listen.

Can you tell I was really taken by this album? I honestly didn't expect to like this as much as I do. I'm not sure why, I guess I thought Brandi Carlile would just be another female singer songwriter. Boy, was I wrong! Her voice is the best I've heard in a long, long time and her songwriting matches right up. This is a fantastic album. You should definitely check it out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Moda di Magno Silver Jewelry

Tonight I participated in a Project Runway twitter party from @CleverGirlsColl and won a gift certificate to Lori Magno's beautiful jewelry shop, Moda di Magno. Lori handcrafts lovely, unique silver pieces from her studio in Winchester, MA. It took me awhile to choose which piece I wanted to buy because they're all gorgeous! I finally decided on the Laurel Pendant:

Lori used a button from her grandmother's button jar for the design and I love the vintage feel of it! It's so pretty. I can't wait to receive it so I can show it off. I know I'll be getting plenty of compliments on it!

Moda di Magno has a great variety of pieces too, from classic to whimsical. There's something for everyone in the shop. I really love that the types and the sizes of the jewelry pieces vary also. So whether you're looking for a large statement piece or a smaller everyday one, you'll have choices here. Check out some more pics. Such lovely stuff!

Moda Olmstead Fern Necklace

Cherry Blossom Ring

India Paisley Drop Earrings

The pieces really do speak for themselves, don't they? There are so many other beautiful pieces in her shop too. I could just post all of their pictures here, lol, but you'll have to go check out her shop yourself! I'm a big fan of silver jewelry and these look fantastic. Any of them would make a wonderful addition to your jewelry wardrobe. And as a reader of my blog, Moda di Magno is offering a 20% discount so you can choose a new piece for your collection at a lower price!

Visit ModadiMagno's
SAVE 20.00 % On
All Items
Use Coupon Code:
Moda di Magno

Doesn't a sale always help you feel better about a purchase?! I know always feel better when I use a coupon. The coupon is only good for 2 weeks and expires on 10/24/09 so don't dilly dally! Just enter coupon code: CRAZEYPOET20 at checkout to apply the discount to your order! (My twitter name is crazeypoet if the code confused you!) So don't waste any time! Go shop! **Also, Lori is offering Free Shipping on all US orders until 10/12 with no coupon needed! (Another reason not to procrastinate!) **

**Be sure to check out Moda di Magno's Blog
& follow her on twitter!**