Queer, talented, and on their own: a handful of unsigned out artists whose CDs are making waves with adventurous audiences.
Automatic Fun, The Bobbleheads; Distance to Empty, John Ashfield: Lead Bobblehead and solo artist John Ashfield sings and plays like a man in love. And not just any love--he's grooving to the sweet joy of the perfect pop song from 1970. But don't confuse catchy with kitschy; his lyrics will blindside you with naked honesty. Ashfield's second solo CD (coming out in June) is darker, but in his world it's always a sunshiny day.
www.BobCentry.com, Bob Gentry: Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Bob Gentry has an eat" for hooks and a voice that easily moves from velvet whisper to gravelly shout. His songs follow a similar path. "Goldie Hawn," a bouncy sing-along about holding on to fading youth, draws you in, but the complex emotions of "But I Do" and "Somebody New" resonate with repeated listening.
Girl Like Me ..., K.J. Denhert: The cover of K.J. Denhert's latest release comes with a warning label: "Urban Folk & Jazz Artist." If only every coffeehouse and small club had Denhert on tap. Her laid-back grooves and smooth vocal style invite you to sit back, close your eyes, tap your foot, and drink in the coolness.
Ballad, D.C. Anderson: D.C. Anderson gives the fey and stuffy cabaret genre a good kick in the pants. Several of these 11 original songs sound like unearthed classics from the Great American Songbook ("I Don't Know My Way Around a Dream"). Anderson can emote with the best but does so sparingly, balancing the drama with Tom Lehrer--style humor.
Coming Together, PEP: The debut release from female vocalist PEP offers guitar-driven tunes, tasty organ fills, and a deliver, punctuated by a raw, sexy growl. She stakes her claim to traditional rock topics as the women in her songs strut and preen, beg a partner for forgiveness, or try to remember who it is they're waking up next to.
Black.out, Tori Fixx: Minneapolis-based hip-hop artist Tori Fixx likes to think big, and he's got the goods to back up his ambition. Black.out is the first disc in a trilogy prepped for release. The 16 tracks here offer funky jams, steamy beats, sexy humor, and sly nods to styles ranging from Harlem jazz to do-it-yourself Prince.
Davis is the editor of UCLAlumni magazine.
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|Publication:||The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)|
|Date:||May 11, 2004|
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