Carol Lester
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Carol Lester

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | INDIE

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Carol Lester From MamaPUBlooza Publishing"

Carol Lester and Pilley Bianchi Partners in MAMAPUBLOOZA Publishing named Judges for prestigious inernational song contest!! www.Independent Music - IMA International Music Awards

"Kim Gandy NOW Prez!"

National Organization of Women Prez Kim Gandy raved about the song over the phone!!
"I Reject Your Proposition My Body Doesn't Need Your Damn Permission" - On Telephone June 2007!

"Music Reviews: Carol Lester "Spill My Soul""

For The full article and photo paste:

Format: Nine-song full-length album. The “bonus” here is a Spanish-language reinterpretation of the title track, and it’s pretty cool. There’s nothing particularly Latin about Lester’s voice or music, so when she turns around and drops her translated verses in fluent Spanish, the earnestness of the gesture broadens the impact of an already moving song.

Fidelity: Decent enough. The acoustic guitar sounds a little fizzy, but that could just be Lester’s instrument. Her voice goes down to tape with impeccable clarity – you can hear every word she sings, and follow her stories easily. Percussion here is muted, but that is almost certainly by design. The bigger problem is the bottom segment of the frequency spectrum often sounds flaccid: the kick drum (when it’s there) feels flat, and the bass guitar is never the bulwark it ought to be.

Genre: Singer-songwriter, light vocal jazz. About half of Spill My Soul is straightforward acoustic-rock storytelling: effective and tuneful, but easily digestible, too. The other half of the album consists of complex Court and Spark-ish lounge songs. This side of Lester is a little jarring at first – you don’t usually hear modern singer-songwriters playing around with changes like these, or that super-clean L.A. Express lead guitar – but is ultimately more interesting.

Arrangements: Strummed acoustic guitar underpins most of the songs, but on the more successful arrangements (“Unrequited Love,” the title track, the Vega-ish “Clear Through The Day”) you’ll never notice it’s there. Each song gets its share of percussion, too, but the best parts are the simplest – the bongos on “Spill My Soul,” the shaker on “If I Let.” Lester tries full rock drums and even some distorted guitar on “Big Boys” and “To Be High,” the two most straightforward numbers; elsewhere, she makes a lot of room for guitar solos by her accompanyists. Synth sounds are stock digital Nineties stuff, but I find them invariably effective – especially the glassy, crisp electric piano. Lester is very good at double- and triple-tracking tight harmonies, and you’ll wonder why she doesn’t do that more.

What's this record about?: Attempts to transcend crippling personal insecurity. Lester’s characters are confronted by their inhibitions and situations where they feel outclassed: in “Tarot,” the narrator walks, tentatively, into Maxwell’s to get a gig, and instead of confronting the booking agent, she gets lured into a distracting panic by a card reader. Lester might have figured out a way to play with the “Big Boys,” but only after running home in pain and shame after getting outmaneuvered and beaten down. She counts the years spent lost in unrequited love, and counsels herself to toughen up and seize control. Most affecting of all is “Honeysuckle Slumber,” a song about shielding a young child from the “leopards and cheetahs” in the elementary-school bleachers. Here, both the passage of time and the harshness of the outside world are presented as undefeatable opponents; ruefully, Lester pulls the shades and keeps her kid home with her. These are portraits of intelligent, big-hearted, overwhelmed women – screwing up courage, strapping the gloves on, taking time to gather themselves for the charge.

The singer: Usually on the mark. Lester sings in a tonally-pure, straightforward and adult voice; revealing, open, and inviting. It works best on the jazz numbers, particularly the breezy bridge of “Honeysuckle Slumber”; if she doesn’t bother with the usual lounge faux-sophistication, her earnestness and tunefulness makes the scenario completely inhabitable. Other smooth jazz moves are comparably charming – at the end of “Unrequited Love,” she cautiously trots out a little vocal percussion. It’s only on the more “rock” moments (the end of “Accept Them,” the chorus of “Big Boys”) that Lester overreaches, and strains herself. Those moments are fleeting.

The band: Lester favors big, broad chords on the acoustic guitar. The drummers follow the strum patterns, and sometimes so effectively that the underpinning six-string becomes an afterthought. Likewise, Lester’s bass players follow the tonal roots of her chords – even on a song like “Spill My Soul,” that seems to invite a busy Level 42-type fusion bass part, there’s very little bottom-end activity. Consequently, some of these songs don’t feel as full as they were probably intended. (An exception is “Unrequited Love,” where bassist Dave Richards uses an upright rather than a washed-out electric – there, he makes his presence felt.) Filling the space is lead guitar, and lots of it: Lester’s sidemen riff and solo with abandon not usually heard on singer-songwriter records. It’s not exactly fair to call these parts distracting, but they rarely add as much to the songs as they mean to.

The songs: Hooky, memorable, traditionally constructed and always well-written. If the straightforward rockers are reminiscent of Nomads Indians Saints-era Indigo Girls, the jazz numbers are anything but: “Honeysuckle Slumber” wears its melodic sophistication proudly, and “Unrequited Love” is practically a Turnpike bossa nova. If the harmonic threads of the rockers always tie up neatly, the jazz tunes are deliberately unresolved; there, she likes major sevens and sixes, and ending phrases in unexpected places.

What differentiates this record from others of its genre?: Despite the current popularity of Norah Jones, very few contemporary singer-songwriters incorporate much lounge jazz into their writing. Jones’s followers – or just those, like Jolie Holland and Jaymay, who’ve made a mark in the wake of her success – tend to go straight to the source and cop licks straight from Billie Holiday 78s. Lester doesn’t do that. Her jazz songs are much closer to the compositions that Anita Baker (or even Billy Ocean) made famous in the mid-Eighties. But Lester isn’t a soul singer. Imagine a warm-hearted North Jersey folkie singing frothy pop-jazz, and you’ve got a handle on what makes Spill My Soul an unusual set of recordings.

What's not so good?: See “the band.” It’s not that her guitarists are poor, or unimaginative, or badly directed – it’s just that they’ve got so much space to play with that their parts feel overly prominent. If Lester had been working with a bass player familiar with jazz idiom, this wouldn’t have happened. Lester needs a bottom end sturdy enough to support her well-developed top.

Recommended?: Snippets of new recordings from Carol Lester’s website show the singer moving in a new direction altogether: more fragmentary, brassy, and beat-oriented. She’s still got her acoustic guitar, though, and in performance, she presents herself as a singer-songwriter. If you’re a fan of the genre, be sure to pick up this record and understand where she’s coming from – because it’s pretty clear that where she’s going will be unusual indeed.

Where can I get a copy/hear more?: The website: Or just look for her around town.
- Chilltown Magazine

"The Constant Listener, Jim Testa"

Jersey City native Carol Lester is a solo artist of another stripe, one who would have certainlybeen called a folk singer just a few years ago. But Lester doesn;t sing folk songs; she writes her own material, mostly romantic love songs that she performs with a delicate, fluid, soprano voice and tasty stripped-down accompaniment.

"Spill My Soul" Lester's self released CD collects 10 of her original compositions, which definitely show a Hudson County influence. WHile her style is jazzy pop that recalls the young Joni Mitchell, Lester incorporates LAtin and Brazilian influences.

Her delightful bio says she's in demand at "art Festivals, Healing Cirlces, Churches and Schools as well as smoky bars and poet/painter hangouts." Which pretty much sums up her appeal. When not writing, recording, or performing Lester is a full time mom, a part time community activist and (according to her bio) oftena neurotic mess.

You;d never know it by listening to her CD. This is one woman whgo osunds like she has it all together.

"Spill My Soul" is available on her website - The Jersey Journal

"Cheltenham's Carol LEster Joins Line Up for This month's SOS Concert"

Cheltenham's own Carol LEster returns to familiar surroundings as one of several artists to play at this month's SOS (songwriter's Original Showcase) concert. The line up will inlcude such talents as Philadelphia native son Ben Arnold, pinaist Stephen DiJoseph, Debra LEee of Vujaday and Rick Denzien, ................................

- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Let Go and Fly. The Exuberant Music of Carol Lester"

withthe fragile instrument of Annie Haslem and Beth William's perfect enunciation, Lester weaves a soft tapestry of observations you can curl up in......

One signature tune "Crash" done live in rap form is so energetic you just want to get up and find the nearest stairmaster....It jumps at you form the first lyric "stand and receive/let go and fly/let it all crash over you and wahs you out to sea/ Lt it all crash through you and knock you off your feet."

YOu get this release of stress that starts in the neck an dshoulders and works its way donw. It's quicker and cheaper than therapy. Holistic Folkie?? Decide for yourself

Carol appears at Maxwell's on January 30th - The Hudson Current, Joe Del Priore


Carol Lester's INDIE CDs
"Fountain of Life", "Spill My Soul", "Feed The Love"
Singles on Compilation CDs:
"Questions of The Ages" on Sounds of Hope NYC,
NY Artists Remember 9/11.
"Honeysuckle Slumber" on Best of
WNTI 45th Anniversary.
"Feed The Love Starve the War" Moms WHo Rock MAmapalooza Volume 2 CD.
Lisenced for Radio /TV
"Together We Can Save a Life" on TIme Warner Cable Public Service TV Ads For The Red Cross
"How Dare You" Underscoring tv and radio ads for USA TV original movie Secret Cutting



Carol Lester’s ASCAP & UNISONG Award Winning Songs songs have been on National TV and Radio underscoring advertisements, and have been chosen for Competitive Showcases by ASCAP, NYC and Starbucks "Artists on The Verge". In 2006 Carol receieved an ASCAPPLUS Award and her song Feed The Love Starve the War was a Unisong Interntaitonal Song Contest Finalist. Carol is invited to local regional and national events to sing songs of peace, envrironmentalism and women's right. Her songs have been included in competitive submisison compilation cd's. Carol was made partner last year in MamaPUblooza Publishing, helping mom songwriters to unite and earn publishing fees for their music.
Her extraordinary voice and music have been in published reviews as “Reminiscent of early Joni Mitchel…” and “Nora Jones-esque..”