It's a Wonderful Life
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It's a Wonderful Life

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The best kept secret in music

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While her previous release, 2001's Live at the Galaxy, showcased this southern California favorite's singing and songwriting in the barest guitar-and-vocal setting, Kerry Getz fares well all dressed up in Martin Beal's tasteful Aimee Mann—influenced folk-pop production. Her fine acoustic picking is occasionally buried in the washes of keyboards and programming, but Getz' rich, dreamy voice rises up from the emotional depths of the soul-searching and star-gazing lyrics, floating through the chiming, atmospheric arrangements with an allure that fans of Shawn Colvin and Dar Williams should find irresistible. Getz's cover versions ("Walk Away Renee" on Live, Jackson Browne's "Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate" here) indicate the kind of boomer influences she's woven into an original vision and sumptuous sound. (World in Motion, www.worldinmotionrecords.com)
—Derk Richardson
- Acoustic Guitar


California singer-songwriter Kerry Getz says that when she was a kid, her older brother got an acoustic guitar from Santa, and while he was in school, Kerry would surreptitiously teach herself Christmas carols on the instrument. Today her CD, It's a Wonderful Life, on World in Motion Records shows off her full talents, with some Christmastime originals as well as rich folk-rock arrangements of lesser-performed carols such as "Lullay Lully" and "The Wexford Carol."
- National Public Radio


Liner Notes
Kerry Getz loves Jackson Browne. As evidence, she recorded "Sleep's Dark And Silent Gate" on her Little Victory CD and she named her record company after his 1989 album, World In Motion. So you have to wonder if she was more thrilled about her #31 placing on the Orange County Weekly's recent list of the 129 Greatest OC Bands Ever, or the fact that Jackson was named just three slots ahead of her at #28.

Okay, that's a not-so-reasonably clever way to start off a feature, but c'mon…how much stock should you place in a list made by one of those alternative weeklies, anyway? Well, if you've never taken a moment to really listen to Kerry, you might want to dust off your copy of 2002's Little Victory or her more recent It's A Wonderful Life so you can discover why the OC Weekly named Kerry Getz #31 when Junior Watson and Dick Dale could only muster up a #16 and #22 showing, respectively. Or why she finished right behind Tim Buckley and 19 places ahead of José Feliciano. But you know what? That ain't the half of it. Where do you suppose Orange County's most famous hit-makers, The Offspring and No Doubt, finished on this here list? Numbers one and two, you figure? Ha! Try #72 and #118. For chrissakes, even The Righteous Brothers finished 98 places behind Kerry Getz!

Still not convinced? It's a local paper writing about local artists, so what kind of perspective does that offer? That's a fair question. The Los Angeles Times gave It's A Wonderful Life, Kerry's newest CD, 3 ½ stars out of a possible four. Feeling a bit cynical today? L.A. is basically North Orange County, you say? Sorry, O.C. and L.A. are two different worlds, but okay, maybe you'll get all warm and tingly at the fact that National Public Radio featured Kerry not once but twice in the past three months. And they don't have any vested interest whatsoever in where she's from. Need more coaxing? Jeez, you are a tough cookie. Okay, see the radio quotes a little lower on this page? Every person we hit up for a quote gave us one. Do you know how often we get 100% response when we ask for a quote for these Artist Of The Week features? Can you say 0%? Hell, Gene Murrell at WWVV sent us his comment unsolicited!

"But it's January, so why should I play a Christmas album now?" Go listen to "Suspended In December," and make a note of every time she references Santa or Christmas or Chanukah or reindeer or anything else that even remotely sounds like Christmas. Go ahead, we'll wait. You might wanna listen twice just in case you missed a quick, mumbled mention of Rudolph, mangers or the three wise men. We're waiting.

The Musicians
Kerry Getz (vocals, guitar); Martin Beal (guitar, bass, percussion, keys); Rick Campos (drums); Landon Donsbach (upright bass); Barry Hovis (keys); Jason Feddy (backing vocals).
Will Appeal To Fans Of
Jewel, Dar Williams, Shawn Colvin, Jackson Browne.

Site
www.worldinmotionrecords.com

Already On
WMFO Medford/Boston
WNCW Spindale-Asheville/Greenville/Spartanburg, NC
WNKU Highland Heights, KY/Cincinnati
KDNK Carbondale/Aspen
WCBE Columbus, OH
WUKY Lexington
KFAN Fredericksburg, TX
KROK DeRidder, LA
KSLU Hammond, LA
KUWR (Wyoming Public Radio) Laramie/Cheyenne
…and more!

What Is Radio Saying?
"Kerry Getz continues to polish her formidable songwriting and vocal skills while stepping up her production values. Getz's natural charisma still shines through, with personal songs many will relate to. Her constant gigging in Southern California and steady pursuit of Triple A airplay continue to build her reputation for great music. Here's hoping a steady stream of cookies in the mail to PDs and MDs won't get her a payola warrant."
—Jim Manion, PD/MD, WFHB Bloomington, IN

"Kerry's got an effortlessness to her voice that really puts you at home in her world. She paints a vivid aural picture of places and emotions, with memorable melodies...what's not to like? We'd play her even if Becca stopped enclosing cookies!"
—Sandy Blackwell, MD, KROK DeRidder, LA

"Kerry is one of the most talented songwriters I know. We have shared the stage many times (in my former musician life) and when she came across my desk, I was surprised and elated. We added ‘Little Victory' and ‘Christmastime Is Here,' respectively. I look forward to hearing more of her music and can't wait to see what's in store for her. Her time has come!"
—Gene Murrell, MD, WWVV (Wave 104.9) Hilton Head, SC/Savannah, GA

"Kerry combines dreamy vocals with a pop sensibility that would appeal to anyone who likes the work of Dar Williams or Jewel."
—Skip Naft, PD/MD, KDNK Carbondale/Aspen
- www.triplearadio.com


"I was raised in the Southern California town of Arcadia. I grew up with music and there was a piano in our house," says singer/songwriter Kerry Getz. "My mother -- she was a child prodigy on the piano. I taught myself to play on her piano by picking out a song I heard, but I didn't take piano lessons."

On the West Coast, Getz's music wins accolades from appreciative critics who rave about her "lush, diverse and poignant... songs... delivered in a voice brimming with the same attributes."

Getz has made several national tours, but has never gained the wide audience her admiring critics and fans think she deserves. But she has three albums out on World In Motion Records, with a new one due out at Christmas, followed by another tour.

Getz has a loyal following on the West Coast, where music critic Dave Wielenga has dubbed her "the minstrel of Orange County." In California, she plays venues such as the Greek Theatre in L.A., the Galaxy in Santa Ana and the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. She has also taken her act to small towns like Greeley, Colo., and bigger cities like Memphis and Austin.

Expressiveness and haunting clarity are the hallmarks of Getz the singer. Her first album Apollo arrived in 1997. Los Angeles Times critic Mike Boehm said at the time: "Its level of performance and songwriting artistry and its first-rate production values make it clear that Getz... is up to the national platform she deserves."

Getz tends to juxtapose her vibrant voice against dark and disturbing human experiences. Take the eerily haunting song "Cyclone." It's a song about one of God's true innocents, a young woman who is tragically murdered by her stalker.
"She wore bells around her ankles and ribbons/in her hair/And she danced just like a cyclone at a small town country fair/And she didn’t see him watching from the shadows/No. She never saw him there."

Reflecting on the song, Getz muses, "Writers, I admit, can take a subject that may be so dark and bring some strange beauty to it based on their imagination. There was this girl whom I saw dancing. She was oblivious the world around her. She wore ribbons and bells around her ankles. And I just put her in this song with the serial killer. There's a lot of mortality in my songs."

A more personal brush with mortality is "Inhale," a deeply felt tribute to the older brother whose guitar she confiscated as a little girl and held on to until she could play it. Getz says she wrote the song after Kurt died at age 35 from a drug overdose.
"Sunlight and shadow. There I am/I'm darkness and light./I can't be caught. Can't be held/Close your eyes/And there I am/As the dream starts to fade/I'm not quite here but I'm not quite there/you can reach out for me/There I am."

The singer assumes the dead brother's spirit voice, affirming that he will live on within her. "Inhale, hold it. There I am/I'm part of you now./You're my glove. My balloon/But not for long./You exhale. Then I'm gone."

Getz's latest album is Little Victory.

The songwriting is strong, passionate and poetic. The anguish of conflicted love is a recurring theme. In the folk-rock ballad, "0cean in a Bottle," Getz's voice aches with the day-after heartbreak of knowing that a love affair is going nowhere:
"I don't want to see/what's happening to we/how did we get here/we let go of the throttle/an ocean in a bottle... /we're droning about things/like sympathetic strings/shadowboxing the familiar/so here we go again/this is where you will pretend that you can't hear me/I'm calling I'm calling."

Getz's songs illumine the heartbreak of losses but they let you feel life's fragile beauty. For even the most desolate romantic, Getz holds out hope. In her title song, "Little Victory," she tells us:
"can't you see every day's a little victory/it'll all work out eventually/just hold on/can't you see every day's a little victory/find the beauty in the mystery/and I'll be there."
- "Musings with Alphonse Vinh," National Public Radio


Commercial "live" releases have traditionally worked best when the music is delivered loud and hard, with the sound of audience cheers and freewheeling performances combining to immortalize seminal releases such as Cheap Trick's Live at Budokan and Neil Young's Arc/Weld triple-disc masterpiece.
Acoustic-style efforts recorded in front of an audience are a more difficult beast to reel in no matter the power of the artist. But, Orange County singer-songwriter Kerry Getz has defied the odds on her newly released Live at the Galaxy, a worthy follow-up to Apollo (1997).
While Getz alone delivers all seven songs on the disc to the accompaniment of her acoustic guitar, there is plenty of variety. On "Why Am I So Uncool?" Getz sings in a jazzy style displaying her impressive skills as a singer able to navigate every note and phrase perfectly.
On "Another Fine Mess" and "After All This Time" her soprano is even more brilliant. Getz's original stories of romantic loss are anything but cliché, exploring the mysteries that draw people together in unrestrained infatuation only to find that same obsession eventually manifest into painful separation.
She concludes her 31-minute recorded set with a sparse cover of the Left Banke's 1960's hit "Walk Away Renee," transforming the Baroque 'n' roll-flavored pop sheen of the original into a compelling tale of starry-eyed death.
- Orange County Register


KERRY GETZ
Apollo

A young woman stands at her mirror, lamenting her looks, believing that only if she had a "turned up nose" or pretty clothes, she'd be desirable to the guy of her dreams. That's the picture Kerry Getz paints in "Beautiful to You.” It's just one of the many songs on Apollo that she knocks out of the ballpark.
Getz, a native of Newport Beach, California, has a husky alto that she moves ably between pounding rock dirges like "Let Me Out" to the gentle folk of "Cyclone.” The latter's soft accordion and mandolin strokes run counter to the dark tale of murder at a state fair. There's a longing in her voice that make the searches and questions evident in songs like "Apollo," "Perfect Words" and "This Summer Afternoon" all the more immediate.
Getz shows her modern pop sensibilities on "Weak", with its cool sitar line and "I Could Fall For You", a perfect summer time single. She and her co-producer Doug Doyle manage to walk the fine line between studio polish and live organics. "I can do anything at all" she sings in "This Summer Afternoon," and Apollo, her debut disc, proves that's no hollow boast.
-Neil Fagan




"Apollo": Melodies of a Pop Goddess
Los Angeles Times
Kerry Getz
"Apollo"
(World in Motion Records)

3 1/2 stars

If "Apollo" gets the blessing of the adult alternative-radio gods, Kerry Getz will be one of the format's new heroines. Her long-delayed debut release is beautifully arranged collaboration between a mature, assured artist with a great sense of melody and an array of excellent local players contributing everything from gleaming pianos to haunting accordions and strings. Getz's now-dusky, now-airy voice can power a dark rock ballad like "Let Me Out," dance lightly on the folk-jazz breeze of "Devil and the Deep Blues" or ladle out the Bangles-like pure-pop sweets of "I Could Fall for You." Slickness and overstatement are the dangers in polished recordings such as this, but Getz avoids those pitfalls with nuanced phrasing, concise writing and deep emotional commitment. Her songs are mainly unanswered prayers for love, peace of mind, artistic inspiration and spiritual connection, but collectively they should answer the prayers of anybody seeking a classy new singer-songwriter for grown ups.
-Mike Boehm


ratings range from * (poor) to **** (excellent) with three stars denoting a solid recommendation.
- Performing Songwriter


April 25:
Reno Earth Day Festival (headliner)

July 3:
"West Coast Live" radio broadcast

July 23:
Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase

August 1:
Just Plain Folks Nominates "It's a Wonderful Life" for Best Holiday Album and Best Original Holiday Song

October 5:
release of "Before Their Time, vol. 3". Kerry's song "Inhale" is featured. www.beforetheirtime.org - Kerry's been busy!


Discography

It's a Wonderful Life
single: "Suspended in December", hit AAA radio in December 2003 (played on over 100 stations), NPR featured the album in "Weekend Edition", available for streaming

Little Victory
single: "little victory", released to AAA radio in August 2003; featured on NPR's "Musings with Alphonse Vinh,"; reviewed in Acoustic Guitar as Feburary 2004 "Editor's Hit Picks".

Live at the Galaxy
Apollo

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

"The songwriting is strong, passionate, and poetic."
- National Public Radio

The comment you hear most often about Kerry Getz is that she has it all. With a voice that the Los Angeles Times says "hits with persuasive force or dances with nuanced delicacy," coupled with an extraordinary signature guitar style, a gift for songwriting that transcends words and music, and a warm and captivating stage presence, she is considered one of the most promising performers on the rise.

The Los Angeles Times named Kerry’s debut album, Apollo, one of the best local releases of the year, later revising that review to single out the record as one of the best of the decade. They called Kerry a "pop goddess" and an "undiscovered peer of Shawn Colvin and Sheryl Crow." Acoustic Guitar named little victory one of the editor’s top 3 picks. National Public Radio (NPR) has featured Kerry twice in three months; once in "Musings with Alphonse Vinh" and again on "Weekend Edition" when they featured It’s a Wonderful Life in their CD Gift Guide.

In 2004, Kerry has made her mark. Just Plain Folks Music Awards nominated It’s a Wonderful Life for Best Holiday Album and Best Original Holiday Song (“Yuletide Romeo”). Other notable accomplishments this year include performing on the radio broadcast “West Coast Live,” headlining Reno’s Earth Day Festival, and showcasing at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Stage. For the past three years, Kerry has combined her holiday shows with toy drives to help September-11’s youngest victims and local children’s homes. Finally, in addition to her headlining duties, Kerry has shared the stage with numerous artists, including Neil Finn, Shawn Colvin, Richard Thompson, Jane Siberry, Nick Lowe, and John Mayer.

With It’s a Wonderful Life, Kerry transforms a more
truthful holiday season with a careful selection of
traditional tunes, contemporary songs of the seasons, and brand new originals. It’s not just about the gifts; it’s also about tradition and family tension and the winter wistfulness that comes in December. Kerry bravely and candidly addresses the human conditions that come with the holidays in every climate – family, daydream romance,
taking just one day out of the year to believe in Santa Claus.