Karen Meeks and the Soul
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Karen Meeks and the Soul

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A Celebration of Youth Through Music, benefiting The Youth Advocate Programs Inc., will be held 6 p.m. Sunday at the Sherman Theater.
The benefit show features singer/songwriter Karen Meeks, whose album "7 Simple Songs (Part Three)" is on the 2009 Grammy Awards ballot for nominations. She will perform with musicians and singers from Pennsylvania and New York. Meeks mixes her melodic originals with classic songs by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. For information, visit www.karenmeeksmusic.com.

Recording artist Jason O, an independent artist from this area, will perform songs from his latest CD, "Sink or Swim." Visit www.myspace.com/jasonomusic for information.
Also appearing will be the 2008 NEPA Idol finalist, Sharla Kornegay, and Mike Blackwell. Visit www.myspace.com/sharlafreshfaceofpop for information about Kornegay.
The Pocono Mountain School District Gospel Choir Urbane will also perform.
The Youth Advocacy Program is a private non-profit human service agency that provides community-based programming for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and associated differences in relating and communicating. Youth Advocate Programs Inc. also provides services for at-risk youth.
The lobby will open at 5 p.m. for exhibits by the Youth Advocacy Programs Inc. as well as merchandise for sale. For information on Youth Advocacy Programs Inc., visit www.yapinc.org. The program has an office in Kresgeville.
Tickets are $15 and are available online at www.shermantheater.com or at the Sherman Theater Box Office, open noon to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The theater is at 524 Main St., Stroudsburg.
For information, call (570) 420-2808. - Pocono Record


by PETE PAPPALARDO
For the Pocono Record
August 08, 2008

Music and performing have always been staples in Karen Meeks' life.

Her interest began in high school and continued in college, where she took part in musical theater productions at the University of South Carolina, Spartanburg. She was also a member of the Inspirational Players and played a variety of roles in Community Theater in South Carolina.

After she moved to Stroudsburg, she became a member of VOICES II, where she wrote and directed a short community awareness play about homelessness, "Catch the Next Train."

Now Meeks has taken her love of music and performing to a local venue, Gypsies Lounge Nightclub at Mount Airy Casino Resort, where she will appear Thursday.

While not formally trained, Meeks is no stranger to the world of performing. She has done lead vocal work for
national commercials and has done a variety of "session work," industry slang for musicians who are hired for CDs
during recording sessions. Artists she has worked with include Earth, Wind and Fire; Change; and the Marshall
Tucker Band. She has opened for acts such as R. Kelly and the Bobby Blue Bland as well.

Most recently, she was involved with the "Crazy for Broadway" performance at the Sherman Theater to benefit an area youth program. One of her songs, "My Name Is Peter," was featured in that production. The song promotes autism awareness, one of the causes Meeks champions.
Meeks said that her performances include covers of a range of music intertwined with her own original songs, which she characterized as pop since it crosses the line between so many genres. She writes songs for keyboards; although she laughingly clarified that she is not a professional keyboard player herself.

Like many musicians, she points to dramatic events in her life as the motivation for writing her songs. In Meeks' case this includes the death of her parents in a short span of time at a young age. Meeks said that was the beginning of her musical odyssey, and one of the first songs she penned was "In This Sad Song," a ballad to commemorate her parents, which was recorded in her inaugural CD, "Seven Simple Songs."

Although she utilizes horn sections for larger venues, she will be joined at Mount Airy by a quartet consisting of keyboards, drums, bass and guitar. Meeks and her band will perform the original and cover tunes featured on her CD, which was recorded in Hackettstown, N.J., at Nikki Peenut Productions, and other songs from a CD she is working on at Phire Alley Studios, Easton.
Her appearance at Mount Airy came about as she searched for a way to promote her music. The director of entertainment gave her material a listen, liked what he heard and decided to bring her in for her debut.
"I like to say that I am providing positive music — melodic stuff that's suitable for a family," she said, adding that
her formula for shows includes half covers of familiar songs the audience is sure to recognize and roughly half of her original tunes. Whether the songs are originals or covers, Meeks takes the same approach to singing them.
Meeks said, "Music is supposed to lift you, take you to a higher place. Any song I write, I try to have a message, and the overall message is always love."



IF YOU GO
WHAT: Karen Meeks in concert
WHEN: 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Doors open at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Gypsies Lounge Nightclub, Mount Airy Casino Resort, 44 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono
FEATURING: Thomasina Meeks Owens and Marina Gilbert, background singers; Keith Theall, bass; Joe Cirotti, guitar; Ben Kornegay, keyboards; and Zack Irby, drums. Special guest singer will be Sharla Kornegay, 2008 NEPA Idol finalist.
COST: Free admission until 8 p.m. (and if you get stamped and leave, patrons may come back in); $10 cover charge begins at 8 p.m. Tickets for all events are available at The Mount Airy Shoppe.
WEB SITE: www.mountairycasino.com
INFORMATION: 1-877-MT-AIRY1

- Pocono Record



Jeffrey Henderson from the Jeffrey Henderson Show played “Didn’t you Know”, “Sand in my Shoes” and “I go Deep”, songs from 7 Simple Songs (part one) on his radio show on WKLAS 89.7 fm in Los Angeles California. People called in with very positive feedback about her sound. They loved the songs! People called her music fresh and real. Jeffrey is very excited about her music and continues to play her songs.

- Jeffrey Henderson Show


Discography

7 simple songs (part one)
7 simple songs (part two)
7 simple songs (part three)

Photos

Bio

Karen is a singer/songwriter an actress and a writer.

Karen a member of NARAS and ASCAP has released three solo CDS called "7 Simple Songs (part one, two and three)", available on CDbaby.com. Several songs from these albums were entries on the Nomination Ballot for the 2008/2009 Grammy Awards. Karen's melodic voice sounds like a cross between Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman and Etta James. Her style of music is considered Blues/Pop. Within this genre, she creates a true mixture of rock, R&B, blues, country and neo-soul. Her albums are the reflection of this blend of styles.  Her lyrics reveal her insight to life, and her melodies are beautiful and memorable. Karen's music has a sound that transcends trends and eras. The more you hear her music the more you want to hear her music.~

This unique combination of young musicians and very experienced musicians(Bios below) makes for a colorful and high energy show. Most of the guys play several different instruments and sing signature songs throughout the show. The Soul is locked in and ready to groove.

The Soul is:

Ian Kirk/ Lead Guitar was born in New Jersey and raised in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. He’s been playing guitar for 10 years. He also plays drums, bass, and piano. When he was growing up he was influenced by his idol Angus Young, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob Dylan and many others. He played guitar with a heavy metal band called “Forever Lost” and a Latin/Folk band called “Blue Planet.” Ian has a natural talent for playing guitar that was developed when he took lessons from Vince Del Sol. At nineteen Ian now gives guitar lessons and plays for several artists in the Poconos area (including Karen Meeks) in different venues such as the Sherman Theater and The Sarah Street Grill. Ian plays all genres of music with ease, and his passion is “The Blues.” His hobbies include painting, drawing and woodworking. Ian's easy going nature, natural leadership abilities and his knowledge of music make him a great asset to this group.

Walter Lee/Drums has been playing drums for about seven years. He had a few lessons and a strong desire to play so he explored various genres of music like dub reggae, experimental rock and blues. He was inspired by bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime. He also listened to blues artist like John Mayer, Eric Clapton, and Ian Kirk. Walter takes his cues from great drummers like Neil Peart from the Band Rush. He has played with Ian Kirk in a metal band called Forever Lost. They have also played together in various venues in the Pocono Pennsylvania area such as The Cheeky Monkey, Starbucks and The Sarah Street Grill. In addition to being a great drummer Walter also plays guitar and is a classically trained pianist. He enjoys snowboarding and attempts skateboarding. He also likes to ride dirt bikes and street bikes.

Mike Russo Morgan/Harmonica grew up in South Philly, Pennsylvania. He started playing blues harp in the late 1960's. John Mayhall, Paul Butterfield, Lee Oskar and Muddy Waters are some of the great harp players that inspired him to master this instrument. Although he loves real soul music and gospel music, it is the blues that sets his heart on fire. He played with several bands in his lifetime such as "Sabella's Blues Band" and "Johnny and the Long Shots." These bands played at venues in the Philadelphia and South New Jersey area. He played with "Least Likely" and "The Bill Moerer Blues Band" in the Poconos Pennsylvania area. Michael is an avid dancer and enjoys many hobbies like ham radio, hunting, fishing, archery, organic gardening, and hot rod automobiles. Michael's sound takes this band to a deeper level of soul.

Tom Depietri
No Bio yet. However, my I say, this guy is young and nasty on bass. Funky beyond his years. k

Thomasina Meeks/Background singer is naturally very funny. She hosts an internet cooking show that combines humor and home cooking. She can also read a teleprompter and perform voiceovers. Thomasina is musically inclined and sings and plays the piano. She can salsa(with a lead), waltz, and dance club freestyle., Thomasina has performed in a singing group with her sisters and has great stage presence., Thomasina is known for her improvisational skills and is very comfortable with an audience., Thomasina can perform several accents including southern dialects, British, Jamaican, West Indian, French, and Spanish accents. 

Marina Gilbert/ Background singer is a natural actress and has been performing since she was in grade school. She is by nature humorous and has a great speaking voice. Marina sings background vocals with singer/songwriter Karen Meeks. She uses a combination of dance movements and American Sign Language to beautifully provide visual interpretations of different songs during a performance.