Marianne Kesler
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Marianne Kesler

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Fans of Marianne Kesler (and those hearing her for the first time) will love her newest CD, the quirkily titled "Pear in the Pink Thing ." Ten original songs plus two Neil Young covers show off Marianne's cozy voice, her observant eye, and her poetic turn with words.

Like "Green Room," its predecessor, "Pear in the Pink Thing" features at-times-spare, acoustic guitar based instrumentals that occasionally hint at a late-1960's/early-1970's folk feeling, though less so than "Green Room," while sounding firmly grounded in the twenty-first century. Additional instrumentation is added more frequently than on "Green Room," yet in well-balanced doses. It's an intimate sound, perfectly coordinated with Marianne's voice, and easily reproduced on stage. The guitars are played by Marianne and son Benjamin, who also plays every other instrument on the tracks, except for drums on "Every Time," provides some of the background vocals, and serves as producer and engineer.

"Pear in the Pink Thing" is also more secular than "Green Room." The inclusion of both religious and secular themes is smooth and not the least bit contrived. The lyrics reflect a life that eats, drinks, breathes, sleeps, experiences joy and sorrow, falls in love, and feels frustration - events common to the human condition.

Although Marianne's own compositions are well-written and performed - particularly "Poets Dream" - the listener is given an extra treat at the end. Neil Young's "Ohio" and "The Needle and the Damage Done" are so well adapted to Marianne's style that she's made them her own. - BuddyHollywood.com


Once again Marianne has inspired artists to be proud of who they are...

In the liner notes I can relate to how she described how sensitive an artist is and how differently we may feel things. I think this record is a step forward as an artist and as always has brilliant, poetic, lyrics. I like the atmospheric sounds in some of the songs that add to the mystery of what is Pear and the Pink Thing? The fascinating and intriguing thing is that the metaphor can mean different things to relate to different people- the best of both worlds. Great lyrics, great production, simply a great album. Oh, and I can't forget the Neil Young covers. I am usually not a fan of covers BUT Marianne made the songs her own. I think he would be proud she did them justice:)
- CDBaby


This is Marianne Kesler's sixth album to date and is very much a collaboration with her son and producer J Benjamin Kesler who provides expert production and the majority of the instrumentation on this release. Proceedings kick off with the intriguing "Mystery" which showcases the laid back acoustic folk-tinged pop of an artist whose style is occasionally reminiscent of the likes of Edie Brickell and Nanci Griffith. Highlights include the slow blues of "Every Time" and the effectively simple song of reflection "2 O'clock" whilst "Still Small Sadness" appears to take on the thorny subject of depression complete with a delicious guitar solo from the aforementioned producer. Kesler provides an unpretentious and personal account of her faith through subtle references to God - most notably in "Once More" and "Poet's Dream" which reference the books of Isaiah and Joel - but this is done in way that will engage believer and non-believer alike. Only the insubstantial "Catch Me If You Can" lets the side down but the inclusion of two excellent Neil Young covers ("Ohio" and "The Needle & The Damage Done") round off what is another enjoyable release from the Ohio-based singer songwriter.
- Reviewed by Lins Honeyman


VETERAN ACOUSTIC SINGER/SONGWRITER
PONDERS HOPE AND HEARTACHE AS SHE
EMERGES FROM A DARK PERIOD FULL OF
GRATITUDE FOR THE ‘PEAR IN THE PINK THING’


While offering her longtime fans and lovers of heartfelt acoustic everywhere yet another compelling example of art for their ears, veteran singer/songwriter Marianne Kesler is also feeling particularly grateful these days for the opportunity of the re-release of her sixth album, Pear In The Pink Thing.

Just as she was caught up in an exciting whirlwind, gearing up to promote the free-spirited, eclectic project in 2007, she woke up with a literal pain in the neck— which turned out to be a degenerative condition called cervical spondylosis with compression on her spinal cord. Emerging from the darkness
of battle many months later with determination and optimism, the multi-talented artist is once again ready
to touch heads and hearts with the collection’s 10 powerful self-penned songs and poignant renditions of two Neil Young classics, “The Needle and The Damage Done” and the Vietnam era anthem “Ohio.”

Cherished by thousands of admirers since the early 90s for her emotional and spiritual depth and authenticity, Kesler—who began touring in 1993 and has over the past 15 years been active on the coffeehouse and college circuit, particularly in the Northeast and Mid-West----loves to describe her highly organic vibe as a quirky meeting between her favorite artists. Imagine, she muses, if Joni Mitchell got together with Leonard Cohen for a writing session at the coffeehouse where Young and the Counting Crows were playing, folk artist Jan Krist was singing, Tori & Fiona were pouting, Over The Rhine & Aimee Mann opened, and Santana stopped by to play some smokin’' guitar...Yeah, she says, it sounds something like that...

Kesler starts any conversation about Pear In the Pink Thing on a musical note, explaining its stripped down feeling as part of a realization that many of the songs from the highly produced full band albums she did in the past were hard to reproduce in a live solo acoustic set. But the inevitable question people ask is the one about the provocative image drawn by the album title. Is it a real pear or a metaphor? What is the pink thing? Turns out it’s all very literal—she was traveling the East Coast with her road guitarist and had a couple of pears in the car. She ate one, then sought out a safe place where the other one would not get bruised. There was a pink glass in the car’s cup holder and she stuck it inside.

While “Pear In The Pink Thing” started out as a goofy catchphrase between them, it became not only an album title, but also the artist’s philosophy as per the home page on her website: www.pearinthepinkthing.com
“Sometimes being an artist is a lonely place to live. We feel things so deeply & have an almost driven need to express ourselves. We may, or may not be understood. Be it so, we were made for such as this.
Sometimes it feels like being the pear in the pink thing.” Fans and artists even beyond her typical circle find connections to her unique take on the world—in fact, Kesler recently began co-writing songs with
a St. Louis area R&B singer Leah Thompson for her new project.

The singer chose the two Neil Young songs for personal reasons--“Ohio” because it reflects a powerful moment in the history of her home state and “The Needle And The Damage Done” as a reflective tribute to her father, who battled drug addiction most of his adult life. Her similarly touching originals include the infectious mid-tempo ballad “Every Time” (about the kind of relationship we’ve all been in, where this person just has our number and we turn around the minute they say our name) and the wistful “Poet’s Dream,” which reflects the many facets of the gift of being born a wordsmith.

- RainMaker PR Written by Jonathan Widran


Jordan Tishler of Digital Bear Entertainment...
Green Room, the 2004 release from Marianne Kesler, takes chick rock to new heights. Marianne blends Suzanne Vega like confessional lyrics with bell-like, hook laden vocal melodies. Modern pop sensibilities ala The Cardigans or Sixpence None the Richer mingle with edgier sounds that evoke The Wallflowers. Few albums ever make it across the great divide between my studio and my home (or iPod) - this is one that has!

Musicshopper Forum...
'Green Room’ is a short but sweet and very well packaged collection of 12 songs showcasing her smooth, understated vocal talents over gently flowing rhythms.

from The Acoustic Madonna
by Ben Ohmart, Music Dish...
The premise is acoustic, though she does not stick to the "rules" of folk or acoustic pop…It is this blend of melodic, unsullied optimism that has kept Marianne Kesler in the studio and touring for exactly a decade.

Dan Herman of Radio Crystal Blue..
Your CD is an absolute winner, such compelling songs.
Each song sounds better than the previous upon first listen. Great balance between the organic and real instrumentation throughout.
I will definitely give you airplay.
- Various


Discography

1994 From the Heart
Recording artist & co-producer
Recorded at Derek Studios in Dalton, MA
Produced by Barry Grauman

1997 All the Days of My Life
Recording artist & co-producer
Recorded at Derek Studios in Dalton, MA and
Penguin Studios in Syracuse, NY
Produced by Barry Grauman

2000 Canopy of Blue
Recording artist & executive producer
Recorded at Hit Music, Inc. in Spencer, NC
Produced by Jimm Mosher & Alan Grossman

2002 Long Road Home
Recording artist & executive producer
Recorded at Hit Music, Inc. in Spencer, NC
Produced by Jimm Mosher & Alan Grossman

2004 Green Room
Recording artist & executive producer
Recorded at Soulthink Studios in St. Louis,MO
Produced by J. Benjamin Kesler

2007 Pear in the Pink Thing
Recording artist & executive producer
Recorded at Soulthink Studios in St. Louis,MO
Produced by J. Benjamin Kesler

Photos

Bio

Marianne is a touring singer-songwriter traveling the coffeehouse and house concert circuit where her laid-back & introspective style is a perfect soundtrack for the thoughtful listener. A lyricist with the heart of a poet, her writing style embraces allegory and lush imagery set to post modern art alt folk/pop/rock.

Marianne has been mostly off-road for a season of writing, and two of the songs on this EPK feature other artists singing songs that Marianne has written or co-written, showcasing her diversity of writing styles/genres.

*"Misfire" was recently voted #2 out of 581 songs on October's R&B/Soul channel on Ourstage.com!
*"What Do I Know" recently got a new demo treatment by producer Ben Kesler, and was recorded by artist Brant Christopher for a new CD!
*Marianne finished up song 13 co-written with Leah Thompson in prep for Leah's recording session in London!

Pear In The Pink Thing (2007) is the 6th release from an artist who grows closer to “who she really wants to be” with each new project. In *Pear In The Pink Thing (* a metaphor for a mystery) Marianne explores her art in this free & eclectic expression of 10 self-penned songs plus acoustic renderings of 2 of Neil Young’s legendary songs.
Reviewer Frank Rasenberger of Australia says...
'I would describe her current music as intelligent pop rock
with experimental qualities & folk sensibilities.'

What if Joni Mitchell got together with Leonard Cohen for a writing session at the coffeehouse where Counting Crows and Neil Young were playing, Jan Krist was singing, Tori & Fionna were pouting, Over The Rhine & Aimee Mann opened, and Santana stopped by to play some smokin' guitar... yeah, it sounds something like that...

Pear in the Pink Thing ~
Music that's art for your ears!!!

Be a friend ~ www.myspace.com/mariannekesler