Hello and welcome to my May newsletter,

Well, since last time, I’ve been busy learning new material, making lead sheets for the Beleza songs and practicing my guitar playing. I’ve also had a lovely holiday staying with friends in the Scottish countryside and done my first camping of the year.

One of the songs I’ve been looking at is For The Love Of You by The Isley Brothers. It’s in the “quiet storm” style which is a sub-category of soul, which it seems I rather like. Ron Isley has the most beautiful soulful voice. I suppose it could be classed as a bit cheesy, but I prefer to think of it as a beautiful love song. You can have a listen here and see of you agree with me. So, if I decide it works for me, you may be hearing it included in one of my Alyss Rose Duo gigs.

For my guitar practice, one of the main things I’ve been working on is a bossa nova song called Izaura. It was written by Herivelto Martins and Roberto Roberti, but the famous version that I’ve been learning is by Joao Gilberto from his eponymous 1973 album. I already know the song well to sing it, and I can just about play the chords now, but putting it together is going to take some practice! It’s quite a challenge to keep that bossa nova rhythm going on the guitar and sing right rhythm in the melody at the same time. It’s a very sweet sounding song, and it has a great lyric about one of life’s little quandaries that I’m sure we’ve all had to deliberate on at some point…

Ai, ai, ai, Izaura, Hoje eu não posso ficar
Ai, ai, ai, Izaura, I can´t stay tonight

Se eu cair em seus braços, Não há despertador
If I fall in your arms, there is no alarm clock

Que me faça acordar
that will make me wake up

O trabalho é um dever, Todos devem respeitar
Work is a duty that everyone must respect

O Izaura me desculpe, No domingo eu vou voltar
Hey Izaura, I´m sorry, on Sunday I’ll be back

Seu carinho é muito bom, Ninguém pode contestar
Your caress is very good, no one can deny

Se você quiser eu fico
If you want me to stay I will

Mas vai me prejudicar
But that will harm me

Eu vou trabalhar
I am going to work

The other day I found an old Billie Holiday CD that I haven’t listened to for ages, so I’ve been rediscovering some of her songs. One which I love the sound of is Ghost of Yesterday. One of the nice things about listening to something old is that you hear it in a new way, and appreciate different things about it.

The Riverman gig I mentioned in the last newsletter went very well. We had a full house, great atmosphere and a very receptive audience. Chris (the guitarist and lead singer of Riverman) has written some gorgeous songs which you can have a listen to here.

The Diaspora bank holiday gig at Matt n Phred’s went with a bang. It’s great when we get to play in the full big band format. All that extra brass and percussion makes such an impact. It was a real high energy gig, and by the end of the night our other lead singer James Vielma had the audience clearing the tables out of the way to make room for more dancers. We were delighted get a very positive review from our previous gig from author and salsa enthusiast Grevel Lindop. You can read it on his website.

This month I’ll be singing with The Voice Collective at Chorlton Arts Festival on Sunday 22nd May and with Diaspora at Matt n Phred’s Jazz Club on Thursday 26th May. Check out my gig calendar for more details.

Well that’s all for May. Thanks for reading, and like I said at the beginning: May the force be with you.



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