Congratulations to songwriting duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for winning an Oscar for their original song with “Let it Go” during the 2014 Academy Awards.
I recently Skyped with my 3 1/2 year old niece who fervently sings every word to this song (see our video below!). What empowering lyrics for girls!! The chorus alone repeating “let it go” gives message to relinquish control over that which is out of our grasps, lose fear that holds us back, and express ourselves without apologies. Wow!! It is truly music to my ears to hear a sweet, young voice such as my niece’s echo strong, declarative statements. See the video at the bottom of this post that I recorded over spring break . . . don’t play it too loudly, though, or you’ll hurt your ear drums because I can’t help but belt out a chord or two myself.
“Let it Go” by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez
performed by Idina Menzel
(A+ for empowering lyrics coupled with a memorable tune)
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don’t care what they’re going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
It’s funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
Let it go, let it go.
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go.
You’ll never see me cry.
Here I’ll stand, and here I’ll stay.
Let the storm rage on.
My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back; the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go.
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.
Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway…
See a sampling of Grading Girl’s official press releases for this musician:
Chicago singer songwriter Darryl Markette will be making his LA debut at Hollywood’s infamous Whisky A Go-Go on Friday, March 4th at 9pm. Joining Darryl Markette on stage, Los Angeles recording artist Byron Gore and international solo cellist Tina Guo will add their talent to Markette’s show. Performing at venues spanning from Chicago to The BlueBird Café in Nashville to Gold Pan Saloon in Colorado, Markette sets a new standard for captivating fans and making those fans feel a part of something unique. This night will feature three of Darryl Markette’s foot stomping, fist pumping originals, two of Gore’s soulful, heart-wrenching songs and a crafted collaboration between Markette and Gore with Guo’s breathtaking cello backsplash.
Purchase tickets at http://dmarkette.com and be placed in a raffle for one free round-trip ticket to Los Angeles for every ticket purchased. Whisky A Go-Go is located on Sunset Blvd, near Clark St. See these crowd-pleasing musicians up-close and personal while you can.
WHAT: Darryl Markette (acoustic rock) with special appearance by Los Angeles recording artist, Byron Gore (acoustic rock) and international cellist Tina Guo, at Whisky A Go-Go
WHERE: Whisky A Go-Go at 8901 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069
WHEN: Friday, March 4th, 9 – 10pm
ENTRANCE: $20/one ticket; $35/two tickets; $48/three tickets; $60/four tickets – one raffle drawing per ticket to win 1 round trip flight to Los Angeles.
ABOUT DARRYL MARKETTE: In three short years, Darryl has cataloged over 100 original songs with passionate vocals, biting lyrics, and a catchy sing-along chorus. Darryl’s passion bleeds through his songs as they take you on a journey from foot stomping pleasure to heartfelt pain. Don’t confuse confidence for arrogance as this chisel jawed rocker brings more than a straw hat and a six string strapped on his back – Markette generates serious vocal heat as a true first tenor. Commanding stage presence and thought provoking lyrics combined with powerhouse vocals make this modern day, brawny cowboy spring forth memories of a young Johnny Cash mixed with a BonJovi~esque sex appeal; be prepared for a memorable evening as this self-proclaimed part-time cowboy, full-time rockstar croons the crowd. Darryl Markette’s mission is simply to “…help make the world a better place through his songs humbly under God’s grace.” For the past three years, Darryl has led a crusade against breast cancer, with proceeds for his iTunes single Soldier In Pink going to Susan G Komen for the cure. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/soldier-in-pink-single/id354879325. As a three time returning walker, Darryl hosts his 3rd annual Pinko De Mayo© performing with guest artists to raise funds for his Susan G Komen For The Cure 3 Day/60 mile Walk in Chicago: http://www.dmarkette.com/my3day. To hear more from Darryl Markette go to http://www.dmarkette.com; and iTunes @ http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/darryl-markette/id289309962
ABOUT BYRON GORE: Byron Gore was drawn to music from an early age, captivated by its power to draw out emotions. Originally from the UK, Gore has been recording and performing in Los Angeles for the past two year, mesmerizing audiences with his profound, emotionally deep music and smooth-as-silk sound. His performances include a major Pre-Grammy’s show and a songwriter’s circle in Santa Monica. Gore’s goal is to give his listeners a sense of what lies deep inside their own hearts and souls through the messages of his heartfelt songs. Download Byron Gore’s songs on iTunes , including his debut CD at http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/byron-gore/id347876059 or visit http://byrongore.com for more information.
ABOUT TINA GUO: At the age of 25, Tina Guo has already developed a fascinating international multi-faceted performing career as a solo classical cellist, rock/metal/fusion electric cellist, and acclaimed recording artist known for her distinctive sound and improvisatory style in major motion picture and television scores. She is also a composer, producer, and published poet and writer. Her vast performances include appearing as a soloist with the San Diego Symphony, at the American Country Music Awards with Carrie Underwood and on Dancing with the Stars performing with Carlos Santana and India Arie. For more information, visit http://tinaguo.com.
ABOUT WHISKY A GO-GO: As long as there has been a Los Angeles rock scene, there has been the Whisky A Go-Go. An anchor on the Sunset Strip since its opening in 1964, the Whisky A Go-Go has played host to rock ‘n’ roll’s most important bands, from the Doors, Janis Joplin, and Led Zeppelin to today’s up and coming new artists such as Markette and Gore. For more information, go to http://whiskyagogo.com.
ABOUT GRADING GIRL: Think you’re all the rage? Let Grading Girl give the grade! A National Board certified English teacher who puts her writing skills to work both in and out of the classroom, she reviews a variety of entertainment, lifestyle, and literary experts to develop awareness, create buzz and build brand through media relations. Her success is a direct result of a personal, vibrant, practical approach that passes your brand with flying colors. You can put this approach to work for you today – http://gradinggirl.com.
For a detailed GG review of dmarkette’s music, visit Part Time Cowboy, Full Time Rockstar.
A friend of mine recently sang at the infamous open mic night at BlueBird Cafe in Nashville, TN. While there, he met many musicians, wanna-bes, producers and agents. One person that struck a chord was 16-year old Casey Lee Smith who came down from Arizona to sing at the BlueBird. While my friend claimed Casey was amazing, I was skeptical being that he is 16.
Always looking for the opportunity to review, I paid a visit to Casey’s web site, www.caseyleesmith.com. The second I clicked on his music, I was touched. In fact, it’s playing in the background as I blog and four of his songs are already on my ITunes (and I’m a discerning downloader). Heartfelt lyrics, friendly vocals, and harmonious instruments leave your toes tapping and heart smiling. Casey’s style is part country, rock, blues all fused into one unique sound. But don’t let his age fool you – he appeals to teens, adults and everyone in between! The younger crowd will appreciate his blue-eyed, curly -haired charm and the more mature audience will connect with his spot-on lyrics.
My favorite song is “Losing You,” a song about a broken relationship. As Casey writes: “When you’ve screwed up your relationship, there’s nothing to do but point to where the blame belongs. Me.” “Losing You” is a ballad for anyone who’s felt that regret after a hard-to-get-over break up. Grading Girl predicts this will be number one on the charts someday soon!! “Chasin’ Tin Cans” is a fun, raucous, rock song written about, of all things, running barrels. Any woman, however, will feel empowered singing along to the lyrics “She’s moving like a rocket ship, blood surging through her vains.” A country “Barracuda” song! “Never Stood Taller” is a celebratory song about his grandfather being baptized as an adult and proclaims “He never stood taller than when he’s on his knees. He never was stronger than when his head is bowed.” Very spiritually powerful . . . and what a beautiful subject to write about. That’s what is amazing about Casey’s songs – the maturity in his lyrics shine through so that we learn something after listening. His songs help us reflect on our own experiences, misgivings, and triumphs.
According to his site, Casey has been singing and playing instruments at a very early age . . . piano, banjo, guitar are among those he brings to life. He attends the Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics. It takes dedication, persistence, and discipline to harbor your talent from very young on. Grading Girl gives Casey Lee Smith an A for remarkable early talent and an undoubtedly bright future. Sounding this polished at age 16, I dare imagine what he will sound like in a few years. Casey Lee Smith – memorize that name. You’ll be hearing it again.
October 26th update: Grading Girl just received word that Casey Lee Smith won the Colgate County Showdown. Now it’s on to Regionals and then Grand Ole Opry, here he comes! Like I said, “Watch out, Jonas Bros!”
What makes a person true to himself, truly authentic, is when he takes his passion and acts on it. It’s when he isn’t trying to be who he thinks others may want him to be but, rather, he expresses himself creatively and freely. Furthermore, he takes great fulfillment in sharing that expression. There is an up-and-coming musician who is that person. With his searing lyrics, soaring vocals, and driving rhythms, the passion is evident. Strums of an acoustic guitar, harmonica, drums, and piano all stream seamlessly together. Harmonies lift hairs and bring up gooseflesh. Unexpected chord changes cause you to stop and LISTEN. Creative accompaniments such as loose change or leg slapping add unique, dimensional elements. This is what you hear when you listen to the music of Darryl Markette.
Darryl’s first release, “Rain on Thee,” on iTunes. Check out all of his releases!
I can’t help but listen to his latest release, “She Wants Love,” over and over. His sound has a part rock, part country, even part bluesy feel that projects what Darryl does best – take a bad situation and pour it out for the world to absorb and commiserate. His songs tell real tales of love and loss, but they’re sung with such passion and commitment that the message becomes more about learning and living than losing. The songs leave you with something to ponder over rather than something to pine over.
Singers and songwriters are expected to be deep in a cliched caricature of anguish. Somehow, Darryl goes beyond that to a deeper place. Each song is musically individual enough so that he escapes a cookie-cutter oh-woe-is-me sound. “Never Said Goodbye” is a jaunty tribute to his beloved dog, Hunter. “Lost in Time” is an alternative ballad with piano and harmonica tracks that crescendos gradually until it pierces the heart. Completely opposite, “Rockstar” has that sing-along, nothing can stop me now mood everyone can relate to. You hear a crack in his voice in the haunting “Have Faith” as he sings “How do you forget your biggest regret when all you can do is weep.” What makes his music not just good but perfect for soothing the soul is during moments, such as in the “I Keep on Waiting” finale, when the toe-tapping whistling will have you humming for hours afterward. DMarkette’s music makes your heart sing.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Darryl is tenaciously taking his musical message across the country. He recently performed at Gold Pan Saloon in Colorado and made his much anticipated Los Angeles debut at Hollywood’s Whisky A Go-Go. See GG’s post “Part Time Cowboy Full Time Rockstar Rides to L.A. Better yet, visit Darryl Markette’s website, dmarkette.com, to experience his original music firsthand, sample his covers that include a handful arguably better than the originals, view past concert videos, and find out about upcoming performances. Example performances include Darryl’s annual event on his birthday, May 5th. But rather than a birthday celebration, Darryl raises funds to fight breast cancer. Pinko-de-Mayo, as he cleverly termed it, has proven a ravingly popular success over the past four years. [See GG’s press releases for details for Pinko de Mayo : Chicago’s Most Promising Rocker, Darryl Markette, Holds Pinko de Mayo and Chicago’s Hottest Rocker Paints ChiTown Pink for Pinko de Mayo and Darryl Markette Paints ChiTown Pink.] (2012 was his best Pinko yet, with 500+ guests. His efforts just keep growing!) Darryl’s very last Pinko, Pinko V of 2013, was a very different yet just as successful fest – an outdoor fest – with all proceeds generously going to his countless contributions to the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Grading Girl gives Darryl Markette’s music an A+ for touch your heart lyrics, sear your soul vocals, and seduce your ears guitar chords.
And here’s my very favorite cover by Darryl Markette!! I love this . . .