Rosemarie CD Front Semi

Having written and co-written a number of songs in the past 15 years, I have spent this past year recording eight songs for an album titled ‘What Love Demands’

I am also re-releasing four original songs I recorded with HipCity Cruz in 2008 on the same album

Big thanks to my former bandmates Jewl Sandoval, & Bruce and Lynnette Mello. Jewl Sandoval is currently with Broken Shades, Lynnette is currently part of a music duo called Villanelle, and Bruce has recorded an original solo piano CD, and has an album in the works.

I have changed so much personally as a result of the writing, producing, and publishing process that I feel like the album is only a snapshot of what I have gained. I am thankful for having reached this milestone as a singer-songwriter and could not have done it without continuing support of family and friends over the years. I hope that the songs speak for themselves, that they have a reach further than I can imagine, and may be enjoyed for years to come.

Somehow, the miraculous process of carrying and giving birth to my son, James happened simultaneously along with this project. I hear it is not uncommon for a soon-to-be parent to check a few things off their bucket list before their first child comes along. I also felt like creating an album was like being pregnant because of how long-term the project turned out to be; so I guess I am a doubly proud mama this year.

My original music will be available in CD form at my shows and will be available for digital purchase via my music page. It will also be made available through other popular online music distributors and streaming services.

Lyrics are posted on my website and are also printed in a booklet if you purchase the physical CD.

Upcoming shows will be posted through my facebook site. Hope to see you out there ’cause a recorded version is nice to listen to, but the live version has an element of surprise, plus never-heard before songs have been known to show up on the setlist. Stay tuned.

My purpose for this blog is to write about music and culture, artists to look out for in all genres, and personal experiences in being a songwriter and performer


À la vidéo

Nearly a year ago, an idea was presented to me that felt like the next step for me to take in songwriting.

Not in writing a song, but in how songs are presented these days. À la vidéo.

When you’re not introducing the song in a live setting, which is more frequent these days of publishing on the internet, then a complementary video helps with the setting.

Enter the world of Instagram, and former connections.

When I lived and worked in Santa Cruz, I worked at a community-based program called Employment and Community Options. I supported adults with varying abilities in building work and recreation skills out in the community.  One of my co-workers I met while there was Gillian Hunt. She always had a smile on her face, and was very supportive of the clients and her coworkers while sharing her unique talents.

Gillian was the artist of the group, having already finished her bachelors in art from UCSC, and had some of her art hung in the public spaces of Santa Cruz.

I found her Instagram handle many years later, and I noticed that her style of art really appealed to me, so I decided to reach out to her about my idea.

I was really excited when I heard back with a yes.

She is currently busy working on her craft individually, and as a contributing member of larger creative projects throughout the year, but said she could start working at a later date.  She collaborated with Christine Brennan to do the animation for the video. (I will talk a little about the process in a future post).

The video is nearly done, and I will be sharing it very soon.

Here is a sneak peek of the baby character design for the video




Song inspired by California wildfires

This is a song which has been written and rewritten multiple times.  I thought it would be nice to get it home recorded to just get it out in the public. Here’s the link to the lyric video

I began writing it last fall right after the wildfires in Napa and Sonoma, and though it seemed like a song for that specific time, there continues to be the threat of wildfires to large expanses of forest and residential areas all over the state this year.  Listening to an NPR article, it sounds like it is a long road for those recovering from the Napa, Sonoma incident as well.

Eventually I would like to begin making videos with actual film footage, so subscribe to my youtube page if you’d like to know when the next one is available.

Til next time…

ash blaze burn burning
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Indie-Música from Individúo

Made it this past Friday night for a show at San Jose’s Art Boutiki  

If you haven’t been, it’s a really cool music/cafe/comic book space with a Hawaiian tiki theme that has so many events happening throughout the week.  Really worth checking out as it hosts many different genres of music.  As you can see from the photo, this was a family friendly event. Art Boutiki regularly serves food along with an assortment of mocktails, beer and wine.

Iari Melchor opened the night with originals from his 2018 Reclamation Project as well as a few covers with a full band (Jerry Burdick-bass, Carlos Almeda-drums, Mandy Kay-supporting vocals).  Greg Yee of The Complements played keys tonight and posted a Periscope Broadcast from the set.  The camera stays focused on the keyboard he is playing, but you can hear the audio from the show just fine.

A husband and wife band, Individúo , a latin pop duo who I had only seen some music videos of previous to the show were the headliners, and they performed a great live show.

Their vocals really stood out to me.  Both are very strong emotive singers and their signature sound is a blending of their voices which they do throughout their set with grace and ease.

Singing for a mostly english-speaking audience that night, they would give a thorough introduction to each song which helped quite a bit in understanding the general mood and message.  Their melodies were quite catchy, and frankly it was a welcome break from the usual analyzing of lyrics that I am personally apt to do.

Tiffany Joy (originally from California) welcomed the audience to dance to the music and just shake the work week off, and you could tell that people were letting loose and having a great time.  The back and forth joking with her husband and music partner Maqui during the set was endearing.  Their set was a mix of originals such as Pero Yo, Amigo Tiempo, Somos Dos, and cover songs including Quizas, Oba (Brazilian Portuguese), and popular radio hit, Havana.  

They released a single that night called Desapercibida  and mentioned that they will be releasing additional singles throughout the remainder of the year, so make sure to follow their social media to keep up to date with their progress.

If you live in Northern California go  and check them out at one of their live shows this fall, you will not be dissapointed.






Got a Library card?Check out videos on Lynda.com for free Songwriting Resources

Do you love free resources to help you learn to do the things you want to do such as tips on becoming a better songwriter, a better performer, singer, or home audio engineer?

Do you learn better by watching videos than directly from a book?

So much learning can be accessed through popular channels on Youtube, but there is also a one-stop professional resource that can be accessed for free with your library card

In San Jose, CA at least, all I had to do was login with my library card number and pin on this page  and a whole world of streaming video by industry experts was instantly at my fingertips.

The strange thing was I stumbled upon this feature after looking for a specific book in the library catalogue recommended to me this past week called “How to Make It in the New Music Business” by Ari Herstand. (so far so good, and chockful of detailed information about business aspect for the independent musician)

The library did not have this specific title, but a link came up for Lynda.com and their streaming videos, specifically one by Cliff Goldmacher who is a longtime member of WestCoast Songwriters as a writer, producer, and educator.  I have been keeping up with his blogs this year, and it is similar helpful content.

I am thankful for the many ways the internet has opened up lines of communication and learning and most lately the resources that we can find through my public library.

This gives me hope even through the messy internet-fanned flames of politics we have been enduring lately

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Learning!





Playlist for WCS International Song Contest winners & Poet & Patriot Gig Update

The winners of the WCS International Song Contest were announced last Saturday June 30th.  This was something I had been looking forward to with anticipation since submitting a couple of songs in mid-April.

I had been busy spending time with family that day; eating lunch with a dear friend, walking through the redwoods and a couple of colleges on University of California Santa Cruz campus, and bopping around the small mountain town of Felton.  I also played a short opening gig that night in downtown Santa Cruz for headliner Sigmon & The Sea Monsters.

The gig went well at The Poet & Patriot. There was a dedicated sound man and a friendly door man.  The following groups, Dawn Oberg and Hey Earl put on shows with fantastic original material.  Being an early riser with the baby I wasn’t able to stay through the entire night, but what I did see was enjoyable.

Anyways, when I remembered to check the webpage for the results  I saw some familiar names such as Greg Yee and Alicia Muller of The Complements , Chris Hanson , Georgann IrelandJohn Matlock , Samantha Margret & Greg McMorrow.  It was great to see them all get recognized for their songs. One nice thing about the contest is that there are usually honorable mentions in addition to the category winners which makes for a robust list.

I did not see my name up there which stings a little, but in reviewing my year in regards to songwriting, I am proud of the work that I have accomplished this year, and I intend to keep moving forward and remember that a lot of no’s are required to get a yes. : )

Since the house needed some spiffing up yesterday, I decided to compile a playlist of the song winners and honorable mentions from this year, for entertainment purposes to get through my cleaning, but also to see if I could listen and learn from the song selections.   I know these songwriters put alot of time and effort to get their songs to where they are, and I try to keep that in mind in competitive situations like this.

You can find the playlist at this link, It is not complete, but I will finish it up this week. Some artists do not have a presence on Spotify which makes it difficult for me to add them.  Also some songs are not yet available. In this case, I just selected a top song from the artist to learn about their style.

If you are an aspiring songwriter, remember to enjoy the process when you experience setbacks.  If you are a listener, there are a lot of hard-working talented songwriters out there;  Hope you enjoy taking a listen to some screened selections from the WestCoast Songwriters International Song Contest.



Sniffles & Songwriting Resources

Feeling like I have had the cold of a century lately with a grade A sore throat and yucky stuffy sinuses.  Image result for sore throat

Regardless, once I awake from an extra long morning nap I don’t want to have the whole day shot with having done nothing productive.


What is a good alternative when you don’t feel like being creative and putting the brain to work?

Reading good web content & Webinars.  

My e-mail inbox has been getting filled with promises of how to become a better songwriter for the better half of a month after I agreed to give them my e-mail address for some free resource I haven’t even looked at yet.

I actually clicked one of the e-mails for a change, and it led me to a site developed by a songwriter based out of San Diego called Songwriting PlanetImage result for songwriting planet

I decided to give one of his webinars a try which was painless and informative.

I learned that Kevin is a fairly good communicator, his website is very organized, and he offers very specific details on different parts of songwriting.

I like one misconception he pointed out in his webinar about how often people make blanket statements about how they believed that songwriting is “something you are born with.”  I liked his response that it is something you work at and then will proceed to get better doing.

Anyways, I agreed to let myself watch 30 min. and will probably pick up on the next 30 min. later on this week as it continues to be helpful but learning for me is helpful in small chunks of time.

Another website I stumbled upon which I have only done a cursory click or two is Pat Pattison’s website.  He is a professor at Berklee College of music and is very well known around the world for his books, seminars, and well known musicians he has taught.

The short bit I read up on the other day was Pat’s Lyric Tips

This definitely seems like something being well versed in : )

Have a great week, and if you are a new or veteran songwriter, take advantage of the myriad of resources available on the internet.   Image result for songwriting





The Acoustic Oasis of McNevin’s Mudpuddle

Several years ago on a Sunday in the month of June, I accompanied a music friend of mine, Brad Daniels to the outer edge of Fremont, CA.

“You’ve got to see this place, Rose” he said with the utmost enthusiasm, “and bring your instruments.”

Michael pickin on the porch. Photo borrowed from his website

The Mudpuddle Shop

The name of the place piqued my curiosity enough, and it seemed pretty far out of my usual driving range.  When we finally got out of the car, I instantly got this small town vibe.  It starts becoming clear now that we are actually in a separate town called Niles even though the address is for Fremont.

I start forgetting about the city.  It’s back there, and I know it won’t miss me, so I settle in for awhile.

It’s quieter in this small town of Niles.  As I step into the doors of the Mudpuddle, a friendly invitation to contribute to the acoustic oasis is implied by the warm patina lining the floors, walls, and windows of the shop.

Walking in I see chairs of all kinds circled around, music paraphernalia hanging up on the walls, and Michael’s Etch-a-Sketch collection.  Space is going to be tight, so we get our horns or stringed instruments set up and then shove cases to the side.

This photo borrowed from Michael McNevin’s facebook site

It’s a mixture of people that day, one lady is traveling through from Sacramento. I think she had played a local gig.  One couple was there to listen after peeking in the windows while taking their golden retriever puppy on a walk.  Going around in a circle, we swap songs and accompany if our fingers can follow.

Michael McNevin, the gracious host, is a professional musician, and this is his home base for teaching, workshopping, and song swapping.  He holds these sessions from time to time.  Because some people come from a distance and the room is likely to overflow with a crowd, he’ll even let you make a reservation for a few seats.

2-5 pm is the usual stretch.  The last song swap was held Mother’s Day.  McNevin posts upcoming shows and swaps on his website, so keep an eye on his listings for the next one and/or follow his facebook page