Michael Bolton at Mohegan Sun

We were invited as friends of Mohegan Sun to see Connecticut’s own, Michael Bolton for free last night. This is one of several private (not advertised) shows we have been privileged to attend the past couple of years. Not owning a single recording by Michael Bolton, I felt this would be a perfect opportunity to experience his music. Bolton’s achievements include selling more than 75 million records, recording eight top 10 albums and two number one singles on the Billboard charts, as well as winning multiple American Music Awards and Grammy Awards.[3][4]

I feel it is vital to experiment with other forms of music outside of one’s comfort zone. It is what grows and further defines us. As I learned last night this was what changed Michael Bolton’s life as a vocalist.

Michael Bolton and his brilliant band took us on a journey through various genres of music, soul, adult contemporary, blues, and opera.I was especially taken with several songs in his set list.

I was knocked out by the power of Michael Bolton’s soulful voice. When he sings he reaches way inside you body and soul. It’s a fantastic connection. Something worth experiencing if you ever get the chance to see him live.


I didn’t realize Michael Bolton played guitar so well. He strapped on a blue lacquered Paul Reed Smith guitar and rocked out to Robert Johnson’s, “Sweet Home Chicago“.


Michael Bolton did a series of duets with Amanda Brown a vocalist on his tour. He mentioned that Amanda Brown had competed on The Voice. She is a rising star you will be hearing more from in the future.

The highpoint of the evening was when he spoke lovingly about the late Luciano Pavarotti. His sentiment shifted to the time he sang with Pavarotti.

An invitation by Luciano Pavarotti to sing Nessun Dorma with him was “life-altering” according to the 62-year-old.

“It profoundly impacted the way I sing, train and preserve my voice,” he said. “The opportunity was thrilling and equally daunting. The classical discipline changed the way I was using my voice.

“Now, no matter where in the world I’m performing, I try to always include Nessun Dorma in my set and give homage to the greatest tenor ever.”

Michael Bolton then rendered a magnificent version of the operatic classic, “Nessun Dorma” in Pavarotti’s honor.

Michael Bolton’s musical journey took us through many fascinating genres last night.  We enjoyed his concert very much, thank you Mohegan Sun and Michael Bolton from the music of our heart.

Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, Painted From Memory, Collaborating Again

Elvis Costello is an established artist with a 35 year music legacy. I find him cameleon like at times, adaptive and prolific at others. I collected his music actively from his début album in 1978, My Aim Is True up to North (2003). I have been on hiatus with Declan MacManus‘s (His real name) musical output for the past 10 years.

Looking back upon his discography I pull out this gem of a collaboration, Painted From Memory (1998). All 12 songs on the original studio recording were co-written by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach.

The next chapter in this landmark recording is unfolding. Please see the Web link below to understand the evolution of their partnership to Broadway 🙂

Taking It To The Streets

I followed through on the first of my 2013 New Years Resolutions. I am branding MusicOfOurHeart as my second line of business. This is an evolutionary step to form a later stage secondary career as a digital music journalist. Technically I have been a music writer since 1975 (38 years) My primary career continues to be in education as an information technology professor and instructional technologist (29 years).

I will be leveraging my long-term music interests to produce a secondary revenue stream to help offset my costs as a dedicated music fan.  It’s always been an active pursuit of mine to find a creative way for my music  hobby to help pay for itself.

By the way how do you like my new business card? 😉


Several recent accomplishments with the music industry have boosted my confidence to step up.

1. Just like the brand new deli or convenience store on the corner where you live, I can proudly hang the first $100 bill earned with this business. Thanks to WordPress WordAds I received that $100 via PayPal last month! Monetizing a blog without diluting your content is doable. I am convinced I will see a five fold increase in monetization revenue in 2013.

2. I am being requested to write more music blog posts for leading companies. Through my journalism connection with Ti.dal I have become the top professional music blogger with SONY Popmarket Backstage. This is the official Blog for Sony Music‘s Legacy Recording Division. I will soon hit 200 blog posts online with that strategic music business partner.

I have also been asked to write music blog posts for Pepsi. I wrote a music blog post about Justin Timberlake‘s “Suit and Tie” recording that he featured last night on the Grammy Awards with Jay-Z. I have written for the Pepsi SuperBowl Halftime events that featured Beyonce. I was also asked over the weekend to write a blog post for last night’s CBS Grammy Awards event. You can find those blog posts elsewhere on this blog.

The challenge for me is to keep up my existing professional music contacts that I have written proudly with for free for all these years yet find a way to begin to charge reasonable fees for my writing.

3. I have also been requested to write an article about two upcoming related events the launch of Talent Army and The Big Apple Indie Music Series . I am developing greater recognition through LinkedIn for my increased music journalism skills.

4. I have started writing a book about live music performance. The recent series about music journalism is helping  actualize that I can become a recognized digital music journalist in the sea of music bloggers.

5. I still plan to have 1-2 major music magazine articles published in 2013. The year is still young 😉

So that is why I am Taking It To The Streets, no make that Taking It To The Web.

Micheal McDonald echoes my sentiment: You Don’t Know Me, But I’m Your Brother

That’s what I plan to do 😉

Let me know your thoughts below. As always thanks for reading and believing.

Music Journalism A-Z – Billy Altman

The purpose of music journalism A-Z this month is to highlight music journalists and their respective accomplishments. I have been strongly influenced by the concerted efforts of music writing of substance over the decades. I find the music journalism community an eclectic set of  authors that constantly expands my music consciousness.

Music Journalism A-Z will be a fun challenge narrowing each daily letter post to a single music journalist.

Feel free to comment about the music journalism A-Z series with any music journalists you respect and admire. I’d love to learn about who has influenced your music listening tastes.

Billy Altman


Billy Altman is a Grammy-nominated critic and historian whose work has appeared in such places as the New York Times, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Spin, Sound & Vision and Huff. A longtime senior editor of CREEM Magazine and a former curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he is a recipient of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Journalism. He teaches in the Humanities Department of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City.

The latest music article I have read by Billy Altman was “Mississippi Minstrel” about Jim Jackson and his song, Old Dog Blue. The article appeared in The Oxford American, Southern Music Issue 2011.

Billy Altman is also a respected sports journalist. He is an official score keeper for Major League Baseball for the New York Mets and New York Yankees.

Proud of Ted Kurland Associates and Their Artists’s Grammy Nominations

The music industry is built upon solid reputation and focused management. I have always deeply respected Ted Kurland Associates as the “Gold Standard” for artist management and representation. Ten years ago I contacted their office about  wanting to meet Pat Metheny after a concert for a possible autograph and photograph. The person I spoke to at their office was cordial to me as a fan and told me exactly how to carry out that aim. Sure enough it worked just like she told me and I got my wish to meet Pat Metheny, say hello, get a photo and have him sign some mementos for me. A pivotal private moment for me as a Pat Metheny fan, one I cherish 🙂

I  gained a strong appreciation for Ted Kurland Associates ever since that night. I saw how uniquely they manage, publicize and represent their roster of artists. I am proud to share with the readers of MusicOfOurHeart that Ted Kurland Associates and artists have accumulated the most Grammy nominations ever this year, 13 for 2013 to be precise.


I can’t think of a better tribute to Ted Kurland Associates and their artists than this achievement. I hope it yields the highest amount of Grammy Awards next year for all involved!


Keep it going Ted Kurland Associates and your extended team 🙂

For Immediate Release

GrammyTed Kurland Associates is pleased to announce eight of our artists have earned a grand total of 13 Grammy nominations.Topping the list are the collaborations of Chick Corea and Gary Burton with three nominations, along with two more individual nominations for Corea. Arturo Sandoval also earned three nominations, followed by Pat Metheny, Ute Lemper, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ravi Coltrane, and Quetzal each garnering nominations:Best Improvised Jazz Solo
* Cross Roads – Ravi Coltrane, soloist
* Hot House – Gary Burton & Chick Corea, soloists
* Alice In Wonderland – Chick Corea, soloist

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
* Further Explorations – Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez & Paul Motian
* Hot House – Chick Corea & Gary Burton
* Unity Band – Pat Metheny Unity Band

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
* Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You) – Arturo Sandoval

Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album
* Imaginaries – Quetzal

Best Children’s Album
* Jumpinjazz Kids – A Swinging Jungle Tale – Featuring Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws And Dee Dee Bridgewater – James Murray & Various Artists

Best Instrumental Composition
* Mozart Goes Dancing – Chick Corea, Composer (Chick Corea & Gary Burton)

Best Instrumental Arrangement

* A Night In Tunisia (Actually An Entire Weekend!) – Wally Minko, Arranger (Arturo Sandoval)
* Salt Peanuts! (Mani Salado) – Gordon Goodwin, Arranger (Arturo Sandoval)

Classical Vocal Solo
* Paris Days, Berlin Nights – Ute Lemper (Stefan Malzew & Vogler Quartet)

Founded in 1975, our artists have received numerous Grammy nominations and awards. This year’s 13 nominations are the most earned in a single year in the history of the company.

Media Contact:

David Greenberg

Director of Marketing  |  TED KURLAND ASSOCIATES  |  davidg@tedkurland.com  |  1.617.254.0007

Collaborative Genius, Crossing Musical Divides with Rick Rubin and Johnny Cash and others

Collaborate, (intransitive verb), to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor – Source: Merriam Webster.com

Rick Rubin stands out as a definitive collaborative force in the music industry. Take a look at his production discography listed by decade on wikipedia. You will be blown away by the sheer depth of his creative contributions. He has acquired seven Grammy Awards.

Getty Images

One of my favorite collaborations Rick Rubin produced was the song “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C. in 1986. How he heard in his head the combination of Aerosmith’s licks with Run-D.M.C’s hip-hop, I’ll never know. I am thankful he pushed for that collaboration. The mix is total genius and never fails to move me when I hear it. The song is often credited as helping rap crossover into mainstream pop music. It was the first rap song to hit the Top 5 in Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Switching gears and music genres, my thoughts turn next to the library of work by Johnny Cash. It seemed only fitting that an intersection of collaboration took place between Rick Rubin and Johnny Cash with the American Recordings series.

I first saw the results of Johnny Cash’s music collaborative prowess with Bob Dylan.

It was Johnny Cash who stood up for Bob Dylan when he was under attack by music critics and the public by introducing electric music at the Newport Folk Festival. Their collaboration took on momentum when they were recording at studios next to each other in Nashville, Tennessee.

This resulted in the Cash/Dylan duet “Girl From The North Country” that opens Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. 

File:NashvilleSkyline.jpg When Johnny Cash was given a TV variety show on ABC Television, he asked Bob Dylan to be his first musical guest on the show. The first Johnny Cash Show on June 17, 1969 turned out as a phenomenal promotional platform for Nashville Skyline as Dylan did “I Threw It All Away” and together they performed “Girl From the North Country”. The magnetic camaraderie between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash came across that television screen with universal appeal.


When Cash died on September 12, 2003, Rolling Stone magazine asked Dylan for a statement. In an essay called “Cash Is King,” Dylan wrote, “In plain terms, Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him—the greatest of the greats then and now… Truly he is what the land and country is all about, the heart and soul of it personified and what it means to be here; and he said it all in plain English. I think we can have recollections of him, but we can’t define him any more than we can define a fountain of truth, light and beauty.”

Before Johnny Cash left this life he did a series of collaborations with Rick Rubin. The recordings stand up distinctly. They further point out the insightful visionary zen that Rick Rubin has going for him. Johnny Cash took risks that delivered significant rewards on these recordings.


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