Sing Out! Magazine
May 19, 2016 Ron Olesko
& WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS Playlist for May 15, 2016
Honesty and challenge are two factors that Marci Geller used to her advantage to create a masterpiece of a CD with her latest release Square Peg. A songwriter whose profile has been rising in recent years, Marci writes catchy tunes, heartfelt lyrics and employs her stunning voice to deliver a mesmerizing collection of songs. Marci visited my show this week to share the songs and the story of how this came to be.
While Square Pegs contains some very personal songs, Marci makes each song relatable to the listener. The songs celebrate many facets of love including some difficult topics such as bumping into former lovers, rejecting suitors, ending relationships and maintaining a distant relationship. There are also songs such as “Only Love Matters” (sung with guest David Buskin), that offers a reminder about the power of love. Expressions of pain and joy and ultimately hope.
The CD was crowd sourced through a Kickstarter campaign. The honesty that Marci displayed in this campaign, as well as her talent, led to raising 130% of the goal. As part of the process, she invited her backers to watch live video feeds of the CD being recorded in the studio. The resulting CD proves that her fans and backers were well rewarded for their faith.
In the campaign, Marci explained the significance of the CD’s title, Square Peg. Marci revealed that she felt isolated when growing up. In my interview with Marci, she recalled spending time alone during middle school, sitting in the schoolyard by herself and picking out pieces of smooth glass that she found in a rock bed by the school. While the other kids would play with Barbie dolls or join in games, Marci was more interested in books, music and silent contemplation. This introspection helped nurture her creativity, and today we see the results.
The release of the CD itself was delayed due to a massive flood that wiped out her in-home recording studio, followed by her father suffering two heart attacks. He has recovered, and so has Marci, and we now have the CD. Besides these challenges, the majority of the songs on Square Pegs are also the results of challenges of the creative type.
Over the course of the past few years, Marci participated in several “song challenges” including the Fearless Songwriters Challenge, the Kerrville Songwriters Breakfast challenge, Jack Hardy’s Songwriter Exchange and others. These “challenges” are creative exercises where songwriters are given a topic or a source of inspiration and asked to write a song within an allotted time frame. The late Jack Hardy often stressed how important it was for a songwriter to keep writing songs on a regular basis, and the conditioning required to maintain a rigorous schedule would help the artist improve their work. Challenges like the ones Marci participated in often involve discussion among the songwriters who participate, opening up new insights. These challenges, with self-imposed deadlines, push the songwriter to look beyond their comfort level by offering new inspiration and exposing the craft of creating songs in a new light. The artist often is required to post their creations online. The results can be mixed, but as in Marci’s case, gems are often uncovered through this process.
Ron Olesko and Marci Geller
One of my favorite cuts on Square Pegs is a product of the Fearless Songwriters Challenge. The evocative song called “She Was Happy Then” was inspired by an image of the famous Childe Hassam painting “Boston Commons at Twilight.” The participants of the challenge were given this image, and at first the 1880s painting stumped Marci. After studying the work, she focused on the woman in the painting who is seen holding a child’s hand. Marci began imagining what that woman’s life and thoughts were at that moment and she created this lovely song in less than an hour.
Another memorable cut is “Forgotten Dreams,” a song that came from a Kerrville Folk Festival sponsored songwriters breakfast challenge that was held at a Folk Alliance conference. The participants were asked to pull a slip of paper from a box and write a song. Written on Marci’s slip were the words “Forgotten Dreams.” While thinking about the words, Marci began thinking of images of a person transitioning to the other side, while friends and family kept holding this person here on our earthly plain. Marci created this song and performed it on the final day of the conference. When she arrived home, she learned that her close friend and friend of the folk community, Steve Minnisale, was in the process of transitioning. Marci firmly believes that Steve’s spirit sent her the images that nurtured the creation of this song. The song was also covered by Mya Byrne on her CD As I Am.
Marci is joined by a number of her friends and folk community mainstays on this recording. The first cut, “Save Me,”features legendary singer-songwriter Lori Lieberman on backing vocals. This song grew out of Marci dealing with a case of SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) after a particularly long winter. David Buskin joins Marci for the song “Only Love Matters.” An earlier recording of this song appeared on the reality show Celebrity Rehab as background to actor Gary Busey opening up about his issues.
In addition to Lori Lieberman and David Buskin, other guest artists appearing on Square Peginclude Mya Byrne, Barbara Kessler, Craig Akin, Brian Dunne from Hall & Oates and Jon Preddice from Miles To Dayton. Conductor/arranger Paul Michael Barkan added his touch to several cuts, along with a well-placed string quartet to round out the sound on this diverse collection of songs.
Click below to hear Ron Olesko’s interview with Marci Geller discussing Square Pegs.
Originally broadcast on WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS on May 15, 2016
@Stijntsje is gek!
This is from the Netherlands. Actual review is HERE
Er zijn indie-artiesten die niet bij een grote platenmaatschappij onder contract staan maar hun werk via kleine, meer eigenzinnige labels uitbrengen. En er zijn indie-artiesten die het helemaal zelf doen, inclusief de distributie van hun werk. De uit New York afkomstige singer-songwriter Marci Geller behoort tot die laatste categorie, en met het deze week verschenen Square Peg brengt ze haar vierde album uit. Een album dat (voorlopig) enkel via haar eigen website verkrijgbaar is, als cd of als mp3-download. Maar voor de liefhebber van liedjesmakers in de beste 70's-traditie (denk aan Carole King, James Taylor, Carly Simon en Jackson Browne) mag dat geen belemmering zijn, want er zit niet één zwakke broeder tussen de nummers op dit via een Kickstarter-campagne gefinancierde album.
Vanaf openingsnummer Save Me, met achtergrondzang van de in Nederland bij een select publiek zeer geliefde Lori Lieberman, serveert Geller twaalf mooi uitgebalanceerde ballads. Ingehouden vertolkt door Geller en haar begeleiders en voorzien van een bescheiden productie die haar flexibele alt alle ruimte geeft. Soms klinkt het folky, zoals in het met subtiel tegendraadse strijkers gelardeerde Strong, het lekker zweverige Back Around en Sally Knows. Soms poppy, wat vooral goed werkt in het speelse I Just Love You en het reeds genoemde Save Me. En in één geval, het fraaie Forgotten Dreams, puur country. Maar het prijsnummer is de tegelijk ontroerende en troostende pianoballad Only Love Matters, met een refrein dat onmiddellijk tot meezingen uitnodigt. Dat nummer op zich is al ruimschoots reden genoeg om Square Peg in huis te halen. Dus dat moeten we gewoon even doen, met z'n allen.
Upfront NY Interview
Marci Geller Interview
JANUARY 7, 2016 BY KERRY LINK to online version
Marci Geller is a singer – songwriter based in Long Island. Marci has performed on Live! with Regis, Good Day NY, and Fox Morning Show, and her music can be heard in soundtracks on several television stations including MTV, VH1, ABC Family, and many others.
After setting up a Kickstarter, Marci’s fifth album, Square Peg was backed by fans eager to her the new album.
We recently got a chance to interview Marci about her music, new album, and her upcoming CD Release Party.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your new album Square Peg?
Marci Geller: Sure! It’s my fourth indie-released CD on the label I co-own Sonic Underground. I am very proud of this particular CD in that I let go of all the “rules” and allowed the songs to dictate what direction they wanted to go in. It also features duets with two legends that I admire so greatly; David Buskin and Lori Lieberman.
upfrontNY: How would you describe the sound of your music? Eclectic.
Marci Geller: I think I have a very classical/jazz ooted base that I build on. My primary instrument is piano, so I love big, lush chords. I play guitar for the first time on this CD which enabled me to explore more groove-centric possibilities, and I love what came out of me! I’ve been told by many that my songs “sound like they belong in the movies” which is pretty wonderful, since I am always trying to paint a scene with my music.
upfrontNY: Do you have a favorite song from the album?
Marci Geller: It depends on what day it is! LOL! I liken it to asking a Mother which child is her favorite. It really does change. Some days I think “Would You Still Believe?” is the best song I’ve ever written. Then I think “Save Me” is so simple and to the point. “I Just Love You” harkens back to Bacharach/Carole King…I really can’t pinpoint a favorite as much as what is feeling good at the moment.
upfrontNY: How has using Kickstarter for your new album helped you connect with your fans?
Marci Geller: In an enormous way. I was so blown away by the generosity and enthusiasm. I really felt like we were this team trying to get to a goal. It was a very humbling experience.
upfrontNY: Throughout your career, and all you have accomplished, has there been an experience that stands out in your mind?
Marci Geller: Oh there are several. One is performing on Live! With Regis. It was both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. It also had a very significant impact on my career. I think the other stand out moment was the first time I opened for Blackmore’s Night in Italy. I performed solo for over 10,000 people who didn’t even speak the same language as me. You could hear a pin drop until I finished each song and there was this literal roar of applause. It nearly knocked me off of my bench. Of course, after every show I do I always say to myself “That was DEFINITELY the best show ever!” I guess that’s why I still love it so much, and why I’m still making music.
upfrontNY: What can you fans expect from your CD-Release party taking place on January 17th?
Marci Geller: First off, the concert space is spectacular. I’m so thankful to Frank & Camille’s Kawai/Shigeru Concert Space for hosting the event. I’m playing an $80,000.00 hand-crafted Shigeru Grand piano. The band is made up of monster musicians who I respect so much; Marshal Rosenberg on percussion, Jack Knight on Bass, Anthony Pomes on guitar, John Tabacco on secondary keys and b/u vocals, my former bandmate Susan DeVita on b/u vocals, and then we have the string quartet: Andrew & Rebecca Perea, Margaret Kwon, Matthew Pierce and Paul Michael Barkan conducting. We will also have a special guest: David Buskin who will be singing the duet with me for Only Love Matters. Oh…and there’s a wine and cheese reception. I think it’s going to be a pretty special evening.
upfrontNY: What are you looking forward to in 2016?
Marci Geller: I’m looking forward to connecting with more listeners, making more music, and truly sending out good energy. I think we have so much hate and conflict on our planet right now. I think music and art can be used as common ground to help us heal. Learn more about Marci.
Nor'Easter Entertainment Magazine Review
Country Music Magazine
Writer at SoundWaveOne
" MAKING THE SQUARE PEG FIT"
April 8, 2016
As far as the album, that just doesn't fit, so to speak, the latest work showcasing Marci Geller called "Square Peg" her fifth album has sounds that fill your ears with roots of folk and does fit. The album really just makes good sense and seems to showcase Marci where she seems to focus around Love and relationship issues, not that that matters.
Throughout the album all the songs tell a story. It seems as if Marci is telling a story about parts of her life in one twelve song album. The song that really got me hooked was the song called "Forgotten Dreams", where I really heard a lot of her real talent brought to life through song and great lyrical content.
This Album keeps a positive, and reflective approach on all the songs. Square peg is poetry in motion through out the albums entirety. The acoustic guitar and piano that are featured are supreme sounding and make the album really come together nicely.
It shows and paints a vivid picture of "Love only Matters" and maintains this theme throughout. Marci and her vocals really make a twist on folk, and has a tale to tell. With this album she projects her emotion and feelings behind all the songs.
This album tells a story and the story is very positive and reinforces that along the way. I look forward to hearing more from Marci in the future and thank her for allowing me to be part of her musical journey.
Steven F. Adams
c 2016 used by permission
Writer at International Country Music Magazine
“Square Peg” CD
Marci Geller is one of those musicians, who after listening to her, one would feel that you've been listening to her music for years. She can be mysterious, but playful, she can have a serious side and she can exude happiness all in the same breath. She uses the power of her songwriting talents, her powerful vocals and those signature melodies to grab the listener and hold them captive. She has received many kudos from many sources including the Independent Songwriter magazine and has appeared on many different shows and TV outlets in her career. She also toured for 2 years with legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's Folk-Renaissance Band and has shared the stage with countless other musical luminaries.
This 12-track CD, “Square Peg” features renowned musicians including Lori Leiberman, David Buskin, Mya Byrne, Barbara Kessler, Craig Akin, Brian Dunne from hall & Oates and Jon Preddice from Miles To Dayton. The list of contributing musicians on this LP are as long as my arm and include many well-known players.
The CD opens with “Save Me” feat. Lori Leiberman, a faith-based track that captures you from the door. “I'm Not Yours Yet” is a fun-sounding ditty in the mold of a Joni Mitchell with a Midwest feel. Marci's vox are dominating and the harmonies tight and precise. “She Was Happy Then” takes you to Marci's serious side with this old-country sound where we hear the strings nicely compliment this tune. “Strong” sends a powerful message through this lyrical masterpiece. The country overtones with the slide steel are refreshing. “Forgotten Dreams” is a faith-based number that gets deep into Marci's feelings. This reminds me of Natalie Grant. “Back Around” gives me a feeling of listening to some down-home country. This upbeat retro-sounding track is so fun to listen to!
“I Just Love You” evokes memories of days gone by. I like the pop this tune has to it and the hook is infectious. The simple composure makes this track jump out at the listener. “Only Love Matters'” feat. David Buskin hears David and Marci with some awesome harmonies that make this one of the best on this LP. “Nearly” comes from the heart as we hear Marci go all out. The story behind this is probably some event she has experienced in her life! “Sally Knows” takes you to a place that one hardly ventures into. The passion behind the tune is overwhelming. “Won't You Stay” is so very touching. It gives the listener the feeling of being there as she describes her experience. The final track, “Would You Still Believe” is so Carole King. The composition, vocal deflection and style are a total match with this legendary singer.
Marci Geller's ability to jump from Faith-Based to Country-Influenced to Roots to Folk-Renaissance is remarkable. Her powerful, angelic voice hypnotizes one instantly. The artistic and poetic lyrics, the expert musicianship and the creative compositions are magnificent. The guest artists on this effort offer some much talent and creativity that this effort should jump on to the charts with little effort. I can see this CD crossing over into many different formats easily.
This CD is a MUST LISTEN!! I give this a hearty STANDING OVATION!! Well Done!
Review by Michael McKenna – Nor'easter Entertainment Magazine —
Sing-Out! Magazine: A Day in New Jersey with NERFA
Excerpted from the 4/14/14 article: I had the honor of emceeing the first half and Joe Pszonek the second. Marci Geller kicked things off and set the bar high for the afternoon. She is a talented songwriter with a beautiful voice who accompanies herself on piano as well as guitar. Although her songs have been played on numerous TV shows and she once appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, there are still too many people who are unaware of her music. Lets change that!
Marci Geller Delights Crowd at Album Release Show |
Friday night show packs Grounds & Sounds at UUFSB.
By Christine Sampson
Email the author
September 17, 2012
Among the highlights of her career, singer-songwriter Marci Geller has performed on "Live with Regis" and has toured Europe. Her latest album "Open Book" along with her performance on Friday at Grounds & Sounds also land squarely on that list of highlights.
Geller is no stranger to the local arts community. Patch introduced you to her last November after she officially launched her solo career and began recording what would become "Open Book." She has called Stony Brook her home for about 20 years – but it's not just living in the community that has made her feel welcome. "Home is made up of people, not buildings," she told the crowd on Friday night. "Thank you for being my home."
What's unique about this release is that it was "crowd funded" – meaning it was financed mostly through pre-ordered CDs, ticket sales at shows, songwriting lessons, and other contributions from fans. "This is how a lot of us are making music these days," Geller said.
Of particular note on the album is "Another Breakdown," an upbeat piano tune that belies a more serious tone of needing to quiet the impending doubt. Geller sings in the chorus: "I don't need another breakdown / I don't need another 'fall apart' / I don't need another letdown, or dances with the dark."
The song "Surf the Undertow" is about the extreme highs and lows in life, with a hopeful feel as she sings, "Today I feel lighter, the darkness has gone / Things might get better, who knew I was strong?"
For those who can appreciate a romantic French ballad with lovely harmonies, "Promets Moi" – written for a friend on the occasion of her wedding in Switzerland – is a delight.
Though not performed at the show, "Little Light" is a sweet, uplifting tune, with lyrics like "Maybe you think about the dreams that have defied us / But I see the promise of the days that lie ahead / And you can count on me."
Geller's performance featured steady, skilled percussion by Marshall Rosenberg, and also featured a number of songs from previous albums. "Not That Girl Anymore" is one such highlight that builds to a crescendo as the girl in the song gathers her resolve. Not surprisingly, it appeals to those about to take on a milestone: Geller wrote it on the cusp of her 30th birthday, yet it keeps being "more relevant," she said.
Geller's talent for songwriting shows through clearly, with the strength of her voice making Friday's show a lively, genuine, confident, and mature performance – with moments reminiscent of Sarah McLaughlan and Tori Amos as well as Nina Gordon's softer solo work, but also with a distinctive sound all her own.
Three Village Patch 9/12
HiFi City Magazine-Hungary
Marci Geller: Open Book
- Marci (Anne) Geller egy nagy zenei tapasztalattal rendelkező énekes-dalszövegíró New York-ból. Az énekesnő gyakran látható olyan közismert zenei csatornákon, mint pl. az MTV és a VH1. Az előadó első lemeze, a Must be the Moon (EP) 1997-ben jelent meg. Ezt a Here on the edge címet viselő korong követte 1999-ben. A rákövetkező években úgy tűnik nem a lemezkészítés kapott a legnagyobb hangsúlyt az énekesnő életében, ugyanis a Naked című EP-re egészen 2004-ig kellett várnia a rajongóinak. A soron következő nagylemez pedig 2008-ban készült el, ez volt a Box of truth. 2008-tól – a szóló karrier építése mellett - egy új projektbe is belekezdett Geller. Lucky 13 néven együttest alapított, ami a tavalyi évben fejezte be a működését. A trió megszűnése után az előadó az energiáit ismét egy szólóalbum elkészítésébe fektette. Az idei évben így megszületett az Open book címet viselő korong.
- A 12 dalt tartalmazó kínálatban csupa olyan kompozíciót találunk, amelyek egy feszített tempójú nap vagy hét után remek alkalmat teremtenek egy kis lazulásra. Nem igazán lehet pontosan meghatározni a Geller által képviselt stílus. Egy fajta keveréknyelv ez, amelyben a pop elemek éppen úgy jelen vannak, mint az amerikai folk és a francia sanzon.
- Az énekesnő érezhetően törekedett arra, hogy egy nagyon komplex dolgot alkosson. A siker egyik zálogát a gondosan hangszerelt dalok (a Thank you-tól a Driving in Manhattan-ig, a Little light-tól a Promets-Moi-ig) a másikat pedig az igen nagy létszámú (30 fő közeli) előadó gárda precíz munkája jelenti
Marci Geller: Open Book
- Marci (Anne) Geller is a great musical experience, singer-songwriter from New York. The singer is often a well-known music channels, for example. MTV and VH1. The first artist album, Must be the Moon (EP) in 1997 appeared. Here on the edge of this disc entitled followed in 1999. In the following years, it appears in the recording was not the main focus of the singer's life, as the Naked song EP from 2004 had to wait until the fans. The next album was completed in 2008, it was the box of truth. From 2008 - the construction of a solo career - also embarked on a new project Geller. Founded under the name Lucky 13 band, which last year completed the operation. The trio after the termination of the energies of the artist on the album is a laid back. This year was born at the Open book titled disc.
- The 12-song containing the full range of composition we find that in a day or week Intensive great opportunity to relax for a bit. You can not really accurately define the style represented by Geller. Language is a kind of mixture in which it is to pop elements are present, such as the American and French folk-songs.
- The singer is noticeably sought to create a very complex thing. Success is one of the keys to the carefully orchestrated songs (the Thank you to Driving in Manhattan until the Little light from the Promets-Moi-up) and the other to the very large number (30 people near) artist team of precision work means
Tot eind 2011 maakte Marci Geller samen met Susan DeVita en Cathy Kreger deel uit van een akoestisch zingend trio dat onder de naam ‘Lucky 13’ een tijdlang furore wist te maken in het folkcircuit van New York. Samen met haar echtgenoot Gian DiMauro bouwde ze vorig jaar in de kelder van haar eigen huis een heuse opnamestudio en met hem als producer werd er naarstig gewerkt aan een eerste soloplaat die nu onder de titel “Open Book” wordt uitgebracht.
Marci Geller beschikt over een kristalhelder stemgeluid dat ze volledig ten dienste stelt aan de twaalf zelf gecomponeerde songs die ze op “Open Book” heeft gebundeld. Voor een aantal tracks deed ze ook een beroep op een mannelijke gastvocalist. Zo zingt de New Yorkse zanger James Maddock mee op de openingstrack “Day Without The Kids” en op “Awakened Mind”, John Tabacco op “Thank You”en folkzanger Vance Gilbert op “No Weather Down”.
Bovendien speelt de bekende Parijse cellist Jean-Philippe Martignoni mee op het door Marci Geller volledig in het Frans gezongen nummer “Promets-Moi”. Van de alleen gebrachte songs onthouden wij vooral “Another Breakdown”, het hoopvolle “Little Light” en haar beklijvende eerbetoon aan de in maart 2011 overleden singer-songwriter Jack Hardy in “Jack Sang On”.
De nummers op deze plaat zijn rustige folksongs in troubadourstijl en kunnen als easy-listening worden bestempeld. De filmische verhalen in de songteksten verdienen dan ook een aandachtige luisterbeurt en houden af en toe een rake boodschap in of weten de emoties van de luisteraar te bespelen. Het volledig door fans gesponsorde album “Open Book” is een fijn, rustig en positief geïnspireerde plaat die we maar al te graag nog ens door de speakers willen laten weergalmen.
Until the end of 2011 made Marci Geller with Cathy Kreger and Susan DeVita part of an acoustic singing trio called "Lucky 13" for a time managed to create a furore in the folk circuit in New York. Together with her husband Gian Dimauro she built last year in the basement of her own home and a real recording studio with him as a producer was diligently working on a solo album which is now under the title "Open Book" is released.
Marci Geller has a crystal clear voice that they are completely at the service of the twelve self-composed songs that she "Open Book" has pooled. For a number of tracks did they appeal to a male guest vocalist. Thus sings the New York singer James Maddock along on the opening track "Day Without The Kids" and "Awakened Mind", John Tabacco on "Thank You" and folk singer Vance Gilbert "No Weather Down".
Further, the famous Parisian cellist Jean-Philippe Martignoni along on by Marci Geller entirely sung in French song "promets-Moi". Of only put songs we remember especially "Another Breakdown", the hopeful "Little Light" and its haunting tribute to the deceased in March 2011, singer-songwriter Jack Hardy in "Jack Sang On".
The songs on this album are quiet folk songs troubadour style can be described as easy listening. The cinematic storytelling in the lyrics deserve an attentive listen and keep an occasional rake message or know the emotions of the listener to play. The fully sponsored by fans album "Open Book" is a nice, quiet and positively inspired record we are happy to have ens the speakers want to reverberate.
“New York’s singer-songwriter Marci Geller’s first solo effort ‘Open Book’ is a nice, relaxing and positively inspired record with self penned songs that tell stories from life, contain some straightforward messages and know how to touch the emotional strings of the listener. In Short: a great pleasure to listen to!”
Times Square Chronicles
Long Island Pulse
Three Village Patch
Reviewed by: Joe Regan Jr.
Singer songwriter Marci Geller, who has sung on “Live with Regis,” “Good Day NY,” and “The Fox Morning Show,” was flown to Switzerland in August of 2011 as a “gift to the bride” and performed one of her original songs with world renowned Parisian classical cellist Jean-Philippe Martignoni. When she learned that Martignoni would be performing with his quartet Quatuor Paris II at Lincoln Center as part of their Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts at 11 a.m. on March 18th, she decided it was time to recapture their musical chemistry by performing their first U.S. concert in New York City that afternoon at the Metropolitan Room. They were to be joined by percussionist Marshal Rosenberg who tours with Tom Rush, Aztec Two Step, and Buskin and Batteau. Unfortunately, it was a beautiful spring day outside at 3 p.m. and there was a very small crowd of friends to hear Ms. Geller’s extraordinary songwriting talent and this performance.
Most of Ms. Geller’s songs are about women wronged by men and it’s a shame that there weren’t current cabaret women singers in the audience to hear her gems. The lyrics were consistently literate and yet forceful and strong, her singing voice has a wonderful range which was complemented by Martignoni’s magnificent cello playing and Rosenberg’s versatile and selective use of percussion and drums. Her first song was “Not That Girl Anymore” which was about a man who dumped her and suddenly came back into her life but she can’t be his savior any more, she’s grown beyond that and is “not that girl anymore.” The sad second song was about a mother who was awakened one morning and her children had all moved out and confronted with her empty nest and was appropriately titled “Day Without the Kids.” “Awakened Mind” was about her thoughts after visiting one of New York’s great museums and the impact those great artists displayed had on her psyche. “Driving in Manhattan” was about getting caught in a traffic jam and being unable to get the man who has left her out of her brain. “Promets-Moi,” sung with the guitar, was the wonderful song she wrote for the wedding, and it was stunningly sung in French with the great artistry of Martignoni’s cello. Her French was flawless and you understood every French phrase about the kind of love she wished the wedding couple would have all their lives.
A tall man met Geller after she sang one of her original songs at the funeral of one of her mentors. The man took her hands and told her in order to honor their friend she must write a new song every day. The next day she woke up and wrote “Tom McCarthy,” about this man and the respect and kindness he showed her by ordering her to write to remember their friend. It was a clear and beautiful universal message song.
“Won’t You Stay?” was the morning after a one night stand with the man or the woman pleading with the partner to stay and she would make him a wonderful breakfast…and maybe stay in her life, describing how beautiful he looked sleeping beside her. “Back Around” told the story of an encounter with an ex-lover out of the blue and not wanting to begin again because “it all comes back around” and it’s his turn to suffer.
The final number was the most optimistic of the set. “Thank You” is a song about how grateful she is each day that she has survived all her heartaches and is still able to take pleasure in life, in music and in art.
It was a wonderful afternoon and singers should look up her CDs and her performances on YouTube to enrich their repertoire. There is a CD planned with Martignoni and it will be a must-have.
Wedding song story
Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Author: Lisa Heffernan
Folk songstress Marci Geller has collaborated with everyone from Vance Gilbert and Ritche Blackmore to Jonathan Preddice of Miles to Dayton, and her bandmates in the former trio Lucky 13. Now, the LI native will be collaborating with world renowned Parisian cellist, Jean-Phillipe Martignoni at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan.
When performing at a wedding outside of Geneva where the famed cellist was a guest, Geller invited Martignoni to sit in on a couple of numbers and the “chemistry was immediate and magical.” Geller since invited him to perform on her upcoming CD, and they will be performing their first US concert together on Sunday.
Geller’s next record, which harks back to Carole King and the Beatles, is set for release in the spring, and features drummer Brian Dunne (Hall & Oates, Blood, Sweat & Tears) and bassist Jack Knight (Art Garfunkle, Jimmy Buffet, Steven Stills) in the rhythm section. Other guest artists include: James Maddock-Vocals, Oli Rockberger-Organ, Jonathan Preddice-Cello, Jean-Philippe Martignoni (Quartet Parisii)-Cello, David Glaser-Guitar & Ebow, and back-up vocals by John Tabacco, Honor Finnegan & Donna Bach-Heitner. The disc will be engineered by Marci’s husband, Gian DiMauro.
“The musical style is interesting,” reveals Geller. “It’s very acoustic and live sounding and we’ve been very sensitive not to do any ‘enhancing,’ to just let the music breathe. Everything revolves around the storytelling—whether it’s a mother experiencing her first weekend alone after her kids leave for the first time, or the frustration of being stuck in traffic in Manhattan and all the feelings that evolve when you have that much time to yourself in a car.”
Once called the “female John Prine,” Geller is a skilled performer who mesmerizes her audiences with candid lyrics. On Sunday afternoon at 3pm, you will be treated to a show of Geller’s originals, with the dynamic Frenchman, who easily transitions from classical to contemporary, on cello, and the schooled Marshal Rosenberg on percussion. Those coming with a group can purchase VIP tickets which include private tables, open bar, appetizer, and gratuity. http://metropolitanroom.com/
For more info check out: www.MarciGeller.com
When Patch last spoke to local singer-songwriter Marci Geller, her group Lucky 13 was busy charming the crowd at Grounds & Sounds. But Geller, left the group earlier this year to return to life as a solo independent singer-songwriter – what she's called a "rebirth" for her career.
"It had several low points but mostly it's been a real amazing ride of writing new material that I feel really strongly about and learning who I am as an artist all over again," Geller said. "At this age that's a pretty cool thing to happen."
Last year, she was named one of Independent Songwriter Magazine's ten favorite artists. She has toured all over the U.S. and Europe, and has appeared on Live! with Regis, Good Day New York, Fox Morning Show, and more. Her music has drawn comparisons to Sarah McLaughlan and Carole King.
"I think I really just sound like me but it's an honor to be compared to people who are that great," she said.
Now Geller, a resident of Stony Brook for about 20 years, is busy recording her sixth album in the studio she and her husband built in their home. Patch recently had the chance to sit down and chat with Geller.
Patch: How were you inspired to get into music?
MG: I don't think it was a deliberate choice. According to my parents I've always been musical. I think it sort of picked me. As far as a career, it must have been momentary insanity. This is just what I do. I can't imagine doing anything that would be more fulfilling.
Patch: What do you find inspires you to write your songs?
MG: The logistics are usually I'm on a run and I'm two miles from my house and an idea pops into my head. I have to keep singing it over and over so I remember it by the time I get home. It's one of the few times in my day that it gets quiet. When I'm not answering emails and plotting what hotel I need to stay in and what time of day ... when I'm running, I guess that quiet is what lets the ideas come through.
Patch: How would you describe the impact the economy has had on musicians?
MG: I think it has affected independent musicians as well as major label artists.
What I do find is that venues are paying less for the same gig, and arts councils have smaller budgets so they're producing less concerts per season. Gas prices have had a huge impact. That used to be such a minor detail in touring, but now it's a major part of figuring out your budget. I think things like Spotify are killing us in terms of downloads ... It's made us think outside of the box to foster a sense of community with the people who enjoy listening to us.
Patch: How would you characterize the music scene in Three Village?
MG: You have a couple of very interesting supportive venues like Grounds and Sounds. The University Cafe, which tends to book outside the area. The Velvet Lounge is more of a plugged-in place and I've noticed they do an open mic. Some of my friends play there and it's kind of a cool scene. ... There's a scene, but I always think it can be better because people want to hear music. We get so caught up in our lives and being on the computer and living in these little isolated boxes. I think people forget what it's like to hear music in a room with other human beings. There's an energy in the room that you can't get anywhere else. ... I've hosted a few house concerts just to give out of town musicians a stopover when they're in the area.
Patch: How do you feel about living in Three Village?
MG: I love it. I really consider this my home more than any place I've ever lived before. I'm not a fan of the LIE. It makes my life very stressful. ... I love that there's a university so you get a very diverse, educated community. You have very intersting places to eat and meet up with people. I think my heart rate slows down once I cross into the Three Village area. I can take a deep breath.
13 / 2 = LI Pulse
Okay, let’s face it – I am a sucker for a self-penned wedding song that’s specifically written for that wedding day. A few years ago, I came across Jacqui Naylor’s “Celebrate Early and Often,” and the romantic guy inside me was deeply touched. Recently I have come across Marci Geller’s “First Dance.” A music industry veteran whose creations are featured regularly on television (and more), Marci married her best friend and co-writer Gian DiMauro. The couple will be celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary this coming Saturday, May 7th, 2011.
“We co-wrote our wedding song because we met while working on a writing project together,” Marci told me. “At the time, I was working on a modern day rock musical and had decided to write each of the characters with a different person. A mutual friend suggested I work with Gian.”
Marci and Gian convened at his recording studio to collaborate on a song that they never ended up quite finishing. Two weeks later Gian proposed, and after a healthy engagement period, the two married in 1995. They decided that since their intended composition was never finished, then they might as well write one for the wedding - and that’s exactly what happened!
When I met Cathy Kreger and Marci Geller, they were playing with Diane Garisto in a group called Lucky 13, and I had no idea what their music was like. We were at the house of Tom and Robin Romeo, founders of WhereforeArts.com. Tom & Robin have a top-notch web series called “After Dinner” which features performances and interviews of awesome local artists, filmed in their north shore home.
So when I met the members of Lucky 13, it was in a spare bedroom that we were using as a dressing room. There were a lot of cliche’d girly exchanges about mascara and shirt choices, although officially I don’t think any of us identify as Girly. Later, when it was time for them to play, I remember thinking, “I really hope these guys are decent, because I like them and if I don’t like their music it will just be weird and awkward.”
I had nothing to worry about. I was fairly blown away by their performance, and especially by the way these very different musicians and songwriters formed into a unique, cohesive sound. Months later, I read on facebook that their time as a band was coming to an end. I was disappointed, as I think a lot of people were, but then I clicked around some more and learned that both Cathy and Marci are now more active than ever as solo artists.
So let me tell you about these two awesome LI singer-songwriters I met one time.
The first thing I noticed about Cathy Kreger is how she plays guitar. She is not what I would call a flashy player—more, someone who has the true musicianship to craft an arrangement that quietly enhances the song being played. Her guitar playing complements the heart of the song and lets it shine, rather than detracting from it by being either too flourishy or too run-of-the-mill.
Cathy’s songwriting is reminiscent of the timeless, to-the-heart style that Mary Chapin-Carpenter is known for, and her vocals bring a soul and depth that I associate more with Bonnie Raitt. It’s music that’s great to hear over a beer with some friends on a Saturday night, but that you’ll still want to come back to Sunday morning when you’re feeling more quiet and contemplative.
Marci Geller’s music has the mix of quiet strength and fire that a lot of people associate with Tori Amos. In fact, I’m pretty sure Marci is a Tori fan herself, and you can hear that a little bit in her music. But you can also hear moments of flashing intensity that are clearly pure Marci.
Marci strikes me as a songwriter with something to say. Sometimes she declares it in a loud burst, and sometimes she states it with a calm certainty. In either case, there’s a sense that you’ll be kicking yourself later if you miss the message now.
Cathy Kreger is making tracks all over the island with her guitar, and can next be seen at Thom Thom Restaurant in Wantagh on March 16th. Marci Geller is next performing in Stony Brook on March 20th, at an event sponsored by the label she founded herself, Sonic Underground. More information can be found at http://www.cathykreger.com/ and http://www.marcigeller.com/.
Author: Rorie Kelly
INDUSTRY PROFILE: Marci Geller— By Bob Grosssweiner and Jane Cohen
Marci Geller is a singer/songwriter who 13 years ago was so frustrated in getting a fulfilled record contract that she started her own record label, Sonic Underground, with her business partner Gian DiMauro. Sonic Underground just released a label compendium album appropriately entitled "Lucky 13." The album features Cathy Kreger, Susan DeVita and Marci. After the release of the CD, the three formed a group named Lucky 13.
With a list of credits that would stand taller than the petite singer, Marci boasts a lofty resume. She was chosen out of thousands of applicants to perform her original song, "We Carry On" on "Live! With Regis," has toured internationally as an opening act and back-up vocalist for guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. She has numerous compositions placed in soundtracks on VH1, MTV, A&E, Discovery, FoodTV and ABC. She scored the soundtrack to the Barracuda Yoga video (featuring the cast from WE Network’s "Single in the City") with co-producer/composer Gian DiMauro and was voted one of the "Top 10 Best Singer/Songwriters" by Independent Songwriter magazine in 2000.
"Ritchie’s manager Carole Stevens discovered me through a bizarre series of events that are too long to go into," she reminisces about her opening for Blackmore's Night in 2000. "Basically, she kept taking him to my shows. He knew that I was so focused on my own music, why would I want to be in his band? On his own volition, he came back to me with an offer to be the opening act and sing backup for his band. It was a dream come true. That big gig in Italy was while I was the opener for Blackmore’s Night.
Lets backtrack a bit to her days of trying to secure a record contract. "I'd signed a 12" deal with Backdoor Records at the beginning of my career," she recalls. "They had positioned me to be the 'cooler, edgier Debbie Gibson.' In all honesty, I was into Peter Gabriel and Genesis at the time and got talked into doing a dance single because it was an easier path for female singer/songwriters at the time. The dance single was doing well, and I've got to admit, it was a lot more exciting than I ever envisioned."
"I went with the president of Backdoor to interview with a management company MTC, which was run by Barry Taylor and Alan Wolmark," she continues. "I liked them both instantly and felt like they had a deeper sense of what I was going for as a musician. I'd watched my single go from being in the top of the dance charts to tanking after I was talked out of a deal with Atlantic Records. I was told if I signed with Atlantic , they would want me to pop out dance singles for the rest of my career, and I would never be taken seriously as a musician. Subsequently when I heard from Barry at MTC, my single had fallen off the charts, and it was clear the end was near. He told me they really liked me but were short-handed because their assistant had just quit. I asked him if they would consider hiring me so I could learn about the industry. I would work for cheap and in exchange, they would manage me and teach me about the industry. We came to an agreement, and I have to say, working with them was a really intense lesson in music industry 101. I met many people at the beginning of their careers and am to this day very thankful for the wisdom and insight they shared with me and to boot, I got to work in the Brill Building."
"Lucky 13" is a celebration of tenacity, independence, lots of love and music. Thirteen years ago in 1995, Marci and DiMauro came back from their honeymoon. They took the leftover $748 from their wedding money and decided to officially register Sonic Underground as a music production company/record label. Although it had existed as a recording studio for several years prior, this validation and legalization marked a commitment to make as much music as possible and make it available to anyone who wanted to listen.
The original roster included songwriter Judith Zweiman, whose songs have been covered by Shawn Colvin and Lucy Kaplansky; smooth jazz vocalist Deborah Jones; the in-your-face rock/jazz/ska band Gear Head Freaks; finger style guitarist Bob Westcott; thematic guitarist Jim Dexter; and Marci and others.
Throughout the 13 years, Sonic Underground and its roster has had a wealth of releases, raised thousands of dollars for several charities, including Aid for AIDS, Save-a-pet, American Lung Association N-S, from the sale of "Snappy Holidays," an all-original holiday CD, worked with famous and infamous musicians ( Ritchie Blackmore, Kameleons (BMG), Jeff Johnson (Jeff Jay), Teddy Kumpel, Drew Zing, Ed Palermo, Candy Zappa, Alex Alexander (Dido drummer) embarked on a roller coaster of adventures and shed lots of tears.
Why did you start Sonic Underground?
Because neither of us, my business partner Gian DiMauro and I, felt we would ever fit neatly into the major label model. I like a diverse style of music and felt restricted when labels expected me to fit into a little genre box. Having our own label gives us the freedom to be both musically creative and adventurous.
What kind of artists do you want to sign?
At the moment we’re happy with our roster and have no plans of expanding in the near future. It would be fiscally and musically irresponsible to the artists we’re currently working because we prefer a very hands on approach.
How does MySpace and YouTube help your artists?
Fostering a sense of community and lots of great exposure. Our new endeavor is Facebook, and we’re really enjoying that as well.
What kind of tour support do you offer your artists?
At present, we front the bill for travel expenses as well as the marketing and promotion expenses for shows, radio interviews and promotional appearances.
How do you feel about free downloads off the Internet?
For promotional purposes it’s useful to offer a single here and there to generate a buzz. In all honesty, our target demographic is more apt to buy a physical CD so we will offer free downloads as an incentive, but in general, you should be paid for your work especially when you’re the little guy.
First concert attended
Yes, in the round, at Nassau Coliseum in 1980. It changed my life. Being at a concert of that size and magnitude for the first time was like an out of body experience. I felt like I was lifted out of myself and became part of the music and vibrations. It confirmed for me at that moment that I always wanted to be part of something creative and made me aspire to someday be on a stage and make someone in my audience feel as connected as I did that night.
First concert worked
The first big ticket concert I ever did was in Bulgaria when I was on tour with Blackmore’s Night in 2000. We played a coliseum that had over 10,000 people attend. After the show, someone broke into our dressing room and stole my favorite camisole and some underwear. I was flattered in a weird disturbed kind of way.
First industry job
I wound up being an office manager for MTC Management in the Brill building. They had originally been interviewed to manage me, but the indie label I was signed to at the time, Backdoor Records, convinced me not to take the deal with Atlantic unless I wanted to do track dates in Miami when I was 50, so I turned down the deal, the record slipped off the charts, and when Barry Taylor from MTC called me, I told him I wanted to learn about the industry so would he hire me, I’d work for cheap and in exchange they would manage me.
Performed on "Live! With Regis," "CNN Worldbeat," "Good Day NY"-- It was a piece on the artist Erte: I sang at his last public birthday bash many years ago and Good Day put me in the segment -- and touring with Ritchie Blackmore as his opening act and getting to sing backup vocals in his band -- -he's brilliant, and it was a great honor. The soundtrack placements always seem to come at the right time,like when a big oil bill comes and I've no idea how it will get paid. The soundtracks are Into the Blue--MTV; Hogan Knows Best--MTC; Celebrity Rehab and Celebrity Fit Club--VH-1; Club 2: Q&A--VH1; Made-MTV; The Critical Hour--Discovery Health Channel; Driven: Mary-Kate &Ashley Olsen and the Jessica Simpson episodes--VH1. The "Lucky 13" project, which has morphed into a group, is my current highlight. Working with Cathy Kreger & Susan DeVita gets me out of bed in the morning with a smile on my face.
I’d need a novel for that one, but most recently, I was offered a deal on Koch International, and we were planning the promotional tour, talking about having me open for Carole King. I thought, "wow, it’s actually going to happen this time," and then the head of A&R got canned and my deal sat in limbo for months until we finally asked to walk. I was in a funk for over a month and didn't think I'd the heart to put myself out there again, but obviously I got over it.
Balancing real life with my music career. I've a husband who's my best friend, and when things get hectic, we can discuss the realities of the situation. Money is always a challenge, but somehow bills always get paid, and we just keep on moving forward. There's a tremendous amount of stigma that female musicians have to deal with that men don't have to. It’s totally acceptable to be a balding, chubby guy and still be valid, but if you're a woman over 30 and you don’t live at the botox farm and have a trainer working you four hours a day, well you can’t possibly be valid. Thankfully, as an indie-label we get to circumvent those expectations and focus on putting out great music and finding our audience who love us as we are.
Best business decision
Partnering with my husband, Gian DiMauro, working with Cathy Kreger and Susan DeVita, and launching "Lucky 13."
Best advice you received
Don’t help someone more than they're willing to help themselves. That one rings strongly because I’ve had this habit of killing myself trying to motivate people around me, and when I look back on all the energy spent, it was kind of dumb because they obviously didn't really want it for themselves.
Also be to be true to yourself and your vision. It took a long time for me to really find my voice and not be frightened by what I discovered about myself. Sometimes it’s messy, and sometimes it’s painful, but I always, always try to be honest.
Any mistakes that you have learned from
The biggest mistake I keep making over and over again and keep swearing is the last time is not listening to my instincts. They literally scream "don't do that" and because of friendship or guilt or charm or whatever, I watch myself almost as if having an out of body experience walk right into it. Kind of the theme for my song, "My Last Mistake."
Most memorable industry experience
Performing solo in Italy when I was the opening act for Blackmore’s Night in front of 10,000 people, who were so attentive you could hear a pin drop, that was powerful and inspiring. Touring in general always makes me very happy. I feel like a little kid with keys to the candy store.
What friends would be surprised to learn about you
My friends pretty much know me. When people meet me after a show, they tend to be surprised at how upbeat I am. I've had a pretty tragic life in some respects with lots of dark journeys, and I use my music to exorcise those demons. That way, I can free myself to some degree and be who I think I am at the core: an optimist and a happy person.
Industry pet peeve
Ageism, sexism and artists who find it necessary to exploit themselves to be heard.
If I wasn't doing this, I would be...
...an astronaut. I'm a Star Trek geek and proud of it.
Tom Pomposello; Barry Fisch when he was at PolyGram; Barry Taylor and Alan Wolmark from the MTC days; Rick Bleiweiss, BMG; Carole Stevens, Blackmore’s Night Management; Marla Swartz, former booking agent; and Norm Prusslin, former station manager at WUSB, 90.1 FM, Stony Brook, NY.
“ Here On the Edge “ - Reviewed by Annie Lin
Here On the Edge is as achingly close as Marci Geller gets to leaving her diary open on the living room table. Introspective rather than confessional, this New York pop-folk artist doesn’t pretend to be your best friend: her lyrics might make you squirm, but she doesn’t give a damn whether you share her pain. You’re the insider, and
she’s “that weird girl” who lost her innocence and “screamed into a bag” in album’s searing first track “I’m So Angry.”
Geller’s debut album approaches conflicting themes of intimacy, alienation and survival with wintry piano solos and emotionally deft guitar. Laced with accordion and piano, the album’s title-track, Here on the Edge, brings to mind early Counting Crows, circa “Recovering the Satellites.” It’s the song you want to hear if you’re the last one left at the bar. Tori Amos is clearly an musical influence for Gellar who, like many other female piano-based pop artists, imitates the Amos’s melodic dexterity. Geller distinguishes herself from legions of Tori-wannabes by avoiding the pop singer’s quirky vocal inflections. Geller’s singing is not spectacular, but it is smooth and smart enough to carry off subtler tracks like the soothing “Skin.”
Seldom does production so seamlessly showcase pop-folk. Masterful rhythm tracks accentuate the tone of the piano and make each song modern and, well, undoubtably listenable.
Hit Picks: “I Got Angry” and “Skin”
Ear Candy- MikeSOS Ear Candy Magazine
Marci Geller- Here On The Edge
(Sonic Underground Productions)
Marci Geller is a Renaissance woman if there ever was one. This talented singer-songwriter isn’t your typical angry female on a mission or another flower power reject with an acoustic guitar. Geller is powerful and abrasive (“I’m So Angry”, “World Falls Down”) in a Tori Amos/Alanis Morrisette way, yet she retains a tenderness (“Falling Down”) that allows her to truly tell an enchanting story through song. 12 enchanting stories, to be exact, as Here On The Edge contains well-crafted songs and top-notch production, not to mention the ultra powerful and emotional voice of Geller. If you’re looking for a millennium version of Carole King and her masterpiece Tapestries, look no further. Marci Geller is an intense performer whose beautifully poignant music will sweep you away to a land beyond the edge.
UNITED GLOBAL ARTISTS, Leigh Silberg-Marci Geller is an enigmatic artist that is highly creative & original in both lyrical content & vision. Her prolific work is at once both sublime & perplexing in motive & content. Musically crafty , Marci's work reaches out to both AAA individuality & AC charm in an appealing & alluring stylism. The EP "Naked" is a work of eclectic & cerebral content , coupled with an uncanny melodic ability to strike the mainstream without compromising artistic integrity
"Me Versus The Pill" & "Suicide" are great examples of a musical artist who simultaneously exudes a media friendliness that sparkles with production smarts , whilst tackling complex emotional & social issues without becoming overtly loquacious
'Home" is an introspective tale that speaks of alienation , loneliness & longing within the world of the human heart ; Whereas the song "The Day I Disappeared" & "OK" reach out with resolve , in the confounding quagmire of love , desire & relationships
In the "Here On The Edge" project , the music is a radiating work of picturesque & adroit songwriting skill & Vocal nuance. One cannot avoid the comparison to Tori Amos in Marci Geller's music , but the former is more oblique & obtuse whilst the latter is a profound & joyous celebration of the soul , with bite...mind you
"I'm So Angry" is a fine tune with a mood that traverses from wistful to vengeful ; Segue to "Here On The Edge" & one witnesses a diverse tangent of sensitive & effulgent composition in the shadow of Carol King
Marci Geller has an uncommon knack of straddling both the mainstream media & artistic side of musical composition & performance. She is adept to the point of bewilderment ; Yet willingly open & vulnerable enough to empathically share her inner journey with us
"We Carry On" is an Acoustic Piano & Vox piece complimented with a counterpoint Viola motif. A showcase of songwriting prowess ; Whereas "Not That Girl Anymore" again is in a design that highlights the song & structure of a tunesmith
"Light On My Face" along with "Make It Feel Better" are songs that project a complex emotional vista that explore the directions of the heart. The latter cut replete with stand up acoustic Bass , is a classic work of atmospheric character
"Look What You've Done" is a beatific gem. A Celine Dion or Barbara Strisand would compliment a song such as this
"Falling Down" like "Say Goodbye" , is a wondrous tune that would make Burt Bacharach wink. Essentially , one is led to the conclusion that Marci Geller , is a stellar songwriter. Kate Bush take note
One could easily imagine a number of "high profile" singers utilizing the dynamics of Marci Geller's music ; Yet that being said , Marci's Vocal shadings are superb & admirable within themselves. An all-embracing superlative quality permeates Marci Geller's music. A brooding & eloquent enigma. Phenomenal in scope & compositional insight
to download hi-res version
“Open Book is a well-crafted musical treat for the musical soul. Marci’s crisp, warm vocals ride the wave of this smartly articulate production creating a wondrous space for the lyrics and melodies to find their way into the heart. A fine truly engaging listening experience!” – Reggie Harris
David Buskin • Buskin and Batteau, Modern Man • “One of the finest singer/songwriters we’ve come across.”
Vance Gilbert • "A dolcet voiced angel"
“With intelligent lyrics, captivating melodies and inspired vocal pairings with James Maddock and Vance Gilbert, Marci Geller's latest release, Open Book, is a great listen from the first song to the last.” – Alan Marzelli, curator, Ossining Library's Words & Music concert series
Bill Brent, DJ WUSB 90.1FM
Here is an amazing album, by a true talent. When you hear the term "folk music" an image forms in your mind's eye. That image may be of the Vietnam era folk singers of protest, or possibly of a an unkempt hitch-hiker - guitar strapped to his back, stopping by a camp fire and exchanging songs of the open road for the evening's victuals. It may bring to mind Judy Collins, John Denver, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez or someone who's first name does not begin with a "J" like Don McLean or Pete Seeger. But for the most part, we seem to think of folk music as something of the past, - well - we'd be wrong. This young woman proves it's alive and well (thank you very much).
I'm only able to feature individual cuts on my show, you see they haven't released it on vinyl - go figure - but the quality of the performances makes up for the decision to keep it - exclusively - in the digital domain. I encourage all my friends (FB and real world) as well as both of my listeners - to cough up a few coins and - well - acquire this (legally) how ever you vinally-challenged folks do such things (order a cd, download a mp3, eye a tune - whatever) - you won't be disappointed. As an added bonus - she has a little help on the album from a few friends; Lori Lieberman, David Buskin, Mya Byrne, Barbara Kessler, Craig Akin, Brian Dunne (from Hall & Oates) and Jon Preddice. Yes THAT Lori Lieberman - the woman responsible for Killing Me Softly (if you don't know the story, I'll share it in another post)
and - you can hear a few tracks free (just in case you're too cheap to plunk down a couple of shekels) on youtube...
enjoy. and let me know if you agree with my assessment - and if you'd like to read more artist recommendations from my Vinyl Resting Place! cheers.Merrell Feuer Angstreich · Although few music venues offer the intimacy of a local coffee house, Marci Geller’s performance last night at Last Licks Cafe in Huntington made the audience feel as if they were all good friends sitting in her living room. She creates an instant rapport with concert-goers that doesn’t give the impression of “working the room,” but rather that she is invested in everyone enjoying the experience.
Ms. Geller’s songs, though highly personal, resonate with the audience because of their ability to capture moments that we have all experienced, such as “Not That Girl Anymore,” which she wrote after turning 30 and realizing that she didn’t “go to sleep 29 and wake up old” or “Driving in Manhattan,” the story of frustration with a relationship and with New York City traffic that is simultaneously poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Parents who often come to live their lives through their children nod knowingly as Marci sings about “A Day Without the Kids,” and everyone in the audience left wishing they had had the opportunity to meet the larger-than-life man honored in “The One and Only Tom McCarthy.” In short, Marci Geller eloquently captures in words and music the life experiences that the rest of us have had, but weren’t smart or talented enough to immortalize.
Ms. Geller has created enough concert-worthy songs that an hour-long performance leaves the audience wanting more, in the best possible way. Fortunately, her songs stay with the listener long after the show is over.
Sybil Bannett • "your voice, words, and music are stunning."
Sharron McCleery Lavatori · Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Special Education Teacher
"Marci can take you from one emotion to another which each piece she plays and sings. From laughing to crying to feeling the pit in my stomach, or the joy in my heart; Marci has hit a chord with me."
Nenad Bach · World Renowned Musician
"Perfect voice, perfect songs. One of my favorite singers"
Nicole Placco · Suffolk County Community College
"Marci Geller's music is on my daily playlist!"
Valerie Haber Rifkin • "Marci, you were brilliant! We loved your show."
WHUD Interview by Kathy Millar click HERE
Girls Rock Feature!
By William Phoenix, LA Music Examiner
Marci Geller is an interesting, significant, mysteriously lesser-known talent in the music world. Geller has performed all over the world including California. In fact, Geller hopes to once again visit Los Angeles once her next album is in the can.
But just exactly who is Marci Geller? Marci (Anne) Geller is a New York-born singer-songwriter. Geller‘s music can be heard on numerous television networks including MTV, VH1, and A&E. Geller has recently taken a new direction with her music and while little is publically-shared about Geller’s past, her career can be traced back to the late 1980s.
It was in 1989 that a cute, darker Debbie Gibson-esque Geller released a 12-inch record titled “Shake You Up”. This freestyle early electronic dance piece was put out by Back Door Records. It contained 5 cuts. Each was a different mix of the title track “Shake You Up” which was co-written with backing vocalist Donna Bach.
Geller explains: ‘They had positioned me to be the 'cooler, edgier Debbie Gibson.' In all honesty, I was into Peter Gabriel and Genesis at the time and got talked into doing a dance single because it was an easier path for female singer/songwriters at the time. The dance single was doing well, and I've got to admit, it was a lot more exciting than I ever envisioned."
"I went with the president of Backdoor to interview with a management company MTC, which was run by Barry Taylor and Alan Wolmark," Geller adds. "I liked them both instantly and felt like they had a deeper sense of what I was going for as a musician. I'd watched my single go from being in the top of the dance charts to tanking after I was talked out of a deal with Atlantic Records.”
Geller continues: “I was told if I signed with Atlantic, they would want me to pop out dance singles for the rest of my career, and I would never be taken seriously as a musician. Subsequently when I heard from Barry at MTC, my single had fallen off the charts, and it was clear the end was near. He told me they really liked me but were short-handed because their assistant had just quit.”
Geller saw one door close and another one open. “I asked him if they would consider hiring me so I could learn about the industry. I would work for cheap and in exchange, they would manage me and teach me about the industry.”
“We came to an agreement, and I have to say, working with them was a really intense lesson in music industry 101. I met many people at the beginning of their careers and am to this day very thankful for the wisdom and insight they shared with me and to boot, I got to work in the Brill Building" Geller concludes.
The following year Geller would focus her energy on becoming co-owner of Sonic Underground. Sonic Underground is an independent music production company she founded with Gian DiMauro, John Tabacco & Paul Michael Barkan. The label itself came out of the recording studio of the same name which opened the same year.
Geller would continue to perform and even work with other artists. In 1992 she would provide the Kemelions with backing vocals on the album Basement Arrangements. Other highlights of the decade would include the release of her premiere EP Must Be The Moon in 1997. It included tunes such as the title track, “Must Be The Moon” and “We Carry On” which she would perform live on the Regis and Kathie Lee show.
1999 would be highlighted by the release of her twelve-song CD Here On The Edge. The album is a collection of pleasurable pop pieces. It opens with the attention-grabbing, mood swinging track “I’m So Angry”.
Critic’s Choice here is “Skin”. This is the second selection here. It’s an acoustic subtly sexed up song that one critic referred to as “a good substitute for a blow-up doll” Your randy writer, of course, would NOT know about that . . . nope. The song is effective not offensive.
“World Falls Down” follows here. It is a concise composition and leads into an encore presentation of the above-noted “We Carry On”. The next number is the tuneful titular track “Here On The Edge" where she explores inner doubts.
“Not That Girl Anymore” comes next. It is perhaps one of the better examples of tracks that involve a more personal perspective or female viewpoint. “Light On My Face” and “Make It Feel Better” are also fine examples of her talents in telling tales from a feminist viewpoint and/or an intimate emotional angle regardless of the specific subject.
“Look What You've Done” follows. This is another revelatory cut that lends truth to the title of the CD. The song is both passionate and immediate and Geller does indeed deliver up an album of on the edge offerings here.
She next sings “What's Going On Here”. Interestingly, her audience can never be sure how she would answer her own question but it is obvious that she is sharing something personal on this disc. While some critics may claim that material such as “Falling Down” and the other tracks here may alienate a portion of the male population your rockin’ reviewer simply sees this as the result of Geller wanting to write songs with real content as opposed to dippy dance ditties.
“Say Goodbye” serves as the closing cut. It is an apt end to this work although her fans probably find this the saddest song as it does indeed end the album. Geller would not, however, rest on her laurels after this album. She would go on to work as the opening act and then an actual member of Ritchie Blackmore's group Blackmore's Night until 2000 where she would provide background vocals and contribute keyboards.
The new millennium would also find her still writing, too. In 2004 Geller would release the EP Naked. It would feature five fine cuts and would serve as a partial preview to her next full-length recording. Included here are the opening number “Me Versus The Pill” and the noteworthy rockin’ second selection “Suicide”.
She would continue to perform regularly as well. In 2007 Geller would lend her talents to John Tabacco’s Music Box Orphans with the song “Only in a Dream”. She would also work with Donna Bach-Heitner on Volume One with the tune “Snake in the Grass”.
The next year (2008) she would also contribute to Paul Michael Barkan’s import No Writing On The Signs Special Edition with the track “One Free Day . . .” More importantly, however, 2008 would be the year Geller would finally gather together music she had been working on for quite some time and release it all on a CD titled Box of Truth.
“Me Versus the Pill” opens the “box”. Here Geller sings about a blue pill the way George Harrison sang about a piece of candy in “Savoy Truffle”. This is a welcome encore from her earlier EP and a nice opener for the disc.
The second selection is “Suicide”. This too is a welcome rockin’ repeat from the above-mentioned EP. This one is the Critic’s Choice here. It’s an almost angry, killer cut albeit one seemingly about a somewhat sad subject. Geller, however, says "'Suicide' was written about a friend who quit being a musician" and was actually more "symbolic".Regardless, it remains a great song no matter what a listener discovers in it.
This is followed by “Day I Disappeared”. “Day I Disappeared” is a blend of rock and folk. The music almost hides Geller’s somewhat serious secrets as she loses herself in some traumatic experience.
“Home” is the next number. Geller focuses here on those middle-of-the-night phone calls that are always forbearers of death and other bad news. “Home” sadly enough hits home to all of us.
The cut “Close Your Eyes” is next. It deals with some serious relationship issues and touches upon such things as betrayal, lack of forgiveness, drinking and attempting to comfort someone dealing with all of this. “OK (The la, la song)” follows. If The Beatles can make “yeah, yeah, yeah” work in a hit song and The Police can score with "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" then Geller can have her almost bombastic, happy “la la” song here.
“That's Good” picks it up here. Geller seems to be celebrating love with this song. It’s a nice break before she dives back into the darkness with more music lyrically-laced with intrigue and secrets. Witness tracks such as “My Last Mistake”, “Secret She Keeps” and even the closing cut “Truth About Lies” as additional examples of this.
Geller confesses the songs "are all on the same topic. It's no secret, I just don't feel the need to exploit my past as some kind of medal of honor like some artists have chosen". Her material certainly makes one wonder just how dramatic or traumatic much of her life has been or perhaps remains. Still, drama is what often makes a good song so the audience needn’t be too concerned.
2008 was also the year Geller helped to start the acoustic act Lucky 13. (This tuneful trio comprising Geller, Susan DeVita and Cathy Kreger, would only release a debut disc before going on hiatus in early 2011.) Geller, a member of SESAC, contributed to the 2008 release Sonic Underground Presents: Lucky 13. Her specific contributions included the “Me Versus The Pill" "My Last Mistake", "OK (The la, la song)" and “Home”. All three artists appear on the track "Lucky 13".
Geller’s other music-related accomplishments include being named one of the "Top 10 Best Singer/Songwriters" by Independent Songwriter Magazine and has had her music included in soundtracks on ABC, Discovery and FoodTV. Compared to such artists Sarah McLachlan and Laura Nyro, she has also worked with such performers as Dido drummer Alex Alexander, Vance Gilbert, James Maddock and more.
Geller tours internationally and is currently “finishing the next CD” due out sometime next year and adds “on September 30th I'm opening for Nenad Bach at the Towne Crier in Pawling New York.” She also hopes to hit California again next year: “It's my goal with the next release to play L.A. in 2012 with my friend Jude Johnstone who lives in Central Coast, CA but plays in L.A. frequently.” Geller is certainly an artist with something to say and will no doubt be out there sharing her love of music for a long time to come.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.
William Phoenix, LA Music Examiner