Heavenly Sounds
By Chuck Diliberto


Extraordinaire Media Releases
The "Americana Series" is a five-CD set that heralds the merging of ancient and neo-cultures. The cutting edge of today's "New Age" musicians brings to life the traditional foundations of America's indigenous cultural tenets. The result is a soul journey that is both externally lush and internally peaceful.

The journey is a sensitive portrayal of "Mother Earth's" subtle energies. Beginning with "Heartland Aire", the trek continues through "Appalachian Aire", "Mountain Aire", "Ocean Aire", and ending with "Desert Aire". The listener is transported from coast to coast, experiencing an odyssey that incorporates natural sounds and regional music.

This five-CD set is truly a momentous event that should not go unnoticed. The lineup of musicians involved in this undertaking reads like a who's who of "New Age" performers. Paul Adams, Christopher Franke and Georgia Kelly are but a few of the talented mix who have lent their time and spirit to this project. The wide range of instruments being used captured the heart of American music. The soul of each performer added a spark of creativity that is simultaneously inspiring and majestic.

We are sharing in the combinative and cumulative efforts of some wonderfully caring individuals. The preservation of Mother Earth as a fertile entity that nurtures us physically and spiritually is the predominant theme. Without the earth, life on this planet as we know it would have no source to sustain it.

The Native Americans knew and embellished the fact in their traditions, culture, folklore and religion. The "Americana Series" reminds us, leading us on a historical path that is richly textured, sonically and visually pleasing, of our roots and our future. Upon listening, we have experienced the fascination and awe of traveling through this beautiful country.

Thumbs up for this project. Portions of the proceeds are donated to Earth Communications Office. 

For more information, call (802) 257-5717.


Rock Dog Records
This is the journey of Maria Cuccia through her alien abduction experience, expressed through music, dialogue and weirdness. It took a lot of courage to undertake a project of this magnitude. The fear of ridicule and vulnerability that haunts alien ab-ductees is usually crippling.

In "Abduction", Maria Cuccia works through these pains in a cathartic fashion, sharing each step, visitations, memories, impressions and so forth, so as the listeners can empathize with her plight.

The strength of this project lies in the production and musical arrangement work of Gerry Cannizzaro (Brain Storm/Rock Dog Records). Cannizzaro keeps the project moving forward, exhibiting a sense of musical timing that merged Cuccia's endorphin, adrenaline induced state of being with a rock 'n roll pulse. This produced a heartbeat that remained steady, sometimes frenetic, yet capturing a sense that something real and frightening was occurring.

"Abduction", released to an area that is oversaturated with a plethora of information, still manages to provide a groundbreaking look at this misunderstood and misinterpreted phenomenon. During the dialogue sequences, Cuccia and her husband discuss the medical profession's point of view that she needs to ingest lithium. Her husband concedes that she is different, forcing an unwanted adjustment on his part. Cuccia responds with honest trepidation and a sincere cry for someone to genuinely help her.

What are we left with here? This CD is not the ravings of a deluded mad person desperately seeking attention, but the restrained sobs of a frightened child who does not know where to turn. I sincerely trust that "Abduction" will find its way to those searching for the strength to explain their similar experiences. Maria Cuccia did, unashamedly, and very creatively.

For more information, call (800) 339-0567.


American Recordings
This is the same Donovan who treated us to such classics as Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yello and Season of the Witch. In "Sutras", Donovan returns to his folk-balladeer roots. He sang in a plaintive style, showing few rough edges in his voice.

It is obvious that Donovan has re-turned to his original passion, folk songs that relate stories about love and life. His lyrics bespeak of a wisdom borne out of experience and introspection. He is speaking to his beloved, to his listeners and to himself. Donovan's message is simple, heartfelt and sincere. There was no masking of his feelings or obscure trendy references to someone being stupid, needing help or to be saved.

"Sutras" turns back the clock to 1966, a time when universality and emotional spiritual truths were the anthems of a soul-searching, dissatisfied youth culture that was not content with the offerings of their political, educational and authoritarian leaders.

There are two ways Donovan's "Sutras" can be perceived by the listening public. One, an over-the-hill remnant of the 1960's subculture rehashing the peace and love theme, or two, the reality of the message is still profound and relevant, but being offered to a new generation. You decide, I'm not the judge.

For more information, call (818) 953-3487.

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