From the Love and Energy of so many wonderful and talented people this CD was created. Created for you the listener in this age of Obama, as the universe goes through its transition of Love, Peace, Joy and Understanding.
Vocalist, percussionist and spiritual guide A. Marcy Francis along with Grammy award winning musician Leonard Nelson Hubbard put together a collection of songs that inspire and uplift the human sprit. The toe tapping dance/funk/gospel energy of the title track “Reachin Higher” with Valerie Sims’ down home background vocal arrangements flows right into “Higher”. The percussion masterpiece from the hands of A. Marcy Francis and Jan Jeffries “The Rhythm Speaker”. Yes ladies and gentlemen the music you hear is performed by two ladies of the drum from West Philadelphia. Track 3 “Make a Change” strikes up the band with the sounds of the islands and brings forth the message that has been resounding around the planet. Track 4 , Hubbard’s “My Heart Keeps Tellin Me” is a blend of hip hop, R+B, adult contemporary and smooth. On this song Ms.Francis pays tribute to the vocal style of the late great Ms. Phyllis Hyman. “Universal Praise” (track 5) brings together different religious faiths of the world as praise is sung in several languages. The traditional gospel sound of “Grateful” (track 6) is brought to life with the piano and organ work of Valerie Sims and Vincent Stith. “I Am Here” (track 7) brings to life the words of Rachel Corrie. Please contact the Rachel Corrie Foundation for more information on her meaningful short life. This song is a duet with Ms.Francis and Mr.Hubbard performing all the parts. On track 8 “I Am Chant” healing gourds and didgeridoo help provide the music landscape for Ms. Francis’ meditative multi track vocal solo.
Time to strike up the band once more with “Stay in Peace” (track 9) Then bring things to a close with “Free Spirit” (track 10) an affirmation written and performed by A. Marcy Francis and Valerie Sims........Enjoy
A.Marcy Francis: Lead and background vocals, Shekere, didgeridoo, bells, gourd
Valerie Sims: Vocals, keyboard on tracks 6 and 10
Valerie Ford: Vocals
Leonard Nelson Hubbard: Bass guitar, syth bass, keyboard, electronic drums, vocals
Jan Jeffries (The Rhythm Speaker) Djembe, congas, wood block, shaker, tambourine, cowbell, gourd
Warren Wimberly: Electric and 12 string guitar
Vincent Stith: Keyboards
Webb Thomas: Drums
Stephanie Owens: CD cover art director, photographer
Shona Joshua: artist CD cover
Daniel Wyatt: Head engineer,recording, mixing and mastering
Tim Sonnefeld: Assistant engineer recording and mixing
Contact email. firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Artist:
A. Marcy Francis is a seasoned musician and entertainer whose musical spirit continues to enrich the lives of all she meets. Whether it's singing, playing the bass, shekere, healing gourd meditations or massage, Ms.Francis is the go to person for raising spiritual vibrations. Inspired by Sarah Vaughn, Etta James, Louis Armstrong and James Brown among others, she began as a vocalist, picking up the bass and shekere in her later years. As Ms.Lady Fingers, she was the leader and founder of the all female band, Better Days, that toured the world working for the USO and the Department of Defense. She is Artist-in-Residence at the Arts and Spirituality Center of Philadelphia and the C.A. House of the University of Pennsylvania. Teacher of the Shekere (sacred African hand drum) and also leads stress release management retreats throughout the Caribbean. Her first love is the teaching of children and helping them achieve a strong spiritual foundation for love of life and living.
Leonard Nelson Hubbard:
I am blessed to have established my career in the music industry as an accomplished musician and performer. I have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the business. After traveling internationally the past 15 years as bassist with the world's greatest hip hop band, The Roots, I realized it was time to present my songs and compositions. I then established Reachin Higher Productions. This first project features a dear friend of mine A. Marcy Francis. Marcy and I have worked together for many years and I truly felt that her talent needed to be presented to a worldwide audience. All of the performers on this project I've known for decades and was a blessing to oversee. The next project is my highly anticipated solo cd. The cd will highlight my performance and composing skills. I've already begun recording with a who's who of friends from various styles of music. None of these accomplishments would have occurred without the love and support of my many fans. For this I am truly grateful. It is with love and resounding joy that I present to you, A. Marcy Francis.
Extra Special Thanks,
Track 7 "I Am Here" is based on words written by a then 10 year old Rachel Corrie. She was a peace activist from Olympia, Washington who at the age of 23 was killed in the Gaza Strip while trying to stop the bulldozing of Palestinian homes March 16, 2003. Please contact the Rachel Corrie Foundation for more information.
With all hands raised
Our voices loud and powerful
Let us reach for new love
For strength to reach higher aspirations
That of life, peace and love
To make a transformation
for all people of the universe
Listen to the sound of the heart as it thumps
to the wave of the ocean’s serenity
Feel the love as it flows from universe to universe
So let’s praise with a reverberating bellow
of love and be grateful
You are here, I am here, We are here
Stay in peace and not in pieces
Heal the mind and the soul
Save the babies, let’s help them reach higher
Let our spirit run wild like the sea
As we chant for unconditional love
By, Denise Lancaster