‘Woman Transcending’is a collection of rare recordings from my ‘solo’, rather eclectic musical journey thus far. Some of the songs were released on CD's that were not so easy to get hold of. Others have never been released by ‘anyone,’ almost as if they had been kept in a time capsule waiting for this moment in time.
'Woman Transcending' also represents my 'personal' journey through Music and Art.
Art is such a huge part of my life now, so I couldn't let this CD out into the world without having it involved.
The painting for the cover artwork is my portrayal off 'Leonardo da Vinci'.
The White Dragonfly is my representation of freedom, what I strive for in my life.
I have been concentrating on my Art more than my music for some time now, and as much as I LOVE my painting, there was a little nagging voice saying “come on Annie, it’s time for some more music”!
I decided to listen through some songs that I have had in my possession for several years and I was surprised how many I found and how really good they all sounded, along with many great memories.
The songs I have chosen for this CD cover several styles of music, some that you wouldn't normally hear from me. The sound may vary from song to song and from year to year but the music is strong no matter what, I think that is the beauty of this CD.
The first three songs are with my wonderful band from 1992, they were: Rave Tesar, Dave Keyes, Mark Lambert, Joe Goldberger and Larry Fast producing as well as performing. Then I travel back in time to 1986 to the UK where I recorded a Mike Rutherford (Genesis)/B.A Robertson song and a Neale Heywood song, both produced by the talented Rod Edwards.
Then I move to 1998 and my unique experience in Jackson, TN recording with Carl Perkins family, I recorded two wonderful country songs written by Carl, Debbie, Stan and Greg. Annie ‘sings’ Country!
One song in particular is very special, in that it is the only song I ever recorded with my Brother Michael, whom I lost to lung cancer recently.
His voice was magnificent and I am proud to be able to share it with you. If you have never heard Michael sing you will be quite surprised at the power and timbre in his voice, it always brings me to tears......a cross between Elvis and Roy Orbison.
This is a rough mix so I ask you to be forgiving on this one, as it is the only version there is.....Next comes a simple rendition of a Don Everly song, where I am accompanied by Renaissance studio engineer Dick Plant.
We recorded this late one night after a band session in 1974………this was a lot of fun!
Hunter Trials is a humorous piece co-written by well known UK DJ Mike Read with words from Poet, Sir John Betjeman. This will bring a smile.
In 1995 I organized a benefit concert in NYC with Larry Acunto of 20th Century Guitar magazine. We named the concert ‘Lily’s in the Field’ after the song I wrote with Steve Howe. I am very happy to see this song released again. David Biglin’s Arrangement and Production is just breathtaking!
Raphael Rudd was a close friend as well as a band member.. Although he didn't write the song he is performing on. I chose it because in addition to arranging it he is playing the Harp, which he played so well and quite rarely, it is a beautiful piece of work.
In 1994 I was working with Tony Visconti on my Blessing in Disguise CD we recorded My Eternal Love a Bee Gees song, for some reason we didn’t put it on the CD.
I am glad we didn’t, it belongs here and now, I love the Bee Gees and felt quite proud to sing one of their songs.
In 1986 I met Warwick and Jo Embury for the first time and we really hit it off..
Warwick was a man who was bigger than life in every way you could think of, fun talented and very humorous
One day he played me ‘Shadows’ and said he needed a vocal on it and would I like to have a go at recording it……….
I LOVE this song, the rhythm is so strong that it makes me want to dance around the room when ever I hear it!
Warwick wrote Decisions especially for me, it was most poignant for that period in my personal life. Reaching Out is a perfect way to end this CD.
I love the orchestration on this, very moving and space-like as was the intention.
In these troubled times for mankind and the planet, music is a powerful tool for creating positivity and strength, bringing people together and soothing the soul.
So I am sending my voice out into the world yet again, in hopes that it calms, heals and brings joy to those who are connected to it.
A lot more information below……………..
THE ANNIE HASLAM STORY
After growing up in the industrial town of Bolton, Lancashire in England, the daughter of Annie and George, Annie developed into a singer songwriter with credits worthy of some of the most well known entertainers in the world. To backtrack a little, her working class roots were to give her a foundation that would serve her well later in life. She would travel the world and be introduced to many situations and nationalities far away from her homeland. A career in music was to be the biggest gift that would be bestowed on her. Her father was an amateur comedian/singer (with a beautiful tenor voice) and her mother a gentle quiet woman had once been a nurse while aspiring to be an acrobatic dancer. Both had encouraged Annie in whatever they saw her drawn to, this was pretty special in the days when most families wanted and needed their children to go out to work and bring money and food home to the table. This, after all, was a working class family. Clearly a strong devotion to the upbringing and the consideration of her own life needs were to help Annie on her path forward within the realms of creativity.
Annie has two brothers, both gifted in their own way. Keith is a very gifted artist and made his name for himself in Canada where he worked as a graphic designer, designing packaging for some well known products, that later became household names. He really should have pursued a career in comedy as his personality is very funny and infectious. He has been a Hare Krsna devotee for many years now and uses his talents within the structure of that religion.
Michael, also a singer with a very powerful melodic voice was signed up by Brian Epstein in the 60’s and was fortunate enough to be included in several of the infamous Beatles Christmas Shows. At this time Annie would hear her brother practicing at home not realizing that one day she too would be singing professionally. A ballet dancer, nurse and later a dress designer were the only careers on her mind, the latter being the only one that she actually pursued with enthusiasm after attending art school in Cornwall in the late 60’s.
In the early 70’s Annie was to find out that not only did she have a talent for dress design but that also she had a hidden talent for singing, which was discovered after her sister in law (also a singer), heard her singing along with the music at the end of the TV show in the UK called ‘The Saint’. This encouragement led her to her first singing position at the ‘Showboat in the Strand’ (a cabaret style dinner theater). After six months here she went for an audition in Surrey with a rather unusual band called Renaissance. Annie’s unique style of singing captured the members of the band and she was immediately offered the job as lead singer, from that moment on her life would never be the same.
This was the beginning of a whole new life for Annie. From that point on she would start her musical adventures that took her across most of the world, and which brought her to such wonderful venues as The Royal Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York, performing with The Royal Philharmonic and The New York Philharmonic Orchestras, respectively. The music that was created within the band was surely something that became very unique and that would stand the test of time. During the period with the band Annie was to record her first solo Album.
In 1977 ‘Annie In Wonderland’ was created, produced, performed and recorded by The Move and ELO Founder member Roy Wood. This was a turning point in Annie’s career as Roy opened up new avenues and styles of singing that Annie had not tried before. This album is a joy.
Her second solo album in 1985, presented light classical pieces put to words by lyricist Betty Thatcher and with music arranged and conducted by Louis Clark. This has to be one of the highlights of Annie’s career. She recorded with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom she had already performed back in the Renaissance days, and so to do her own project with them was a very special achievement. The album was entitled ‘Still Life’.
In 1987 Renaissance disbanded and in the following year Annie started to make plans to form her own band and return to North America. Two of the members from that initial band are still performing with Annie, Rave Tesar on keyboards and Dave Keyes on Bass. Joe Goldberger, who played drums with Annie from 1987, sadly moved to LA in 2001 and therefore had to leave the band. Charles Descarfino was recruited as the new drummer, he had also played with Annie before in her solo shows and also in the latter days of Renaissance.
In 1989, a record deal was secured with EPIC Records. This album was simply entitled Annie Haslam, and was to be her stepping stone to another major life change. The Album was licensed to Virgin Records in Japan which led to a tour of several major Japanese cities with The Annie Haslam Band.
Soon after this very successful trip, Annie moved to North America where she is still residing.
In 1992 she started writing songs with record producer Tony Visconti, but was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after they started recording demos. This did not deter her, in fact the music that was written and recorded during this period was instrumental in getting her through all the uncomfortable experiences that came with the chemotherapy and radiation. Music played a big part in the recovery process. During Annie’s recuperation, a record deal was secured in Japan for ‘Blessing in Disguise’. This CD, containing nine songs co-written by Annie, captures many of the emotions that she had lived through. ‘Blessing in Disguise’ came out in the U.S and Canada in 1995 and has just been re-released in England and Europe on Voiceprint UK .
Back in control of her health Annie became involved in a YES tribute CD where she was to record ‘Turn of the Century’, which led to Annie and Steve Howe writing material for an album together. Although the album is unfinished at this time, blending the melodic style of Steve’s incredible guitar playing with Annie’s ethereal five octave voice makes this project very unique. Their association was to take a strange twist in 1995. After being so moved by a programme on orphans in Bosnia, Annie had been compelled to call ‘Inside Edition’, (a TV news magazine show in the states), A connection was made that would lead to Annie organizing a benefit concert in New York in aid of these unfortunate children in Sarajevo. The concert was put together with the help of 20th Century Guitar Magazine who later did a wonderful spread in their magazine to record the evening’s events. It was a huge success and was held at the Irving Plaza with such names as Justin Hayward, Gary Brooker, Roy Wood, Cheap Trick, Steve Howe, Phoebe Snow, Steve Holley, Ian McDonald, Tony Visconti, David Biglin with Al Franken as the host of the evening. This was a night to remember which hopefully one day will be made into a CD.
In 1997, Annie was invited to perform in Brazil where she recorded a ‘Live’ CD called ‘Live’Under Brazilian Skies’.
In the winter of 1998 Annie started work on her solo CD ‘The Dawn of Ananda’. Co-writing songs with Rave Tesar (who also produced most of the CD along with Larry Fast and Tony Visconti) Michael Dunford, Larry Fast, David Biglin and Tony Visconti this is a collection of songs not to be missed. The songs are all Angel related in some way and it is a beautiful, calming body of work, full of emotion, soaring vocals and lush orchestral arrangements. This is available on Annie’s e-Commerce site at www.anandaangels.com and major record stores.
Annie has also been busy designing an Angel jewelry line which is also available on the e-Commerce site along with the story of how it came about. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the jewelry goes to several charities as described on the Ananda site.
A long awaited Xmas CD ‘It Snows in Heaven too’ was released on White Dove Records just in the nick of time for Xmas 2000. Annie and her band had been performing special Xmas concerts for 5 years at a very lovely church, The Upper Tinicum Lutheran church in Tinicum, Upper Black Eddy, PA and to record a CD of Xmas songs seemed the natural progression.
The CD was received with great excitement and acclaim from all the fans that had waited so long to be able to listen to Annie in their own homes in the spirit of the season! Rave Tesar was the producer, arranger and keyboardist on the whole CD and also wrote the title track ‘It Snows in Heaven too’. This CD is also available on Annie’s e-Commerce site.
A new re-union CD from Renaissance ‘TUSCANY’ was released in Japan October 2000 on Toshiba/EMI, which led to a very sucessful tour there in March of 2001. The band consisted of Annie, Michael Dunford, Terry Sullivan, Mickey Simmonds, Dave Keyes and Rave Tesar.
The current Annie Haslam Band consists of Annie, Rave Tesar, David Keyes, Charles Descarfino and John and Angel Rittweger. Angel adds a new dimension to the band as her voice is very similar to Annie’s and blends very well!
A new ‘live’ CD ‘One Enchanted Evening’ was released in December 2002, a collection of songs Annie has wanted to sing since she was a little girl, a trip down memory lane for sure.
In 2005 Annie joined John Wetton for a duet on his new Wetton/Downes CD ‘ICON’.
The song called ‘In the End’ received glowing reviews.
Later in the Spring of 2005 Annie embarked on a six city concert tour of North America with keyboardist David Sancious (E-Street Band). The shows were just Annie and David performing together. It was a unique experience with them performing Annie’s solo work, a few Renaissiance classics and four new pieces written by Annie and David especially for the tour.
In the Fall Annie went to Brazil to perform a show with Marcus Viana and Sagrado, a Brazilian progressive rock band. The show was at Scala in Rio de Janeiro.
In January of 2006 Annie was invited to sing with Welsh progressive rock band, Magenta.
An EP of the song ‘Night and Day’ was the outcome and was actually written specially for Annie to sing.
Then came ‘Woman Transcending’…..
Presently Annie is spending much of her time painting, which is another passion in her life.
Her artwork can be seen on her website at: www.anniehaslam.com