Wensday is an exotic young woman of contrasts: she's been a body piercing artist, a jazz singer and a rocker – and Associate Director of All Children's Theatre in her hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. A graduate of NYU and a student at Oxford University, Wensday is covered in artistic tattoos on more than 50% of her body.
Multiple hit songwriter and legendary guitarist DICK WAGNER (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss, Aerosmith, Air Supply) produced TORCH ROCK™ and wrote or co-wrote all 13 tracks of the TORCH ROCK™ album. Wagner plays lead guitar throughout the CD; and he has assembled a brilliant group of musicians, including Fred Mandel (Elton John, Queen, Alice Cooper), Bobby Flores (Grammy winning arranger and Country Instrumentalist of the Year), Nils Lofgren (Bruce Springsteen), to record Wensday's musical debut.
"After a long time trying to figure out what style I do best, I truly get to do it all on Torch Rock," says Wensday. "I think the album conveys that I'm a singer, first and foremost... Connecting emotionally with people is the most important thing to me."
Wensday had her coming out party during the holiday season at Christmas Pudding, the annual event Alice Cooper puts on for Solid Rock Foundation, the organization he started to benefit local youths. Sharing a bill with Don Felder, Stephen Stills and pop metal band Tesla, Wensday moved the crowd with her searing rendition of "Only Women Bleed," the classic ballad Cooper wrote with longtime collaborator and legendary guitarist Dick Wagner. WENSDAY'S powerful take on "Only Women Bleed" draws fresh and renewed attention to its enduring theme of empowering women to overcome the cycle of domestic abuse.
A huge fan of Wensday's from the moment he first heard her sing, Wagner produced, wrote, co-wrote and played guitar on all 13 tracks of Torch Rock.
Wagner tells us, "Wensday has a voice that bridges the world of rock/blues with jazz and country. Wensday embodies a new genre of music that combines the new with the old, in which romance and hard edge combine to create a fresh and passionate new music that I call, 'Torch Rock.' This is a voice that can rock your world and then soothe your wounds right after."
Speaking about her powerful creative chemistry with Wagner, Wensday says, "It's an honor to work with Dick, who is a legendary writer and musician, but I think of myself as something of an old soul, so it's a good match. Most of the songs are about love, relationships and female empowerment, all issues that are meaningful to me.
Wensday gravitated early to the "torchy" part of Torch Rock, developing an intense love of jazz, particularly the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, from her parents' extensive record collection and her first voice teacher at age 13.
One day, after having put singing on hold for a time to focus on her other creative endeavors,, she happened into a vintage store in Massachusetts, saw a gorgeous 1940s cocktail dress, thought about Billie Holiday and knew she had to get back to singing. "I played with many different jazz ensembles all over New England," she says, "and also fronted my own band Miss Wensday and the Medicinals. Oh, and of course, I bought the dress!"
"I was very happy with my life in Providence," she says. "I loved the balance of working with children during the day and singing in nightclubs at night. I was about to cut a jazz album when everything happened with Desert Dreams Records. It's never been about fame and money for me because those only follow when you do what you love. I just want people to like it and to understand where I am coming from. That's what this great journey is all about."
“Every now and then, I will receive a CD that, for a lack of a better way to say it, will blow me away. While every recording I receive to consider for review comes from talented persons, occasionally I will get one from an artist whose God given talent is almost mind boggling. Such is the case with the debut recording of the Phoenix, Arizona based singer/songwriter Wensday.…‘Potential’ can be a terrible label to carry, but Wensday's potential upside is almost staggering to consider. I somehow believe she is going to live up to the big "P" word. Stay tuned, her best is yet to come.”
- Tom Branson, Bluesrockers.ws
“She spoons, she swoons, she croons sweet tunes – Wensday is a tattooed torch-song singer who also knows how to make you move, like a Jessica Rabbit come to life. Rising like a fiery Phoenix out of the city of the same name, it’s only natural that Wensday ended up working with longtime Alice Cooper sideman Dick Wagner, since that’s where the Coop also comes from. Wensday has crafted a sweet, sultry disk that echoes with the smoky tones of bygone eras, shaded by the spark and spirit of tragic blues figures such as Billy Holiday. Want some fire? Check out “The Rise and Fall of Love,” or how about the good ol’ boogie of “Bulldog Blues,” baby! And then there’s “Predatory Gentleman” – ooh, watch your fingers, folks! Not to mention her smokin’ cover of Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed,” which has been garnering some airplay in recent times – now that’s one torchy track, oh yes!”
- Rob Swick, All Access Magazine
“This is an incredible CD. The woman’s voice is amazing. I loved the CD from the beginning to end. Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears are no competition for this lady. She definitely put her heart and soul into this. She blends jazz and rock and roll and a bit of country and blues as well. I think she brings something new and fresh and exciting to the table and even Alice Cooper is thrilled by her. She does a kickass version of “Only Women Bleed”. Check out the disk.”
“In five years of reviewing indie music, previous submissions never broached Wensday’s superhuman vocal combination of power, control, flexibility, soul and sincerity. You are going to glimpse the debut of an artist and production team that snags far beyond the quality grasp of mainstream candy released to the ignorant masses.
You see, eventually her music will help put an end to war and poverty. It will align the planets and bring them into universal harmony -- allowing meaningful contact with all forms of life, from extra terrestrials to common household pets. Probably not, but here’s your free pass to Desert Dreams’ most excellent adventure (apologies to Rufus).
Wensday is not a pop facade. Prior to her discovery, she realized numerous existences including; collegiate student (Oxford and NYU), teacher and even a body piercer. Although past-shaped, her sanctuary is emotionally reaching an audience. Fortunately, fate also signalled your fortune to relish Torch Rock!"
- Adam Mico, Apequake.com
“She’s worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss and Aerosmith. And while waiting for her lucky break, Wensday worked as a body piercer. Say it with me: Street. Cred…. Wensday blends the strong, aching voice of power balladeers like Fiona and Tori with the hard rock sensibilities of the bad boys she’s worked with. This is not a garage band singer putting her first hesitant foot into the music world: Wensday was trained in jazz, blues and opera, among other things….Grab a handkerchief and hold on to something when you put Torch Rock in the stereo; you’re in for a long, lovely ride.”
“The voice is what hit me on the first taste of this song. This is a voice I can listen to if she’s simply singing the numbers out of a phone book. Subsequent listenings allowed me to hear some of the band. A harmonic is played on an electric guitar to introduce the slow dance on this humid evening, but the band really is utilized to emphasize Wensday's voice. “Strike a match, baby, light that fire.””
“With a bold voice that could fill an auditorium, Wensday embodies everything one could expect in her aptly named CD, Torch Rock. But what really sold us is her attention to the more subtle nuances’ that so many singers miss once they discover they can bring the house down with power alone….The CD is filled with so many good moments that it’s hard to pick a favorite track, so it’s best to only play it when you have time to listen to the whole disc all the way through.”
- Singer & Musician
“Sultry and full-throated, Wensday don't need no stinkin' D in her name to deliver this load of intriguing blues.”
- Nancy Ford, Out Smart Magazine
“While Wensday's smoky mezzo-soprano would be at home in any dark cabaret, her lyricism and lovely looks separate her from other lounge lizards… With solid songs, raven locks, red lips, and long lashes, the attractive chanteuse stands out — especially since she's also adorned with numerous tattoos from her time as a professional body piercer, something that prompted Cooper to refer to her as "the other girl next door”.”
- Niki D'Andrea, Phoenix New Times
“Sexy, sultry, breathy and smooth are but a few terms to try to classify the vocals of Wensday. She has such a unique vocal style that to call it “torch rock” might just be fitting. If she were the girl next door, you might just to defy your mamma just to get next to her. Just hearing her sing The Rise and Fall of Love will bring chills and make you fall instantly in love with Wensday”
- Bruce Von Stiers, BVSreviews.com
“Rock legend Alice Cooper – a native of Phoenix, where Wensday moved to pursue her career last year – sums it up this way, “Wensday is the other girl next door….Wensday’s powerful take on “Only Women Bleed” draws fresh attention to its enduring theme of empowering women to overcome the cycle of domestic abuse. It joins three other emotionally compelling songs – “The Rise And Fall of Love”, “After You” and “Arizona Man”
“Wensday is a gifted jazz/blues/rock vocalist who Wagner discovered. Dick plays guitar, writes the songs and even produces on the young singers debut CD. He is totally into Wensday and for good reason as she is an amazing talent. Her style he describes as Torch Rock which is basically a mutation and mix of jazz, rock, classical and blues. Wensday is a unique individual. She is a well known body piercer who has studied theater at Oxford and graduated NYU with a fine arts degree. Singing, however, is her true passion and that comes through on the songs on Torch Rock.”
- Jeb Wright, Classic Rock Revisited
“If you're looking for something a little different that what's on your regular playlist, you should investigate Torch Rock by...Wensday. Mixing up the jazz, blues and rock with some vintage torch flavoring, you get a result that is as fun to listen to as it is medicine for your ears as showcased on excellent songs like 'Arizona Man'. Wensday has a voice that is pure, inviting and strong as hell."
- Morley Seaver, Antimusic.com
“On this, her debut release, she manages to use those two styles of music along with elements of jazz and blues to create a complex sound that works well. Wensday has the needed vocal chops to pull it off, whether it be sweet and sultry or down and gritty vocals…. My personal favorite songs go down the blues road. "Heartbreak Saloon" and "Bulldog Blues" are overflowing with vocal and instrumental parts that will have your mind spinning with excitement. These two songs painted me a mental picture of a rundown blues club located on the "bad side of town." You open the door to find a smoke-filled room with a stage built in the back, off to one side. There you find the band playing away as the crowd sips their alcoholic pleasures. Any music that can paint such a clear picture in my mind has got to be good. I think after hearing Torch Rock you'll agree with me."
- C.W. Ross, Indie Music Stop (Rating 8.95 out of 10)
"Torch Rock isn’t just the title of Wensday’s debut CD. It’s also an apt description of the vocalist’s big, ranging style….At the heart of Torch Rock is the power ballad, including the opening track, “Arizona Man,” the first song that Wagner and Wensday wrote together. Like many of the tunes on the CD, it has a message of female empowerment. “I’m a free flyin’ woman/Nothing ties me down/‘Specially not no cowboy,” she sings in a strong, steady voice. Listening to this song, it’s easy to imagine Wensday sharing a bill with Pat Benatar, Heart, or Martina McBride.”
- Donna Kimura, JazzReview.com
“I love any women who remakes Alice Cooper's classic "Only Women Bleed" (about overcoming the cycle of domestic violence). No wonder Cooper dubbed this edgy rock chick meets sweet chanteuse "the other girl next door." With power rock ballads and a fusion of pop, jazz and even country, Wensday is a captivating singer. More so when you see her live, because the fiery tattooed sexpot (who supplements her singing with work as a body piercer in tat shops in Miami and Atlanta) comes across as a sort of lesbian wet dream.”
- Diane Anderson-Minshall, Curve Magazine
“I can feel a Bette Midler color to her voice…her vocals are strong and sincere. All of the arrangements are nothing but professional as is the overall presentation…With the professionals that have rallied around her I'm sure we'll be hearing alot more from this adorable sultry chanteuse. It's time everyone starts out their week with Wensday.”
- World Voice.com
"She's a sexy songstress that crosses genres more often than Beck."
The Late Greats in Guilty Pleasures for Humpday
Wensday tell us: "'Only Women Bleed' is a song sung from the point of view of a woman in an abused relationship but it’s really a microcosm for the violence committed against women all over the world, hence the verse we added at the end, addressing 'the women of the world!' I hope this song inspires, and empowers women to do something, whether it’s on a personal level, or to get out into their community or the community of women around the world to help stop violence against women. It is a cry that echoes through the world and speaks to the experience of women everywhere. I am not a political person, but I am an artist, and through my music I wish to make the world a better place. Spreading this song and its message is my way of raising awareness to try to find a solution to stop violence against women."
Lead Vocals: Wensday
Lead Guitar: Dick Wagner, Bobby Flores
Keyboards: Fred Mandel
Bass: Jim Kalson
Drums: Alex Cyrell
Trumpet: Jesse McGuire
Accordion: Nils Lofgren
Backup vocals: Susan Michelson, Wensday, Diana Lee, Jessica Cyrell
The River of Live Gospel Choir
www.wensdaymusic.com Wensday’s official website
www.myspace.com/wensdaymusic Wensday’s Myspace
http://www.apequake.com/wensday.html Video Tribute to Wensday by reviewer Adam Mico, Apequake.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz2KDLIRw-E Bulldog Blues "The Two Faces of Wensday Live"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyJwPrJb21U Heartbreak Saloon
www.wagnermusic.com Dick Wagner, Wensday’s Producer
www.desertdreamsllc.com Desert Dreams Records