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Magic Fraga

Genres

August 2015

Counting my money, Loading my guns

The Dick Song  

Where'd my Motown go

Magic Fraga is an old fashioned story teller. Many of his stories come from his life experiences but no all. None the less his story telling is interesting and is wrapped in a rap style. At 6'8" he could be an intimidating figure were it not for the fact that as soon as he begins to speak and smile, you instantly feel at ease. He's a Teddy bear. Magic and I had such a good time in the studio working our way through his 12 songs and seldom had any disagreements. We were like a finely tunes engine that was well lubricated. The result was a project that had a target date of August 15th for the delivery of the CD's and we met that deadline. 

 

Diana Draper Nary

Thank You Lord

September 2012

(Click to hear)

Via Dolorosa

You raise me up

Oh I want to know you more

 

 

Diana Draper played the organ and directed the church choir at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Folsom Ca. for the last fifty years. Every week would find her at her post playing, singing and directing. When it came time for Diana to retire, she wanted to leave behind a befitting gift for the church membership. She selected eleven of her favorites songs including one (Taste and See) that she performed and recorded with the choir in the church and one song (Forever Yours) that she and her husband Clark Nary sang together with Clark accompanying on piano.
It was a real stretch to complete this project on time for Diana's last church appearance. The spirits were in our corner because we were able to just slip under the wire and she went to her last day armed with freshly made CD's. Needless to say the last day was bitter sweet after such a long time. Now Diana and Clark will be directing their combined attention to finding new adventures located just around the next bend. 

 

Sister Swing

Triple Wide

August 2011

(Click on Title to Hear)

Crisp White Shirt

Switchin' In the Kitchen

Heebie Jeebies

            

  Sister Swing continues to march down the traveled road of the committed groups that will not be silenced by changing times and conditions. They re-entered the studio to record their sixth album. It has been six years since the last and they felt the pressure of fans wanting yet another taste of the Sister's music to sooth their souls. Entering the studio last February the Sisters delivered in fine fashion (and under the wing of lead singer and producer Valerie Marston) an album that will surly stand the test of time. This CD takes the music to the next level as the Sisters re-invent themselves taking on the Boswell Sisters with whom Sister Swing has admired for many years. The music is very syncopated and is swings is a way that the Boswells first developed prior to the Andrew Sisters coming onto the music scene.

 

Sly Fox 3

Sensory Overload

April 2011

(Click on Title to Hear)

Sensory Overload

Use the power

Bonnie Blue

`

 

              Sly Fox continues to thunder down the musical road into unexplored territory. Bruce Bolin and Greg Ayala see their journey taking some unusual turns in this their third album titled Sensory Overload. This dynamic song writing team has once again explored the boarders of their combined musical experience and have delivered a powerful record that has raised the bar for Sly Fox.  On this project they have incorporated the singing skill of Valerie Marston both as a back ground and a lead singer on several songs. The music on this project is more diversified and spans several musical genres. naturally there is rock but this time they have included pop, jazz and two ballads. In all Sly Fox has delivered eleven songs that will inspire the listener to; "Free your musical mind and allow your spirit to dance".

 

Ritmoz Latinoz

Zuhg Life

February 2011

RITMOZ Latinoz

(Click to hear)

I Blame Canada

Buscando Mi Nino

My Angel Song

 

 

Frank Lizarraga has stepped even deeper into the music scene by forming a band called Ritmoz Latinoz with his son Cisco Lizarraga. Frank drew on some of the finest Latin talent available and this group has been garnering rave reviews since the first performance. They have been recording and posting their songs on many of the modern communication networks like Facebook, twitter, Reverb Nation etc. The band has exceptional energy on stage and the singer Yesenia Fuentes does a knock out job of singing and dancing to the infectious rhythms provided by the band. This is a must group and you won't have to look very far to find them on a stage near you. (Click on the song title to hear).

 

Sly Fox 2

Chasing the wind

June 2010

(Click on Title to Hear)

Put down the pipe

Little Nina

Believe in me

 

 

The songwriting team of Bruce Bolin and Greg Ayala have once again struck gold with the release of
"Chasing the wind". This is the second record from these two seasoned songwriters. They continue to weave rhythms and melodies together to form very catchy songs. Both Greg and Bruce agree that this is their high water mark to date.  As their music gets stronger they seem to be feeding on the frenzy of discovery moving continuously in a forward direction. They  already have four song in the works for Sly Fox 3. Meanwhile there is much to enjoy with the current CD. The eleven songs on this album will bring many hours of listening enjoyment. The music is up beat and the lyrics are both innovative and thought provoking. To sum it all up
Sly Fox's second effort, "Chasing the wind" bridges the musical gap with modern innovation and excellent musicianship to deliver some truly enjoyable music to the discriminating listener.

 

Ed Johnson

Monkeyshine

April 2010

(Click on Title to Hear)

Let's Go Out And Play

Cotton Candy

One More Day

Rusted Shut

 

 

Ed Johnson is a man with a mission. Although Ed teaches high school during the day, at night he's a father and husband as well as a committed musician. Ed began studying and writing many years ago. Along the way he accumulated quite a catalogue of music that ran the gamut of styles, tempos, and textures. Ed set out to completely play and produce an album of his music. He played 31 instruments on a total of 134 tracks. On of the songs (Rusted Shut) is almost 12 minutes long. It's an epic that transforms through many styles of music and Ed mentioned that he used every mode on this song. As you listen you will be aware of the seamless transitions but the song is smooth and well played. This project took Ed over three years to record. He had to teach himself the ins and out's of Pro Tools as well as teaching himself to play many instruments. Ed came to me to mix his masterpiece. Together over about six weeks we mixed and mixed until we had the elements ready for the Mastering lab. All in all I have to take my hat off to Ed Johnson for having the vision and the tenacity to not only take on a project of this magnitude, but to complete it.  Good work Ed and now it's Miller time.

For more visit Ed's website at  www.edsmonkeyshine.com.

 

Peter Mundy

Bridge of Light

April 2009

(Click on Title to Hear)

The Bridge of light

Could it be the time

Simple truth

 

Peter Mundy is a man with a mission. When he first stepped into my studio in October of last year he was armed with a pocket full of songs that he has written over the last thirty years. Peter was determined to get his music into a marketable form and onto a CD. Although he had tried achieve this mission twice before, once in LA and again in Miami, he was compelled to give it another shot. So Peter came to me and the third time proved to be a charm. I have always found Peter to be up beat and positive about his music and life in general. He and I have been able to have a musical meeting of the minds and the results speak for themselves. The music, in my opinion, will stand the test of time. As for me, I would welcome the opportunity to be involved in a live performance situation with Peter, playing his music on a stage some where. Now that Peter has found the means to capture and produce his music I am sure that he will continue to blossom in his writing and performing. Continued good luck my friend and God speed to you.

 

Sly Fox

Scattered Devotions

December 2008

 Bruce Bolin and Greg Ayala

(Click on Title to Hear)

Scattered Devotions

Is it love

             Blood thicker than water

I first met Greg Ayala a year and a half ago when he answered an ad that I had placed on Craig's list. I was looking for musicians who wanted to write and record original music. I filtered through more than fifteen players and Greg and I found some common ground. We began collaborating on songs during our weekly meetings since May of 2007. To date we have completed eleven songs. It has been an educational journey as we have improved our song writing skills and techniques. We packaged up our product, called ourselves Sly Fox and are continuing to write and record. Originally Greg would record his drum parts here in the studio.  But once he was able to build a small drum studio in his back yard, he has been recording his drum tracks at home. Greg feels it is better for him as he can take his time and he is able to deliver a better drum track. We have been refining our skills with regard to lyrics, melody lines and song styles.  We don't know where this will take us, but we have been enjoying the process. Now that the first CD project is in the can, we are moving on to the next and are eager to see what our efforts will produce. Music gives us and many of our fellow musicians the greatest satisfaction and writing allows us to side step the egos and politics of the music business/scene. We feel blessed to have found each other and to have the opportunity to express our selves as musical artist's. Life is good!

 

Frank Lizarraga

April 2008

(Click on Title to Hear)

 

Tecolote

                                                    Song for my mother

 I first met Frank Lizarraga more than fifteen years ago when he and his oldest son Adam came to my studio to record. Since then Frank has been a regular studio veteran with many recording credits and always in the pursuit of original music. Frank is an easy going guy that loves to play, write and record. He has students that he teaches weekly as well as rehearse with two bands "Luvtaxi" and "Amy in the pocket". All while holding down a forty hour a week job with the state. I am moved by the way Frank manages his time to be with his family, go to work, practice with the bands and still find quiet time to write. He is a no nonsense band leader with rules that include the three "D's". No drugs, No drama, No drinking. These are simple but effective rules to keep the band performing with a professional attitude and edge. Also, as I have mentioned many times in my studio news column Frank's music always has a good groove. It's easy to dance to or just to keep your
head-a-bobbin'. Frank is the glue that connects many musicians in this town and all who know him understand the contribution Frank Lizarraga has made to the music scene in Sacramento.
We need to get him a crown. Long live the king!

 

Felipe Lariz

March 2008

(Click on Title to Hear)

La Buena Nueva

Contamous Al Senor


Felipe Lariz came to me early last year looking for a studio where he could feel comfortable and begin working on a record. He had recorded a CD the year before in Modesto and needed to remain close to home here in Sacramento. We began recording and I was drawn to Felipe because he is a warm and caring person with a good sense of humor. Needless to say during the course of working on this album we have shared lots of good times and laughs. During those times in the studio we developed a large respect for each other during the recording process. Together we worked on the music and spent a lot of time developing his vocalizations. I introduced him to some techniques that helped Felipe to sound better and during that time he told me that he needed to take some time off to study and practice those techniques.  He returned three months later telling me that he practiced every day for three hours. His vocals sounded much better and we were in the final push to finish. We have become very good friends and I hope to have the opportunity to work with Felipe again soon.

Barry Weiner and the Bluez Catz

January 2008

 

(Click on Title to Hear)

La Grange

I can't get next to you

It all started when I received a call from Barry Weiner wondering if I could record his band "The Bluez Catz" live at a local night club just before Halloween. I told him that I could and we made plans and set up the recording date at Zagoto's where the group performs several times a year. The night started off with Barry's sons band called Intercept, opening with a set. Then the Bluez Catz took the stage. They pounded through two sets with a short break in the middle. The crowd was pleased and were dancing and getting into the music consisting of blues and solid rock.  Meanwhile I was secluded in a back room with the recorder capturing every note. Within a week of the recording, Barry and Dave Davis (lead vocals) joined me at the studio to begin mixing and sweetening some the tracks. The mixes were tweaked over the course of several weeks and mastered and are now on their way to being duplicated. The interesting thing about this project is that Barry wanted to have a raw live recording of the performance to offer the fans and followers of the Bluez Catz. That is exactly what he got and he is happy with the results.  So am I!

 

Anthony White

July 2007

(Click on Title to Hear)

 I got something to say

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony gets the nod as the featured artist for his uncompromising views and his unique style of rap.  Anthony is just 29 years old but when I speak with him, I have the feeling that I am communicating with an old soul.  Anthony rap's both free style and from the written page. I can tell that this is a well read person that is opinionated and has logical convictions associated with those opinions. He is very polite and soft spoken. I enjoy both conversing with Anthony and hearing his raps. His is a refreshing escape from the normal street rap artist. Anthony really has something worth listening to. Another unique feature of his rap is that there is no cursing. I hope to get to know this man better and to see if the world is ready to listen to someone with moral values and an interesting point of view.


Sean Behry

May 2007

(Click on Title to Hear)

I see the road ahead

A different way

No where to go

 

 

Fifteen year old Sean Behry called me because he visited this web site and had seen that I regularly help songwriters to complete their unfinished songs. He booked some time and we began to work through the first song. Right away I could hear that Sean had a style in his vocals and a sound in his music far beyond his fifteen years. He seemed to be really focused and was never lacking in the ideas department. Over the next several months we would meet on a fairly regular basis and finish one song after another. Until now when Sean has enough songs demoed to shop his music to potential buyers  either a talent or a songwriter. I feel confident that Sean will succeed in the music business if he maintains his focus and with the continued help and support of his mother Sheri and his family.
 

Luvtaxi
March 2006

(Click on Title to Hear)


Tierra Linda

Baile Baile
Love Zone

It was a little over ten years ago that a mutual friend introduced me to Frank Lizarraga. For the last several years Frank’s attention has been with his current band Luvtaxi. This band consists of band leader Frank playing bass and singing vocals (seen here clutching the tambourine), Jamie on percussion and vocals. Rudy on drums, Roy on guitar and Roxana singing lead and background vocals and lastly, Josh turning up the heat on the keyboards. Together they are carving out a nice niche in the Latino-funk music scene. Frank runs a tight ship.  Rehearsing the group once a week and gigging as often as possible. They have been making some connections while developing in roads into the Bay Area music scene as well as locally here in Sacramento. It took four years to get the first Luvtaxi CD produced. Now the group is working on the second CD. Frank is moving things along much faster this time since he needs the new CD to demo the groups new lineup and to build the bands fan base. Through sacrifice and hard work the group is moving steadily toward their musical and career goals. Every band needs chemistry in order to appeal to the public. Luvtaxi does it with hot salsa, funky riffs, strong Latin percussion and Roxana laying down the blistering lead vocals. I am impressed with the musical direction and the writing for this CD from Frank, Jamie and Roxana. The band works out the musical arrangements and their collective input becomes the Luvtaxi sound. The music is fresh, and very danceable.  So the next time you’re hailing a cab while wearing your I pod, try Luvtaxi. 
You’ll enjoy the ride.

 

Bob Lobner
February 2006

(Click on Title to Hear)

She did the same thing to me
So Tuff
Mid Night Rollers

 

Bob Lobner and I have been friends for some 30 years. In that time we have played music together and watched each other go through life.  I have watched Bob grow as a songwriter and as a performer.  But in the last couple of years I noticed Bob's writing has really started to come through as his songs have became more melodious and his lyrics have taken on some interesting new meanings. Bob's music seems to be more balanced and has a flow that is easy to get in to.
For many years I have talked to Bob about doing a recording project to show off his music. Late last year we formed a plan. I had told Bob that I was planning on buying a new Alesis HD24 hard disk recorder.  I could bring it to his home, located on 80 acres in the foot hills near George Town California to record. I began driving up to Bob's house weekly to record him.  Normally I'd drive up on Wednesday afternoons and set up. We'd record the rest of the day until we needed to take a break.  Then Bob would cook dinner for us.  We'd have a beer or two and go back to recording until we needed to knock off for the night. Early next morning after coffee, we take up where we left off the night before.  Bob's house is so remote that one morning as we were recording, we watched seven deer grazing just beyond his picture window.
It makes me feel good to help my friend to realize his dream. I have shared his joy as we worked together through the project. I am counting on Bob, to want to begin another project as soon as this CD is finished. It's been fun.

 

 

Dave Earthly
January 2006

 

Dave Earthly is a working man.  He is also a song writer. Dave contacted me several years ago seeking my help and input with his original music. Dave is the first to admit that he is not a trained musician. But Dave hears music in his head all of the time. He has a small studio setup in his home from where he works through the songs as best he can.  Then Dave contacts me and I help him to re-work his music. I add up to date sounds and arranging the songs for Dave. We always meet on Sunday mornings right after church at 10AM. Dave and I have had unbelievable good times in the studio playing and exploring his music. In the process we have discovered many new and exciting sounds, rhythms and riffs. Mostly because Dave is not in a hurry.  We allow the creative process to move at it's own pace and to percolate to the surface of our imaginations. We listen to the music and allow our minds to explore different ideas for the songs. You just can't rush the creative process. Dave has now catalogued  more than 11 songs and still continuing to work on new music weekly. Dave's desire, is to keep the flow going and to see where his musical path will take him.     
Dave has found as have I, that "Joy lives in the Music". 

                                    

The Doug Pauly Trio

Radiowaves

September 2004

Doug Pauly and I first met when he was hired to play rhythm guitar on Sister Swing’s second album that was to be titled “Going Nowhere Fast”. I quickly saw that Doug had a good musical understanding of how to find a part that fit the song.  That is to say that he played as though he wasn’t exercising his ego. Since Doug is a regular guitar teacher at The Guitar Workshop, I asked if I could take some lessons from him. He agreed.  Doug has been a professional guitarist for the past 25 years. In the studio he demonstrates skill and knowledge. Doug’s sense of humor is legendary around Sacramento. He is a jokester and has a smile on his face most of the time. Like most players he’s very critical of his playing and wants to get it right.  From my vantage point, He does! He has chops and an amazing ability to play a wide variety of musical styles. He is an excellent reader and works with a number of groups and plays solo guitar as well.  Doug has a large roster of students and his teaching business continues to flourish.  Having completed their CD project titled "Radiowaves", Doug and the group will now concentrate on more live performances to showcase both the group and the CD.                                                                                           

Rob Lautz Vibes and composer, has been performing for over thirty years. He has been featured at numerous festivals including the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Hallcrest Vineyard Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and The Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. Rob holds a Bachelor's Degree in Composition from Berkley College of Music.  The vibraphone is a keyboard mallet instrument similar to a xylophone. The bars are made out of an aluminum alloy and are struck with rubber mallets covered with yarn. The sound created has a mellow, bell-like quality. Some practitioners of the vibraphone include, Gary Burton,  Lionel Hampton, and Milt Jackson.   The vibes also have a motorized vibrato system that makes the notes sustain and adds interest to any line or chord.  Rob is a very serious musician.  You can see it on his face while he plays. In between songs his demeanor takes a 180-degree turn as he makes wise cracks to Doug and Jerry or the audience when they are out playing gigs. Rob does many of the arrangements for the group. His sense of timing is evident in his musical runs. There are not very many vibe players around, so what Rob brings to the group is a unique sound and his ability to play jazz with a very pleasing tone.  When it comes down to it, tone is what catches your ear in the first place.   Rob is well matched to his instrument.

Jerry Pineda is the bass player in the group.  I don’t have very much background on Jerry except that I know he has played and taught bass in this area for many years. I had heard of his playing ability long before we met. He plays with several bands and keeps busy in the local music scene. The thing that caught my attention about his playing, is that he can grab a groove and hold on to it for a very long time. Many bass players get bored playing the same line and feel that they need to move on to another line to keep up the interest. Jerry on the other hand will explore all of the nooks and crannies in a bass line and doesn’t stray far from the original line. He has developed a good vibrato and his sense of funk is easily felt. His grooves are deep and wide. With only three players, he needs to establish his part and maintain it until it’s his turn to solo. Jerry does this as well as anybody that I have recorded in my studio. His chops are honed, his sense of humor is always present and the combination of all his talents produce bass lines that are “Pure Gold” to use his own words.

In conclusion I have to say that I have really enjoyed the time that I have spent with these talented musicians. I love their sense of taste and ability put an interesting spin on any of the music that they choose to play.      When you can do your job and have fun in the process,  there is nothing better. These guys do it regularly.
 

 

Sister Swing

December 2003

(Click on Title to Hear)

The Christmas Song

Have Your Self A Merry little Christmas

Santa Baby

b

 

The Sisters had just finished Stocking Stuffers, and immediately returned to the studio to begin their fourth album project entitled "Southern Fried".  This CD is a departure for the flamboyant trio in that it features two original songs penned by pianist Bonny Otto. The album has a distinctly "Southern Flavor" Both "Southern Fried" and "Look Out She's Gonna' Blow", are songs that speak to the richness of New Orleans style food The ladies developed a real liking for the southern taste while on a short fact finding trip to the famous city in 2002. They returned changed forever.  It seems that their audience's like the music from this CD as well. They have been selling many CD's while performing  at jazz festivals up and down the west coast and in Canada for the last couple of years and consistently get invited back the following year. Not willing to sit on their combined laurels,  the Sisters are planning their fifth project entitled "Riff Raff and Ruffles"
It is sure to continue the quality that the Sisters always put into every CD project.
The first four albums are examples of The Sisters tenacity to chronicle their music.  I am sure that what will follow  will be met with enthusiasm by their adoring fans.

Sister Swing is no stranger to the studio. They have been recording at Pudding Stone Recording Studio for more than ten years. So when they decided in 2002 to record their third CD entitled "Stocking Stuffers" the Christmas album, they came to Bruce.  Valerie Marston, has produced all of the projects and is the lead singer of the group.  They started pre-production by having the musicians come into the studio and record some rough tracks to decide which songs would be on the album. Then, they scheduled a rhythm section recording session consisting of Bonnie Otto on keyboards, Lenny Pollachi on upright bass and Jack Stanfill on drums. The Sisters recorded some scratch vocals to keep the musicians on track. The rhythm tracks were recorded in three separate sessions. Then it was time for the horns. The horn section consisted of Kurt Pearsall on trumpet,  Kristy Reed on saxes and flute and Brad Hammet and Ron Cunha on trombone. Otis Mourning was brought in to play solos. The horns also took three sessions to be recorded.  It was time for the Sisters to do their stuff. They worked extremely hard to attain the quality of both harmony and blend that has become their trademark. They were very happy to be the first to use the new tube microphone. It captured their sound beautifully much to their satisfaction. We spent many a session getting those vocals right. The sisters were under the gun to get the CD’s reproduced in time for the Christmas CD release party and concert.  Bruce who works as their soundman makes sure that the Sisters are well mixed and blended when ever they perform.    You can hear some examples of the songs from Stocking Stuffers on the "Hear music page".  For more information about Sister Swing visit their web page at  www.sisterswing.com

 

 

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