Welcome President Obama

What a week this has been with the inauguration of our new President Obama.  I watched as he spoke and thought about how our country has really come out this time to bring a person into office who speaks to the people.  

I am hopeful, as many are, that he is able to carry out his goals for turning this country around.  We are encouraged to get back to 'thinking American' in our products, bringing jobs back.  

Also, bringing an awareness to working together as one people.  In music and the arts we have always had that understanding that we are a universe, music and art bridging the gap oftentimes to get a message out there to the masses as Obama in his campaign.  He had the idea of reaching out to the music community to 'bring the message home', which they did.  

As a songwriter it is clear to see that one song can create a drive, can inspire the people to come together for one purpose.  It will be interesting to see how the next few months develop into the rest of the year and then into the term of his presidency.  

Let's remember to do what we can in our own support of our country and our new president, the little steps that make a difference.  What will you do?  I would like to hear some of your thoughts.  



Miss America Pageant This Week

It's another beautiful day! I can't believe the Miss America Pageant is just around the corner. All this week the girls will be going through the competitions in talent, evening gown & judges interviews and bathing suit! I remember well how it felt to be in Atlantic City with girls from around the country, all of us girls nervous about how we would do. There are a lot of preparations involved in getting to the final stages of the pageant. As soon as each girl wins her local pageant she is put through a rigorous schedule to perfect her skills so that by the time she is onstage competing for the title of Miss America she is as ready as she can be to do her best. Some of the girls will get confused, also, though, because every thing about their abilities will be challenged. She will have 'experts' giving her advice on everything from how to walk, speak and even think. It may get so overwhelming that she will do things that don't feel comfortable, but never the less, she must do her best to remember who she is and why she is pursuing this dream. And for most of them it is so that they can further their education in their chosen fields as the Miss America Program is one of the best and offers amazing opportunities for the lucky girl who is fortunate enough to wear the crown and represent the image that has gone through many changes over the years.

Whoever 'wins' will be in the public eye all year long. She will meet people from around the world and make an impression that will have the option of being applauded and criticized. She will work towards her 'platform', which is the cause in which she believes, possibly changing lives in the process. She will walk in the footsteps of others who have set the standards high and hope that she doesn't falter. She may feel pride or honor in carrying the torch for those less fortunate than she, but she will also bare the weight of an audience that can be tough to please. This is also true for the girls who do not walk away with the ultimate title, but who will spend the rest of her reign representing her own state, doing many of the same things that Miss America does, making it just as important for her to wear her duties putting her best foot forward. Many girls will go on to continue their platform, as they are truly committed to their causes. Some will go on to pursue careers on stage and T.V., while others become wives and raise families. They are all young women who have accomplished one of their dreams and as such may encourage others to do the same. It should be an incredible week for these girls. The final night is next Saturday! I will be watching. Get your ballots ready. It will be televised, so everyone can watch. If you want to learn more go to MissAmerica.org

Sandy Kastel and Juliana Erdesz
( View More Photos )

Getting Ready To Go Into The Studio

Hi Everyone, It's been so long since we last 'spoke'. Guess it's because I have been deep in 'writing mode' preparing to go into the studio with Ron Aniello next week. We are going to be recording in Nashville and Los Angeles. It's especially exciting because it's also my birthday month, which makes it extra special! I'll keep everyone posted on our progress. Sandy

Nashville Songwriters Festival

Hi, Gang! I am going to be singing at the Nashville Songwriters Festival this weekend. Here are the dates and times: Friday 12:30 am (midnight) & Saturday 11:15 pm @ Pro Instructors Classes Stage 50 Music Square West (Across from GAC building, on corner of Chet Atkins Pl. Tall 9 story bldg. Nashville,TN 37203, Sunday 6:45 pm WebCast Stage @ the Sure Fire Music Parking Lot 60 Music Square West Nashville, TN 37203.

Come on down and join us. There will be lots of great music! Sandy



Dennis Bono Show

A few weeks ago I stopped by the Dennis Bono Show after my dance class (Backstage Dance Studio) and met Fifth Avenue, The Supremes Tribute, Roger Smith (founding member of the band Heart, Bob Rosario (Bobby Darin's Conductor), who also conducts for me, Pete Barbutt (who performed with me at the Suncoast last October), Jim D'Arrigo, producer of the Dennis Bono Show and his wife Sammy Ratcliffe D'Arrigo, owners of Vegas Rock Dog. Lorraine Hunt-Bono, Dennis' wife was also backstage. It was a great line-up and it was a full house as usual at Sam's Town, which is held every Thursday. Everyone is welcome. The show is taped for a Friday broadcast on the radio.

Fifth Avenue http//www.fifthavejazz.com/bio.cfm Supremes Tribute and Sandy Kastel http//www.radiancesings.com/ Roger Fisher founding member of the band Heart and Sandy Kastel http//www.rogerfisher.com/ Bob Rosario, Sandy Kastel and Pete Barbutti Sandy Kastel Jim DArrigo, producer of the Dennis Bono Show Sammy Ratcliffe DArrigo, owner (with husband Jim DArrigo) of Vegas Rock Dog

Meeting New Friends At PLA MEDIA

It was just by accident that I was there. My friend, Norm, introduced me to Pamela Lewis, President and CEO of PLA MEDIA. She was gracious and welcoming.

There was a special event at their offices this evening and they were kind enough to let me join in the fun. Because of the ASCAP Awards that are going on this week there are lots of folks in town. Eric and Mike from Unconventional Media South, who just opened a new office here in Nashville, Wallace Earl Cook, for Clean Country Comedy, Christopher Bricca from Open Book Films, John Munn from What If Productions, Felipe De Las Rosa from Checo Records, Marie Pizano-Firtik from Urok Music Management with the Mulch Brothers, 'DW', producer & director of One Horse Productions and Melissa Manchester, one of my inspirations.

There were more, so many more, that I met with whom I shared ideas. And then Mark from PLA MEDIA sat down with me and we talked about their company. It didn't take much more to convince me that these are a great group of people and I felt very lucky to have fallen into this evening's event.

Thank you Norm, for your introduction. I do believe there are no accidents!

Wishing you all a Happy Halloween!  In celebration, from now until October 31, anyone who orders an album from CD Baby will receive a complimentary autographed photo. 

All the best!

Sandy Kastel's new album 'This Time Around' is available online at CD Baby and in record stores everywhere.

Sandy Kastel Kindle Contest Rules

Sandy Kastel Contest & Drawing OFFICIAL RULES

ELIGIBILITY:  Contest open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years or older at the time of entry.  Officers, directors, and employees of SKS Sights & Sounds, Inc., Net Music Promotions, Inc.,  or their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies (collectively, the "Promotion Entities") are ineligible to enter the Contest or win a prize.

CONTEST DESCRIPTION:  Contest begins 12:01 a.m. Eastern time June 10, 2008 and ends at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time September 7, 2008.  A random drawing will be conducted on September 8, 2008, to select prize winners from among all eligible entries received.  Eligible entries must correctly answer the video questions and fully complete the entry form.  There will be a total of three (3) prize winners selected.  Each prize winner will receive an iPod Classic 160gb with Video (holds up to 40,000 songs, up to 200 hours of video) - APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE (ARV $249.00).  No substitutions for prizes except as offered by Sponsor or as may be necessary due to availability, in which case a prize of equal or greater value will be awarded.  One prize per person/household.  Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash.  All taxes on prizes and expenses not explicitly included in prize description are winners' sole responsibility.  By participating in this giveaway, all participants agree that all prizes are awarded upon the condition that SKS Sights & Sounds, Inc., the Promotion Entities, and their respective agencies or employees ("Sponsors") will have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind resulting from their participation in the contest or the acceptance, possession or use of any prize. Participant also agrees that Sponsors shall not be liable in the event of any lost, delayed, misdirected, incomplete or illegible entries, nor any hardware, software or other malfunctions of any kind, whether due to human or technical error. Sponsors reserve the right to modify, terminate or suspend this Contest should virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsors, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play of this Contest.  Entry constitutes permission to use winner's' name, likeness and city and state of residence and to photograph/video them (If SKS SIGHTS & SOUNDS elects) for the purposes of trade, publicity or promotions for no additional compensation except where prohibited by law.  Odds of winning determined by total number of eligible entries received.

Entry into the Contest does not constitute entry into any other promotion, contest or sweepstakes.  By participating in the Contest, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of SKS Sights & Sounds, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Contests are void where prohibited.  All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.  For a list of winners, check out the list of winners that will be posted at sandykastel.com and myspace.com/sandykastel.  For a copy of these official rules and/or a copy of  the 3 entry questions and their correct answers send a self-addressed stamped envelope requesting same to Sandy Kastel Contest (at an address to be indicated here shortly) by no later than 8/1/2008.  To opt out of signing up for the Sandy Kastel News Letter, click “Opt Out” where indicated on the entry form.   

HOW TO ENTER:  To enter, visit  http://www.sandykastel.com (the “Website”), correctly answer the questions and fully complete the entry form. Click “Submit” and you will automatically be entered.  Limit one (1) entry per person or e-mail address per day.  All entries must be received before the entry deadline in order to participate. The Website's clock will be the official time keeper for the Contest.

NOTE: Internet entry must be made by the entrant, only at the Website. Entries made by any other individual or any entity, and/or originating at any other web site or e-mail address, including but not limited to commercial sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering service sites, will be declared invalid and disqualified for this Contest. The use of any device to automate the entry process is prohibited.

WINNER NOTIFICATION: The winner(s) of each Contest will be randomly selected from all eligible entries received before the applicable entry deadline. The potential winner(s) will be notified by email. The notification email will ask the winner to provide contact information so that Sponsor can send the prize to the winner. Prizes are typically sent using Federal Express, which cannot deliver to a Post Office Box. Sponsor shall have no liability for any winner notification that is lost, intercepted or not received by the potential winner for any reason. If a potential winner does not respond within 48 hours of the first notification attempt, or if the prize or prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to such potential winner, such potential winner will forfeit his or her prize and an alternate winner may be selected. If any potential winner is found to be ineligible, or if he or she has not complied with these Official Rules or declines a prize for any reason prior to award, such potential winner will be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected.

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Jersey Boys

Wow, what a show! Amazing! Okay, so, it's a story about the Four Seasons, how they grew up, got started, struggled, got turned down, switched band members, struggled some more, then Danny De Vito (yes, the actor, brother Nick started in the band) introduced Franki Valli (born Francis Castelluccio in 1937) and the other band members to Bob Guadio and the rest is history. It's a story that every musician can relate to who has ever tried to make it in this business. Really worth it, whether you grew up in that era and can sing along with every song or you are just starting your own band, this is a show that will get you on your feet! If you get the chance, check it out!


Jersey Boys Info

Bluebird Cafe

When I was in Nashville last week I went to the Bluebird Cafe for the ASCAP presentation of Ten Ten Music with Robert Ellis Orral, Angaleena Presley, Mary Gauthier and Angela Kaset.    It was great! Bob kicked off the show saying he often is writing songs that evolve around 'I'm Sorry, I Messed Up', and shared his funny, 'God Didn't Make No Beer Tree' & from a teenage boy's perspective, 'Don't Drag My Christmas Down'.  Angeleena and Mary bantered back and forth about their serious subject songs with Angeleena singing 'Lord Rang a Bell', 'When Tennessee is Through With Me' and Mary's 'I Drink' & 'Good-bye Could be My Family Name'.  Angela Kasat, who just recently joined ASCAP, has been with Ten Ten Music for over 20 years sang crowd favorites 'Peace In This House' & 'Jesus with the Light Brown Hair'.  Then Robert sang his song 'Al Gore' that he said is being played on YouTube repeatedly. Angeleena sang a current hit in Australia that she and Robert wrote together, the very poignant 'Look It Up'.  Mary finished with 'Mercy Now' and Angela finished with 'Christmas in New York'.

So, if you are a fan of hearing the songs right from the songwriters lips... I really encourage you check out the venues that offer you the opportunity in your community and when in Nashville check out the famous Bluebird Cafe where you will always find great music!

Jimmy Christy

One of my very close friends, Jimmy Christy, is in the hospital as the result of a heart attack.  He has to get a multiple bi-pass operation.  We were just in the studio last week when I was in Nashville with my mom.  We were putting the finishing touches on a couple of songs we wrote together.  He seemed fine and now, boom, he is in the hospital looking at one of the operations that is effecting many of our friends and family these days.  He is a prolific songwriter and a wonderful person.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he goes through this trying time.  Thank you, Sandy.

Jamie La Ritz, Sandy Kastel, Jimmy Christy
Jamie La Ritz, Sandy Kastel, Jimmy Christy

Jimmy Christy & My mom, Wanda Kastel
Jimmy Christy & My mom, Wanda Kastel