Sandy Kastel Rockin' Playlist

These are singers and songs that have inspired me to write.  Some of the songs represented life changes, others reflected my feelings at the time.  They take me back to a moment in time, a first love, a break-up, or a first date, frustration or joy, invigorating pumping energy, passion and defiance, all emotions that drive us to live, to love to fight for our beliefs.  That is what music is to me and these are just is my first playlist for you.  There will be more...
 
 

Singers like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar and Tina Turner and Chaka Khan are strong, independent, passionate and in their songs they are out spoken about their feelings.  This is the kind of passion that inspires me to write about my own feelings.

Bonnie Raitt combines rock, r&b, country and soul in her songs. So do I.  Another singer who inspires me because of her raw emotional connection to her songs.  I wish I could play the guitar the way she does.

Wynonna Judd, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Tanya Tucker again women with their own individualistic strengths, they speak to me through their songs.

Carrie Underwood is the new country, incorporating beauty, determination, attitude into her delivery.  There is an honest, down-home vibe about her that is refined and perfected.

BB King, Sting, the Beatles, the Cars, the Who each telling their stories through the music, I grew up listening to them talk to us, developing through the psyche of the generations they still speak to me.

- Sandy

My Time at The Grammys

I had a wonderful time at the 51st Grammy Awards. The day started out getting pampered at the Nikki Chavez Salon in Beverly Hills. Then Alex, my driver, whisked me away in his Silver Mercedes. We stopped at the Breadbar to pick up a salad to give me energy for the long day ahead.

When we arrived downtown we drove around for about a half hour following the barriers set by the traffic controllers to guide us into the front door of the Staples Center where there were lines of women dressed in designer dresses, jewelry, bags and shoes. The men were decked out, too.

I was wearing a classic Dolce & Gabbana fitted dress with an Angel Sanchez Feathered Jacket, Christian Louboutin Shoes, Prada handbag and Harry Winston Jewels.

The Grammy Awards show was great. It was like 20 concerts all in one with the Jonas Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Lil Wayne, NeNo, Robert Plant, Alison Kraus, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Timberlake, Cold Play, Smokey Robinson, John Mayer, Paul McCartney and the list goes on.

Congratulations to all the winners. There are so many categories that they can't cover them all during the televised show so they have a pre-show to hand them out.

The After Party was full of surprises with a PEACE bus, songs from the 70's musical Hair, mime style acrobats performing skits on several stages around the room. There was a band up on stage playing songs that made us all get up and dance.

I met Grammy Award Winners Trae Pierce for Christian Album, Ruben Ramos and the Mexican Revolution for Best Tejana Album, "Viva La Revolucion", their producer Randy Caballero, his sister, Rachel and the rest of the group, Grammy Winning Rock & Soul King, Solomon Burke, Dance Music Diva Pepper Mashay, Indy Film Producer, Cherisse Goedhart to name just a few.

The food was excellent and the staff made every effort to make sure that the party-goers had enough food and drink throughout the entire evening.

The party lasted all night and as I returned to the London Hotel I was surprised by the flashing lights of the Paparazzi. As I entered the hotel I turned and waved goodnight!

View My Grammy Photos!

Gallery Opening...What A Nightmare!

What an experience. I thought this was going to be a glorious celebration and it turned into a nightmare. Two of my most expensive pieces were stolen from the gallery during working hours and the wife of the owner did everything she could do to make me feel that it was not important for them to uncover the culprits, which leads me to believe that there is more to this story than meets the eye. And I am going to pursue it with the police to see if we can find out who took my sculptures during broad daylight!

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

Congratulations To The New Miss America Katie Stam

Miss America Katie Stam

Did you watch the Miss America Pageant? Miss Indiana won. She was such a beauty and so warm and a wonderful personality! As a Miss Nevada myself it is great to see all that the girls put into the pageant and their 'platform', which is often not understood by the public. These girls get involved with a charity that they work with all though the year and usually for a lifetime because they believe in it. I admire them. And feel honored to be part of the history of the biggest scholarship program in the world, which helps these girls go to college to pursue their dreams. Just thought I would share that since most of you are sharing your music with me. I, too, shall have some new songs coming out soon. I will keep you posted and will check out all of your new music as well (and share it with all my friends)......

Sandy

MissAmerica.org


And our best to our own Miss Nevada, , who did a wonderful job. She is out there meeting people from around the state....

 Sandy Kastel and Miss Nevada Juliana Erdesz

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.  

Sandy

BarackObama.com

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!

Sandy

Jersey Boys Info

Believe It And You Can Do It!

Oh, my gosh! It is so good to get in touch with people who have been part of my life. I just got a message from a friend from my high school days. How many of you have done that?

It was like a different lifetime for me. Was it for you, too?

I was in choir, actually, three different choirs in high school. One was the 'girls glee' with Miss Jan Morgan. Then there was the Madrigals. That was the group that did the classical choral music. Then there was Celebration. We did the fun stuff, like whatever was popular at the time. I was also in Chorale, which was a mixture of girls and boys. We sang all of the choral pieces that all the schools do. All of these were taught by Jan Morgan. I was in them from 10th - 12th grade.

But the last year I had some health issues and missed the 'photo session' for the yearbook. The surprising thing for me was that when I got my yearbook, Jan Morgan had neglected to add my name to all of the choirs I was part of. Yes, it was a big disappointment not to be included, even though I had been part of all those groups for my entire time in High School.

She got upset with me because I missed two weeks of school due to my illness. I guess she decided she would 'show me'. Well, she did show me that she was petty to not give me the credit for all of my hard work and dedication to her groups.

Was it fair? I don't think so, but what was I to do about it? There is really not much anyone can do about it when you are only a high school student and the 'teachers' 'disrespect' you by not including you in the organizations that you participated in.

Oh, yes, I was also very much a part of the theater program. But that was another area that they decided to 'forget about'. I was in 'Sweet Charity'. I was only one of the three girls backing up the lead, but the director included me in numbers not typical for my role, because I was the strongest voice of all the girls and they needed the strength. Then I was the lead in 'Funny Girl', the largest high school production of the year and they decided that it only warranted one group photo, even though I was the lead in the musical (the role played by Barbra Streisand in the movie). I guess they were trying to send a message to me not to miss classes because of illness!

But it didn't hold me back, no not me. Terry Richards was in the audience and he asked me to join his touring band that summer, which lasted for 2 years on the road.

It was a great experience and I learned a lot about touring, being in a band with 5 other musicians and how to deal with 'groupies'.

So, all in all, we may have experiences in high school or other situations that we don't understand at the time, but we can turn all of those situations into positive outcomes by 'plugging ahead' or believing in the long time 'showbiz' motto, 'THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

Keep your chin up when things don't go your way. Believe in yourself and your dreams. Follow your heart and listen to your inner voice. Keep the friends and family around you who support you and go out into the world and share your talents.

If you do this, you will be heard! Believe it and you can Do It! I do!

Sandy

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