Eliza Neals. B&W Photo by Mike Toumey

“When I get on stage, I completely loose it. I go with the feel of the music and the energy from the audience. I don’t think about anything, I just go with it.”

Singer / Songwriter Eliza Neals

The album cover and color photos/albums/flyer "HJN Consulting"

Eliza Neals, a Sanger not a Singer
By Jackie Wallace

This past summer at the Royal Oak, Michigan festival, Arts, Beats & Eats, I was lured into a performance by a big, bluesy, voice. The sound was electrifying and I was instantly intrigued. That voice was that of Eliza Neals and the Narcotics. They undoubtedly stopped people in their tracks and sustained the attention of a packed crowd and I immediately wanted to know more. 

Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit Michigan, Eliza Neals has earned the respect from music fans of all genres. Neals began her music career at a very young age, singing and playing piano, and she later pursued a degree in Opera from Wayne State University. Her love for Motown coupled with her signature soulful voice led her in the direction of Blues. She has experienced the high points in her musical journey, such as when she was signed to a developmental deal with Virgin Records. As well as some lows, Virgin label changed directions, and the deal fell through. Despite what challenges she faced, Eliza continued to pursue her dreams.

Within the last two to three years, Eliza’s musical career has exploded. She has graced the covers of Detroit Magazines, and has been a multi nominee at the Detroit Music Awards, winning "Outstanding Blues/R&B Recording (album)," "Rock Songwriter,” and "Outstanding Blues Songwriter.” Eliza Neals and the Narcotics were featured as part of the “Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists/Bands of 2014” by Music Connection Magazine.

In 2013, Eliza Neals was voted by Real Detroit Weekly readers as the “Best Blues artist/group in 2013.” Her music is played on Pandora, Discovery Channel, HBO, the list goes on. Neals, currently resides in both New York as well as Detroit. “The success did not come overnight,” explains Neals. “I have been at this for some thirteen years, writing, recording, gigging, touring and then repeat.” 

Part of her success comes from surrounding herself with talented people both musically as well as business minded. Her production team includes “her man” and business partner, HJ, as well as Detroit legend, Barrett Strong, whose résumé consists of working with greats such as the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and others. In addition to co-writing on each others albums, Strong has been a mentor to Eliza and has played an active role in her career offering priceless advice and guidance.

Eliza has spent the last year working on her new album titled “Breaking and Entering.” This new album showcases the soulful elements in her voice that identify her as a “Sanger” and not just a “Singer.” Her vocals have earned her such titles as, “The Detroit Diva,” and as her fans from the south refer to her as “Northern Soul”. 

The album unleashes the Detroit Diva’s sass, with catchy hooks such as “Now let me tell you ‘bout the time when I caught him with a girlfriend of mine” (Sugar Daddy). “Breaking and Entering” is a merge of retro meets new funk that will continue to appeal to her loyal blues fans as well as cross over to mainstream music, gaining the likes of a new generation.

Neals will be featured on Detroit Fox 2 News on January 30th, 2015 at 9:00am with her band, The Narcotics, to promote her performance on January 31st. The band is made up of some of Michigan’s music icons, which includes blues guitarist Howard Glazer (EL 34’s), hit producer, Mike Puwal (CannonBall Records, ICP), guest guitarist, Kenny Olson (Kid Rock), and Gabe Gonzalez (George Clinton) on drums.

Eliza Neals and the Narcotics will be kicking off the Blues Festival on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 at The New Way Bar in Ferndale, MI, at 9:00pm. The two-set show will include songs from her award winning album, “Messin’ with a Fool,” as well as a sneak peak into “Breaking and Entering.” Although the album has not been officially released, it will be available for sale that evening and can also be purchased from CD Baby and iTunes.

After kicking off the Blues Festival in Ferndale, Eliza Neals and The Narcotics will head down to Miami for their “Breaking and Entering” album release concert on February 20th, 2015 at The Will Call Venue in Miami, FL.

If the cold weather has you singing the blues, head out to The New Way Bar in Ferndale, MI on January 31st to cozy up to the sultry sound of Eliza Neals and the Narcotics.

For more about Eliza Neals:

Website: www.elizaneals.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizaNeal



Jonezen MTV

Detroit's own, Jonezen, added to MTV.COM and MTV JAMS

Watch the "Tear THe Club Up" video on MTV.com right here. The video will beginning rotation on MTV Jams this Sunday. 

Twitter @Jonezenmusic / Instagram @jonezenmusic / Facebook.com/jonezenmusic 



Detroit's own JONEZEN releases a brand new mix tape "The Party Ain't Over" vol 1 ft tracks with Gucci Mane and songs off his upcoming album Beautiful Disaster. Get the free download here. 

2013 has been a break-through year for Jonezen who was crowned Hip Hop Artist Of The Year at the 2013 Los Angeles Music Awards. He has done two independently booked tours, performed at the Speak Your Mind Hip Hop Festival, along side Blackalicious, licensed material for use in TV and film, and been nominated for two Los Angeles Music Awards.

Jones learned the hard way and was told by his doctor after an arrest that may not live another year due to his excessive drinking. Constant touring and partying had caught up with Jonezen. He was faced with a choice: Either go to rehab or die from his habit.

Jonezen refused to go to rehab unless he could bring his recording studio. He found a treatment center in Los Angeles that would let him do just that and upon entering he began working on the critically acclaimed mixtape Live From Rehab.

After leaving treatment Jonezen landed a distribution deal with Famous Records/ Fontana/ Universal. Jeffrey Collins, President, Famous Records Corp., says, “His first release Buried By Six is not only an anthem for people to wake up from their ‘addiction’ but it’s also becoming a popular record that’s being played not only in clubs across the US but also across Europe & as far away as Japan".

2014 is shaping up to be another great year for the rapper. He is nominated for Solo Performer of The Year and Hip Hop Artist Of The Year at the 2014 Los Angeles Music Awards, booked for SXSW, recently signed with Mannatt, Phelps, and Philips, and finishing his new album Beautiful Disaster.

Videos, press, music, photos, and more are available at www.jonezenmusic.com .



Full frontal disclosure: I did the Art Direction along with frequent design partner 
Joel Pelletier of Wayhome.com, I drew the Leopard Lady logo and photographed a great deal of the recently released Re-Licked solo album by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee James Williamson, guitarist extraordinaire of Iggy and The Stooges.  Then  Retrokimmer, DETROIT ROCK N ROLL and a host of other inquiring minds wanted to know the particulars of this design process. Prepare yourself for rather dry, clinical graphic art rumination ahead about what is actually exhilarating, passionate, mind-blowing, wild Stoogemusic! Below, James sans makeup.

After the last Iggy and The Stooges show 9.28.13 (see LINK) and his keynote speech and performance this year at SxSW 2014 and Austin School of Rock respectively (LINK) Williamson honed in on a project that my friend, author Harvey Kubernik called "a karmic correction." Williamson wanted to properly record what would have been the followup album to Iggy and The Stooges' Raw Power, songs written by Iggy Pop and him that only saw light of day as bootlegged tracks varying in "quality" from muffled rehearsal audiocassette tapes to various noises sounding like Jacques Cousteau shrieking underwater while his scuba equipment was being jerked away. When present day Iggy somewhat waffled, appropriately intense singers promptly signed on.

 Who sang what is legible on the back cover art above. Each singer contributes apropos Stoogepassion in his or her singular style. You're sure to have your own favorites given the spread from O.G. punks like Jello Biafra to popular young rock artists like The Orwells. Who played what is documented in both the 24-page booklet and "The Making of Re-Licked" documentary film that accompany each of the release's formats, cd, vinyl and digital download. Below, James and Mario Cuomo, The Orwells' singer.

Below, Alison Mosshart (of The Kills, The Dead Weather) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) tackle "Wild Love" as a call and response duet for Re-Licked

Below, the next three photos were shot in Dave Grohl's deluxe-but-funky Studio 606.  606's main draw could be the Neve soundboard Dave purchased from Sound City when it folded, an establishment with equipment so astonishing that it warranted its own documentary.


The photos above are singer Petra Haden and Primal Scream bassist Simone Marie Butler adding background vocals; Simone on bass with James; James being percussive with drummer Michael Urbano; singer Ron Young of Little Caesar, Simone, and Joe Cardamone at the latter's Valley Sound studio where the rest of Re-Licked was recorded . The touring Stooges, Mike Watt, Toby Dammit and Steve Mackay contributed to many of the tracks as well. Below, at Valley Sound, Simone Marie finds the perfect equipment...


With force-of-nature Lisa Kekaula (above) volcanically belting out "I Got A Right," James Williamson playing at his finest, fastest and furious-est plus top of her field Cleo Viper demonstrating her own right to move, I thought this would be a good concept and a good match of talents for the planned promotional video. Below, stellar retro-burlesque artist Cleo Viper performing in my photo studio and the "I Got A Right" video teaser, which is one of the special features included on the album's "The Making of Re-Licked dvd. Both were directed by Amy D'Allessandro with cinematographer James Stolz. 
                                      (Video LINK )          

Our client captioned the shot below "rockin' the estrogen" whereas Studio 606 sound tech Vanessa Silberman (below far left) noted it was the most women seen working in the studio rather than being companions and whatnot. Below left to right, Silberman, Simone Marie Butler, Amy D'Allessandro, Petra Haden, yours truly and James in front, Neve console lurking in back. Women indeed shine on this release with Lisa Kekaula, Carolyn Wonderland and Alison Mosshart mining all possible emotions from their respective songs.

Below, my drawing based upon but not mimicking the art found on James' original Gibson guitar (see above back cover pic) used in all his original Stooge doings and much of the recording. 

 James as client fortunately presented Joel and me with strong images that made for  memorable graphics. The initial two projects were the covers of the Re-Licked preview 45rpm singles above, both featuring the handiwork of Trina Merry's ArtAlive bodypainting studio, with the skull theme related to James' nickname in the 1970s.  "Open Up And Bleed" photography by Juan Moreno, "I Got A Right" photography by Franklin Avery.

The first concept for the Re-Licked front cover was from photographer Mark Schvartzman's session with model Ryann Hilairey portraying the Leopard Lady sans clothing --more trompe l'oeil body paint by Trina Merry-- as seen below left in the shot that ended up in the gatefold of the lp and cd.  It had a black background plus an extra leopard but wasn't as strong an image as was required for a front cover, particularly given our graphically successful predecessors on the wild 45 singles covers above. 
A Franklin Avery shot below right with James himself in Trina Merry skull makeup against Tibetan prayer flags had been in consideration for the second single. However, the simplicity of the color planes of the flags adjacent James' face seemed perfect for the Re-Licked cover wherein the busyness of a whole lotta artists' names would be competing for attention. The artists' names column starts next to James' eyes for maximum impact, as human nature tends to observe anyone's eyes first (vestigial limbic brain reaction to assessing threats or not when we were but little bitty primates in the forest) before scanning around any layout. And I certainly approved of the 'they live again!' undercurrent of our heroically 40-years-persistent Stooges coupled divine intervention! (Jesus and Buddah love the Stooges to update their old motto...) 

Even without the universal acclaim of others (an easy Google) Re-Licked's highly enjoyable/energetic/emotional performances of some of Rock's best music ever should be your next purchase. 

And if you dwell in Los Angeles, you're in for an even bigger treat: the live show Friday Jan. 16th at the Bootleg Hifi Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A. CA 90057. See below!
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