Henry “Box” Brown, A Hip-Hop Musical

Henry Box Brown logo full page

On Thursday, February 1, 2018, the first night of Black History Month, Henry Box Brown: A Hip Hop Musical, produced and starring Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins, opens at the Bonnell Auditorium of the Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130. This musical forces one to ask: What would I do for freedom?

Grammy-award nominee Jenkins, well-known for his collaboration with The Roots, sees Box’s story as an opportunity to introduce a new slave narrative—the story of a real person, who is deeply flawed, highly talented and limitlessly resilient.

Karl as Box

Jenkins, who shares Box’s large build, stars in the show. His co-stars include Minister Jamie Knight, an artist formerly on Jay-Z’s record label, and Gina Costanzo (“Gina Zo”) from Team Blake Shelton on NBC’s The Voice.

Jenkins co-wrote the music with hip hop producer Seth “Digital Crates” Barmash. Former BET and Disney writer Phillip S. Brown directs the show and wrote the narrative. The music was recorded at Forge Recording, which is also a sponsor of the musical.

Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite. For more information visit henryboxbrownmusical.com.

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New Freedom Theater, Philadelphia

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“The Homecoming” Celebrates Disability Culture

The Homecoming promo shot

Shannon DeVido, Lead Actress from the upcoming Zeno Mountain Farm production The Homecoming recorded vocals for the film’s soundtrack with Forge Recording engineer Robbie Simmons.

The Homecoming small for web

Shannon DeVido records vocals in Studio A.

The Homecoming is a high school musical full of humor, heartbreak, and passion that celebrates disability culture. This project comes directly after Zeno’s award-winning documentary Becoming Bulletproof and is the largest effort the production company has made to date.

Click to visit “The Homecoming” KickStarter page

Madeline Rhodes, who composed the music and acts in the film, produced the session. DeVido lives nearby and recorded her vocals at Forge before heading to film in Vermont.

Homecoming group shot for web

Producer Madeline Rhodes, Shannon DeVido’s manager Miles, and engineer Robbie Simmons

Zeno Mountain Farm is a nonprofit that fosters lifelong friendships and opportunities for people with diverse needs. The community is built around projects; currently these include art, film, theatre, sports, music and adventure.

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Stereotytans: WMMR Artist of the Month

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The Philadelphia comic book-inspired rock band Stereotytans is working on an EP of theme songs from popular epic movies and television shows at Forge Recording. The EP will include theme songs from Wonder Woman, Game of Thrones, Spider-Man, and more.

 Stereotytans prepping in Studio A

The Tytans take inspiration from Living Color, Fishbone, Radiohead and Public Enemy to create rock music with hints of soul, funk and metal mixed in for good measure. Each member personifies a Tytan from Greek mythology: Gab Guma (guitar, Hyperion); Marc Brasof (drums, Oceanus); Damen St. Alborne (vocals, Prometheus); Chris Jones (bass, Kronos); and Ken Khaoss (DJ, Hades). The band is 93.3 WMMR’s Artist of the Month for December 2017.

Steve Rosplock with members of Stereotytans

Steve Rosplock with members of Stereotytans

Steven Rosplock is the mastermind behind Stereotytans and is also a member of Phantasm, which tracked its latest album at Forge Recording.

Here is the video Clowns from the Stereotytans’ debut album Escape.


Many millennia ago, the earth and sky gave birth to the mighty Tytans! Freed by Athena, after eons of imprisonment at the hands of her father Zeus, the Tytans now reside powerless on Earth trying to regain their former glory. In a bid to overthrow Zeus’ reign, these mythic beings have formed a rock band with a plan to convert fans into an army of Demigods to battle Zeus and return them to their rightful place among the heavens. And thus, the STEREOTYTANS were born!

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ListenUp Audiobooks

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Above: Brendan McGeehan and Alex Barrett record the audiobook Deck the Hallways

ListenUp Audiobooks chose Forge Recording to record two audiobooks for the New York Times best-selling Fixer-Upper Mystery series. ListenUp Audiobooks is an award-winning spoken word production company and audiobook publisher with hundreds of published titles.

Alex Barrett narrated author Kate Carlisle’s fourth and fifth novels in the Fixer-Upper Mystery series—Deck the Hallways and Eaves of Destruction—in The Academy Studio with audio engineers Brendan McGeehan and Robbie Simmons. The series follows contractor Shannon Hammer who also solves murder mysteries in her coastal California town. You can purchase the highly-rated Deck the Hallways audiobook here, and Eaves of Destruction here.

Alex Barrett, also known by the pseudonym Angela Starling, has recorded numerous audiobooks. “Alex is very talented, very professional and very easy and fun to work with. Her experience shows in both her reading and her interaction with me as the engineer,” says Simmons.  Click here to find other audiobooks narrated by Barrett.

Forge Recording’s Academy studio is well-suited for voiceovers. The recording booth is comfortable and acoustically tuned for a clean, dry, spoken-word sound; it also allows for a TV hook up which eliminates distracting page-turning noises, and makes a perfect set-up for re-recorded dialogue (known as ADR) for video. Simmons recorded Victoria Laurie’s audiobook A Grave Prediction with Elizabeth Michaels here in 2016, and wrestling aficionado Bill Apter recorded the audiobook for his memoir Is Wrestling Fixed? in the Academy Studio.

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Lee J. Harold Releases “Memory Lane”

Lee J Harold Memory Lane CD Cover small for web

Lee J. Harold released Memory Lane, a 5-song EP of jazz standards. The tracks were arranged by Jim Holton and recorded, mixed and mastered by Forge Recording Lead Engineer, Ron DiSilvestro. Forge Recording also designed and manufactured the CDs which are available on CDBaby.

Memory Lane is, well, a trip down Memory Lane with familiar songs like Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Favorite Things, with delightlful and original twists and turns. A little less familiar are Oscar Brown, Jr.’s Memory Lane, Eddie Jefferson’s and James Moody’s Moody’s Mood for Love and Dizzy Gillespie’s Night in Tunisia.

Performing on the tracks are Jim Holton on keyboards and cello, Nimrod Speaks on bass, Anwar M. Marshall on drums, Josh Robinson on percussion, Diane Monroe on violin, Alberta Douglas and Ramona Douglas on strings, and Lee J. Harold and Rhenda Fearrington on vocals.

Here is a video on the making of Memory Lane, produced by Brendan McGeehan. We hope you enjoy it.

 

 

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In Memory of Jerry Ross

Jerry Ross with Dick Clark

Trivia Question:

Which Philadelphia native discovered Kenny Gamble, produced I’m Your Venus (The Shocking Blue) and Sunny (Bobby Hebb), co-wrote I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations), and was an announcer for American Bandstand?

Answer: Jerry Ross

Jerry Ross (1933-2017) was a true Philadelphia music pioneer. He did the news, sports, morning wake-up shows and DJ’d for Armed Forces Radio; attended Temple University’s communications program; DJ’d on WFIL-TV with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Music; DJ’d for WFIL radio; and was the announcer for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand—the first national TV show totally dedicated to playing pop music.  He then founded Heritage Records and signed Kenny (Gamble) and Tommy (Bell) to his label. The rest, as they say, is history. Read the interview in Spectropop.

Forge Recording has had the privilege of manufacturing CDs for Jerry’s company, and will miss him deeply. We look forward to working with Jerry’s daughter, Cheri, as she continues his legacy. Titles include: The Best of the Sapphires, The Best of Bill Deal & the Rhondels, The Cherry People Suddenly, and The Mob.

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Jamie Knight “Lift Him Up”

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Gospel and R&B singer Minister Jamie Knight recently released her third album Lift Me Up which was recorded, mixed and manufactured at Forge Recording.

The album was produced by Seth “Digital Crates” Barmash and executive produced by Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins (The Roots, Henry Box Brown). Knight is signed to RawLife Records, an independent label based at Forge Recording and owned by Jenkins.

Knight returned to Forge Recording to throw her CD release party. Check out some photos from the event below.

You can purchase Lift Him Up on iTunes. Listen below to one of the album’s singles, “I Need You.”

 

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Kristin Callahan Videos

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Kristin Callahan’s voice has been described as fresh, vibrant, hypnotic and mesmerizing. To capture her unique style, Kristin chose Forge Recording’s Studio A as a backdrop and guitarist Josh Nussbaum as accompanist for four videos. The songs were recorded and mixed by Forge Recording Lead Engineer Ron DiSilvestro.


Kristin is a Baltimore native who has been performing jazz since 2009. She is currently working on two projects. The first is Songs of Peggy, a program consisting of songs Peggy Lee recorded throughout her career and original songs by Lee. The second is Sway with Me, a program of Latin jazz tunes, and highlights songs written by Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Kristin will be performing at the Cultural Center in Havre de Grace, MD on December 17 with the Melting Pot Big Band.  She will also be performing at Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, on March 16, 2018 for Women’s History Month.


I had a great experience with Forge Recording! Everyone was easy to work with and I received my final takes so quickly.
–Kristin Callahan

You can learn more about Kristin at www.kristincallahanmusic.com.

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Gina Zo “Free Your Soul”

Gina Zo with Forge sign

Gina Zo is releasing her second album with Raw Life Records. Free Your Soul was recorded and produced at Forge Recording by Seth “Digital Crates” Barmash and executive produced by Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins and Christopher Wood.
Gina was selected by Blake Shelton on The Voice in 2016. When not performing she spends time collaborating in the studio with producer Digital Crates.

 

Working with Digital Crates has always been incredible for me. He understands how I record and it is easy to play off him as he plays off me in a session. He is that person I can finish his sentence to as he can do the same for me.– Gina Zo

Gina held her CD release party in Studio A at Forge Recording and is performing on Tuesday, August 1st at Voltage Lounge in Philadelphia.
 
Gina Zo Free Your Soul cover small
I really enjoyed getting to utilize Forge to allow my visions come true. The grand piano that is here holds a lot of my secrets so to speak because I have gotten to write a few of my songs using it. This album holds a lot of truth to it. It is very much a fun and loving album but shows the side of me I do not think people always get to see because I am so driven and focused. It shows my passion for life and the arts and how love plays into all of these things. — Gina Zo
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Bad Boy’s Gizzle Records at Forge

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Songwriter and rapper Gizzle worked on new material for three days at Forge Recording. Gizzle is signed to Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records and has written for Teddy Riley, Puff Daddy, Pharrell, Timbaland, Nicki Minaj, T.I., Meek Mill, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Trey Songs, Ty$, YG, Iggy Azalea, Hit-Boy, Kid Ink and others.

While at Forge Gizzle recorded vocals in The Academy Studio and live instruments in Studio A. She also took advantage of Forge Recording’s quick turn CD duplication services for her album 7 Days in Atlanta.

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