Posts Tagged ‘uptown express’

Gonna Be This Or That (with Uptown Express)

August 13, 2011

 

Uptown Express has been keeping busy with live shows from Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room, to the fun and summery Asbury Park, to the quirky and friendly New Hope, PA.

The group was nominated for two of the prestigious MAC Awards this year for Vocal Group and Best Recording. Teeming with talent, New York City is a rough city to get noticed in. Uptown has singled themselves out as a premier act with many amazing reviews for both their live appearances and their CD “Take You There”.

The year started out with the death of group member David Gurland. David’s loss and memory fueled the group into continuing. Jaymes Hodges was brought into the group earlier in the year, not to replace David, but to bring something new. Jaymes is not, by any means, new to any of this. He has brought with him an extensive resume of experience. “Naked Boys Singing – The Movie” , and the CD, as the lead (yes, go Google it, we all did!), Guiding Light, Gossip Girl, Broadway, touring companies and more.

David will live on in his music, accomplishments and relationships.

Chris Caswell, John DePalma, Brad Parks, Jaymes Hodges and musical director, James Followell are continuing to raise Uptown Express to new heights.

I believe their future lies in the music choices of the next album. “Take You There” began a new mix of contemporary pop, music we loved as kids and want the next generation to hear and Manhattan’s own Cabaret, that will hopefully be taken further. These four are so comfortable to watch and listen to, it’s impossible to think of anything but great success.

If you haven’t seen them in person, here is a promo video from the group. I’m not sure I would say it showcases all you will see and feel from seeing them, but you can clearly see the wonderful interaction of the group and know that you’ll have a good time.

After watching, visit them on Facebook or the Uptown Express Website.

 

New York’s Uptown Express Is Waiting To Take You There

June 28, 2010

I was lucky enough to get a pre-release copy of the new CD Take You There,  from Uptown Express and was both surprised and excited right away.

I’ll tell the truth, the first time through I was engaged by the music but laughed out loud (LOL!) at each song change. By the third song, I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. You see, I didn’t get a track list so I had really no idea. I encourage you to listen without first studying that list.

I don’t often yell to people to come listen to something, but this time I did it several times. You would have thought I was the one singing. I was so amazed by the quality of each song and that just about every song is a favorite. It’s one of those collections you feel was done as your own, personal mix tape!

Here is another thing I don’t usually do with music (besides laughing and calling people over!)… amidst the mayhem comes Erasure’s Always. I had actually gotten a pre-pre-release of that song, so I knew it was coming, but hearing it in the mix of the rest got me. I choked up a little there. OK, a lot. I LOVE that song! I sang right along with Chris. I don’t think I’ll be the 5th member or anything, but I didn’t need a microphone. ‘Nuff said.

I can best describe the ‘happy’ of this CD by saying that as I drive along and hear random songs on the radio, a song will come on that makes me sit up, sing along and hope to remember its name so I can add it to my imaginary jukebox. This CD is like the jukebox in my mind. Each song, though very different from the last, made me sit up and remember a time, a place, a person.

I won’t go through all the tracks, I’m really hoping you’ll feel some of that surprise that I did, but the songs range from superstar covers to Broadway kitsch and cabaret to current stuff. Each member has his time to shine and shine each one does. The voices, each different on their own and then when they all sing together… another kind of magic. Friend of the group and a New York diva-megafab star in her own rite, Karen Mason winds up the CD belting out Bette like nobody’s business.

If you like a CD with all  fun music… that’s  AllFunMusik!, or if you like a group of hot guys singing to you, or even if you just don’t have enough CDs to fill that new rack you bought at Ikea… get to a music store, the Uptown Express site or do what I did and all the really cool people do, get on iTunes and download it using your American Express card and pay for it next month. And, yes, I did buy it even though I had a free copy. I liked it a lot and hey… these guys gotta eat. Hmmm…. 4 Gay guys… how much are they really going to eat? Then they’ll run to the gym. Hey, maybe I can get a refund and get a hamburger and a pillow. Where was I?… right… buy it. They don’t have to eat, but they have to buy outfits for all those TV and stage appearances. You’ll be seeing and hearing from them quite a bit from now on, I suspect.

OH! Always is on again…. gotta go. Great job guys. You took me there and back! Cheers!

Uptown Express last album review

Uptown Express Official Website

Uptown Express on Facebook

Members: Chris Caswell, John DePalma, David Gurland, Brad Parks, Music Director: James Followell

Uptown Express on 11 Tracks

November 25, 2008

The Uptown Express boys are spreading their message of hope and tolerance in an even bigger way than usual… their first studio CD. 

The CD starts out on an up beat with the title track, The Four Seasons Walk Like A Man which draws you into their unique style. The CD goes on to songs such as Glow Worm and Slow Boat to China. Yes, of course there’s a medley. It starts out with Melissa Etheridge’s  Come To My Window and completes with Never Can Say Goodbye made famous by the Jackson 5 and later Gloria Gaynor. The CD is a good time mix of songs equally appropriate as dinner music, road trip music or get lucky music.

uptown_express_cd

Under the music direction of James Followell, the Uptown Express boys are Aldrin Arche, Chris Caswell, John DePalma, David Gurland and Brad Parks. They have played Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, from Europe to Miami to the famous cabaret clubs of Manhattan, Uptown gets their crowds in the mood.

Each member brings a uniqueness to the group. Take, for example, Chris Caswell. Chris is the longest running member of Uptown Express and has appeared with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus in Carnegie Hall, played in productions of Godspell and Company, but is best known for his solo venues, the most recent of which was Hold On at Helen’s. You can get more info on Chris and watch for upcoming shows at his website http://www.christophercaswell.net .

Please visit Uptown Express at their website http://www.uptownexpressnyc.org and take a look around. They list their upcoming performances and there, you can also purchase Walk Like A Man.

So often we are unsure of what we buy and who we’re buying from. Walk Like A Man is an uplifting compilation of songs meant to inspire and entertain performed by five guys that want to inspire and entertain. Wholesome entertainment for a harried world. 

Uptown Express is part of the Big Apple Performing Arts, a non-profit management company supporting LGBT entertainers.