September is always a busy month full of amazing events for us at Cutting Edge Entertainment. One of those events was the wedding reception of Kerri and Justin, a couple I had a great time working with. The best part of working as a DJ is that I have fun at my job. At the office, at a party, meeting clients, or behind the mixer, most of the time I am having a blast. I enjoy meeting with brides and grooms and talking about their wedding, going through a timeline, finding out about the music they like to dance to and just visualizing the day with them. I feel that many folks choose to book Cutting Edge Entertainment because they have a good time meeting with myself and our staff, and if we can have fun in a meeting for an hour, it’s likely that we will have a rocking time at a four or five hour reception. I am confident that is why Kerri and Justin chose Cutting Edge Entertainment as their Wedding DJ.
Kerri and Justin just happen to be one of the best kinds of brides and grooms… the party animals. They were definitely the stars of this show, and played up the role of bride and groom to the max. They were out their on the dance floor celebrating the entire time, and when I played a song like “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, everyone had no problem singing along. I played music that spanned all different genres and eras at this party. The guests partied to everything from “Do You Love Me” by The Contours to “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. As you can see by the images here in the blog post, this was an awesome crowd.
This wedding was held at the Manor House at Commonwealth in Montgomery County, and I had the chance to work with Richard, Julie, and the rest of the incredible staff at this venue. It is important that there be plenty of communication between the kitchen and the DJ, to ensure that the event runs smoothly, and the folks at Commonwealth excel at this. At this wedding, I knew that once guests were seated, they would be immediately served their meals. The best run weddings are the ones where there is no stop in the action, everybody is either watching (or participating in) a formality (such as the first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, etc.), eating, or on the dance floor doing their thing. I also had the opportunity to work with Krista and Michael from Michael’s Photography. They did a wonderful job capturing images for our blog.
Thank you again Kerri and Justin, and the best of luck to you in your lives as husband and wife.
Images courtesy of Michael’s Photography
The Manor House at Commonwealth
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ December 3, 2014
Musicology, The Beatles
In 1961, an unknown and unsigned “Rock and Roll” group named The Beatles was playing seedy nightclubs in Hamburg, Germany, while another yet unknown vocal group – The Temptations – were signed the then still fledgling Motown Records.
Although the suggestion that The Temptations rival The Beatles in any way, shape or form will undoubtedly be unsettling to die-hard Beatles fans, it will come as little surprise to Temptations fans. The more common comparison to The Beatles is The Rolling Stones, and although both were part of the “British Invasion”, the parallel stops there. The Rolling Stones were merely playing a game of catch-up with The Fab Four both creatively and commercially in the 1960s. With all due respect, The Stones output and footprint is more fairly measured over three decades, and pales in comparison to both The Temptations and The Beatles if narrowed to the 1960s.
On the other hand, The Temptations were doing their own thing musically; entirely different from not only the British Invasion, but from most of what was coming out of the United States, and even more specifically Motown. Although perhaps not as iconic as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, their output during the 1960s and early 1970s was more prolific than the latter, and seemingly their appeal was broader and more diverse than the former.
The Temptations first R&B Chart hit was in 1962, and from then until 1972 (their relevant period) they would land in the Billboard R&B Top 40 a total of 37 times, reaching the #1 spot eleven times, whereas The Beatles – from their first Billboard Pop Top 40 hit in 1964 until their breakup in 1970 - charted a total of 46 times in the Pop Top 40, twenty of which rose to #1. In the same time period The Temptations crossed over to the Pop Top 40 charts a total of 30 times, while unlike other white acts of their time like Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones, The Beatles never once charted in the R&B Top 40.
An interesting footnote, The Beatles had nine more Top 40 hits than The Temptations during this period, and nine more #1 hits as well. Coincidentally, both groups recorded songs that featured the number “9″ in the title (“Cloud Nine” and “Revolution #9″).
It’s important to point out that both The Beatles and The Temptations did continue to chart beyond 1970 and 1972 respectively. After 1970 The Beatles charted five more times with previously recorded songs, and the remaining three Beatles assembled posthumously to the assassination of John Lennon to chart with material comprised of tapes Lennon left unfinished. The Temptations charted in the R&B Top 40 thirty one more times after 1972, but the departure of Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams in 1971/72 signaled the end of the “classic Tempts” era. Hence – for the sake of this comparative – the measure of output is from 1962 to 1972 for The Temptations and 1964 to 1970 for The Beatles.
The most striking parallel between the two groups is that both experienced a complete mid-60s musical metamorphosis.
Between 1965 and 1967, The Beatles evolved from the jangly 1950s inspired Rock and Roll of their formative years to something entirely different, and much more difficult to categorize than their earlier body of work. I suppose it could be categorized as “Psychedelic Rock”, and there is even a valid argument that The Beatles were the first to market in the genre, or at the very least were one of the pioneers. At the same time they dabbled in spiritualism and philosophy, so perhaps it’s fairer to call it an experimental period and a departure from their “mop-top” era. They literally re-invented themselves. This isn’t to say they didn’t still drop a nod to their roots every now and then. For the most part however, they became an entirely different entity. Remarkably retaining both their relevance and commercial success, and plausibly improving upon it. Only one other group in the 1960s was able to achieve such a feat, and that ((cue spotlight))… was The Temptations.
In all fairness, The Tempts didn’t quite “evolve” so much as make a complete 360. They didn’t have the luxury of unlimited studio time to experiment like The Beatles did, and their motivation to change was both more sudden, and for entirely different reasons. The Beatles evolution was brought on by a combination of eclectic factors; not wanting to tour anymore, marijuana and hallucinogenic drugs, and an inspirational producer who afforded them creative license to experiment. Ultimately this resulted in a complete transformation, from touring Rock and Roll Group into in-studio Recording Artists. In contrast, The Temptations morph was expeditious. With the misfortune of having to change lead singers mid-career – often a death sentence to music groups – they rolled the dice by leaving their 1950s inspired R&B and ballad style behind, tackling what is commonly defined as “Psychedelic Soul”, a genre pioneered by Sly and The Family Stone.
With The Temptations transformation, they began to rely less on the lead singer, and instead their new arrangements traded lyrics more freely among all five group members, all of whom were talented singers in their own right. As a result, the Tempts sound became “more whole”. It was during this period that The Temptations charted higher on the Top Pop 40 charts then they had in their entire previous incarnation. This lends to the theory that – like The Beatles – they not only retained their relevance and commercial success, they improved upon it.
It could be argued, particularly in the case of The Beatles, that such a metamorphosis would be easy, and unsurprising. The Beatles were unquestionably one of the first “Rock and Roll bands”, so is it really that remarkable of an achievement? On the flip side, there had been countless vocal harmony and Doo-Wop groups prior to The Temptations, and none of them had morphed at all. So here’s the crux; Besides The Beatles and The Temptations, has any other group maintained success on both sides of such an extreme shift?
In all fairness, several groups do come to mind.
Fleetwood Mac (formed in 1967) was more of a Blues/Rock band, yet it was not until they shifted to a Pop/Rock orientation in 1975 that they achieved any sort of commercial success. In contrast were The Beach Boys who attained massive Pop success in the early 1960′s. But due to a series of mental breakdowns suffered by chief songwriter and producer Brian Wilson, 1966 marked the end for The Beach Boys experimental period.
Other great groups like The Rolling Stones didn’t transform at all, nor did they need to. They stayed their course and kept to a successful formula that garnered them commercial success while maintaining their relevance. In all fairness, they may have dabbled in different experimentations, but it was just that… dabbling. Metamorphosis is not necessary in a group’s career, it is merely unique and worthy of remark. In this respect The Beatles and The Temptations were unquestionably remarkable.
It’s here that The Temptations fall short, but then again, who doesn’t. All but three of The Beatles Pop Top 40 hits were written by a member of The Beatles. This isn’t to say they didn’t cover other artists’ material. They often did. Yet by design or coincidence, nearly 100% of The Beatles hits were home-grown.
Pretty much every other prolific Pop songwriter/songwriting team in the 1960s was a part of the same formidable organization as The Temptations, Motown Records. Names like Smokey Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Ashford & Simpson, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong (to name a few). Even Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff – who later achieved songwriting fame for the Philadelphia International label – penned a chart-topping Temptations/Supremes duet.
That The Beatles authored most of their own tunes is a massively impressive feat, yet this fact alone does not make them the greater recording artist. Taking a great song and making it a hit is what it all boils down to. Elvis Presley, who out sold and out-charted The Beatles, did not write his hit songs.
Cultural Relevance and Irrelevance
The Beatles broke up in 1970, and the split made headlines, with the four former Fabs using the press to slander one another in public forum. The Beatles end was not pretty, but it was most certainly final with each Beatle launching a successful solo career. Additionally, each of the four was able to attain multiple #1 hits, hence retaining both musical and cultural relevance as solo artists. The music of The Beatles did go through a period of diminished relevance amongst the youth of the 1970s, which was to be expected of your parent’s music, but this period was short-lived. The Beatles soon returned to the Icon status they still hold today.
The Beatles relevant period essentially began in 1964 until their breakup in 1970. The Temptations relevant period mirrored the 1964 start, and continued into 1972. Post-1972, The Temptations began a steep decline into epic irrelevance. To this day, they have yet to officially “break up”, and there have been dozens of lineup changes since their dual peaks of musical and cultural significance. David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks – both of whom had left The Temptations by 1972 – continued on as solo artists, with Kendricks achieving somewhat greater commercial success.
Both The Beatles and The Temptations are part of our cultural fiber, and the recordings of both groups are featured on television programs and in motion pictures, while their songs are covered again and again by countless artists.
In summary, although both groups existed in the same time period, they aren’t commonly considered as competitors in any way. Being contemporaries, they would have competed for chart positioning, yet the likeness stops there. The contrasts between the two groups were great enough to make their trajectories similar, but not parallel.
As a massive Beatles fan, I am always searching for artists that might challenge The Beatles perceived supremacy, although a correlation of The Beatles and The Temptations may be more juxtaposition than comparison. Both groups produced excellent music, style icons, and ambassadors (respectively) of their particular genre of music in their own country, as well as abroad.
But most importantly, both groups have given us the gift of great music.
Beatles illustration courtesy of Sean Gallo
Cutting Edge @ December 1, 2014
Musicology, Song Lists
As far as television shows go, HBO’s True Blood is bloody awesome. In its seven season run, the show combined a mix of sinister, sexy and silly into a hit show that I was sad to see end, so much so that I’ve begun watching it all over again, and it’s just as fun as the first time around in every aspect… particularly the music.
The Music Supervisor (and team) for True Blood did a phenomenal job overall on the entire soundtrack, and music was such a big part of the show that each episode is actually named after a song title that was used in that particular episode. As a music person myself, I was especially impressed by the shows use of cover versions of popular songs (versions by artists different than the artist best known for that particular song).
The eight covers listed below – which you can listen to if you scroll to the bottom of this post – represent only a few of the songs used in the soundtrack, but more specifically some of the cover tracks used on the show. They are all edgy and different, yet hauntingly familiar, and although many of them are not available on official True Blood soundtrack compilations, I hunted down the hard to find ones to put together my own custom compilation True Blood’s crypt-kicking covers.
“Just Like Heaven” by The Watson Twins
Featured in Episode 7, Season 1
The first of many artists on this list that hadn’t been on my radar prior to watching True Blood, these two identical twin sisters refer to their style as Indie-Folk, and from the style of this cover I’d have to agree. Their cover of “Just Like Heaven”, originally written and recorded by The Cure in 1987, is a fresh and more tender interpretation of the original.
“Trouble” by Jackie DeShannon
Title track from Episode 5, Season 3
I had to track this tune down as it wasn’t available online, but on a rare compilation CD I had to order through my local record store. Elvis Presley recorded and charted with this tune in 1958, and Jackie DeShannon a year later in 1959. Admittedly, I like this version better than Presley’s, and recognized it immediately during the end credits of episode five in the third season.
“She’s Not There” by Neko Case and Nick Cave
Title track from Episode 1, Season 4
“She’s Not There” was the debut single for the British Rock band The Zombies in 1964, and although that version would have been perfectly suited for the True Blood soundtrack, the great music minds opted for this unlikely duet cover, which, like many of the other songs from the show, has an eerie and sinister feel. Yet another great cover, well suited for the supernatural.
“Burning Down The House” by The Used
Title track from Episode 10, Season 4
With its borderline maniacal lyrics, this tune was originally written and recorded by The Talking Heads in 1983. This cover by The Used, a Punk/Alternative/Hardcore band out of Utah, sounds perhaps even more maniacal with a hard, edgy, industrial sound, is again another perfect choice for a vampire show. It was also featured in the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
“Turn, Turn, Turn” by My Morning Jacket
Title track from Episode 1, Season 5
Written by Pete Seeger in 1950, and adapted almost word for word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, “Turn, Turn, Turn” became a major hit for the Folk-Rock band The Byrds in the mid 1960s. The cover used in True Blood by the Louisville, Kentucky based band My Morning Jacket is one of many covers of this iconic song, but this version has a subtle edge, making it perfect for the show.
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Care Bears on Fire
Title track from Episode 9, Season 5
Care Bears on Fire are a Brooklyn based Pop-Punk all-girl band with the edginess of L7 and the bounciness of The Go-Go’s. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was originally a mega-hit for the Post Modern 80s band Tears For Fears in 1985, but this cover is much more upbeat, while retaining a retro sound thematically well matched for the True Blood soundtrack.
“You’re No Good” by The Plasticines
Title track from Episode 3, Season 6
This was easily the second hardest cover to track down, unavailable online the CD had to be ordered from The Plasticines native country, France. This French all-girl rock band delivers a naughty little version of the #1 Linda Ronstadt 1974 classic (although originally recorded by Betty Everett in 1963). The title of the song alone makes this yet another perfect fit (cue “Bad Things”) for a show about vampires and the supernatural.
“I Wanna Be Your Man” by Mobley
Featured in Episode 9, Season 6
Major kudos to the Music Supervisor for squeezing in a Lennon/McCartney tune, originally recorded by The Rolling Stones and then by The Beatles themselves (click here for a great article on the subject). Mobley, an Austin, Texas based Indie-Rock band hits a home run with this classic, reworking the sound into something nefarious and eerie, another home run choice for the soundtrack.
Whether you’re a fan of True Blood, vampires, the supernatural or just great cover songs, these eight tunes should really hit the spot. The show did feature endless originals that had the same je ne sais quoi, like “That Smell” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “In The Evening” by Led Zeppelin and “Spellbound” by Siouxie and the Banshees just to name a few. All of this great music combined made for a perfectly crafted and truly remarkable soundtrack.
Bravo to the Music Supervisor of True Blood, and to HBO.
Cutting Edge @ October 31, 2014
On May 31st, 2014 I was at the North Hills Country Club in Glenside, PA to rock out the wedding reception of Molly and Michael. In my line of work, I meet a lot of couples in love. I could tell right away that Molly and Michael cared very much for each other (and no, I don’t always say that). In our meetings prior to the wedding, the bride and groom would constantly exchange smiles, winks, and I even caught them playing footsies underneath the conference table. The bride and groom were excited and their eyes lit up as we sat and discussed the dance music we would play during the wedding reception.
Molly and Michael are definitely both party animals, and they really wanted all of their guests to have a great time. They picked the right DJ for the job, because getting (and keeping) people out on the dance floor happens to be my specialty. I played everything from “Runaround Sue” by Dion & The Belmonts to “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, and everyone had a blast. One thing remained the same. It didn’t hurt that this crowd was ready to go as soon as dinner was over, and did not stop until the reception came to a close.
Now, of course, I can’t take all the credit for the success of the party. The staff at the North Hills Country Club did a magnificent job. There was constant communication between myself and their staff, which enabled us to work together toward the overall success of the event. I also had the chance to work with Kate from Kate Madell Photography. She took amazing pictures and was very kind to let us feature some here on our blog.
In conclusion, everything could not have been without the bride and groom. The wedding was amazing and I was so glad to be a part of it. I wish both Molly and Michael the best in the start of your new life together, and I hope to see you both at future events. Thank you for choosing Cutting Edge Entertainment.
Images courtesy of Kate Madell Photography
North Hills Country Club
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ October 22, 2014
This past spring, I had the pleasure of DJing Harlan’s Bar Mitzvah which was a great time had by all. Harlan was one cool kid and I knew from the start he was going to be a lot of fun. The party was held at Jose Garces’s “Distrito” restaurant located in the vicinity of Center City Philadelphia. This is by far one of the coolest places I have ever had the opportunity to perform. The moment you walk into the restaurant you are in awe, as the décor and colors help to set the ambiance for the evening and – in this case – didn’t disappoint.
Harlan and his family were amazing. Jen – the event planner who put it all together – is amazing at planning all aspects of her parties. I knew the kids were ready to let loose and have fun from the moment cocktail hour began. While the adults enjoyed their cocktails, the kids started dancing and partying with my staff and myself. We jumped right into a few line dances and the kids came right out on the floor. As cocktail hour ended, we gathered everyone into the room for our grand entrances and then we could get the party going.
Once we brought Harlan into the room, we packed the dance floor, with all of the kids and adults joining in for the Hora and other dances. As we sat everyone down, Harlan’s father sang his toast. He wrote his own version to “Like a Rhinestone Cowboy,” called “Like a Bar Mitzvah Boy.” Family and friends loved it as they began singing along with the chorus, and admittedly, I was quite impressed as well.
As the evening continued, the party only gained momentum with Harlan’s friends rotating from playing games, to dancing, to singing Karaoke in the lounge area. When the kids were gone, the adults were on the dance floor dancing the night away to the sounds of Motown, the 70’s and 80’s, all the way to the current dance hits. The evening ended perfectly, with all of the adults and kids coming back out on the dance floor to do more line dancing and partying. It was a great time had by all.
Kudos to Jen Angelo for planning yet another amazing event! She seems to always have a knack for finding amazing venues (and amazing clients). Mike and his staff at Distrito were on top on everything the entire night, so much so that I was so impressed with their work I referred my own my family who recently booked an event there. A big thank you to my DJs and dancer staff as well. and of course thank you to Jackie Bayne from Love Shack Photo for the amazing party shots.
Mazel Tov to Harlan and his entire family. We had an amazing time partying with your family and friends. I truly love what I do – a sentiment shared with my staff – and working with such great folks makes my job all the more rewarding.
Images courtesy of Love Shack Photo
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah
MC, DJ and Dancers
Cutting Edge @ October 15, 2014
All events have a memorable moment, most events have several worth recalling, and others have a section that is full of moments that help define my role as a Wedding DJ. The wedding of Anna and Joe Nardozzi on August 9, 2014 began with one vibe and ended with another. It was a pleasure working with this particular bride and groom cause all they wanted to do “was have a good time”, which –at Cutting Edge Entertainment – is our specialty!
Although I have worked numerous events at the Mendenhall Inn, I have never had the opportunity to work in the smaller of the two ballrooms. As a proponent of “intimate spaces”, smaller spaces create closeness for the guests that allow everyone to take stock in the events of the day. A relaxing cocktail hour led into a romp of an introduction; the parents entered to the classic Santana and Rob Thomas track “Smooth”, the bridal party jammed into “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas and our Bride and Groom rocked into “I Believe in a Thing” by The Darkness (…this may be one of favorite intro songs…).
Anna & Joe were dressed in very classic attire; a high-back dress for our bride and a black bowtie for our groom were ideal for the throwback first-dance, “True Loveways” by Buddy Holly. The night continued with some Louis Armstrong for our Father-Daughter Dance and The Archies for our cake cutting, leading many to believe the evening would keep an “old-school” status quo! Boy, were we mistaken…
After the pre-requisite oldies and “timeless” dance sets, the evening went into a completely different style of “old-school”. Most DJs are thrilled to play a few hip-hop tracks that remind us of our high school and college days, no DJ would argue getting to play over an hour of it! From the bride’s request of “Country Grammer” by Nelly to the block of late-90s and early-2000’s hip-hop (“Love Like This”, Faith Evans; “Yeah”, Usher; etc) it was a booty-shaking bash.
That, and I’ve never had more requests for “The Thong Song” by Sisqo than I did on this night…that is not a complaint, either!
Thank you to Tina Heinnickel of Tina Jay Photography for the awesome images and thanks to the Mendenhall Inn for helping make the evening perfect for Anna and Joe!
Best of luck, Anna and Joe, on your adventure in love!
Images Courtesy of Tina Jay Photography
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ October 8, 2014
Client Testimonials, Weddings
I am very grateful to get the opportunity to work with so many awesome people – weekend after weekend – just like Briana and Eric, the bride and groom from this wedding. Briana and Eric were laid back and their primary concern was with making sure that their friends and family had a great time at their wedding reception. At our wrap up meeting, prior to the wedding, we spent a lot of time going over the music for the ceremony, dinner, and dancing. We sat together for close to two hours just listening to music and looking for the perfect grand entrance, cake cutting, and parent dance songs. The best part of my job is getting to know my clients and share in their excitement for their big day, and sitting down with them face to face really gives me the chance to do just that.
The wedding and reception were held at the Pen Ryn Mansion on the beautiful Pen Ryn Estate in Bucks County, with the ceremony held outside and the Delaware River as the backdrop. We provided all of the music for the ceremony, as well as a microphone for the Officiant. When the ceremony concluded, the guests entered the house for cocktail hour. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks, while we provided background music from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. After this hour was up, the ballroom doors opened and guests took their seats. Just outside the room I quickly lined up a very excited bridal party, going over how they would make their entrances.
Once we introduced everyone, the bride and groom took the center stage for their first dance as husband and wife. After the formalities ended dinner was brought out by the staff. As the DJ, I’m always please to see well-fed guests, as this group was going to need their energy, because once dinner was over it’s time to celebrate. Like most of my weddings, this was a great group who were out on the dance floor all night, singing along while I played “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five, and twisting the night away with “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, and pumping their fists in the air as we went into “Feel This Moment” from Pitbull. A great party, with one negative outcome… lots of sore feet; not uncommon when dancing for two hours straight.
The wedding would not have been as successful without the staff at Pen Ryn Mansion. It is one of my favorite places to work, and a lot of it has to with the people that work there. The staff did an excellent job and I know the bride, groom, and their guests would all agree. I also worked with Juliana from Juliana Laury Photography. Juliana is a very friendly person and as you can see by some of these images, a very talented photographer who can really capture the moment.
Thank you to Briana and Eric; I had a blast being your DJ. It was great to be a part of your wedding celebration, but even more it was great to get to know you both and I wish you both all the best in your future together as husband and wife.
A few weeks after the wedding the bride was nice enough to post the following testimonial on WeddingWire:
Choosing a DJ is a critical decision concerning your wedding reception. Cutting Edge Entertainment was helpful and professional from the very first phone call until our last guest left our reception. We hired Richie as our MC and lead DJ. He was able to answer all of our questions, help us choose certain songs, and arrived promptly on our wedding day. Richie was upbeat and personable. You could tell that our family and friends really enjoyed the music selection. We would definitely recommend Cutting Edge Entertainment for your upcoming event!
Images courtesy of Juliana Laury Photography
The Pen Ryn Estate
home to Pen Ryn Mansion and Belle Voir Manor
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ October 1, 2014
Every event has a theme and every event has a vibe. As couples prepare for their big day I always express that a wedding should be “fun, yet classy”. This is the general theme of most events, “let’s have a great time but keep it family-friendly “. Some events lean toward “silly” fun and others lean toward “classy” fun. Vernard and Terri’s wedding (and reception) at Belle Voir Manor in Bucks County was falling off the edge of “classy”. From the three-piece suits to the sparkler-draped closing, this was one couple who hit all the right notes in “keeping it classy”.
This past summer was one of the calmest and nicest (temperature-wise) seasons we’ve experienced in several years. Our bride and groom picked the perfect venue to take advantage of the perfect weather. Utilizing a blend of piano-covers and pop love songs, the ceremony was a sun-bathed scene of love. Belle Voir allows for a three-room event of elegance; a brick-lined aisle for the ceremony, a classically decorated cocktail room and a crown-molded reception area. The venue only enhanced what was destined to be a memorable evening.
Vernard and Terri’s wedding also presented me with a unique opportunity. I may have twenty years of event experience as a Wedding DJ, but until now I’d never been asked to pick the first dance song for a bride and groom. Torn between a seldom-used, but amazing love song “So Beautiful” by Musiq Soulchild and the newest John Legend song “You & I”, this couple left the decision up to me. In the end, I selected the track by Musiq Soulchild to ensure Vernard and Terri would have a song that would be only “theirs”. Knowing that the John Legend song would likely become the next “great wedding song”, I wanted this couple to have a moment that was only for them to share.
The dance floor rocked for hours to some old-school hits by artists like K7, Marvin Gaye and Soul For Real, and a few choice line dances (The Wobble). The night was highlighted by the sparkler exit from our newlyweds, which has been capture beautifully by our photographer Nicole Leigh. As always, it’s a pleasure to work with great wedding professionals like Nicole, and the superb staff at Belle Voir Manor.
Congratulations, Vernard and Terri! Best of luck on life’s greatest adventure.
Images courtesy of Nicole Leigh Photography
Belle Voir Manor
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ September 22, 2014
Musicology, The Beatles
It was back in June of 2014 that I read a write-up/review in Billboard Magazine about a new book about Paul McCartney titled Man On The Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s authored by Q Magazine’s contributing editor Tom Doyle. Having read somewhat extensively about Paul McCartney and The Beatles, this book seemed unique in that it focused specifically on McCartney’s life and career in the ten years following The Beatles breakup.
The author, is no stranger to Paul McCartney, having interviewed him on numerous occasions, and certainly having direct access to Sir Paul helped to give this book the depth of information that it has in abundance.
The Beatles, both individually and as a group, are easily the most written about music artists of all time, and finding a niche angle for a book is no easy task, yet, to the best of my knowledge, Tom Doyle has done just that by focusing his lens on Paul McCartney in the decade after the demise of the Fab Four.
The book picks up as if it were the morning after the breakup if such a thing could be so specifically pinpointed, and continues on with McCartney finding his sea legs and attempting to re-invent and begin again, as if such a thing could be done. Doyle does an outstanding job of interjecting the other three Beatles when necessary, without getting bogged down in too much back-and-forth covered in so many other books. The author aptly stays the course, telling the story of Paul, Linda, and the ever changing lineup of the band known as Wings, and although this is clearly a book about a former Beatle, Mr. Doyle skillfully makes “Man On The Run” a story unto itself, and this book a treasure for any fan of Paul McCartney; the Beatle, the Wing or the solo artist.
As for my own personal and humble opinion, regardless of the personal turbulence that McCartney clearly went through during this period, his output in the 1970s – whether with Wings or solo – make up some of the most endearing work of McCartney’s career. Whether he was a lost millionaire hippie outlaw or a wounded artist on a soul-searching quest, he was still Paul McCartney, and songs like “Band On The Run”, “Live and Let Die” and “Another Day” stand up to any Beatles song in composition, musicianship and timelessness… Again, in my humble opinion.
I give this book five stars, two thumbs up and a smiley face, and highly recommend it to both Wings fans and 70s era fans alike. At just under 250 pages from index to discography it’s an easy and entertaining read while not getting lost in facts, dates, and irrelevant gobbledygook. It’s apparent that the author loves his subject, and while being respectful to McCartney, he delivers a candid and honest biography well worth the read.
Cutting Edge @ September 19, 2014
On Friday afternoon, July 4th of 2014 I had the opportunity once again to MC a wedding at one of my absolute favorite venues, the Cairnwood Mansion in Bryn Athyn, Montgomery County. We have been a part of many wedding celebrations at Cairnwood, and although I have even written other blog posts about weddings I have done there, this wedding ranks amongst my favorites, and for very good reason.
Kortney and Stephen – the bride and groom – were out on the dance floor nearly the entire night. With the bride and groom on the dance floor and participating in the celebration, it makes my job as a Wedding DJ that much easier. Their energy and joy were contagious, and before I knew it, all of the guests were out there dancing and having a blast! Wedding guests always follow the lead of the bride and groom, and when the bride and groom are at the center of the action, the guests, friends and family members are sure to follow.
My assistant and I had a great time at this reception however it would not have been as great if not for Karen, along with the rest of the terrific staff at Karen Spire Catering. The food was amazing, and put everybody in a great mood. Working together with the caterer and coordinating the time line flawlessly helped the party achieve a smooth flow. The photographer for the night was the very talented Nicole Leigh. Over the past few years I have gotten to know Nicole – an awesome photographer – and someone I consider a good friend.
This was truly a great wedding, and one of the highlights of my summer 2014. I thank you for having myself and Cutting Edge Entertainment involved in your party, and I look forward to keeping in touch with you both. Wishing you all the best.
Images courtesy of Nicole Leigh Photography
Wedding DJ and Lighting
Cutting Edge @ September 17, 2014