A phone shot of Ben Burget (trumpet & piano) and I at the House of Blues in San Diego
Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
To hear my interview please go to: http://gvbradio.com/archives/doglove-111611.mp3 I come on at 54:20. But please listen to the whole show! Addie Daddie is such a cool animal host! This show is great.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Today, all you animal and music lovers!!! I'll be doing a live interview and performance of a few acoustic songs on: http://gvbradio.com/love-that-
dog-hollywood . You're welcome to call in and chat with us! 323.522.5482.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Whitton: Vintage-Inspired Songstress on the Rise to Stardom
BRITTANY REDDEN OCTOBER 31, 2011 0
Singer-songwriter Whitton takes vintage to a whole new level with her timeless voice and sense of style. The Nevada-born crooner sat down with Cliché and told us all about her childhood, road to fame and what’s to come in her life as a budding artist. Check out Whitton’s newest album “Rare Bird” on her website or Facebook page now!
Whitton: Well, I grew up in Reno and I went to catholic school. I started dazzling Reno folks at the age of 6 in a theater show called “Sunshine Generation” where I would sing in all the old age homes. Now I’ve finished my new album “Rare Bird” which I’ve been in the studio for two years making, so I’m just getting my touring boots on and getting ready to go out and tour the US this coming spring. I typically like to tour with only about a four piece because you know how much money that is to have such a big band on the road, but I have a CD release on the 22nd in Reno with my full 10-piece band.
W: As you can tell my stage name is Whitton, but my first name legally is Jaime. My parents decided to have 6 kids because of the movie sound of music. My mother cut her hair like Julie Andrews, she made all of our clothes out of curtains, and she sings and plays the ukulele. My dad is an actor in Hollywood, James Lawrence Whitton, so they decided to raise us there and now we all have our own musical endeavors.
W: I graduated high school when I was 17 and then had a record deal in Malaysia with my first band called “Jaime and the Blue Suits,” which was a big 10-piece band. We played jazzy techno-blues music, a very interesting, very European sound. So, that actually fell apart and from there I joined a reggae band for a couple of months. At the end of my 17th year I moved with my sister, Stacey Whitton-Summers, to Myrtle Beach, SC where we recorded my second album, but our first album together. She’s actually a Marilyn Monroe, Shania Twain and Gretchen Wilson impersonator. I was so fortunate to get to travel with her because she goes all over the world. We would just go play music on the side. It was really a fun experience. However, as far as this album I’m just releasing, I saved all my pennies that I made over the last few years installing voice and data cables for computer connection, building microwaves and radios for corporate buildings and then bartending on weekends. So I really saved all my money to get the top players, the top recordings, the top engineers and even down to the illustration, so I’m very, very proud of this new record.
W: I’ll tell you how this endeavor got started. I play guitar, and anytime you play guitar and you’re just a vocalist you have acoustic music or folk music or Americano or what not its all in the same family. So I was playing guitar at an open mic in Pasadena and there were four people in the audience and my current producer with this album, Ian Coyne, was one of them. I had just been hired for a 1940s review show on a cruise line and I was getting ready to leave and he wanted to write a song together. I decided to go in and we wrote a song together and it was immediately placed in a film called The Fifth Quarter with Andie Macdowel and Aiden Quinn. So then I thought, “How can I leave now? I can’t leave!” So we just ended up writing a handful of songs. He produced a couple of my acoustic songs. I’ve also had the liberty of writing with a couple of great writers on the album in Joe Solo, who’s written for Macy Gray and Fergie, and Peter Fox who’s written for Rachel Yamagata, so its been quite the experience. As far as my music, you take my natural acoustic sound and intertwine it with a little big band, singer-songwriter stuff and that’s what the sound came out to be on this album.
W: They’re all very, very personal. I was the last of 6 kids so I have just a natural ability to observe, so I’m always observing strangers, people, family, and friends. So I do write about other people, but they all come from a very personal place.
W: Well when I met Ian, I had a few side projects coming up where I would sing big band songs and jazz songs and blues songs, so yes. But I’ve always loved the style of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. I used to sing them in my room in front of the mirror, so I’ve always had a love for that type of music. But Iam a singer-songwriter and that’s where my roots are. My acoustic music is a little more vulnerable and melancholy sounding. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Jeff Buckley, but that’s kind of where I stem from. Ian really dissected my vocal ability and saw a little bit of vintage in it, so we built the instrumentation that was appropriate around the songs. When I met him he had never done big band or jazz music either. It’s just naturally what was developed.
W: I’ve always had a love for vintage type clothing, like flowers in the hair. Actually, my sister Stacey makes these amazing flower pins that you can pin anywhere. They’re actually part of my merch called “Whitton de Fleur.” I them in my hair and they are a very vintage cloth with a little sparkle to them. Anything vintage and off-collar I am attracted to.
W: It took a long time, but all good things take a long time. We really crafted the songs and focused on making them the best they could be by getting the best players, building relationships and networking. That all takes time. It was definitely a process. But I’m seeking a manager right now. I have a marketing team, a publicist and a good group of people, but there’s always a time and place when you’re ready and now I’m ready to find management! I’m planning to tour all text year through the US and parts of Europe. The tour is not booked all the way but that is my intention. So in the next couple of months it just depends on who I meet, but it’s all beginning to roll and I’m very excited. I have a handful of shows coming up in the next couple of months and I have two residencies that I’m going through until the end of the year. Now I’m just getting people to my shows and by next spring definitely doing a lot of shows outside of California
W: Absolutely! I would love more than anything to write and sing with a handful of artists: Rufus Wainwright, Amos Lee, Colin Hay, Ray Lamantaign. And Thom York would be absolutely… well my life could end that day!
W: I had a friend named Shane Gooding and he was probably one of the most amazing and gifted musicians and songwriters that has ever lived. I was very close with him and he passed away of cancer three years ago at 25. He really was a huge person in my life that I walked with and just adored.
W: I’m very, very fortunate to have such a brilliant family. All my siblings are very unique in their own way and have such a gift specifically and I admire all of them. They’ve all taught me so much.
W: Well, I was a complete loner! [laughs] I was kind of in my own world, I didn’t have a specific group of friends. I had one friend here, one friend there, I was friends with everyone! But I always had older friends that were out of school. I looked up to different mentors in music or in health and yoga, and I really look up to my family so I spend a lot of time with them.
W: Sure! I made tie-dye clothes and traveled to all the festivals around California and Nevada selling hemp necklaces and tie-dye clothes. That definitely has a package of being a little bit of a rebel. I did date a guy in high school that drove a Harley. He used to show up at my high school with a rose in his mouth and pick me up! He was only about five years older, but it was still the fact that some guy on a Harley was picking me up. He used to drop me off at the end of my street so my parents wouldn’t see.
W: I really think real heartbreak never goes away. It sits with you and you either accept it or you don’t and that’s how you survive in your life; just accepting a lot and trying to do the best that you can to deal with it. I don’t really have the best advice for that sort of thing!
W: I’m a nutrition freak, so I do try to mix different vegetables and fruits and all sorts of fun green things in juices. I make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich with fresh berries and nuts. I just kind of put things together! My mom had to piece things together in the fridge if we didn’t have a ton of food, so I’ve just learned to do that and make masterpieces out of almost nothing.
W: I toured up to Seattle and I have a friend up there whose dad said to me, “What do you like to do when you’re not working?” I thought about it and I realized, wow, even on vacation I’m always working! Sometimes that can be overwhelming, so even on vacation I love doing yoga. Another really therapeutic thing for me is gardening; I love to garden. It goes with my cooking. I’m actually working on a cookbook for my merchandise. I’ve been trying to rack my brain on what’s different, what unique merchandise can I come up with. I love to support local artists and I’ve been looking into getting a person who makes mugs by molding them and making them look really cool and authentic. I already make these matchboxes with my face on it for your fridge and my sister’s flowers. I try to be as creative as possible. But a cookbook is definitely on my agenda.
W: This coming year while I’m touring (probably the beginning of spring or summer) I’ll be working on my next album. I have 40 songs under my belt that I’m finessing and now I’m working with a new producer named John Avila, who is the bassist of Oingo Boingo. I’m so excited about working with the top guys in the studio and I hope for a release next fall or next winter after the promoting “Rare Bird”
W: I was raised catholic, but I don’t necessarily think I’m a religious person. I’m more of a spiritual person. I connect with nature and just try to get to a place where I can mediate and just think about the good things in my life and look at other peoples’ life and be thankful every day for what I do have.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Reno native Whitton takes flight on 'Rare Bird,' will perform Saturday
Written by Forrest Hartman
- FILED UNDER
“It took me that long to really save all my pennies to get the top musicians and the top mixer, engineer and mastering guy, and designer for the cover,” she said. “So, I’m very, very, very proud of it.”
Saturday, the 28-year-old singer-songwriter will show off the fruits of her labor during a CD release concert at Cantina Los Tres Hombres in Sparks. The show will not only celebrate “Rare Bird’s” release, it will be something of a homecoming performance. Whitton – who uses only her last name on stage – was born and raised in Reno.
“My mom grew up in L.A. and my dad grew up in Reno,” she said. “My dad moved to Hollywood to become an actor, and that’s how they met. Then, they moved back to Reno to have six kids.”
The youngest of those six children, Whitton said the movie musical “The Sound of Music” inspired her parents to have a large family. So, it’s not surprising that their household shared similarities with the Von Trapp siblings depicted on screen.
Whitton's video for 'Turn Off The Light'
“I started singing when I was six,” Whitton said. “All of us kids were in our own musical endeavors. … My first four siblings, they were in big band. You know, my brother played trumpet and my sister played saxophone. My other sister played trombone and my brother plays guitar and drums.”
Many of Whitton’s siblings, including Reno-based sister Stacey Whitton-Summers, are still active in the arts. Whitton-Summers is a singer and stage performer who works as a celebrity impersonator, portraying the likes of Shania Twain and Marilyn Monroe.
Although Whitton, and the majority of her family now live in Southern California, she said she visits Reno about four times a year. Her trip this weekend will be special, though, as it’s allowing her to show off the new collection of tunes that she worked so hard for.
“The feedback’s been really great, but as we all know it takes awhile to really get some buzz going,” she said. “So, I’m excited for it. I’ve got my touring boots on, so I’m ready to hit the road. … We just put our tears and blood into that album.”
“Rare Bird” is a jazzy collection that takes traditional pop influences and blends them into a sound reminiscent of the music of the 1940s. In part, that’s because Whitton’s voice shares traits with classic jazz singers like Billie Holiday. It’s also due to the vision of the album’s producer and co-writer Ian Coyne.
Whitton said she used to perform more stripped down material that featured mostly her voice and acoustic guitar. A chance run in with Coyne changed everything.
“I was used to playing guitar solo and doing my own tours,” she said. “My acoustic stuff, it’s kind of hard to categorize. It’s just acoustic. … When I met Ian, he had this whole vision of developing a bigger sound.”
That sound leans heavily on jazzy horn parts and swinging rhythms that reinforce the nostalgic feel of the music. Although Whitton is hoping to spend a lot of time touring in 2012, she’s the first one to admit that it’s tough to break through in the music industry, particularly these days.
That’s one reason she had to self-fund “Rare Bird,” an effort that has required her to work two part-time jobs for the last several years. Despite the struggles, Whitton has had some success in the music industry. Tracks from her previous recording, a self-titled EP, were placed in two 2011 movies: “The 5th Quarter” and “Exit Strategy.” She was also featured as a guest vocalist on an episode of the popular Showtime TV series “Dexter.”
As for concerns about the instability of the music industry, Whitton said she just keeps moving forward.
“It frightens me sometimes when I really think about it, but I don’t really have another alternative,” she said. “I mean music is just something I have to do.” As long as I’m doing it, I think I’ll be OK.”
If you go
What: Whitton concert and CD release party. Also on the bill is local band Jelly Bread.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Where: Cantina Los Tres Hombres, 926 Victorian Ave., Sparks
Learn more: To learn more about Jaime Whitton or purchase her music, visit www.whittonmusic.com
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Where: Cantina Los Tres Hombres, 926 Victorian Ave., Sparks
Learn more: To learn more about Jaime Whitton or purchase her music, visit www.whittonmusic.com
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Singer-Songwriter Whitton to Host Record Release Oct 22 for new album “Rare Bird” w/ Special Guests Tyler Stafford & Jelly Bread
by Oliver Ex on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 1:03am
Singer-songwriter Whitton has taken giant steps toward break through success in her music career. With an impressive list of song placements and major club appearances already under her belt, it is delightful to see the Reno native on the climb and making good in the industry. We have local music impresario Todd South to thank for sending the talented artist and her publicist our way to help promote her upcoming record release event at Cantina Los Tres Hombres in Sparks on October 22, 2011 @ 7 p.m.
Whitton’s videos and press materials show an artist on the rise, with an easy stage presence—evident even early on in her career travels. The willowy blonde chanteuse and veteran road dog with the stunning Bettie Davis eyes, has a decidedly throwback persona that melds a juke joint jazz tonality, with light inflections at the end of her phrasings that recall Billie Holiday. Her voice is sultry and emotive, with a round, soft feminine sweetness that can easily swing from folky to throaty and smoky. Somehow these elements combine to make Whitton’s sound both fresh and familiar.
Whitton has been a guest vocalist on Showtime’s Emmy-Nominated hit series “Dexter” and her recent tour in support of “Rare Bird” has brought her to the best venues in Los Angeles and Vegas, including performances at the Hotel Café and The House of Blues.
Her new LP, “Rare Bird” is available now with 10 new tracks including several co-written by Peter Fox (Rachel Yamagata) and Joe Solo (Macy Grey) and mixed by engineer Michael James (New Radicals, Hole). Several tracks have already received feature film placements in: SHE WANTS ME (starring Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff and Josh Gad) and METH HEAD (starring Lukas Haas, Wilson Cruz and Necar Zadegan). The “Turn off the Light” music video is also available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efa2Vtox40M
For a sneak-peek of Whitton’s LP “Rare Bird”, please go to: www.whittonmusic.com.
Tracks from Whitton’s previous, self-titled EP also received placement in the 2011 films: THE 5TH QUARTER (starring Aidan Quinn, Andie MacDowell, and Ryan Merriman), EXIT STRATEGY (starring radio host Big Boy from Power 106, Jameel Saleem and Kevin Hart), and was featured on Delta Air Lines Sonicbids Radio Channel and in Delta’s “Sky Magazine”. WHITTON has recorded three full-length albums with acclaimed producers David Hauser (Redbone, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Iron Butterfly), Kevin White (writer for Billy Ray Cyrus) and Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Dishwalla). She also has won numerous awards including “Best Female Acoustic Rock Artist” by the New York Music Festival.
We spoke to the artist by phone and online to get her views on the music business, her busy career and her upcoming record release.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: You worked with some accomplished producers and writers on your new album “Rare Bird.” Talk about your songwriting process, and the collaborative experience you had while recording the record.
Whitton: Each song off my new album “Rare Bird” came from a very personal place. Most of them were songs I wrote on guitar years before, but took the lyrics from them and put them over new chords and arrangements. With my producer/writer, Ian Coyne, he had a huge influence on the arrangement and production of this album. Being brilliant in his craft, Ian dissected the characteristics of my singing voice and we built around it musically. I also was fortunate to write with a handful of writers, Peter Fox (Rachel Yamagata), Joe Solo (Macy Gray) and the exquisite jazz pianist, Michael LeVan. The process was enlightening and very eye opening. I learned so much from everyone who played and wrote on this album. I’ll never forget it. It’s made me realize so much about myself and what I want.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: You’ve done exceptionally well with film and industry song placements. How early on did you discover the importance of the publishing side of the business? What career-building advice can you give Reno’s talented artists seeking breakout opportunities in the industry?
Whitton: Well, I can’t give too much advice on this because I’m still climbing the ladder of success!! I think the most important thing to do is enjoy what you’re doing. If it feels like work and beats you up until you’re blue in the face, it might be time to look into doing something else with your life. My advice is own everything. Own your recordings, equipment and do your best to hold onto your publishing rights. But realize at the same time that you have to give some to get some. To me, the only real way of getting a strong foot in the door is creating buzz—a fan base. And how to do that is touring and TV/film placement. If you’re lucky to get a great publicist or manager, that makes your job soooooo much easier. I love the job of being the musician! Management/publicity can help get you interviews/reviews/press in the cities you tour through and much, much more. It’s an arduous battle representing yourself. You can do it… but most people don’t like to deal with the artist. Besides, being a salesperson isn’t one of my best qualities, I must admit. Trying to pitch yourself wears you out—or at least me.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: Talk about how you’ve been able to build your fan base and secure major showcase and performance engagements at top venues like House of Blues and Hotel Cafe?
Whitton: Consistency. It takes a long time to develop a strong buzz. Networking is very important. Sharing the stage with fellow musicians and building relationships with them, fans and industry. It’s extremely important to have the “right” team of people. Performing in Los Angeles regularly, I’ve gotten handfuls of deals/offers from industry professionals… but that doesn’t mean that any deal through the door is the right deal. You have to be selective and be aware. But don’t let fear take the wheel because you might end up in a dead end with no deal. Intuition and knowing what you want is key in finding the “right” team.
Reno Tahoe Tonight: Your upcoming CD release at Cantina Los Tres Hombres is something of a homecoming for you. Who’s on the show bill and what do you have in store for your Reno fans?
Whitton: Yeah, I guess it is like a homecoming for me. I’m excited to see old faces and new faces! I’m jazzed to perform at my brother’s childhood friend, Shawn Plunket’s restaurant. Shawn’s been like a big brother to me, so it’s like I’m hangin’ with my family as well. I’ve heard fabulous things about local songwriter, Tyler Stafford, who’s opening for me at the Cantina. Also, one of my favorite funky bands, Jelly Bread will perform later in the evening. I’m excited to reconnect with Dave Berry (singer/guitarist), whom I toured with for a while years back. It should be a wonderful night of just plain ‘ole good music.
Find Whitton on Facebook, Twitter and Pandora.
Review by Tracy Heck for Examiner.com!
Whitton releases Rare Bird
, Detroit Live Music Examiner - October 1, 2011
Singer/songwriter Jaime Whitton is bringing the big band era back with the release of her latest album Rare Bird, which came out on Tuesday.
Whitton’s voice is a throwback to the days of Billie Holiday but with a modern twist that harkens more towards Norah Jones and the contrast between the vintage and current bluesy pop is a delight to listen to.
Whitton herself cites Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley as two of her biggest influences and certainly many of her songs also have a folksy feel to them, “I love the music of the forties and the big band era and I always wanted to bring that into my own music. With this album I also brought in a flare of Americana.”
Whitton’s love of music began at a early age after being born into a musical family as the youngest of six children.
Whitton says her parents chose to have that many kids because of their love for the movie the Sound of Music, “I was raised in a house of musicians so it was always there. I began performing at the age of 6.”
However, after her family moved to the L.A. area Whitton’s musical career really took off and is most responsible for the artist she is today.
When asked about being from Reno, Nevada and that besides the Killers it does not seem that much music comes out of the area Whitton laughed and explained that yes it is true that the area does not feature a big musical background and that you really had to search for it.
Although she is a naturally a observer and loves to play guitar she found herself in the singer role as the result of some personal tragedy but feels at home there now.
She is involved in the writing and creation of all of her music and with the self-released Rare Bird she worked with Peter Fox (Rachel Yamgata) and Joe Solo (Macy Grey) as well as engineer Michael James (Hole).
Rare Bird is one of those albums that you can sit down and be involved in all the way through; there are no filler tracks.
The album opens with the fun, spirited “Turn Off the Light” and continues on with tracks like the powerful “Monster” and the energetic “B Sting”, which Whitton says is her favorite track off of the album and her favorite to play live.
“Turn Off the Light” is the first single off of the album and features Whitton as the bored housewife searching for the light in her own life.
As long as the funds are there Whitton does plan to release more videos with “B Sting” being tops on her list, “It’s such a great track to perform live and I would love to do a video for it as well.”
Whitton says that performing live is her favorite thing to do and that people should come out to her shows because, “It is all about the connection between myself and the audience. Seeing the fans singing my lyrics and feeling the songs is what it is about and I think that connection is what people look for.”
Depending on the situation Whitton sometimes is backed up by a 7-10 piece band but at times goes out with a trio or quartet behind her creating a more stripped down version of the songs and making it a unique experience for the audience.
Whitton is currently just scheduled for a few shows in Nevada and Los Angeles but is planning a longer tour in the Spring towards the end of February and beginning of March.
There are many areas she has not been to yet including the Detroit area and she hopes to hit all of them and eventually move out of the country as well.
She says that the Seattle area is one of her favorite places to play after falling in love with the city while out exploring.
She says she enjoys wandering off while out on tour and exploring especially since, “People watching is my favorite thing to do. It’s a great way to get lyrical inspiration.”
Whitton’s music has been finding a home in the entertainment world being featured on shows like Dexter and in movies like the upcoming Charlie Sheen film All I Want To Do.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Whitton releases Rare Bird - Detroit Live Music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/live-music-in-detroit/whitton-releases-rare-bird-1#ixzz1ZfRUWR00