The 20-something Take: Heidi’s view of a 1960s double album classic.

Hard Rock Cafe will perform The Beatles' "White Album" as part of its ongoing Classic Albums Live series.

Editor’s Note: Hard Rock Cafe’s ongoing “Classic Albums Live” series will perform The Beatles’ 1968 double LP known as the “White Album” on Friday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. Freeline Media’s music critic, Heidi Bolduc, is too young to have been around when the LP was first released, so our 20-something reviewer offers a look at how this album holds up today. A classic …. or something that just hasn’t aged well? Read on.

Being the type of person who consistently stays up-to-date with trends in the modern music industry, it will never cease to amaze me that, statistically, a band’s best-selling album seems to never match up with the album that the vast majority of the general population associates with them.
The same can be said about The Beatles’ The White Album (or as it was originally dubbed, The Beatles). Although making it to 19-times platinum status and containing a wide assortment of Beatles classics, the revered band’s ninth studio album in truth exhibits an eclectic assortment of tracks, straying the way the individual members of the band were from each other at that time.  Released as a double LP, The White Album contains nearly 30 songs, a move that, in my opinion, is something that can be seen as controversial.
It begs the question: Is a 90-minute, 30 track album release simply too much to digest all at once?
And then of course, the second question is: Is it possible to create an album with that many strong songs, leaving out any of the “fluff?”
While in some respects I do feel that The White Album could have easily been consolidated and the order of a few of the tracks rearranged to make the album more cohesive, the more I listen to it, the more I can start to see the direction the band was heading with it.
Because I’m of course listening to the album on CD and not on its original LP album format, the first disc contains 17 songs, with the second disc featuring the remaining 12.  Of the first set, the singles that are most recognizable are probably “Dear Prudence,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and “Blackbird.” However, these iconic songs are embedded within a host of others, with no guarantee that the general atmosphere or even the genre of the song before it will be similar.
For instance, the album opens with the plane engine roar (only one of the many diverse sound effects heard on the album, a technique that was certainly innovative for its time) and upbeat piano riff of “Back in the USSR,” followed by the light ballad “Dear Prudence.” And yet, as a whole, the integrity of The Beatles is preserved; songs like “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” showcase the signature carefree pop that the band is still revered for today. 
Moving on to the next batch of songs, my eye only catches perhaps one classic, “Helter Skelter.” The raw energy of this song, and a tune like “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” seem to be something that’s unique to this album overall. These types of songs certainly stick out amongst the more relaxed, at times folk-reminiscent ones like “Cry Baby Cry.” The anthemic sounding lullaby “Good Night” closes out The White Album quite fittingly … in a way taking all of the melting pot of sounds and filtering them down into a single closer.
All in all, I would encourage anyone — whether you grew up listening to the entire Beatles discography or are only familiar with their hits — to sit down and examine The White Album. Despite its wide range of songs, the album as a whole is the perfect snapshot of the evolution of a band who literally shaped the landscape of pop music as we know it.
Classic Albums Live is performing “White Album” on Friday, Nov. 11. Tickets cost $25 for advance reserved seating and $30 on the day of the show.
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Classic Albums Live is a group of studio musicians and vocalists who perform historic rock albums live employing the instrumentation used on the original recording, “… cut for cut … note for note,” as the Hard Rock Cafe web site notes. Hard Rock Cafe is at 6050 Universal Boulevard in Orlando. To learn more, call 407-351-LIVE (5483).

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Entering its 17th year, the RiverHawk Music Festival offers a slice of Americana.

The RiverHawk Music Festival will be held for four days in Dade City starting on Thursday.

DADE CITY – Along wide open fields, a part of Central Florida not spoiled by over-development, Mitch Lind sees something truly wonderful: a slice of Americana.
He also envisions something else: a guaranteed opportunity to boogie.
“This Americana movement is becoming more popular throughout the United States,” Lind said, “because it is pulling people away from mainstream music and showing them they can make their choices in terms of what they listen to, and not just turn on their radio and have it fed to them.”
Lind, the president of Lind Entertainment Corp. of Polk City, is the founder, organizer and driving force behind the RiverHawk Music Festival, which will be held from Thursday through Sunday at the Sertoma Youth Ranch near Dade City. It’s a weekend of food, camping, vendors, youth programs – and music.
So much, he said, that it’s possible to find any kind of music you like on one stage or another.
“You can explore musical avenues here at this show,” he said. “These bands are not hokey bands. They get with it, man. You’re going to hear great music and camp with your family. It rocks at night.”
As Lind noted, diversity will be the key word here. RiverHawk features something for everyone — alternative country, Rockabilly, Cajun, bluegrass, roots rock and more. The festival is offering more than 25 national touring bands on four stages, and the lineup includes Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones, Searson, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Claire Lynch Band, Grand Slambovians, and Carolyn Wonderland — for starters.
The guitar licks start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, and continue daily from 10 a.m. until midnight – a constant stream of melodic sounds all throughout the ranch, Lind noted.
“The 90-acre Sertoma Youth Ranch is a beautiful wooded campground with a stream lining through it,” Lind said. “We started the show in 1995 in November, and it’s always been on that weekend. We’re at the point now where folks put it on their calendar and recognize it as a holiday as much as Thanksgiving. I think what they’re seeing and what they’re enjoying about it is it’s not a mainstream commercial festival. The music is diverse and unknown to most of the newcomers.”
That’s a key reason why Lind organized the festival 17 years ago: to provide a platform for a wide selection of music and talented performers that audiences might not be familiar with if they rarely stray beyond FM radio or MTV videos.
“Our statement normally is that 90 percent of the people only hear 10 percent of their available music in the world,” Lind said. “We have bands from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, England, Ireland and all over the United States, and these festivals are gaining popularity in that they’re showing people that there is a way to go to a music festival without the bombardment of big industry.”
If the music is diverse, so is the mood, and ambiance, that the bands conjure up at any one time during the day, he added.
“The atmosphere could be anywhere from relaxed to absolute boogie, because as the day increases, the music gets more intense and it grows with the day,” he said. “We have four stages of music at any given time. If you don’t like what you hear on one stage, take a walk and you’ll hear something else. We have great audience participation, and we have workshops that include playing on the banjo and guitar.”
What’s also important to keep in mind, Lind said, is that music isn’t the only thing happening at the festival.
“We have a lot of contests,” he said. “We play adult musical chairs set to a live band on Sunday. You’ve got to see a couple of hundred people doing musical chairs, it’s just crazy. Many of our acts are very theatrical and gaining a lot of crowd participation. We have tons of good quality cuisine, not just the junk food you’d normally get at a fair. We have gourmet chefs in our festival kitchen and festival vendors, and it’s really good food. We’re very particular about who we bring in for the food. And it’s a great place to do your Christmas shopping, because we have vendors who bring in their own soap and jewelry and stuff, and it’s all hand-made.”
This event started out in 1995 as the Wings and Strings Music Festival at Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, but eventually got moved to Sertoma Youth Ranch, where the name was changed to RiverHawk Music Festival.
“We just parted ways with Fantasy of Flight and it was either have a chicken wing festival or re-name it because we didn’t have any airplanes,” Lind said.
Since then, the event has grown in size, and “the average attendance is around 30,000 people,” Lind said. “It’s a big family event. We have grandparents and their kids and their kids’ kids. The whole family is out there for four days.”
It’s also done for a good cause, he added.
“A large portion of the proceeds go to the Sertoma Youth Ranch,” he said. “Kids can go in there at the youth ranch and camp for free. These events support the camp for the year so kids can utilize the camp at no cost, and we have a total full schedule of events for the kids.”
Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, but no coolers. Advance tickets range in cost from $10 to $45 daily, although on Sunday there’s a $30 carload special.
Tickets for all four days are $115. Kids ages 13-18 get in for $15 a day, and kids ages 12 and under get in free.
The camp is at 85 Myers Road in Dade City. To learn more, call 863-984-8445, log on to, or email

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A cool breeze from Saint Thomas blows away the local music scene.

Breeze Representing has a new single, "The Only One."

POINCIANA – He calls himself Breeze, and in between attending Poinciana High School and Valencia Community College, he’s found time for some unique activities: a burgeoning career as a reggae performer.
“My reggae style is very clear,” Breeze said. “It isn’t like it’s hardcore reggae, it’s more r& b and reggae.”
Now 23 years old, the native of Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands has found a lot of inspiration living in Poinciana — attending high school there, and still finding time to create his own music, record a single – “The Only One” – and tour across Central Florida, performing before local audiences.
Music has become his passion – and he’s throwing himself fully into it.
“This isn’t something I randomly picked up one day as a get rich quick scheme,” he said. “I’m just a happy person that I’m alive. I just try to represent life as best as I can.”
Breeze Representing, as his official stage name goes, has been performing for years now, and first got interested in music while he was still living in Saint Thomas, and began watching his older brother become a local performer.
“I moved over here when I was 11,” he said. “I’ve lived here now for 13 years, so I guess I would say I was raised most of my life in Florida.”
Central Florida has been good to him, he noted, giving him the inspiration to keep singing and finding new audiences.
“I try to do some stuff for fun, but for the most part, it’s true, you’ll be able to feel what I’m saying,” he said. “When you hear my song, you’ll have a really good feeling. That’s what it’s all about.”
He remembers listening to bands play on Saint Thomas, and falling in love with the music.
“When I first started doing music, it was when I was younger because my older brother had a group in the Virgin Islands, in Saint Thomas,” Breeze said. “He used to perform at certain places. From seeing that, I started singing, too.”
As a middle school student in Poinciana, “I started doing music with a group,” he said. “I got into a group and built a name in high school. Back then what I did was more r&b and hip hop. I rapped, also. But the reggae thing happened after I got out of high school and started doing music more seriously. So I developed my own style.”
What he was slow to do, he acknowledges, is learn to play an instrument.
“Funny thing about it – no,” he said. “But I’m picking it up now. I know it’s kind of late, but I’m starting to craft the art more and more. As serious as it is now for me, I’m actually trying to start learning now how to play the instruments, and I’m learning to play piano. But in high school I didn’t take those classes or anything, which is bad on my part.”
It was in high school when he met the producers that he now works with on singles like “The Only One,” and he’s been touring locally as well.
“I perform all over, in various places,” he said. “I had a performance at LAX recently.”
Audiences, Breeze has found, respond well to his brand of reggae.
“The feedback is always good,” he said. “I always get very positive feedback. What separates it is that you really listen to my music, it isn’t like I’m making this stuff up. The stuff I do is for fun, and my creativity is very wide and vast.”
Breeze has a YouTube account that he posts his songs on, and he appreciates the fact that it’s so much easier now to get his music out to a mass audience through the Internet – even though he worries that too many so-called “artists” with little or no talent are trying to do the same.
“I think that the concept of it is great,” he said. “When the media streaming world became more available, it did a lot of great things for a tremendous amount of people. But in that same token, it also lessens the greater factor of true art. Because of the media being so available right now to the vast amount of people, some people get drowned in that mess, you know, and not everyone is talented. It’s more 10 percent talent now, and 90 percent business.”
Breeze is likely to do well for a good reason, said Omar Warren: the young artist has talent.
“I have seen him perform, and I love his music,” said Warren, who lives in Poinciana. “He has a gift and it’s just a matter of positioning himself properly.”
Warren has worked with 360 Entertainment International, organizers of the SWAG tours, which stands for Students Who Achieve Greatness. Their mission is to use music as a way to encourage students toward positive achievements in their schools. the organization has sponsored the 360 EI High School Invasion Tour, which visits local high schools and organizes special music events for the students.
Warren said the business world offers greater opportunities than ever before for young artists like Breeze, since they can employ the Internet to reach a wide audience.
“With the proper social media setup, they can really flourish,” he said. “If you can get 1,000 fans to spend $100 a year, you can make $100,000 a year. There’s a lot of opportunities today for independent artists, and Breeze has a unique skill set.”

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