[OutVoice] Thanks from Robert Urban

themusenyc at aol.com themusenyc at aol.com
Mon Mar 22 15:50:24 EDT 2010

Hey everyone - 

Am honored to be the recipient of this year's StoneWall Society Pride-in-the Arts music "Producer of the Year" Award for producing Roger Anthony Mapes's  "House of Joy". Thank u Len & Stonewall for creating the awards, congrats to all the other nominees & winners, and special thanks to all who voted for me.

I want to thank some very gifted musicians whose talents contributed so mightily to the success of the album: NYC producer/musician/recording studio owner GLEN MUNOZ for his blues harp on "Man Ain't Supposed to Cry" (Glen even brought to the session his own vintage "bullet" mic for that true rock 'n roll harmonica sound); Longtime friend bassist STEVEN SULLIVAN for bass guitar on several songs; MAXINE who played mandolin on "We Are Angels" with a sparkling "radical faerie" innocence; Techmeister team of TOM O'NEAL & MARK WOLLENWEIDER who laid down the ultra-hip synth/drum techno beds for "Freedom" and "Intimacy"; TOM O'NEAL for co-writing the music accompaniment in "Intimacy". (Tom & Mark also created the techno bed for my own song "Waiting for Rome to Fall" (on which Roger Mapes as Yolanda happens to make a guest vocal appearance) from my 2004 ROCK WIDOW cd. 

And of course - ROGER YOLANDA MAPES - who truly sang his heart out on this album; whose songs inspired me; and whose unconditional confidence & encouragement let me run with my creative instincts and helped me push the boundaries of my own playing and singing on the songs. 

After all the tracks were "in the can", and Roger was looking for a name for the cd - I suggested "House of Joy" - as it combines the sheer fun southern rock sound of the album with the good-natured but bawdy madame that is so Yolanda. (down south, "House of Joy" is a nickname for a brothel). Thus the cd, our band, and our NYC stage show were named.

Additional thanks to HOUSE OF JOY stage band members ELIJAH WOOD-guitar; ROBIN DANIELS-percussion and STEVEN SULLIVAN-bass who so skillfully (and patiently) learned my song arrangements and who breathed life into the parts for the live stage show. And thank you legendary cabaret director PETER NAPOLITANO whose artistic staging & lighting made the "live" House of Joy show so much fun for audiences to see.

Great stuff can happen when LGBT artists work with LGBT producers. I know from my own personal experience as a recording singer/songwriter how uncomfortable it can be to sing one's explicit same-sex lyric (and have it be a perfect "take") when the producer listening in recording you may not be sympathetic to, or even understand, openly queer music. The resulting less-than-optimum vibe between producer and artist can adversely affect a performance, making it, however slight, something less than it could be. Here at Urban Productions, that entire issue is removed from the equation. LGBT singers can sing right from their hearts - as they are in kindred company.  - and thus we capture for posterity some very good, very special recorded performances, as we surely did with Roger's "House of Joy".

For a fun taste of all that is HOUSE OF JOY - check out my Youtube "House of Joy live-in-concert" slideshow, which commemorates our February 2010 NYC show & rehearsals, and is set to the music of the cd's LGBT pride anthem "Freedom". It's at:


robert urban


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