The CP Article

                                             

ABout The Author:

CP Christopher Peppas is a journalist, jazz vocalist and conga player in the Greater Milwaukee area and Correspondent at Large for the Jazz Unlimited Newsletter and  Content Manager/Chief Contributor to CreativProse, Ltd. (sic), Social Media, Brand Management.

Contact CP on Facebook

 

You’re gonna wanna make room for

‘ROOM TO GROW!’
By CP Christopher Peppas

 

If Carmen Nickerson were an author, she would write an

autobiography. It would be a compilation of her life with the ups and

downs, all the bumps in the road that we experience.

 

But since she’s a highly-touted and accomplished Singer/Songwriter,

she wrote an album instead.

 

Which brings us to Room to Grow. This is a very personal glimpse into

where Carmen has been and where she is going. Despite the fact that

she has come very far (light years in fact), she still has room to grow.

 

This effort can best be described as her diary put to music. And one can listen to it over and over and curate more and

different feelings each time.

 

Carmen gives us eight originals, each one a stand-alone chapter, and one poignant cover of Cat Stevens’ Wild World, which

we’ll flesh out later on.

 

“It’s not a country album, but it has a country song,” Carmen said in a recent interview. “It’s not a blues album, but it has a

blues song. Not a pop album, either, but…”

            

 

The first song, Emily, “is an outlier,” Carmen explained. “It’s

about Emily, a woman who used to come and dance when I

was singing with Eddie Butts (for around thirteen years).”

 

The title slice, Room to Grow, “looks at the innocence of

children and how they look at life,” Carmen said. “Then

Wrecking Ball  (with no apology to Miley Cyrus necessary or

forthcoming) talks about hard times and coming through it all.

A life lived.”

 

Other songs touch on what Carmen calls “the emotions of a

lifetime…looking back on when you’ve been deceived by

someone. It is about forgiveness, introspection and reflection.”

 

 

In I’ll Never Forget, the theme is not at all opaque: I forgive you, but I’ll never forget.

 

The cover is placed toward the end of this look back. Wild World is presented here with a softer, slightly slower

tempo that speaks to a look back at things we’ve done in our youth and how we choose to remember them.

 

The final cut, Ascension, ends on a most uplifting note. We literally rise above the din, 

“getting beyond our differences,” Carmen said. And the hope for a future where we can all get along.

 

This is the first solo studio album for Carmen, but she did it with more than a little help from her friends.

Carmen’s sometime bandmate, collaborator and co-writer of songs on this opus, Willy Porter, was chief among them. Carmen

contributed some originals and co-wrote songs on an EP some years back, Chesseburgers & Gasoline. In 2016, the duo put

out Bonfire to Ash, another personal journey about life on the road.

 

Playing the keys and bringing her lyrics to life was the insanely talented Kostia Efimov. Kostia, The K-Man, The Russian Bear,

has been an American treasure since he arrived in Milwaukee in the late 1980s.

 

John Wheeler is a beast on the bass, John Calarco takes up residence in the pocket on drums and Stas Venglevski does

things on an accordion that amaze everyone. Credit goes to Dave Adler, Randy Sabien and Lev Feriants for contributing their

considerable talent.

 

With this album, Carmen is growing into her role as a story teller, going way

beyond that of a singer. But a singer she most certainly is with a voice as

clear as Waterford Crystal. It is powerful but can be soft and vulnerable as

the need arises.

 

You can purchase this album (and you really should) at Carmen’s shows. She

plays regularly on the second and fourth Wednesdays with Kostia and on one

Friday a month with her Carmen Sutra Orchestra (a 4-tet) that adds Wheeler

on Bass and Tony Ayala on Congas and percussion.

 

In addition, Carmen plays at the Story Hill Firehouse, the St. Kate Art Hotel,

The Art of Joy in Cedarburg and many more venues in our area.

 

In addition, Carmen plays at the Story Hill

Firehouse, the St. Kate Art Hotel, The Art of

Joy in Cedarburg and many more venues in

our area.

 

Check out her website:

https://carmenickerson.com for more info on

where to see her perform and buy her music.

                                                    

                                             CP Article: December 2023: Download a Hard Copy   Here

       

Previous Articles

  November 2023:  Suzanne Grzanna October 2023:  Jason Fabus
  Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     
September 2023:  BD Greer August 2023:  Tony Jefferson July 2023:  Tom Sorce
Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     
June 2023:  Paul Silbergleit May 2023:  Joe Schoberg April 2023:  Eric Jacobson
Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     
March 2023:  Bill Schmidt February 2023:  Mike Arndt January 2023:  Dick Eliot
Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     
December 2022:  Sue Russell November 2022:  Joel Lehman October 2022:  Caroline's
Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     
September 2022:  October Concert August 2022:  Carol Hanzel July 2022:  Donna Woodall
Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     
June 2022:  Story Hill Fire House May 2022:  Anne Davis April 2022:  Scholarship Competition
Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     
March 2022:  Scholarship Auditions February 2022:  Peter Sorce January 2022:  Karen Cameron
Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here Download a Hard Copy   Here
     

If you would like any other Previous Months, please Email us with your request and if possible we will provide them.

Info@JazzUnlimitedMKE.org

December 2021:  Sue Russell November 2021: Carol Trout    Tina Moore:In Mem. October 2021: M. Daneille     Frank DeMiles:In Mem.
September 2021: October Concert     Memorials August 2021:  MJI & Mark Davis July 2021:  Steve Smith
June 2021:  Yvonne Zarcone May 2021:  50 Years Jazz Unlimited April 2021:  Scholarship Winners     Joe Jordan
March 2021:  The Cheel February 2021:  Anne Davis January 2021:  Joes "K" Ranch
     
December 2020:  Sherwood Alper November 2020:  Jordan Rattner October 2020:  J Ryan Trio
September 2020:  October Concert August 2020:  Sue Russell July 2020:  Laura Laberge 
June 2020:  Heroes     Kwasi Stampley May 2020:  The Day the Music Died April 2020:  Scholarship Winners     Jeff Stoll
March 2020:  Joe Turano February 2020:  Joe Zarcone January 2020:  Adekola Adedapo
     
December 2019:  Milwaukee Jazz History November 2019:  Brewtown October 2019:  Red Mill
September 2019:  October Concert August 2019:  Jeff Stoll July 2019:  Dwayne Williams 
June 2019:  Lem Banks May 2019:  Barbara Stephan April 2019:  Scholarship Winners     Neil Davis
March 2019:  Ellen Winters February 2019:  No Article January 2019:  Tracy Hannemann
     
December 2018:  No Article November 2018:  Cameron Webb October 2018:  Julie Brandenburg
September 2018:  October Concert August 2018:  Neil Chandek & Transfer July 2018:  Hal Miller
June 2018:  Pat & Mike D'Amores May 2018:  Pete Lange April 2018:  Augie Ray
March 2018: Spring Concert    All-Star Superband February 2018: Paul Patterson January 2018:  Edward Braithwaite
     
December 2017:  Wayne "Zim" Zimmermann November 2017:  WE 2 October 2017:  Crush Wine Bar
September 2017: DeMiles/Connie Grauer    Don Eliot

August 2017:  Floyd Dorsey

July 2017:  Jerry Grillo
June 2017:  No Article May 2017:  Steinway Gallery April 2017:  Scholarship Winners
March 2017:  Chuck Hedges Tribute Concert February 2017:  Jamie Aebersold January 2017:  Youth Jazz Outreach
     
December 2016:  The Cheel November 2016:  DeMiles     Suzanne Grzanna October 2016:  No Article
September 2016:  No Article August 2016:  Suzanne Grzanna July 2016:  No Article
June 2016:  Dave Miller May 2016: Phil Rozga April 2016:  No Article
March 2016:  No Article February 2016: Spring Concert January 2016: ofVivo
     
December 2015:  Jeannine Rivers November 2015:  Sue Russell October 2015:  Dick Eliot
September 2015:  Jack Grassel August 2015:  Jeannine Rivers July 2015:  Jeannine Rivers
  May 2015:  Jeff Stoll  

Back to Top of Page

web counter