The Fantastic Vocals of Julie Craig
Bruce Von Stiers
You've probably seen Julie Craig on shows such as Cupid, Law and Order: SVU and Young And The Restless. Julie also had a recurring role on Murder In The First. She has also been on stage quite a lot, exhibiting her great vocal talents. Julie portrayed Luisa in the original Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks in New York. She also starred in stage productions of The Apple Tree, Bye Bye Birdie and The Pirates of Penzance. In addition, Julie starred as Maria in a European and Asian international tour of West Side Story. And she starred as Cosette in regional presentations of Les Miserables.
Earlier this year, Julie released her debut solo album. The title of the album is From Here. The album has eight songs and a play time of thirty-one minutes. The album contains seven covers and one original song.
The album was produced by Daniel Weidlein. He has produced many albums, including ones by Luke Strand and Ryan Amador. Weidlein has also lent his musical talents to a few Kid Bopz albums, a couple of Sing Off albums and a Marvel Universe album.
From Here was mixed by Matt Dyson. He has worked on albums by Beth Hart and Michael Buble among others. It was mastered by Alex DeYoung, whose previous work includes albums by Jill Scott and Tiffany Young. The album was engineered by Matt Dyson and Tamas Kurina. Aside from working on albums like Heart's Beautiful Broken, Kurina has did recording engineering on such films as Angel Has Fallen. And the executive producer credit on the album was Rob Kastelein.
The album was recorded at HSO in Budapest, Hungary, The Village in Los Angeles and BioSoul Music in Los Angeles.
As for the songs on the album, they were arranged and orchestrated by Daniel Weidlein. He also played piano on the album. Percussion was done by Sidney Hopson. Not only does he have a pivotal role at Orchestra LA. Hopson has done percussion on a couple of television shows and films such as Grinch and Men In Black: International. There is orchestral music on the album, consisting of strings, woodwind and bass instruments. The music was done by the forty-six member Hungarian Studio Orchestra. The orchestra music was conducted by Daniel Weidlein.
Julie's music is classical with a pop influence. She describes herself as kind of a female Josh Groban, as Groban trail blazed that type of melding of musical styles.
The album started out as an Indigogo campaign. Watching the campaign video I learned that Julie chose the songs for the album for their lyrics and the emotional quality of the music. I also learned that the person the album was dedicated to, Jane Lyons, was Julie's grandmother who had recently passed away.
Julie begins the album with The Light That Never Fails. This Andra Day song was from the film Meru. Julie's vocals sound somewhat different than Andra's. But Julie gives the song a more theatrical, stage tone than Andra. It is a nice song and a great way to showcase Julie's vocals.
The second entry for the album is Every Day. This is the original song that I mentioned earlier. It was written by Daniel Weidlein and Divya Maus. Besides things like opening for the Beach Boys, Maus had one of her songs become a finalist in the Great American Song Contest. Every Day is a beautiful song that quickly made me visualize someone like Julie singing it on stage in a theater musical.
I readily admit I don't know much about opera. But Nessun Dorma is supposed to be one of the best known tenor arias in opera. I listened to The Three Tenors performing this song as well as Luciano Pavarotti by himself. Julie's rendition of this song brings a more feminine tone, yet is very powerful.
Not While I'm Around is a great Stephen Soundheim song from the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Barbra Streisand recorded the song and Angela Landsbury performed it in a Christmas concert with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Julie provides a terrific performance of the song on the album. And the orchestral music backing Julie's vocals are terrific as well.
Con Te Portiro is an Italian song written by Lucia Quarantatta and Francesco Sartorio. Perhaps the best known performance of the song was done by Andrea Bocelli. In her rendition of the song, Julie has fluid vocals reaching exceptional higher octaves in various parts.
One very interesting entry on the album is the Rolling Stones song, Wild Horses. The rendition of this album has an arrangement that is more of an orchestral, theatrical tone than of a subtle rock song. I've never heard the song done in this way. It provided Julie chance to further showcase the higher octave range of her vocals.
The album also has a rendition of the Carole Baye Sager song, The Prayer. It has been beautifully done by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. Dion also did a live version of the song with Josh Groban. Not only does Julie have wonderful vocals in the song, she sings parts of it in Italian in an aria styling.
One of my favorite Nat King Cole songs is When I Fall In Love. Written by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, the song has also been recorded by Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Johnny Mathis and Etta James, Nat King Cole. Julie does a fantastic job with this song which she sings in French.
As I mentioned earlier, I know virtually nothing about opera. But I do enjoy theatrical musicals. With the songs on From Here, Julie Craig has brilliantly showcased her vocal talents in both opera and theatrical music stylings.
From Here is available on multiple streaming platforms and through online and traditional music outlets.
To learn more about Julie Craig and her album, From Here, visit Julie's official web site at http://juliecraig.biz
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© 2020 Bruce E Von Stiers