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Jan Best is the senior editor for Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine as well as a singer / songwriter / musician / freelance writer, and an avid coffee lover. She hosts the internet-only radio show called Radio Muse located at, and is also the host for the ISWM Network at Jan is currently in college, and will ultimately obtain her Ph.D in English at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Jan has recently been commissioned to create and instruct an online Songwriting Business course that will be available this Fall at select colleges and universities throughout North America. Jan is also working on her first novel, and plans to release it this winter as an e-book publication through and several other outlets. Jan has written articles for publications such as; Cross Country Music Magazine, Spotlight and Fairs and Expos., to name a few. You can visit her personal website at; .

Here is a bit of information on each of the songwriters included in this Radio Muse Webcast. I hope you'll take a moment to explore their own web sites (linked to from their names) or purchase their CDs if they have them. We don't have anything if we don't support each other. If you like what you hear, let the songwriter know! Words of encouragement are always welcome.

Tony Adamo: Ecstasy (4:15)
From the forthcoming album - A Simple Groove ~ © 2001, Adamo, Stucker (BMI). All rights reserved.

Born in San Francisco, California with strong ties to the Bronx and Brooklyn, New York, Adamo, singer/songwriter, hails from a musical and artistic family. His love of music started at the age of five when his parents got him a used drum set. Self taught, he became a congas and timbales player in a San Francisco based Latin rock band. One night, the lead singer didn't show up and that was the beginning of Adamo's singing career. This man has done a little bit of it all in the entertainment industry: Hollywood agent, utility man on TV and movie sets, music booking agent, and radio announcer. However, it's his love for singing, the creativity of being able to communicate his own "new smooth jazz" phrasing and hip to the groove lyrics and music that drives him.

torne de nada: If You Wait Till Morning (3:25)
From his CD "Thousand Year-Old Voices" ~ © 1997, Jeremy Fischbach. All rights reserved.

With a voice previously unknown, Jeremy Fischbach is also the composer and the central pillar of the Torne de Nada edifice. Its interlocking ideas converge in a musical web richly reinforced by talent and eagerness that will provide a welcomed resting-place for parched pop connoisseurs. Fischbach, the leader of the band, taught himself piano in the small town of West Lafayette, Indiana. Progressively, he recognized the values of outspokenness and romanticism and, in solo concerts performed during his years at Princeton University, he veered towards composition. His greatest wish is to rekindle the country's taste for brilliant songwriting by communicating heartfelt poetry through refreshing and sophisticated melodies. This first project, "Thousand Year Old Voices," recorded in New York City, will be gratefully received by the vast majority of music aficionados accustomed to inane, nondescript Pop.

Jude Johnstone: The Nightingale (4:17)
From her CD "Coming Of Age" ~ © 2002 Jude Johnstone, Mad Jack Music/Sajak Music (BMI). All rights reserved.

The piano in the parlor of her parents' house in coastal Maine was hers as soon as she could reach its keys. On its bench, alongside her church-soprano mother, she learned the magic of harmony. In that same room, her older brothers' records played - Stones, Creedence, Beatles - and in the evenings, her schoolteacher father's collection of Glenn Miller and Sarah Vaughn. It was, Jude Johnstone recalls, "... all the education I thought I'd ever need." But she'd get more: writing songs by age ten, playing clubs while still in school, she surprised no one when, at nineteen, she headed west to continue her training in the studios and nightclubs of LA, where she soon found herself collaborating with many of that city's top producers and musicians. After her marriage (to writer/producer Charles Duncan), Johnstone rededicated herself to songwriting, setting off a string of covers by such artists as Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, Trisha Yearwood, Johnny Cash (including the title cut of the latter's Grammy-winning album "Unchained"), as well as current recordings by Yearwood, Jennifer Warnes, and newest release by long-time idol Bonnie Raitt. Her debut collection "Coming of Age" sees contributions by several of these artists, including Yearwood, Warnes, and Raitt, as well as by old friends Jackson Browne and "the legendary" Valerie Carter, and the invaluable assistance of Yearwood's producer, Garth Fundis. Johnstone lives with her husband and their two daughters in a quiet village on California's central coast. There's a piano in the parlor that the kids are allowed to use - but they know who it belongs to.

Cari Cole: Beautiful Life (4:16)
From her CD "Circle of Fire" ~ © 2002, Cari Cole. Thirst For Life Publishing. All rights reserved.

New York singer/songwriter, Cari Cole, has her first full record releasing under Amber Allen Publishing, Spring 2002. The new record features "The Circle of Fire Prayer' words by don Miguel Ruiz, NY Times bestseller author of The Four Agreements. This beautifully uplifting CD transports the listener to higher ground with the gifted voice and ethereal lyric and melodies of new age pop artist Cari Cole. Cole's beautiful open voice and enlightening lyrics draw you in to an experience you will want to have again and again. The record illuminates the desire to express our higher self and embrace the Now.

Belinda Densley: Unsafe (4:51)
From her self-titled CD ~ © 1999, Belinda Densley. All rights reserved.

Belinda Densley has a voice like chocolate. Rich, thick and you will want more. Belinda began working professionally in cabaret theatre several years ago and in recent years Belinda has led cover bands in Australia and overseas. Belinda has recently begun writing and performing her own music and this is her first album of original music. Most songs on this album were written on the tiny cabin floor of a cruise ship where Belinda lived for six months performing in her dynamic holiday cover band. Her influences during the writing of this album were the gentle rocking of the sea combined with a lifestyle that took Belinda to a different country each day and allowed her to meet over 25,000 people. These disparate factors are represented in a collection of songs that marry pwerful vocal projection with intricate stylings, and thoughtfulness with raw emotion.

Elliott Ranney: Innervoice(2:33)
From his CD "An Aging Sailors Dream" ~ © 2001 Elliott Ranney. All rights reserved.

Elliott began his music career singing jazz standards, listening to what his parents had on the radio; big band, classical and lots of middle of the road 1950's conservative adult top forty. In the late 60's e started playing guitar, discovered Simon & Garfunkle and began working on his unique finger style approach to playing his instrument. Later in college, he rediscovered jazz and began to write the folk inspired jazz that is featured on his debut CD, An Aging Sailor's Dream. Artists that have had major influence on Elliott have been Michael Franks, Antonio Carlos Jobim, James Taylor along with Monk, 'Trane, Miles, just to name a few. Along the way, Elliott has shared the stage with Shawn Phillips, Brewer & Shipley, and Jonatha Brooke. Elliott will be touring regionally this summer in support of his recent release. Of Innervoice in particular, he writes: "When I decided to take my music seriously I began reaching out to record labels hoping to find someone interested in my songs. The call was answered by someone from Windom Hill. She asked me to write an essay on why I wanted to be a recording artist and why they would want to hear my music. I wrote this song in reply."

Patti Witten: Something Beautiful (4:56)
From her CD "Prairie Doll" ~ © 2000, Patti Witten (BMI) / Potent Folk Records. All rights reserved.

Patti Witten's got it all. Stunning songwriting, shimmering acoustic guitar and a sweet, careworn voice described as "a disarming mixture of soft-spoken fragility and raw, throaty seductiveness" (Rambles). Ten songs from Witten's pop-folk debut, Land of Souvenirs, have placed or won awards in nearly a dozen songwriting competitions, including Great American, Mid-Atlantic, Woody Guthrie and Just Plain Folks. "This album is a true songwriting gold," (ISWM). "Each song contains enough sonic strength to support several songwriters' careers," (Music Reviews Quarterly). In 2000 Witten released Prairie Doll, a CD from her roots-rock band of the same name.

April Hall: Kisses Aren't Promises(4:51)
From her CD "Something Like That" ~ © 2000, April Hall, Bee Boy Records (BMI). All rights reserved.

April's music combines her deep roots in southern gospel and country with urban soulfulness and an acoustic folk sensibility, to create a sound that's pure, gutsy, and unmistakably authentic. From the heart wrenching storytelling of "Jeri", through the mystic poetics of "Shadow of a Woman" to the playful country twang of "Mr. I'll Save You", Something Like That merges April's singing, songwriting, and arranging talents into a singularly unforgettable and moving musical experience. April has done projects with Atlantic Records for artists such as Melissa Manchester and Bette Midler, and has appeared with Livingston Taylor, Billy Joel, The Rascals, Al Jarreau, Rosemary Clooney, Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. When not performing with her own band, she is the lead singer for Soul Kitchen, one of New England's premier R&B bands.

Rory Faithfield: Nowhere, Somewhere, Anywhere (3:33)
From his CD "Nowhere, Somewhere, Anywhere" ~ © 1998, Rory Faithfield, ST. James Music. All rights reserved.

Armed with an arsenal of organic pop songs, and energised with folk/punk sensibility, Rory Faithfield is an artist for those compelled by the promise of what lies around the bend... Rory grew up playing in garage punk bands around Sydney, Australia, before leaving the 'live fast, die young' underground music scene and moving to Dublin, Ireland. Songs became the obsession. After writing and developing his craft amongst the heavily populated singer-songwriter scene in Dublin, Rory started quietly slipping off to Germany, doing solo acoustic tours, refining and expanding his repertoire with some 300 gigs during '96 and '97. Following this, 1998 saw the release of his debut album, 'Rory Faithfield', licensed to Prestige Records, produced by Bill Shanley and featuring the single, "Nowhere Somewhere Anywhere".

Leah Zicari: This Is Gonna Hurt Me (3:00)
From her CD "Hard Road" ~ © 2001 Leah Zicari, Guitarily Music (BMI) & Eliza Songs (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Leah Zicari's music has been described as intelligent, poetic, dramatic and intense. The classically-trained-guitarist-turned-singer/songwriter has woven together the elements of her musical background and skill - classical, theater, folk, rock, country, blues - with thoughtful lyrics to produce radio friendly, hook heavy songs. Compared by critics as "Shawn Colvin meets Pete Seeger meets Ani DiFranco", she describes her music as hopped-up folk. Whether playing solo or with her band, she "electrifies and enlightens" on stage. An award winning songwriter and vocalist, Leah's CD, Hard Road, features world-renowned bassist Tony Levin and has received radio play on over 100 stations in dozens of countries.

Aaron Hughes: Better Man (3:37)
From his CD "...if so equipped..." ~ © 1999, Aaron Hughes. All rights reserved.

Born and raised in and around Toronto, Ontario, Aaron started teaching himself guitar by ear at age nine, on a nylon string guitar given him by his father. He immediately began writing songs, though his teen years were largely spent working with rock cover bands as lead guitarist and vocalist. During a life-changing illness, he switched his focus back to the acoustic guitar, and continues to base most of his songs around that instrument. He was compelled to record some of these songs in 1998. In November 1999, "…if so equipped…" was released, and the overwhelming response has been that the music 'touched' people. Aaron is currently looking to get his material published. After all those years hiding in his bedroom, he now has a demo for the next album ready to go, and hopes to have it completed by early 2003.

The Renovators: Everybody Loves The Blues (3:19)
From their CD "Rhythm & Blueprints" ~ © 1999, The Renovators - Hemberger Music Inc., (ASCAP); Melodious Thunk (ASCAP); Raserosongs (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Need a change of view? Call The Renovators! Adjustments to the spirit? Installments of humor? Try The Renovators!! A new attic or front porch? RENOVATORS!!!!! They have the tools... They know the styles. Renovator Ted Hemberger (drums) and Al Hemberger (bass/vocals) own and operator The Loft Recording Studios in Bronxville, New York. They have hosted such artists as Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, NSYNC, Richard Shindell, John Hammond, Pete Seeger, Debbie Davies, Sue Foley, Deanna Bogart, Procal Harum, Dave Koz, and many more. Bob Mayo, keyboard, guitar, & vocals, has toured and recorded with Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Robert Plan, Dan Fogelberg, and Hall and Oates. Guitarist/vocalist Bob Rasero rounds out the team. When not renovating music in his studio or renovating buildings, Bob can be found along the shores of Portland, Maine tracking The Big One.

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