Bleu's eighth CD, "Our Own Paradise", features a dozen original songs that were penned during her songwriting retreats in the mountainous regions of the American East and West. The project was recorded in Nashville with contributions from veteran musicians bassist/engineer John Billings, drummer Brice Foster, keyboardist Ronnie Godfrey, guitarist Paul Allen, saxophonist Dana Robbins, trumpeter Scott Ducaj, and trombonist Chris Dunn.
"The theme of this album is summer fun and groove," said Bleu, who plays rhythm guitar and sings lead and backup vocals. "Some of the songs are love and relationship related, while others empower listeners to overcome life's challenges."
To download selections from "Our Own Paradise," visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/our-own-paradise/id1135577053?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 .
Individuals may get the urge to party or dance with the rockers "Be My Love", "Our Own Paradise", and "Tumbleweed Roll On". Other songs are more reflective or inspirational, including "We Shall Overcome" and "I Paint My Life". Selections such as "Dune Allen" and "Whatever Your Want" encourage music lovers to relax, let go and dream.
"I wanted to record all of the songs live with the drummer, bass player, keyboardist and lead guitarist playing with me at the same time," said Bleu, who landed a number two single on NMW's Top 40 record chart last year. "Together, we made it happen. The energy on this album is amazing."
Bleu wrote melodies for the songs last August while mountain climbing and retreating in Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. The lyrics were penned later during an October songwriting retreat near Asheville, North Carolina.
Her album kicks into high gear with the romantic rocker "Be My Love", where the lover divulges the vulnerable truth that he needs a woman in his life, admitting that she completes him, his life utterly lonely without her.
The fun and lively Reggae cut, "Whatever You Want", introduces Bleu's latest musical exploration. The artist was inspired to write her first Reggae song after hearing Bob Marley's "Red Red Wine".
"Last summer at my song table by the lakeside, I asked myself what style of music I wanted to create," Bleu added. "I've learned that most people love to hear music in all styles. That’s when I heard passersby in boats pumping out upbeat pop/Reggae music by Bob Marley, Blondie and Cyndi Lauper. I'd never written a Reggae song before, but I decided to give it a try. I ended up writing four of them with a summery hint of Tom Petty."
|Chakra Bleu photo by Deb Beazley|
Petty's rock, McCartney's pop, and The Band Perry's country quickly come to mind with the radio-friendly, hook-driven tune, "Just Where You Are".
The album soars yet again near the end with "I Paint My Life", a song that shows off Dana Robbins' soulful sax playing. The tune encourages listeners to speak their minds, keep their heads high, and choose their own paths no matter what the odds. "The choice is mine... I'm the artist... I paint my life...."
The last song, the Reggae-accented "We Shall Overcome", encourages Americans to unify peacefully to help solve important issues related to equality and justice. It was released as a single on July 5.
"Our Own Paradise" was recorded and engineered by John Billings and Michael York at Funky Tymz Studio, with Bleu's rhythm guitar tracks recorded at Wire World Studio with engineer Michael Wagener. Bleu produced all of the tracks for the project.
Bleu grew up in Spokane, Washington, with a passion for music and the outdoors. Her music accomplishments have been substantial. The rock/pop tune "All of Me" hit number one on New Music Weekly's Top 40 Indie Chart, while climbing into the top 10 on the NMW mainstream Top 40 and Hot 100 singles charts. Another recent single, "The Shadow", quickly climbed various NMW charts, reaching number four on Top 40, number four on Hot 100 A/C, number five on Top 40 Internet, and number one on Indie Top 40 (where it remained for six consecutive weeks). Her sixth album, "Souvenir", generated five top-40 hit singles on various charts, with the song "Addicted to You" receiving "Spotlight" recognition in Cashbox Magazine. Other hit singles from previous albums include "When I Hold Your Hand" and "Hopelessly in Love".
According to Dave Carew, a writer for the blog Underground Nashville, Bleu is "hands down one of the most original and distinctive pop/rock/Americana artists ever to grace the underground Nashville music scene. Inspired by everything from the styling of bands like Heart and the Cowboy Junkies, to transcendent New Age thought, she has forged, over the past decade, some of the most uplifting, eclectic, thought-provoking, and empowering music ever created in Music City USA."
For more information about Chakra Bleu or to hear her music, visit www.ChakraBleu.com . To book the artist for an upcoming event, send an e-mail message to ChakraBleu@icloud.com .