Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chakra Bleu Releases Reggae-Accented Album 'Our Own Paradise'

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 2016) – Hit Americana artist Chakra Bleu takes listeners to a tropical island paradise with a breezy, uplifting album that includes an eclectic mix of Reggae, Rock and R&B.

            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 .

            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 . To book the artist for an upcoming event, send an e-mail message to .   

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Franklin Author Launches Your Love Story for Nearlyweds

            FRANKLIN, Tenn. (July 2016) – Franklin author Angela Grett knows how to write a story. So, when her sister announced her engagement, Angela knew she wanted to do something very special for the nearlyweds. She created a video that told the bride and groom’s love story. It was a big hit, and Angela discovered her passion for telling stories in this creative fashion.

            She later created another video for two close friends when they became engaged. For Angela, time fell away as she placed each photo in the right setting, with the right words, and the right timing to music. It drew rave reviews (and a few tears) from the wedding guests. Since then, she has created videos for family and friends as they celebrated milestone birthdays, weddings, and the lives of those who had passed. Angela’s new business – telling love stories on video -- was born.

            “I describe my new business, Your Love Story, as a creative services media company that enhances wedding ceremonies by sharing stories about nearlyweds with their family members, friends and other guests,” said Grett, who officially launched her new online business in July 2016.

            Your Love Story videos are unique because they feature a variety of media (rather than just recorded video) to bring a couple’s romantic journey to life. Grett begins the process by asking the couple to provide still photos of themselves from childhood through their engagement. She then conducts an in-depth interview to learn who they were as children, how they met, and the evolution of their relationship. She carefully combines the photos, video clips, direct quotes, creative text, and recorded music into a three to 15-minute “love story” presentation.

            “I meticulously crop and arrange the digital photos and add touching words or quotes to enhance them,” Grett added. “Each couple chooses the music and wedding colors they want me to use. Their video is very personal and something they can treasure for years to come.”

            Sharing the video during the wedding ceremony can be a powerful experience, Grett noted. It allows guests to watch the nearlyweds’ love story unfold. Angela recently created a video for a couple who presented it to their guests before the wedding party entered. The room grew silent as baby pictures from their childhoods appeared on a large screen with text and music. Other photos showed the couple dating and falling in love. The video ended with a clip of the marriage proposal on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

            “People laughed and cried,” Grett continued. “They were given a chance to know the couple in a way they had never been able to before.”

            She noted that Your Love Story can create videos for any special occasion, including anniversaries, milestone birthdays, or a child’s first year.

            Angela Grett is the author of a non-fiction book and has appeared as a keynote speaker at dozens of events hosted by non-profit organizations. She resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with her spouse and their three beloved pets.

            To learn more about Your Love Story and the various packages for the creation of a personal video, visit , send an e-mail inquiry to , or call (615) 988-6498. Watch a Your Love Story video at

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TSU Professor Receives National Award for Book About Negro Baseball League Star

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 2016) -- Tennessee State University Associate Professor Dr. Harriet Kimbro-Hamilton has received the Robert Peterson Recognition Award for her book, "Daddy's Scrapbook: Henry Kimbro of the Negro Baseball League, A Daughter's Perspective".

            The award was presented to Hamilton during the 19th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The award is given annually for bodies of work that increase public awareness about the Negro Baseball League. "Daddy's Scrapbook" is filled with personal observations, newspaper articles, and other items from Henry Kimbro's glory days as a player for the NBL's Baltimore Elite Giants, Birmingham Black Barons, and the New York Black Yankees.

            In related news, publicity surrounding the book has led to Hamilton finding her lost half sister (Kimbro's first daughter), Geraldine Kimbro, who lives in Baltimore. Geraldine, who is mentioned in the book, connected with Hamilton and other family members on Henry Kimbro's Facebook page. The two talk almost every day.

            "I cannot believe it... It's a miracle," said Hamilton, who labored for several years writing the book celebrating her father. "I was blown away, surprised, and very humbled that my book was held in such high esteem by this group. My father would have felt the same way, and he would have been surprised that people were even interested in his story."

TSU Associate Professor Dr. Harriet Kimbro-Hamilton holds her award.

            Hamilton was totally surprised when she received the award on July 9 at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel in Kansas City. This year's Jerry Mallow Negro League Conference was sponsored by the Society of American Baseball Research.

            Shortly before her death, Hamilton's Cuban-born mother, Erbia C. Mendoza-Kimbro, gave Hamilton a 60-year-old scrapbook her father had assembled during his life.

            "No one in my family ever saw the scrapbook with the exception of my mother," Harriet said with a smile. "When she placed it in my hands, she told me to do something with it. 'You know what to do,' she told me. The look she had on her face at that time was, 'I trust you.'"

            Her heartfelt family tribute includes insights on Henry's Nashville upbringing, controversial off-the-field shenanigans, baseball stardom in Latin America, marriage to Erbia, role as the father of five children, and induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

            Harriet's efforts to honor her father started in 2003 with a challenging but successful campaign to have Henry inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Her book recalls a legendary outfielder once dubbed the "Black Ty Cobb" of the NBL. According to The New York Times, Henry played mostly with the Baltimore Elite Giants and the New York Black Yankees. He also played briefly for the Birmingham Black Barons shortly before retiring in 1953. The Negro Leagues were disbanded in the 1960s when African-American players began joining Major League Baseball. Henry died in 1999.

            "Daddy's Scrapbook", which retails for $14.95, is available at and other major online retailers. For more information about the book, call (615) 963-5581 or send an e-mail inquiry to To learn more about Henry Kimbro, visit

            "My favorite story was when my father gave me a left-handed glove," noted Harriet, who wanted to show the humble side of a man who loved his wife and children. "I don't think he knew what an impact he had on a little girl's confidence, someone who loved learning how to play baseball alongside her brother. I look back and see a man ahead of his time in terms of gender equality, and I truly appreciate that."

            "Daddy's Scrapbook" includes a host of pictures, including Henry's baseball days, family snapshots, and post-career activities in the latter part of his life. The last photo of Henry on Page 125 shows him waving a baseball cap at fans while being recognized at the 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Baltimore.

            Harriet is an associate professor for Tennessee State University in Nashville. During her athletic career, Hamilton served as head coach in various sports and athletic director of Fisk University. She also has served as a professor for Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The author also chaired the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Committee and served on the ABA-USA Committee that selected the 1984 USA Olympic Gold Medal Women's Basketball Team. She has received awards from the Women's Sports Foundation; the National Association of Girls and Women in Sports (the Dr. Nell C. Jackson Award); Fisk University (Women of Prominence Award); and the Temple University League for Entrepreneurial Women (Hall of Fame inductee).

            Dr. Harriet Kimbro-Hamilton is available for speaking and book-signing appearances. For more information, contact her at (615) 963-5581 or

Mary Beth Cross EP 'Feels Like Home' Hits Top 40 on Five Separate Record Charts

            DENVER (July 2016) – Award-winning folk-Americana artist Mary Beth Cross is experiencing unprecedented success, with her latest EP and a featured Paul Simon cover song hitting the Top 40 on five separate record charts.

            The Americana/bluegrass EP "Feels Like Home", which includes original songs and classics, continues to climb various charts compiled by Roots Music Report. The eight-song project, which was released in June, celebrates the importance of home in the lives of average, everyday Americans. Following are highlights of the artist's growing success.

            * "Kathy's Song" (Simon cover) has hit number five on the RMR Top 50 Alternative Song Chart.

            * "Feels Like Home" (the EP) has reached number 13 on the RMR Top 50 Alternative Album Chart.

            * "Kathy's Song" has reached number 37 on the RMR Top 50 Folk Song Chart.

            * The EP has climbed to number 16 on the RMR Top 50 Colorado Album Chart.

            * The song has climbed to number 15 on the RMR Top 50 Colorado Song Chart.

            The album and selected songs are receiving airplay on terrestrial and online radio stations around the world, including KVMR-FM in California, WIKX-FM in Florida, KXCI-FM in Arizona, WBAA-FM in Indiana, WPKN-FM in Connecticut, KRFC-FM in Colorado, WIUP-FM in Pennsylvania, WWSP-FM in Wisconsin, WFMT-FM in Illinois, and WAGS-AM in South Carolina. FolkDJ ranked "Feels Like Home" in the Top 40 for airplay during the month of June.

            "It's wonderful to see my music touching people as far away as New Zealand," said Cross, whose last album, "Beyond Good and Evil", was named "2014 Folk-Country CD of the Year" by the National Traditional Country Music Association. "My latest project includes cover songs that are part of the tapestry of my upbringing in Wisconsin, as well as originals that reflect my current home in Colorado. Good memories or sad memories are evoked by some of my favorite songs."

            "Feels Like Home" debuted at number one on the APD Americana/AAA Albums chart. To download selections from the EP, visit

            "Feels Like Home" includes original songs, as well as classics written and/or performed by legendary artists such as Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Garry White, Van Morrison, George Gershwin, and Dubose Heyward. The recording spotlights Cross's soaring, pure-tone soprano vocals. It was produced by veteran banjoist Chris Pandolfi, who joins nationally respected musicians Jeremy Garrett on fiddle, Tyler Grant on guitar, and Adrian Engfer on bass. The EP is dedicated to her late nephew, Christopher Chmiel, who died unexpectedly in 2015.

            "We went with less is more, taking an approach that feels live, acoustic, down-to-earth, and not too far from home," the artist added.

Mary Beth Cross photo by Katy Tartakoff

            Cross recently celebrated "Feels Like Home" with a concert at Baur's listening room in downtown Denver. She will perform a second concert at Denver's Swallow Hill Music Association in October after attending the IBMA Conference and Bluegrass Ramble in Raleigh, N.C. Among the covers on the EP are "Kathy's Song", a classic written and recorded by folk-pop legend Paul Simon, and "Long Long Time", a hit song for Linda Ronstadt.

            "My favorite original on the project has to be 'Threshing Time'," Cross added. "It's a true story about my grandparents that was narrated to me through my father's memory. When he was a little boy, he always looked forward to working together with relatives and neighbors at threshing time. After a long, hot summer day in Wisconsin, they would return from the fields to enjoy a spread of homemade chicken, corn, salads and desserts. To quench their thirst, there was cold lemonade and homemade beer and wine."

            The artist said she was especially pleased with "Kathy's Song", a cover that features "soft, tender and lovely" guitar by Grant and banjo by Pandolfi. Other songs on the project are her original "Cottonwood Creek"; the Doc Watson classic "Shady Grove"; and "The Medley", an eight-minute performance featuring Heyward and Gershwin's "Summertime", Van Morrison's "Moondance", and Cross's "Pas De Deux".

            Cross praised the contributions from her fellow musicians, who helped her transition from the Americana-folk sound she has long been known for to a down-to-earth bluegrass presentation that evokes memories of home in Wisconsin, Colorado, Tennessee and other parts of America.

            "Capturing a truly live feel in the studio takes experience and commitment, but it always brings the music to life," said Pandolfi, a banjoist/producer known for the Trout Steak Revival project, "Brighter Everyday". "Mary Beth went for it on this project, and she did an amazing job with both her original material, as well as meaningful takes on a few classic songs."

            Guitarist Tyler Grant added, "Mary Beth Cross is not just a fine musician and songwriter. She is also a wonderful person with an honest and authentic spirit that shines through her music. It was a great pleasure to work with her and Chris on this album."

            Cross received national exposure in 2013 with release of her fourth CD, "Beyond Good and Evil". That project, which was produced by Dave Bechtel, landed a top-five ranking on Airplay Direct. Critics around the world praised the album, with Country Music News International calling it worthy of "Americana CD of the Year".

            “I’ve discovered that people are yearning to find acceptance and solace in a dizzying world of pressure-filled expectations,” Cross said. “People long for an authentic, non-formula approach.

            An accomplished vocalist and tunesmith, Cross moved to Denver in the 1980s to pursue a nursing career. Her music is influenced by the rural farmland and forests of her Wisconsin upbringing and the Rocky Mountains where she now resides. She carefully chooses acoustic instrumentation to bring her story-driven songs to life. Her music represents a few of the cultures that have contributed to what has become American music today.

            To learn more about Mary Beth Cross or her music, call (303) 842-1587, send an email message to, or visit or .

Artist/Instructor Gail McDaniel to Teach Watercolor Painting Course Near Atlanta This Fall

            ATLANTA (July 2016) -- Gail McDaniel, an acclaimed watercolorist who, by invitation, has served as an associate member and demonstrating artist/instructor for the prestigious Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network of London, will lead an eight-week watercolor painting course this fall near Atlanta.

            The course will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists on selected Wednesday afternoons starting Aug. 10 at Griffin First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Drive in Griffin, Georgia. Sessions will occur from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 10, 17, 24; Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28; and Oct. 5. Class will not meet on Aug. 31.

            The artist/instructor will provide insights on composition, perspective, value, color theory and application. She also will demonstrate some of the techniques that have helped make her an award-winning artist, including abstract under paintings, disappearing purples, painting on Masa Paper, white on white, monotype paintings, let it flow, texturize your paintings, portraits, reflective surfaces, and wax-resist Batik. The course is structured to serve artists at all skill levels, from the very raw beginner to the most advanced. McDaniel will close each session with individual critiques.

            Because space is limited for the classes, reservations are required. Tuition is $165 for all eight class sessions. For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (678) 603-1502 or send an inquiry to Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at

            Before moving to Georgia, McDaniel spent more than 20 years working as a professional watercolorist and art instructor in Nashville and Brentwood, Tenn. During that time, she taught more than 1,300 students in classes and workshops around the world. A number of her former students have developed into professional artists with exhibitions and commissions.

            "Some people come to find out if they can paint in watercolor," said the artist, who painted the invitation cover for "A Little Night of Music" starring country superstar LeAnn Rimes. "Like me, others love the look of watercolor paintings and want to learn the medium. Many come for the change of pace and the new, wonderful, relaxing challenge it brings. The intermediate and advanced students come to me to grow in the medium."

            Over the years, McDaniel has seen the positive change that comes over many people when they spend three hours with her creatively thinking from the right side of their brain.

            "It's truly a night-and-day change, not to mention the fun they have," McDaniel added. "Many who come to me with no art background find they really have a true talent for painting. Some of them never had the slightest notion they had any talent. It's such an outstanding reward for them and a source of real pleasure for me."

            A good example is Phyllis Tatum, a watercolorist who studied with McDaniel for 14 years in Middle Tennessee. She and her fellow students were thrilled when she won four blue ribbons and a red ribbon at the Tennessee State Fair. Her crowing achievement came later when she won the fair's "Best of Show", a rare occurrence in watercolor circles.

            McDaniel fondly remembers receiving a thank you note from former student Suzy Foy of Estes Park, Colo., who wrote, "My whole life I have dreamt about being an artist... I never believed I could live that dream, one painting at a time. Because of my workshops, mentoring and support (from McDaniel), it is happening."

            "One of the obvious results of classes is the togetherness that comes upon the group," McDaniel noted. "Friendships develop, and with that interest in each other's lives and the happenings and events in their world. The group watches children grow up, grandchildren being born, and members die. The group celebrates the joys together, as well as the sad times, giving special support. Sometimes, our paintings reflect those experiences."

            The classes near Atlanta should be no exception. McDaniel will demonstrate the techniques, shortcuts and concepts that she has developed or learned by doing, reading or studying with others. She plans to show her students everything she knows, holding nothing back. Her goal is to inspire them without making them feel overwhelmed.

            During her career, McDaniel has trained artists from 36 different states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. She has taught 11 workshops at historic Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a landmark where the late Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted. She also served as a member of the arts faculty of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art.

            In 2002, she and her husband, Ken, launched the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards", raising almost $90,000 for the visual arts in Middle Tennessee public schools. The fundraising effort earned Gail and Ken a nomination in the "volunteer innovator" category of the 2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Award. In 2012, the artist was named the PENCIL Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year".

            Before leaving Tennessee, she received an award for "Excellence in Community Service" from the Travelers Rest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was inducted into the Cave City, Ky., Hall of Fame and named (as an eighth generation Kentuckian) to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as one of  "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."

            In 2001, she was invited by directors of the "Art in Provence" program to conduct an eight-day watercolor workshop in Dieulefit, France. She studied under 38 noted art instructors to help build her reputation as one of the South's top artists/instructors. -- even accepting a commission to paint a family landmark for former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

            For more information about Gail McDaniel or to see her work, visit

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Americana Artist Chakra Bleu Releases New Reggae Single to Help Heal a Divided World

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 2015) – Americana artist Chakra Bleu is using a new Reggae single to encourage Americans to unify peacefully to help solve important issues related to equality and justice.

            Although she usually shies away from politics in her music, the artist said she feels a sense of urgency in sharing her song, "We Shall Overcome", with people from all walks of life. The tune calls people to use love and acceptance of one another to help heal a divided world. It will be featured on an upcoming album to be released July 29.

            "The overall vibe of 'We Shall Overcome' is upbeat, inspiring and empowering in the Reggae genre," said Bleu, whose last single hit number one on various Americana record charts. "This genre is welcoming of just hanging out where you are, whomever you are, with the intent of all of us coming together heart, soul and mind."

            To listen to "We Shall Overcome," visit or

            The artist added that the song practically wrote itself. She intuitively chose the key of A-Major to help brighten a passionate lyrical message that promotes positive change through the love and acceptance of one another. By dedicating a single to social causes, Bleu follows in the footsteps of legendary artists such as Bob Marley, Pete Seegar, John Lennon and Joni Mitchell. She said she hopes the song can be used by non-profit organizations to help inspire true equality and justice for all races, genders, immigrants and sexual identities.

            "My song asks the listener to consider his or her own dignity and encourages the dignity of all others through peaceful measures," Bleu noted. "It calls us to speak out, stay involved and informed, vote, and expect total equality for humanity as a whole."

            "We Shall Overcome", which was recorded in Nashville, features an infectious, sing-along chorus.

            "We shall overcome and lead the way... We won't bow down to fear and hate... We shall overcome and lead the way... Our voice won't be choked another day... We'll raise our hands... We've only just begun... Yes we can... We shall overcome."

            "The song speaks out against violence and hate crimes, as well as social-economic issues such as guaranteeing fair voting rights, raising the minimum wage, offering more affordable housing, and improving access to higher education," Bleu continued. "I believe my favorite line is 'only cowards choose to intimidate'."

            Born and raised in Spokane, Wash., Bleu grew up with a passion for music and the outdoors. Her music accomplishments have been substantial since then. 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".

            For more information about Chakra Bleu or to hear her music, visit To book the artist for an upcoming event, send an e-mail message to     

Monday, July 11, 2016

A 'FEARLESS! Celebration

            COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (July 2016) – Actors Valerie Connelly (right) and John Armstrong celebrate after performing as characters Nikki and Daniel in the Broadway-style show "FEARLESS! The Golden Love Musical". The play continues its world premiere at the Cookeville (Tennessee) Performing Arts Center through July 17. Connelly, a Cookeville playwright/composer, spent many years writing what some are calling today's version of "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music". "FEARLESS!" centers on a 60-something divorcee who befriends a widower later in life. What does a mother/grandmother do when a man falls for her at this age? Connelly uses playful dialog, heartfelt songs, and elaborate dance moves to bring the two friends and/or potential "Boomer" lovebirds to life. Connelly is a songwriter-performer, fine artist, film score composer, and book publisher with numerous albums and books to her credit. Armstrong, who serves as the food and beverage director for the Clarion Inn Cookeville, has performed with a number of theatre groups across the country. Ticket sales benefit the Putnam County Habitat for Humanity's new Cookeville West End Place Housing Initiative, the Bryan Symphony Orchestra, TTU Tech Players, and the Mustard Seed Ranch for endangered, at-risk children. More than 100 area businesses and organizations have donated their products and services to help make the play possible. To buy tickets, visit or call (931) 528-1313. Learn more about the play at (Photo by Chuck Whiting)