Come see Donna Larsen and Messengers at Amplified Al Works!
4150 Mission Blvd #208
Thursday, Aug 15th - 6 - 8 PM
This is our first time at this cool place so come out and have a blast.
DONNA LARSEN & THE MESSENGERS
By Frank Kocher, June 2019
The self-titled new album by Donna Larsen and the Messengers finds the singer/songwriter in a full band setting, moving comfortably between pop and rock idioms on a dozen originals. Larsen is a take-charge vocalist who can deliver a variety of personae from lush ballads to fronting a grinding guitar rock crew. Her songs may jump genres, but she manages to stay catchy and sounds comfortable throughout; as a lyricist she also writes interesting, observational snapshots—some introspective and others familiar.
The Messengers, in addition to Larsen’s vocals and rhythm guitar, are Randy Hodge on lead guitar, John “J Rod” Rodriguez on bass, and Paul McGee on drums and percussion; the disc adds Scott Gorham’s piano and keys to good effect on several tracks. Josquin Des Pres at Track Star studio did a nice production job. The opener is “A Ghost From the Past,” a choppy, charging rocker, which sends a message that this set is going to turn up the knobs, with Larsen telling a tale of her readiness to move forward and ditch the baggage of unsatisfactory past relationships and experiences. Quite different, “And So It Is” follows, a lovely pop song built on great chorus harmonies and scat singing, about the journey of self-improvement.
Another effective pop tune is “The Step,” as Larsen examines a personal choice that has repercussions. To a catchy hook, she wonders, “Courage and might I’m asking for/ Take the step, open the door, leading out of my comfort zone to the unknown/ Do I take the step?” Beautiful harmonies help drive this one home. “Easy as Pie” is a tasty shot of straight up rock ‘n’ roll that clicks with nice guitar work.
The best ballad is “Solitude,” which floats in on piano and gives Larsen a chance to flash her emotional and vocal range. A great arrangement enhances this highlight, which takes its time and burns itself into the listener’s brain the way great songs do. A hybrid reggae-rock lurch drives “The Corner,” and as it chunks along Larsen is again talking about introspective issues—she must decide between two courses, “standing on the corner of truth and honesty.”
The songs on this program are not hurried, the songs average over four minutes and four ballads are at least five. Nothing seems to be overblown or too long, though, while nothing stops short. “Beautiful Whisper” is a softly rendered love song, about transcendent features of the love she experiences for another. Soaring background vocals give this one an ethereal vibe, and Larsen again shows the strength of her pipes, effortlessly bouncing high. “Every Song is a Miracle” presses many of the same buttons.
Larsen wraps the set with “The Last Prayer,” about an effort to achieve peace. ”Silence is the greatest cause of wars.” She challenges the listener to take up the cause—as she invokes the brave youth who died in Tiananmen square. The lesson comes across on layered guitars and keyboards, a triumphant buildup with a timely message. And a perfect final statement by Donna Larsen and the Messengers on their excellent new album.
Donna Larsen and Messengers bring you something entirely unique. Any attempt to peg the music that comes from this engaging band will leave you stymied. Messengers’ music guides you through wide ranges of depth and feeling and brings with it a variety of intensity that you won’t experience elsewhere. They deliver songs you want to listen to over and over again, along with some that you can’t help but just dance to – even in your own living room.
You can download your copy at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/donnalarsen
Donna Larsen and Messengers bring you something entirely unique. Any attempt to peg the music that comes from this engaging band will stymie the listener. This music guides you through wide range of depth and feeling and brings with it a variety of intensity that you won’t experience elsewhere. Messengers delivers songs you want to listen to over and over again, along with some that you can’t help but just dance to – even in your own living room.
There is such a range of emotional experience that it could only be delivered by a merging of musical artists from somewhere between Pink Floyd and Joni Mitchell. Actually, it is actually easier to describe what this music is not. It is not Goth, Heavy Metal, Country, Americana, Blues Rock, Jazz Rock, Punk Rock… So we call it Indie Pop Rock.
Donna Larsen’s musical architecture, mood, history, and psychology crosses all boundaries and lands in your heart. Lyrically she lives in a world of positivity and possibility. This music so much more! You can hear the influence diverse artists and genres that have stayed with Donna throughout her lifetime.
The new self-titled CD, Messengers, is inspired, emotional, melodic and musically intriguing. Being well aware of, and resigned to the beauty of all possibilities of life makes their message ultimately and extraordinarily hopeful.
Writing and performing music on her own terms has allowed Donna and her band to stay true to their vision and focus of presenting the world with thought provoking and uplifting music. Messengers delivers an experience of spiritually centered music to guide your life by - not music to fall asleep by! Although you may not have heard of Donna Larsen and Messengers yet, you will soon. Their CD will drop by the end of 2018, so keep your heart and your ears open!
Come out and support Original Music all while having a GREAT TIME Dancing and enjoying this kick back place to be!
Friday, September 14th - 9:00 PM
"How POSI Can You Be?"
You really want to be at Rebecca's Coffeehouse for San Diego Indie Acoustic Original Artist Showcase on July 30th!!! Rebeca and David are giving us a rare appearance and sharing their beautiful, Positive Music with us. Christine Gilardi is well known and appreciated in San Diego for her performances of sacred music. I'll be giving it my all with my guys, Randy and John. Don't miss it!! — with Christine Gilardi, Sierra West, Rebeca Randle, David Randle, Randy Hodge and Donna Larsen.
Suggested donation $15
3015 Juniper St
San Diego, CA
Thanks so much for getting me up again on the Top Ten at Reverbnation Singer-Songwriters!! It's fabulous to feel so supported in my artistic and musical endeavors!! Have a marvelous day and stay cool!! Hugs from Donna!! It's an honor to have reached this milestone -- 'thanks' to each and every one of you for supporting the band thus far.
COMING THIS NOVEMBER: SAN DIEGO INDIE ACOUSTIC ORIGINAL ARTIST SHOWCASE
But the showcase name, says curator Donna Larsen, may be too long
By Dave Good, September 23, 2013
Donna Larsen, a singer/songwriter, explains her long sabbatical from local stages:
Read more: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/jam-session/2013/sep/23/coming-this-november-san-diego-indie-acoustic-orig/#ixzz2iuQHmRsV