Monday, April 20, 2015

Daredevil: There are no heroes and no villains

Claire: I just don’t think I can let myself fall in love with someone…  who’s so damn close to becoming what he hates.
Matt:  You’re right…you shouldn’t.

“My experience? There are no heroes, no villains. Just people with different agendas.”
Ben Urich, Daredevil S01E07 Stick

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Poldark: I came in search of something...

I lost sight of something. I came in search of it. Having found it, I’m going home...

Cristela: Is this the end of the line for the ABC sitcom

We have no word yet on whether sitcom Cristela will get a second season or not but things are not looking overly positive as far as series star and creator Cristela Alonso is concerned. The actress/comedienne posted on her blog on Saturday saying she was worried about the future of the show.

Hi!  It’s April 17, 2015 and I find myself sitting in the middle seat of a full Southwest flight on my way to Nashville.  Tonight at 8:30/7:30 PM, ABC will show the season (and possibly series) finale of a sitcom that I put my heart and soul into. 
I want to be realistic and honest about things.  I’m not sure if the show is coming back. It worries me and not because I want to be on TV more. It worries me because I think this show gives a voice to people that haven’t been given a voice before.
Cristela isn’t a flashy show. It’s not a slick single-cam that looks like it’s a movie shot on a weekly basis, it doesn’t have voiceovers telling you thoughts the characters are currently having and it certainly doesn’t use crass and edgy things to tell its stories.  That was my choice to not do any of those things.  I wanted to take a harder path, a path that really isn’t taken on TV anymore.  I wanted to make a TV show like the kind I grew up with, the kind that looked like a play, the kind that made the live studio audience we tape in front of, just as important as the cast because they are as important.
One of the big problems the show has faced is that ABC have basically just left it to it's own devices and these days in such a crowded atmosphere it is harder than ever to be found. Our opinion is that it probably deserves a second season. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Crown Court Volume Three DVD Review

Network DVD / Region 2 / 4 disc set / Released April 2008

Featuring Denis Lill, Windsor Davies, Nigel Havers, Peter Bowles

One of the ITV Network's first daytime drama series (along with Harriet's Back in Town and Emmerdale Farm) Crown Court, with its highly atmospheric (and evocative) theme tune, was an instant hit with the elderly, the unemployed, the sick and kids who managed to wangle a day off school.

Network are releasing this brilliantly nostalgic series (yes I did wangle more than my fair share of days off school) and this April saw the arrival of volume three with with 13 stories spread over four discs. Each case runs for three episodes and although the action never strays from the courtroom (only recaps for each episode make use of black and white photographs) you are very quickly pulled in to the goings on.

The show was a real breeding ground for soon to be well known actors and these episodes feature the likes of Warren Clarke and Tony Doyle in Love Thy Neighbour: Regina V Thornton and Thornton; Nigel Havers (with an outrageous pair of Elton John style specs), Derek Griffiths, Helen Cherry and Terrence Hardiman in Wise Child to name just a few but one of the things that really made it stand out at the time was the use of members of the public for the jury who actually got to make the decision as to whether the defendent was guilty or not according to the evidence they had heard over the course of three episodes, of course this meant that different endings had to be filmed depending on which way the jury went.

Definitely a classic series then, one defies its relatively low budget setting to still entertain some 30 odd years later.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Q&A With The Guiding Lights of Homeland

Homeland answers Showtime's Homeland has become a genuine worldwide success with it's second season building an even bigger audience than it's debut run, the show's guiding lights Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa have recently been chatting with the readers of the New York Times on just what makes the show tick, check out a couple of the questions below.

Q: I love the way the show builds suspense through secrets — the power of secrets to hurt characters and the nail biting about whether another character will reveal the secret. In the most recent episode, by killing one of the central characters who held an important secret, the anxiety about that secret is punctured and dissipated. How do you make the decision to balance keeping the secret alive vs. the need to eliminate that character? — G, Los Angeles

A:MR. GANSA: We wanted to write a show as suspenseful and sophisticated as a John le Carré novel and the great ’70s thrillers like “Three Days of the Condor,” “The Parallax View” and “The Conversation.” Those stories are tightrope acts, balancing character and plot twists very very precariously. Sometimes we fall off the tightrope. No question. But you hope the next week when you have a chance to do it again, you get it right. Or less wrong. Our motto is, give up the secret before the audience expects it. Because you guys know it’s coming. The only way we can surprise you is to deliver it ahead of schedule. And sometimes letting a secret die with a character is the better twist.

Gordon gansa

Q:Some of the plot twists and reveals seem so complicated that they must be well planned. Do you start writing for the season knowing where your characters and the plot are going to end up at the end of the season? — Deborah, San Francisco

Would you say Season 2 was more about Brody’s breakdown the way Season 1 was about Carrie’s unraveling? Once Brody turned double agent, did you see all the beats for the rest of the season leading up to the finale, or were you finding it as you went along? — Laura, Texas

A: MR. GANSA: I think you’re absolutely right, Season 2 did focus more on Brody’s breakdown. Carrie was more in command of her illness and her feelings for Brody this year. We try not to revisit emotional territory we’ve covered before — there’s a lot about Carrie we haven’t seen yet and still want explore. This season we didn’t know the specific beats of the finale until several weeks before we wrote the script. While that uncertainty is hell, you do kind of surf on the terror of finding the right ending. That anxiety is propulsive. And probably intentional on a certain level. What we do settle on fairly early is the emotional journey the main characters will take over the season. That’s the great pleasure of serialized TV. You can treat characters like they’re in a novel. They get to change over time, which to me is extremely satisfying.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Identity is the new ITV1 drama series starring Keeley Hawes, Aidan Gillen and Shaun Parkes. You can find out more about the series over at and here we talk to Shaun Parkes about the show.

Shaun had a very different background to his on-screen character in the new series of IDENTITY.

“I think Anthony Wareing’s parents had very definite ideas about what they wanted him to become. They wanted to try and shape his future whereas my parents were just happy for me to be myself. They let me become who I wanted to be,” explains Shaun.

“I think his parents are good people and very Christian. But they’re of the mind, ‘we’re spending money on you, we put you in a good school, you’d better not mess around’. I think Anthony is one of these guys who, when he was younger, might have been pushed to do well for all kinds of reasons. I guessed that as a kid he probably suffered a bit of racism and so when he got older he thought, ‘right I’m going to prove to everyone that I can be the best and I’m going to make something of myself’. He’s most likely been inspired by various people along the way who shaped his ideals. And he has decided to put all his energies into becoming a bit of a spokesman. I think he sees himself in a few years being the guy who people go to get advice on things.”

Talking about his character as part of the Identity Unit Shaun says: “People’s strengths come with confidence and understanding; knowledge of themselves and having a good sense of right and wrong while never compromising those beliefs. I think the point is, strength in leadership, leadership qualities, come with that and while Anthony is loyal to his boss DSI Martha Lawson (played by Keeley Hawes) he doesn’t agree with the leniency she shows towards Bloom.

“He doesn’t trust Bloom and he doesn’t trust his fair-weather way of dealing with things; coming in late, not keeping in touch with his team, and getting away with it. Strength in leadership is what Anthony aspires to.”

In 2009 Shaun played another high profile cop in the BBC’s Moses Jones.

He says: “They are two very different men who have totally different policing methods. I think Moses Jones works a lot with his instincts and his heart and had a sense of right and wrong but also saw the grey areas between the lines. He has a more emotional approach although personally Moses Jones is a loner. Whereas Anthony is married, he’s got kids, and I think he wants to be part of the team. He wants to be able to trust the people around him because he knows he can’t do it by himself and I don’t think he’s particularly gunning for anyone but certainly if anyone in the unit isn’t pulling their weight he’s definitely going to say something. He doesn’t believe in letting things slide.”

Shaun admits he took the role in IDENTITY because it struck him as a fresh take on the police genre.

He says: “I said I’m not doing any more police or hospital dramas, I’d had enough and promptly did Harley Street, Moses Jones and now Identity! But I’m really happy to have been a part of those dramas. Moses Jones obviously but equally Harley Street because again they were trying to do something different and that’s what I like. I like the innovation, I like people who do something that goes against the grain, that’s never been done before. And that was the appeal of Identity.”

But although Shaun says he would never have joined the police force, he claims: “In a different life I probably would have joined the army…I didn’t have any discipline in my life once I reached a certain age and I wanted to know how to fight. I knew I needed discipline because I had absolutely nothing to do and was hanging around with a gang of people who all thought ‘this is the life, this is what we do and its great’ and they had a lot of fun but essentially I always knew there was something more for me out there. Luckily my acting teachers at school pointed me in the right direction, got application forms for drama school and helped me audition for the college I went to…”

So has Shaun been the victim of identity crime?

“I keep everything for years and years in endless files so they’d have to be very patient criminals!”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts up for major award

The fabulous Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts is on the shortlist for the Arthur C. Clarke Best Science Fiction novel of the year award.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

TONY ABBOTT ON Q&A – Monday 5 April live (AEST) at 9.30pm on ABC1

AusTV News: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will join host Tony Jones for a unique Q&A on Easter Monday, 5th April, live (AEST) at 9.30pm on ABC1.

This will be Abbott’s first appearance on Q&A since rising to the leadership of the Liberal Party.

Fresh from the health care debate, he will face an audience of 200 plus voters asking him the full gamut of policy questions, in this election year.

To register to be part of the the Q&A studio audience go to Viewers can also submit video or written questions online – full details on the website.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SBS Extends its Tour De France contract until 2017

AUSTRALIAN TV NEWS: SBS Extends its Tour De France contract until 2017

SBS today announced it had once again extended its Tour de France contract with the owners and organisers, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), securing the event on free-to-air until 2017.

In addition to being the official EXCLUSIVELY LIVE Australian television broadcaster, SBS announced that the extended contract would also include online and mobile delivery, until 2017.

“2010 marks SBS’s 20th anniversary for its Tour de France coverage so the extension of our contract for another seven years is a significant way to celebrate this milestone,” said SBS Director of Content, Matt Campbell.

Whilst the Tour de France is the obvious “jewel in the crown” of global cycling events, SBS’s stable of cycling properties continues to expand.

Following on from the network’s successful coverage of this year’s Santos Tour Down Under, 2010 will prove to be another huge year at Cycling Central, as SBS broadcasts more of the world’s greatest cycling events including the Paris-Roubaix, Giro D’Italia and La Vuelta a España – ensuring fans never miss a moment of the most exciting cycling action from Australia and across the globe.

SBS Managing Director, Shaun Brown, said he was elated with the deal which effectively cements SBS’s position as the Cycling Network in Australia. “We love the Tour de France and so does our all Australian audience”, he said.

ASO Directeur General, Yann Le Moenner said, “We have had a fruitful partnership with SBS for the past 20 years and there is still a lot to come. This is great news for the Tour de France and Cycling. We share the same passion for the Tour de France and will continue to collaborate together to deliver the best experience to Australian viewers.”

Four Corners, “Mexico’s Drug Wars”

ABC1 / Monday 22nd March 2010 at 8.30pm

This week on Four Corners, “Mexico’s Drug Wars”: a horrifying account of the brutal war that’s raging in the towns that dot the border between Mexico and the United States.

BBC’s This World reporter Katya Adler reports from the frontline of the conflict involving rival drug gangs and the Mexican government. In every sense it’s a major battle. On one hand the drug cartels are fighting each other in a vicious turf war for control of the multi-million dollar drug trade. Meanwhile, the Mexican Government has vowed it will stop the fighting and bring them to heal. So far no one is winning the war and the death toll keeps rising.

In Tijuana a middle aged Mexican couple are weeping. They believe their eldest son is dead, killed by a drug gang. They tell how they were sitting at home one evening when they heard a knock at the door. A gang of heavily armed men, claiming to be police, came into their house and took their son away. They quickly discovered these were not police but a drug cartel militia. Their son has never been seen again.

They are not alone in their torment. Each year thousands of Mexicans are dying as a result of their country’s drug war.

Tijuana is now effectively ruled by the country’s most powerful drug runner, Joaquin 'Chapo' Guzman. “Chapo” as he is known, began his life as a drug trafficking boss in the centre of Mexico but quickly decided he would move north and take control of the border regions. The result? A major battle as his men took on rival gangs. At one point “Chapo” was captured and put in jail. His time there was short. Last year he simply disappeared from a maximum security jail and police say he is now back running his drug empire.

The government’s response to the crisis has been to declare war on the gangs. From a distance it sounds like a good policy. But as Four Corners reports the heavily armed drug militias have responded with their own brand of force. As a result citizens have been caught up in what amounts to a civil war.

Tijuana is not the only city feeling the impact of the violence. The city of Ciudad Juarez to the east is also a battleground. There, reporter Katya Adler discovered a city under siege. Last year 2,500 people were killed in drug related assassinations. The situation in the city was so bad that a new mayor, elected on a law and order ticket, was forced to sack all the city’s senior police. Now he has been forced to train an additional 1,000 officers in the hope of stemming the corruption within his force.

The question is, can the war against the cartels succeed and will the new police officers in Juarez keep their pledge to uphold the law, or will they too be sucked down into the pit of corruption, siding with the drug traffickers?


AUSTRALIAN TV NEWS: The ASTRA Industry Excellence Awards Winners were announced today at the ASTRA 2010 Conference ‘The Future Is Now’. The awards specifically recognise excellence in the promotion of subscription television.

Entries for the Industry Excellence Awards were sought from television channels, operators, production houses, media, advertising and creative agencies that contribute to Australian subscription television.

Panels of senior subscription television executives and marketing specialists judged the entries and determined finalists and winners in all categories. Entries were scored on a set of benchmark statements and then by peer review. Benchmark components included campaign objectives, budget, target audience and use of media. The judges reviewed each entry and assessed its merits based on the strength of the campaign strategy, implementation, results and creativity.

This year there were 150 entries and 28 judges from across the subscription television industry involved.

And the winners are:

Awarded to the most creative and effective on-air program promotion for a single subscription television program, series or event.

oThe Contender Australia Launch, FOX8

Judges comment: The Contender delivered event scale and status and broadened the appeal of the concept. It fulfilled marketing objectives with a clear effective message.

Awarded to the most outstanding Australian consumer marketing campaign used to encourage customer retention and loyalty.

o FOXTEL Multiroom, FOXTEL

Judges comment: The Multiroom campaign was very clear in its message as to why subscribers should retain the service and gave a further incentive. The service meets many people’s needs. The campaign used striking imagery and has a clever sense of humour.

Awarded to the most outstanding integrated consumer marketing campaign to promote Australian subscription television channel identity, platforms, programs or customer retention/acquisition.

oI Love Food Awards 2009, LifeStyle FOOD

Judges comment: The I Love Food Awards 2009 promotion executed the elements of the different mediums exceptionally well and demonstrated creativity to cut-through.

Awarded to the most creative and effective stand-alone PR or Communications campaign to promote an Australian subscription television channel, platform, and program and/or drive subscription sales/subscriber retention.

oAustralia’s Next Top Model, FOX8

Judges comment: An outstanding use of PR to drive series 5 of Australia’s Next Top Model through use of multiple talent and story lines.

Awarded to the most outstanding Australian consumer marketing campaign used to drive
subscription sales.

Judges comment: The campaign created an event that became part of the vernacular. From creative thinking to overall result it was outstanding. The campaign built a landmark in a tough year. It was copied by other industries in terms of concept and tone.


Awarded to an organisation for the most outstanding use of the Australian subscription television
medium in a consumer advertising campaign.

oYates, The Party Garden, The LifeStyle Channel - XYZ Networks

Judges comment: This campaign nailed the brief of outstanding use of subscription television. It stitched the entire entry from outline to execution and delivered on results. Yates had all the elements to pull off something from conception to execution.

Awarded for the most creative and effective use of technology for consumer use.

oZeke & Luther Website & Skateboard Creator, Disney Channel

Judges comment: Disney continues to be a benchmark in this technology category; the technology was innovative and highly engaging for target market kids. Demonstrated strong impact.

Awarded for the most creative and effective use of interactive television for consumer use.

oAustralia’s Next Top Model Game On, FOX8

Judges comment: The FOX8 ANTM application was impressive. It demonstrates continuous innovation in an existing series and succeeded in giving a series in its 6th season a fresh look.

Awarded to an organisation for the most creative and effective channel image spot designed to
define, launch, build awareness, or change perception of the channel brand.

oNat Geo Wild, National Geographic Channel

Judges comment: There was some spectacular creativity amongst the finalists but Nat Geo Wild really stepped up to evoke passion for the channel image through music and imagery and that was the difference.

Awarded to the most creative and effective off-air program promotion for a single subscription television program, series or event.

oThe Contender Australia, FOX8

Judges comment: The off-air component of the program promotion was impressive in terms of the mix of off-air media off-air used. It created the desired buzz around the program with outstanding ratings results.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Galvanized Film Group Acquires Film Rights to Tracy Chevalier’s novel Remarkable Creatures

Heather Ogilvie (Galvanized Film Group) has acquired the option to produce a feature film based on Tracy Chevalier’s novel Remarkable Creatures and will partner with Icon Film Distribution to bring it to the big screen. Academy Award nominee Jan Sardi (Shine, Mao’s Last Dancer, The Notebook) will adapt the book, which was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2009.

Tracy Chevalier is the author of five previous novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Virgin Blue, Falling Angels, The Lady and the Unicorn and Burning Bright.

‘I’m thrilled Tracy has entrusted to us the exciting task of adapting her wonderful novel for the screen,’ Heather said. ‘Icon Films have endorsed our conviction that this book will result in an outstanding movie by partnering with us to accelerate its development. Jan Sardi is a gifted, sensitive scriptwriter, and we’re confident he’ll deliver a script that more than lives up to our expectations.’

Tracy comments, ‘I think a joint Australian/UK production is ingenious. Like my very English heroines, Australians have always had a strong emotional connection to landscape, which will serve the film well. Some of the most English of subjects have been beautifully filmed by outsiders: Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, for instance, or Jane Campion’s Bright Star. I hope Remarkable Creatures joins such impressive company.’

Galvanized Film Group is a Sydney-based production company headed by Heather Ogilvie, producer and executive producer of five features, a drama series for Warner Bros and a movie-of-the-week for the US network CBS.

Icon Film Distribution, Australia’s leading independent film distributor, count among their many successes the acquisition of some of the most acclaimed independent films of recent years, including Crash, The Queen, Slumdog Millionaire, Once, A Single Man and Precious.

About the book:
Elizabeth Philpot spends her days on the windswept beaches of the English south coast in the unladylike pursuit of collecting fossils. It is here that she meets Mary Anning, an illiterate working-class girl with ‘the eye’ for finding fossils. When Mary uncovers an unusual fossilised skeleton she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight. In an arena dominated by men, Mary and Elizabeth are barred from the academic community. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation and barely suppressed envy. Ultimately, in the struggle to be recognised in the wider world, Elizabeth and Mary discover that friendship is their greatest ally.

ASTRA 2010 PIONEER AWARD - Kim Vecera Honoured with Inaugural Subscription Television Award

AUSTRALIAN TV NEWS: The ASTRA Pioneer Award was presented to one of Australia’s most highly regarded Executive Producers, Kim Vecera at the Women in Television Breakfast earlier today.

The Australian television industry has benefited from the creativity, inspiration and hard work of many – this inaugural Pioneer award acknowledges contribution through leadership, innovation and creativity and support for the development of subscription television in Australia.

“Kim Vecera is a worthy recipient of the inaugural ASTRA Pioneer Award”, said John Porter, President of the ASTRA Board of Directors and CEO of AUSTAR. “As Executive Producer, Kim has led some of the most innovative and impactful programming in the young history of the Australian subscription television industry. She is in the vanguard of creative talent in television and we are fortunate to have her continuing to contribute to our ongoing success”.

Kim began her career as Project Officer at the Australian Film Commission before being appointed Business Affairs Manager at Roadshow Coote and Carroll, one of Australia's most prestigious film and television production companies. During her ten-year tenure, the company produced over 300 hours of programming including the award-winning Brides of Christ and GP.

With the introduction of subscription television, Village Roadshow appointed Kim as Chief Executive Officer of the new 24-hour music channel enterprise, ARC music TV, which re-branded to MTV Australia in 1997.

In 1999 Kim was appointed as Consultant Production Executive at Fox Studios Australia overseeing all local film and television commissions before being promoted to Head of Production.

In 2002 Kim joined FOXTEL as Head of Production, owned and operated channels which involved supervision of local programming on key Fox branded Channels, including FOX8. Credit highlights from that period include Executive Producer of Australia's Next Top Model, Love Bytes, Dangerous, and Seasons 1 and 2 of the multi award-winning Love My Way.

With a wealth of experience and knowledge, in 2005 Kim joined SHOWTIME as Executive Producer/Consultant on original drama commissions whilst continuing as Executive Producer/Consultant on all FOXTEL original drama commissions.

For SHOWTIME Australia, Kim has executive produced Season 3 of Love My Way, Satisfaction Seasons 1, 2 and 3, and Tangle Seasons 1 and 2. In 2010, she is executive producing the 6-hour television mini-series adaptation of Tim Winton's highly acclaimed novel Cloudstreet.

In 2009 for FOXTEL, Kim executive produced the comedy series Whatever Happened To That Guy? and co-executive produced the narrative comedy :30 Seconds. She is also currently executive producing the new W Channel drama commission Spirited, starring Claudia Karvan.

The ASTRA Pioneer Award is determined by a vote of the ASTRA Board of Directors.

ASTRA CEO, Petra Buchanan said “This award recognises the tremendous talent and leadership within the subscription TV industry. We take seriously the importance of acknowledging and highlighting individuals that are doing great work to grow subscription TV in Australia.”

The Future is Now ASTRA 2010 Conference draws together Australia's subscription television industry for a timely look at the media landscape and what lies ahead. An innovative and thought provoking range of topics and speakers will focus on how enhanced technology and viewer demand is impacting the industry today.

Grandpa Elliott's Debut Album out on April 6

Playing For Change Records/Concord Music Group will make legendary New Orleans street performer and Playing for Change vocalist, “Grandpa” Elliott Small’s debut album Sugar Sweet available at traditional retail outlets nationwide on April 6. Sugar Sweet was previously only available exclusively on Living Blues Magazine recently enthused, "Sugar Sweet will not leave you disappointed."

After nearly sixty years of captivating crowds on the streets of New Orleans, Grandpa Elliott will make his debut at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. His popularity has gone global in the last year after the Playing for Change hit viral video for Stand By Me, featuring 37 musicians from around the world, received over 30 million views on sites like YouTube and Vimeo.

After so many years persevering through incredible hardships and performing for free on the streets of New Orleans, Grandpa Elliott has become an unlikely cultural icon. He has performed as part of the Playing for Change Band twice on NBC’s The Tonight Show, The Bonnie Hunt Show and has led the band in an emotional rendition of “Stand By Me” on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.

Sugar Sweet is produced by Playing For Change founder Mark Johnson and Reggie McBride and was recorded in New Orleans with the Playing For Change Band. Their ability to lay down sturdy, elastic grooves is evident throughout the album, adding sympathetic backing to Elliott’s soulful vocals and sinuous harmonica.

“Grandpa Elliott embodies everything the Playing For Change project is about,” Johnson says. “Soul, talent, and perseverance. He brought the rawness of the street into the studio and cut the tunes in one take, with no set list and made every song his own. There’s a line in ‘Sugar Sweet’ that says ‘I love you more than the blood that runs through my veins.’ That’s how Grandpa feels about music. You can hear it in every note he sings.”

On the title track, the guitars of Jason Tamba from the DR Congo and Zimbabwe’s Louis Mhlanga play a New Orleans style Rumba with a hint of Ska, while drummer Peter Bunetta lays down subtle percussion fills. Grandpa Elliott’s voice is fluid, with quicksilver phrasing that falls before and behind the beat, playing with rhythm and meter. “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do,” an early hit for Bobby “Blue” Bland, gets a makeover that combines the swing of Tamba and Mhlanga, with an R&B feel, Elliott’s vocal slips from a buoyant tenor to a playful, bluesy growl as he adds subtle harmonica accents. Grandpa Elliott learned “Share Your Love With Me” from an Aretha Franklin recording and the band gives it a stripped down, old school R&B reading. “Fannie Mae” was cut at a rousing live concert performance with Keb’ Mo’ sitting in on electric guitar. It includes a blazing harp solo from Grandpa Elliott and lets the band show off its considerable instrumental prowess.


Grammy-winning producer/engineer/filmmaker Mark Johnson founded Playing For Change on the simple idea that the world can find peace through music. It’s been an incredible year for the project and momentum continues to build as Johnson and the musicians of Playing For Change were named “Persons of the Week” on ABC’s World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson last month and have been profiled many times nationally including NPR’s Morning Edition, CBS News Sunday Morning and PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal just to name a few.

Playing For Change was one of 2009’s most unlikely and startling cultural phenomenons. Hear Music/Concord Music Group’s two-disc CD/DVD Playing For Change – Songs Around the World, released April 28th, stunned the music industry selling over twenty-six thousand copies in it’s first week and landing at #10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Pop chart. This remarkable and unpredicted popular response has been driven by tens of millions of video hits, countless blogs and pure viral communication between fans and followers. The project’s deep emotional resonance, combined with the muscle of the internet and word-of-mouth has struck a profoundly enduring chord world-wide.

Most recently, with the Concord Music Group, Playing For Change announced the launch of a new record label that will support releases from select artists associated with the global music and multi-media collective Playing For Change. The first artist signed to Playing For Change Records/Concord Music Group is Grandpa Elliott.

Sugar Sweet Track Listing

1. Ain’t Nothing You Can Do
2. This Little Light of Mine (Medley)
3. Sugar Is Sweet
4. Baby, What You Want Me to Do
5. We’re Gonna Make It
6. Share Your Love With Me
7. Another Saturday Night
8. Fannie Mae (Live) – featuring the Playing For Change Band
9. Please Come Home for Christmas

*Produced by Mark Johnson and Reggie McBride

Tour Info:

South Park Giveaway - Twitter Exclusive

Over at we are running an exclusive South Park Giveaway for our followers!