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Description
Here you'll find an introduction to some of the most exciting new artists reviewed at Musical Discoveries. You'll find extensive reviews, interviews and links to other resources included wherever possible.

Content
Eleisha Eagle
Charlotte Martin
Heather Nova
Christina Booth/Magenta
Kristy Thirsk
Joanne Hogg/Iona
Michelle Young
Lisa Bouchelle
Tarja Turunen/Nightwish
Rachel Jones/Karnataka
Fanni Szomor
Lana Lane
Tracy Hitchings
Mae McKenna
Miriam Stockley
Magdalena Hagberg
Eleisha Eagle

Eleisha Eagle

With ten years of classical piano lessons, dancing five days a week and acting in local musical theatre troupes, Eleisha chose to pursue a music career only after walking away from a graphic design scholarship at Washington University in St. Louis. She followed her dreams to Nashville, Tennessee and has imprinted her unmistakable style on the music world.

Eleisha enticed listeners with her debut album Private School (2005) and her six-track self-titled acoustic EP (2006). Her follow-up album Lamplighter (2007) attained new theatrical heights. This indie artist has produced her own Broadway-esque musical including wonderful tap dances, chorus girls and enticing melodies. Eleisha is touring with her third full-length album Neither Here Nor There (2009).

Eleisha's live performances are spectactular according to correspondent and featured artist Michelle Young who caught her live act during a 2007 performance in Chattanooga, TN. Be sure to see the extensive collection of her live performances at YouTube. Our reviews of Eleisha's debut album Private School and follow-up self-titled EP are accompanied by our interview and photographs in this 2006 review feature. Our Lamplighter review and Neither Here Nor There review are also currently online.


Charlotte Martin

Charlotte Martin

Classically trained in both piano and voice, Charlotte Martin has honed her own unique sound through a series of successful releases and enjoys a loyal following coast-to-coast and abroad. Charlotte's first commercial recording for RCA, One Girl Army (2002), was never released but 1,000 and a title-track EP were distributed to media. Mystery, Magic & Seeds (1998), also unavailable, portrays her musical formation. Her four-track release "In Parentheses" (2003) drew significant attention. The album On Your Shore (2004) was well received by music enthusiasts worldwide. National tours as a support act increased her fan base and increased demand for copies of Test Drive Songs, a series of demos self-released in 2002. The stunning "Darkest Hour" (2005) six-track EP was sold exclusively on her first headline tour. "Veins" (2005) is the incredible eight-track EP available as a pre-release on tour and via Musictoday, iTunes, amazon.com and other online retailers.

Charlotte's live performances are spectacular. She gives herself entirely to the audience with dynamic high energy performances. Charlotte vigorously tours the United States and will complete her second series of headline shows with a DVD filming to dedicated fans upon return to Los Angeles in November 2005. Results of our first two interviews with Charlotte are available in our feature article. Read even more about the artist's live performances in our newest "weekend with Charlotte Martin" feature.


Heather Nova

Heather Nova

Born in 1968 as Heather Frith, her father's family is one of the oldest in Bermuda, with their history on the island going back 200 years. Heather's mother is Canadian and the name Nova is a surname present on that side of the family. Heather spent most of her childhood sailing off to sea in a 40-ft boat, with her parents sister and brother, a dog, a cat and a power generator, the latter one being useful to blast off her family's records. Heather quickly showed an interest in music, and started learing to play the guitar and violin and writing songs at a very early age. Her first recording was a four track EP entitled "These Walls" released in 1990.

By the eighth album Storm (2003), Heather had drawn a significant following, her voice likened by some to the legendary Annie Haslam. In the run up to Storm, Heather had received critical acclaim for her albums Oyster, Siren and South as well as her live performances. But she longed for label independence. In the independently released Storm part of the formula was lost, her enthusiasts left divided in two factions with one favouring the past and others looking to the future. Motherhood followed the tour supporting South. Two years later, her ninth album and perhaps most stunning project to date, Redbird (review), assembles all of the ingredients in her previously successful recipe. Read more about Heather Nova in our feature.


Christina Booth/Magenta

Christina Booth/Magenta

A six-piece progressive rock band from the outskirts of Cardiff, Wales, Magenta derives their sound from Genesis, Yes, ELP and Renaissance. Fronted by the vocals of stunning Christina Booth, whose incredible voice is likened to Annie Haslam's, the band's music is written by Rob Reed (keyboards) and Steve Reed (lyrics). Magenta's lineup is completed by Chris Fry (guitar), Martin Rosser (guitar) and a rhythm section of Matthew Cohen (bass) and Allan Mason-Jones (drums). Their debut double album Revolutions (feature) was named Best Of The Year in 2002. Rob and Christina are also the core of the indie band Trippa (review) whose full length album was finally released in 2008. Christina's solo album was released in 2010.

Magenta released their second album Seven (feature), a 76-minute masterwork, and a single entitled "Broken" in 2004 and will tour the UK, Europe and hopefully the USA to promote the projects. In Seven Magenta develop their own sound further while "Broken" blends Trippa accessibility with classic rock. Musical Discoveries coverage of the band includes reviews of all recordings, exclusive interviews with the artists, photos by Chris Walkden and further reviews of the band's live performances. Christina was awarded the Best Female Vocalist award by the Classic Rock Society and Magenta was awarded the Best CRS Gig in the annual Best Of The Year ceremonies of 2004.


Kristy Thirsk

Kristy Thirsk

Soprano singer songwriter Kristy Thirsk first drew widespread acclaim for her work with Juno Award-winning Rose Chronicles. Later she worked with Delerium as a featured vocalist on the Semantic Spaces and Karma. She wrote and recorded a track on Chimera and toured with Delerium during 2003. Kristy embarked on a solo career as Rose Chronicles disbanded and issued a limited edition recording entitled Bootlegs. She co-wrote and contributed a track to the Balligomingo album Beneath The Surface and wrote and performed on the soundtrack of the motion picture Kissed. Souvenir is the singer's first official solo release.

Our 2002 interview with Kristy exposed the Balligomingo story and retrospectively addressed the first decade of the singer's career. Reviews of her entire back catalog were published in a special edition of our digest dedicated to Kristy's work. Our 2003 Souvenir feature includes an all-new interview covering the making of Kristy's debut solo album, the Delerium tour and a variety of other interesting tidbits.


Joanne Hogg

Joanne Hogg/Iona

Joanne Hogg is the lead vocalist with the British progressive Celtic group Iona. Her wide ranging and powerful crystalline vocals is complimented by rich and diverse instrumental arrangements by Dave Bainbridge, Troy Donockley, Frank van Essen and Phil Barker. Joanne also plays keyboard and acoustic guitar. Our coverage of Iona began in in February 1997 with a concert review. A review of Woven Cord, a live album recorded with full orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and review of Open Sky, the band's most recent studio album, were both the first published on the internet. Our review of The River Flows—a box set with remastered versions of Iona, Book Of Kells, Beyond These Shores and Dunes, a bonus CD of rarities—shares the same honour. Our review of the group's headline performance at Rotherham Rocks 2002 illustrates their growth and continued strength.

In addition to her recordings with Iona, Joanne released a solo album in 1997 entitled Looking Into Light (review) and collaborated with Máire Brennan and Margaret Becker on the 2001 album New Irish Hymns (review). Joanne contributed to two further albums in the New Irish Hymns series in 2002 and 2004 respectively. She received Best Female Vocalist awards from the Classic Rock Society in the 1994, 1996 and 1997 Best Of The Year ceremonies.


Michelle Young

Ex-Glass Hammer vocalist Michelle Young's 1996 solo album Song Of The Siren is a truly amazing work with a vast range of alternative material ranging from acoustic numbers to stunning progressive rockers. Her 2001 follow-up, Marked for Madness is a progressive masterwork. The striking similarity of some of the songs, and at times Michelle's vocal style, to that of Kate Bush is amazing, but Michelle's work is much much better.

Read our online feature that reviews both albums and other recordings also incorporating an exclusive and extensive interview with the artist. Visit Michelle's official website for further details by clicking here.


Lisa Bouchelle

Lisa Bouchelle is a rapidly rising progressive female vocalist from the Philadelphia area frequently cited in both online and printed media. Her work with October Baby and Mastermind has drawn substantial critical acclaim. Our online feature reviews three full length albums including her stunning vocal work, three tracks from a live recording with Mastermind and incorporates the results of an exclusive Musical Discoveries interview with this multi-faceted and very attractive young woman.

Also a songwriter, she is a classically trained vocalist and currently leads the modern acoustic/electric band October Baby. Lisa has also performed with the well-established progressive/metal group Mastermind and continues to work with Bill Berends today. Her latest album is an acoustic project with October Baby entitled At The Edge Of Reality.


Tarja Turunen/Nightwish

Nightwish are a symphonic progressive metal crossover band from Finland who are attracting substantial international attention and critical acclaim. Fronted by stunning operatic-style lead singer, Tarja Turunen, the band is also comprised of Tuomas Holopainen (synthesizers and vocals), Erno "Emppu" Vuorinen (electric, acoustic and bass guitars), Jukka Nevalainen (drums) and Sami Vänskä (bass). The band's roots date back to July 1996 and three highly successful albums of all original material have emerged so far.

While the power and cohesiveness of the band as well as Tarja's vocal prowess are evident in the album recordings, their live performances are truly spectacular. The band's musical energy is accompanied by a dynamic stage act that excites their audiences to unprecedented levels. Musical Discoveries' coverage of Nightwish includes an indepth feature that reviews all of the band's albums and incorporates an exclusive interview with Tarja. Our photographically instensive review of their November 2000 live performance at Le Medley (Montreal) and a further article with reviews of their live recordings are also online.


Rachel Jones/Karnataka

Karnataka are a song-based progressive rock group from Swansea, Wales (UK) that incorporate eastern and Celtic influences into their sound. Fronted by stunning vocalists Rachel Jones and Anne-Marie Helder, their UK live performances and website have attracted extensive media and music enthusiast attention from Australia to America. Their second album The Storm is a title well suited to the positive reaction of their growing global audience. Their debut self-titled album released in September 1998 is a collection of eight song-based progressive rock tracks with powerful vocals, symphonic orchestrals and worldly instrumental influences. Delicate Flame Of Desire builds upon the sound of The Storm with improved production quality, most evident in the vocal mix. Since first performing for the Classic Rock Society in 1999, Karnataka has won an array of Best Of The Year (BOTY) awards. Lead vocalist Rachel Jones won the best female vocalist award four years consecutively between 2000 and 2003.

Our online features include album reviews, exclusive interviews with Rachel and Ian Jones and other band members, stunning photographs by Chris Walkden and links to websites with soundbites and further information. A collection of links to our coverage of the band is found in this March 2003 feature.


Fanni Völgyessy Szomor

With a pure crystalline voice, Fanni is the lead vocalist with the Hungarian progressive rock band You And I. Equally comfortable singing in a broad range of styles, she performs sensitive ballads, highly accessible almost-pop numbers, AOR and moving progressive rockers. Initially influenced by Yes and secular themes, her music has evolved with and outside of You And I.

Be sure to check out our internet feature with biographical details and reviews of her recordings with You And I (You And I, Go), her debut solo album Hajnalban (Dawning) and a major review of You And I's album Exit. Fanni's stunning second solo project, "Tündér Rózsa," combines new music with a book of poems (review).


Lana Lane

The stunning female vocalist has a highly expressive style with tremendous power and soaring range and she is equally comfortable with song-based progressive music, symphonic orchestral epics, sensitive ballads and hard hitting rock anthems. Lana's earliest vocal work and song styles resemble a slightly more symphonic version of Heart.

As her style developed with (Erik Norlander's) keyboards becoming more prominent and the music becoming more progressive and varied, similarities to Tracy Hitchings (Quasar, Strangers On A Train, Landmarq) and at times even Danielle Capoferri (Second Story) can be made.


Tracy Hitchings

Two symphonic progressive rock, soundtrack-oriented albums recorded by Clive Nolan (keyboards), Tracy Hitchings (vocals) and Karl Groom (guitar and bass) in the early nineties that are now available on the on Verglas Music label contain the finest music we've heard since Renaissance and are rated 'must-haves.' Entitled The Key Part 1: The Prophecy and The Key Part 2: The Labyrinth, a third album (The Key Part III: The Legacy) should be recorded in 1999 for a release in 2000.

Check out our special two-album review or visit the Verglas website for further details. The Landmarq (Tracy Hitchings) album Science Of Coincidence and Clive Nolan / Oliver Wakeman / (Tracy Hitchings) album Jabberwocky are both highly recommended. Our Tracy Hitchings online feature should be fully explored; the latest Landmarq live album entitled Thunderstruck has been reviewed within the feature. Tracy received Best Female Vocalist awards from the Classic Rock Society in 1995 and 1998 in their Best Of The Year ceremonies.


Mae McKenna

With six solo albums spanning the last twenty years, Mae McKenna's Nightfallers and Mirage and Reality CDs contain some of the best music we've heard. They are a testament to the extensive range, vocal accuracy and purity of her voice and her unique ability to sing and spin vocally-rich arrangements in a vast array of styles. Mae is known for her creative use of voice in a modern musical setting blending different ethnic musical styles and combining traditional, acoustic and up to the minute electronic instrumentation. An illustrated and updated biography accompanies our review of Mae's latest album, Shore To Shore here.


Miriam Stockley

Perhaps most well known for her work with Adiemus as their lead vocalist, Miriam Stockley's solo career spans an incredible range of styles and sounds. She has performed across the entire musical spectrum, recording in classical, rock and pop, dance, jazz, reggae, new age, soul and movie soundtracks.

Some of the most stunning examples of her work outside her three recordings with Adiemus include Colin Towns' "Perfect Day" from the Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit) Music Collection, the self-titled Praise album and her Neoteric dance singles. She has also recorded tracks with Beautiful Day, Jenesaisquoi, Mike Batt, Sarah Brightman and most recently recorded an album of music featuring tribal singing with Mae McKenna called Shabala. Miriam's 'first' solo album entitled Miriam was released internationally during 1999—full biographical details, a lovely photo gallery, a completely illustrated discography and soundbites are available at the official website that we co-developed with her.


Magdalena Hagberg

With the Rondo EP and full-length albums Gothic Impressions, the Tolkien-esque Bilbo and their latest studio masterpiece, Mundus Incompertus, this Swedish progressive group has taken die-hard fans of ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd and King Crimson by storm. Fronted by stunning lead vocalist and violinist and now full-fledged band member Magdalena Hagberg, Par Lindh Project's classically-derived rock music has all of the 70s progster intensity, but with the unique texture that only female vocals can deliver. The musical themes and overall style develop and uniquely transcend album boundaries making their recordings a cohesive set. The band's enthusiastic cover of "Jerusalem" performed in their 1998 tour appears on their latest album Live In America (review) and was featured at NEARfest 2000 (photo from their scrapbook »).

We review the band's stunning 2002 studio album Veni, Vidi, Vici here and their subsequent live album Live In Iceland here.

Magdalena bravely fought brain cancer for several years until sadly, at only age 34, she died in December 2007. She is survived by her husband Niklas Berg and her son. Her angelic voice will live on in the PLP recordings Gothic Impressions, Mundus Incompertus, Live In America, and Veni Vidi Vici.

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