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January 24th, 2010

STANFIELD GALLERY 751 Main Street, Park City, Utah

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

It isn’t all movies all the time at Sundance Film Festival. Lucky us, we got to take in the rockin’ and soulful tunes from four bands/artists at the crowded ASCAP MUSIC CAFÉ.

PLUS: The venue introduces film makers to musicians, as well as entertaining attendees. After all, musical scores and songs are integral to all movies…and help set the tone, pace and mood of any flick.

The first band, the 2 AM CLUB kicked it up with a smashup of party on rock and rap. These five guys currently live in LA--- are signed to RCA… AND put out a really, really amazing show that got the festivities started! Such high energy…no wonder these guys are slim.

Next up was the soulful vocalist/songwriter--- and over a million CD s sold- Montreal born musician Sass Jordan, who sang from the heart and rocked the house. Accompanied by Derek Sharp, we think the set was well paced, a smokin’ melange of classic rockers and originals. No wonder Jordan starred in the off Broadway smash hit “Love, Janis” ---embodying the iconic Janis Joplin.

Interesting…Sass Jordan is not a hockey fan (we chatted with her backstage afterwards)---- which we thought was illegal for Canadians.

Next up was rapper/hiphop singer/producer John Forté---who performed a lyric driven set of tunes/rap-- that had the audience so enthralled…there wasn’t a tidbit of stray chatter anywhere in the packed venue. We liked how Forté mixed up the tunes- with entertaining and informative dialogue…and didn’t shy away from sharing his experiences doing time---and not glorifying the “suckers” feelings. Actually, his favorite song (and ours too) …was written in prison before he received a Presidential pardon by former Prez Bush. Needless to say, the words were about the pain and isolation IMHO.

BTW: He graciously posed for us backstage---as he was writing out the set list.

Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon’s smash hit Everything You Want fame --- had the audience singing away during his set. This highly articulate singer/songwriter crooned plenty of engaging tunes about unrequited love--- and joked he used to sabotage relationships just to have something to write about. At this venue, he managed to up his emotion---because he’s actually in love now.

Richard Marx ended the day---playing spot-on acoustic guitar renditions of some of his top hits from the 80’s and new tunes that sound just right for these days.

Bonus points to the gals in the audience---with iPhones all a glowing with the match/flashlight app---waving away in an updated 21st century version of lit matches/lighters held high. Hilarious!!!!!