Music Street USA is founded by me, Brenda Bouschard, a long time professional in the music industry. This site began more as a fluke than anything, metamorphically developing simultaneously with a couple of projects I have had going over the last year and nine months.
I've been performing, writing and producing for many years, 90% for other people. When asked why I haven't done my own thing, developed my own originals, etc., I have only one way to explain it. I'm always working. I do love paying my bills and have always said that I refuse to be a "starving anything" in life. Fortunate that my phone is always ringing is great; however, I have rarely found myself in a position of "down time" so I can devote to my own original creative design, whether it be in music or other avenues of creativity. Always having the desire to develop my original work, I think the time has finally arrived.
THEREFORE, I PRESENT TO YOU MUSIC STREET USA! Quite frankly, I was surprised the domain name was even available, so it certainly falls into the "meant to be" category. It's definitely TIME!
I've called MUSIC STREET USA a label. In reality, it may actually be the beginning of a label. Time will tell where it leads. In the meantime, more accurately, it's another facet of production that I've been doing for many years, finally in public view for others to see. I attribute the actual beginning of this site to date back to December, 2013, when I wrote and released a tune called, "Happy Your Day, Baby!". (Link) It's always been my intention to develop it further, but....you guessed it....no time! I'm always working!
As Musical Director and Manager of Edwin Cook and Cornell Gunter's COASTERS featuring Edwin Cook (Link) for the last 14+ years, we've done MANY concerts and events. There is always a list of celebrations given to me to acknowledge during our show. Bottom line: SOMEone is always celebrating someTHING. I decided to write a tune for our show, lumping all celebrations into one, whatever "YOUR DAY" happens to be.
In February, 2014, right around Valentine's Day, I was driving to the MGM to play a private event and turned on my usually silent radio. I love music. I live it. However, my only time for quiet is usually when I'm driving. Rarely having the radio on, station formats seemingly always changing, I allowed the scan to take over. It stopped on a country genre station, and I heard "GRANNY'S GOT A TRAMP STAMP!" (what turned out to be a demo version). The lyrics drew me in, and I hit the back button.
I called Edwin immediately after the song finished and said to him, "I just heard a tune we need to add to the show...it's so funny, and it's current!" and proceeded to tell him about it. The original Coasters recorded the tunes of songwriters Lieber & Stoller. Very comedic and clever, you can still hear these tunes pop up in cartoons and various other avenues for music, as some of the hits are still just as popular today as they were when they originally hit. "GRANNY'S GOT A TRAMP STAMP!" reminded me of the lyrical styling of Lieber & Stoller, whose tunes are the line-up of our show, consistent with the hits of the original group THE COASTERS. (Visit www.EdwinCook.com to see the history of the group and a photo of the original four inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987: Cornell Gunter, Billy Guy, William Dub Jones, and Carl Gardner.)
Around April of 2014, I received a Linked-In request from songwriter Matt Dorman. Truthfully, I don't always respond to songwriters, because I have so much on my plate already that I really just don't have the time. Ironically, for some odd reason, I actually did respond to him. We traded a few comments back and forth via L-I private messages, and he expressed that he was looking for a female singer to maybe do some duo work with, someone to collaborate with in writing, etc., wanted to know if I had the time. I responded that I really didn't, but I also know that if there is something there to pursue, I do somehow find the time and didn't mind talking it through.
In the meantime, I checked his credentials and followed through to checking out his music. Lo and behold, "GRANNY'S GOT A TRAMP STAMP!" (download) was on his roster. Omen #1. Which led to Omens #2 and #3. After a couple of meetings, bringing Edwin into the mix, discussing, listening, talking...I finally agreed to record the tune about a year later and began prep to free up my schedule enough so that I could have time to write it. I was interested in the lyrics but not so much in the music. One of my stipulations was having free creative control, as I needed to write and produce what works for us on our stage, not what works for someone else. Matt agreed to relinquish that control after discussion with his publisher, RDSD Plublishing, LLC, and NASHVILLE COUNTRY BLUES MEETS NEW ORLEANS COUNTRY BLUES WAS BORN!
With a slap bass funk rhythm, a twist of country, rock & roll, and jazz, I began writing my cross-over version of this country tune on May 3, 2015. I put together a full rhythm section and a screaming hot horn section...10 to be exact...kickin' it at 132 bpm (beats per minute). My chosen line-up of musicians, Mark Kotaska on bass, Rick Powell on drums/percussion, T-Bone Demman on guitars (we laid 3 tracks), Tom Ehlan on trumpets, Remmel Wilson, Jr., on saxophones, and Alex Lubiarz on trombones. Yours truly laid the keys and 4 background vocals (5 in places), and no better lead singer for this tune than Edwin Cook, with whom I've worked for the last 14+ years now. My studio of choice: SonSongs Studio, owned by T-Bone, recording engineer fantabulisticous! (YES, that's a word! :-)
Finishing this production, as it usually goes, one thing led to another: I created a logo and the photography, graphics and art design of the cover photo. Lots of photos were taken throughout the recording process, as well as videography, which is to be edited for "the making of" video. I called on my friend Bobbie Katz to handle PR.
I had the introduction rehearsal with Mark and Rick on May 20. Beginning on May 28, Edwin and I laid the scratch vocals and keys, giving me the foundation for producing all tracks. Let me just say, with 21 pages of 8.5x14 full of notes and rhythms, I know I can write a kickin' chart; however, the right team of musicians is imperative, or it doesn't matter what I wrote. T R U T H !
On May 29, I brought Mark and Rick in and laid the foundation rhythms, all about the bass line as the navigator. On June 2, Tom Ehlan laid the trumpets, and on June 4, Remmel and Alex laid the saxophones and trombones. T-Bone and I finished with the guitars and keys over the next few days.
I scheduled the vocals for June 14, when Edwin and I would knock all of those out in one session. However, on the evening of June 13, I received a phone call from Remmel's wife Beverly. Remmel had passed away on June 11. I was in shock...I tried to conference call Edwin...he wasn't answering. Beverly then asked me not to tell him until we wrapped the next night, and I agreed I felt it was best, as well. I knew it would be hard enough for me, much less struggling to finish the recording process if everyone knew.
Finishing my phone call with her, I called Mark, the only person I could tell at that moment. He and Remmel were great friends and kept in touch. After all, we all travel together: We are family! Mark offered to come to the studio the next evening (for moral support) on the premise that he just wanted to hear the mix, not having heard it as of yet.
As hard as it was...no sleep...up all night crying, not understanding why someone so seemingly healthy could be gone so quickly...missing our brother, our friend, someone who had traveled with us for almost 8 years, I did what I had to do. I could've gotten someone in Las Vegas to lay the tracks and not fly Remmel in from Tahoe, but I couldn't imagine producing this tune without him. I'm SO very happy I made the choices I did, because we were able to work with Remmel that "one more time." Believe me when I say it's not enough.
Drawing my strength from T-Bone and Edwin, listening to them interacting, laughing and joking, helped, but it was the hardest session I've ever done. We had a split session, taking a break that day, and when we arrived back T-Bone had stumbled onto the news on Facebook. It was all over the place, traveling very quickly. I had to shush him as we were getting out of the car, as I needed Edwin to stay focused.
Mark and Audrei, his wife, showed up later, and once we wrapped, I broke the news to Edwin that his Bud-Ternal twin was gone. It hit us all so hard that it made me even MORE determined to make sure the story is "out there," the tune is "out there," that it takes flight and shows the world just one more time the masterful musical art of Remmel Wilson, Jr. However, I needed a grand central station to elevate this project higher: MUSIC STREET USA now, made all the sense in the world. It was time!
I don't know where this "label" is going, as I can't say I actually consciously created it, but when you know something is just RIGHT, you feel it. I am so grateful for my musical team, as each one is so professional, we're all friends, we're all supportive of each other, you feel the love, and I've always said, "I LOVE MY GUYS! I HAVE THE BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD!" If you don't believe that after you hear, "GRANNY'S GOT A TRAMP STAMP!" then I have no reason to try and convince you. I hope to be able to bring more of my/our originals to fruition, as I believe MUSIC STREET USA is here for a reason.
May God bless each of you reading this. May you always treasure those around you, whom you love. May you always remember that "one more time" is never good enough, helping you to realize how important loving those around you really is. Most of all, don't just tell them you love them, SHOW them! You never know when it's your last chance.
Thank you for taking the time to read how MUSIC STREET USA was created,
Owner and President
September 13, 2015