magiksquirrel logo cover

I awoke on May 18, 2013 and all of a sudden I could hear the music…
in my head, my entire life was mapped into my brain. I had the incredible urge to play guitar, something I could never do, no matter how hard I tried. I could not only play, but more importantly, I could write the music on piano and drums… So, I began writing and writing the songs I hear inside: weird, unique mish-mash fusion of Blues, R&B, Punk, Jazz Rock and Americana. People were like ‘what are you doing?’ I was like, what would you do, ignore it? I had been a rock writer in the 1990’s, as well as a newspaper reporter and radio man and had the opportunity to cover many acts of all sizes and stages of their careers. Plus, I had spent the last 15 years staging festival and youth artist organizations. I just never had the gift myself before that day. –  @dancewsquirrels

Listen to the Live interview
Episode #326 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/05/25/episode-326-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW MAGIK SQUIRREL
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Interviewing:  Ric Oliveira

Mohawk name Dances with Squirrels
Ghost Writer name Dr. Bluestroke
I awoke on May 18, 2013 and all of a sudden I could hear the music…
in my head, my entire life was mapped into my brain. I had the incredible urge to play guitar, something I could never do, no matter how hard I tried. I could not only play, but more importantly, I could write the music on piano and drums… So, I began writing and writing the songs I hear inside: weird, unique mish-mash fusion of Blues, R&B, Punk, Jazz Rock and Americana. People were like ‘what are you doing?’ I was like, what would you do, ignore it? I had been a rock writer in the 1990’s, as well as a newspaper reporter and radio man and had the opportunity to cover many acts of all sizes and stages of their careers. Plus, I had spent the last 15 years staging festival and youth artist organizations. I just never had the gift myself before that day.

 

No Limits (w Thalia and Dalton)
third song on the 2nd album “Just Nutz” coming out in June. So, fast forward to 2015 and this young duo came to one of the SouthCoast Art Attack gigs – (a volunteer organization I run to develop young artists). So she was shy and he was quiet. Yet, they had something amazing with him on guitar and her on vocals. After a few more performances, I offered to take them into the studio to do one song – something they could have a shared license on and use for self-promotion and opportunities. But then, in the studio, they were just Magik. So an album that was going to feature one song with the duo and one with another young artist Abbie Gracie, turned into 9 with the duo as they took over the band. Did I mention Dalton is now 13 and plays guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, keys and sax. Thalia is going on 16 and plays guitar and keys and has a voice that is a cross between old school Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks. So “No limits” which is a song that really personifies how i feel about them and so many people out there, ended up being nominated for an International Portuguese Music Award and the kids became the youngest nominees in history. Thalia is Azorean.

Buy the music support the artist: https://itunes.apple.com/ky/album/no-limits-feat.-thalia-bulhoes/id1004698687

magiksquirrel_album_cover
The first album was theme album tell the story of Dangerous Mary…
and is mostly just me on it except with Wahoo, which is with Jon Comey, and Dances with Squirrels which features Steve Puccio on lead guitar. It is a really strange piece of fusion work that got me noticed and led to me getting a chance to compete for a Reverbnation Break Out Artist Competition. Won a spot as a New England Break Out Finalist. It also got me into Hard Rock Rising 2015 and Magik Squirrel became part of the 2015 Beantown Final 9.

The second album, “Just Nutz” is slightly more mainstream in that it has some straight-forward rock songs, but squirrels never like being in the middle of the road. It starts with rock fuzes into reggae and then not sure what the second song genre is, then no limits and then it just floats from one style to another. It is kind of like having a playlist of different genres just in one band.

Because it is multi-genre, I market the songs to different markets.

dalton and thalia_magiksquirrel

I live on the Rhode Island and Massachusetts border…
about 15 minutes from Providence. The music scene locally is dominated from youth bands many from my program.

Music business…
The music business has really changed since I covered it. In some ways, it is much worse and song quality is not very good. But yet, doubtful I could have done what we have done so far back in the day. The Internet allows us to have fans all over the world. I have learned to market in foreign languages. There is a great appetite for American music outside of the US market. You just have to be willing to work at finding your niche.

Pros and cons…
I run into the age thing. “You are too old!” So adding the kids only makes people even more nuts about it. It is their issue not mine. There is no age on stage – only pros. Dalton is one of the best guitarists around and he is 13… I don’t need to play in bars to reach people, so I stick to festivals and small concert venues and theaters and the Internets.

Hurdles and pitfalls…
I play till my fingers bleed so I can learn how to play the more complicated songs I hear in my head.

Social media…
It is good and bad. Really messed up the newspaper and radio business. But allows people to be connected and allows people to meet new people and fans and spread the art. So, it is a sword that you must handle carefully.

How do you feel about releasing singles vs an album..
I release singles and roughly half the album before I get to the album. It allows a way of staying out in front of the scene with new music coming out constantly.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Lightnin’ Hopkins. Cuz, I think we met the same Mary, different face, and different times but it was the same woman, I swear! He was a legendary blues master and he played guitar like it was connected to his soul. He was one of the masters of blues and he was haunted by a woman he called Mary.
Dalton would say Bob Marley… for the record.

I can only play what I hear in my head…
If it is old , new or trendy, it doesn’t matter. I go for weird and catchy, weird and catchy simple or complex it does not matter.

I am most afraid of…my bandmates

My personal definition of success is.. helping squirrels up the tree of life while laughing at the nuts stuck on the ground.

I was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1996…
while working for the Standard-Times of New Bedford for a series on Drugs, AIDs and the waterfront. I went undercover and wrote about people and the lifestyle they were stuck in.Telling people’ stories in their own words as real as possible is what I do even in song.

My over-all goal for my life & career is… to live forever!

3 Ways that I challenge myself…

1) learn more ways of playing guitar

2) learn how to play piano better

3) Write songs that Dalton struggles to play. Really, he is 13, i need to keep pushing the envelope with him!

LINKS:
magiksquirrel.com
facebook.com/pages/page/505907172841526
reverbnation.com/magiksquirrel
mtv.com/artists/magik-squirrel
soundcloud.com/magiksquirrel
twitter.com/dancewsquirrels
instagram.com/magiksquirrel/

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