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Empress Blog

Ryan Hanna

Grinding the Gears of the Wheel Sometimes I find myself becoming a little homesick, I miss my friends, and I miss the beach. It’s only natural that being in one location your whole life will ingrain countless memories. The one thing that I miss the most about back home was how everyone carried themselves, it was something almost unexplainable and special. So, when I first met Ryan Hanna and he welcomed me into his gallery I got a sense that reminded me of the people that I grew up with. On a quick break from his other gig and a cup of coffee in hand, he dusted off a few chairs, and we went into it. Empress: You started off with drawing? Ryan Hanna: Yeah, I was drawing in high school and then I hadn’t really done anything until Christmas…

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Stef Burns & Peppino D’ Agostino

Divina Commedia, Among Other Rare Talents: In an empty theater, the night before their show, Stef Burns and Peppino D’Agostino took a few moments out of their hectic schedule to do an interview. As they made me laugh and spoke in multiple languages we got around to discussing a little bit of their history, music, and food. Empress: How was soundcheck? Stef Burns: Excellent yeah yeah sound check and practice. Peppino: Yeah, we are so thankful that we could come the day before and rehears because it was tough to find a rehearsal place this time usually, we actually rehearse at Stef’s place. Stef Burns: We move the table, move the chairs, move the sofa, and set up. Plus Campitelli our drummer he came in with umm… what do you call that box, Cajon? Peppino: Cajon, Cajon. Stef Burns: It’s

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Blayze Ford

Never Stop Never Quit: Due to multiple surgeries there was a time when she was not walking. If she could not lean on crutches or somebody else she could not move on her own. Though that did not stop Blaise Ford from following her passion and ascending over many obstacles. She made her own path and it shows with steady rhythmic songs like Damned and Dark Rider where the Bay Area sound is well conveyed. Empress: That was my first time watching you, it seems like you have been doing this for a long time? Blayze: Technically it’s been twenty years of grooming. I guess I didn’t intend to start to be a performing artist, I’m a writer. So, I was always saying I’m gonna write songs for some of the big names, do this, do that, and I recorded

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Oz Noy

It Takes Three to Tango: It was November 13th at around 9:45 pm when Dave Weckl went into a drum solo towards the end of their set. I liked feeling the anticipation of waiting for Oz Noy and Hadrien Feraud to come back in and continue playing. They were so laid back as they stood on stage watching Dave and after meeting Oz Noy, he was exactly that. I got to follow him around as he packed up his gear and mingled with some of his fans. Empress: How did you three meet? Oz Noy: I can’t remember how I met Dave but I have know him for a long time maybe over ten years maybe twelve years now. We did a lot of tours together, Hadrien I knew him for a long time, and the last couple years we

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Raul Midon

The Lone Wolf: Earlier during sound check when Raul Midon was under the lights he mentioned that one of them was too bright and though Raul cannot see I realized that he was going off the feeling of the heat from the bulbs. Later that night I met him for the first time. He sat across from me warming up on his acoustic guitar and from the quick glimpse I caught up close and personal it was truly something else to watch his hands move. Empress: You are going to Europe, what do you have planned over there? Raul Midon: Just a bunch of touring. Empress: Is it going well so far? Raul Midon: Yeah. Empress: Your lyrics are very heartfelt and seem to come deep from within, especially in a song like everybody, how do you dig into that

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Mindi Abair

Is It the Wine or Is It the Music? On Friday afternoon I sat down with singer and saxophonist Mindi Abair from Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers and her husband Eric Guerra who has worked with some of the most distinguished wineries in the North Bay.  Right from the start their warm and friendly personalities came though as we dove into our conversation about their recent marriage, creating music, and their new establishment Reserve Tastings Wine Company. Empress: Are you enjoying Northern California? Mindi: I love it I am having so much fun, I get to be joined at the hip with Eric and wine is his business, it’s pretty awesome to be in that world, and he comes into my world which is music. Eric: If we can’t sell what we have we can always eat, drink, and listen

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Empress Theatre

330 Virginia St, Vallejo CA 94590

Box Office

707-552-2400
Tue – Sat, 11AM – 4PM