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The world is full of people who want to be a songwriter. Some of those people make it and others don’t. Jonathan Reid Gealt is singer/songwriter on the rise. With the release of his debut album Thirteen Stories Down on the Sh-K-Boom Record label, it’s evident Jonathan is here to stay! Much like Dolly Parton (though he’s no country girl), Jonathan knows how to write songs with heart, soul, and a multitude of emotions. His lyrics connect to so many different people, lifestyles, and experiences. If his debut CD is any indication, then it’s evident Jonathan’s music will be entertaining and inspiring us for years to come.

Gathering some of today’s rising theatre performers along with those more established, Jonathan not only knows how to write songs, but he knows the talent that should sing them. “Thirteen Stories Down” features Caissie Levy, Adam Chanler-Berat, Natalie Weiss, Quentin Earl Darrington, Carrie Manolakos, Will Chase, Kate Baldwin, Lauren Kennedy, Alysha Umphress, Adam Armstrong, Matt Doyle, Darius de Haas, Capathia Jenkins, and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess, Zak Resnick, Bridie Carroll, and the man himself, Jonathan Reid Gealt.

If you are looking for a singer/songwriter who knows how to connect with people, then I highly suggest picking up Jonathan Reid Gealt’s “Thirteen Stories Down” at Sh-K-Boom Records, iTunes, or Amazon.com. It’s a ride you will want to go on again and again!

 

 

Song Review:

“I Am Yours”

Is all about finding the one you love…sung splendidly by Caissie Levy. Using her magnificent belt, Caissie hits all the right notes adding much emotion to this beautiful love song. If you are looking for that perfect “couple” song, “I Am Yours” should be at the top of your list.

“I Won’t Have To Anymore”

Get the tissues out for this emotionally powerful, yet inspiring song about a young gay boy growing up with an abusive father and being strong enough to walk away on his own. Adam Chanler-Berat demonstrates with his vocals that he understands the emotion, intensity, and strength of this song.

“Quiet”

Tells the story of fear and how that fear keeps you quiet, but then overcoming that fear and not being quiet any longer. Natalie Weiss nails this song perfectly with her exceptionally controlled vocals from quietly singing the right notes to belting the stronger lyrics to demonstrate the emotions of realizing how letting out the fear will set you free.

“My Best Friend”

I think the title says it all, but this song tells the story of two guys who have been friends since childhood. A beautifully written song to show how friendships grow and change over the years and even though friends sometimes slightly drift apart, a true friendship will last the distance and when you see one another, it’s like no time has passed. Sung by Tituss Burgess and Quentin Earl Darrington, Jonathan made a wise choice choosing these two amazing performers because their voices mesh brilliantly together. Each using their own vocal style when singing separately, but when they come together, it’s pure delight the way they sing in unison.

“No Reason At All”

This song touches on the topic of a woman longing to better herself and her life and trying to figure out how to get there. Carrie Manolakos does a great job portraying the many emotions this woman goes through. Keeping her voice lower/quieter during the low times in this woman’s life and getting louder and louder, eventually moving into a big belt at the end when this woman realizes she can take the steps to better herself.

“September ‘92”

Taking the listener on a journey through this man’s trip down memory lane, Zak Resnick puts the “P” into Power. This is a great song for Zak to sing because it really showcases his vocals ever so brightly.

“Expectations of a Man”

A really witty and smart song about a woman discovering her lesbianism. Bridie Carroll’s energy and delightfully strong vocals make this song even more enjoyable!

“Lessons Learned”

People learn many lessons from their partners and this song touches on just some of those lessons learned. Jonathan knows talent and he again demonstrated it by combining the amazingness that is Kate Baldwin and Will Chase. Their vocals blend so well together. Let’s hope this combination leads to these two starring in a show together featuring this very song…

“Alex…You’re Fine!”

The always enjoyable Lauren Kennedy sings an entertaining song about a girl named Alex who’s a hypochondriac.

“Lovable”

Girl Power through and through! Detailing a woman’s knowledge that she deserves the love she seeks and she finds that love when she finally takes the step to move on. Alysha Umphress scores big with her skilled vocals and range.

“Stay/I’ll Never Go”

Watery eyes will surely follow as you listen to Adam Armstrong and Jonathan Reid Gealt beautifully sing this love song about a gay couple, where one is slowly dying. They hit each emotional state flawlessly.

“Wanting”

A great song about two gay guys who meet by chance and all the feelings/emotions that go with what happens when you meet someone you are attracted to for the first time. Matt Doyle and Darius de Haas superbly sing this song, adding a dimension to the fun and identifiable lyrics.

“Momma Don’t Cry”

Written for the 2008 Broadway in South Africa Concert and based on a poem by “Ana” this song is about a girl’s admiration for her mother who has sacrificed so much. Capathia Jenkins and the Broadway Inspirational Voices exquisitely sing this heartfelt and inspirational song!

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On Tuesday, December 14, be sure to pick up your copy of “Thirteen Stories Down,” the debut album from fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jonathan Reid Gealt is being released on the Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records’ label! Jonathan is a singer/songwriter who’s music will move, inspire, and most of all entertain you, for it’s honest, heartfelt, and relatable.

Featuring some of today’s best and brightest of Broadway including, fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess, Zak Resnick, and Bridie Carroll along with Caissie Levy, Adam Chanler-Berat, Natalie Weiss, Quentin Earl Darrington, Carrie Manolakos, Will Chase, Kate Baldwin, Lauren Kennedy, Stephanie Umoh, Lindsay Mendez, Alysha Umphress, Adam Armstrong, Matt Doyle, Darius de Haas, Capathia Jenkins and the Broadway Inspirational Voices.

“Thirteen Stories Down” is the perfect CD to add to your collection! You can pick up the CD at Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, Amazon.com, or iTunes!

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Bridie Carroll is an award winning performer to be heard! She can belt the roof off a building and has the personality and stage presence to keep you captivated! Bridie has traveled the country regionally in North Shore Music Theatre’s “Disney’s High School Musical” and “Hairspray” (for which she won the Irne Award), Arundel Barn Playhouse’s “I Love A Piano,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “42nd Street,” The Boston Conservatory’s “City of Angels” and “The Rivals,” New London Barn Playhouse’s “The Music Man,” “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” “A Chorus Line,” “Annie,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers,” Aurora Theater’s “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” and “Godspell,” Mercyhurst College’s “The Apple Tree,” “Assassins,” and “The Fantastics,” and Conventry Conservatory’s “Anything Goes” and “Oklahoma.” Bridie has also been a soloist with the Boston Pops and currently she can been seen in the First National Tour of “Grease” as “Jan” alongside American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks through May 23. For more on Bridie, be sure to visit www.bridiecarroll.com!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Every musical I listened to as a little girl! I never really knew who anyone was I was just attracted to the music and the lyrics! I lived in Hong Kong so wasn’t around to know who and what was popular. It was just the thrill of performing! Today it’s Audra McDonald, Marin Maize, Christiane Noll, Lisa Howard, Laura Osnes, Lauren Kennedy, Christine Ebersole, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Quentin Earl Darrington, Brad Bass, Adam Armstrong, Jon Gealt, Ben Roseberry, Alice Ripley, Debra Monk, Bernadette Peters, lets be honest my list could go on and on and on.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I think a low E flat to a high E flat… but not sure it sounds good! Currently I sing to a high E flat in the show.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Just my silly Minnesotan accent, which I think everyone knows about 🙂

4. What is the best advice you’ve given, but not taken for yourself? Oh gosh…well if you ask my friends I give a lot of advice! And I should practice what I preach! We all deserve the best and to be patient because everyone has their own journey in life. Everyone’s individual path is unique and special and we should stay focused on our own journey and not wish we were on someone else’s.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Well it used to be Starbucks! But I am no longer allowed coffee or caffeine! So I am now a tea drinker, and I love TeaVana!

6. Books or Magazines? Books.

7. Favorite TV Show? Currently…..LOST and The Biggest Loser.

8. Favorite play/musical? “Follies,” “Man of LaMancha,” “Aida,” The Deaf West Theater’s production of “Big River!,” “August: Osage County.”

9. Favorite website? Facebook.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? um…..the perfect man? Whoever that is? Does that even exist….maybe just in my dreams!

12. Who do you consider to be your hero? My parents.

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In 2009, I was introduced to four amazingly gifted and talented singers/songwriters/composers: Scott Alan, Bobby Cronin, Katie Thompson, and Jonathan Reid Gealt, all of whom became “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants. I have also been fortunate to attend a concert of each of their music.  Tonight, I had the pleasure of attending “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” at The Canal Room. Jonathan’s music is sophisticated, contemporary, and at times quite humorous. He gathered some of the best musical theatre talent to sing his music tonight including the powerhouse vocals of Tituss Burgess (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant), Natalie Weiss, Lauren Kennedy, Jeremy Jordan, Bridie Carroll, Quentin Earl Darrington, and Zak Resnick. These performers not only knew how to bring Jonathan’s music to life, but how to knock it out of the park. I was blown away so many times tonight that a smile was kept across my face the whole time. One of the most touching moments was watching his proud mom see her son’s dream come true, especially after one of the songs was dedicated to her. Jonathan is on his way to greatness (he’s currently working on his debut musical “Forward” and a screenplay of his life). The next time his music is being presented, I will be there and hopefully you will too. For more on Jonathan and his music visit: http://www.jonathan-reid-gealt.com, http://www.myspace.com/jrgealt, and TheBestArts.com/jrsongs.

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Come to “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” in Concert this Monday, January 11 at 8pm at the legendary Canal Room in NYC. His music will be performed by some of today’s hottest Broadway stars including fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys & Dolls) and Katie Thompson (“R.R.R.E.D.,” “Giant”), as well as Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, Vanities, Les Miserables), Jeremy Jordan (West Side Story, Rock of Ages), Quentin Earl Darrington (Ragtime), Alysha Umphress (American Idiot), Bobby Steggert (110 In the Shade, Ragtime), Zak Resnick (Broadway Boys), Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime), Matt DeAngelis (Hair), Kasey Marino (Hairspray), Michael Mahany (High School Musical, Spring Awakening), Natalie Weiss (Wicked, American Idol), Adam Armstrong (History Boys), Bridie Carroll (Grease), Rachel Potter, and Jonathan Reid Gealt with music direction by Josh Clayton (Finnian’s Rainbow, City Center Encores).

To sample some of Jonathan’s music prior to the concert you can visit TheBestArts.com.

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Jonathan is currently working on his debut musical, Forward. The Forward demo recordings have gained buzz online and around the city with such Broadway heavyweights as Kelli O’Hara, Liz Callaway, Lauren Kennedy, Shoshana Bean, Michael McElroy, Jonathan Groff, Michael Arden, Lewis Cleale, Tituss Burgess, Max Von Essen, Marty Thomas, and more.

Jonathan’s music has been featured in concerts and venues in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Manila, Japan, Australia, London, and New York including the Broadway in South Africa Benefits, UNSUNG 2007, Miracle on 13th Street, Performers for Peace, Cutting Edge Composers II, The MNNV series, The Laurie Beechman, The Duplex, The Triad, The Canal Room, and the MAKOR. He also wrote jingles for The Barn Theatre’s 2003 summer season in Michigan.

Jonathan is a performer as well as a composer and some performing credits include [NEW YORK]: Jason Robert Brown: In Concert (Birdland), The Music of Lucy Simon (Joe’s Pub) Unsung 2007 (BCEFA Benefit), The Secret Garden (Hammerstein Ballroom), Rags (The Nokia Theater) and Miracle on 13th St. [NAT’L TOUR]: Junie B. Jones [REGIONAL]: Les Miserables (Atlanta Theater of the Stars, Kansas City Starlight, The Wolf Trap), MameAnnie Get Your GunThe Sound of Music (Saint Louis MUNY), Thrill Me (Stoneham Theatre), CatsJesus Christ Superstar (Barn Theatre). [FILM/TV]: Kidnapped (NBC), Across the Universe.

Jonathan has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops under the baton of Keith Lockhart and is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory.

To learn more about Jonathan, his music, his upcoming projects, and to purchase sheet music…check out the following two sites: http://www.jonathan-reid-gealt.com AND http://www.myspace.com/jrgealt. This Monday, January 11 at 8pm come hear “The Music of Jonathan Reid Gealt” in concert at The Canal Room with performances by some of today’s hottest Broadway stars.

1. Who inspired you to become a songwriter? Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown, Andew Lippa, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Sondheim, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, my best friends, and my mom.

2. If you could have anyone perform your music, who would you choose? Everyone! Ha! I’ve been really fortunate to work with some of my favorite singers of all time. However, Steven Pasquale, Gavin Creel, Audra McDonald, Caissie Levy, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Justin Timberlake, Laura Benanti, Kristin Chennoweth, Christina Aguilera, and Pink are just a few that are way up there.

3. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? If so, what did you consider doing? Not really. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Although, I did want to be a professional baseball player when I was a kid. Massage Therapy is also great!

4. What’s the best advice a teacher ever gave you? Stay true to yourself and everything you do will be original.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Swimming.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-Briefs!

7. Favorite play/musical? As far as musicals go, I have 3. “Ragtime,” “The Secret Garden,” and “Sweeney Todd.” As far as plays go, “The Pillowman” blew me away. “Reasons To Be Pretty” was incredible.

8. Favorite TV theme song? The Flintstones.

9. Favorite website? Youtube. Is that sad?

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman all the way!

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