This has been an interesting year for me. I have always felt like growing up in the Northwest, in a rather unassuming community, that I never would be a star, nor even star-adjacent. I know a ton of folks who are talented, but none of them have pursued a life in the spotlight. Sure, there was that one former student of my parents who became an opera singer, and then that one guy I went to high school with who got eliminated off a really stupid reality show two episodes in. But it wasn’t until this year that a couple of people I know came into the spotlight. So, I’m excited to announce my “Folks I Know” edition of Music Monday.
Diane Birch Valentino
I knew Diane when she was but a small fry. I was an older teenager and she was 13 or some such. My parents and her parents were in the same social circle; though we weren’t close, they would be considered friends of the family. She was always an amazing pianist; when she was in her early teens she used to play the grand piano at the big Nordstrom’s store in Portland. But she never sang. So I was very surprised when my brother drew my attention to her debut album, Bible Belt, where she is the singer, musician and songwriter. She has had some national publicity, including being on the Ellen Show and David Letterman. I like her bluesy voice and her lyrics.
Poema 2 A.M.
Up and comers! Sisters Shealeen and Elle Puckett (with their brother Christian on percussion) make up Poema, where they perform on keyboard and guitar as well as writing their own songs. These talented and adorable girls are former students of mine. They come from a very musical family, and have always performed together, which led to them deciding to take music seriously and pursue a recording career. This summer they toured with the Warped Tour, performing in the “Girlz Garage”. Just a couple of weeks ago they were up for the vote on MTVu’s “The Freshmen“, where new artists are given airtime based on the public’s vote. They came in a close second, but I expect to see great things from these girls. (See their official video for this song here, because I can’t embed it.)
Sea Wolf The Violet Hour
I do NOT know Sea Wolf. However, some gorgeous friends of mine are in their video! My SoCal friends Chelsea and Ashley got in as extras in this video. Chelsea is in the grey sweater with a long ponytail; she’s part of couple number 7. Ashley is in a baby pink sweater with the short blonde hair in couple number 16. I love this song, too!