Archive for January 2006

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January 19, 2006

TOP KIDS MUSIC STAR LAURIE BERKNER TO RELEASE FIRST-EVER ORIGINAL MUSIC VIDEO COLLECTION AT STARBUCKS AND TRADITIONAL RETAIL

(New York, NY) On February 14, 2006 Razor & Tie Entertainment, Two Tomatoes Records and Starbucks Hear Music will co-release the first-ever original music video collection from children's music superstar Laurie Berkner and her band entitled We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band, a collection of 11 original music videos packaged with a bonus CD featuring five original songs. Berkner, whose videos have become a staple on Noggin (Nickelodeon's pre-school network), is now the top-selling children's singer in the country. This new music video collection marks the first time Starbucks Hear Music has co-released a family entertainment title. We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band will be available at Starbucks Company-operated locations in the U.S. as well as traditional retail outlets in February.

The Laurie Berkner Band received significant media attention in 2005, with highlights including segments on Good Morning America and The Today Show, and a headlining slot on the first Jamarama Live! tour, a unique interactive kids' musical experience. Time Magazine lauded Laurie as "a kind of sippy-cup Sheryl Crow...Berkner inhabits a kid's curious perspective in her lyrics and pens folk-pop melodies that bear repeated - very repeated - listenings." Child Magazine called Laurie "the kind of kids' singer whose songs parents sheepishly play even when their children aren't around."

"Starbucks Hear Music is proud to collaborate with Laurie Berkner, Two Tomatoes Records and Razor & Tie Entertainment to offer our customers an engaging family entertainment music title, We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band," said Ken Lombard, president, Starbucks Entertainment. "This co-release further demonstrates our commitment to helping our customers discover new, quality music in all genres, including innovative music for families."

"We are very excited about releasing the new Laurie Berkner DVD," Razor & Tie co-owner Cliff Chenfeld added, "She has built a significant fan base of loyal parents and kids and they are going to love this collection of music videos. That Starbucks has chosen to collaborate with Two Tomatoes Records and Razor & Tie to release We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band as their first family-entertainment music title adds to her credibility and accomplishments."

This music video collection was produced by award-winning producer Jane Startz. Jane Startz's many film credits include Miramax's Ella Enchanted, Disney's Tuck Everlasting and Paramount's The Indian in the Cupboard, and her television credits include the multiple Emmy Award-winning PBS show, The Magic School Bus.

A New York City-based mother, Laurie Berkner turned her experience as a preschool music specialist by day and rock singer by night into a career as one of the biggest names in music for families. Over the past several years, Laurie's intelligent yet accessible songwriting, warm, captivating vocals and ridiculously infectious melodies have garnered awards, rave reviews, a national touring base and huge CD sales on her home-grown label Two Tomatoes Records, which is distributed by Razor & Tie.

"I have always thought that making videos would be another good way to connect musically with kids," said Berkner. "The visuals add a new dimension to the songs, and my hope is that by watching us while they are listening to the music, kids will be even more encouraged to move their bodies. I'm excited to finally be able to put out this DVD!"

We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band is a collection of 11 music videos, including "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz);" "Victor Vito;" "We Are the Dinosaurs;" and "Pig on her Head." Included in the package is a five-song bonus audio CD of some of The Laurie Berkner Band's best-known hits and the new song, "Walk Along the River." Laurie wrote the song shortly after the birth of her first baby. "At that time I was taking many walks along the Hudson River. I was inspired both by watching the water and watching my daughter Lucy smile whenever I played it for her." Bassist Brian Mueller (and Laurie's husband) takes the lead vocal on the traditional song, "O Susannah." The collection also contains extras such as a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of the videos in the collection, a live on-the-set version of "I'm a Mess," and hand movements to "Moon Moon Moon."

The Laurie Berkner Band is: Laurie Berkner (vocals, guitar), Brian Mueller (bass) and Susie Lampert (keyboards).

We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band music video collection track listing:
1. "I'm Gonna Catch You"
2. "We are the Dinosaurs"
3. "Victor Vito"
4. "Walk Along the River"*(previously unreleased)
5. "Under a Shady Tree"
6. "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)"
7. "O Susannah'
8. "The Goldfish"
9. "Pig on her Head"
10. "Moon Moon Moon"
11. "Credits/Telephone" (live)

Bonus audio CD track listing:
1. "Walk Along the River"* (previously unreleased)
2. "We Are the Dinosaurs" (from Whaddaya Think of That?)
3. "Telephone" (from Buzz Buzz)
4. "I'm Gonna Catch You" (from Under A Shady Tree)
5. "The Happiest Song I Know" (with Tom Chapin from his album Some Assembly Required)

January 13, 2006

RAZOR & TIE FORTIFIES PUBLISHING DIVISION; JOHNSON NAMED SENIOR VP, MUSIC PUBLISHING

(New York, NY) In keeping with its status as one of the country's most successful and fastest-growing independent entertainment companies, Razor & Tie Entertainment is proud to announce the strengthening of its music publishing division. The company has tapped J.W. Johnson as Senior Vice President, Music Publishing to head up the division, based at the company's headquarters in New York City. The announcement was made by Razor & Tie Co-Owners Cliff Chenfeld and Craig Balsam, to whom Johnson will report. Balsam commented, "We have made a strategic decision to focus on and grow our publishing business in a very aggressive way. J.W. is the perfect guy to lead this charge". Said Johnson, "I have wanted the opportunity to build a serious publishing business and Razor & Tie provides the perfect platform". Johnson was most recently Senior Director, Writer/Publisher Relations for BMI.

Johnson began his career in the entertainment field in 1981 as Managing Partner of The Cottonwood Cafe, a landmark restaurant/club in the New York City music scene where many local luminaries such as Shawn Colvin, Lisa Loeb, Jesse Harris and Marc Cohn played in the early stages of their career. From 1996-1997, Johnson was Founding/Managing Partner of Hotel Galvez, a prime entertainment destination and oasis for singers/songwriters in New York City's Lower East Side.

In 1998, Johnson was named Director of Operations for Hello Newman, Inc., the parent company of the burgeoning Two Boots restaurant and entertainment empire, in New York, New York. Two years later, in 2000, Johnson was appointed Senior Director, Writer/Publisher Relations for BMI (also in New York, NY), a position he held for five and a half years. At BMI, Johnson worked with such artists as Norah Jones, Vanessa Carlton and Gavin DeGraw.

Since the company's inception fifteen years ago, Razor & Tie has had a music publishing business with a range of copyrights from artists signed to the label. Razor & Tie's relationships with the TV/Film, advertising and video game communities have already resulted in significant placement for the roster's published songwriters. The invigoration of the new division with its already extant in-house collection, administration and accounting departments, has Razor & Tie poised to make great strides in its publishing business with an emphasis on career writers and artists who desire a publisher that offers a unique combination of focus and service.

To access an image of J.W. Johnson, Senior VP, Music Publishing, please click here:

http://www.razorandtiemedia.com/jwjohnson/