In this crazy modern world where life moves at breakneck speed and a constant array of distractions threatens to pull us away from the things that truly matter, it’s a rare gift to find an emerging singer/songwriter who finds a magical moment in the madness to look around, give thanks and boldly declare, to quote the title of Alexandra Celano’s stirring debut, I’m Overcome. Whether fans connect with her deep faith in the divine or simply enjoy her exuberant country/Americana pop/rock from a secular perspective, they’re bound to be moved and inspired by the infectious vibe and soulful energy she brings to the 11 tracks that truly take listeners on the journey of her life.
Helping the Orange County, California based Celano realize her vision—and longtime deferred dream of being a recording artist—is Ed Tree, who has produced over 70 indie projects in the Americana, AAA, Blues, Folk and Country genres and recorded or toured with Spencer Davis, Rita Coolidge, Juice Newton, and Al Stewart. Tree’s credits include two Corey Stevens sets that hit the top five on Billboard’s Blues Chart, a #1 on the European charts with Lisa O’Kane and acclaimed discs by Brad Colerick and David Serby. Celano’s husband Bryan produced the holiday themed bonus track “A Child Is Born” and co-wrote two of the album’s songs, including “In This Place,” a beautiful, harmony driven ballad composed for a new chapel dedication at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.
As Celano builds her fan base from the ground up starting with regional church events and festivals, several tracks from I’m Overcome are gaining momentum on numerous Christian and country internet stations. Spiritco1 is spinning her heart-tugging tribute ballad to her “Grandpa,” the beautiful and worshipful “More Than A Man” and the percussive and rootsy, gospel flavored “Let The River Flow.” Christianmixinet is playing “More Than A Man” and the soaring, guitar driven “My Father’s Hands.” The singer is also spreading her infectious charms to Europe, where a hip Netherlands based country music program called the “Saloon” (www.brto.nl) and Celtic Roots Radio—an Ireland based folk/bluegrass station—is on top of the mid tempo fiddle laced title track whose joyful exultation sets the tone for the album.
She likes to call “I’m Overcome”—which is also currently receiving airplay on Indie104 in Los Angeles–her “toe tapper,” while “Let the River Flow” is the hand-clapper. When she performs live, one of the songs that seems to resonate the most is “Grandpa” because it taps into everyone’s love for that special relationship with someone in the family who taught them so many important things. Another poignant piece is “Dancing Angel,” which she wrote about a young family friend who was tragically killed by a drunk driver.
“As long as this album took me to make, I am 200 percent happy with the final product, which is an honest and genuine representation of my spirit and essence as a person and artist,” says Celano, who writes all her songs a capella before working with different musicians who help flesh out the chords. “Wherever you’re coming from on the spiritual spectrum, I believe you can appreciate its positive messages and the emotions that inspired me to write and sing them. The ironic part of the country vibe is that I didn’t grow up listening to country music, yet it’s just the natural way music emerges from me. I became a big fan of crossover country in the 90s, when artists like Martina McBride first came out, and that vibe just clicked for me and felt comfortable.”
A Southern California native, Celano grew up in a close-knit family with deep rooted faith and spent her childhood participating in school choirs and talent shows while taking piano, guitar and vocal lessons. Alexandra’s musical journey continued as she explored the Los Angeles music scene where she honed her skills as a demo/studio singer, sang with some local bands and performed in vocal showcases. She discovered her love for songwriting when she studied with veteran songwriting coach David “Cat” Cohen at UCLA Extension, and she later set out to write and record a mainstream country-pop album. As she began working on the project, she increasingly found herself pulling away from purely secular themes and drawing from her spiritual life as her musical foundation. When she met her musician husband Bryan, he encouraged her process of fusing those natural country/Americana inclinations with lyrics that could inspire both Christians and non-Christians alike.
“Whether I’m hearing from people who have heard my songs on myspace and the radio or feeling the intimate connection with audiences in the live setting, I love just knowing that my music is finally out there and having an impact on listeners. For so long, it was just me and my music and a dream to touch people’s lives with it, and I can truly say I’m Overcome with joy that these exciting new opportunities have come my way.”