Chakra Bleu - BIO - Writer for all Chakra Bleu songs; Producer; Lead & Harmony Vocals; Acoustic & Electric Rhythm Guitar; Mandolin; Keys
You can definitely feel the trail-blazing effect of Chakra Bleu’s Soulful Americana Vibe that flows with an upbeat current of intriguing and empowering intensity. 'Magnetic' and 'Passionate', are words to describe how this captivating artist connects with her audience.
Chakra Bleu is an Americana artist, based in Nashville, Tennessee and has recorded and produced nine albums since having moved to Music City USA in 1990. She was born in Spokane, Washington.
Around the age of six she recalls an evening whereby her parents were watching 'The Late Night Show'. While engaged in a colouring book on the living room floor, she dropped her crayons, when a man dressed all in black started singing a song while strumming his guitar. His voice and presence were so mesmerising. It was Johnny Cash!
Soon thereafter she was enthralled with country music along with an insatiable intrigue for the guitar. Clearly noticing her curiosity, her parents set her up with guitar lessons in the first grade. She continued playing guitar through grade school and applied her guitar and singing skills by leading the music at church services. She began writing songs in the eighth grade. She taught herself bass as a Freshman in High School and played in the jazz band, carving the way for yet another style of music that highly influenced her music. Also at this time she taught herself the basics on the piano. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelors of Education, having degrees in music and exercise physiology. Chakra expanded her music education by playing in country, rock bands, and recording her songs in local studios.
A month after graduation she took a job teaching English in Paris, FRANCE, at the Academie Linguistic Franco-Americaine. Arriving back in the US, Chakra Bleu knew she needed to move to a major music centre to improve her writing, performing, and producing skills. She took a quick trip to Nashville to check out the vibe, and also sang in her first songwriters nights at Bluebird Cafe and Douglas Corner to get her 'feet wet.'
She loved Music City, USA and the rest is history.
Emmylou Harris; Willie Nelson; Johnny Cash; Roseanne Cash; Waylon Jennings; Buck Owens;
Loretta Lynn; Patsy Cline; Patti Lovelace; Mary Chapin Carpenter;
Hank Williams Sr.; Lefty Frizzell; Glen Campbell; Merle Haggard; Lacy J. Dalton
Pretenders; Fleetwood Mac; Annie Lennox; Heart; Hall & Oates; Tom Petty; Boston; Eagles; REM; Bruce Springsteen; Journey;
Bonnie Raitt; Stevie Ray Vaughn; Eric Clapton; Billie Holliday; Delbert McClinton
Ella Fitzgerald; Sara Vaughn; George Benson; Frank Sinatra; Glenn Miller; Lena Horne; Jango Reinhardt
Allison Mose; Tony Bennett; Dave Brubeck; Zoot Sims; ; Wynton Marsalis; John Coltrane; Miles David
Miles Davis; Nat King Cole Trio; Thelonious Monk; Artie Shaw; Larry Carlton...many more
Album information and Radio successes
Chakra Bleu’s 9th album, ‘Living Life Grand’(2020), dishes out a delectable blend of Americana including a fine array of love songs, a hauntingly powerful ‘Me Too’ and a Native American Indian song; a proud Southern-Rock tongue’n cheek song that includes passion intermingled with a Red F-150 truck, as well as a song roughin’ it in on the thick of South Fork; Oneida Tennessee. Put on your hat and get ready for quite the road trip full of fun and adventure, because this artist lives and breathes this type of lifestyle!
The single 'I'd Rather Stand Alone' is climbing the Americana charts (Jan. 2020)
She has received airplay from various cuts off her CD’s on Top 40, A/C, Country, AAA, Americana radio in the USA as well as Europe. She has been the Headliner/Spotlight artist at Nashville’s beloved Bluebird Cafe and BMI Showcases; playing top listening venues in Music City USA; as well as being granted the ‘Arena award Feb.1999. (This prestigious honor has been granted to few other acts such as Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Jo Dee Messina, etc. who’ve contributed an inspiring presence in their community.)
Quoted by Dave Carew for Nashville Underground
“Chakra Bleu is - hands down-one of the most original and distinctive Americana/Pop-Rock artists ever to grace the underground Nashville music scene. Inspired by everything from the styling of bands like Heart and the Cowboy Junkies, to transcendent New Age thought, she has forged, over the past decade, some of the most uplifting, eclectic, thought-provoking, and empowering music ever created in Music City,USA.”
A festive vibe of Island-Reggae, R&B, Pop/Rock had fans playing her songs from ‘Our Own Paradise’, (Chakra’s eighth album), on their favorite summer mixes. Her first media single release, ”We Shall Overcome’, digs in with a message pertaining to equality & justice. It’s empowering vibe leades one to feel what this artist really is about: INTEGRITY. This sincere, and yet rebel infused INTEGRITY gives credence to her compelling presence as not only a successful recording artist, yet also that of an insightful messenger and leader. This album, received favorable response on the Americana chart along with the crossover single ‘Be My Love’ reaching #5 on the Indie World Country Music Report.
Chakra Bleu’s 7th CD ‘ALL OF ME’ had amazing chart action: The title single ‘All Of Me’ charted #2 on Top 40 as well as #1 on Indie Tope 40, holding for FIVE weeks! That’s not all - yes and then #7 on Top 100! The second single, ’The Shadow’ went to #4 on (NMW) Top 40.
Her6th CD ‘SOUVENIR’ had five singles simultaneously bedazzle Top 40, Country Main & Indie Charts (sts) with ‘Weathered the Storm’ (#8); ‘She Walks Alone’ (#17); Top 40 Main Charts with ‘Sabotage‘ scoring TOP DEBUT single & charting (#8); ‘Anyday Now’ charting at (#10) for three weeks, as well as(#4) on Top 30 Indie Charts!; ‘Addicted To You’, on Americana Charts,and also making the Spotlight on Cashbox Magazine.
Chakra Bleu’s fifth album single from YOU’RE THE ONE, ‘When I Hold Your Hand’ charged AAA and Americana airwaves, charting #5 on STS Top 30 Indie Chart and #27 on STS Top 40 Main Chart! Her prior single, ‘Hopelessly In Love’ from the Seize the Day album, scored big as well, making it to #16 on the national A/C chart.
Chakra Bleu - (A personalised detailed BIO written by the artist) - Singer/Songwriter/Producer
It all started with my older brother’s guitar, which was collecting dust in his room. I was six years old at the time and would sneak up to his room when he was gone, and couldn’t keep my hands of it. I am ever grateful to my parents who took notice of my infatuation with that guitar, and provided guitar lessons for me in the first grade.
I never stopped playing from that first lesson on. For the next twelve years, I got a lot of practice playing and singing every Sunday in front of the big congregation, at the church my family attended.
I wrote my first song at thirteen years old. Thanks to my brother’s music collection, I was influenced the best Rock n’ roll still to this day….Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Eagles, Billy Joel, Genesis, Doobie Brothers, Pretenders, Heart, U2 and countless other records that I played on his stereo over and over again, - uh , while he was away at ball practice. I also had a deep affinity towards country music. This didn’t make any sense, since no one in my family particularly liked that style, or even played a musical instrument for that matter. I was spellbound by Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Hank,Waylon ‘n Willie, George Jones, and traditional country artists in general.
Once in high school, I taught myself how to play the bass guitar and had a blast playing the jazz standards in the school jazz band. I also had meanwhile taught myself how to play the piano which led to many new original songs being written during that time. I also sang with the chorus and vocal jazz ensemble. Meanwhile, I was an avid athlete, but it was the passion I had in music that drove me forward to pursue a music degree at Eastern Washington University. I earned a four year academic scholarship as well as a music scholarship.
In college I not only learned valuable skills, such as vocal performance, music theory, and recording experience, but also started branching off into several bands. My first band was Grunge-Rock. I sang originals, and accompanying myself with an electric guitar (remember, Spokane was just across the state from Seattle). A little later I joined a top-40 band, playing keyboards and singing backup vocals. I also sang in a country band for a couple years, singing lead and playing the bass. I quickly tired of doing cover songs. I also learned that you didn’t tell the crowd that you were about to do an original, because they wouldn’t get out and dance. You’d do it the other way around and announce it at the end of the dance.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education with my degree in music and exercise physiology, I taught a couple years, while continuing to play in bands on the weekends. I knew at that point that in order to improve as a songwriter and performer, I would need to immerse myself in L.A, Nashville, or New York. I had taken a trip to Nashville on the spring break, the last year I taught, and fell in love with the energy and beauty of Nashville and moved the following September of 1992. I immediately started playing songwriter’s nights. A couple years later I formed my own band doing what would be coined now as, ‘Americana’- yes, I was ‘Americana before Americana was cool. Ha!. Eventually, I gained a substantial following and was featured the Spotlight Artist several times at the Bluebird Café. I produced my first album in 1995. I closely studied the production styles of my favorite country producers at the time, which was Owen Bradley, Emory Gordon Jr., Garth Fundis, and Jimmy Bowen. The biggest pearl I learned from these giants was to create space in the music and let the complimenting instruments put the icing on the cake, so to speak, in between the phrases. Let one phrase be decorated with the fiddle and the next, a steel guitar, per se.
One night after a show, one of my friends who was a devoted fan for several years now, asked me,
“Could you do a show just of your pop-rock songs?” At this point the set consisted of 14 country/Americana type songs and two to three songs that were on the pop/rock side.
I said, “you mean here in Nashville?!! …uh, I don’t know…I don’t think that would go so good around here….but I’ll think about it.”
“Oh, common – just, one show? What would that hurt? Just try it!”
So, I mustered up some courage and tried it one night over at Douglas Corner. Well, it went over better than good, and I never turned back. I flipped the ratio, to where I was doing 90 percent pop/rock and 10 percent Americana, just for fun. I STILL love that typle of music!
I was penning a lot of pop/rock then – a DIFFERENT type of pop/rock that actually consisted of many of the songs having lyrics that included insightful messages in them . These songs had something to say, invoking a person to question their experience of life a little deeper. Yes, there was plenty of love songs that were on the lighter side of things. I liked the new freedom that pop/rock gave me as a writer. I still was a stickler for good structure, cadence, and melodies. The lyrics read now like a mystery, - an adventure, a search inside the mind and soul.
With the new style, came a new name: CHAKRA BLEU. It was a tongue in cheek, twist on words. The blue chakra in our throat area is where we all express ourselves through creative avenues. I spelled blue, b-l –e- u, to give the name a unique twist – besides, the vibe of my music is up-beat – much different from the heavy moodiness of the Blues style of music. Don’t get me wrong: I highly regard the blues. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Aretha Franklin can grab my heart and shake it inside out. You’ll hear their influences in several of my songs as well.
1995 was the year I produced my first full length album titled ‘Don’t Make Me Choose’. Yep, it actually a cassette and now their coming back! The genre was Americana (before Americana was cool!) It was recoded at Eastside Sound in East Nashville (before East Nashville was cool as well!) Lol.
2000 I produced my second album titled ‘The Hidden Mirror’. This was recorded at True Tones studio and engineered by David Henry who has worked with Josh Rouse and Cowboy Junkies. Thanks to the promoter, Bill Wence, this CD received strong airplay on Triple A and Americana stations across the U. S. , as well as radio stations in several countries in Europe.
At this time, I also was granted the “Arena Award” by the Music World University” . This honor has been granted to other acts such as Reb McEntire, Dolly Parton, Jo Dee Messina and more, who have contributed an inspiring presence in their community.
In 2003, CHAKRA BLEU released the next CD titled, ‘How Long.’ The title release songs also received airplay on Triple A, college, and NPR format radio stations across the U.S. The ever increasing popularity of Chakra Bleu allowed the opportunity to be the Headliner Act for BMI shows, as well as landing the front cover of Nashville’s late ‘Shake Magazine’ which covered up and coming pop/rock acts as well as famous rock acts of the past.
2006, I released the fourth powerhouse CD titled, ‘Seize the Day’. This was produced by myself, Chip Woody – who has worked alongside producer Peters Collins overseeing acts such as Indigo Girls, Elton John,etc. Steve Alexander added his magic on the remix and co-produced the song ‘Black Madonna’ on this album.
This album caught the attention of Tom Mazzetta – one of the top radio promoters, whose worked with Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Elton John, Heart, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and many more. Thanks to Mazetta promotions, CHAKRA BLEU’S single, ‘Hopelessly In Love’ climbed the A/C charts to number sixteen, on the FMQB charts, hitting the most added song in just four weeks.
My 5th CD came out 2010 titled ‘YOU’RE THE ONE’. The 1st album single, ‘When I Hold Your Hand, charged AAA and Americana airwaves, charting #5 on Top 30 Indie Chart and #27 on Top 40 (sts) Main Chart!
My 6th CD, ‘6th CD ‘SOUVENIR’, (2012) had five singles simultaneously bedazzle Top 40, Country Main & Indie Charts (sts) with ‘Weathered the Storm’ (#8); ‘She Walks Alone’ (#17); Top 40 Main Charts with ‘Sabotage‘ scoring TOP DEBUT single & charting (#8); ‘Anyday Now’ charting at (#10) for three weeks, as well as(#4) on Top 30 Indie Charts!; ‘Addicted To You’, on Americana Charts,and also making the Spotlight on Cashbox Magazine.
My 7th CD ‘ALL OF ME’, (2014) had amazing chart action: The title single ‘All Of Me’ charted #2 on Top 40 as well as #1 on Indie Tope 40, holding for FIVE weeks! That’s not all - yes and then #7 on Top 100! The second single, ’The Shadow’ went to #4 on (NMW) Top 40.
My 8th album, ‘OUR OWN PARADISE’ (2017); Produced by Chakra Bleu; Recorded and engineered by John Billings at Funky Tymz Studio here in Nashville. I took great care to create this ablum project with a festive vibe of Island-Reggae, R&B, Pop/Rock genre. The first media single release, ‘We Shall Overcome’ digs in with a message pertaining to equality and justice. This album received favorable response on the Americana chart with the crossover single, ‘Be My Love’ reaching #5 on the Indie World Country Music Report.
This brings me to my 9th and most current 2020 album, ‘LIVING LIFE GRAND’, dishing out a delectable blend of Americana, which includes a fine array of love songs, a hauntingly powerful ‘Me Too’ song; a heart wrenching Native American song; a proud Southern/Rock tongue’n cheek songs that includes passion intermingled with a Red F-150 truck, as well as a song roughin’ it in the thick of Big South Fork, Oneida Tennessee. I wrote, sang and produced this album that would inspire folks to put on their hat while driving the back country roads of fun and adventure. Well, truth, be known, this artist lives and breathes this type of lifestyle!
The first single, “I’d Rather Stand Alone”, has been making quite the mark for itself. Stay tuned about it’s progress that’s expected to go full steam ahead the first of the year on Americana stations throughout the USA!
Yes, there have been several singles released in between the albums. One falls under the Dance genre, titled, ‘WHEN WE DANCE’. There are countless more that you can find on the music section on this website or major online stores.
As an artist - a professional Recording Artist; Songwriter and Producer based in Music City, USA (Nashville, TN), I find immense joy in providing y’all, the listening audience, with songs that bring YOU joy, empowerment, insight, thought-provoking moments that may be just what you needed to hear that giving day, week, etc. I realise that many people especially now, really like to listen to many genres, as well being open to various thought provoking songs.I make it a point to write, record and produce various genres that capture all the avenues of the heart and mind, be it Happy, Sad, Lonely, Rebellious, Confused, Curious, Mad, Hopeful, Sexual, Fun, Getcha Party Time On, Wonderment, Reverent, Grateful, Loving and yes - all those I didn’t mention.
I am CHAKRA BLEU. My music was created out of Joy, to give to you to enjoy and help you recall the magnificence of who YOU ARE!