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 News & Reviews

December 2007
Esther is finally up on Myspace!
Come & be a myspace "friend" - (like
Frankenstein warbled - "frand, frand")
Add your comments - & yourself :o)

November 2007
Esther's songs now available on
Broadjam - only 99 cents each!
Great for the holidays....

July 2007
Esther Valentine artist feature
on Broadjam

 February 14, 2007
Esther Valentine is the
"Buzz of the Week" on (and hurry, you
can buy 1/get one free for a
limited time!)

February 2007
Buy "Missing Mantra" or
"Can't Watch Yourself Dance"
at, and receive
a free, EV "Love Songs" CD!

January 20, 2007
Esther Valentine songs
now available  for 99 cents!

November 2006
Esther featured on "Cover-To-Cover"
KPFA-FM by Jack Foley
(hear this presentation now)

May 2006
Gold Artist Award for
"Missing Mantra" presented

April/May 2006
"Missing Mantra" reviewed by
Jack Foley on "The Gazebo"
(see reviews below for excerpt)

March 2006
"Missing Mantra" is playing on
97.1 FM Spectrum Radio!

February 2006
It's finally here!  "Missing Mantra,"
a collection of songs including
collaberations with friends from afar,
(India & Norway) as well as my own back yard...

Order Details

Another fantastic UK trip!
Invited to perform at
Pengersick Castle on
the Cornish Coast
More Brits are enjoying
EV music

Spent much of 2004 on two
screenplays, one of which is musical
reviewed by major studio

May 2004
Esther worked with one of
the members of Hiroshima

August/December 2003
Esther's rendition of the Cohan
song "Mary's A Grand Ol'
Name" appeared on Jack Foley's
radio presentation (
on George M. Cohan

March 2003
"Bravo" is now available!
This CD is fantastic!  Listen
to the song I co-wrote with
Gazpacho ("Novgorod"), and
learn more about this great band

February 12, 2003
Esther is featured on CD Street
for Valentine's Day!

February 10, 2003
Esther's collaberation
"Just Like Home" to appear
on the TV show
"The Shield"
(written w/Gregg Montante
and "Zamp")

January, 2003
Esther collaberates  with Gazpacho,
a great, alternative band from
Oslo, Norway -- to appear on
their release, "Bravo" in March
(their music is sheer transport!)

November 9, 2002
#1 on U.S. Alternative
Charts - Search MP3
(and Top 20 w/others)

Sept 20, 2002
Esther began collaberation with
great, Indian, composer/artists Tushar
and Suchita Parte

*Esther's music went to Europe*
POPKOMM, Sept. 2002

N.A.R 2002 Award Show
Is proud to announce that
Esther Valentine
has been nominated for a
2002 New Artist Radio Award

6/ 26 Esther's music now playing in France
on Frequence Mutine, 103.8 FM

6/22 KHAY RADIO STATION selected Esther (only 9 selected) to
perform/compete in Ventura, CA

VIDEO (Esther had the "noiv" sang her speech a cappella)
"Nashville Diary"

6/18 - 19 KRYSTAL THEATER danced to
"Can't Watch Yourself Dance"

IN NASHVILLE! (for New Artist Radio Upcoming Alternative Artist)

Inetprogramming built a radio station
to feature Esther's songs!

Ms. Valentine is now on the airwaves in
Denmark -- April 7, 2001

Esther is #3 on New Artist Radio!
March 1, 2001

See Esther Valentine's review in Music Connection below
(February 12, 2001)

Esther has received local as well as international airplay -- her music has  been heard in
California, Virginia, England, Canada, Spain, Australia, and even Romania
('guess Vlad liked it, too!)

"Can't Watch Yourself Dance" (CD) is now also available at "Mysteries,
Movies & Mayhem"
located in Sherman Oaks, California

Esther's song "Can't Watch Yourself Dance" will appear
in a Krystal Theatre Production in June, 2001

Esther was interviewed on "The Voice" radio

Music Connection                         

"Valentine's pro credits as a session singer prepared us for a well-executed listening
experience and, with this seven-song CD of original tunes, she does not disappoint.
Her performances are spot-on, complimented by lush arrangements that caress the ear."

Congratulations, we reviewed your music and have determined that you are a Gold Artist!
Listeners of our adult rock station who enjoy Sara McLaughlin will enjoy your music. Of the songs we reviewed,
we especially enjoyed Missing Mantra and False Profit. Excellent vocals. Cool mix of Western pop/rock music
and middle Eastern instrumentation in Missing Mantra.

earBuzz Review                                 

"A dancing high alto folk voice, ala Melanie, combined with the rock sense of Heart
and a completely original approach to songwriting - add well crafted pop/rock/folk/
Celtic/vocal songwriting and memorable choruses, and you'd be well on your way in
describing the music contained in Esther Valentine's 1999 CD, "Can't Watch Yourself
Dance". The 7-song recording is intimate, with guitar and piano supported by the
likes of accordions, flutes, at times a full rock band, and an entire string section.

  Valentine sings with an urgency that is reflected in the sheer quantity of words  that
  go by within the song - poetic and concise - and the interpretations, along  with the
  lion share of the lyrics, give Esther the room to move her voice around  the musical
  scales like a well trained acrobat - climbing scales, jumping octaves, and spreading
  her vivacious life through the vocal tracks (check out the vocals on  mp3 clip of
  "Can't Watch Yourself Dance," with cool 32nd note cool chaotic strums on acoustic
  guitar). There's a lot of musical territory covered within the record. In the final
  track, "If My Complaints Your Passions Move," Valentine ambitiously records a
  six-part? a cappella and early medieval Elizabethan vocal composition by John Dowland --  
  lyrics sing, 'Oh Lord I live and die in thee, thy grief in my deep sighs still speaks, thy
  wounds do freshly bleed in me, my heart for thy unkindness breaks.' Definitely not
  your typical folk/pop ditty - the depth in the chordal movements represent the musical
  training Valentine has received, and it is marvelously refreshing to hear .

  The highlight of the CD, however, is the third track, "Dreaming" - here, Valentine carves
  a gorgeous verse melody and an even richer chorus area - with a storytelling quality that's
  endearing and emotional. The verse climbs down in harmonic minor, hitting the major 3rd,
  while gently caressed by a mostly minor accompaniment - the contrast is magical. The
  chorus showcases the versatility in Esther's voice - as she hits the highest sweetest notes of
  the song with an almost power whisper - again, emotionally touching. Lyrically mystical,
  'something startling, it's so peculiar, but will you play me the whole song, I was drifting on
  a sea of sorrow, then someone called out for me, was I dreaming?"  Gorgeous, and one of our
  favorites we've ever received.

  In all, the record visits many musical territories and Esther Valentine is a tremendous story-
  telling vocal talent who is pure within the styles and focus of her craft - this is not typical
  pop fare - it is original, fresh, and what makes independent artistry the finest in the world.
  In lay terms?.. cool stuff.

 The Gazebo - Alsop Review

 Review ("Missing Mantra" + "Can't Watch Yourself Dance") by Jack Foley

Jack Foley is an innovative, widely-published poet and critic who, with his wife, Adelle, performs his work
frequently in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past several years he has hosted a show of interviews and
poetry presentations on Berkeley radio station KPFA. His current show , " Cover to Cover," which can be heard
by streaming audio at, is on every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Two Esther Valentine CDs are currently available in a single package. i{Can’t Watch Yourself Dance is from
1999; i{Missing Mantra} is from 2005/2006. (You can buy them at her web site) Both are remarkable, both
contain some fine singing and some interesting, complex arrangements, but i{Missing Mantra} made me
want to rethink singing altogether.}

When someone sings a song—especially a song you know—you listen to the singer’s “interpretation,” and
that’s important, but the central fact of the experience is the song itself. The singer is i{presenting the song
in a particular way; you may well notice new things about the song, but the focus of attention remains the
song. In i{Missing Mantra} you feel that the songs, however individually interesting, are there for another
purpose: they exist to liberate the singer’s voice; they are in effect i{excuses} to hear a remarkable sound
which sometimes transcends the song altogether. The effect is of an extraordinary voice (a voice with a
three-octave range) striving, i{through} its materials, to i{transcend} its materials:}

Close your eyes, leave behind
All the trouble in your mind
Don’t deny, abide
With the thoughts that make you shine.

“Maybe, in Another Life,” dedicated to and inspired by Valentine’s husband, David Collins, is one of the most
beautiful pieces on the CD. (An image of Collins appears on the CD’s cover.) The theme of the song is
reincarnation, but you don’t have to believe in reincarnation to feel the song’s i{longing:}

It’s so peculiar, seems like ages ago, we were standing on this very spot
You held my hand, everything moved slow
Maybe, love, in another life, I held you close
Kissed you goodnight.

Ordinarily, popular music is about the longing for a lover. Valentine i{has a lover—someone she cares for deeply.
The longing here is not to find a lover or to be loved but to experience the love you have as part of a cosmic
process which persists through time. In our Western culture, the Christian notion that God is Love transmutes
easily into the notion that Love is God. Something like that is going on here. Valentine’s voice—
her three-octave range—has no trouble in moving out of the ordinary, but the voice is carrying the spirit with it.
Can music connect us to the mystical? Can music bring us into a realm which is i{opposed} to the quotidian
but which nevertheless maintains a connection to the quotidian? “Come near, come near, come near,” writes
Yeats in his mystical poem, “To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time,” “Ah, leave me still / A little space for the
rose-breath to fill!”}

Click here to read the Entire Review (quite lovely :o)

 Gods of Music (Novgorod review)

   Poor Rich Ones (hey aren't they Scandinavian, too?), Miranda Sex Garden, Radiohead, The Muse,
   all come to mind when listening to this ambitious track by Gazpacho (with Esther Valentine on vocals).
   This is a collaborative effort.  I realize this band doesn't want to grab you from the start, but pull you in as
   the track develops. Once Esther’s voice comes in, the track takes on a new, swirling, adventure. Her voice
   is strong, sexy, and well-recorded - very powerful.  The quality of this track is very high, recorded almost
   perfectly. The song’s background vocal, Da da da da was inspired by a classical piece of music. Ok!
   I love music like this, as it's powerful, and very, very, sexy.

Splendid E-zine                      

The whole Lilith Fair phenomenon has made me a little suspicious of female singer-songwriters.
Too many of their records make me feel more like I'm eavesdropping on a therapy session than
 listening to music.

 Esther Valentine doesn't fall into the "whiny girl with a guitar" class. She favors lush, expansive pop
 arrangements full of strings and piano, the better to team with her powerful voice (given added dimension
 through multiple overdubs). Let's call her a "slightly ethereal female pop vocalist" -- working some of the
 same turf as early Sarah McLachlan, but with a more mature voice (in both the vocal and lyrical sense)
 and a sunnier agenda. On conventional pop numbers like "I Can't Keep Jennifer Waiting" and "Lost
 Emotion", Valentine isn't afraid to throw herself into the music; she honestly seems to be singing these
 songs for her own personal pleasure. It's a good deal more engaging than the cathartic-confessional mood
 you'll find elsewhere.

 The disc's most intriguing songs are its bookends.  The title track hints at folk-classical structure, with a
 sprightly flute melody front and center.  Fans of Loreena McKennitt will, most likely, be drawn to
 Valentine on the strength of  "Can't Watch Yourself Dance," and the traditional, multi-part ayre
"If My Complaints Your Passions Move" will close the deal.  Beautiful without being showy, it showcases
Valentine's unaffected voice to great effect.

  by Jianda Johnson   

 Artist: Esther Valentine
 "Can't Watch Yourself Dance"

 "This tune is about (living) in the moment and staying on your path, regardless of...
  the 'advisory board...' Grab the brass ring in the midst of the hurricane..." --  from
  Esther's story behind the song, "Can't Watch Yourself Dance." "Can't Watch Yourself Dance,"
  both the song and the album, is the stuff of zithers and zinnias with elegant instrumentation,
  inspired lyrics, and honeyed vocals and arrangements. Esther's latest self-produced release
  engenders a rush of emotion not unlike Kate Bush, another multitalented musician Esther
  lists as an influence. Another minimalist magnum opus pressed onto CD is the traditional tune
  "If My Complaints Your Passion Move," featuring Esther a cappella in a lovely madrigal-style
  selection. Valentine's music appeals to Goths, ambient music fans, folks who love melodic
  soft rock and love songs, and anyone who can appreciate the art of a well-made song. The
  strength of her production--from the players she's assembled to her arrangements and
  songwriting--is magical, otherworldly and uplifting.

  Musical Discoveries           

 "The debut album from singer songwriter Esther Valentine is entitled Can't Watch Yourself Dance
  (MadamRex (USA), 1999). It is comprised of seven richly instrumented and vocally staggering tracks,
  written and arranged by the artist. Esther's core group includes: Garrison White (acoustic guitar);
  Gregg Montante (electric guitar, production and mixing with Ken Allardyce); Robbie Myers (drums and
  percussion); Joe Caccavo (electric bass); Robin Rader (flute); and Connie Deeter (stand-up bass). Vocal
  performances, instrumental arrangements and production quality of the recording are absolutely tops.
  Additional biographic information and photographs are available at Esther's website. Soundbites are
  available from her page.

  With stated influences including Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, The Beatles, Elton John and similarities
  including  Natalie Merchant, Loreena McKennitt, Enya and Linda Rondstadt, one certainly expects the
  artist's first album to exhibit vocal virtuosity—Can't Watch Yourself Dance delivers from the first, its
  title track. The vocal lines and supporting flute within the mainly acoustic instrumental mix are highly
  memorable, drawing the listener into the recording. Although the genre of the varied yet rocking "I Can't
  Keep Jennifer Waiting" and "Lost Emotion" differs from Kate Bush's typical sound, Esther's sensitive
  vocals are quite reminiscent of the well known artist's in this terrific track. The layers of backing vocals
  in the choruses are especially notable.

  While the album is vocally oriented, the instrumental arrangements have actually been given equal
  emphasis, adding to the overall quality of the album. "Dreaming" is lightly arranged with flute and
  strings carrying  the backing for Esther's most sensitive vocal lead and a similarity to Jeni Saint (review).
  Esther's vocal harmonies in this track and the highly accessible "When the Idol Falls" with its richer
  instrumental production,  soaring lead and thicker backing vocals are wonderful.

  "When Your Eyes Stop Talking" is lovely highly emotive ballad sung over the lightest instrumentation that
  builds to compliment soaring vocals as the song develops. Perhaps most illustrative of Esther's vocal
  dexterity, it is a stunning track. The album concludes with the brief multi-tracked a capella "If My
  Complaints Your Passions Move."

  Esther Valentine's Can't Watch Yourself Dance is a stunning tribute to a rising west coast talent. Vocally
  strong with tremendous instrumental arrangements the recording is certainly worthy of further
  exploration—a must listen!"

Songwriter's Monthly            SONGWRITER'S MONTHLY

 Esther has a unique voice that rides above the swirling music. The poetry found in her lyrics is echoed in
 the music and arrangements. 'If My Complaints Your Passions Move' is a beautiful work that shows what  
 a unique talent Esther is -- immerse yourself in her gift.

Wind & Wire

It is impossible to evaluate or even describe this album without mentioning the vocal work of  (Valentine)
who sings in Italian and whose voice is almost painfully emotionally-laden. This is not Enya! (Esther's) voice
 is so naked and soaring in its own emotive ability that it would be inhuman to be unfazed by the songs on
which she times, Esther can sound a lot like Lisa Gerrard.


"Dawta Of A Coney Island Cowboy" is a EP that apparently serves two purposes,  to showcase Esther's songs,
and to offer fans a good product at a good price. Esther Valentine's got a big chunk of real emotion. When it's
an uptempo song, the driving force is there from the beginning to end, and when she tells tragic stories from
life, you can feel somebody ripping the heart out of her body.

 "No Where, No Win, No One Situation" is a tragic story along the same theme as "Independence Day" and
"Good-bye Earl" that still involves a hope for a better life. An instant hit....

Listen to, or buy the EP at

  Nashville Diary -  (Award Show & Trip)

Friday, June 15th - Took Nashville by storm - literally.  We flew into a storm, and had to hover (like angels?)  As you can see, thank God, we made it.  Then it was row, row, off to Music Row, a look at the great, Grand Ol' Opry, and a stroll in the Grand Ol' Opry Hotel.  As David puts it, it was a “swell dump.”  Indoor waterfalls, beauteous landscapes….

Sat, June 16th - Went to the Waffle House (or the waffle house), and I had my first taste of grits.  I think there's a country gal in this Brooklyn goil!  Went to Indie Music Fest - there really are some great musicians out there!  A girl named Digger played a mean banjo, and Gran'pa Viagra…well, we won't say too much about him right now.  But, Nashville does contain some exquisite musicians…what they say is true!  Downtown Nashville was also bustling - great fun!  Every other club had great, live music floating out of the windows (sometimes exploding out of the windows!)

Sunday, June 17th - The day has arrived…hard to believe, as we're sightseeing around Nashville, that I've traveled here to receive an award…surreal.  We went to Andrew Jackson's plantation to diffuse the hysteria - quite beautiful, felt like I was in “Gone With the Wind.”  …except for the slave cabin, that was incredulous.  Hard to believe that humanity can be so inhumane…but we keep trying. The Golden Music Award show was a lot of fun.  All the nominees were excited and rooting for each other…nice adrenalin rush.  I decided to surprise everyone, said a few words, then sang the rest of my speech - gasp, “alright!” applause, cheers, I guess it was okay (people came up to me afterwards and congratulated me on my speech).  I was hesitant about it beforehand, but just had to do it - it was kind of an “Esther” thing…had to be me!  The director of the Golden Music Awards, a very sweet woman, gave me a big hug, and suggested a sing at the show next year!  So, all in all, it went pretty well.  It was really a blast…

Monday, June 18th - All my bags are packed, and I'm not ready to go…actually, it was also my Dad's birthday - I think he was with me in spirit.  Then back to La La Land - aw, it's not so bad, but it sure is great to travel, meet to people, and eat them grits!

Here's a song that I wrote (David actually gave me the idea and inspiration for it) about our struggles with tobacco, and its insiduous grip (I also quit a while back).  They say it's an addiction worse than heroin, & I believe it!) -- False Profit  (scroll down page on that site -- lyrics to follow later)  It was co-produced with Gregg Montante, who was instrumental in giving it a smokey, stealthy sound.

George's speech was  just the magic that David needed, and so he was saved by a  George, thank you for your healing spirit and music, what a beautiful soul you are.   "You say goodbye, but I'll say hello!"  George Harrison's spirit lives on!

Oh, one more thing -- I just saw Dick Cavett and Kurt Loder on the tele talking about George's passing.  When Dick put in a disgruntled word about the tobacco factor, Kurt seemed to flash him a somewhat angry look, as if to say "that's not relevant, man."  I know the Camel people must have loved that, since their new target seems to be the music industry (I was shocked one day, when I opened up the L.A. Weekly to find double page, Camel-sponsored concerts).  They're really as underhanded as their product.   I'm sorry, but it's affected so many of my family members -- my father died early of a massive heart attack, my mother has emphysema, my sister has brochitis, my brother has asthma, etc.  It seems so obvious, but the media colors it to look non-menacing, helpful/calming even.  Okay, that's enough, but I've come a long way, -- gotta remember where I came from....