FRONT PAGE OF THE "VERDE INDEPENDENT" FOR *2 SUNS*
2 SUNS: Press
"Food bank fundraiser"
"2 Suns Feeds the Body and Soul"
Rock band to perform at food bank fundraiser
on Saturday, December 12th
Published November 28, 2009 in 'The Sedona Observer'
Sedona rock band 2 SUNS, whose socially conscious independent rock music provides spiritual nutrition in an era of societal transformation, will perform on Saturday, December 12, from 7-9 p.m., at a fundraiser for the Sedona Community Food Bank, in association with the Verde Food Council, at Studio Live, 215 Coffeepot Drive.
All proceeds will be donated to the food bank, and food collection boxes will also be available in the lobby at Studio Live, located next to Creative Flooring and Devi Yoga. Band members ask everyone to “honor the holiday spirit by helping support families in our community that need food at this special time of year.”
Seating is limited and tickets are available in advance for $15 at Golden Word Books & Music 1575 W. Hwy. 89A in Sedona (phone 928-282-2688). Tickets may be purchased at the door for $20 on the evening of the performance via cash or check.
2 SUNS, which includes lead vocalist Gina Donello on keyboard and bass, vocalist Gary Bettum on guitar, background vocalist Eva George on bass and guitar and drummer Bill Juharos, recently released its second CD, “Love Revolution.”
With original music “dedicated to love and peace,” the CD features song titles such as “Break the Cycle,” “Waiting in the Dawn,” “Beautiful World” and “Love Revolution.”
The group’s first release, “Dance of Life,” includes “New Reality,” “Believe in You” and many other upbeat tunes.
2 SUNS’ lively yet soothing rock music provides a “balm for the soul” at a time of upheaval and uncertainty when everyone could use an instant lift and melodious reminders that in calamity we can find hidden opportunity and, ultimately, positive transformation.
The Observer’s favorite, “Beyond the Veil,” evokes a distinct sixties’ sound that takes listeners back to a bygone era, replete with sitar music.
Gina Donello’s gorgeous, mellifluous voice flows like an angel and reassures us that it is, indeed, a “Beautiful World.” This is star-quality vocals reminiscent of a lucid Melissa Etheridge.
2 SUNS will raise your vibrations with its uniquely beautiful and inspiring sounds. Come join them in support of a good cause on December 12. You won’t be disappointed!
Visit the band’s Web site at www.2sunsmusic.com and listen to its original music online at http://2sunsmusic.com/music.html.
Gina Donello - Lead Vocals/Keyboard/Bass/Tanpura/Percussion
Gary Bettum - Lead Guitar/Background Vocals
Eva George - Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Bill Juharos – Drums
"Love Revolution" 2 Suns
There is arguably a lack of music on commercial radio that leaves one with a contented feeling of serenity upon listening. Modern singers lament about broken relationships, reminiscence in vain about current state of affairs or cop a major attitude about how unfair life is.
For a breath of fresh air, check out an album that is dedicated to “Love & Peace.” 2 SUNS delivers an emotionally charged, happy listen with its second album Love Revolution. Founding member and vocalist Gina Donello aptly describes the compilation as “an hour which celebrates life.” All dozen tracks on Love Revolution are original compositions by Donello and guitarist Gary Bettum. Both trained musicians exude an excellent chemistry that is displayed in every unique and neatly polished song.
Universal love is the all encompassing theme that is delicately woven throughout the course of the album. The title track kicks it off with its sing-a-long retro anthem flair. After a catchy upbeat intro to grab listeners’ attention, the verses mellow into a steady acoustic melody and then rock out for the chorus with the electric guitar and accented organ downbeats. The only downside to this first single is that it is the only track where the vocals are slightly buried.
This is remedied in “Waiting in the Dawn.” The purity and clarity of Donello’s strong voice is laced with sweetness and femininity yet remains steadfast and bold. This track heralds similarities to Shirley Manson of Garbage with its trippy vocal effects and electric guitar solo in the bridge. Donello’s vocal prowess is further exhibited in “Numb.” Her wide range is displayed as she begins in a sultry tone and then maintains excellent control as she swoops up and down over the edgy, overdriven electric guitar.
Bettum is masterful at laying intricate, interesting tracks that never steal the limelight from the vocals but is constantly reminding the listener of his presence. His instrumentals set the mood for each tune from the worldly Indian “Beyond the Veil” to the dance/electronica “13th Hour.” This album never suffers from overproduction, but is tasteful, captivating and gives pure aural pleasure with its music and its message.
Kelly O’Neil graduated from William Paterson University in New Jersey with a degree in Music Management and a minor in English. She began her career in Public Relations in New York City with a diverse clientele including Foreigner, Jessica Simpson and Sir James Galway. Her journalism career launched when she moved to Nashville landing a job at Salem Publications where she wrote for CCM, U and CrossWalk magazines. Kelly’s freelancing credits include Reader’s Digest, christianmusicplanet.com and christrock.com.
While Kelly’s professional expertise may dwell in contemporary Christian music, she is also well-versed in classical and jazz having played in numerous large and small ensembles, most notably the Nashville Philharmonic. However, she still loves good ol’ rock and roll – especially progressive rock. Kelly met her husband over a mutual admiration for King Crimson and now resides in Orlando where she assists him with his professional recording studio Request Records.
"Love Revolution" 2 Suns
Arizona duo 2 Suns practice in a kind of upbeat, feel-good music that could only be the product of a steady diet of hard sunshine. Vocalist-percussionist Gina Donello and guitarist Gary Bettum make no bones about their ambitions: The predominant lyrical themes on the band’s second release, Love Revolution, are peace, love and understanding. And what’s wrong with that? Donello’s pleasing alto (imagine Shirley Manson with better chops) is matched with tightly produced tracks that span a variety of styles. The title track has shades of Tears for Fears “The Seeds of Love”; “Beyond the Veil” adds a hint of Middle Eastern flavor; “Numb” sounds like Garbage (the band!). Unfortunately, “Purple and Gold” is not a Prince homage, but I digress. If you buy into the idea that love is all you need (and why wouldn’t you?), you’ll want to join this Revolution.
John Brodeur has been a music writer for several years, a musician for dozens, and a music lover all his life. His writings have appeared primarily in the alternative newsweekly Metroland, where he continues to serve as music editor; he has also written for music Web sites like Aversion.com. He is comfortable reviewing anything from pazz to jop.
"Love Revolution" 2 Suns
The Beatles memorably suggested, “all you need is love,” and also thoughtfully discussed revolution via their music. However, 2SUNS combine these two human principles into one succinct thought with the song and the CD, Love Revolution. But when they sing about revolution, it’s clearly a positive step in humanity, rather than a violent overthrow of any government. “’Cause we are the people, living in a Love Revolution/And we see the future, living the new creation,” goes the title track, hopefully.
2SUNS is a pop-rock act consisting of Gary Bettum and Gina Donello. Donello sings all twelve of these songs, although Bettum co-wrote each of them and plays many different instruments on the CD. Judging from the general lyrical sentiments and colorful CD artwork, Love Revolution looks lovingly back to the ‘60s its historic The Summer Of Love. But except for “Beyond The Veil”, which has a distinctly George Harrison, post-India visit Eastern feel to it, 2SUNS mainly creates sharply produced pop. Donello is obviously a professionally trained vocalist because each and every sung word can be heard distinctly.
Lee Curreri produced this CD with 2SUNS, and how you react to their music strongly depends upon the way you feel about well-produced music. Love Revolution gives off the overall impression of being squeaky clean pop-rock – perhaps too clean, too shiny. 2SUNS perspective (lyrically, at least) hearkens back to a time when cries for peace, folk music, and rock & roll all magically intersected simultaneously. That music was also about as loose as the sexual morals at the time, and spontaneity and raw sincerity were valued far above slick, radio-ready production. Somehow, unkempt (and sometimes downright dirty) hippies created aural beauty during a time when the young generation truly believed a love revolution was possible and within reach. But 2SUNS are preaching a distinctly different love revolution, at least with its sonic politics.
You may not be down with 2SUNS consistently polished sound, but you’d have to be a Grinch-and-a-half to find fault with this disc’s hope-filled lyrical perspective – silver linings easily outnumber clouds. On “Beautiful World”, for example, Donello suggests a better planet-possibility by singing: “If only we could be together/If only we could love each other.” Then on “Turnaround”, personal redemption is made nearly tangible: “Find a way, to turn it around, turn around.” Lastly, “Waiting in the Dawn” asks similar redemptive questions with these words: “Do you believe in second chances? Do you believe in love?” It’s a rhetorical question, of course, with “yes” the only singular choice answer.
Although The Beatles sang, “All you need is love,” they also broke up shortly thereafter. (Well, so much for love). Nevertheless, we can all agree that the world needs a whole lot more love, and for that we ought to be thankful for 2SUNS positive approach to music. Even so, it’s hard to see where 2SUNS fit into today’s music culture. Most radio stations either play dance music or hard rock bludgeon, or some variation on one or the other. But 2SUNS’ music doesn’t make you want to dance or bang your head. Instead, this act might be more successful targeting its sounds at New Age religious folks. This unbridled faith in love will surely appeal to anyone looking for innovative approaches in making the world a better place, a subset that might also include the growing green community. Furthermore, during this day and age, when loaded guns speak much louder than calls for peace and tranquility, Love Revolution offers a welcome voice of reason.
-- Dan MacIntosh
I've been a professional music journalist for 26 years and my work has regularly appeared in many local and national publications, including CCM, CMJ, Paste, Mean Street, Chord, HM, Christian Retailing, Amplifier, Inspirational Giftware, and Country Standard Time as well as Spin.com. I'm an expert in Christian and country music, but I'm also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to most every kind of rock. Furthermore, I've been through a few heavy reggae and jazz phases during my music listening history, so I can hold my own with the best world music and jazz snobs. In addition to reviewing CDs, I regularly write artist features and biographies. I graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in Communications, emphasis Public Relations. I live in Bellflower, CA, "The friendly city," and my day job is with a software company located in Los Angeles, CA. I play a little guitar, badly, but I'm getting better. My wife regularly complains about my huge CD collection, but this doesn't stop me from stacking disc towers higher and higher.