By G. H. Harding

Tammy Blanchard

WOOD MAN --- Last night we caught a super-secret screening of the new Woody Allen movie, Blue Jasmine – slated to open on July 26. We can’t reveal all that much, but can say that star Cate Blanchett is utterly superb. This isn’t funny-Woody; rather, more like a more downtrodden version of his great movie Interiors. Cate’s great and sure to nab an Oscar-nom. Also stellar in this movie are Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Sarsgaard, Tammy Blanchard, Andrew Dice Clay, and, Louie CK, who is stunningly good in a brief, but totally mesmerizing role. It’s very clearly not an up movie … but, one of the best of the year … and, one of his best. No question about it.

Alexander Kariotis

ALEXANDER KARIOTIS --- We came across a rather phenomenal new artist the other day; actually a PR-friend of ours turned us onto him … Alexander Kariotis. Sort of pop-classical we’d term it. Possessing a totally mesmerizing voice, the Chicago-born Alex has woven together a captivating mix of regal and visionary music. Billing himself as Alexander Kariotis and the Rock Opera Orchestra … it’s a mouthful for sure, but check him and his music out at:

With a full-fledged recording out this fall from RED/Sony (with an initial single release of the great "Nessun Dorma," it just could be one of the most significant releases of the year. I've not met him yet and sadly, the gentleman who turned us onto him, isn't involved any longer, but, with maverick-manager Dave Novik (Janis Ian, Vertical Horizon) controlling the shots along with Red's Adam Pollack, success is right up the road. A most pleasant surprise for sure.

JUST LOU --- When one sits down to write a tell-all memoir, it’s a tricky proposition, as you ponder how much of the truth to actually tell? In Lou Gramm’s terrific new memoir, Juke Box Hero (Triumph Books), he tells it all honestly and quite well too.

We're three-quarters of the way through it and enjoying it tremendously. From his humble beginnings in Rochester, New York, to his early-groups, including one called Blacksheep (that I remember very well), to his first meeting with musician Mick Jones, resulting in the formation of the band Foreigner.

Formed in 1976 by veteran English musician Jones and fellow Brit and Ian McDonald. Foreigner became one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time with worldwide sales of nearly 80 million albums, including 37.5 million albums in the United States alone. The group's songs, "Jukebox Hero," "Feels Like The First Time, " "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Hot Blooded," and "Cold As Ice," are anthems of a generation.

Of course, Gramm’s journey with the group resulted in many highs and lows documented herein. Also, a parting of the ways with Jones, brings forth some revealing revelations from him as well, resulting in a terrifically compelling book for sure.

He and Jones regrouped earlier this year for induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Gramm just did a radio interview with XM’s Brett Winterble and his candor and honesty were most revealing and welcomed. Lou takes his profession very seriously and his speaking about his process was terrifically interesting. Written with best-selling author Scott Pitoniak, this is one of the best-ever books of this type I've yet read.