"Lucky Stars" Loretta Hagen's brand new CD has earned a #23 spot on FOLK DJ-L with DJ favoured songs "This World Of Ours", "Where Are The Rainbows" and "Now That I'm Able."
Rave reviews are coming in from around the world for "Lucky Stars" and Trespass Music is thrilled to share them with you.
A stellar review from No Depression contributor John Apice for Loretta Hagen's "Lucky Stars" - Award-Winning New Jersey Folk Singer Always Shined -- Now She Sparkles
About the title track Lucky Stars - "Loretta is in fine voice – probably the best of her career. The tonality is angelic yet possesses strength. Inspiring and beautiful." Of Break and Believe "Those are the songs that resonated. They always do. Loretta has that here and the guitar-work continues to be superlative. Loretta’s album attempts to be a positive message despite the difficulties many face daily. “Believe” is the opposite of “Break,” and it’s an ingenious follow-up. Ladders - "Loretta’s inflection in her lyric is lucid, phrasing in this song is golden. She gives it a smoky tone – I could hear Cassandra Wilsonsing this in her deep soulful and bluesy voice. Loretta has a definite talent for well-decorated lyrics tied with meaning but not preachy."
"Loretta Hagen from NJ has a brand new album out "Lucky Stars" and I've been high on this lady for a long, long time. Her album "Mud and Stone" won a lot of awards and now this album "Lucky Stars," I'm sure is gonna receive a lot of awards too. You've already put out some great music with "Something More" and "Mud and Stone" and now you have to top that somehow and you come out with "Lucky Stars" and it's just brilliant. I think she is very special and I love the CD!" Jim Marino - Freewheeling Folk Show - 93.3 FM CFMU, Hamilton, ON Canada
"Loretta Hagen, these delicate recordings tell her talent again. Lucky Stars is a very well produced album with delicate, clear arrangements, talent as a songwriter with very soulful songs, the melodies are just beautiful and as a singer, she is able to produce a moving rendition...a strong album ..a beautiful pleasure." Mike Penard - American Roots Music - Radio Isa France FRANCE
"Loretta Hagen is back with "Lucky Stars" a very nicely produced recording featuring eleven thoughtful and reflective songs by Loretta, that are beautifully sung with lovely accompaniment. Definitely worth checking out." Jan Hall, Folk Roots Radio with Jan Hall , Leamington, ON Canada - Syndicated CFRU 93.3 FM (Guelph, ON), Erin Radio 91.7 FM (Erin, ON), CFBX 92.5 FM – The X (Kamloops, BC), The Voice of Bonne Bay 95.9 & 98.1 FM(Gros Morne, NF), CIDI 99.1fm(Brome-Missisquoi PQ) and the Blues & Roots Radio internet station.
"Lucky Stars released via Trespass Music. This album is a great album and has some incredible players on it. A wonderful record and the quality is incredible. The title track is gosh that's a beautiful song, just beautiful. You've got to get this album it is just awesome. Loretta is a great singer-songwriter and all of her albums have something that everyone can talk about and listen to and really, really enjoy!" Jon Stein - Hootenanny Cafe WTBQ 1110 am 93.5FM Warwick, NY
"West Milford, New Jersey is home to the American singer and songwriter Loretta Hagen, a folk and country songwriter with an exceptional voice. She now has four albums to her credit, so we can no longer speak of Loretta as a newcomer to the Americana scene. With her husband Gary Hagen as producer and for his most important guitar work as an instrumentalist on her albums, the recording and arrangements of her songs are in good hands.
In fact, we find by listening to Loretta Hagen's newest album "Lucky Stars" she has 11 new well-written compositions. The instrumentation of these songs was played by a wide range of musicians with special attention to percussion, strings, and horn.
For example, the saxophone, played by Maia Sharp, is featured in the laid back opening track "Where Are The Rainbows," a folk ballad about the quest for hope and happiness. The second track "Now That I Able" (see video) inspires one to re-engage with life after times of sadness and darkness. If you read the lyrics of these songs in the booklet included with the CD, you immediately notice how much attention and meaning Loretta Hagen attaches to the content of the text of her songs.
The album title track "Lucky Stars" invites you to reflect on the people who have finally left us and watch over us from the starry sky so that we can still enjoy our luck in this world. The outstanding guitar work of Gary Hagen at this song deserves a separate mention here and now.
The next topper on this album is the acoustic folk ballad "I Will Send My Love", which begins with the recording of a short tune of "A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet" which Loretta's mother has sung to her daughter on cassette tape when she was still alive. It is clear that the emotions here fly like fireworks and that this love song of a child to her deceased mother can hardly be expressed more beautifully.
A difficult and depressed moment in life is being processed in the mid-tempo Americana song "Break" and seamlessly translates into "Believe," an upturned song on this album in which Loretta Hagen encourages us to be confident in our dreams and keep going. We cannot discover a lesser song on this album and continue to listen further to the ballad "Ladders" and to the very emotionally popular song "You Were Brave" that is a musical tribute to the courage that her mother and her sister showed their respective battles against their invincible diseases ALZ and ALS.
Lucky Stars continues to be optimistic with the pretty song "Welcome Spring," in which Loretta Hagen welcomes spring in her life and hopes to discover new beginnings with many dreams and wishes. We have already arrived in the summer in Belgium, but this talented woman's work is for us, a nice musical discovery and we wish her luck with this excellent new album." Freddy Celis - Rootstime.be - Belgium
"Among the best voices of the more folkie sounding 'Americana', is Loretta Hagen back with a new album "Lucky Stars," coming out about five years following the previous "Mud And Stone," which also was a celebrated album with great reviews overseas within the roots community. "Lucky Stars" will be again celebrated with it's inevitably meditated and strongly inspired songs about life experiences in these last 5 years, filled with pain and hope, loss and yet a great desire to start again. Singer- songwriter Loretta Hagen of New Jersey, from the point of view of voice, reminds me very much of Mary Chapin Carpenter and the affinities certainly are not exhausted here, as the ballads and midtempo songs unite the two characters for sensitivity and grace.
"Now That I'm Able," is an excellent mix of folk and pop creating a contagious melody and "Lucky Stars," is an acoustic, and poignant tribute to the love of people past and present and show clear similarities and the same melodic taste of her American song writing peers. Many are still moments to remember as "This World Of Ours" again with great similarities to the work of Mary Chapin Carpenter, is another message of sharing and welcome, while "Break" is effective and engaging, "Ladders" is another melody persuading you of that conquest to keep on and "You Were Brave" embellished by the violin of Tracy Grammer, is a most personal story of suffering and dignity in the face of the disease (in this case of her mother and sister).
"Lucky Stars" is a record penned with and from the heart and great merit goes to the husband of Loretta, Gary Hagen, here in production, in the robes of a sound engineer and excellent work, on acoustic and electric guitars and while it is worth mentioning the presence of a key character in the New York folk scene, bassist Mark Dann, Loretta Hagen is a true deus ex Machina with her recording studio as far as the East Coast songwriting landscape is concerned." Remo Ricaldone - Lonestar Time - Italy
"Loretta Hagen offers a collection of beautifully deep roots music on her new album "Lucky Stars." Gracefully, the music of this American meanders through the landscape of her life. Personal experiences are processed into healing and hopeful songs. They are exquisite songs.
Hagen's warm voice creates a lovely counterbalance to the sometimes deep and dark lyrics. There are songs about death and the missing of loved ones and grief, but also songs filled with hope for better days to come.
This album comes four years after her previous album "Mud and Stone." There is good range in the tempos on the album. "Lucky Stars" opens strong with the ballad 'Where Are The Rainbows' and another ballad number is 'You'll Be Safe Here.' The tempo warms with 'Welcome Spring' and 'Now That I'm Able' picking up the pace. On the album is fine guitar playing by husband Gary Hagen and it should be highlighted as he compliments Loretta's voice and supports throughout. Loretta and Gary sign on the production of this fine album.
Lovely is the personal title track 'Lucky Stars.' Superb is the touching 'I Will Send My Love' and 'Break.'
Throughout the album, this attractive singer songwriter works through the setbacks and feelings in her life, yet finds hope throughout, that better times are ahead. Loretta has acted on these lows in life and transformed them into strong song material. Throughout the album and in all of the songs, it is also nice to hear, there is a well crafted balance of high quality production as proved also in the songs 'Ladders' and 'You Were Brave.' Lovely roots album indeed."
Richard Wagenaar - The Next Gig - The Netherlands
More about LORETTA HAGEN
In every life, there are inevitable times of darkness and of light. Loretta Hagen's fourth CD "Lucky Stars," takes the listener on a personal journey through loss, healing, and ultimately the promise of hope.
Four years in the making, "Lucky Stars" brings Loretta's journey full circle, when faced with the heartache of illness, death, and going on without loved ones so cherished. She finds solace in the promise of new beginnings, love, and the inherent knowledge that our Lucky Stars are watching over us.
Reviewers describe award winning singer-songwriter Loretta Hagen as ‘heart driven, soul filling, Folk Americana.‘ Her rich alto voice and strong songwriting skills have led her to win many awards, including a JAM Awards’ (Jersey Acoustic Music Awards) “Top Female Songwriter of the Year,” JAM nomination for “Album of the Year,” winner of the NJ Folk Festival Songwriter Competition and 2 time designation as a CT Folk Festival finalist.
Loretta's third CD, “Mud and Stone,” well received by DJs worldwide, debuted at #10 on Folk DJ Charts, consistently #1 on the Roots Music Report for NJ, #5 Top 50 Folk Albums RMR, and topped many best of lists. Five years later the album is still going strong, recently receiving 4 nominations for the Just Plain Folk Awards with awards being announced late fall 2017. "This effort [Mud and Stone] is first class, top tier, a true contender as an artist to reckon with." John Apice ~ No Depression
Loretta has performed at premiere venues across the Northeast and Nashville, sharing the stage with Pete Seeger, Roger McGuinn, Sloan Wainwright, Steve Forbert, Richie Havens, Kim Richey and Marshall Crenshaw among many others.
Following her critically acclaimed CD Something More, co-produced by Pat McInerney (Nanci Griffith), Hagen released "Sundown Till Dawn", a CD that garnered rave reviews and radio play across the country. Sundown Till Dawn is extremely personal, with the title track written about her mother who suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease. Loretta’s Mom passed away peacefully at her home. The emotionally charged ballad is included on the soundtrack of a film called “10 Mountains 10 Years” chronicling the journey of a group of mountain climbers who are raising awareness about the disease.
Loretta performs primarily with her trio consisting of husband/guitarist Gary Hagen and djembe players Linda Lambiase or Curtis Kretz.
Loretta Hagen Lucky Stars musicians:
Loretta Hagen acoustic guitar, lead & back vox 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Gary Hagen acoustic guitar , 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11 back vox 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 electric guitar 2, 7
Mark Dann bass 1, 2 ~ Teri Avella bass 4, 6, 7 ~ Andrew Hulle drums 1, 4, 6 ~ Curtis Kretz drums 8
Linda Lambiase snare 2, 3 back vox 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 djembe 7 ~ Marianne Osiel flute 11
Craig Aiken bass 3, 11 ~ Kyle Hancharick back vox 3 ~Donna Gebbia back vox 3, keyboards 4, 6, 7 ~ Debbie Maggiulli back vox 3
Maia Sharp Tenor Sax 1 ~ Michael G. Ronstadt cello 5 ~ Tracy Grammer violin 9
All songs written by Loretta Hagen (C) 2017 ASCAP
Produced by Gary Hagen & Loretta Hagen, Recorded and mixed by Gary Hagen, Bearfort Recording and Sound, West Milford, NJ, Mastered by Kim Rosen, Knack Mastering, Ringwood, NJ,
" A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet" written by Harold Woods, Gus Kahn (Gus Kahn Music Group) (C) 1932 Songwriters Guild of America OBO Callicoon Music - Sung by Loretta's Mom Vera on an old cassette tape.
Visit Loretta's WEBSITE HERE
DJS One Sheet HERE
DJS Airplay Direct HERE