Perpetual Change: “Laughin’ In The Kitchen” by Michelle Rocking Horse Garcia? — CD Review

| Jul 29, 2013

laughing-in-the-kitchenBack in September and October of 2012, this column featured a two part interview with singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Michelle Garcia. When her newest project Dead End Street was released, a review was posted in June 2013 as well.

Besides being an extraordinary musician, Michelle also enjoys cooking. She’s found a way to combine her music with her culinary pursuits. Michelle explains how she manages this this way: “I am currently shooting cooking shows on video that include one track performance per show of the Laughin’ In The Kitchen album,” she said. “It has a new recipe book that goes with each of the 10 songs on the album.”

Laughin’ In the Kitchen open with the instrumental track Warming Up The Oven. Very appropriate title, because it does “warm up” the listener for the rest of the music on this project. The tune is keyboard dominated, with a very heavy jazz influence.

Wine Into Watermelon has a country/boogie feel, and features Michelle’s trademark layered vocals on the chorus. The verses are more spoken than sung.

Name That Vegetable is very layered musically, and one of the better production moments on the project. Good sax work throughout on a light rock tune.

Chili And Beans is a Latin influenced tune, that also manages to be the best rock moment on the album.

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The most outstanding tracks are Company’s Coming Over Blues which is the longest tune on the project and definitely very good blues, with excellent blues harp work; Abaelita’s Marmalade, an acoustic guitar driven Latin piece, featuring excellent playing and Michelle’s best vocal performance on the album; Order Up, very rhythmic and kind of hard to categorize, but with good guitar work and another of the better production moments (this time, it’s about fast food, though.); and the title cut Laughing In The Kitchen, which is more of a 1970s rock feel, with mostly spoken lyrics.

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The other two songs that round out Laughin’ In The Kitchen are the light rock tune See You At Supper Time and Secret Recipe another 1970s style rock tune.

Although Laughin’ In the Kitchen is one of Michelle Garcia’s older projects, released in 2008, it does hold up to anything that’s out now. While the vocals fluctuate between the layered effect she likes and the half spoken/half sung sections, her voice is very feminine and listenable. The excellent musicianship and songwriting is what caught my attention immediately upon first hearing this project.

Michelle played everything on the project except sax and drums. Larry Otis played lead guitar on Company’s Coming Over Blues as well as some on the title track. Ward Law played drums throughout as well as sax.

If you are already a Michelle Garcia fan, Laughin’ In The Kitchen needs to be in your collection. If your not familiar with her work, then this is a good place to start. Michelle Garcia is a beautiful lady, an extremely talented singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist — and she can cook, too.

Originally, I was also going to review another of Michelle’s project, an all instrumental album called Spanish Traveler. However, she has completely revamped the album by recording 8 new tunes while keeping the best 4 of the original line-up. This new version is scheduled for a September release. For more information, please check out Michelle’s website, and the Tipping the Scales site.  She is also on Facebook, Reverbnation,,, and YouTube. has download from her album San Francisco Queers.


Rev. Yolanda

A brief reminder of Rev. Yolanda’s Gospel Birthday Show, August 4th at New York City’s The Duplex, with special guest Candy Samples.

Jennifer Leitham

Jennifer Leitham

Jennifer Leitham

The Jennifer Leitham Trio (Jennifer Leitham-bass, vocals; Rich Eames piano: Randy Drake, drums) will be at the Catalina Jazz Club on Thursday, August 15. (6725 West Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA.) This is to celebrate Jennifer’s 60th birthday.

On August 23, 24, 25, Jennifer will be a part of the Prescott Jazz Summit. (For information email or call 928-830-2462, or 484-558-0066.

On Saturday, September 15, Jennifer will be performing with guitarist Jeff Linsky at The Fret House , 309 N. Citrus Ave., Covina, CA; Call 800-BET-FRET, or ?626-339-7020. Jennifer and Jeff will also be conduction afternoon clinics at The Fret House, with the show at 8 p.m. (For more information on Jennifer, plus for future performance dates, please check out Jennifer’s website.

Georgie Jessup

On Thursday, August 1, Georgie Jessup will be hosting an open mic night at Edith May’s Paradise, 7711 Apple Ave., Jessup, MD, 410-799-3755, or follow Edith May’s on Facebook. Special Guest is singer/songwirter Geoffrey Himes. For more information email Georgie or visit her website.

Venus de Mars

white_horsesVenus de Mars, well known in the Minneapolis, MN music scene, has recenlty been having some serious issues with the tax man. Before going into detail, we’d like to mention to our readers that Venus was first mentioned to TGForum readers as part of the band All The Pretty Horses in March, 2001, with a follow-up article in March 2003. She was again featured in this column in July, 2008. So please, read the following announcement from Venus, and help one of our own.

This White Horses, A Tribute to Venus de Mars pre-release download is $8.00. Send in payment (below,) THEN, please alert me of a payment via a Facebook message: OR an e-mail to: demars(at)prettyhorses(dot)net.? I will send you a download code directly via Facebook messenger OR an e-mail. This compilation is a donation by the participating artists (below,) in response to the Audit Hell situation I am currently embroiled in.

Here is a link to a detailed story about the situation on Public Radio.





This is the fifth studio album from the singer Ciara, known for hits such as Goodies Ride Oh and 1 2 Step. Her most recent single, Body Party is featured here, along with a remix version (featuring Future and B.O.B.) that closes out the album.

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Future is also featured on Where You Go and Nicki Minaj contributes to the CDs opening track? I’m Out and Livin’ It Up

What’s surprising is the overall R&B influence that’s woven throughout most of the project. Ciara’s singing definitely trends towards a more old school style, especially on the single Body Party which is also her best vocal performance on the projects — it’s also very sensual and the most musical track.

The aforementioned hybrid nature — R&B mixed with other genre’s — is found on tracks such as Sophomore, Keep On Lookin’, Where You Go, Super Turnt Up, and DUI.

The outright dance tunes are I’m Out Livin’ It Up and Overdose.

Besides Body Party the other really outstanding track is Read My Lips which is a hybrid of dance, R&B, and hip-hop. Ciara’s vocal is perfect for this.

Ciara shares executive producer credt along with Nayvadius Future Cash and L A Reid. You’ll have to check out the CD insert for proper individual producer and musician credit. Visit the Ciara fan websitefor more or find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Category: Music

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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