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Area woman on her way to country music career

June 23, 2011
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

MINGO JUNCTION Rose Angelica said she knows her singing ability didn't earn her the attention of a famous Nashville producer but her songwriting did.

Angelica is best known to local residents as a gifted musician and teacher as well as the chairman and organizer of the annual Dean Martin Festival.

She said it's a bit of a fluke she's been signed to a two-year contract with a major Nashville label, but it's not always about the look or the singing ability in Nashville, it's all about the songs.

That faith in her songs and a little bit of luck has landed Angelica a contract with Nashville-based Lamon Records, a new, four-song EP recorded in Music City U.S.A. and a crew from the label coming to Steubenville to the Spot Bar Friday to shoot a video for Angelica's "Girls Just Want to Drink Beer," the first single off the EP.

"I'm asking anyone who wants to come to be in the video be at the Spot Bar by 8 p.m. Friday," said Angelica, adding the more, the merrier, and the video eventually will be broadcast on the Country Music Television cable network.

"Nashville producer Dave Moody will be here with his crew Thursday and Friday, and they are going to shoot the video Friday," she said.

"The CD will be released nationally July 19," Angelica continued, adding it will be available on iTunes and "It was recorded at Kingswood Studios in Nashville in April."

Angelica, who has a master's degree in music education from Ohio State University, has a long history locally of being an active musician and music educator. She also said she's written music from an early age, and living in the Ohio Valley, also developed an interest in country music.

"I've been writing music since I was a kid," said Angelica. "I always liked to write, and I always liked country music."

Angelica said she put most of her performing and writing aside when she married Richard Angelica 22 years ago, but she had an interest in recording one of her songs. So Angelica went to Studio L in Weirton in 2010 and recorded "The Wish." The song eventually was a hit on Internet radio and music websites.

"That's when Dave Moody heard the song and fell in love with it," said Angelica. "He asked me if I had any more songs, and I said 'yes.' So he asked me to send him a kitchen-table recording of just me singing seven of my songs. He got it and offered me a two-year deal with the company."

Angelica said the label is marketing her as "Americana," a subset of country music that's rooted in more traditional forms such as Appalachian folk music. Americana has grown in the last few years, with independent labels cropping up specializing in releasing more traditionally-based folk styles. So are festivals catering to fans of Americana, and Angelica said she's slated to play one the largest.

"I'm going to be playing a huge show in Nashville, the Americana Music Festival, in October," she said. "I never claimed to be a singer. I've always been a trumpet player."

Angelica said her and her producer's hope is a major female country artists picks up on "Girls Just Want to Drink Beer" and record it as a kind of anthem for women.

"(Moody) thinks it could he huge if that happened," Angelica said, adding Nashville is always looking for a good song. "Everyone's looking for songs. If you are a good writer you can get your foot in the door."

One side effect of her new career will be her retirement as chairman of the Dean Martin Festival Committee. However, the festival will continue, she added.

"I'm just not going to have time to organize it with my new music career," she said, adding others will be organizing the festival. "It will go on like it always has."

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