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Documentary Filmed In The Hudson Valley Features World-Class Musicians

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Hey, you're Keepin' Company w/ Conor, and thank you for checking out another Townsquare Spotlight! Today, we are shedding some light on musician and host of the highly-acclaimed show Home From Here, John Burton. Not just that, but John is the creator of The Lifted Project, a documentary being shot in the Hudson Valley that is connecting the arts with local organizations, and "lifting" groups such as Hudson River Housing, Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth, Hudson Valley Animal Rescue, and Kidney4Clark. John and I talk about the song "We Won't Be Broken," which is at the center of the documentary, and how it has been a transformative time for him and all the individuals involved. We also discuss how John has used Home From Here to be a platform for both music and mental Health.

Right here is my spotlight with John Burton. If you want to see the music video for the song, keep scrolling and learn more about the project as a whole!

John Burton's Latest Fear... His Production Director Karen Kampfer Catalano

As John mentioned in our interview, he used to only be afraid of two things - snakes and 60-Minutes reporter Mike Wallace (I'm sure there is a story behind that one). Now, Karen Catalano makes the list at Number 3! That's not to say Karen isn't a wonderful person! As John said, she was the glue that held much of the technical aspects of this project together! Besides being the Production Manager, Karen also owns Locks That Rock Hair Design. I got to speak with Karen, too, following the filming of "We Won't Be Broken"

I met John Burton while on his show with John Krupa. I asked how can I help. We went over some things. Advice was given and here we are. When I take on a project it has to have emotion tied to it. It takes a lot to take me out of retirement. I had worked in the music industry as a Manager (RockAlley), alongside of Frank Pallett at The Chance as his caterer, working inside the club etc. Watching John so passionate and listening to the song and the stories really moved me. When you corralling 34 artists, 6 Crew plus a Producer, feelings are set aside your in "work mode," keeping everything flowing to have the greatest performance you can get.

The Lifted Project will go on. I already received the text asking if I was on board if we did another. "Yes" was the immediate answer. They are working on the production end as we speak. Through out the day I watched the finest Hudson Valley Musicians come together. There was 0 ego in that room. I watched comradeship at its finest hour. That was simply amazing to watch. Three nights prior I was watching Barry Manilow and sentencing One Voice to our group chat. It was John Burton's One Voice that he used to take 34 voices to come together to make that One Voice. Bravo to everyone that day. It was my absolute honor to be asked to work with this extraordinary group of talented people.

The Lifted Project

On April 21, 2024, 35 of the Hudson Valley's greatest singers and musicians of all genres will gather to perform "Won't Be Broken" to raise awareness for beneficiaries of The Lifted Projects.

The Lifted Project
The Lifted Project
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The Hudson Valley’s best and brightest musicians came together at Paula’s Runway Café in Wappingers Falls to implement The Lifted Project, a short film and performance intended to raise awareness and support of several local nonprofits including Hudson River Housing, Berkshire Farm Center & Services For Youth, Hudson Valley Animal Rescue & Sanctuary and Kidney4Clarke. You can watch a BTS video from the filming here!

Locally, Hudson River Housing provides housing services for those in need and veteran services.  Statewide, Berkshire provides children's service focusing on foster care.  Hudson Valley Animal Rescue is a unique shelter and provides veterinary services.  Kidney4Clark seeks a kidney donor for a Hudson Valley Detective.

Hudson Valley Musicians Join Forces to Support Community Nonprofits

This one-of-a-kind event was an opportunity to connect directly with the leaders of these organizations and see the first-ever live performance of “Won’t Be Broken”, an original song written by John Burton and Olivia Bulger, inspired by the 1985 classic, “We Are the World." Musicians include:

  • Jennie Angel
  • Cherilyn Ann
  • Natasha Barnes
  • Gramercy Burton
  • John Burton
  • Bianca Carano
  • Shannon Cooke
  • Eric Dalton
  • Rich Dashnaw
  • Becki Davis
  • Ariana Dingman
  • Jason Gisser
  • Jill Haack
  • Tom Heany
  • Christa Hines
  • Iko
  • Liv
  • Carolyn Marosy
  • Shaun McKenna
  • Macy McKnight
  • Brenda More
  • Jessie Montague
  • Jennifer Nevel
  • Thom O'Brien
  • Krisha Patenaude
  • Tina Pierce
  • Beth Prellberg
  • Mike Robinson
  • Lucas Rotman
  • Angelo Santilli
  • Angela Uzzo
  • Heather Vacarr
  • Lynn Versaci
  • Robert Viola
  • Marek Vitek
  • Jim Wegrzyn
  • Paula Young
  • Carrie Zazz
  • Marji Zintz
  • Conor WAlsh

The Lifted Project offers special thanks to Paula's Runway Cafe for hosting, Eric Dolton Productions for producing, Adrian Bowles for videography, Ashley Torres for photography, and Locks That Rock for production.

Home From Here with John Burton

John Burton, the creator of The Lifted Project, is also the creator and host of Home From Here. John's personal and dramatic journey through a mental Health crisis of his own serves as the backdrop for his conversations with politicians, musicians, therapists, and his own family.

Home From Here focuses on mental Health, music, the creative process, and anything uplifting and funny.  With his warm and inviting presence, Burton fosters an environment of openness and vulnerability, inviting guests from all walks of life to share their stories and expertise on his show.

His innate ability to infuse humor and light-heartedness into his discussions creates a safe and uplifting space where listeners can find solace, inspiration, and a renewed sense of hope.

 

The documentary will be out soon and we will update you when we have it, BUT we have the song and the music video! It was an amazing experience and it's insane that we were able to capture it in this way! You can spot me in the back row on the right in the colorful Golf shirt right by the Flight Level sign!

In case you're not big on listening to podcasts or audio interviews, here is a brief Q & A between John and I before we arranged to do an interview in person!

Q: What are your feelings about the experience you had doing The Lifted Project?

A: "Having seen a few examples of magic happening when people gather to support each other, I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong. So many talented people, so many volunteers, so many stories. I have been to big weddings where there were less hugs. So many people wept and laughed and sung and danced and played. It was about the three non profits and I feel like we highlighted them, but something larger happened. Everyone who was there, myself included, left with a new understanding of the miracles we are capable of if we lift each other. It is so easy, and so small, to tear down. Gravity helps you with that. But if you gather yourself to lift people up, you see and hear what we should be. I got to see on that day, what we should be. And I will never forget it.

The musicians - they all said yes before the song was written. Not an ego in the room. Can you imagine, that much talent, 34 headliners (you Conor included), gathering for an idea that hadn’t even been created yet? I really think people thirst to do good, we just have to make space for that. The band. We had one rehearsal on a Sunday morning after they had all played out late that Saturday night. It lasted an hour. Because our eyes were on a bigger prize, everyone just contributed without agenda. The producer, the show runner, even having the space donated, it was just a concentration of goodwill."

Q: What is the timeline and future of The Lifted Project now that it has been performed and recorded?

A: "We are in production now on a few fronts, all of which we hope to have done and distributed mid May at the latest. First, there is the single with a :30 introduction showcasing the non profits that we are going to post wherever you get your music, and that we are going to ask radio stations like yours to put into rotation. Next there is the extended version. At the end of the show, the singers and audience joined together for one special take that we want to share in the same way - to show what magic happens when we join instead of isolate. That last take was so inspiring, the audience sang as loud as the choir, soloists improvised, it was special. At the same time, we are creating a documentary about the day and the project that we want to distribute to Hudson Valley content providers. I have seen a lot of the raw footage, and it is emotional. We are also distributing it nationally, not only to show what happens in a concentration of goodwill but to show the rest of America how the Hudson Valley is a geographic celebration of music at the highest level.

Then, in June, we begin production and planning meetings for the Lifted Project 2, about which I have a bunch of ideas. Given the reception already on social media of the Lifted Project, we have proof of concept, and now I want to see just how lifted we can all get together."

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