Scott Tady: Midland songstress charts in England; QV grad releases concept album

·5 min read

UPDATE: The Ambridge show has sold out.

Midland-raised singer Kim Tavares is entertaining English audiences this week.

Tavares is on a seven-day promotional tour in Birmingham, the second-largest city in England, where she's publicizing and performing her week-old single "Tired, Do You Hear Me Now".

A London-based internet station, Starpoint Radio, also has been hyping Tavares, who came to fame as "Boston's Singing Cop," performing the National Anthem while in her police uniform at Boston sporting events, appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" and singing on stage with country star Brad Paisley at a Massachusetts amphitheater. First came a viral video of Tavares and fellow Boston police officer Stephen McNulty singing "God Bless America" in “cop pool karaoke.”

Last March, six of Tavares' songs reached Amazon’s U.K. Top 100 New Releases, as her debut album climbed to No. 4 on Amazon’s U.K. Hot New Releases R&B chart.

Tavares, a 1985 graduate of Midland High School, where she was an all-star for the Lady Leopards basketball team, debuted several of her R&B/soul songs in a headlining show last May at Beaver Station Cultural & Event Center.

The good news for Beaver Valley folks is you can catch Tavares again, on May 21, headlining the Iron Horse Theatre in Ambridge.

Tickets cost $20, with a $2 seniors discount, at ironhorsetheatrecompany.ticketleap.com

With the Iron Horse promising fresh flowers and candlelight ambiance, everything's set for a relaxing, romantic evening.

"Tired, Do You Hear Me Now" is available on major music streaming platforms.

"Also while in England, I'll be meeting with my label Digital Jukebox Records, recording a few new songs, shooting a music video for my next single, doing radio and newspaper interviews and performing live on Easter Sunday at The Powerhouse Reunion Party at The Loft Penthouse in Birmingham," Tavares says.

She's written a song to be featured on an upcoming album by namesake Chubby Tavares, from the famed R&B/funk/disco group Tavares.

"I am of Cape Verdean descent as well as the group Tavares (1976 hit 'Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel')," Tavares said. "They are from the same area here in Massachusetts. Growing up, our elders always said we were related, but that has never been confirmed. "

Tavares, the solo artist, looks forward to reuniting with Beaver County friends, and making new ones, at her Ambridge show.

"I am in the process of house hunting; moving back to Beaver County and planning my retirement from the Boston Police Department after 20 years," she said.

The Iron Horse show will be family-friendly and intimate (only 62 seats available.)

"I'm going to make it fun, and maybe even shed a few tears, performing a few of my original songs, a couple gospel songs and a cover song or two," Tavares said. "I'm also trying to implement a few local Beaver County musicians to be part of my band for the evening. There will be a few minutes for Q&A. I want to take advantage of interacting personally with my hometown crowd. It is important for fans to get to know me and understand my writing style, lyrics and the passion and thought I put into every song."

Chad's powerful album

I bet you've seen the Sipes & Sons General Contractors truck motoring through Beaver County.

Did you know the company's owner, Chad Sipes, is also a talented musician?

The Quaker Valley grad and his "alt-rock for grownups" band, The Chad Sipes Stereo, soon will release the remarkable "Thoughts and Prayers," a concept album where all 10 songs deal with one theme: America’s opioid crisis and obsession with pills.

Songs include The Offspring-ish "Every Single Kid," with the line "Say no to drugs, except what they give you," and a reference to every college student's dorm resembling a pop-up pharmacy.

On "A Pill For That," Sipes vocals sound Smithereens-ish while reciting how Big Pharm is ready to push a pill to help with everything from heartbreak to heart attacks to insomnia.

"As someone who has worked in construction my entire career I have seen so many people fall into this. I cut my teeth working in the Beaver Valley, and I still have so many roots there," Sipes said. "The album covers the pill issue from all angles − medicating our kids, being healed, being addicted, being desperate, trying to kick (the habit). I really was conscious to not come off as preachy, because pills and meds are a part of our reality no matter who you are, what your status or class is. It just is what it is and I wrote about it."

Chad Sipes Stereo's "New Prescription" reminds of Weezer at its hardest-rocking, while "Therapy" illustrates a story where dad's off to the airport again, while mom pours another wine to help her cope, as the kids have their faces hypnotized by their digital devices.

"Thoughts and Prayers" ends poignantly with a title track bringing a catharsis of feisty, full-on guitar that lasts 40 seconds, followed by an abrupt ending left open to interpretation, suggesting the protagonist finally is free of his addiction.

Chad Sipes Stereo releases the new album May 3 on digital platforms. It deserves attention. I'll keep you posted when the band announces its summer gigs.

Some will remember Sipes from Pittsburgh's seminal alt-country band Soda Jerk, which recorded albums at David Granati's studio in Ambridge.

Blown away

They call Elliot Walker “Best in Glass.”

See him demonstrate why, April 30 when Walker, the Season 2 winner of Netflix's “Blown Away,” comes to Pittsburgh Glass Center.

The public can attend a free open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to watch Walker in action, creating hot glass art and discussing his unique skills and experiences on “Blown Away”.

"Anyone who saw the glassblowing competition on Netflix knows that Walker can sculpt almost anything in glass," a press release from Pittsburgh Glass Center, at 5472 Penn Ave., in Pittsburgh's Garfield area, said. "Some of his creations included a perfume bottle shaped like a whale, a hat and matching tie, a human spine with lungs, and a cartoon character named Mr. Noteworthy with a telescope as a head."

Heather McElwee, executive director of PGC, judged a Jan. 22 episode of “Blown Away”.

More:Tady column: Froggy's new morning man hails from Beaver Falls; and enter our TV contest

Scott Tady is entertainment editor at The Times and easy to reach at stady@timesonline.com.

This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Tady: Midland singer charts in England; QV grad releases concept album