Denise Rosier is a California-based singer/songwriter whose aspirations have gone from not wanting to offend folks to sharing her music with the world. Rosier’s initial interests in music can be traced back to her childhood. She recalls: “When I was 12, I remember praying that God would just let me sing well enough so that the woman standing in front of me at church wouldn’t turn around every time I sang. That’s all I hoped to accomplish at the time.”
By 1993, however, Rosier would be contributing her vocal talents to such projects as the compilation album Oh Lord Come. Rosier is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, the 6-string baritone ukulele and the keyboards and several years later (2001) she would take time out from her singing long enough to record and release her indie debut disc, Only a Whisper Away. This EP features contributions by an assortment of engineers, musicians and vocalists from the recording bands of such well-known performers as Leonard Cohen, David Foster, Bruce Hornsby, Randy Newman and Jennifer Warnes.
The recording consisted of ten tracks including the title track “Only A Whisper Away” and the noteworthy “That’s The Day”. Rosier, who was also looking for a label, was regularly told that she should consider composition and publishing. She gladly took their advice and began to concentrate on writing her own, original material.
Rosier explains: “Songwriting is my passion. I’ve agonized over it, and sworn never to write another song again, but I love it, and I can’t stop it. Everything I see, hear, and experience is consolidated and framed into a song.”
Rosier would soon be writing a number of different songs for different projects, co-writing with other artists and even writing children’s music. 2006 would find Rosier signing on to write tunes for the Songs of Love Foundation where she would pen personalized pieces for critically and terminally ill children and teenagers. In fact, Rosier continues in this position writing songs based on detailed profiles submitted by families and recording them in her home studio.
Songs of Love cuts the discs and mails them to the families gratis. Rosier has thus far completed more than 200 of these tunes, helping to comfort countless kids and their loved ones. Rosier often admits that working with Songs of Love “is the most important thing” she has ever done musically.
Some notable examples of her other children’s music include “Swingin’”, “Japanese Acorn Song (Donguri Korokoro), “It’s A Wonderful Day” and “Got the Reading Bug”. Rosier will soon even be putting out a children’s album titled Live Out Loud. Her award-winning track “Robin’s Lullaby” will be included on the children’s CD series “I Love Life” and on Dreamtime Lullabies released by Phoenix Voyage.
Rosier, born in Japan but raised in California, is also planning on putting out a book and CD titled Mister Whiskers. This is an educational project for pre-schoolers about a cat (Mr. Whiskers) and his pet mouse. Children will sing and laugh while they learn to count.
In between working on new material she also has managed to appear on such programs as Radio KATK FM and the Women Of Substance Radio Internet “Seize The Day Show” where she performed her tune “Today”. Her songs have also been included on such television shows as Showtime’s Soul Food.
Rosier’s latest (2011) release, Baby Come On is a 6-track CD of all original works spanning different musical genres including country and pop. She is backed by a session band and her producer/bassist husband Keith Rosier (with whom she also performs in a classic rock cover band). The disc unique in that while the themes —letting go, loss, love, risk and life priorities—the tales tunefully told herein are actually based on real life stories.
Rosier elaborates: “Each song on my album was inspired by a real person or situation. The album opens with the title track “Baby Come On”. This one provides a good, upbeat start to the EP.
The second selection is titled “Smoke and Ashes” and is fast becoming a fan favorite. The next number is “You Hold my Hand” which according to Rosier “was inspired by the story of a friend who found herself suddenly battling leukemia. Night after night, her husband came to the hospital to visit her.”
Rosier continues: “He never talked about work or the kids or the bills. He sat there silently and held her hand. It was a picture of how we can be grounded by small but very human gestures of love.”
“I Can’t Say Goodbye” follows. This one takes the “Critic’s Choice” here. It’s a refreshing change from the kind of country cuts that put all the blame on bad relationships on the man. Here Rosier is a woman who admits she cannot (or perhaps will not) let go of someone regardless of knowing full-well the realities of the situation.
“Baby Bye-Bye” quickly comes in and voices the more prevalent viewpoint. Even though we have surely heard this one before her energy and honesty make it work well enough. “Just To Be With You” is a quieter, piano piece that demonstrates a bit of Rosier’s versatility and provides a nice end to the EP.
Rosier , who recently sang backgrounds for Randy Rusk, says: “I’m very happy with the way each of these songs tells a universal story and yet I am privy to the actual people who inspired them.” Ironically, if Rosier keeps producing music like the songs on her latest CD, music fans might soon be the ones singing “I Can’t Say Goodbye”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.