Esther Valentine | Go Where the Love Is

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Jazz: Big Band Pop: with Live-band Production Moods: Type: Vocal
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Go Where the Love Is

by Esther Valentine

"I've never heard anything like it - but these songs are classics." Original Big Band tunes penned by Ms. Valentine - from blues to rockabilly to trad. "new" standards to noir & cross-over pop (Beatles), it's a journey that'll leave you wanting more...
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Manhattan's for Me (feat. Rob Mullins, Jonathan Stanger & John Hatton)
3:40 $1.25
2. Go Where the Love Is
4:07 $0.99
3. That's My Man
3:38 $0.99
4. The Doin'-Me-Right-Blues (feat. Stephen P. Mann & Jerry Scott Edelnant)
3:42 $0.99
5. I Get Nothing Done (feat. Rob Mullins)
3:26 $1.25
6. Above the Clouds (feat. Bill Lamb)
3:41 $1.25
7. Poe's Fanfare (feat. Johnny Hatton & Slammin' Sammy Kestenholtz)
4:36 $0.99
8. If It Don't Work Don't Fix It (feat. Johnny Hatton & Fino Roverato)
3:17 $1.25
9. Night and Day (feat. Steve Johnson)
3:51 $0.99
10. Je Ne Fais Plus Rien (#5 Reprise in French) [feat. Rob Mullins]
3:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
August 2015 "That's My Man" was featured/performed in a European-World Championship dance contest. Not only am I glad our CD is not in a drawer thousands of people are not just listening but dancing/rockin' out to the music all across Europe! Is it time to contact "Dancing With the Stars" or "So You Think You Can Dance?" Maybe this metadata will kick in, or? Happy Halloween, everyone - have a fun &r spooktacular time!

March/April 2014 Esther Valentine's track "That's My Man" will appear on a compilation with Diana Ross, Jessica Simpson, Swing Kings, a "Gossip Girl," etc.! To be released at the end of March/mid - April. Write to for more info.

March 13th & 15th 2014 Esther appears on and the Hadley Hour and gets a steady 17,000 listeners! Jason Hadley is a wonderful host He brought out the funny in us, as well as showcasing the music and announcing the upcoming release. Thanks, Jason!


"Esther Valentine has a powerful and very expressive voice, is a skilled songwriter, and has been a prolific studio and session singer. On the ambitious “Go Where The Love Is,” she is joined by Rex Merriweather's This Ain't Your Daddy's Big Band. The set is comprised of her originals plus Cole Porter's "Night And Day." The music ranges from the
celebratory "Manhattan's For Me" and the love song "That's My Man" to the lowdown "The Doin'-Me-Right Blues" and a tribute to her cat ("Poe's Fanfare"). Her lyrics are intelligent, generally philosophical and witty, and discuss universal issues from offbeat perspectives. The music ranges from MOR to swinging jazz, with Esther Valentine's high-powered singing (which is touched by both country music and r&b) always being passionate. Her enjoyable and rousing set is available at"


Esther Valentine's highly anticipated release "Go Where the Love Is" is NOW AVAILABLE! Accompanying Esther are Rex Merriweather & This Ain't Your Daddy's Big Band, John Hatton (Brian Setzer Band), Rob Mullins (Hubert Laws), Duane Benjamin (Arr. Gladys Knight, Joss Stone, The Voice, etc.), and some of the Tower of Power horn section (Lead Trumpet David W. Grover engineered & played bass), to name a few. Esther's original Big Band tunes (sold 1/2 mil. on other CD previously) will make you laugh, cry, dance, mime (?). It's like nothing you've heard before, yet everything you've heard before - check it out and be thoroughly entertained!


It began with a song…or was it a dance? DAVID COLLINS, Chief Muse and Partner in Rhyme & Passion (he Produced the CD with me) would not dance to anything but Big Band. So, off we went to a local restaurant/club that promised the All-Stars of yesteryear and today, veterans/members of Sinatra’s Band, Glen Miller, Brian Setzer, Rod Stewart, Manhattan Transfer, etc. We half-believed it, but shortly after we paid the modest door charge, the show started and The Magic began –
and it never left.

But, before that there were the songs - all those great songs that I grew up with as a child. Mum, English lass that she was, always had a tune on her lips (she sang in the factories of England as she worked), and song was often the language we spoke. My Father danced like the amateur boxer he was (in Brooklyn, as a young boy, that was the main attraction in his day - Bronx Tale-ish), crossing one leg over the other, with one hand making a loud snap - 'made us laugh/smile. Dad's genes linked to one of the Grateful Dead (my 2nd cousin, Mickey Hart), so there was the percussive aspect. Then there was David, who came along and finished all my (musical) lines. For all those half-songs I'd be singing, he provided the 2nd movements. Perfect. Then, he mused me – with Gershwin, Cole Porter, Sinatra, Lena Horne, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Fred Astaire, etc. (his grandparents owned cinemas back to vaudeville, and entranced by it all, he became somewhat of a theatrical/musical historian). As my lyrics and melodies emerged, we could almost feel the collective muses swirling around the room. Quite interesting. I said, “Oh, I bet there isn’t anyone but me who would use the word ‘ennui” in a song.” And, David said, “Well…Coley did, in 'I Get A Kick Out Of You.'” I’ve written in other genres (sold 1/2 mil. on other CD previously), had tunes in film, TV (i was the vocalist), on CD’s, commercials, etc. and very much enjoyed it. But, now, this Big Band bug bit – and it bit hard. How could it not? It’s so musical, lyrical, substantial - what people seem to be hungry for, once again (immediately after my show, they asked “when are we doing this again?”) People from 18 to 90 – cross-generational. Beautiful. Thank you for listening, and for taking this music into your hearts and your homes.
**HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!** To contact us or share your thoughts:

(*full credits at end)

"MANHATTAN'S FOR ME" - For all that Manhattan's been through (and as of late), this "anthem" insisted on being written. It bubbled up from a lovely conversation between Esther & David. All the beauty, the strength, the history, the tenacity - the music! - it's here, to be celebrated. As the song begins, JOHN HATTON (Setzer Band) bows his upright bass, as REX MERRIWEATHER (Musical Dir. & Assoc. Prod.) & THIS AIN’T YOUR DADDY’S BIG BAND (a powerful force to behold) ease into the intro, then swell to a heart-wrenching pitch before they hit us with that great swing sound (you could almost hear Sinatra singing this song, ala “My Kind Of Town,” etc.) Rex, a multi-talented, lightning speed, soulful trumpeter, has performed with such legends as Buddy Guy, Buddy Miles and Koko Taylor. His talented band members have played with Brian Setzer, Buddy Rich, Manhattan Transfer, Tower of Power and Rod Stewart, to name a few. Rob Mullins plays a classic, entrancing and playful piano part, and Jonathan Stanger performs a beautiful sax solo. And, I must give a node to another great sax player on the CD, Dan Heffernan, who would give me a lovely "chill pill" right before performing by playing a Shaffer-esque theme song (clue - "Valentine" is my name :o).

“GO WHERE THE LOVE IS,” the title song of the CD, came to Esther like a hopeful mantra on a cloudy day, a remedy to simply not “park your car” behind the one that seems to taunt you, but rather see the other open lanes and take the easier, more satisfying route. As the song maneuvers around “traffic jams and nightly scams,” DAVE GROVER (Tower of Power, Chaka Khan, Floyd & the Fly Boys, etc.) plays a mean bass – but wait, there’s more! He’s also the Chief Engineer, Co-Producer and “Magician,” if you will (he surely made these tracks sparkle and shine!) Dave actually played his (b)ass off on several of the tunes. Trombones emerge in the second verse, mimicking the sound of a bustling, near-intrusive city (“Twilight Zone”-ish). But then, a joyful chorus changes the channel, black and white to color. When Marco Monahan performs his eccentric slide on piano (like “5,000 Fingers of Dr. T”) you hear something of Beethoven embedded in the start of the bridge (and maybe also a little Rodrigo or Le Grand in the melody?) and then you’re transported to yet another dimension/terrain. Mr. Deutsch did a good job of this arrangement. Alan Persons also helped to add a cool, beat sound to the intro with his congas. (FYI - Esther would write the songs/lyrics and prelim. arr. for all tunes, i.e. intro, verses, choruses, etc/ including several instrumental lines, turn-arounds, modulations (in other words, beautiful, late nights spent getting it as tight as she could), and then she would turn it over to the wonderful arrangers, who would further do their magic and "walk the sound upstairs." Enjoy the ride!

“THAT’S MY MAN” – Simply an ode to “love ‘em anyway,” a true-story homage to “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man,” but a bit more empowering, while being funny and sentimental, too. You could see Fred and Ginger dancing in the instrumental (how great would that be?!) or Lena shaking her finger while singing this recipe/remedy for a happy relationship/marriage. Beautiful arrangement (another good one for Deutsch) and great execution by the band. Here’s a hit, and one for that “Madmen” soundtrack, or?!

“THE DOIN’-ME-RIGHT BLUES – We know it’s a dark deed, but Esther just had to write one happy blues song. Still, the imperfection is the perfection. And, speaking of perfection, let’s hear it for the soulful, rockin’ solos by Jerry Edelnant and Steve Mann. You can also recognize Esther’s influences, Bonnie Raitt and Bessie Smith. David (who does make good coffee!) played her Van Ronk’s version of “Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out” (David studied with him) and she was hooked. 'Loved the dim./aug. chords, etc. and the more intrinsic storyteller blues/chords that the '20s were know for.

“I GET NOTHING DONE” (“LET LOVE DREAM”) – it’s the Zen of love. It’s that time/place in your relationship when all you can do is…well, that. But that could also mean languishing in each other’s company, seeing the world together – anything but the dishes and the laundry (unless that’s your bag?) But, still, by doing what seems like nothing, you find out you’ve accomplished quite a lot! Be-u-tiful piano played by Rob Mullins. Gorgeous arrangment by DUANE BENJAMIN (aka Ben-Jamin). Duane said he would put a lot of love into and, by God, he did - when you hear it, you'll see.

“ABOVE THE CLOUDS” – Another lexicon, believe it or not, inspired by Tinkerbell (2, no less). It’s the scene where she’s struggling to fly in a dark, wet, ominous storm; then Queen Fairy points her finger upwards towards a blue sky and our heroine rises above it all. This is an amalgamation of a few styles. Esther plays a haunting piano intro, an urgent line in the “Tink” Interlude, and a catchy tag at the end. But, the pièce de résistance is Bill Lamb playing a beautiful, Beatle-esque French Horn and Piccolo Trumpet. Dave Grover also plays great bass on this, driving the song along. You can hear Esther & David’s love for Lennon/McCartney (towards the end, it sounds a bit like "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" meets "Penny Lane," not done on purpose). This song could be the first to bridge the Beatles' earliest influences (swing, think Bill Haley, etc.) with pop/rock – it makes total sense, and works seamlessly.

“POE’S FANFARE” – Have you ever had a love affair with an animal – or 2? We won’t tell – but, seriously, Poe & Princess are one magical, feline duo (if you have any doubts, look at the panel for this song). When Poe came to rescue Esther & David a few years ago and sauntered into their living room, a stately and noble walk was observed. Esther couldn’t help but compose a classical, fanfare melody on the spot, just for fun. But, then, she realized, “Hey, we can swing this!” Hence, this “O-puss” was born. Princess came shortly after, and her loveliness was also incorporated into the song. Johnny "Spazz" Hatton plays slappin’ bass, and “Slammin’ Sammy” Kestenholtz has a powerful drum solo. You gotta love all the great music/terrains - the band is rockin'. David urged Esther to put this tune on the CD but she felt a little embarrassed - this was for fun, for the love o' Poe (& Princess). But, she did anyway, and it became one of the favorites! Shades of Danny Kaye (they got hitched to “Anywhere I Wander,” a childhood favorite Esther & David both enjoyed as children, they discovered much later).

“IF IT DON’T WORK, DON’T FIX IT” – Finally. A good, maybe even happy, break-up song that actually propelled one of Esther’s friends to turn her life around, so she says. “When kicked to the curb, darlins, don’t curb your kick. Come back, kickin’ and hollerin’ – don’t let ‘em getcha down!” This song was originally recorded in the country rock vein, but “the duo” realized early on that it was destined for rockabilly (especially when David pushed for Paul Burlison-esque guitar stylings). And, indeed it was, especially when JOHN HATTON & FINO ROVERATO got a hold of it. Fino, an unassuming, lovely man (referred by his muso-buddy, Mr. Hatton) quietly walked into the studio, set up his great Gretsch, then turned into a monster (player that is, sounding like he was right out of the Setzer band or the Johnny Burnette trio). And, again, JOHNNY “SPAZZ” HATTON did a fantastic job on yet another tune, doing what he does best – slappin’ dat bass! Do a search and you’ll find him atop one of his amazing, ember-painted basses. And photogenic, too.

“NIGHT & DAY” - One of the songs that started it all off. David bade Esther to perform this song, but she wanted, at the time, to leave it to the greats (there are several, wonderful renditions). Finally, she caved in, and now ya can’t stop the girl. Some even say it’s one of the best versions they’ve ever heard. But, let’s face it – a great song sings the singer. Cole Porter is such a master. He has written some of the most hauntingly beautiful songs of all time (“Begin the Beguine,” “So In Love”) with intoxicating melodies accompanied by poetic, witty and often times personal lyrics. That authenticity contributes to his greatness . So, please do explore the Cole Porter catalog (& the movie they made about him with Kevin Kline was great, too) - you'll love it.

“JE NE FAIS PLUS RIEN” - the Reprise of “I Get Nothing Done” in French. It had to be done – there was something “PIAF” about it, deliciously noir (and, with Rob Mullins’ beautiful piano stylings, it’s now almost like something out of “Laura”). Paris was calling (a friend, Hoa, was friends with a translator there), and Herve Suffet was enlisted to help this torch song come to life. Nadine Ellman, a French singer/songwriter also added some great, clever lines, as well as Marie Parie, also an artist, who contributed beautiful thoughts, as well as great coaching (‘til 3 in the morning – Esther nodded off singing “je ne reve a rien…”). Alexandre Pelletier de Chambure ("Mon Professeur"), who actually has worked with Chirac, was wonderful, and came up with a few lovely, important phrases, and helped to coach as well. Esther also contributed some important sentiments in French (she is not fluent, yet some words kind of came to her - "mon coeur" - must be the French muse, Piaf! It’s hard to believe it’s the same song (as "I Get Nothing Done") – and that's one of the things we love about it. It’s an enigma – each version has a wonderful life of its own. A couple actually cried in each other’s arms as they listened to the French version, and another was coaxed into their So, yes, it had to be done...we did get "something done." Bon Soir, this story is told (for now), and as the song says… “Let love dream.”



DAVID W. GROVER worked for many, many months, recording, mixing, playing bass and anything else that had to be done - that's why Esther & David insisted on giving him a production credit. Daryl Zanuck said that a production credit should be given to those who were there from the onset, doing their job from beginning to end. Dave really fell for this project, was a real trooper, and was there almost to the last drop - you can tell his heart was definitely in it.

ERIC ASTOR from Entourage Studios also had a great set of ears and really helped, towards the last few months, to adjust some important elements, add a bit more dimension, and assist with the final mix. Not to mention he was a pleasure to work with - very patient, and enjoyed the project.

RON MCMASTER from Capitol was just that. He was born to master (that is his real name). He re-mastered many of Frank Sinatra's, Dean Martin's and Peggy Lee's albums, not to mention Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Buble, etc. His assistant, Jordan, is to be thanked for telling Esther & David "this is the quintessential man for Big Band!" And, was he ever.

*FULL CREDIT LIST - Esther & David want to thank all of the people that played an important role in making this CD a reality, and especially all of the players/engineers, etc. for working so hard to make this CD sound amazing. There really is a warm and joyful sound to it all - a "Go Where the Love Is" kind of sound.

Saxes (dbl.Flute/Clarinet): Steve Mann, John Stanger, Dan Heffernan, Jeff Gucciardo, Bill Wright, Ben Burget
Trumpets: Anne King, Bill Lamb, Ed Mann, Rex Merriweather, Rob Sack
French Horn & Piccolo Trumpet: Bill Lamb
Trombones: Brooks West, Sandra Schlink, Evan Mackey, Duane Benjamin, Bill Lamb, Matt Fleming,
Steve Johnson (“Night & Day” solo), Tim Stone
Piano: Rob Mullins (#s 1, 2, 5, 6, 10); Marco Monahan (#s 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9);
Esther Valentine (#s 2, 4, 6) Piano/Keyboards
Bass: John Hatton, Stand-Up/Arco (#s 1, 7, 8); David Grover, Stand-up and Electric
Bass (#s 1, 2, 3, 6, 9); Rick Guetschow, Electric Bass (#s 4, 5, 10)
Guitar: Jerry Scott Edelnant (all except #8); Fino Roverato (#8)
Drums: Sammy Kestenholtz Percussion: Alan Person
Engineers: David Grover (Recording & Mixing, etc.); Add’l engineer: Eric Astor, Entourage; Ass’t: Ara
Arrangers: Duane Benjamin (#5, #10) E. Deutsch, E. Valentine
French Translation: Hervé Suffet, Marie Parie, Nadine Ellman, Alexandre Pelletier de Chambure, Esther Valentine Photography: Matt Reagan (cover, #6); Brad Smith (back cover); Fred Gruchalla, (#2/marquee);
EV (#s 3, 4, 7) David Collins (#8)
Make-Up & Hair: Ivonne Morales, EV
Graphic Design: Esther Valentine & Victoria Parr, Herbert Eigler; CD Art Concept: EV/VP

I also want to give a BIG shout out to Dyanne P., my long-time friend and great fan - the woman that knows everything, and you know what I mean, "D" Well, let's just say we are mutual confidants and she knows all the back story to these songs. Yes, many came from real-life experiences, and that's why she exclaimed & laughed when she read the lyrics. This wonderful woman sure knows me - we've been through a lot together. So grateful she's my lifelong friend!

Also, a big hug to Christine, who has also gone above and beyond as well to support us (she does this naturally with her friends/famly - she's such a gem!). She really understood the process & the music early on, and she and Marv (he had a big hit early on himself) have just expounded the kindest words. Christine also helped at the last show, jumped in & did what needed to be done. Thank You everyone - Sherri, Franky & Bernie have also been angels, & Patty & Mel, too. Jason, my backyard Guru, has also kept me laughing & has been great to run things by (a little like "Home Improvement" but with the full countenance). Lots of love and Blessings to you all!



to write a review


Ms. Valentine
I just heard of Ms. valentine a few minutes ago, and had the great pleasure of speaking with her as well. Ms. Valentine, your music is beautiful , and I can't wait to hear more. It was great getting to speak with you, and now that I get to put a face with your voice, you are truely a beautiful person inside and out!!!

Dee, Golden Eon Films

Go Where the Love Is by Esther Valentine
‘Go Where the Love Is’ is a refreshing counterbalance to the music of today. Valentine’s silky, strong vocals combine with her mastery of lyrics (you laugh, you sigh, you nod knowingly) all combine with her captivating music and arrangements to make this collection of songs a MUST HAVE!! What a great uplifting feeling I get when I play this cd. Well worth every penny. Definitely ADD this cd to your music collection!!

Christine Douglass

An Amazing Cross Generational Must Own Album!
So often you buy an album, and in reality, you only end up really loving just a couple of songs on it. Right? But, not THIS ONE! The musical genius and charisma demonstrated is so evident in even the smallest nuances and textures of this collection of soulful and often witty lyrics, masterful arrangements and orchestration, perfectly placed harmonies, and modulation that will leave you soaring as it climbs. It's music that is so totally satisfying. My favorites were songs #3,4,5,6,& 7. Take a listen to this album and you'll see what I mean.

Sherri Gold

"Go Where the Love is" is a real treat of singing and music! Esther's voice is pure and sweet and her songs are beautifully written, arranged and orchestrated. A real treat for this music lover! It is absolutely fabulous! I plan to listen to it often!

Gina Mooers

I am a bit of a music novice, but I know what I like and Esther Valentine is amazing! She brings to mind Billie Holiday and Lena Horne. I bought her CD a few weeks ago and I've probably listened to it 50 times! I have a brutal commute and her smooth voice and soulful lyrics make my ride SO much easier to bear! She is a phenomenal talent and I look forward to seeing her live at some point! I'm buying another CD as a birthday gift! Give her a serious listen, I guarantee you that you will like her too!

Arthur Colmer

An Absolute Joy To Listen To!!!!!!
I didn't know that they were making CD like this anymore. There are so many different styles offered on this CD, and all of them have been sewn together in such a way, that takes me on a trip each time I listen (yes, in a very short time, I've listened to it about 10 times). The music is never dull, between the pounding of the drums, the triumph of the brass/sax, perfect blending of piano and bass, and of course the big voice of Esther Valentine. The surprises on this CD are so many, as there is ear candy abound. One, that sticks out for me, is the way the Beatles sound is incorporated within a music style that was an obvious Beatle influence. Listen to "Above The Clouds." It's sort of an homage, with piccolo trumpet and lush thick harmonies, yet, it's presented in a very, very, original way (and it swings). There is also a sincerity to Valentine's delivery that captures the heart and essence of this music's golden era. Just beautiful from top to bottom. Listen to the power of her vocal style in "Night & Day." But, vocals aren't all that we get here. Her music & lyrics are so strong and sing-able, they are destined to become a part of the "Great American Songbook." "Manhattan's For Me," "That's My Man," "If It Don't Work, Don't Fix It," and the title song, are all standouts! The final track, is labeled as a reprise, "Je Ne Fais Plus Rein," sums everything up for me, as I know I'll get nothing done, because I'm listening to this. Can't recommend it enough.

billy ray

Esther Valentine, the Oracle of Music
I can't stop listening to Esther Valentine's music. It's captivating, exhilirating, ..., -superlative after superlative follows. I'll keep writing elsewhere about Esther's music, but here's an important observation . I think everyone needs to seek out and listen Esther Valentine, this oracle of music through which the gods speak directly to the listener’s spirit. Esther’s music is robustly colored with the deepest of human experience, wants, needs, joys and sorrows, etc….,. She speaks and sings deeply to the listeners heart and psyche, the listener sees more clearly, their wants, needs, joys, sorrows, ..... Listening brings peace, joy, ecstasy, energy, enabling healing and self-actualization. Esther's music expresses and shares humanity with the listener, greatly enhancing their lives.

Bill Baier

I really love Esther Valentines Music
I really love Esther Valentine's transports me to a better place, literally. I listen to her CDs in a continuous loop in my car. Listening to her original, Big Band CD (and later, her Pop/World disc), I have found myself driving 20 miles in intense listening silence, ignoring my passenger, who was equally mesmerized in reverent silence, contrary to his usual demeanor. I find myself missing my turnoffs, unable to get out of the car when I arrive at my destination. I just want to keep listening, drinking in the sumptuous nectars of Esther’s music. I keep purchasing more of Esther’s CDs to share with my friends and share this marvelous discovery. Seldom in my life have I felt as privileged as when Esther sang her upcoming tunes to me and played the demos. They sounded fantastic. I ‘loved’ meeting Esther’s parents in her beautiful tribute song. I can hardly wait for her next release. I hope that she’ll move as quickly as possible on her projects, including that live show she’s planning, so the world can be further blessed with this great talent. Thanks Esther. I am eternally grateful. Your voice and music deserve to be heard!!!!

Walt Watson

Music Flowin' Like a Fine Full-bodied Wine
WOW!!! “Go Where the Love Is” knocked my socks off!!! Man, there is no music that is better than this!!!
This is exactly the type of music I enjoy. I love the big band sounds of jazz and Esther has a fantastic voice! “The Doin’-Me-Right Blues” track is a nice blues interlude which I also enjoy. The orchestration is perfect – it’s like a wave of solid big band hitting like a wall of velvet and complementing Esther’s vocals really nicely. It ebbs and flows like fine wine swirled in a glass with Esther’s vocals as its magnificent bouquet. Music like this doesn’t come along often enough. Its sophisticated and smooth… enjoy! Maybe with a nice merlot!