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Michelle Hotaling | Chained By Dreams

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Michelle Hotaling (official website) Michelle Hotaling on MySpace Michelle Hotaling on Facebook Scott Slater on MySpace Apple iTunes PassAlong Tradebit PayPlay GroupieTunes Bitmunk GreatIndieMusic MusicIsHere

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United States - NY - New York City

Other Genres You Will Love
Rock: Modern Rock Rock: 70's Rock Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Chained By Dreams

by Michelle Hotaling

A schizophonic, ethereal, purple-loving, lyrically-based, 70's-influenced, wannabe hippy dancing around in scarves and sequins to a wurlitzer, drum loop, and wah-guitar. Or something thrown into a big genre known as pop-rock.
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Defy
4:13 $0.99
2. Nowhere's Land
4:32 $0.99
3. Chained By Dreams
3:36 $0.99
4. Crystal Clear
3:18 $0.99
5. No Great Pretender
3:20 $0.99
6. Porcelain Doll
4:12 $0.99
7. You Shoulda
3:39 $0.99
8. Underestimate
3:29 $0.99
9. Rain Song
4:40 $0.99
10. Dear Maureen
3:56 $0.99
11. Take Me Home
5:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Please visit michellehotaling.com for the latest news and shows!

Not many young women these days can attest to being lifelong Bette Midler groupies, but that's exactly what Michelle Hotaling was when she fled her small town in upstate NY at the age of 17 to study in the Big Apple. While in college, she hit the road with a friend to follow Midler's Divine Miss Millenium Tour to get an education not found in the classroom.

"I'm either just anachronistic or a reincarnated gay bloke that didn't survive the 70's and wanted to come back as soon as possible," Michelle often chides when asked about her musical roots (which are laden with icons like Carly Simon, Laura Nyro, and Joni Mitchell). Initially wanting to emulate Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand, she wrote a memoir about her Midler Mania (BETTE OR BUST published by a division of Random House) and found herself working at Streisand's company, Barwood Films, at the age of 18. She sang in cabarets around Manhattan, embracing the masterpieces of Harold Arlen and Gershwin, all the while completing her Bachelor of Arts in Communications at the age of 19 much to the surprise of her college dean. "My parents would only let me move to Manhattan if I went to college. I was worried it would waste too much time because I already knew what I wanted to do with my life... so I finished as fast as I could."

Nothing ever came easy for Michelle, but she always had faith in her drive."I love it when people tell me "no." In fact, I dare them to because it stirs something inside me... this level of defiance that has allowed me to accomplish things I would have never even considered before." Aspirations in the film world kept her away from whole-heartedly pursuing music when she relocated to Los Angeles after college. Michelle immersed herself in film production, setting out to make BETTE OR BUST into a movie. But performing became inevitable, as she seemlessly received acting and modeling roles and found herself battling to just land a regular job. "I must have interviewed for over thirty positions at studios and production offices. I was a published author, a total overachiever, and had two years of experience working in the industry behind me. But the doors wouldn't open and I was constantly told I was too ambitious. That's something no one would ever tell you in New York. But in LA? Forget it!”

The angst and listlessness Michelle felt in Tinseltown brought her to the Pacific Coast Highway, where she'd park her car and write volumes in her journal. It was also the time that a new muse, Stevie Nicks, entered her musical repertoire and inspired new musical endeavours. "I love Stevie because like her, I was never musically trained. My parents could not afford piano lessons or vocal lessons, so I'd escape to the school auditorium or spend hours in church, pecking away at the keys and teaching myself. The fact that Stevie could write such captivating, intense songs based on her own instincts and limited training made me believe that maybe I could do it." Michelle began to put her journal entries to music and understand an instant gratification that the filmmaking process didn't provide.

Driving over Laurel Canyon Blvd. nearly a year after she relocated to California, "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac came on the radio. Michelle looked up to her visor and saw the slip of paper on which she scribbled "Follow Instincts" when she had first arrived in Los Angeles. In an instant she did a u-turn on the top of the hill, drove back to her apartment, and began packing. She knew that if she really wanted to thrive in music, she had to get back to New York.

Back in Manhattan, the creativity thrived and Michelle worked with a handful of producers that ultimately did not work out. With the kindness of Fate, Michelle was eventually led to Scott Slater. Oddly enough, their first email correspondance took place just as Scott was listening to "Dreams." Michelle took it as an omen and Scott became the first person to hear her catalog of music. "Having the creative license to just write out all the turbulent moments of my life in songs took away the intimidation of singing other people's songs because I was writing about my pain and my life. The songwriting process came so naturally, that I couldn't resist it. Scott was the perfect person to produce these songs. He foresaw the production of the songs as soon as I began to play them for him. He was just so in tune with the grand scheme of the music." They set out to do a few songs together when Michelle decided she wanted to do an entire album inspired by the first song they had completed, "Chained by Dreams." Each song managed to incorporate the strong melodies and 70's feel that Michelle absorbed from her influences, but with a modern touch. With a journey of omens and obstacles, with triumphs and low moments, Michelle and Scott are thrilled (and relieved!) to present their first release, CHAINED BY DREAMS.

Michelle Hotaling: lead and background vocals, flute, piano on "Dear Maureen"
Scott Slater: electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, piano, Hammond organ, keys, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, programming, string & vocal arrangements, background vocals
Ben Tabler: guitar solo on "Defy"
Lisa Zure: background vocals on "Defy", "You Shoulda", "Take Me Home"
Nick Myers: saxophone on "No Great Pretender"
AZZA Choir: gospel choir on "Porcelain Doll"



to write a review


superb - voice and, in particular, sound
superb - voice and, in particular, sound

Joey Keenan

Fantastique- that's french for fantastic.
I dare you to buy this CD. You're reading the reviews, so you are interested, so do yourself a favor and get it. The CD has so many different sounds you are bound to like SOMETHING! 'You Shoulda' got me hooked, but this is the type of CD that everytime you listen to it you discover something new and have a new favorite song! There are no clunkers, great voice, lyrics, music, style and vibraslap!

Kellie Burke

This CD is awesome. I love it. I am so inspired to sing my heart out during and after listening to it...it is great! Thank you Michelle!

Terry McBride

Amazing, Suprising, and Distinct!
I'm hesitant about purchasing new music from undiscovered artists. I admit it, I'll hop on trends once they're already mainstream. A friend directed me to Michelle's music and I love it. "Chained by Dreams" hasn't left my cd player since I got it. Her vocals are soothing, the arrangements are great, and Tlyrics are poetic and haunting. Take a chance on this girl, you won't regret it!


Not What You'd Expect...
Generally, I'm drawn to harder rock, but I was captivated by the hooky-melodies and clear voice of Michelle Hotaling. There's a new, undiscovered sound here, some sounding New Age and ethereal to classic rock, to pop, to hip hop. My favorite song on here is "Rain Song." It's beautiful. There's a lot of originality here in the overall sound and I was very impressed.


Not What You'd Expect...
Generally, I'm drawn to harder rock, but I was captivated by the hooky-melodies and clear voice of Michelle Hotaling. There's a new, undiscovered sound here, some sounding New Age and ethereal to classic rock, to pop, to hip hop. My favorite song on here is "Rain Song." It's beautiful. There's a lot of originality here in the overall sound and I was very impressed.

Mary Carlson

This album is one of the best albums I've gotten in a long time. I strongly encourage taking a chance of this artist. Michelle's lyrics are original and truly soulful with a good mix of pop rock. The lyrics and emotions of the music are easy to understand and relate to, which just had me hooked even more. Watch out for this artist as she is upon and raising. Buy this album for everyone you know, they will love it.

Ken, Quiet Heart Images

This cd is amazing, diverse, and has a cross-generational appeal.
This cd is amazing! I was very impressed both by Michelle's vocals and the arrangements. Her voice, as I listened to each track, reminded me at various points of – Kelly Clarkson (something about your vocal tone and the energy of the first few tracks), Jewel (the lyrical, folky quality of the later tracks), and Stevie Nicks (the overall “feel” and phrasing of some of the tracks). Scott Slater did a fantastic job with the arrangements. Each track has a different sound and feel yet it all sounds unified. I'm recommending all my friends to check out this album.

Brian Collis

Quality Trumps Genre...
What a great debut effort! If you're expecting nothing more than shallow, thoughtless pop that you can leave on
in the background, than you're in for a (pleasant) surprise. The crunchy guitars on "Deny" set up the disc perfectly in that respect; each song has layers upon layers of interest to reward those who put forth the effort
to really listen - whether it be a instrument you didn't expect (was that a mandolin?) the technical complexity
of the music itself or Michelle's lyrics, which have a depth you'd expect, well, somplace other than a pop rock
record. Which brings me to the futility of genre labels; they are meaningless if the work is good... and this disc is.


Amazing new trend of music...
The music is so diverse; that one song ("Defy") is one for the techno freaks and "Porcelain Doll" is for the easy listener... No matter what type of music you like, "Chained by Dreams" has a taste of it...