At 32, lo­cal singer/song­writer re­leases EP

Call her a late bloomer if you will, but she’s al­ways been a mu­si­cian and she’s never given up Hope

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By ERICA MOSER emoser@woonsock­et­

Al­li­son Gi­u­liano has al­ways been mu­si­cally minded. The 32-year-old started pi­ano lessons at age 10, and she taught pi­ano at Sec­ond Stage Stu­dio in Cum­ber­land in 2015 and 2016. She grew up singing in choirs. She mi­nored in mu­sic at Rhode Is­land Col­lege.

Still, she ended up tak­ing a hia­tus from mu­sic through­out most of her 20s.

“I had a lot of stage fright and was al­ways sort of very shy about any­thing I did,” Gi­u­liano said. “You hear other peo­ple and think, 'Oh, they're bet­ter than me,' so I was just too chicken.”

But hav­ing a lot of friends who are mu­si­cians, she “got sick of watch­ing ev­ery­body else do what I loved to do.”

About four years ago, she got in­volved with the non­profit song­writ­ers' group Ris­ing and be­gan tak­ing gui­tar lessons with its founder, Daniel James Du­rand.

Now Gi­u­liano – who moved to Prov­i­dence a month ago af­ter liv­ing in North Smith­field for the past 12 years – has re­leased her first EP, “Hope.” The 22-minute singer­song­writer/folk al­bum has six songs, and it can be pur­chased for $5.94 on Ama­zon and


Gi­u­liano noted that her voice has been com­pared to those of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez, while some songs also have the mod­ern in­flu­ence of Sara Bareilles and In­grid Michael­son. She cited Kacey Mus­graves and Patty Grif­fin as other in­flu­ences, along with lo­cal artists Steve Al­lain and Tra­cie Po­tochnik.

While the al­bum ti­tle may sound like an ex­pres­sion of op­ti­mistic ex­pec­ta­tions, it's ac­tu­ally in ref­er­ence to the fore­name of her late grand­mother.

On the tit­u­lar track, Gi­u­liano sings that Hope “wears her best heels even on a Tues­day af­ter­noon” and “would give her last dol­lar to a kid on TV she never knew.”

The song serves as both a lit­eral homage to her grand­mother and a per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the feel­ing of hope.

“Hope is a vase of flow­ers on a kitchen ta­ble in the sun. Hope is 64 years of love no mat­ter what,” she sings. “Hope is a table­top tree with home­made or­na­ments. Hope is con­tent with two bed­rooms and a white picket fence.”

This past Christ­mas, Gi­u­liano's un­cle asked her where she got the line about the white picket fence, and Gi­u­liano con­fessed that she made it up be­cause she needed a line. But her un­cle told her that Hope re­ally did have a house with a white picket fence be­fore Gi­u­liano was born.

Along with play­ing gui­tar on some songs, Gi­u­liano strums the ukulele on oth­ers.

In an ironic pair­ing, per­haps the cheeri­est song on the al­bum – with ukulele and whistling – was in­spired by a time when some­body called her a bitch in jest.

“I took it as half of ev­ery­thing you say when you're jok­ing is kind of true,” Gi­u­liano said, “so I was kind of like, thanks for the song.”

She sings on the track “Heart­less,” “I'm a mod­ern-day Tin Man and an empty cav­ern of stoic care­less­ness, com­plete with cob­webs,” and goes on to say that four-let­ter words come out too eas­ily and there's a spe­cial place in hell for her.

Gi­u­liano's al­bum also fea­tures Cathy Clasper-Torch on strings, Michael DeQu­at­tro and Peter Bar­tash on per­cus­sion, Joe Lur­gio on man­dolin and Marty Bal­lou on bass.

“I wanted to keep it pretty raw, so I didn't want to over-pro­duce it, es­pe­cially it be­ing my first project,” Guil­iano said.

Pro­duc­ing this al­bum over the past two and a half years was her first shot at song­writ­ing.

“It's a to­tally dif­fer­ent ball­game when it's your own cre­ation, your own art,” she said. “It's a process of ex­press­ing your­self, but also ex­press­ing your­self through your songs in a way that other peo­ple are also go­ing to iden­tify with.”

Gi­u­liano had a CD al­bum re­lease party at Sec­ond Stage Stu­dio last week­end.

The school and venue has a spe­cial place in Gi­u­liano's heart. Ris­ing was sort of based out of Sec­ond Stage Stu­dio when she first got in­volved, she said. Then she be­gan tak­ing voice lessons with Joanne Vec­chio, founder and artis­tic di­rec­tor of Sec­ond Stage Stu­dio.

Gi­u­liano has some pho­tog­ra­phy hang­ing in its gallery, and her 8-year-old daugh­ter went there for drama classes. She also has a 5-yearold son.

In the past, Gi­u­liano has per­formed at AS220, Brook­lyn Cof­fee & Tea­house and Sandy­woods Cen­ter for the Arts. She will be play­ing at Indigo Pizza in Coventry on Fri­day from 7 to 10 p.m.

Out­side of mu­sic, Gi­u­liano works as a men­tal health coun­selor.

Ernest A. Brown/The TImes

Al­li­son Gi­u­liano, of Prov­i­dence, plays gui­tar in her home Thurs­day. The long­time North Smith­field res­i­dent has re­leased a new CD of her songs en­ti­tled Hope.

Ernest A. Brown/The TImes

Al­li­son Gi­u­liano, ac­com­pa­nied by her dog ‘Vance,’ has a new CD of her songs en­ti­tled Hope.

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