Zepparella is with Lez Zeppelin, one the most famous all female covering bands of the legendary Led Zeppelin. Drummer Clementine is the founding member of Zepparella. From the beginning of her musical career, her goal has been to be onstage every night. The pursuit of that goal has led Clementine to constantly tour the US and Europe in projects as diverse as Bottom, AC/DShe, The House Of More, The Solid, Francis Bakin, and Stars Turn Me On. She tackles the best rock drumming ever written with her own emotionally powerful style, bringing the Motown influence of the Bonham groove to the forefront. The profound musical connection established with Gretchen Menn (guitar), Angeline Saris (bass), and Noelle Doughty (vocals) creates the bond required to do this great music justice.
It was under the tutelage of classical guitarist Phillip DeFremery, a student of Andrés Segovia, that guitarist Gretchen Menn began her path on the instrument. Playing with tireless passion and constantly seeking out new challenges, her projects are often unconventional, genre-bending expressions combining elements of classical, rock, progressive, jazz, and metal. On influences, Gretchen has never tired of her initial inspirations – Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Frank Zappa, and Jeff Beck. But she has loved Jimmy Page’s guitar playing longer than she has played the guitar. It was through the music of Led Zeppelin that she found a gateway into music that resonated deeply with her, creating a love for guitar-oriented music, and, ultimately, the guitar.
Bassist Angeline Saris has musical passions that span jazz to speed metal, R&B to rock, Cuban to hip-hop, and flamenco to rockabilly. Angeline has done it all – and does it extremely well. It is this versatility, her rock-solid time, tastefully crafted bass lines, and unequivocal skills that give her the ability to bring cohesion to the eclectic Zeppelin catalog. Angeline credits John Paul Jones as a main influence, so it is no surprise that she shines as she interprets his thunder.
Finally the new singer, Anna Kristina is a velvety vocal powerhouse who is like Joss Stone meets Ann Wilson meets Eva Cassidy. She is soulful, fiery and rocking yet uniquely warm and genuine. Her original style came from an organic combination of her natural soulful sound, her wide range of musical influences, and her ability to sing anything from swingin’ jazz and R&B, to ballads and bluesy soul, to gritty rock. Taking on the vocals of Robert Plant, Anna’s version of Led Zeppelin’s «When the Levee Breaks» with Zepparella has over 3.5 million views on YouTube inspiring the Bay Guardian to write «Anna Kristina holds down the golden God’s vocal acrobatics like it is easy». To top it off, Anna is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose pants-clad slinky strutting stage presence captivates and commands audiences worldwide.
An Anna Kristina concert is a mesmerizing and engaging experience. Anna’s credo is «to deliver songs as if I am in a conversation with the audience, but also to bring an electric energy that moves your soul». With musical sensitivity like one of her favorites, the late Eva Cassidy, Anna is more interested in emotionally moving her audiences than showing off how great her voice is. It is no wonder her fan base is intensely loyal helping her pack numerous venues such as Slim’s, Mystic and The House of Blues. Her latest album of autobiographical original music, Anna Kristina, has been described as Blue-Eyed Soul, or in her case «Green – Eyed» Soul with a Rock & Roll edge and is due to be released in the summer of 2015.
Anna Kristina was born in Los Angeles to a soulful artist mother and a deeply musical bassist father. She grew up with music on in the house constantly. So even though she was an only child, she was always surrounded by the presence of anyone from Beethoven to the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix to Cream to Simon & Garfunkel to Ella Fitzgerald to Miles Davis to her favorite, Stevie Wonder. And she sang along with all of them. At age 5, her parents introduced her to that magical little stick known as «the microphone» and let her sit in with her father’s jazz band during a jam session. The song was «Hush Little Baby» and when she finished the song and the applause exploded, her awestruck eyes and euphoric face swayed them to let her sing the song a second time. After the 5th «Hush Little Baby» in a row, they realized that this had become a «situation». Upon assessing the dilemma, they were left with only one choice. Combining the focused efforts of her mother, father and a team of adults, they pried her desperate little clutching hands from the microphone and painstakingly dragged her kicking and screaming as she repeatedly bellowed «Just one more time! Just one more time!»
Anna wrote her first song at age 5, performed at her first festival at age 11, and won her first musical award at age 14. Anna started taking piano lessons at age 6, started playing saxophone at age 12 in her middle school marching band, won the Best Vocal Soloist award in her middle school, was a top soloist of the award winning Santa Rosa High School Chamber Singers, won the Most Talented Award in both her middle school and high school, and she was received with standing ovations as Mary Magdalene in her high school production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Anna did her undergraduate work at UC Santa Cruz focusing on Theater Arts and American Studies. An accomplished actor with and BA and a MA in Theater and Acting, Anna starred in many Shakespeare and classic theater productions during her time at UC Santa Cruz. She also won a spot in legendary satirical singer/songwriter, Tom Lehrer’s, highly coveted American Musical class. Only 4-15 students were accepted out of the 1000s that audition. In this class, Lehrer’s students maintained the rigorous schedule of producing and performing 2 musicals every 2 weeks.
She also played piano and sang her original music and favorite covers at The Fireside Lounge on campus pulling in small crowds. Soon she was asked to join a progressive jazz band called Jazz on the Line (later renamed 2 am) as their lead singer. She spent much of her time immersed with the band writing and performing. And she honed her jazz chops by listening to Anita O’ Day, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Hartman, Miles Davis and Chuck Brown and his «Go Go Swing» style. The band developed a sizable loyal following in the Bay Area selling out The Kuumbwa Jazz center, Yoshi’s and the Great American Music Hall, and recorded 5 albums.
As a solo artist, Anna Kristina began exploring a wider range of music than just Jazz. She became more immersed in Blues, R&B, Funk and Rock & Roll. She constantly surrounded herself with the sounds of such artists as KoKo Taylor, BB King, Ray Charles, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin and Chaka Kahn, forging a new path with her own bands, trios and combos. She began to hone her skills as a percussionist in her widely loved acoustic based band Midnight Snack. Keeping in the feel of the stripped down sound, Anna’s current intimate «Boutique Duet» called DNA Sings was featured at the Silicon Valley Ted Talks, has played at San Francisco clubs and festivals, and recorded the CD Driving it Home. In her other musical travels, she devoured the soaring vocals of Robert Plant and sharpened her already formidable harmonica chops while touring nationally for 5 years with the all female Led Zeppelin band Zepparella.
She has lit up the most coveted rooms in San Francisco and The Bay Area bringing choice songs to audiences in her own style. And she has shared the stage with legendary rock and entertainment stars. As much as she loves singing and restyling the classics, Anna says «There is nothing like performing your own songs». Her band The Anna Kristina Session featured her original music and was showcased in several San Francisco clubs and festivals drawing exuberant fans and making new ones. Their CD «Session 2» is a gathering of the groovy, funky and jazzy side of Anna. And her new album is a raw and honest look at her life journey through the eyes of music.
Some of Anna’s career highlights include sharing the stage/billing with Natasha Bedingfield, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Robin Thicke. She has sung a duet with the legendary Ben Vereen, sang backup for Keely Smith, and has performed with Charlie Musselwhite, Jefferson Starships’ Mickey Thomas and «Spirit in the Dark» songwriter Norman Greenbaum. She has recorded with Chico Freeman, Tower of Power’s Tom Politizer, Stu Hamm, and Nick Van Dyke’s Redemption. For several years, she has been the West Coast version of Mariah Carey in San Francisco’s Annual Tree lighting Ceremony, singing «All I want for Christmas» which inspired Joe Montana to say to her «Wow! You’re great!» Her music has been featured on KPOO, KJAZ, KCSM, NPR, the CW, Bay TV and San Francisco. She has sung the National Anthem at both the Golden State Warriors and Oakland A’s games. She has performed and toured nationally at numerous street fairs festivals and clubs including: The TED Talks, Slim’s, Bimbo’s, The Great American Music Hall, The Hard Rock Cafe, Red Rocks, Cafe Du Nord, Yoshi’s, Bottom of the Hill, Hotel Utah, The Last Day Saloon, The Kuumbwa Jazz Center, The House of Blues, The Mystic Theater, Mont Bleu and The Red Devil Lounge and Fillmore Jazz Festival.
New singer Noelle Doughty has found her way back to where she started, with a passion for Led Zeppelin’s music that was developed from as far back as she can remember, as the little sister in the room with the rocking older brothers. The kid who knew every word to every song has worked in classic rock cover bands, jazz bands, funk bands, and yet never lost her true love for Zeppelin. After moving to the West Coast from New York State, her fortuitous meeting with Gretchen Menn backstage at a Robert Plant concert brought the final puzzle piece to the Zepparella family. Noelle’s clear and powerful style and deep understanding of the emotional content of these great songs make the picture complete.
Now more than ever, Zepparella explores their own improvised magic within the framework of Zeppelin’s mighty songs!
Zepparella – A Pleasing Pounding  (Full Album)
- Immigrant Song – 3:53
- Sick Again – 4:46
- Dazed And Confused – 7:09
- Misty Mountain Hop – 4:32
- Custard Pie – 6:32
- Trampled Under Foot – 8:06
- In My Time Of Dying – 11:50
- Bring It On Home (Intro) – 1:55
- The Ocean/Bring It On Home – 4:51
Bass: Nila Minnerok
Guitar: Gretchen Menn
Harmonica: Anna Kristina
Producer: Clementine, Robert Preston
Vocals: Anna Kristina
Recorded Live at The Red Devil Lounge, September 7th 2007
Label: What Are Records?
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