Archive for March, 2009

Get to Know Vicci Martinez: Tacoma News Tribune Article

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Charting her course

In Vicci Martinez’s world, creative freedom and long-term happiness always trumps shortcuts to stardom.
That’s why the singer-songwriter opted out of an appearance on the inaugural season of “American Idol,” wary of the hit show’s contractual restrictions. (And she returned to reality TV in 2003, anyway, with a pair of appearances on “Star Search.”)

In 2007, Martinez was seemingly on the brink of a commercial breakthrough again when she signed with manager Bill Leopold. His most high-profile client is Melissa Etheridge, a rock star who Martinez often drew comparisons with when she was getting started.

But Martinez walked away from that deal last year, too, instead opting for the creative freedom that recording new CD, “From the Outside In,” on her own dime afforded.

“It’s kind of that story again of I could have been on ‘American Idol,’ but I said no,” said Martinez, 24. “And I’m happier that way.”

Martinez said she and Leopold had different ideas on what she needed to record to get to the next level. Ultimately, Martinez and her band – drummer Darin Watkins, bassist Jeff Leonard, guitarist Rod Cook and keyboard player Eric Roberts – parted ways with Leopold, determined to record songs they had written and were passionate about.

“The band and I have gotten closer now by doing this project alone,” Martinez said. “The guys are excited for me to take it on and be confident enough that we can do it. They definitely were excited about the management deal, but they wanted to see progress. But they weren’t seeing any, and neither was I.”

The new album showcases an increasingly eclectic sound, with soul, blues, country and even a bit of reggae incorporated into its rootsy tapestry.

“Everybody got to put their little flavor in it as the songs were being written,” Martinez said. “I can do my stuff solo or whatever. But I always go back to Dave Matthews, and I love his unit that he’s got goin’ on right there. And I just wanted to apply that to my band and give them the opportunity to showcase their style.”

Among the songs that are most personal to Martinez are “Rain,” an acoustic ballad that closes the CD. Martinez said she sang it at her father’s bedside when he was dying of cancer in 2005 but lost the lyrics and didn’t return to it again until last summer.

“I think I kind of put them away subconsciously on purpose,” Martinez said. “I just didn’t want to go back to it. It was kind of an intense song. Like, I could never sing it and not cry, so I just didn’t even want to go there. And then I felt when I decided to let go of that myself, things that were hindering me, it just came into my head. So I just rewrote some of the lyrics, and used some of the ones I used with him.”

Martinez unveiled the new songs for Tacoma fans on Friday at Jazzbones (many having been set staples for two years.) Her next Tacoma performances are schedule for March 25 and April 8 at The Swiss downtown.

And don’t be surprised if you hear her on the big screen in the near future, too. Martinez recently returned from a songwriting jaunt to San Francisco, where she collaborated with Bay Area performer Blair Hansen on material that may appear in “Mosquito y Mari,” an independent film directed by Aurora Guerrero.

The Dog Speaks: Cuvee on ‘Spring’

Monday, March 16th, 2009

cuvee-above-the-gorge.JPG  Spring is finally here!

My fellow canines I am very happy to report that my humans have pruned the vineyards here at home. It’s like a doggy paradise! There are sticks everywhere and I love making them my chew toys, and tossing them around. My doggy senses have definitely been tingling the last few days and they say spring is right around the corner, which means warm weather and green grass. And finally we can all enjoy the rose gardens around the Inn.

It’s starting to get sunnier and brighter here day-by-day and that means more hiking for our guests and more hiking trips for me to go on. This is good news for me, since that means after a long hard day of showing off our property I can go swimming in our pond!

Finally the birds are making their way back from the warm south and I have been chasing them like crazy; one of these days I’ll get one. Make sure to look out for me on your next stay, I’ll be the much-loved dog running around our property showing or guests where to go, and showing my fellow pups all the property hot spots.

Happy Trails,

 Cuvee, The SageCliffe Dog

I hope to see all of you on your next stay!

A Tremendous Talent, Vicci Martinez comes to The Cellar

Monday, March 16th, 2009

img_4316edited.jpgThe Cellarvmartinez_longguitar.jpgVicci Martinez

If you have not had the chance yet to come to a rock performance in The Cellar, this would be an unbelievable first visit:  to see Vicci Martinez in a three-person acoustic set this Friday, March 20.

What is The Cellar?  It is a long, intimate room with one wall comprised of giant basalt boulders from the property.  It adjoins the Cave B Estate Winery, has standing room and a creative use of all sorts of seating arrangements to suit your mood and style.  And most importantly, it is simply an oustanding music venue for strong and talented emerging Northwest rock musicians.

 To put it succinctly:  It’s a fantastic space to experience really great music.  Good times in The Cellar…it’s what you’ll have.  Go to our webpage to learn how you can purchase your tickets:  They are only $8.  Vicci Martinez is a powerhouse who is about to explode upon the national scene.  Come hear her so you can say you “knew her when!”

Bottled, Labelled, Ready to be Sprung

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009


Well, the 2008 white wines are bottled and anxiously awaiting their unveiling later on this month. With this latest 2008 vintage we have both a newcomer, and some production increases of some of our most popular wines.   First we will be introducing our very first Cave B Viognier. With bright crisp acidity, this wine offers tons of varietal Viognier character…spring fruit and floral bouquet. Due to being so incredibly well received, we’ve increased production of our Saignee (Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon), Riesling, and of course our SageCliffe 100 White Wine (un-oaked Chardonnay). Our Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer round out the line up of wines, with roughly the same production numbers as last year.  They are now bottled and ready for release at our upcoming White Wine release event here at the winery on March 28th.  See you there! 

Buon Prevecho,

Alfredo “Freddy” Arredondo, Winemaker