Whole Life Magazine

August / September 2018

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art & soul MUSIC S ome sing from the heart and soul more so than others. Brandon Stansell is one such singer and songwriter. His signature, often sultry sound on his latest CD Slow Down is about identity, love and loss, and more. The recording's eleven sophisticatedly produced ballads and torch songs transport the listener not just to home and country, which are undeniably relatable to most of us, and for some possibly appealing. "(Made from My) Hometown," the standout track, was sung by Stansell at the Global Truth Center in Los Angeles in concert this summer. With his tenor voice and incredible range, Stansell moved those listening. It personally hit a chord with this writer, with its messages of belonging, hope, and resilience. "With all the things that make up what was home, it's funny how they make me feel alone." Along with the title track "Slow Down," songs include "Never Know," "Playing Games," "Scared of Me," "Man of Steel," "Spare Change," "Time to Time," "Not Tonight," and "Love in Hollywood," (an ode to his California "homecoming"). The latter is both playful and positive, with its lilting melody and driving guitar riffs. You can almost detect a touch of healing and recovery in the Nashville native's lyrics and tenor voice. Being openly gay, Stansell found comfort, and a fi t in L.A., where almost anything goes. He is both original and independent, releasing music like "Dear John," his previous recording, and a new single "For You" on his website. One aspect about this artist is, regardless of your musical tastes or how you identify, he sticks with you. You'll fi nd yourself hearing songs like "Hometown" in your head or maybe even singing that tune or others in the shower. (www.brandonstansell.com) —Gordon Durich B usinessman John E. Fetzer was best-known as the sole owner of the Detroit Tigers from 1961 to 1983. He gained his mass fortune by building a radio/tv/cable empire in the early days of the media. What is not as well-known is that he was a voracious spiritual seeker his entire life, studying everything from Christianity in his younger days to Theosophy, Freemasonry, parapsychology, and even UFOlogy to what is now known as the New Age. He combined his wealth of knowledge and various views into a process he called "freedom of spirit." Author Brian C. Wilson, professor of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University, explores Fetzer's path as a man from humble beginnings in the Midwest. Born in 1901, he spent most of his life in Kalamazoo, Michigan, working hard and placing value on the importance of community and service. This book is a fascinating read, not just as a biography, but from a historical perspective. We here in California think our luminous state started the golden age of the "New Age" movement with gurus, hippies, Haight-Ashbury, Los Angeles temples, meditation centers, and more. But clearly, this book proves that Midwesterners such as Fetzer himself also explored these principles at an even earlier time. Seeking the adage that "All is One," Fetzer lived an inner life of quiet contemplation and study. Well-respected as a business tycoon, only his very closest peers knew of his quest and how he attributed his vast success to his awareness of a higher spiritual power at work. After garnering his mass fortune, he established the Fetzer Institute whose mission aims to spiritually transform the world. According to his biographer, the Institute was "born of Fetzer's desire to prove the reality of spiritual monism by funding research into the science of spirituality." Seek out this book. It's time well spent walking in John Fetzer's mighty footsteps. (Wayne State University Press) —Marie Vincent By Brian C. Wilson John E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age Slow Down BOOKS By Brandon Stansell August/September 2018 23

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