Home at Last
EXIT 43 is: Andy "A.J." Gundell: Vocals/Guitars/Harmonica Andy Gundell has been a professional musician for his entire career -feeling blessed to support himself and his family with his music, living his dream and making his passion his life's work. Along the way, he's won 11 Emmy awards for his successes in television as a songwriter, singer, composer, and music supervisor. His music appears on every major TV network and prominent cable channels. He has collaborated with songwriters like the Grammy award-winning Julie Gold, and composers like Bill Cosby. Andy's own recordings are available on iTunes. This group comes full circle for him, as his first gig out of college was also with a band. He loves the record that he and Exit 43 have made-and he hopes you do, too. Scarlett Lee Moore: Vocals/Percussion Scarlett Lee Moore is a performer and band leader who has toured Europe, Asia and The Middle East with a mission to promote American music around the world. She has appeared with Pete Seeger, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Guy Davis, Lily Tomlin, Jeanie Bryson, Jose Feliciano, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, and others. She primarily works in the New York tri-state area with her five-member combo, the Scarlett Lee Moore Band. She also has a European band with whom she tours internationally. She was twice voted Fairfield County Connecticut's Best Blues Performer. Scarlett has two CD releases entitled 'Scarlett' and 'Scarlett Blue in Belgium.' Suzanne M. Sheridan: Vocals/Guitar Suzanne M. Sheridan is a singer songwriter and guitarist who loves connecting with people through music. She has won honors in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and has sung jingles for Pepsi, Hardees, Hasbro, Texaco and others. She co-wrote the cult hit '90 Pound Suburban Housewife, Drivin' in her SUV" with her life partner, Rozanne. She performs in theaters, churches, hospitals and clubs and has fronted several rock n' roll bands in CT. Suzanne's solo performances of her original songs have been heard in New York, Paris, England and Ireland. Suzanne teaches voice, guitar and YOUCANSING workshops. Fueled by the Unitarian spiritual connection, this group and this music, she is honored to be affiliated with Exit 43. Ed Thompson: Piano/Keyboard Ed Thompson is a classically trained keyboard player and choral conductor. He is currently the Music Director of the Unitarian Church in Westport where he has developed an extensive music program that mirrors a wide variety of styles and genres. He is active as a coach, an accompanist, an arranger, composer, conductor and teacher. Thompson has appeared three times in Carnegie Hall, and has concertized in both the US and Sweden. He is a member of the UU Musician's Network, ASCAP, and other professional organizations. EXIT 43 ... WHO WE ARE: One of our musical heroes, John Lennon, says, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." We, Exit 43, didn't plan this. We came together serendipitously. Our friend, Karen Wright, asked us all to play for a social event at the Unitarian Church in Westport where we are members. We got together on a November afternoon in 2004 to rehearse. It was magical. And when you've been professional musicians for as long as each of us has, you learn to recognize the magic when it happens! You stand up and pay attention. We noticed how easy it was... how naturally and effortlessly our voices blended to make harmonies...how instinctively the arrangements evolved. Very simply - we had fun and, much to our surprise, we wanted to do more. Why surprise? We are four different people. We come from differing cultures, musical backgrounds, and experiences; we have differing tastes, preferences, appearances and ways of expressing ourselves. So what keeps us together? It is the love of music, but not just any music. We, like most people, want to live, work, and create with integrity. We long for a spirituality that is practical and can be realized in our daily lives. We want to support and respect the inherent worth and dignity of each person. We believe that war is not the answer, and that religion need not divide us. What kind of music would give expression to such ideals? We had to create it. While we acknowledge the challenges that fill our lives, we want to hold out hope for this time, this place, and these people. As the ancient voice of wisdom, Hillel, once said, "If not now, when?" The lyrics of these songs mirror this basic outlook and the songs speak for themselves. We live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, through which the beautiful Merritt Parkway runs. Curiously, while there are Exits 42 and 44, and both lead to our Unitarian Church, Exit 43 was never built. We chose this imaginary exit for our band name because it is through the imagination that we can begin to build the kind of world we want. And, in doing so, we are... finally... Home At Last! We hope that these songs will inspire you to a life of more hope, authenticity, connection and love - and help you to feel at home as well. To you who have joined us on this journey - thank you!!