The story behind "Live at Clara's Kitchen In Bob's House" album 

The idea has been stewing for years and finally came to fruition this past July...  

The story behind this live release is what makes it extra special... 

4 years ago, Mary and I were visiting my Dad and Sister in Michigan.  The house that my Dad owns now was my Grandparents and Great Grandparents' house.  This house has been filled with so much love and memories in it's 100+ years.  Both my Grandma and Mom lifted up to Heaven in this house. Being born and raised in southern Japan and visiting the States during summer vacations, this house had a larger than life aura to me.  Grandma's cookies and bread, the porch having the same blue, red, yellow wooden blocks to build things, the garden in the back yard, and all the uncles, aunts, and cousins that came to visit.  Most of the visiting time was spent in the kitchen... I could go on and on about these magical memories in this house.  Many of you can empathize having your own special place like this... 

After my Mom passed away in 2008 and my Grandma in 2011 (at the young age of 103!), we were sitting in the kitchen with our acoustic instruments playing and chatting with my Dad... After a couple songs, Mary and I looked at each other with amazement at the great acoustics of this kitchen. I have no memories of live music being played in the kitchen so I had no idea how wonderful it swirled music until that  evening.  We  shared with my Dad that 
one day we would love to come back and record our songs in this kitchen 
and he was very excited about that idea. 

Since then we went on to record our 1st self-titled Released From Quiet studio EP and got our feet wet playing live in as many places as we could find.  Currently we are in the mixing phase of our next EP "Purgatory Street".   We've set up a special site where you can help us in releasing this next album -  RFQ's Purgatory Street EP      to be released this Fall/Winter.  
(We have a short video at this site. We even included a few 'bloopers') 

Before the mixing process started, we took 3 weeks in July to visit my family in Michigan. We took our recording equipment with us and after 4 years, we were able to record our songs in this kitchen that embraces so much family history.... 

We were surrounded and felt the energy and love around us that day when we played.  We want to share that with you :) ... If you listen carefully, you can hear the clock ticking in silence, hear birds chirping outside the window, my Dad coming in the front door, Mary tapping rhythms on the stove, sink and floor  and the creaky chair I'm sitting on rocking back and forth.  There is no added reverb/delay to this recording. This is the true sound of the room with only one microphone in the middle about 7 feet high.   

My Grandma's name was Clara. This was her kitchen.  Now the house is my Dad's.  Anyone who knows my Dad knows he is a baker, just like my Grandma. My Dad's name is Bob. 

The name of our RFQ Live Album is: "Live in Clara's Kitchen at Bob's House" 

You will be able to listen to this album for free online.  

It will also be available to download for a suggested minimum donation from our website in a couple days.  

ALL the donations we receive from this will go "streckly" to our GoFundMe campaign to help us release our next studio EP "Purgatory Street".   

To those who have already helped us with your donations and sharing of our GoFundMe site: 
THANK YOU, thank you, THANK YOU! 
For those whose 'perk' level included future online releases - your link to the LIVE album will be coming to you shortly via email. 

Chris & Mary 
 ~ Released From Quiet ~

"When did you know you could sing?..."  

I had a person ask me the question after one of our shows.. "When did you know you could sing?"  What an intriguing question this was for me as I've grown to think of myself as not a 'singer' but a storyteller with a voice... Yes it is all perception and semantics.  With that question, it gave me the idea to create a journal post about this.  

For the first 3 decades + of my life, I've loved music and the experience of learning how to play and express through music. I never was a quick learner or a virtuoso type player.  I wrote many a songs throughout the years and somewhere around the age of 25, it all was starting to piss me off a bit.  I had the words i wanted to express but the sound of my voice and the melodic choices were very very lacking and mediocre.  Paralleled with my hands really not liking using a pick when playing guitar.  So I put it all down for a few years and picked up the guitar only to talk music theory and geometric patterns of music  with Mary.  It was the perfect time to dive into that as that was the spawning moments of the idea of 'Released From Quiet'.

It wasn't until I was 30 *cough cough* something years old that I was watching John Stewarts 'The Daily Show' and at the end he had on a musical guest... Some old guy came on with only a guitar and throated out a great song called "Day After Tomorrow"... My life changed in an instant... Never heard of Tom Waits until this moment.  I then went into a hermit cave and listened to everything from the Early Years, to Eggs and Sausage, to The Black Rider, To Real Gone and then the 3 CD Brawlers Bawlers and Bastards.... Wow! there was something beyond just the voice that resonated to my bones.  The sincerity and angst he sang with.  My mouth was shut for many months just sitting and listening to every story and every barnyard clanking sound he created in his songs and stories.  

Months later, I would have Waits' music playing in the car loudly and try to mimic 'Waltzing Matilda' or any song off of "Used Songs" CD.  'Trying' was the first mistake as it really did a number on my throat.  So I went back to listening and observing.  Then one day without trying, I started singing with his songs and it just came out.. and with no pain!  It was like a throat massage :) I then recorded around 10 songs at home with this newfound voice to see how it sounded as a listener... (I may share these tracks with you all some day...)  This was around 2008.

So in a very short answer to the question "When did you know you could sing?"... It was in 2008 that I found the portal to finding "my" voice. ... 

In 2011, on my birthday, Mary said she was making me play at the next open mic that we could find.... up to this point, I had never played out in public except for high school talent shows.  Once I started playing out, I have never looked back and have loved every second of the experience and process.  It was very easy for people to hear Tom Waits as a huge influence on my vocals and I did cover some of his songs.  As time and experience accrued, I was able to relax into the expression more than the attention of how I sounded... One of the coolest complements that I have received from people in the past year is that I sound kinda like Tom Waits, but totally have my own thing going.... 2 great complements in 1 statement.  Sounding kinda like a legend, but still have one's own originality.

 >>>>  Thank you to the person who asked me this question :)

Nov. 3rd High Dive show... FUN! 

Hello everyone.  The past couple months have been so fun going out and playing places we love and playing new places.  We recently had the opportunity to play the High Dive this past Sunday, Nov. 3rd... We shared the night and stage with two other talented groups, Alki Jones & Basement Baby.  The stage and sound system was 1st class and we really enjoyed playing loud!  Mary showcased her expanded percussion section which sounded GREAT with the huge sound system.  First time she has had a huge drum monitor right next to her.  Here are some pictures from that night that Laura Lagerstedt took.  Thank you Laura!

Signing our CDs for you :) 

We want to thank you all for visiting this website.  Thank you to everyone who has purchased our CDs the last couple months.. Each one that is sold is sent out and given to you with love and gratitude.  9 months of dedicated music creation and now we have enjoyed being out and about the past couple months getting back in the flow of playing out.  We want to share with you a couple pictures taken when we had a batch of CDs we had to sign, package, and send out.  Such a great feeling to know people have an interest in songs we write.  



Giftcard Give-a-Way WINNER!! 

"KH" of Colorado!!  played our referral game and won a $25.00 giftcard to her choice of locations. She chose Starbucks .. I'm guessing there was a venti caramel macchiato consumed on one of these rides!  Thanks "KH" for playing and for supporting RFQ!  <3

A great Aug/Sept! 

It has been a little over a month since we released our debut CD out into the world on July 19, 2013.  We have enjoyed this past month for many reasons.  After 9 months of recording and all the tangents that come with that process, we were like gated critters waiting to be set free so we could go out and play live shows again! Also, that natural excitement to show everyone your musical creation was bubbling over.. We got to have our CD release show at SoulFood CoffeeHouse and loved playing in that wonderful space again.... the place where our live musical path started.  Another treat this past month was to play in venues we have not played at before. To play for strangers is something that is treasured and exciting for us.  We look forward to where this musical path takes us this next few months and coming year(s). 

GREAT NEWS!! More Music! 

 "Time flies when you're having fun".. they say. It appears it goes by rather quickly when you are working on your debut CD/Album!

Last October we decided to jump in with all four feet into the process of recording and mixing our original tunes. We joined forces with Mr. Jay Pinto, formerly of Bananafish, on our first single, "Room 610". We were so young, then... *sigh*. This being our first venture into the recording world we came in to the process open eyed and wanting to learn all that we could. We soon discovered that our night owl ways were perfect for such a venture as it is much quieter at night and our sensitive microphones were less apt to pick up the random siren going by or neighbor making their own music on squeeky floorboards above our heads. Every day was an adventure as we would 'tag team' ... and yes, we actually did slap hands on the way in/out of the studio - so as to keep the operations running every hour we were awake. Not only were we playing/creating the music tracks - we were also learning how to operate a new computer system and software at the same time. THANK YOU to "the Google" and all those recording artists out there willing to openly share their tips of the trade. Many a time did we run into a 'how can we accomplish this task' question and immediately find a video that would help us out. So, it was an intensive course of higher education and creative expansion.

We ventured out to a couple of play dates here and there - but the majority of our calender was filled with dates between the 'grindstone' and our noses! We have always allowed the songs to guide us -- rather than us setting a firm course and fitting the music between barriers. This was even more true during these last seven months. What the muse of music showed us was at times unexpected and surprising and other times exactly in concert with our original visions. From the very first track we did 'on our own', "Drift Away" to the final track "Place in Space" we were humbled by the process and grateful every day for the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the creative flow.

As with any project you put your heart and soul and every waking moment into - it was moving to sit and listen to the last song when it declared itself complete. It seemed it wasn't long ago that we sat on the very first day of 2013 looking out the studio window and wondering what this year would hold for us. Yesterday we delivered "Place in Space" to Jay for the final mixing. We have our mastering scheduled with RFI Mastering Studio in Seattle and will soon after have our debut album in hand to share with you.

We are SO excited to get back out to play for you and to share our latest creation. Our calender has begun to fill up with new places to play and we will keep you up to date on where we will be. We are humbled by those who have expressed their excitement for getting our debut album. We are currently working on setting up a system for pre-orders of the album and will let you know as soon as that is up and running.

A special thank you to Bob (Chris’ Dad) for his impromptu cameo on “7th Song”, to Frank and Suzie for occasionally calling us out into the night and for keeping us up to date on what was going on in other musical circles. To Sarah K. and Kathy H. for their daily emails and voice messages of encouragement and letting us know there was still a world spinning around outside of the studio which helped us to stay grounded .. yes, Kathy - I said it ~ grounded.  <3

Now it is time to fly free!

PS.. if you have not already - be sure to sign up for our newsletter!  We will be sharing play dates and special 'pre-views' of our upcoming release!

Snoqualmie Street Team Report 

 Our street team made the rounds of the Snoqualmie area -- including what is known as "The Ridge"  -- sharing the news of our upcoming show at The Black Dog this Saturday, January 12, 2013.  It was COLD and the wind was blowing but no snow to report.  They came across a number of individuals  in the "Ridge" area .. which is only a few miles away from The Black Dog location who had never heard of the Dog -- nor had any idea that there was another area to Snoqualmie.  For those not familiar with this area.. The Black Dog is on the main and only thoroughfare through the town.  The "Ridge" area is the newer built up area that is close to the interstate.  It was a pleasure to hear so many who were interested to know there was another area of town.  We've seen this in so many small towns around the country - where the mainstay that has held down the town's identity for so long gets pushed to the side for a quick stop off from the interstate.  Pros and cons to both locations, we know.  We use this post to encourage you to take a walk, bike ride, snowshoe, ski or skip to an area of YOUR town that you may not have visited before.  You may surprise yourself with wonderful gems of surprise and find some new friends just down the street... and possibly come across a musical show that tickles your ears and flirts with your fancy!

Tom Waits' Tribute Night @ Conor Byrne Pub 12/07/12 VIDEO 

  Happy Almost 2013 !!  We finished editing the video of all the artists that played this night -- Tom Waits' birthday and the 6th annual Tom Waits' Tribute Night at the Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard, Washington, USA.  For a limited time you can view the entire video here - on              THIS SPECIAL PAGE ...  < OR >  go directly to this Utube link to get codes for the playlist or a specific video so you can embed on your own site or just share links. 

Do you have a favorite song or video from this evening?

Now...back to the studio for more creative fun stuff !!!  Robin's Hood and Drift Away have our attention at the moment. . . .

Tom Waits' Birthday Party 

 Do you know who Tom Waits is?  For some he is a growly old man... for others an iconic figure.  He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and this year his latest album, "Bad as Me", has a Grammy nomination for 'alternative album of the year'.   I chuckle over the monikers sometimes attached to descriptions of Mr. Waits and/or his music.  What exactly is an 'alternative album'.  Looking up the word 'alternative' as an adjective gives me this: "existing outside the establishment".   Ah! Now that makes sense.

This last Friday, December 7, 2012, was Tom Waits' birthday.. at least according to some of the tales he has told...born on the anniversary of the 'day that will live in infamy".  On this day there was a gathering at the Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard, WA. (Seattle, WA. USA).  This was their 6th annual "Tom Waits' Tribute Night".  Last year's celebration was Chris' first time playing this tribute night and we were only too happy to be invited to be one of the performers for this year's event.  The Conor Byrne does a great job in choosing artists for this event and this year did not disappoint.  The featured performers were:  The Bad Things, The Puddle Stompers, Carrie Clark & the Lonesome Lovers, The Love Markets, Miss Mamie Lavona the Exotic Mulatta & her White Boy Band, Robert Rial's Bakelite 78, Dan Yost, Sam Russell, Erin McNamee, The Foghorns, Clayton Ballard, Chris Kendziorski (Released From Quiet) , Norman Baker, The Mongrel Jews, and Ben Fisher!    Every performance brought a unique twist on classic (what songs of Tom's is not a classic, I ask!?).  The performers chosen attire was, at times, as entertaining as the incredible tunes; suits and ties to men wearing black lingerie as the backing band to a beautiful buxom blonde - also in matching black lingerie! Mr. Waits would have felt right at home.

This was a SOLD OUT show.  The door proceeds were donated to the Cafe Racer Love Fund.  The tragic shooting deaths that occurred at Cafe Racer affected the whole of the music scene - and beyond -  and it was heartwarming to see so many people show up to support the cause of helping the families of the victims.

We brought our HD video camera with us.. as we did last year.. and recorded all of the sets. When we are taking a break from our studio work -- we are editing down that video to share on the 'tube.  We'll let you know when that is available for viewing.   In the meantime - if you have not yet opened your world to Mr. Waits' we will provide you with a link to his website.  Word of CAUTION:  Should you decide to click on this link... your musical ride in this world will forever be altered!

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RFQ Live Videos

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