Hopeful Romantics

What people are saying about Hopeful Romantics:

"They definitely have great taste in music and Mary Ellen has an amazingly wonderful voice! " Elizabeth Lerner

"As usual, we were completely blown away by your performance." Cory Kempf

"Ed is awesome on the keyboards. Mary Ellen’s voice and instruments of guitar and percussion add a touch of magic that is always pleasing." Mary Ferguson - Simple Gifts CoffeeHouse

"That rendition of Fires of Calais you and Ed did was marvelous. It inspired me to go find the words and practice it myself. Thanks, yet again. You (Mary Ellen) have a superb voice and you two make great music." Bill Gawne

"A joy to work with and a treat to listen to." Nick Smith, presenter

"MEW as a singer is both passionate and intimate, her choice of songs eloquent: Ed's musicianship provides the perfect complement. This is a remarkably engaging and talented duo." Talis Kimberley, British Folksinger

About Champlain Summer:

"In Champlain Summer, Ed Stauff's genteel solo piano is a poignant reminder of simpler times, of lazy summer evenings spent listening to a piano being played in the parlor. The performance is delicate but assured, and each selection builds gracefully without becoming overbearing. Delightful original compositions are joined by several well-known favorites, including two Irish tunes--"Star of the County Down" and "Sh'Bagh, Sh'Mor"--as well as Bach's "Prelude No. 1" from The Well-Tempered Clavier and a "Ballet" by Praetorius. All in all, this is an eminently satisfying recording that calms the mind while lifting the spirit." Scott Wilkinson, Electronic Musician, Audio Video Interiors, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater

"Often I've had recourse to "Champlain Summer" as a near-perfect complement to a large mug of good coffee for moving into consciousness, and a comfort when the events of the week (or the world) leave me kind of worn and heartsore. Here all the aspects of Ed's music -- composition, arrangement, player's touch - support quiet regenerative activities like daydreaming, meditation, and reading, but also invite and reward a close listen. Only the best solo instrumentalists can pull that off. In particular, I'm always struck by the brilliant aptness of his interweaving "Lord Franklin" with "The Water Is Wide" in "Lady Franklin's Lament" -- and the skill with which the melodic statements flow into each other sounds effortless (an effect only attained by great care and discipline)." Barry Childs-Helton Ph.D. , guitarist, writer

"What a gorgeous recording! Ed Stauff's performance achieves what most pianists only aspire to: lyrical, lilting, graceful, heartfelt yet elegant, "Champlain Summer" is one of the few piano recordings that can draw me in to the point where I don't want it to end. His original compositions reveal a rich palette of emotion, while his poignant reading of the traditional "Star of the County Down" (along with several tunes by Carolan) make this disc a truly memorable foray into Celtic music. Solo piano as a Celtic instrument? Thanks to Stauff's virtuosity, it really is!" Carl McColman, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom"

"I popped "Champlain Summer" into my computer and have listened to the whole CD and LOVE it. ...You are a very awesome and talented man and I so enjoy this CD. ..."Champlain Summer" is going to get a work out. It's on now and it's so soothing and delightful. You are blessed with such a gift. Thank you for the fabulous CD and I hope it is a huge success." Beth Ann Rossi

"...  for some reason I couldn't find my copy of George Winston's December, a tradition for us at the Holidays.  Well, your album more than fit the bill.  Although we love "December", we actually liked "Champlain Summer" better!  We always felt that December was a bit melancholy.  "Champlain Summer" is every bit as soulful as December, but we find it more uplifting."  Don Neill, guitarist, astrophysicist

"I have a pre-schooler in the house and I was afraid to have the radio or TV on last September 11th, so I spent the day playing your "Champlain Summer" CD to keep us both distracted. Today, even though the official memorial services are more low-key, I've opted not to have the radio or TV on. So, we're spending the day with "Champlain Summer" again. Thank you for putting together such a lovely album. My personal favorite is "Star of the County Down" which I find myself humming as I go about my business. But all of the album is marvelous as peace-filled background music. Meg, my four-year-old, has taken to calling this the "Charlie Brown" album-I guess part of the "Champlain Summer" track reminds her of the "Linus and Lucy" song.... Just wanted to let you know that someone out there is ...VERY thankful for your talents..." Mary Anne McDonald

Other quotes:

"Big voice, big heart - Mary Ellen Wessels is a pleasure to hear." Fred Small

"Her voice -- clear, powerful, versatile and lyrical –has lent a unifying thread, distinctive colors and strengths to an impressive array of independent recording projects." Barry Childs-Helton Ph.D., guitarist, writer

"Mew's voice is rich and true and always comes from her inner self, whether she is singing of love or banana slugs." Judith Hayman, conference organizer

"Her voice is special, whether whispering a lullaby or filling a room." Roberta Kennedy

"Ed Stauff is the antithesis of evil." Rev. Steve Eddington


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