Ron Abel, Rachel Ann Weiss, Eliot Hess, and Chuck Steffan
I felt like I was the late Hollywood publicist Sue Mengers last night when she first spotted Barbra Streisand singing in a small New York club at the beginning of both their careers. Mengers knew immediately that Streisand was going to be a legend, so she did what she had to do to sign her on. The same thing happened to me last night when Eliot and I went to see 25-year-old Rachel Ann Weiss at The Cutting Room, a NYC nightclub on East 32nd Street. I may be in the Golden Age of my career, but when I see something extraordinary, I feel ageless, ready to take on an exciting challenge that could last decades.
This time I don’t want the role of publicist. I want to be her manager. Rachel has all the makings of the next Adele or Amy Winehouse, maybe even greater because of her confidence and ease with the audience. Her voice is mesmerizing. She writes her own words and composes her own music. She has been performing since she was seven, strumming her guitar on stage along with her father’s band, “The Suits.” Dad Jay Weiss, a successful realtor, is a rocker. And mom Kathleen Turner is one of the best, well-known actresses in the world to appear in movies, television, and on stage. Jay has been a quasi client of HWH PR over the years, so that’s our connection.
Rachel’s parents were in the audience last night, but no one gave them a second look the minute the young singer-songwriter-guitarist took the stage. Our good friends Chuck Steffan, a lyricist for many popular singers today, and his partner Ron Abel, one of the leading music arrangers and composers in the country, were with us last night and immediately proclaimed Rachel as the next Laura Nyro. They were so excited about her that the four of us (Eliot, Chuck, Ron, and I) moved on to Joe Allen’s to discuss Rachel’s future. That is what happens when people who are so passionate about what they do discover a new something. We get drunk on euphoria. We were so high that even Joan Rivers, sitting right next to us, didn’t draw our attention.
Eliot and I have seen Rachel perform a number of times before. We always felt she had a strong and amazing voice with a totally unique style. It is quite remarkable that some major record label has not signed her up. That is where I come in. Chuck and Ron insist that I take her on. They said I’m a natural for it since I have networked so many of my clients into major deals that many thought were unattainable. I still have the fire in my belly.
Chuck and Ron’s last words to me last night as we were about to part were, “Wouldn’t it be great to finally rep a talent you can be so passionate about?” Tell that to my clients Samsung, 17 years; Helen of Troy (Revlon, BedHead, Vidal Sassoon, Toni & Guy hair appliances), 15 years; HBO Video, 12 years; Random House, DuPont, the list goes on.
The wonders of the Internet (another great love) allows me to share Rachel with you here and now. Check out Rachel’s website for her upcoming shows, her original songs, and social media links. Below are her YouTube links.