Sista Monica Parker Finds Catharsis as She Records New CD at Live Oak Studio in Berkeley

Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — Sista Monica Parker is in the midst of recording “Living in the Danger Zone” now at greater San Francisco music studio Live Oak Studio in Berkeley. Her new CD “Living in the Danger Zone” is the cathartic tale of the local Bay Area singer and song writer’s personal experience. Most of the tracks were written and produced by Parker as she captures the many phases of a love affair. The songs explore the emotions everyone can relate to, from falling in love to being present in the relationship, surviving the downfall, and even trying to patch it together years after the break-up.

“Sista Monica is an amazing artist, and a lovely person,” said Live Oak Studio owner Priscilla Rice. “This CD is going to speak to people. It speaks to me.” Sista Monica and her band are enjoying Live Oak Studio. She has recorded her last few CDs at Live Oak. “It offers an intimate setting, ideal for recording and musical production,” said Parker.

“Some of the music comes from my feelings of being totally in love, others about how pissed off I am for being lured into thinking it could work after we separated,” said Parker, describing her work. “Tears ran down my cheeks the first few times I sang the three ballads in the studio. I don’t dread singing those songs. It’s just emotional. Raw! I had to sing them, though. The songs are all a part of my process of loving, learning, healing and finally letting go.”

“Once Loved, Twice Bitten” and “You Can’t Go Back” are two heart-wrenching R&B-blues ballads. “Twice Bitten” is about Parker’s belief that after the relationship cooled down, the two could go back to the happy place they had been in before conflict tore them apart. It is about how the lovers had the chemistry, physical attraction and emotional maturity, but lacked the tools to withstand conflict. “You Can’t Go Back” is about the realization that things won’t work out.

One Chicago-style, up-tempo blues song, “Hug Me Like You Love Me,” explores the impact of a hug when it is filled with passion and feeling. The title of this track was inspired by something legendary blues performer BB King said to her backstage after they both performed the same evening at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz last March.

“We were just about to have our photo taken together when BB King looked at me and told me to ‘come in close and hug me like you love me,’” said Parker. “That line reminded me of how wonderful it feels to be in love and the effects of a genuine hug. I knew immediately that I wanted to write a song about it and that it belonged on this CD.”

“Fierce Force of Nature” is an up-tempo, rockin’ blues dance song that describes how Parker had to stand up for herself when her ex-lover took her love and kindness as signs of weakness.

In contrast, “Living in the Danger Zone” is a funky R&B song with suspicious undertones that tells the story of what it was like for Parker to risk going back to something that was already painful to her. She wanted to be sure she was not walking away from the love of her life.

Parker’s lyrics, “In love you take a risk, play it safe and you’ll miss your lessons, you might think I’m wrong, I’m holding my own in the danger zone” describe the danger she put herself in as her new partner allowed her to make the journey to evaluate the situation and get it out of her system.

“My ex and I love one another. We are really romantic and good together for the first two or three weeks we are together—but then our strong personalities clash, making it impossible to live together on a day-to-day, practical basis,” said Parker of the title track.

Her band includes Danny Beconcini on piano (and sometimes co-writer), Artis Joyce on bass, Don Caruth on guitar, Leon Joyce on drums, Doug Rowan on baritone sax and Danny Sandoval on tenor sax.

Sista Monica’s song “Show Me What You’re Working With” from her previous album “Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down” was selected and choreographed by Ray Leeper for one of the dance routines performed by Melanie Moore, the Season 8 winning dancer of the hit television series “So You Think You Can Dance.” The routine can be seen on YouTube at:

For more information about recording at Live Oak Studio, please call (510) 423-0771 or visit them on the web at

About Live Oak Studio Since 1984, Live Oak Studio, a greater San Francisco music recording studio, has recorded music legends, including Destiny’s Child, Boyz II Men, Will Smith, Alicia Keys, Tony! Toni! Tone! and E-40. The Berkeley studio utilizes a Digidesign Pro Tools® HD-based system to record breakthrough and award-winning albums for artists all of genres. The East Bay recording studio specializes in audio, voiceover, live band recording, audiobook and narration recording services. The studio can also help artists with mixing, editing and creating audiobooks, podcasts and meditation CDs.


Priscilla Rice
Live Oak Studio