After earning her music degree at Indiana University, Julie took off to seek her fortune in Los Angeles.
She found work quickly, with a recurring role on the Lifetime series Oh, Baby, as a younger version of Cynthia Stevenson’s lead character in flashback scenes. Neumark was offered a part in a comedy, but there was a catch: She had to play guitar. Unfortunately, her experience with music had only been vocal, but typically she didn’t let that get in her way. With a straight face she assured the director that, yes, she knew her way around all six strings.
Within the next year her calendar filled with solo acoustic gigs, which expanded into band shows as she put her own group together. The more she wrote and performed, the harder she drove herself. She drew inspiration from Beth Hart, Dylan, the Stones, Janis Joplin, Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Marc Broussard – artists whose music reflected the kind of urgency and honesty that ignites Neumark’s creativity. Her following grew, yet something was still missing, an empty piece yet to be filled in the puzzle.
The picture was completed by a sobering rite of passage. When her father, Michael, began to succumb to the cancer he had battled for five years, Neumark dropped everything and flew back to his side. “Watching my father die was a wakeup call,” she says, quietly. “It made me understand that none of us knows how long we have. That opened me up, and I allowed myself to become more vulnerable than I’d ever been – enough to have my heart broken for the first time.”
Neumark responded to her loss aggressively. First, she dedicated herself to raising money and awareness for research into esophageal cancer. That commitment continues to this day, even more effectively as her invigorated writing, singing, and living lifted her music to a higher level of intensity.
More doors are opening for Julie Neumark. Reviewers have heralded her arrival as a rare and formidable talent. (“Neumark shines” – LA Times; “Hearing her sing makes you a believer in the song.” – Music Connection) and she was recently named one of the top 100 unsigned artists of 2007 by Music Connection Magazine. One of her heroes, Beth Hart, showed her respect by going to see Neumark perform last spring at the Mint. That meeting transpired into two gigs opening for Hart at The Knitting Factory, Hollywood in June 2007 and again in July of 2007 at The Roxy. Hart says Neumark, "says what she means and means what she says thru music and movement and a shit load of conviction. I love her."
And now, with Dimestore Halo, this whirlwind is about to break beyond its SoCal spawning ground, beyond the idyllic world Neumark recalls on “Cincinnati,” into every corner of the country that appreciates music that’s soulful, rootsy, and utterly original.
“What I’ve been through over these past couple of years has set off a chain reaction,” she sums up. “It’s helped me figure out who I am and what I have to say. I’ve dug deeper and found my voice. And I’ve found how to express my feelings and thoughts in ways I never thought I could before.
“That’s what Dimestore Halo is all about.”
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