Glenn Gamboa writes about music for Newsday.
Amber Ferrari remembers how worried she was about first meeting Richie Cannata, the saxophonist best known for his longtime stint with Billy Joel.
"I was very nervous singing in front of him because of who he is," says the rocker from Patchogue. "I went to his open jam at The Bitter End and sang. He said that he'd like to work with me, but I thought he was just being nice."
It turns out Cannata meant it. Not only did Ferrari record her new EP "Electric Blue" (O.M.O.) at Cannata's studio in Glen Cove, but he also played on two of her songs -- the '70s-styled rocker "Follow You On," which sounds like a mix of Pat Benatar and Janis Joplin, and her hard-hitting cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams."
"It was really exciting for me," says Ferrari, adding that Cannata will perform with her at the "Electric Blue" release party on Saturday. "To have someone of his caliber believing in me is really great."
Of course, Cannata wasn't the only one who believed in Ferrari's project, which was funded through a PledgeMusic campaign in May. Ferrari says she and her husband, Chris, had written several of the songs years ago and had been waiting for the right time to record them.
"Ready to Love You" was the most special. "We had just started dating and he played me this song that he had written the music for years ago," Ferrari says. "I thought, 'Oh my god,' and I flipped through my lyrics and I was able to sing my lyrics and melody right to that music -- which is pretty weird. It was just right."
Amber Ferrari plays 89 North, 89 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue, at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Contact The Long Island Sound at glenn.gamboa @newsday.com or follow @ndmusic on Twitter.