By MIKE CHAIKEN
The nation of Hungary is learning about the health benefits of singing… and along the way they’re rocking out to the sounds of Queen.
And it’s all thanks to Bristol native, Joe Archambeault, akaJ.J. Midnight, who is the lead singer of the band Celebrating Queen.
For the past few months, Archambeault has been based in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, presenting a program he developed entitled “Everybody Sings.”
Archambeault, in an audio message from his home in Europe, explained that the program’s premise is that singing is healthier for you.
Archambeault said when he formed Celebrating Queen (which performs the vocal heavy music of that renowned British rock act), he started doing research about the health benefits of singing.
In study after study, Archambeault said singing was shown to help the body.
Archambeault explained, singing is good for the lungs, mood, the memory, and the brain. For instance, stroke victims recover quicker if singing is included in their treatment.
Archambeault said, initially, he took this program across the United States. And now, he’s taking the program to, first Hungary, and possibly the rest of Europe.
Archambeault attributes his arrival in Hungary to his wife, Krisztina. Krisztina Archambeault is Hungarian and her family is in the Budapest area. (His wife also now serves as Archambeault’s de factor tour manager, booking many of the events, appearances, and concert in Hungary for her husband.)
Archambeault said Hungary also fulfills another passion for the lead singer of Celebrating Queen. He said he is fascinated with the history and culture of Hungary.
Additionally, Archambeault said the location is great since the band Queen has a large following in Hungary.
In Europe, Archambeault said, Queen is “freaking huge…”
The response to Everybody Sings overseas has been great, said Archambeault. He has approached local high schools that have gladly let him come in to present the program. Thus far, 20 schools have been lined up for “Everybody Sings.”
“We’re optimistic about this program in Europe. We’ll be here a few months out of the year promoting ‘Everybody Sings.’”
In the presentations before high school students, Archambeault said he utilizes the music of Queen to show how singing is good for you.
And the music of Queen has proven to be a universal language as he visits the schools, said Archambeault. “When I use the music of Queen, no one flinches… Everybody likes Queen….”
The high school students, thanks to television shows such as “Glee” and “American Idol,” are already familiar with the music that actually came out decades before they were born.. And, of course, older audience members such as himself grew up on the music of Queen.
Although Archambeault doesn’t speak Hungarian, it has not proven to be a problem. He said many of the students and their teachers at his presentations use the opportunity to practice their English. And, even before he arrived, the students had learned all the words to the Queen songs he uses in his presentation.
Archambeault said he is having a good time as he makes his way through Hungary and eventually the rest of Europe.
“It’s unbelievable. I miss the states. I miss Florida (his current home). But I’m having a blast over here with friends and family.”