Monday, September 28, 2015

A Night to Remember

     This past Saturday night was the release concert for my new CD The Post-American Century. It turned into a special evening, so I thought I should acknowledge and thank everyone who was a part of it. As a 'solo' artist, it was a rare treat to have so much support onstage, and it was both musically satisfying and a heck of a lot of fun.
     My friend Mike Delaney, who generously lent me his mandolin for the recording sessions, was on hand to play it himself, and also did a very moving version of my song "Heaven Here on Earth." Tom Smith, who I often hear at our monthly NSAI songwriters' group, contributed a beautiful song about songwriters and other artists being keepers of the flame. Brian Middleton (joined by Brice Buchanan) did a song himself and then nailed the high harmony on my prison ballad "Can't Remember Life Before I Got Here." Amy Malkoff joined me for her beautiful harmony on "Tall Against the Wave" and then helped me twang it up with "Everything Makes Me Cry These Days Except the Rolling Stones." Mara Levine, who's on four tracks on the CD and who came all the way from New Jersey to be part of the show, sang her duet vocal on "Eternity" and her moving harmony on "Sequel" (which the album title is taken from).
     After a break in which my beautiful wife Cindy gave out slices of carrot cake in honor of my just-passed birthday, I invited members (both real and honorary) of my '80s band Loose Ties onstage to shake the rafters. Barry Singer contributed flute, sax and keyboards, Brice Buchanan stoked his Fender Telecaster, and even Bill "Fabulous" Kuhlman came up to sing "Heard It Through the Grapevine." Rebecca Lynch sang "Same Heart Twice" from the Next Big Thing soundtrack, Deede Bergeron came up for "I'll Make it Right," and John Coffey added bass throughout. We closed with a smokey "Rainy Night in Georgia" and then encored with everybody onstage to moan along with "Take Me Blues" from my very first CD.
     It was great to hear everybody do what they do, and have them add their talents to my music. Maybe we should start a band... I also thank everybody who came out to hear the show, and anyone who bought a CD and some of Mara's hand-made jewelry. And Raymond and the Paradise Cafe for having us. (And event photographer Susan Peisner, who took the above picture.) Traveling for gigs is often lonely, so it was great to have such a welcome homecoming and such a great send-off for the CD. Thanks if you were there, and if not you missed a good one.