That’s right. A full house. OK, maybe there were a couple of seats available at the bar but lemme tell you, the place was packed. Songwriters, friends, family…did I mention it was packed? The circle is widening.
“Over The Line” is a brilliant duo featuring Pamela Rini, singer, and musician (teeny acoustic bass, melodica and bodhrain/Irish drum) and Arthur Leinoff on guitar, performed their songs, “Sweet Sedona Smile” and “Red Moon Rising.” Pamela has a gorgeous voice. They are both wonderful writers and musicians. Their songs are crafty and with memorable choruses. So glad they joined us. We all would love to hear them again soon.
Donnie and I opened with “Over The Rainbow,” the great classic from “The Wizard of Oz.”
We modulated the key so he played “the head” in D and then I sang it in A. I am a big fan of the composer, Harold Arlen and lyricist, Yip Harburg. Raised in Buffalo, NY, in the cantorial tradition, Arlen headed to NYC where he met up with his contemporaries like George Gershwin,. Both he and GG, hi-tailed it up to Harlem to listen to the great stride players like Willie “The Lion” Smith and Fats Waller. Get into Arlen’s tunes and you will hear where the blues crosses with the minor sounding songs he sang with his cantor in a Buffalo synagogue. (Need I mention the blues/jazz influence on GG?) Unlike most of the composers and lyricists of the Great American Songbook, Yip Harburg was born into a relatively poor family. He was always a champion of the downtrodden. “Brother Can You Spare A Dime” is one of his most famous songs. These two men teamed up to write all the songs from “Oz.” That’s Harold Arlen on the left, Yip Harburg on the right:
Just outside the circle, the snow was blowing horizontally across Bethel, for the entire two hours of the circle. “We’re in a snow globe, ” Debbie Fisher Palmarini observed.
Our “regulars” were in the house. Brewster Smith brought his great tunes and a stomp box he just constructed that morning.
Carpeted on one half of the wedge, he played bass and snare hits with his boots while accompanying himself on his fabulous tunes like “You’re All Right,” and “Losin’ Your Love.” Wanna see it again?
Lucas Rotman performed his brilliant song, “Portraits” and I got to play with both of da cats. Lucas, Brewster and I were scheduled to play at “Woodsongs” in Hurleyville by 7pm so SC^2 provided a good chance to rehearse. Happily, nobody threw anything at us. Actually, Brewster had been booked to play drums with “Little Sparrow” at 6pm so he had to play fast. Thanks to Carol Smith for inviting us. Stacy, too.
Speaking of happy, Craig Martin returned. He had been one of our first songwriters to perform in mid January, at our first meeting. He reprised his wonderful song, “Crystal Bells,” a meditation on the Sandy Hook horror.
I want to hear more Craig songs…
And Morgan Mc Carthy, our polymath who tends bar and gives tours of The Distillery…original songs please:)
Debbie Fisher Palmarini finished up the solo performances for the afternoon.
We all did some last minute jamming and then headed off to Hurleyville.