The album project is underway!

Just completed recording 11 tracks for an upcoming album of original tunes, which I hope to release later this year. I had the privilege of recording at the superb American University studios with Mike Harvey and his crew of talented graduate students, who made it easy for us to capture the work of 11 musicians in a variety of configurations.

I’m deeply grateful to the DC and Baltimore area artists who contributed their talents and ideas to this project:

  • Aaron Myers
  • Andrew Frankhouse
  • Barbara Papendorp
  • Ele Rubenstein
  • Herb Scott
  • Lionel Lyles
  • Mark Saltman
  • Paul Jung
  • Percy White
  • Tony Gudell

I’m looking forward to hearing the final product and sharing it with you.

Thanks to Tony for the photos!

NPR recognizes “The Smooth Swing Of Subway Etiquette”

Thanks to NPR for their January 3, 2016 report about my song “Stand Right,” which celebrates DC’s unwritten rule of escalator etiquette. I wrote the song in 2010, and recorded it in 2014 with Aaron Myers. We released a single of the track early last year, and included it on Aaron’s holiday album “Snowing In Vegas,” which was released in December 2015.

NPR reporter Yu Sun Chin interviewed Metro riders about their experience with this “escalator code,” and spoke to Aaron and me about the genesis of the song and our experiences performing it. She also stopped by Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill to hear one of Aaron’s live shows and record a segment of our live performance of this tune.

The result was an entertaining and informative 2-minute radio report, which I encourage you to listen to on the NPR site (if you didn’t already hear us on the radio).

“Snowing In Vegas” now on Spotify!

The Aaron Myers holiday album “Snowing In Vegas” is now available on Spotify. The album features Aaron’s new holiday classic “Love All Year, three of my original compositions (“Hanukkah Light”, “Snow Day”, and “Stand Right”) plus the fun original title tune “It’s Snowing In Vegas”. Enjoy!

“Snow Day” live

Thanks to Aaron Myers and the band for this lovely live performance of my new song “Snow Day” at our show on April 4. I’m always impressed at how quickly Aaron can take on a new song and really “own” the lyrics, as he did in this case. That’s Mary Lawrence playing the trumpet solo; she sat in with the band on Friday. I’m at the piano, alongside Percy White on bass and Will Stephens at the drums.

Enjoy!

“In the Lounge” live from the Lounge!

We had another fun and successful Vocal Showcase show on Friday July 26 at the Black Fox Lounge, with vocalists Russwin Francisco and Barbara Papendorp, backed by the superb talents of Winston Johnson on drums and Billy Monroe on the bass. This show featured Russwin performing the premiere of another original tune of mine, “In the Lounge,” which I started to write in an actual airport lounge back when I traveled often for my job.

Hope you enjoy the song!

MetroSongs Volume 4: Get ’em while they’re hot!

Just received a stack of the new MetroSongs Volume 4 CD, which we call “Multi-Tracking” to mark the first recording by the entire MetroSongs band, Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors.

You can hear the latest collection on BandCamp, and buy a physical CD for your very own for only $10 from that site or (better yet) directly from me.

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I’m really proud of this collection, and happy to have had the opportunity to contribute as a writer and player on most of the tunes on the album.

 

MetroSongs Volume 4: on CD (and maybe in your house)

metrosongs4I’m excited to be working with Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors on Volume 4 of  MetroSongs, a musical journey inspired by the stations of the Washington, DC Metro subway system. For Volume 4, Jason plans to record the full Open Doors band for the first time, and include songs written or co-written by members of the band in addition to Jason himself. Our goal is to release a professionally mastered album, plus accompanying video on DVD to add visuals to that audio.

Jason kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to get us going with this project. I encourage you to check it out and help support this unique musical adventure. We’re accepting contributions small and large; we’re offering great benefits, including the opportunity to host a live MetroSongs concert in your living room!

I’ve had a blast playing MetroSongs with the Open Doors, and having the opportunity to write some MetroSongs of my own (you can hear “Cleveland Park” on Volume 3). I have at least two more station tributes in the works for Volume 4, starting with “Friendship Heights.”

I look forward to your support!

Funk Me To The Moon

Here’s another live recording from a recent gig with Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble, this time Aaron’s unique funky take on “Fly Me To The Moon”. We have a lot of fun with this one. Enjoy!

I’ll be back at the Black Fox Lounge with Aaron and the band on Friday Sept. 7, the start of a very busy weekend of music. Hope you can come out and join us.

Stand Right!

We had a great first show of 2012 last night at the Black Fox Lounge in Dupont Circle, which included a rousing performance of my tribute to DC Metro etiquette “Stand Right”. The response from the audience was very enthusiastic, so I’m hoping that Aaron will make this part of our regular set list.

I didn’t record last night’s performance, but here’s a recording of a previous rendition of this number:

The lead sheet is available on the web site as well, in case you’d like to try out the tune for yourself.

MetroSongs: Cleveland Park

I’m happy to report that Jason Mendelson recorded and posted my modest contribution to his ongoing MetroSongs project, a song about Cleveland Park (on the Metro Red Line, in upper Northwest Washington). The song is about holding on to your history in the face of change, a theme that seemed appropriate to this neighborhood.

For more information on that history, you can try some sources that I found useful: Wikipedia (of course) and the local historical society.

Photos by KCIvey and M. V. Jantzen from Flickr

[updated the link to the Cleveland Park song & MetroSongs project Jan. 4]