My friend Rick Keena and I have been making "socially distant" recordings, and were talking the other day. He said "Have you ever thought of doing Street of Dreams, it was a huge song for Sinatra." I didn't remember the melody but sort of recognized the title. So I said, if you play it, I'll sing it. Sinatra sang it big and loud. I thought I'd try a different, more intimate approach. Here it is.
Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It's been said the lyrics are reminiscent of Mercer's childhood in Savannah, Georgia, including its waterways. As a child, Mercer had picked huckleberries in summer, and connected them with a carefree childhood and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. The word "Huckleberry" is an affectionate way to describe someone who just naturally connects with you, understands you, accepts you... a precious companion for the journey through life.
In this version I'm singing vocal tracks, and playing melodica on a few tracks as well, layered against a backing track of live musicians (guitar, bass, piano, drums).
For me it's a magically peace-inducing song. I relax and breathe every time I hear it. I hope you enjoy it!
Music and lyrics by Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy, and Wayne Kirkpatrick. The best-known version was recorded by Eric Clapton for the soundtrack of the 1996 film Phenomenon.
This version features Rick Keena on guitar, myself on the vocal, and backup singers "Mickey" and "Michelle."
The original from 1965 (music and lyrics by Sonny; yes, that Sonny) was a commentary on confusing times, when things were changing by the minute and also staying exactly the same. With lyrics like "Cars keep getting faster all the time / Bums still say Hey Mister, got a dime?" and "Men still keep on marching off to war / Electric-ly they keep their baseball score."
The tune and the beat is so catchy, and the original lyrics so goofy and poetic and serious, I was inspired to do a new twist on it to reflect on our confusing times where up is down and down is up. So I've mashed new lyrics in with some of the original ones. And with a little editing I've mixed my vocal with a Fantastic (!) new version of the song performed by Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra (yes, that Jeff Goldblum). Please to enjoy.
Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, cooled by fresh, gentle breezes. Put on good headphones, grab your favorite refreshment, sit back....
Well, after screaming at the TV news about morons packing into restaurants during a PANDEMIC, the Mad Dog would probably ingest a whole bunch of illegal drugs. And then... he would SING HIS FRICKIN' FACE OFF TO GET SOME RELEASE. That's what I just did (the singing, not the drugs). Enjoy, my friends!
Juel and Michael enjoying a swelterin' summer day in Central Park. By the Model Boat pond. By George and Ira.
Sheltering at home starts to get hard. Luckily my wife and I have this lady around, a Labrador retriever mix named Bridget who's been a sweet part of this family for a good long time. But there's no denying that human connections are missed so much at this time. We need it. We thrive on it. Our daughter Johanna is on the left coast in Seattle and it's hard not to be able to hug her. One thing that's been a blessing is to make music with friends near and far with the help of technology. So I offer up this, a cover of Harry Connick Jr's fun swing tune called Nowhere with Love. With faraway Jamie Saltman on piano (up in Brookline, Mass). We've been friends since high school, and it's been great to catch up about family, friends, music, and of course, the original Star Trek. :) Beam me up Scotty, this virus is out of control.
"It's better to be happy in a cardboard shack, than to be alone in a castle."
in which I'll occasionally improvise on the topic of jazz.