Turn Your Lamp Down Low (Baby Please Don’t Go)

April 4, 1913 Happy Birthday Muddy Waters!

day 362

Muddy Waters is in the top tier of all blues men.  He’s who Mick Jagger learned from – in fact the Stones are named for a Muddy Waters song Rolling Stone.  You can find some great footage of Muddy and Mick singing together on youtube. I’m glad to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Muddy Waters’ birth by singing one of the blues he recorded.

I can’t believe I’ve done 362 days in a row of this series and have only 3 more days to go to complete the year!  Actually though I think I’m doing an extra day – I must have lost count someplace along the way because I started on April 7th and where I am now with the count, labeling most days under my picture, it winds up that day 365 will end up on April 7th.  Shouldn’t day 365 end up on April 6th?  Oh well, one for good luck.

And i will start my new weekly series of one original tune a week when I’m done with my daily series.  Not sure what day that will be but this might be a good time to subscribe to the blog (there’s an email link on the side to the right) so you won’t miss my updates.  I know that would just devastate you!

It’s going to get hectic soon because we’re getting into gig season and I’m working on the Willie & the Swagga album and I’m going to have a record release party and Claudia should be finishing her novel by this summer and we got big plans!  Lotsa big plans so stay tuned!

more tomorrow!

A Song For You

April 2, 1942 Happy Birthday Leon Russell!

day 360

A Song For You is a classic, written and recorded by Leon Russell, one of the great original rock and roll blues piano players.  And because Donny Hathaway also sang the hell out of this it became a soul classic as well.  A lot of singers come in auditioning with this song cause they can show off their vocal gymnastics all over it.  Although, in this current show we’re casting, the singers will not be coming in and singing this.  Not for Hello Dolly!  They’re all about Les Mis or Phantom and it’s a different kind of showing off.

Although, tell you the truth, I’m starting to be more impressed by singers who just sing the song nice and easy.

Stingers are at the Groove tomorrow night.  That’s Wednesday 4/3 for you all tuning in late.  We start at 9.  Come on down.  I’ll get Stanley Hopkins to show off and sing A Song For You!

for tonight though, i’m singing it for Leon Russell’s birthday!

Give Me One Reason

March 30, 1964 Happy Birthday Tracy Chapman!

day 357

We spent a couple of hours at the Bronx Zoo today and saw snow leopards, red pandas, baboons, birds, a crane, tigers, peacocks and some awesome brown bears wrestling and a polar bear playing with his red ball in the water.  Good exercise, too, walking those trails and climbing stairs and a loooooong ramp up to the bird house.

When I got home I had to nap.  Thats what a wild afternoon will do to me!

I couldn’t decide for today’s song whether to play guitar or piano and Dylan said, “play both,” so I did.  I’m a regular one man band.  Happy Birthday Tracy Chapman.   i have to mention that today is Eric Clapton’s bithday too!

Here’s the song, Give Me One Reason, and now I’m going back to working on Willie & the Swagga vocals.  At some point I will get them right.  Soon I think.


Hello Dolly

March 29, 1918 Happy Birthday Pearl Bailey!

day 356

Pearl Bailey was a Broadway Dolly, in fact she won a TONY for the production in 1968,  and I’m studying the show cause I’m working on a production with the fabulous Jeff Moss that will be going out on the road this fall.  I’ll let you know more about it as we get closer, but i thought it was pretty cool to be able to say Happy Birthday Pearl Bailey and sing Hello Dolly in her honor!

Been recording all week and working on some projects near and dear to my heart and with some interesting and very talented people.   Today was another full day of singing and recording and I’ve just come up for air to post today’s blog!

more tomorrow.  I’m in the home stretch here.  My blog ends very soon.  I think I have 9 or 10 days left.  Will have to do a special wrap-up edition!  It’s been a fun year.

A Foggy Day

March 27, 1924 Happy Birthday Sarah Vaughan!

Married and Counting

I was really glad to find a song I already knew for Sarah Vaughan’s birthday though it wasn’t hard because she has recorded so many tunes!  Hey I even knew the lyrics for A Foggy Day and didnt need a cheat sheet!

I spent most of today recording Willie & the Swagga vocals.  I’m getting very close to being done with this album!!!!  And I’ve been writing up a storm and can’t wait to share the new stuff also.

Speaking of sharing, we recently wrote a song for the wonderful film Married and Counting which is having a run at the Quad starting April 26 in NYC.  Actually, check out their website because it’s in other cities too if you’re not local.  So Claudia and I wrote a song called Hubba Hubba for the film and justjohn produced it and Jennifer Houston sang it and FINALLY we got it up on cdbaby – it will be on itunes shortly maybe even by now it is.  So check out the film.  We’ll be going on April 26 – the director and the stars will be on hand and this is one that you do not want to miss.  It’s narrated by George Takei.  you know you love him, too!

Here’s the link to Hubba Hubba.  Go on and buy a copy.  It’s only 99 cents.  Jen’s great!

And happy birthday ms. SV.  Here’s A Foggy Day for you!  And, today is also my mommy’s birthday.  She is 90 and having a big party in Berkeley, CA right now and another party this weekend in Vegas and I will see her in a couple of weeks for her big party here in New York, thanks to the planning and organization of my cousins who are the best in the world!