Stories behind the songs
This album is a collection of songs written for members of my family (and friends). And just like my family members, each song has its own individual character, style, and history. These are the stories behind the songs:
All About You – (For Spencer) The “You” in the title, is the collective you, it is mankind in general. But as I worked on the lyrics I realized more and more that the voice behind this song was that of my father, so I dedicate this one to him. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to hear it.. I think he would have loved the lyrics
A Whole New World – (For Jaemin) I had just graduated from chiropractic school, was opening a new chiropractic practice, and my wife was 8 months pregnant with our first child. I had no money, no income and a mountain of debt. Nervous about providing for a family for the first time in my life, I took a job as a night-time security guard while I worked on building a practice during the day. Anxious about this new world I was about to enter as a parent and a practitioner, I brought a guitar to work to pacify myself... Sitting alone in the guard shack at Tres Vistas, in the wee hours on a June night in 1995, I wrote this song to my unborn son while ’longing for the chance at last to hold (him)’.
Everybody Needs Some – (For all my friends, past, present and future). I've never had a 'best’ friend...I've had dozens of them! I feel extremely fortunate in this regard for in my opinion, close friends are the essence of a meaningful life. This song is dedicated to all of you, my fabulous, ‘best’ friends – I love you all so much! Everybody needs love…as much as we can possibly give and receive!
Natalie’s Song (For Natalie… duh!) Ingrid and I elected not to know the gender of our babies before their birth – we wanted to be surprised. So when I wrote “A Whole New World" I did not know whether I was writing a song for a son or a daughter. This was not the case for "Natalie’s Song". Written shortly after her birth it expresses our elation at having a girl. It's written from the voice of Ingrid because she was, more than anyone, so hopeful for, and so ecstatic to finally have a baby girl to compliment three sons.
Little Nataloulou (For Natalie) Such a great dancer – she gets it from her mother ... both gifted rug-cutters. Natalie also has her mother’s spirit -irrepressible! As the lyrics imply, Natalie has always loved to dance and I wrote this tune for her to have her very own dance song. The music is inspired by the style of 60’s dance pop/ R&B as exemplified in the movie-musical “Hairspray”, which was one of Natty's favorites at the time I wrote this. She would often be dancing in the isles of the grocery store with the music playing in her head.
Will You Marry Me (For Ingrid) Chronologically, this song pre-dates all the others on this CD, and, in many ways, it begets everything else to follow! This was my proposal to Ingrid: I invited her out to dinner at Las Brisas in Laguna Beach and arranged with the management to allow my friend Bob Moore to pose as a strolling guitar player, hired by the restaurant to serenade its guests. After a couple of bossa-novas for the patrons he came to our table where he played the tune while I sang it to my would-be fiancé. My voice was cracking and trembling, but I got through it, Ink said, “Yes” , and the restaurant cheered! She has enriched my life ever since. But perhaps the most interesting part of this story is that nearly 25 years later, Bob's is the beautiful voice on the recording of this track!
Winter Solace (For Liz) – My mother loved music, especially the classics. Very late in her life, she unexpectedly bought herself a top of the line Celtic Harp thinking she would learn how to play it. So I wrote this song for harp, and gave it to my mother for Christmas that year, hoping it would provide motivation. Its a simple tune and I was hopeful that it would be within reach of a beginner. Unfortunately my mother never learned to play the harp - but she fell in love with this song and asked me to play it for her whenever I visited. Eventually I recorded it and gave her a CD of the tune which she would often listen to at night as she went to bed. I’ve come to think of it as her lullaby.
Maypole (For Liz) –She got so much joy from Winter Solace I decided to write a companion piece which I gave to her in advance of her 91st birthday in June. I was looking for a title that related to the seasons or to the calendar somehow - something in keeping with the title of its predecessor. I forget now what I originally called the piece, but my mom provided its current name – she said it reminded her of children dancing around a Maypole. Her title satisfied my original intentions.
Everything Will Be Alright – (For Liz) Shortly after my mother died, I was awake late at night, alone and reminiscing about her, and this song just fell in my lap. Music writing is a funny thing; the creative exercise can sometimes be slow-going and laborious, and at other times almost effortless. But this song seemed to present itself, in its entirety, without any thought whatsoever; almost like it was discovered, as one might find an old family photo tucked away in a chest somewhere. I performed it at her memorial service the following weekend.
All of the musicians and singers who perform on this CD are consummate professionals who collectively have worked with and/or recorded with literally 100’s of major artists, and/or on major films. With the exception of Daryl Walker and Alberto Salas, both of whom I just met working on this project, these are all old friends who I have not worked with for over 20 years. I was thrilled to see them all again and honored to have them perform my music. I am equally grateful to Daryl and Alberto – they too are incredible talents and I love what they have added to the recordings.
Steve Di Stanislao - Drums:
“Stevie D’s” career as a drummer has included work with luminary artists such as David Gilmour, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Kenny Loggins, Don Felder, David Crosby and CPR, Paul Anka, Chris Robinson & The New Earth Mud (singer with Black Crowes), Loggins & Messina, Joe Walsh, and many more. DiStanislao leads a jazz quintet called Solar Flare.
Steve plays all drums on this project and the percussion on All About You, and Little Nataloulou.
Kevin Axt - Bass:
Kevin has performed, recorded and toured with artists as diverse as Natalie Cole, Lalo Schifrin, Queen Latifah, Placido Domingo, KD Lang, Etta James, and Glenn Frey, just to name a few. Kevin has performed on over 150 albums and 100’s of theater, film and television productions. His bass work has been featured on music projects that to date have garnered a total of 19 Grammy nominations including all the bass work on the Grammy Award winning soundtrack of La La Land. Kevin playsall the bass tracks on this CD with the exception of Everything Wil Be Alright (key bass)
Tom Bevan - Guitar:
Tom plays all the guitars on this project. He is a brilliant guitar player and one of my closest friends since our first days at school in Long Beach. Tom has a Bachelor of Music degree from Cal State Long Beach, and master studies at Cal State Long Beach. Toured and recorded two albums with Maynard Fergeson jazz group, plus recorded on a variety of recordings and television shows such as "Cheers" and "The Nanny." Awarded Best Jazz Guitarist in Orange County by Yamaha Music Corp.
Clyde Blackwelder – keyboards, chromatic harmonica:
Clyde plays all keyboards on all tracks and the chromatic harmonica on Natalie’s Song and Everything Will Be Alright.
Alberto Salas- percussion, piano, keyboards: Alberto plays percussion (bongos, congas, tambourine and shaker) on Everybody Needs Some.
The Martin Bros. Horn section (horns on Little Nataloulou):
Andy Martin: (Trombone): Andy’s credits are literally too numerous to mention. You can check out these links to his website to get an idea:
Scott Martin: (Alto and Tenor Saxophones) Scott is a well-established solo artist in the Latin Jazz genre. He has 8 solo albums to his credit and has worked and recorded with Poncho Sanchez and other Jazz artists. He is currently touring with War and co-producing their newest album.
Stan Martin: (Trumpet, Composer/Arranger) Stan is a prolific free-lance trumpeter and studio musician in the LA and Orange County area.
Mike Whitman: (Saxophones and woodwinds) – Mike has played with Poncho Sanchez, Jack Sheldon Orchestra, and is the Music Director for Hornblower Cruises and events. Mike plays the tenor sax solo on Little Nataloulou.
Jeri Lynne –vocals, (producer, arranger, singer-songwriter, pianist). Credits: Michael McDonald, Jeff Bridges, Righteous Brothers, Keely Smith, BJ Thomas, Crystal Gayle, Stacy Q.
Jeri sings the lead vocal on Natalie’s Song, co-lead vocals on Everybody Needs Some, and backing vocals on A Whole New World, and Little Nataloulou.
Melanie Taylor – vocals, (singer-songwriter)Credits: Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Aerosmith, John Mayer, Joe Walsh
Melanie sings co-lead vocals on Everybody Needs Some and backing vocals on Little Nataloulou.
Steven McClintock – vocals, (guitarist, singer-songwriter, publisher, 37 Record Label owner) Credits: Juice Newton, Tiffany, Andy Williams.
Steven sings the lead vocal on A Whole New World and Everything Will Be Alright, co-lead vocals on Everybody Needs Some, and backing vocals on Little Nataloulou.
Bobby Moore - vocals, (guitarist, singer-songwriter). Credits: Peter Cetera, Dave Mason, Barry Manilow, Bill Medley.
Bob sings lead vocal on All About You and Will You Marry Me, co-lead vocals on Everybody Needs Some, and backing vocals on Little Nataloulou.
Lou Savage - vocals, (bass, voice-over artist.) Credits: Righteous Brother, Bob Hope, Blue Delilah’s Musical Director.
Lou Sings the low bass vocal on Little Nataloulou.
Daryl Walker - vocals, (tenor Sax) Credits: Daryl is the lead singer and tenor sax player with East Bay Sole.
Daryl sings the lead vocal on Little Nataloulou.