Songs for the Season

Unique Musical Programs

Archive for the month “April, 2015”

Santa Songs Promo

Our Promotional Video for Santa Songs just went live on Youtube.   You can check it out above at “Santa Songs Video”.

It was produced at Kerramel Studios with Ron and Kerry Ben-Joseph videographers.  The raw tape of the December 18th concert was shot by videographer Max Anisimov at Grand Piano Haus in Skokie, IL.

We hope that you enjoy this preview of the show and will contact us with interest for future performances.


Spring Show After Glow

The show was warmly received by the friends and neighbors at Counter Coffee.  I’m always impressed when the Burl Ives material goes over.  I’m referring to “Lavender Blue” in this case.  I do love doing it.  And particularly fulfilling was my new medley of songs from Canterbury Tales, the musical.  Chaucer’s prologue is such fun to do to musical accompaniment.   It reminds me of the monologues in “The Fantasticks”.

Many thanks to my friends from SongShop.  It is great sharing the work with you.  Both Mark Burnell and Claudia Hommel are wonderful mentors and I recommend them both.

Towards the end of my rehearsal period I realized that the Magic of Spring is “folk heavy”.  Perhaps that is why I sense that the material belongs more in a coffee shop setting rather than a night club.  Is it time for a folk revival including more coffee shop venues?  I hope so.

My next show, already in development is “Wilde and Woolley”.  It’s the story of Monty Woolley and Cole Porter’s inner circle featuring the works of Cole Porter and his contemporaries.  That should be much more appropriate for a night club setting.   We are planning a debut in Chicago at Davenports in October.

The Magic of Spring Program

Here is the song list for “The Magic of Spring: An Earth Day Cabaret”  Please see below for other details about the event.  I hope you can join in our celebration.

Birdsong Medley, Cole Porter and others.

Spring is Here, Rodgers and Hart

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, Tom Lehrer

Lavender Blue.  Traditional (after Burl Ives)

Queen of the May, Louise Cloutier and Daniel Johnson

Merry Haymakers,  Traditional  (after Bob Copper)

Canterbury Medley, Nevill Coghill & R. Hill, J. Hawkins (after Chaucer)

April Song, Chaucer’s Prologue and Love Will Conquer All

What’s In Your Easter Basket (parody by Daniel Johnson), Irving Berlin

This Is My Holiday, Lerner & Lowe

You Must Believe In Spring, Legrand & the Bergmans

Martha: the Last Pigeon, Music & Lyrics by Michael Friedman

Mother Earth, Traditional (lyric after Neil Young)

My Queen of the May

See “Spring Magic” blog entry below for performance details about “The Magic of Spring:  An Earth Day Cabaret.”

How was the “Queen of the May” created?

In 2011 I was invited to perform a short program at a spring tea.  One of the things I wanted to do was to sing about the May Pole tradition but I couldn’t find anything appropriate in the folk tradition, so I put on the thinking cap and came up with my own lyric, which I sang in the program to a “dummy tune.”

Later I met composer Louise Cloutier and it seemed to me she would be a good collaborator to bring the song into my repertoire.  I’m quite pleased with the results:  “Queen of the May” commemorates the rebirth of spring.  I imagined an old fellow remembering a time when he was led in a May Pole dance by his lover who he remembers fondly as Queen of the May.  Memories tend to gain power when recounted repeatedly over the years and so it is with this song.  My own memories of creating this song are associated with an occasion when I sang it for my mother shortly before she passed.

I love to perform original material and now my lyric is embellished in a transporting, European-feeling setting, so appropriate for a May Pole dance which is historically of Germanic origin.

Thanks to Louise for her music and friendship.  It will be a highlight of the program.

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