Saturday, December 8, 2007

Singing for Don, with Con, Lon, Gron, and Cowshavewool

Don Brody died 10 years ago this month, a startling realization on so many levels. I don't want to go into the whole "Holy shit, 10 years," thing...but holy shit, 10 years. I was 27 years old 10 years ago, and a very different person in many ways, most of those ways not good. We all, of course, looked a lot younger. The jokey folkie touring poster below was made 10 years ago. Don was 42, and Grula was I think solidly in his 30s, but the rest of us were valiantly holding on to being young and stupid.

In December 1997, Brenda and I had recently moved into a little white stucco cottage not far from High Rocks Park on Smithtown Road in Pipersville, Pennsylvania. Gregg had sort of moved in with us, too, floating between eras. He stayed in Kristina's room when she wasn't with us, his boxes and CDs in the basement. We were all in the kitchen with its tile floor and red counters when Connie called and told us the news. We had all just been in the Poconos for Folk Alliance and then a gig at Shannon Lounge in Hoboken, our last gig with Don.

10 years, and Don's son Perry is now 15 and singing like a rock star, from what I hear. 10 years, and so there's going to be an album of Don's songs, sung by those of us he left behind. Graham Parker, The Bongos, Dar Williams, Marshall Crenshaw, other coolsters and hipsters. And Camp Hoboken, of course. Connie called a few weeks ago. Howsabout singing "Mr. Woods" she sez. Howsabout indeed. I haven't sung a note since 2000. Why not why not. So in the studio we went, Thanksgiving weekend...that's Gregg, Connie, and Carol with Rave down below.

Boy, did it feel good. Gregg and Con grabbed the first verse, me and Con grabbed the second, Linda and Carol with their harmonies all over everything.

That's the original touring trio there. We're not a bunch of 27 year olds anymore, but what the hell, man. What the hell. We did get the black memo, and it's funny how in all the important and healthy ways time doesn't seem to go by at all.