Historia Liner Notes

Not long after my father died I found myself planning for this CD. As I was deciding what material to record, I realized that this would be my most personal project so far. Below are a few of my song choices and how they got here.

Shaw ‘Nuff -- I sat down to attempt lyrics to this bebop classic, and an hour later, I had a song about not being afraid to open yourself up to new experiences.

What’s Comin’ Atcha – This is one of my post-Katrina originals that says you never know exactly what your future holds, so you’d better live life all the way, all the time. It’s loosely inspired by a very dear friend who has faced more than his share of adversity, but in spite of it all, he has the most amazing heart full of love, passion, and joy. He knows who he is.

Historia de un Amor – This beautiful bolero about loss was written by Carlos Almarán after the death of his brother’s wife. I sang it in the original Spanish for a year before I decided to write my own English lyrics. Sometimes it feels so good to let yourself be drawn into a sad song.

Laura Lee – Years ago, my Aunt Sarah gave me an old family bible. Pressed in its leaves were several letters written by one of my ancestors who fought in the Civil War. The young soldier had lost his friends in battle. He was hungry, cold, exhausted, and afraid. All he wanted was for the war to be over so that he could go home and be with his loved ones. The first time I heard Brian Seeger’s beautiful “Buffalo Trace,” I knew I had to tell my soldier’s story on its haunting melody.

Shenandoah – When Dan Loomis suggested Shenandoah as a bass/voice duo, I burst into tears. I’ve known this beautiful folk song my whole life. It was played at every large family gathering (and there were many) - Mom on piano, Dad on harmonica, my cousin Charlie on guitar, and as soon as I was able, I joined in flute. This one’s definitely a part of my musical heritage.

Silence of the Stars (O Silêncio das Estrelas) – I tried to convey in English the original message of this beloved Brazilian pop song about the universal questions of mankind. I love that Evan Christopher is on it, not only because he is such a masterful player, but also because clarinet was my dad’s major instrument. Dad, wherever you are, I hope you like this as much as I do!

Some of that Sunshine – Last March, Karrin Allyson and I were sitting in her Manhattan apartment brainstorming about this CD. She sat down at the piano and played me a song that she and Chris Caswell had written together. I loved it right off and asked her if she would sing it with me on the CD. She said yes, and the rest is recorded history.

With love and gratitude,