Two days of amazing performances occurred over the last week. First Jeff Gray and Joe Jackson put down the horn parts on ALL the songs in one mammoth session. Next Marilyn came in and magically, effortlessly and beautifully laid down the lead vocal tracks for all the songs in one four hour session. It sounds impossible. Ken Schubert, our engineer, was in near-disbelief.
Jeff Gray on sax and Joe Jackson, trombone, were at work last night on the new Chaise Lounge Christmas Album. It is tentatively called “Out Under the Sky”, which comes from the lyrics to the Appalachian ballad, “I Wonder as I Wander.” It is a song that will be on the album.
Chaise Lounge acted as an emissary between two musical countries last weekend–and the odd and somewhat schizophrenic nature of what we do was brought into sharp focus. On Saturday night, we played at Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia, the jazziest of East Coast Jazz clubs. On Sunday, we played at Godfrey Daniels, a quintessential folk club in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Jazz and folk: Could Chaise Lounge really find common ground between those two ideologies? At Chris’ we brought a folksinger’s love of storytelling to the coolest cats in Philly. And at Godfrey Daniels, we brought our sharp suits and sharp chops and swung our as*** off for the salt-of-the-earth folksters of Bethlehem. And hooray, it felt like we brought a little bit of peace, love, and understanding to both sides, at a time when our country can use as much peace, love, and understanding as we can get.
Sometimes the most valuable player at a gig isn’t even onstage. While we were on tour in Vermont this summer, we were blessed to have a young man, Dyllan, in charge of locating, transporting and setting up our back line for every gig. He was on site before we were, and he had nearly unlimited energy for getting drums, amps and keyboards on stage. After our gig in Greensboro was finished, it was absolutely pouring outside, and we dreaded having to mush through the muck to our cars. But it turned out that wasn’t necessary–Dyllan had already moved all the vehicles that needed to be moved and was quickly striking the set and bounding off the stage, brutally heavy amps in hand. Not once did we have to ask for help. He was a step ahead of us with all the help we needed. We hear he’s a talented bassist, so he may well have roadies of his own soon. Our wish for him is that they’ll have his same great energy and healthy knees.
Last night we played our first show at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, Virginia. We felt like we had come home! The art-deco stage seemed custom-made to set off our sharp suits. The sound in the room was terrific. And the audience was the perfect mix of drinkers, dancers, and attentive listeners, with no group seeming to impose its mode on any of the others. Thanks to the Carlyle for a memorable night! We’re hoping to be back soon.