I’ve had this song in the saddle bag for a long time. It was part of a trilogy of songs I wrote several years ago and no matter how long they’ve been buried, they continue to bubble up to the surface when it’s time to record. (Another song from that trilogy, “Downtown Bus”, made it on to my prior record “Gin & Rosewater”).
The arrangement to this tune went through a pretty radical transformation on its path from original demo to final recording. I wrote it as an uptempo, major key song set to a rollicking cajun groove. In that context, the singer is playfully trying to strike up a street corner conversation with a woman who has caught his eye. The song leaves it to our imagination to decide if he was successful or not.
The 'before' version - a little rocker with a cajun feel
Again, as we had done on "We Will Walk Through the Streets of the City" producer and drummer on the album, Marco Giovino and I went through a process of experimenting with tempo/groove/key/etc.
The 'after' version - with a much more 'after-dark' groove
We ended up with me singing it in a much lower, minor key not major, on top of a more languid groove. This gives the song a more urban, sophisticated feel that is totally brought home by Sonny Barbato’s haunting accordion work. Chris Rival once again contributes a brilliant, off the cuff, quirky but perfect guitar solo and the lovely and reticent Anne Lyon McDermott was cajoled into making her debut performance as a vocalist on the track, adding a sultry counterpoint to the lead vocal. And then don’t forget Marco’s use of a hospital bedpan as a key part of his kit. (It’s even in the right key!).
Anne once again brought a new and deeper dimension to the finished product in the official video she created to support the song. She has found a way to cast a powerful spell in her selection of imagery and her sensitive editing choices.
Chuck McDermott: Vocals
Marco Giovino: Drums
Marty Ballou: Upright Bass
Duke Levine: Electric Guitar
Chris Rival: Electric Guitar
Joe “Sonny” Barbato: Accordion
John Deaderick: Piano
Anne Lyon McDermott: Vocals