Recap: Stories from Storytown 2

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My apologies to all y’all for the late posting of a recap of Stories from Storytown 2. In case you’re interested in my own opinion about the event, I LOVED it. We had three great and varied storytellers: David Hajdu, Wendy Magro, and Gary Lucas. They were all so interesting. And the band played six songs, three of them NEW. Ok, so here’s a taste of the evening:

The band led off with “Good News” and “Skin in the Game”, both “world premieres” :-). Well, returning folks might have recognized “Skin in the Game” as the instrumental soundtrack of Heba Elorbany’s charming video “Going to Storytown”, which we screened at the kick-off event.

Our lead-off storyteller was the redoubtable David Hajdu, author, critic, and songwriter, three-time winner of the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award for Music Writing, and a three-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. David’s book, "Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn," was named one of the Hundred Best Nonfiction Books of All Time by The New York Times. His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, and jazz clubs around the country, and have been recorded on eight albums, including two devoted solely to his music. He teaches at Columbia University and is currently working on two books: a fictional oral history of an imaginary composer, and a graphic nonfiction book about vaudeville. David shared some great stories about early attempts to interview Bruce Springsteen as well as Joan Baez. Also how he was cured of an extreme poison ivy allergy.

Next the band played “Social Animals (Don’t Ever Leave)”, a repeat from the kick-off event. My joke that social media marketers finally have their own theme song fell flat yet again, so I will be retiring it (the joke, not the song).

Wendy Magro, Manager of Artistic Projects at Carnegie Hall and producer and programmer of Carnegie Hall’s Citywide series was next, and she was, in a word, hilarious. Wendy — who has produced such varied events as the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series, The Lord of the Rings Soundtrack Live to Film at Radio City, and many others. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Wendy holds a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and is the proud dog mom to Mitts, a 100-pound rescued Pit Bull/Rottweiler. And…she has perfect pitch. Here Wendy talks about, yes you guessed it, booking the Naked Cowboy for corporate gigs:

Wendy was followed by our video, “Broken Promise Land”, after which the band played another new song, “Shadow of a Doubt”. This song is about … well … self doubt:

It was sunny once
All was good with us no not afraid
I can’t find a place
Where there’s no disgrace in losing faith
I’m losing faith

And, uh … where was I in this recap? Oh, after that song, we were graced by the remarkable guitarist Gary Lucas. Gary is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer who tours extensively and has played in over 40 countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Cuba, Australia, and all across Europe and the US. Gary has released over 30 acclaimed solo and ensemble albums in every conceivable genre – including avant-rock, jazz, world, classical and electronica – and played on 50 more. He has worked and collaborated with a who’s who of modern music, including Leonard Bernstein, Lou Reed, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave, Amanda Palmer, Joan Osborne, Nona Hendryx, John Cale, Bob Weir and others. He’s composed a dozen live film scores accompanying films both silent and sound, and he has received both a Lifetime Achievement Award for his songwriting with Jeff Buckley in Livorno Italy and an Award for Cultural Diplomacy from the US Consul General of Milan. One topic he touched on was working with Captain Beefheart:

I love, love that whistling thing…..

Storytown, the band, wrapped up the evening with two songs, the relatively new “Outcast”, and finally the first release from our debit album, “Run Run”. I believe that all enjoyed that splendid time that was guaranteed for all.

You can see more videos of the storyteller

Mark your calendars for our third installment, coming on Wednesday September 4, again 7pm at Caveat. We are pretty excited by the storytellers: Singer/songwriter Amy Rigby, writer and journalist Andy Schwartz, and a couple of sisters who were members of the original Blondie back-up band and who subsequently created a legendary hair color business, Manic Panic. Yes, Tish and Snooky Bellomo. DON’T MISS IT!

As always and as usual, thanks for listening.

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Guy Story