Today, Monday, I started the week in Washington, DC with Brian and Larry on WMAL's Mornings on the Mall. We discussed "Syrian" "refugees" on both sides of the Atlantic, the Islam-is-nothing-to-do-with-Islam terror attack in Philadelphia, and Tuesday's ghastly State of the Union spectacle. Click below to listen:
Last month, when I ventured into the hell of the US Senate, just about the only part of my trip to Washington I enjoyed was when Jamee, the traffic lady at WMAL, said that "everything was Feline Groovy on the morning commute". This morning Brian and Larry were kind enough to play a couple of tracks from my cat concept album - "Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat" and "The 59th Street Bridge Song/What's New, Pussycat?" - for which I thank them very much. Meanwhile, readers keep sending me questions about their own particular favorites. Janet McGovern writes:
I wouldn't presume to tell you what to write about, but I would love to read the "musical back story" on the recording of Feline Groovy, in particular the collaboration with Kevin Amos on "Nine Lives, " and how "The Cats Meow" came about. After repeat listenings, the latter is currently my favorite on the CD, and, among other things, I wonder what did the sheet music and the lyrics given to the singers look like! The recording session must have been so much fun. I always learn something new when I read a "Steyn Song of the Week" column about someone else's music, and would be greatly amewsed to read more about what went into this catnip CD I love to play.
I think I would be sorely trying readers' patience if I were to devote our Song of the Week to my own songs, but since you ask - and in brief:
"Nine Lives" arose toward the end of the sessions. I said to Kevin, "You know, we really need some big number to sum up the whole album. Sort of 'When I was seventeen, I had a very good cat'." So we looked around and, there being none to hand, figured it would be quicker to write it ourselves.
"The Cats Meow" is the Rossini Cats' Duet, which is one of those things people expect to find on a cat album, like "I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat" and "The Siamese Cat Song". But I didn't fancy doing Rossini in operatic style, and so I put it on the back burner until one day I chanced to hear Neal Hefti's "Girl Talk" on the radio, where something in the main phrase reminded me of the first movement of the Rossini. So I said to Kevin why don't we do it in various mid-Sixties cocktail styles, and so he came up with that loungey first movement, a jazz-waltz second movement, and finally that wild Latin samba of a finale, which blew me away the first time I heard the band run it down.
As for the vocal parts for the ladies, they simply read "Me-ee--ee-ee-ow", etc, but I do recall in the session suggesting to Emma that she might want to rethink her "meow" in bar 15: "You're supposed to be insanely jealous because you thought you were getting along so well with the guy, but now Jan is moving in on him."
She paused and said: "Well, okay. But that's a lot to wring out of the word 'Meow'."
Feline Groovy keeps flying off the shelves at Amazon, but they've just taken a brand new delivery, so order while you can. If you can't wait that long, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.