I've always been inspired by cover tunes. But when I was composing the songs that would become "New York Stories" I felt a special kind of inspiration from the city's musical energy all around me. In fact the musical history of The Big Apple seemed to be speaking to me through songs as I sketched out the tunes in a little writing studio off of Time Square!  When I was back in Toronto I worked closely with my trio (Daniel Barnes and Russ Boswell) on the arrangements and it turns out the cover tunes proved so popular when we started performing them at our Jazz Bistro residencies that we decided to record a few while cutting the "New York Stories" album... and we're thrilled to offer them as the "Manhattan Mix Tape" to our hard core fans!

A word about the tracks:

Written and recorded by Smokey Robinson early in his career,"Shop Around" with it's funky and loose arrangement, speaks to the urban energy of New York and the idea that there a million opportunities on every block of the city!  Check the fun back up vocals from the trio, and imagine yourselves at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem around 1961 when this was a national hit for Smokey, an early indication of what was to come from the Motown hit machine!

Looking for true love in the bustle of New York could leave anybody feeling lonely. Something that the lyric of "Sunday Kind Of Love" expresses perfectly! Originally a jazz standard written by Louis Prima back in 1946, the song was brought into the rock n roll era by a Doo-Wop vocal quartet from New York known as The Harp-Tones. Their version is delicious in it's vulnerability and full of longing, BUT of course it pales in comparison to the great Etta James' whose 1961 blistering version seems ready to burst with emotion! We've taken a relaxed bluesy approach to this classic.

I've waited a very long time to sing "EveryTime We Say Goodbye" as I consider this song one of the greatest ever written. Both w
ords and music are by the hit Broadway composer Cole Porter, who was famous for composing risqué ditties but was especially powerful when turning his attention to a simple love ballad, and this is my favourite of them all. Written in 1944 and introduced in the show "Seven Lively Arts" on Broadway, I was most familiar with the Ray Charles/Betty Carter duet and of course Annie Lennox's version from the "Red Hot + Blue" album.   I tried to sing it very simply in order to express the depth of this wonderful lyric and melody.

We do hope you enjoy the Manhattan Mix Tape click here for a sneak peek AND please do help us spread the word about the Indie Go Go campaign which is raising funds for the manufacture and marketing of "New York Stories" Have a look at the campaign here  any support you can give us will be deeply appreciated indeed!


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