This new album is now completed, officially released, and the first CD Release Concert has happened. It has been a joyous experience in every way. I had no idea that the very thought of this album would blossom into a project and result in a new friend and colleague in Janis Ian. Here is what she has to say about the process from her perspective. I’m honored to know such a generous and brilliant artist. I hope you will purchase this album and enjoy my versions of Janis’ material in addition to the two songs we wrote together.
“Sarah and I met through an online Grammy voters group, and we hit it off. When she approached me about doing an album of my work, I was immediately excited. She’s a wonderful singer with impeccable taste in musicians and arrangers. I gave her full access to my catalogue, even though she’d already been through everything she could find – and she grabbed “Forever and a Day”, which I’d only done a worktape of recently.
I thought it would be great if we could create a couple of songs written specifically for her voice and this project, so I invited her down to Nashville (not realizing she’d never done a co-write before). She was very brave to come, and a joy to work with.
I think I’d had the title “Quarter Past Heartache” for a while but never known what to do with it. I only knew I didn’t want it to be another “My man left me and I’m so sad” song – so we flipped it around and wound up with something up-tempo and funny, with a scat section to boot. Sarah brought the concept of “Somebody’s Child” in with her, and that was gorgeous from the start.
The thing I like best about Sarah is her willingness to listen, and contribute. From the title of this album – which is really what she’s done, she’s re-defined my work – to the choice of songs (no one else has dared to record “Matthew”, or “Tattoo”) to the fun we had recording together, (she’s really tall, I’m really short. I thought I should have stood on a box, like short leading men in Hollywood do), the project was a pleasure. And that’s really, really rare.