More Songs From Living on the Earth – extended album notes and lyrics

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buy More Songs from Living on the Earth

 

This CD is available from CD Baby, plus a multitude of digital download sites, including iTunes.

I wrote these songs in the 1960s and ‘70s, when I lived and created my books in rural communes in Northern California, Vermont and Hawaii – except for Paisley Days, which I wrote in 1986, looking back on those times. Miraculously, the cassette home recordings I made of them survived into 2013, when I digitized them, relearned the songs, and began producing this recording, with the help of a host of super-talented collaborators.

It’s not my first dip into the well of songs I composed during that time. My first CD, Music from Living on the Earth, released in 2000 during my national tour for the 30th anniversary edition of my book Living on the Earth, is another collection of 17 of these songs. It’s mostly a solo vocal/guitar recording (the last track is an a capella choir), and is also available on CD Baby.

Also, the CD Songs from Being of the Sun, released in 2013, is a re-mastered recording of music I wrote or co-wrote during the late 60s and early 70s, recorded with and by composer/musician Ramon Sender Barayon, just before our book Being of the Sun (Harper & Row, 1973) was published. It, too, is available on CD Baby.

The musicians on More Songs From Living on the Earth (including me) were recorded by Chris McNeil (at his studio in La Herradura, Spain), Mark DeCozio (at his studio in Scottsdale, Arizona) and Ron Grant (at his studio in Los Angeles CA).

The synth orchestration and programming on “Devotion to a Spiritual Guide,” and the editing, mixing and mastering of the whole album are all by Ron Grant, an Emmy and Oscar-winning film composer. He created the orchestral/choral arrangement for Devotional for a Spirit Guide, plus sound effects on New Years Eve Party, and additional synthesizer sound tracks on Butterfly Farewell and Yabyum. This is the 4th CD on which we have collaborated. He also creates animated stories for children.

Los Angeles-based graphic designer and marketing consultant Al Lopez created the digital layout for the packaging from my illustrations, lettering and design ideas. This is the fifth CD art collaboration I’ve done with Al. I respect his abilities and ideas tremendously.

The dazzling golden photo of me on the traycard was taken by Vin Oota on May 30, 2012 at Café Slow, Kokubunji, Tokyo, Japan.

In the photo, I am wearing organic cotton, handmade, fair trade clothing designed by the brilliant Kaorico Ago for her Japan-based natural fashion company, Little Eagle.

I created all of the music, lyrics, and arrangements, the packaging design, liner notes and illustrations (most of which are from my book Living on the Earth.) I sang all of the lead vocals, played guitar on every track (melody guitar on all except tracks 5, 9, 14 and 17, on which I played rhythm guitar), sang harmonies on tracks 4, 6, 11 and 15, and produced the CD on behalf of Indigo With Stars, Inc. The songs are published by Bay Tree Music, a subsidiary of Indigo With Stars, Inc., and all of the songs are copyrighted and registered with ASCAP as of 2014.

About the musicians:

Some of Mark Hewins’ guitar solos are played on a guitar synthezier, and sound like pan pipes (Piper of the Woods), bells (Yabyum) and ethereal harmonics (Butterfly Farewell). He’s from the UK and recorded for me in Spain. Besides playing guitar, he does research and development of electronic musical instruments.

Gwendolyn Sanford is a psych folk luminary who has made many beautiful CDs of her own. Her soprano harmonies are on Beautiful, Beautiful, Have a Good Time, and New Years Eve Party. She’s based in LA, where she and her husband Brandon Jay create soundtracks for TV series including Weeds and Orange is the New Black, as well as perform in bands they lead, separately and together.

Brian Brigham is a professional vocalist based in Los Angeles, currently singing back-up in ’60s pop legend Franki Vallee’s band, and doing studio vocal work in between tours.

Gonzalo Palacios is a wonderful young guitar player from Madrid who we recorded on mandolin in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. I love that his mandolin style is more southern European than bluegrass; it works perfectly on Have a Good Time and New Years Eve Party.

Tom McNalley is a great young guitarist based in Los Angeles. I totally under-used his talents, requesting only a couple of rhythm guitar tracks (Surviving in Style and Song of You and Me) and a lead solo (Song of You and Me).

Louis Hanshaw is a pop guitarist/vocalist/arranger from the UK, based in Torrox, Spain, whose genius for middle harmonies shows up on Have a Good Time and New Years Eve Party.

Benn Clatworthy is a multi-reed player from the UK, based in Los Angeles. He played a swinging tenor saxophone on Paisley Days (1986), as well as a lovely classical flute duet that Ron Grant wrote for Devotional for a Spiritual Guide.

Doug Webb is a renowned live and session player in Los Angeles. He played soprano, alto and tenor saxophones as well as clarinet on my 2006 CD What Living’s All About. So, I called him to play clarinet in the 1920s style again, on Hang Around and Boogie.

Dwight Kilian is based in Phoenix, and used to be Adjunct Professor of Jazz Bass at Arizona State University, but now works as the musical director of a big church. He’s a very busy man, but, in an astonishing marathon, he managed to record all 17 of the bass tracks in one epic day at Mark DeCozio’s studio in Scottsdale, and kept his usual positive attitude through it all. I especially love his bowed drone on Onward, Onward Ever Flow.

Lyrics, plus notes about the songs:

1. Surviving in Style:

These lyrics contain a statement of my personal philosophy, beginning with a reference to William Blake’s poem, “Eternity”:

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

Blake’s poem is about spontaneity and non-attachment as a spiritual path.

The lyrics of Surviving in Style observe us all learning from each other, expanding our ability to love, and caring for the Earth. They visualize peace and disarmament, and all people sharing the resources of the Earth. They also allude to the mass extinction toward which the human race is currently rushing.

I wrote this song in the early 1970s, long before climate change was even being discussed. This song refuses defeat. It is a call to action.

Verse 1
Well, I have seen both fame and fortune
I have let them go by
Only thing that I hold on to
Is to kiss the joy as it flies
Flying away, each moment giving birth
To the next and next, on forever
Time is a teacher, second only to love
And we are learning to be better
Better at loving, better letting go
Better at living in the shadow of the future

Verse 2
Well, I have blamed the older people
For the way the world was spinning
Towards disaster, bend over,
And kiss your ass goodbye
But now I say each generation
Can find a means or measure
To help out, and make the world survive
We are all teachers, we are all yearning to love
And we are learning together to be better
Better at sharing, better at showing our love
Better at shining through the shadows of our fears

Bridge
Someone with the right tools could take the bombs apart
Someone with the right words could open people’s hearts
With open-hearted sharing, there is still enough for all
With open-hearted daring, erase the writing on the wall

Verse 3
Well, I have had another vision
Of a world where everybody
Lived in harmony and safety and non-conformity
It’s just a conscious jump away
And we can take that jump today
To make a future our children can survive
Let’s let them teach us
To laugh and to love
And to make our little world a little better
Better for children, better for creatures of the earth
Better for coming generations of the future

Coda
Singing about survival, surviving in style
Living long, and dying with a smile.

2. Piper of the Woods:
An erotic love song, in which the archetypal god of the woods and fields is invoked through the eyes of a human lover. His iconic pipes surround the listener, darting from one stereo channel to the other, as if the Piper were merrily dancing through the trees, calling and enchanting with his music. The beloved singing to the Piper is clear that, while she surrenders to him, she is not subservient. They meet as equals.

Verse 1
And in the morning you awakened next to me
Took my pretty body in your arms
Through the trees the sun was shining gently
Spreading warmth, as we flirted and fused
Through your eyes Pan was smiling at me
The playful piper of the woods

Verse 2
Over longer distances you have spoken to me
Taken my soul into your own
Through the wires we exchanged electricity
From your home, over highways and roads
Through the words spoken explicitly
Of playful mornings in the woods

Bridge
Speaking your beautifully chosen words
Weaving your stories of whimsy
You ignited my gypsy soul
Reminding me, strength is within me
Strength is within me.

Verse 3
And on the morning we awaken next, youÂ’ll see
As you take my picture with your mind
Through our lives we collect memories
Cruel or kind, we interpret as we choose
Through our youth time both lingers and flies
Oh, playful piper of the woods

Bridge 2
Singing my quickly frozen words
Believing the gift merely comes through
I’m repaying a debt in kind
Reminding you, faith is within you
Faith is within you

Verse 4
And in the evening our stars intertwine
As you take my pretty body in your bed
Beneath conjuncting moons so freely
You have said that I am what you choose
Beneath our fantasies we meet equally
Oh, playful piper of the woods

Coda
Playful piper of the woods, playful piper of the woods
Playful piper of the woods, playful piper of the woods

3. Hang Around and Boogie:
“Groovy” was the superlative of choice for English-speaking bohemians in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It implies being “in the groove,” in synch with the natural rhythms of life. The narrator of the song, a flirtatious girl speaking first to herself, and then to a prospective partner, describes the very relaxed intimate relationship she desires, and then suggests that we all live a life we love.

Verse 1
Would you like a love in your life?
Yes, I’d like a love in my life;
I want somebody groovy
To hang around and boogie with me.

Verse 2
Would you like to live by the sea
And plant a little garden with me?
I want somebody groovy
To hang around and boogie with me.

Bridge 1
Somebody easy to laugh with
Someone to go half and half with
On the dues and the juice.

Verse 3
I like to do the things that I do,
And I like the way that I do them, too.
I want somebody groovy
To hang around and do them with me.

Verse 4
Would you like a girl in your life?
You wouldn’t have to call her your wife.
All she wants to do with you
Is hang around and boogie with you.

Bridge 2
Somebody mellow to hug with,
Someone to roll on the rug with
And play in the hay

Verse 5
What’s your favorite version of bliss?
Wrap it up and seal with a kiss
Take it home and open the card
Have a little love in your life

Coda
Have a little lovin’ in your life!

4. Devotional for a Spiritual Guide:
A hymn of appreciation for a person who has focused over a long period of time on developing unconditional love, selfless service, and higher consciousness, thereby inspiring others to do the same, but in their own ways. The third verse is a set of life instructions received from such a being.

Verse 1
Your love is the signature of God’s love in our lives
When you came we knew that God was listening
And your heart is the temple drum at our initiation
Your eyes are the altar of our christening
So deep is the love you’re expressing
From a Source that’s never lessening
So remember wherever you go today
You’re going with our blessings.

Verse 2
Your soul is a masterpiece painted of compassion
Your mind is a channel of creation
And your life is a Sufi tale of non-attachment
Lived in every moment and location.
And our love is a heart to heart connection
With a movement toward perfection
And the beauty that we find in you
Could only be a reflection

Verse 3
Each day is an amphora full of holy wine
Each breath we sip it from a chalice
Drink deep of the nectars of the sun and the moon
Shining on our planetary palace
And whoever you meet here, love them
For our cups are always filled again
And follow your wildest fantasy
For that will be your salvation.

5. Serenade:
A shimmering summer blues-waltz for two lovers living close to nature.

Verse 1
Sun down, moon crown, blue skies, rosy clouds
Oh moon, you’re the song that I’ll sing about
As the sun goes down
Lily ponds, coconut fronds
In your crescent light

Verse 2
Sun-crowned moon man, blue eyes, gentle hands
Oh you, youÂ’re the one that I’ll serenade
As the sun goes down
Stars fall through the hall
Of the citadel of time

Verse 3
Sunrise, sleepy eyes, another day in paradise
With you, free to follow our fantasies
‘Til the sun goes down
You take me far beyond the stars
I’ve ever seen before

Verse 4
Sun high, you and I, in a meadow in July
And you dance above and inside of me
‘Til the sun goes down
Shadows pass through the grass
Bowing to the east

Verse 5
Sun down, moon crown, blue skies, rosy clouds
Oh moon, you’re the song that I’ll sing about
As the sun goes down

6. Beautiful, Beautiful:
A celebration of the powers of positive thinking, appreciation of others and self, enjoyment of the moment, and the beauty that radiates from a person engaged in these processes.

Chorus
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

Verse 1
Everyone I know is so beautiful, beautiful
And everywhere I go is so beautiful, beautiful
My oh my, it’s all beautiful, beautiful
And so am I, I’m beautiful, beautiful

Bridge 1
I’ve taken off those blue-tinted shades
This rosy colored vision’s paying back in spades
I believe in magic that flows from above
And beauty is a talent for inspiring love

Verse 2
Look at yourself, you’re so beautiful, beautiful
And everyone else is so beautiful, beautiful
When you can see we’re all beautiful, beautiful
That’s how you can be so beautiful, beautiful

Bridge 2
Throw away the worry and bring on the bliss
Turn your mind right over, let it dance like this
No more waiting for pie in the sky
We get to go to heaven before we die

Verse 3
Everybody here is so beautiful, beautiful
There’s nothing to fear when it’s beautiful, beautiful
So come on and say it’s all beautiful, beautiful
A beautiful day, so beautiful, beautiful

Chorus
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

7. Green, Green Rain:
A year of weather changes in Northern California, from arid summer to stormy winter, with its flooding rivers. The sheet music was first published in the book Being of the Sun, which I co-authored with Ramon Sender Barayon, in 1973.

Verse 1
Green, green, green, green spring valley forest
Sun smiling shy, gently calling
Back the rain from the grass, turn, turn summer brown
‘Til the green, green rains come falling.

Verse 2
Fall, fall, fall thunder showers in the autumn
Dark clouds shout, for they’re roaring
Power songs to the grass, turn, turn winter green
When the green, green rains come falling.

Verse 3
Long, long, long, long cold winter nights
Rain seems to call out a warning
Of a flood, and the grass cries, cries in the mud
Like a lady all covered for mourning.

Verse 4
Pray, pray, pray for the sun to come back
Sun shining warm on our bodies
That have grown, with the grass, green, green in the winter
When the river came up to the cottage

Verse 5
Green, green, green, green spring valley forest
Sun smiling shy, gently calling
Back the rain from the grass, turn, turn summer brown
‘Til the green, green rains come falling.

8. Hard Living:
The work of changing human society so that it benefits the many, rather than the few, is often stressful, exhausting, and dangerous. Yet, it must be done. Loving and sharing imparts strength and inspiration.

Verse 1
It’s hard to go on living when you can’t go to sleep
It’s hard to go on walking when you’re falling on your feet
And it’s hard to be forgiving when the whole world weeps

Chorus
But it’s doing things that are hard that makes you strong
It’s doing things that are hard that gives you song
Lord, it’s hard, hard living, loving brothers and giving,
No, it never, never was easy in this hard, hard world

Verse 2
It’s hard to go on talking when you can’t back down
It’s hard to go on walking through a racetrack town
And it’s hard to see the blocking that you’re doing now

Chorus
But it’s doing things that are hard that makes you strong
It’s doing things that are hard that gives you song
Lord, it’s hard, hard living, loving brothers and giving,
No, it never, never was easy in this hard, hard world

Verse 3
It’s hard to face the lessons that you thought you learned
It’s hard to face the people that you know you burned
And it’s hard to take the karma that you know you’ve earned

Chorus
But it’s doing things that are hard that makes you strong
It’s doing things that are hard that gives you song
Lord, it’s hard, hard living, loving brothers and giving,
No, it never, never was easy in this hard, hard world

9. Hippie Hill:
In the mid-1960s, in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, drum circles formed, dancers gathered, and neighbors from the Haight-Ashbury, Richmond, Sunset and Fillmore districts would gather to socialize, share what they had, and talk about what they hoped to build. It was the birth of a new society, based on compassion before profit, creativity before conformity, and serenity before materialism.

Chorus
Hippie Hill groovin’, white clouds movin’ on, so slow
Cool grass is soothin’, long dresses movin’ past, billow
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Verse 1
I’m feeling the sun in the air
Through the tangles of my hair
There are children and dogs running free
Through the conga drums’ African beat
Whoa, whoa

Chorus
Hippie Hill groovin’, white clouds movin’ on, so slow
Cool grass is soothin’, long dresses movin’ past, billow
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Verse 2
If there’s heaven, it’s here, right now
If it isn’t, it’s a-comin’ any how
So I’m diggin’ that comfortable sky
And the trees are all nodding in time
Whoa, whoa

Verse 3
Get a groove on and move on, down here, right now
It’s the happ’ningest place in this town
Bring the best thing that you’ve got to share
Cause a new world is being born here
Whoa, whoa

Chorus
Hippie Hill groovin’, white clouds movin’ on, so slow
Cool grass is soothin’, long dresses movin’ past, billow
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

10. Butterfly Farewell:
People evolve, and, like caterpillars becoming butterflies, they depart for new realms that resonate more harmoniously with their evolved selves. This song is a farewell to enduring forced conformity, ridicule and cruelty. This is a departure without revenge, but, rather, with the joy of newfound freedom.

Verse 1
Today I am a butterfly
Flying to a better sky
Not another bitter sigh
To utter as I flutter by
So high, so high
Goodbye, goodbye

Verse 2
Once a walking sleeping bag
Caterpillar scallywag
Followed any waving flag
I’ve taken off my number tag
I’m free, to be
Just me, I’m free

Verse 3
Aloft upon these lovely wings
Everything inside me sings
Far from those confining things
Those frowning clowns, those poison stings
I go, I grow,
I flow, I glow

Verse 4
Today I am a butterfly
Flying to a better sky
Not another bitter sigh
To utter as I flutter by
So high, so high
Goodbye, goodbye

11. Have a Good Time:
Happiness becomes possible when consciousness is focused entirely in the here and now moment. Then, many kinds of fulfillment can be realized.

Chorus
Have a good time, have a good time
Everybody loves to have a good time
From the ridiculous to the sublime
Everybody loves to have a good time

Verse 1
You can make your work play, just have a good time
And once you get your pay, go have a good time
It’s a beautiful day, so have a good time
Don’t delay, go have a good time

Chorus
Have a good time, have a good time
Everybody loves to have a good time
From the ridiculous to the sublime
Everybody loves to have a good time

Verse 2
Well, the way to relate is to have a good time
Or rehabilitate, try to have a good time
Are you looking for a mate, just have a good time
Don’t hesitate, go have a good time

Bridge
Eat when you’re hungry and sleep when you’re tired
Love when you’re loving and dance when you’re wired
Hug when you’re lonely and cry when you’re sad
Everybody does it and it ain’t so bad

Verse 3
Instead of making trouble just have a good time
And if you’re seeing double, got to have a good time
Blow a shiny bubble, and have a good time
Rockin’ in the rubble, gonna have a good time

Chorus
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la

Verse 4
If you want to find God, just have a good time
If you find it too hard to have a good time
Tell us what you want is to have a good time
You’ll get your reward, you’ll have a good time

Chorus
Have a good time, have a good time
Everybody loves to have a good time
From the ridiculous to the sublime
Everybody loves to have a good time

12. Onward, Onward Ever Flow:
Inspired by this quote from the Book of Tao:

Nothing in the world is more gentle than water, yet nothing is stronger.
Water nurtures life, yet cuts through solid rock.
Overcome obstacles with the strength of gentleness.

The sheet music was first published in the book Being of the Sun, which I co-authored with Ramon Sender Barayon, in 1973.

Chorus
Onward, onward flows the water
Quiet sounds and life below
Lapping soft against the earth’s side
Never stopping, ever flowing,
Onward, onward, ever flow.

Verse 1
Find me in the mountain meadows
If I go, I never know,
Find me smiling on the valley
Onward, onward ever flow

Chorus
Onward, onward flows the water
Quiet sounds and life below
Lapping soft against the earth’s side
Never stopping, ever flowing,
Onward, onward, ever flow.

Verse 2
Sunshine humming on the mountains
Ever down the melting snow
River running in the valley,
Onward, onward ever flow

Verse 3
Rocks are stiff against the water
Never let their softness show
Soon are broken down to sand dunes
Onward, onward ever flow

Chorus
Onward, onward flows the water
Quiet sounds and life below
Lapping soft against the earth’s side
Never stopping, ever flowing,
Onward, onward, ever flow.

13. Song of You and Me:
When two artists fall in love, they share not only their erotic and emotional attraction to one another, but mutual appreciation of their creativity, skills and knowledge as well.

Verse 1
Ever since I was thirteen years I played a steel guitar
And I dreamed of a man from a guitar band with a face like a movie star
Well, now we’re sitting face to face, singing harmony
It’s a love duet that I won’t forget, the song of you and me

Verse 2
You look at me so easy, smiling as you play
You’re one electric guitar man for a ukulele lei
Are you thinking of the moment that surely lies ahead
When we put aside our guitars and play drumbeats on the bed

Chorus
Synch your rhythm with me, baby
Raise your action, let’s go crazy
Sing me a song and I’ll sing you a song
And we’ll listen to each other’s music all night long

Verse 3
My heart is pumping thunder, and stars light up my eyes
Your laid-back cowboy poet style kind of took me by surprise
You’re holding me and humming a love song you just wrote
I’m singing one to you right now that matches note for note

Chorus
Synch your rhythm with me, baby
Raise your action, let’s go crazy
Sing me a song and I’ll sing you a song
And we’ll listen to each other’s music all night long

14. Yabyum:
The title (which means “father/mother” in Tibetan) describes a position used for tandem meditation, with the male seated cross-legged and the female straddling his lap, facing him. It is often depicted in Tibetan and Nepalese sacred paintings and sculpture. The partners gaze into one another’s eyes, aligning their breathing and heartbeats. This practice does not aim at creating orgasms or babies, but rather at raising kundalini (spiritual energy) through the chakras (energy centers of the body), raising consciousness beyond the ego and into oneness with the Universe.

Verse 1
Long we have grappled in the darkness
Enter the pyramid of light
Come, oh come and love me now
Enter the pyramid of light

Verse 2
Long we have fumbled through the curtains
Of fear and ego in the night
Come, let’s now be god and goddess
Come let’s be channels of the light

Bridge 1
Folded in a lotus on a shimmering lake
With all the cosmos swimming by
We will breathe together, beat our hearts together
Chakra to chakra, eye to eye

Verse 3
In your body is the presence
Of my angel spirit guide
In my aura, love eternal
That seeks to lift your fallen pride

Bridge 2
So, love you, love you, won’t you love yourself?
Love you, love you, it’s the wealth
That will sustain you and glorify you
Give you your freedom and your health

Verse 4
Divine beyond all human sorrow
Enter the pyramid of light
Ascend the throne your rightful home
Enter the pyramid of light

Coda
Ascend the throne your rightful home
Enter the pyramid of light

15. New Year’s Eve Party:
I love that there is a holiday that celebrates the passage of time. I spontaneously created the song “Goodbye 1974” at a New Year’s Eve party at Modelia studio on Maui, on December 31, 1973. The other musicians at the gathering, including dear Delia Moon (for whom the recording studio was named), made up more verses as we went along, and the song became a tradition for some years after that, with new verses added as the dates changed. So, now I am inviting anyone who would like to join us in this song, to create new verses at New Year’s Eve parties to come. (Note: this recording of this song plays at the end of the credits of the dramatic film “Lane 1974,” written and directed by Delia Moon’s daughter SJ Chiro in 2017.)

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, we’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Verse 1
I remember the birthdays when they all came ‘round
We danced ‘til both feet rose off of the ground
I remember the sights, I remember the sounds of 1974

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, we’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Verse 2
I remember the time I got so high
It maybe was June, or maybe July
I laughed ‘til the tears rolled out of my eyes in 1974

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, we’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Verse 3
And now that we’ve made it to ‘75
I’m glad that we all came through it alive
It looks like we all are gonna survive ‘til 1976

Spoken word:
Now you can customize this song for any New Year’s Eve you happen to be celebrating. Just change the year and write a new third verse! I’d love to hear it if you do.

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, we’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Coda:
Sang until you were through
Sang until you were through
Sang until you were through

16. Last Song of the Night:
This song recalls those gorgeous nights without electricity, when we retired from singing around the campfire together, to our simple, hand-built, candle-lit, dwellings. The sheet music was first published in the book Being of the Sun, which I co-authored with Ramon Sender Barayon, in 1973.

Verse 1
It’s the last song of the night
It’s the last song of the night
We’re going to lie down
But we’ll still hear the sound
Of the last song of the night.

Verse 2
It’s the last song of the night
It’s the last song of the night
We’re going to our beds
But echoed in our heads
Is the last song of the night.

Verse 3
It’s the last song of the night
It’s the last song of the night
We’re going to sleep
But in our hearts we’ll keep
The last song of the night

Coda
It’s the last song of the night.

17. Paisley Days (1986):
By the mid-1980s, the great blossoming of the flower children had all but disappeared, although some of the rural communes continued, and most of the political activists remained active. Many of my friends arranged their lives around providing a middle class upbringing for their children. I was studying music, working as a musician, and writing jazz tunes, including this one. It’s a sentimental review of the ’60s and ’70s, and also a decision to continue with the best of what I learned and lived then.

And, to my astonishment, the Paisley Days DID come back again – a decade later – with the Millennials, many of whom struggle mightily for environmental preservation and for social justice, and who are as proactive in creating creative, ethical and natural lives as we were in our youth.

Verse 1
When will the paisley days come back again?
Sometimes I wonder with my old friends
We would always spare the rod
And each of us could talk to God
And poverty was chic in our paisley days

Verse 2
I used to hitchhike everywhere by myself
My faith was unshakeable and so was my health
Costume tatters we would wear
Beneath the wildness of our hair
We said “Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it” in our paisley days

Bridge 1
We were survivors who boycotted war
We were living proof that less is more
We thought we’d outnumber the rich and their guns
By showing that sharing could be much more fun

Verse 3
Perhaps we were blind, fashion passed us by
And as we got older, our ideals didn’t fly
Upwardly mobile now, good consumers anyhow
Sometimes we felt ashamed of our paisley days

Bridge 2
But we were pioneers of inner space
We dreamed of a peaceful human race
For music we gathered half a million strong
Blind you may say, but I don’t think we were wrong

Verse 4
Friends, “peace and love” is still all right with me
And freedom includes non-conformity
I’m gonna try to seek the Light, and cheer for men who will not fight
And live the simple ways of my paisley days

Coda
Praise the simple ways of my paisley days
Praise the simple ways of my paisley days
I praise the simple ways of my paisley days

Beyond Living – Reviews

buy Beyond Living

Review by H.V. Cramond for Feminist Review, March 28, 2010

As the title of this album suggests, Beyond Living is a collection of folk songs about death, many of them written by musicians who have passed. Alicia Bay Laurel, known for her 1971 guide to sustainable living entitled Living On Earth, collected and recorded many of the songs on this album in response to a number of deaths she encountered in recent years, including, most notably, legendary Japanese singer-songwriter Takashi Donto Kudomi, who died in 2001 at a hula performance. Songs from artists from several countries round out this decidedly international album.

While the album’s theme might suggest darkness, the album feels more like a celebration. As Laurel’s liner notes suggest “lyrics about death contain valuable instructions for living,” and these songs are no exception. Their cheery melodies, vocals, and a fingerpicked guitar mix with deep sadness in the manner I associate with children’s songs (Remember when you found out “Ring-Around-the-Rosie” was about The Plague?) The album invites the listener to engage with the certainty of death and to feel the relish that reality brings to living. Much like listening to the blues, listening to these songs provides a deep and pleasurable access to human emotion.

Review by Joe Dolce in his weekly newsletter, sent 09-25-09:

What I’m Listening to This Week
‘Beyond Living’ – Alicia Bay Laurel. This is the most recent release of my friend, Alicia Bay Laurel, who Lin Van Hek and I will be performing with in Okinawa and Tokyo next month. Alicia is one of the few real visionary freaked-out flower children from the 70s who has grown even further into the great dream of the Beloved Community that we all shared back then. She also had a Number One hit, so to speak, in her 20s, with a New York Times best-selling book, Living on the Earth, which changed her life, and it is an inspiration to know someone who continues to reinvent herself – without disowning her past.

Alicia and I were also both close to, and sang with, the girl who introduced me to California hippy communes back in the 70s, Janet ‘Sunny’ Supplee, and the spirit of Sunny hovers throughout this recording. Sometimes, listening to Alicia sing, I swear Sunny is in the building. Sunny and I sang together for a couple of years and she certainly influenced me in an unforgettable way. She was killed in a car crash in Maui and I still miss her.

Beyond Living collects a master’s bouquet of beautiful songs about Death that do not drag death down into the valley of shadow and fear where old time religion would like to keep it penned up, but releases it out into the empowering light and flight of warm meadows and possibilities. Alicia has included the song I wrote and sang at my own father’s funeral, Hill of Death, with lyrics by Australian femi-pioneer, Louisa Lawson, drunken Henry’s mum.

While in LA, I was lucky enough to be able to sing and play with her on this recording. I was surprised at first when the tasty, awesome, I-am-the-Fingers-of-God mandolin part I had recorded was nowhere to be found in the final mix, but after a couple of listens, I understood why it went to the cutting room floor (along with Satan, Everlasting Hell and the Edsel.) It’s not necessary. Alicia’s last album, What Living’s All About, was an eclectic brew of styles, electric guitar solos, even rap – but this one, a unique fusion of Hawaiian and Japanese sensibility, is smoothly unified by the continuity of Alicia’s lullaby-like singing and precision finger-picking guitar, the latter most notably in the fifteen minute closing instrumental, Ruminations, which is a collage of no less than fifteen tunes: Amazing Grace, The Garden, Is This Not the Land of Beulah, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Oh Come Angel Band, Gathering Flowers for the Master’s Bouquet, Angels Are Watching Over Me, This Little Light of Mine, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Bosan Gokko, Hill of Death, Long Black Veil, Good Night Irene, We Shall All Be Reunited, and Kumbaya – and leading to the final Hawaiian, Aloha Oe’. I wouldn’t mind at all having these fifteen minutes playing in my final hour.

There are also three tracks written by Takashi Donto Kudomi, a legendary Japanese new wave rock star turned spiritual singer/songwriter, who died mysteriously on January 23, 2001. He, his wife and their two young sons were watching a hula performance dedicated to Pele, the volcano goddess, at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. At the end of the final chant, Donto fell to the ground unconscious, and was rushed to the hospital. The next day he was pronounced dead at age 37 from a brain aneurism. He had been in perfect health until that day. We will be staying and singing with Donto’s widow, Sachiho, in Okinawa, at Donto-in, the temple Sachiho built in his honor.

One of my favourite tracks is the quirky Altid Frejdig Naar du Gaar (Courage Always When You Walk) with melody by C.E.F. Weyse, 1838, lyrics: Christian Richardt, 1867, set into verse by Alicia. It is often sung at funerals in Denmark and is faithfully sung here in Danish. Just voice and stand-up bass, played masterfully by Chris Conner and reminiscent of her great version of Nature Boy, on What Living’s All About, the vocal seems to float in and out of ordinary tonality like a ghostly dandelion puff. One day, I do hope Alicia gets a chance to put out an album of just vocal and stand-up bass recordings, as they are always a pleasure, and a challenge, to listen to.

Review by Gerald Van Waes, host of “Psyche Van Het Folk” (a psychedelic folk radio show in Antwerp, Belgium) on his website, November 20, 2009

Alicia Bay Laurel : Beyond Living (US, 2009)

A bit different from Alicia’s previous albums, this is a conceptual piece of songs to be meant as a tuning in to a spiritual good vibration and feeling, on moments when people have passed over. When Alicia suddenly saw many related and befriended people pass over, it seemed as if she had no other option but to give all this an accompanying meaning; she started to collect songs from different countries to express this.

It starts strongly, with a Hawaiian opening chant which leads to a song inspiration, as a special moment (or person) to remember. The second song is an Australian folk gospel song, a folk version in which the backing vocals gives an Americana gospel feeling. Next we hear a traditional Japanese song, accompanied by harmonium and congas and vocals. Also this one has gospel flavours, reminiscent a bit of ‘Amazing grace’, being a more delicate, religious almost Christmas-sphere sphere. After its vocal parts with high voices (in Japanese), there’s some spoken word by Alicia giving more reference in the song. “Waltzing with Angels” sounds more like a country children song with a Hawaiian effect on the way the mandolin is played, with a happy feeling or energy. The song with original Danish lyrics by Christian Richardt (1867) is sung with a Marilyn Monroe song voice, and accompanied with bass only.

“The Garden” is again more countryesque, is sung with nice dual voices, leaving a Hawaiian feeling. “Auntie Nona” sounds like a happy children’s song, old music. The next small song has more religious Christian lyrics which appeal less to me. Also here gospel and country-flavours are mixed nicely. “Nami” turns back to Japan but leaves traces of Hawaii. On “Ruminations” we finally return to the “Amazing Grace” song, turning after a short while into a slow Hawaiian guitar medley on acoustic guitar. Also the last instrumental is a guitar piece with references to
Hawaiian melodies.

Except as a dedication to the subject, the album is as much a dedication to spheres provoked from Hawaiian songs and music, to spirituality in gospel music, as quietly privately experienced music, and the fresh kindness of children songs, and a touch of country. All of this is omnipresent throughout with a happy inner strength and positivism towards life and thankfulness to people and their lives.

Raves for Beyond Living CD

BL cover at 96 dpi

buy Beyond Living

Aloha Alicia,

As my mom and I were and are fans of your work, I appreciate your staying in touch.

Moana and I send tons of aloha and wish you good luck with your music. Thank you for helping us to keep my momÂ’s work alive in the world.

Me Ke Aloha,

Keola Beamer
Legendary vocalist/guitarist/songwriter
Son of Hawaiian Renaissance pioneer/dancer/vocalist/songwriter/historian Auntie Nona Beamer
Lahaina, Hawaii

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Hi Alicia,

The interview is finished and runs about 63 minutes and features 5 live in-the-studio-songs (Hang Out & Breathe, Pain & Love, Love Understanding & Peace, Auntie Nona, and Doctor Sun & Nurse Water) and the rest from your new CD.

I did want to let you know we are now playing Aloha ‘Oe, Hill Of Death & The Garden in our regular new music rotation.

Once again the interview runs Wednesday May 5th at 10am on my show and then an encore airing on Friday, May 7th at 6pm.

Thank you and I hope you’re doing well!

Andy Olson
Owner/Operator/Radio Personality
Radio Free Phoenix

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

GODDESS SISTER ALICIA!
I want to send a mail just now!
What a perfect timing!
I listened your new CD! So beautiful. I cried……
I can feel your love and respect for Donto.
Now I am looking for Japanese distributor.
Tonight full moon is so beautiful and shining like you!
THANK YOU ALICIA!
SEND BIG LOVE TO YOU!!!
Sachiho Kudomi
Singer/songwriter/bassist/harpist
Leader of the all-woman trance band Amana
Festival organizer
In the 1980’s, leader of Japan’s first all-girl punk band, Zelda
Naha, Okinawa, Japan

_________________________________

 I love Beyond Living! Very strong album though it sound extremely gentle!
Especially I like Nami and Hang Out and Breathe. It is surprisingly true that an artist have created her essential song in early days and gives it evolution.
Love, Setsuko
Setsuko Miura
television producer specializing in documentaries on the environment
Fujino, Japan

_________________________________

Got the CD, loving it, thanks!!!

Albert Bates
Director
Ecovillage Training Center
The Farm, Summertown, Tennessee

_____________

Thank you for bringing the most wonderful people to us here at Hopi. I enjoyed teaching them of our way of life and I pray for you all  among the stars. Thank you for the CD that I received. I listen to it in the evening gazing among the skies.  Thank you and keep in contact.

Dawahongnewa
Hopi Elder
Shungopavi Village, Arizona

_____________________________

FROM HIROMI KONDO, percussionist with Amana [band], and other bands
Konnichiwa! Arigato your new CD. So beautiful!
A lot of LOVE! Hiromi
Nanjo, Okinawa, Japan

______________________________

Aloha e Alicia,

I wasn’t even going to fire up the computer tonight, but I received the CD, I just wanted to say pretty awesome and what an honor. Donto is whirling in the realm of Po. Aloha!
ke aloha wale, ka mahalo wale,
kapo
Ried Kapo Ku
Singer/songwriter
Performer of traditional Hawaiian dance and chant
Vice President, Na Manupo Music
Torrance, California

_________________________________

Thank you for “beyond living”!
Your beautiful songs appreciating life and the beyond bring peace to my mind.
Kenichi Iyanaga
professor of mathematics
Ranzan, Saitama, Japan

___________________________________

Thanks for your new album.
I feel your voice is younger than last coming and guitar play is more beautiful!
I understand I love your world all over again!
Koki Aso
magazine journalist specializing in outdoor living

Hayama, Japan

__________________________________

How WONDERFUL!
We’re listening to it over & over.
Really love the way The Garden came out!
Also the beautiful slack key medley at the end.
Your BEST effort yet! Really nice.
Ellie LOVES the Nona Beamer song.
Looking UP,

Steve McGee
Singer/songwriter/guitarist/artist/boat captain
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii

_______________________________

Hi Alicia,
I’m listening to your new CD.
From the opening this CD is unique.
Here’s a new experience of Nami. Joe Dolce and Amana…
I think I want start to sell this CDs soon.
I’m gonna play this CD almost everyday in Yukotopia.
Oh, Nami again, and peaceful instrumentals at last. This is a nice album.
Roku
Vocalist/guitarist/leader of the band HaZaMa
Manager of Yukotopia night club
Tokyo, Japan

_________________________________

Alicia starts out with Hawaiian songs & then it seamlessly segues into a Japanese song & it was all ocean sounds somehow. Very beautiful. There’s an old Danish song (lovely) & the Danes are also ocean people. If you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend you get it.
Pam Hanna
Journalist and Political Writer
New Mexico

__________________________________

It’s so beautiful CD. My tears came. So moved. Arigato so much.
Satomi Yanagisawa
Jewelry maker and Craftsperson
Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan

__________________________________

I was particularly blown away by the 15-minute instrumental ending and the ingenious way you integrated ‘Hill of Death’ instrumentally into the timelessness of those classics. I have never thought of the song as just music before but it works like that!
I also like how the common thread of all the songs is your finger-picking style which really stands on its own.
I’ve always thought that ‘Hill of Death’ felt like it could have come from the hills of 19th century Appalachia but you are only the second person to pick that up and the first to actually demonstrate it via that instrumental collage!
Joe Dolce
Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
Melbourne, Australia

———————

I love the CD!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything from the Bosan Gokko to Auntie Nona and Ruminations. And what a nice surprise to see the photograph from Forest Hills. You are such a visionary…all I did was snap the shutter.

It works because it is so authentic…so thoroughly full of the heart and soul of YOU – and a true reflection of your bittersweet and tender feelings after so many loved ones passed on. I love that you are so inclusive in the explanations of your relationship to each song, lyric, and tradition. Your sound and FEEL puts down a deep tap root. Then the icing on the cake is your artistic nature-centric metaphor using the morning/mourning glory blossom to show the glowing light at the end of the physical life leading the way to the next adventure. And of course the piece de resistance is that you drew the blossoms and wrote the words in your own handwriting – enveloping the recording project with your SELF. Love it all. The whole shebang.

Ruthie Ristich
Jazz Vocalist
Boston, Massachusetts

_________________________________

As soon as I got it, my mother and I listened to your CD and we love it!!!  And when my family held a BBQ party at a tiny garden, we enjoyed your music again.

Takako Minobe
Translator
Wakayama, Japan

———————

My dearest amiga,

I have listened to your studio songs today (all 4 CD’s that I am aware of). “Beyond Living” is my favorite. Your playing and singing are impeccable. I think it’s quite possibly one of the greatest views on life I have ever witnessed.

Ricky Moore
Musician
Iowa

———————

Alicia, in my view this is your best recording yet!  The songs are so movingly beautiful, no matter which culture they are from.  Donto’s pieces are just beautiful.  Your performance is great.  The production is superb!  You have done amazing things with supporting voices and instrumentation.  You should be very very proud of yourself.  And I was very touched at your including Peter in the liner notes.  I think you have succeeded at reaching “Beyond Living” to a glorious and amazing place.

Linda Kane
Photographer and Filmmaker
Honomu, Hawaii

———————-

The CD is beautiful, eclectic and extremely well produced.
It is appropriately other-worldly.
Nami keeps going though my head like a continuous wave.
I LOVE the Donto tracks and the Donto memories.
Hill of Death sounds fresh and the medley is masterful.
The Danish piece is a treasure and a revelation.
Your guitar and vocals are so beautiful and they blend perfectly with the accompanist’s parts.
And you know me…I love good liner notes and you have written the BEST ones.
I’m one of those people that like “The Making Of…” even better than the movie, so good liner notes are a necessity.
This is a totally unique collection of authentic and personal music.
I feel like I peered into the pages of your “musical diary”.
I love the Hawaiian/Japanese flavor of it all.
Rock ON my courageous ONE!
Love,
Wildflower Revolution
Artist and Environmental Activist
Graton, California

_________________________________________

Your new album has offered much consolation as Brandon and I mourn a good friend, a talented and spirited fiddle player. Your tunes fit so perfectly into my soul at the moment ~ THANK YOU. I would LOVE to plan a show together. I will put some feelers out.

Much love,
Gwendolyn
Singer/songwriter/guitarist/film composer
Los Angeles, California

_____________________________________________

What I’m Listening to This Week 11-05-09
Beyond Living – by Alicia Bay Laurel. Having just done three concerts with Alicia in Japan and Okinawa, these tunes are still floating through my head. A very unique artist and ahead-of-her-time writer.

Joe Dolce
Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
Melbourne, Australia

_________________________________

I love your CD, such a wide collection of inspiration ~ today’s favorite – Hang Out & Breathe. My husband and I lived and worked in and around the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland for the last 10+ years. After he died last year I was guided to move over to Arizona, reconnect with the Earth and continue my work here. It is a blessing to have connected with you.

Jewels Hayden
Anam Aire ~ Soul Midwife

___________________________________

i LOVE the CD … 🙂 Beyond Living!
thank you for taking so much care in signing them so beautifully…its so lovely,…really ! GOOD JOB!

Vilma Lihau Daly

___________________________________

The CD is beautiful!  It brought me so much joy – I’ve already listened to it twice through.  It’s really a treasure!  Thank you for making so much beautiful music with so much heart.

Lytton Dove White
Environmentalist and Writer

______________________________

I absolutely love your music.  The CDs are great, and now I have three of your special CDs.

Audrey Linden
Actress, Comedienne, and Teacher of Comedy Improvisation
Bevery Hills, CA

_______________________________

Aloha Dearest Alicia,

This is a mahalo to your from both Bruce and myself for the beautiful gift of your CD [Beyond Living]. We listened to it together as we commuted back and forth to Kapalua weddings – and we found it delightful. Bruce commented on how beautifully produced it is…A most wonderful collection of songs!

Rev. Kolleen OÂ’Flaherty Wheeler
All Ways MauiÂ’d Weddings and Ceremonies
Bruce Wheeler
Seventh Wave Photographics

__________________________________

Aloha our brilliant Alicia,

Thank you so much for sending us “Beyond Living”.
You literally went “beyond” in this lovely recording.
Bless you, dearest friend, for sharing your creations with us.
We love you.

Gloria and Barry Blum
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Beyond Living: Fingerpicked Ruminations on the Hereafter and Its Messengers

 

buy Beyond Living

 

Beyond Living: Finger-picked Ruminations on the Hereafter and Its Messengers has come from the pressing plant this week. ItÂ’s a collection of charming antique and antique-sounding songs from the USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Hawaii and Denmark that focus on mortality, immortality, and a life that is mindful of spirit.

Along with my open-tuned guitar picking, singing and speaking, youÂ’ll hear musicians from Japan, Hawaii, Australia, and the LA folk and jazz scenes, including Joe Dolce, Moira Smiley, James Kimo West, Ried Kapo Ku, the band Amana, Auntie Nona Beamer, Steve McGee, Ray Armando, Vic Koler, Chris Conner, and Tim Jensen.

On this particular CD, I wrote only two of the eleven cuts, but I wrote new English lyrics from translations of two songs by Donto, a legendary Japanese new wave rock star turned spiritual singer/songwriter, and one 19th century hymn in Danish.

I also commissioned a long overdue Hawaiian translation of DontoÂ’s famous hula, Nami, by Auntie Nona BeamerÂ’s adopted son Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, and an opening chant for it in the ancient Hawaiian style by recording artist Ried Kapo Ku, which opens the CD.

I also had the gall to record a 12-minute guitar solo consisting of 15 different songs.

I had the liner notes and lyrics translated into Japanese so I could take it to Japan on my upcoming concert tour there. There are two different covers, but the CD itself is the same in both versions.

I painted the cover in watercolor pencils. My idea is that the Bardo looks like a quasar or a morning glory, which have the same mathematical shape.

There are 4 copies in stock at on CD Baby.

I’m going to be revising my online store to include the CD next week. Meanwhile, if you are itching to get your hands on one of these little works of art, email me from the “Contact” link in the purple band just below my signature at the top of the website, and IÂ’ll hook you up with either a Paypal or a postal money order option.

Reviews of What Living's All About

PERFORMING SONGWRITER MAGAZINE, MAY 2007

TOP 12 DIY PICKS by Mare Wakefield, Indie Music Editor

What Living’s All About—a title that’s appropriate for a woman who has lived her life with such gusto. A Bohemian artist, Alicia Bay Laurel lived on a houseboat off Sausalito and a commune in Sonoma before spending 25 years on Maui. In addition to her music, she’s worked as a cook, collage artist, yoga instructor, wedding planner, underwater photographer and she’s the author of a New York Times bestseller, the whimsical Living on the Earth, first published in 1971.

The rich tapestry of her life translates to her music. In the Billie Holiday-esque “Floozy Tune,” Laurel plays the role of the Sunday School teacher turned barfly. In “America the Blues” she dishes out scathing political commentary to the tune of “America the Beautiful” (“America, America, greed sheds disgrace on thee / You don’t need nukes, you don’t need slaves, you don’t need gasoline”). She has fun with the smart “Aquarian Age Liberated Woman Blues” (“Seaweed for breakfast is good for you”) and the gospel-imbued “Doctor Sun and Nurse Water.” Laurel’s jazzy Earth-mother sound will seduce and inspire.

 
Review by John Stevenson of Ejazz News in London, June 2006

Dear Alicia,

Just a quick note from London. I have reviewed your last CD at ejazznews.com. It is excellent. As I wrote in the review, by far one of the best for 2006.

I get close to 200 CDs a week sent to me, but yours stood out because of its transparently high level of musicianship and sincerity – qualities which are very rarely found combined these days.

Kind Regards,

John Stevenson

Alicia Bay Laurel: What Living’s All About, Jazz Blues & Other Moist Situations (IWS)

With a provocative title like this one, Ms. Laurel will certainly catch the attention of any reviewer! This is most certainly one of the most audacious, heartfelt and honest discs I’ve put in my CD player for the year. Alicia (who sounds like the artistic love child of Joan Baez and Tom Waits) brings a folk-singer’s sensibility to bear on jazz and pulls no punches: On America The Blues, she declaims: America, the beautiful/you’re thorny as a rose:/Radiation, global warming/Poisoned food from GMOs./ She also sings a delightful version of Eden Ahbez’s Nature Boy. The accompaniment from guitarist Nels Cline, bass player John B. Williams and pianist Rick Olson is divine.

*                    *                        *                      * 

BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE January 2008
Tom Hyslop
Blues Bites: Reviews in Brief

Alicia Bay Laurel conveys life’s sudden shifts and jarring juxtapositions on What Living’s All About (Indigo With Stars 003). Sandwiched between the opener, “Floozy Tune,” and “Aquarian Age Liberated Woman Blues,” two formally classic blues that could have come from Ma Rainey if not for the namechecks (belly dancing, astral projection, The I. Ching, bee pollen candy and natty dread), comes “America the Blues,” with strident references to economic inequality, environmental rapine, corporate greed, and political corruption. Laurel moves from girlish singing on the Twenties-style songs to this doomy incantation, the arrangement taking full advantage of the jaw-dropping talent of avant-guitarist Nels Cline (best known as Wilco’s secret weapon). With cuts such as “Doctor Sun and Nurse Water” (a gospel-drenched number with oddly matched lyrics), and the Fever tribute of the title track, Living will strike some as too California in its outlook. But lovely touches abound, such as the stately, quietly anthemic “Love, Understanding and Peace,” and Doug Webb’s beautiful alto work on “Zero Gravity.”

 

FEMINIST REVIEW, Friday, June 1, 2007
Alicia Bay Laurel – What Living’s All About

All would-be writers who have studied how to write know the rule: "show me don’t tell me." Visual artists find this advice easy to do and musicians are, perhaps, the same way. When the creative instrument does not rely solely on words, showing is not too difficult.

Alicia Bay Laurel wrote Living on the Earth, a cult classic and the first paperback on the New York Times Bestseller List (spring 1971), which has sold over 350,000 copies. She has also written five other books. Laurel is a talented, trained musician. She grew up playing classical piano, switched to guitar in her teens and learned open tunings from legendary guitarist John Fahey, a family member. On this latest album, What Living’s All About, she works with some of the best musicians in the field, including avant garde guitar hero Nels Cline.

Alicia Bay Laurel tries to show and tell by weaving feelings, melody and an occasional diatribe word. She celebrates the Earth (nature) and embraces her sensuality. She also loudly laments the destruction of the environment, as in her song “America the Blues,” where the listing of our environmental sins drags a bit. At the same time, the song is strangely effective. The entwining hypnotic music ended with a smashing guitar rift, followed by a spine tingling sound of whale songs and a Native American Chant. This is an excellent protest song. Alicia Bay Laurel and Al Gore should be friends.

“Zero Gravity” is a haunting song about a city at night, reminiscent of Ground Zero in New York City where the Twin Towers used to be. Laurel talks about sex in this CD and does it with class, sometimes with gentle humor, like “Floozy Tune.” However, you won’t know what she’s talking about unless you listen closely. This blend of jazz, blues and gospel is a powerful feminist statement. It’s fantastic!

Review by Patricia Ethelwyn Lang

 

"Floozy Tune" Wins Song Contest
7/9/2007 4:38:10 PM
“Floozy Tune”
Status: Selected
Congratulations, you have been selected as a Top 20 Finalist in the Jazz Category of the 11th Annual Unisong International Song contest. Results are at http://www.unisong.com/Winners11.aspx.

This year featured the highest overall quality of songs, lyrics, and writers ever submitted by far, with the most diverse and varied entries from a multitude of countries representing every continent on Earth except Antarctica (and songwriting penguins out there).

The judging therefore was extremely competitive and to be singled out anywhere in the top 15% of all songs submitted was no easy feat.

 

Review of What Living’s All About by psychedelic folk radio DJ, Gerald Van Waes. His show, Psyche Van Het Folk, is on Radio Centraal, Antwerp, Belgium.

Like one of my favourite heartfelt singer-songwriter singers (Heather McLeod with ‘Funny Thing’, 1997), also Alicia went to more towards (slightly standard) jazz territories, but as a former hippie, it is clear this is not done as a compromise to please/tease a public. Her interpretations (-most songs are self penned-) are with great feelings, and a certain light happiness beyond each other idea or emotion. She describes the style mix well on the cover as "jazz, blues and other moist situations". With additionally a a bit of New Orleans influence on "Floozy Tune", and a bit of gospel on "Doctor Sun and Nurse Water" (about what the environment of Hawaii did to her), she wrote inspired something between jazz and jazz-blues and something else soulful. I like the idea on "America the blues" saying "America, don’t wave that flag to con us with your jive…".."we’re all family on this planet".. (Just imagine how America is built upon so many nationalities and bought talents from everywhere, unfortunately mostly still chosen from what are seen as the trustworthy countries and areas (so practically still excluding preferably the French, Spanish, and several Arab-speaking countries and native Indians for economic concurrence, racist, nowadays partly religious, and a few other reasons).. Potentionally I realize America still has all opportunities and a certain openness to experiment for those who succeed to start to participate in the system. This track, like a few tunes elsewhere has some, for me, rather amusing freaky electric avant-garde guitar by Nels Cline (Wilco,..). Alicia, for having experienced a certain earthbound process, matured, she still has the happiest aspects of the hippie; this sum must having benefited the soul and music of the singer, who on her recent photograph on the back cover still looks 25 or so, so I guess the message of this lies somewhere as a benefit hidden in the music. Rather brilliant as an interpretation I think is "Nature Boy" (originally by Nat King Cole, but also covered by Grace Slick), in an emotionally calm contrapoint-driven moody jazz style, with the help of John B. Williams on upright bass and Enzo Tedesco on other instruments. A really fine and enjoyable album.

 
Review by legendary guitarist Nels Cline on his website:

Alicia is a self-proclaimed “hippie chick” who I met through (drummer) Joe Gallivan. She had a hit book back in the 60s called [stay tuned for title – forgot it], which she says “was in practically every hippie commune outhouse in the west” (no doubt right next to “Be Here Now”!). This is, I believe, self-released, and is quite an odd but strangely entertaining, original, and disarming recording. It has a some amazing L.A.-based session/jazz players like (saxophonist) Doug Webb, who reaches beyond his Coltrane-esque tenor to turn in some beautiful post-Desmond alto, brilliant drummer Kendall Kay, and bassist John B. Williams, whom many may remember as the Fender player on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson for many years. There is a choir on here! The songs are sort of 1920s-30s era swing, acoustic swing blues, and… Well anyway, when someone like Alicia asks me to do tons of Hendrix-inspired shrieking and psych looping (“America The Blues”) or fuzzed out adversarial commentary (“It’s Not Fair”), I figure that when the disc comes out that the stuff will, as it usually is, be buried or cut out altogether. I was amazed when I heard this that Alicia REALLY WANTED these sounds and that THEY ARE REALLY LOUD! I don’t know what people who know my music will think of this, but there is something so wry and self-deprecatingly amusing about Alicia’s hippie anthems, protest songs, and tales of failed romance that I find myself grinning. Hmmmm….Oh yes, I also play slide, lap steel, and acoustic guitar on this. I’m on 4 or 5 tracks.

 

Review by Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Joe Dolce

I think this is a very creative record with a lot of wonderful ideas and performances and some pretty extraordinary playing, and endearing vocals all over the place. I like it a lot!! I liked all the songs much better on the second listen. A keeper. Good work.

The album is eclectic, diverse musical styles. Therefore, I can relate to it! What holds it altogether is Alicia’s musical ‘personae’ – the complex character she is creating, through her voice and ideas. As you get to know this character more and more, as the songs and ideas progress, you trust her more and it allows you to enter more easily into whatever type of musical style is coming next. (Also this trust is a reason to want to go back and listen again.) Also the IDEAS are clear. The lead vocals are strong with a lot of presence. The musicians are all brilliant and the soloing is tasteful and creative – no cliches or stumbling around musically anywhere to be found.

Re: "Nature Boy." I believe that if you can take the listener to a unique Hilltop, and give them a view that they will never forget, even ONCE in a recording or performance, that is enough. One brilliant moment builds a bridge of trust between you and them that will allow them to be more open to whatever you do from then on, even if they don’t relate or understand it. (You may never be able to take them to that High Point again but it doesn’t matter – it’s like great sex or great playing- you may not be able to LIVE with that person, but you will NEVER forget that encounter.) This track took me to that Hill. I feel different now about the whole recording.

Re: "I Could Write a Book." This track is the track where I first gasped: genius! What an amazing idea. A track like this makes me have to listen to the whole CD over again to see if I missed anything the first time around on those opening tracks. A totally inspir
ed idea that works. No one else has ever done something like this with a standard. Perfect. I played this one for Lin. She liked it a lot, too. (She didn’t think her publisher would like it though! ha ha!)
Joe Dolce
Melbourne, Australia

 

Raves for What Living's All About

Alicia,
I love you !!!!!!!
You are a wonderful ray of light in my life.
Your music, messages, visuals & CD are extraordinary.
Bravo – really a fabulous job on the disc.
I had something like a religious experience upon hearing it for the first time. 
A most expertly guided journey.
I later played America The Blues on my program,
on a show w/ ‘The Dark Blues’ as the theme …
Yours on all planets,

Charles Blass
Audio Gumbo
89.9 FM WKCR
New York City

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Alicia,

IÂ’m a blues/roots programmer and dj for WPFW, 89.3 FM, a 50,000-watt
non-commercial station in Washington, D.C. and I report to the Living
Blues Radio Chart.

I read a good review of WhatÂ’s Living All About in Blues Revue magazine
a while back; can you send a promo copy for possible airplay?

Thanks and let me know if you need anything else,

Elliott Gross
Programmer/DJ
The DonÂ’t Forget the Blues Hour
www.wpfw.org

*              *                *              * 

I think this is a very creative record with a lot of wonderful ideas and performances and some pretty extraordinary playing, and endearing vocals all over the place. I like it a lot!! I liked all the songs much better on the second listen. A keeper. Good work.

The album is eclectic, diverse musical styles. Therefore, I can relate to it! What holds it altogether is Alicia’s musical ‘personae’ – the complex character she is creating, through her voice and ideas. As you get to know this character more and more, as the songs and ideas progress, you trust her more and it allows you to enter more easily into whatever type of musical style is coming next. (Also this trust is a reason to want to go back and listen again.) Also the IDEAS are clear. The lead vocals are strong with a lot of presence. The musicians are all brilliant and the soloing is tasteful and creative – no cliches or stumbling around musically anywhere to be found.

Re: “Nature Boy.” I believe that if you can take the listener to a unique Hilltop, and give them a view that they will never forget, even ONCE in a recording or performance, that is enough. One brilliant moment builds a bridge of trust between you and them that will allow them to be more open to whatever you do from then on, even if they donÂ’t relate or understand it. (You may never be able to take them to that High Point again but it doesnÂ’t matter – itÂ’s like great sex or great playing- you may not be able to LIVE with that person, but you will NEVER forget that encounter.) This track took me to that Hill. I feel different now about the whole recording.

Re: “I Could Write a Book.” This track is the track where I first gasped: genius! What an amazing idea. A track like this makes me have to listen to the whole CD over again to see if I missed anything the first time around on those opening tracks. A totally inspired idea that works. No one else has ever done something like this with a standard. Perfect. I played this one for Lin. She liked it a lot, too. (She didnÂ’t think her publisher would like it though! ha ha!)
Joe Dolce
Platinum-selling Singer-Songwriter
Melbourne, Australia

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Dear Alicia:
Thanks so much for your lovely message. I listened to “America the Blues” with great enjoyment. But I must say I was really taken with your rendition of  “Floozy Tune”.
I’m sorry to say I never read your book, but one of these days maybe I will.
Best wishes,

Howard Zinn
Historian, activist, social critic
Newton, Massachusetts

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It’s a charming CD.  It doesn’t sound like anything else that’s out there.  It says important things in an unassuming way.  It’s also very personal.  I really like it.
Nels Cline
Avant Garde/Jazz/Rock Guitarist of reknown
Los Angeles, California

*         *          *        *        *

I wanted to touch base with you on what we’re playing from your new CD.
 
We have been playing the following tracks on a regular basis in our new music rotation:
 
Floozy Tune 
America The Blues
Best Of The Rest Of You
Dr. Sun & Nurse Water
 
It’s a great disc and we are getting a nice response to it.
 

Andy Olson
Radio Host
Radio Free Phoenix

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I love your CD.  There are several songs we will soon add to the rotation.  But I had to start playing Floozy Tune right way.  It is SO funny!

Brad Freeman
Radio Host
KHBC Radio
Hilo, Hawaii

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I wanted to drop you a line to say I loved  “What Living’s All About.” My favorite tunes: “Aquarian Age Liberated Woman Blues,” “Doctor Sun & Nurse Water,” and I really resonated with “Sometimes it Takes a Long Time.”

Shana Ting Lipton
Travel and Culture Writer
Los Angeles, California

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Hi Alicia,

I don’t listen to KBHC that much, so I was tickled when heard
something from your CD on KBHC:  Floozy Tune.  This was last Saturday,
10:30 a.m.  Brad was substituting for Mynah Bird, the regular morning
DJ.  It was a trip and a treat!

Linda Kane
Honomu, Hawaii 

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I found it last night, Alicia! And was able to listen to several cuts. Really enjoyed it! And so thank you for sending that!

Listened to (and read the lyrics of) America the Blues and really
liked that one as well. I love the song and, of course, everything about it is dead on; obviously it has a *very* strong political statement.

It would, of course, be perfect for The BRAD SHOW and I look forward to playing it at the next available opportunity!

Brad Friedman
The Brad Blog

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Feedback from Jackie Ryan, one of the greatest living jazz vocalists, IMHO:

I heard your CD!! WOW!!! FANTASTIC JOB, ALICIA!! GREAT TUNES!! WOWOWOWOWOW!!!  I can tell you put a lot into it. You did an EXCELLENT and very professional job. You hould try selling some tunes to some big names!!!

Jackie recently sang in New York City:

Monday, August 28, 2006, 2 Sets: 7:30 & 9:30pm
Jazz At Lincoln Center: Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola
With Cyrus Chestnut: piano, Ray Drummond: bass, Carl Allen: drums, Eric Alexander: Sax, Jeremy Pelt: Trumpet, Romero Lubambo: guitar
Doors open at 6pm for the 7:30pm set

*              *             *             *             *          *   

I’ve been enjoying it and am always amazed when listening to it at how well done the whole CD is! Félicitations! The musical journey goes through some solid jazz (some fabulous players!), blues, swing, gospel, and folk – that’s a lot to cover in one CD! How on earth (or otherwise) did you categorize the album for online sales? Your voice sounds great – sultry at times, silky at times, and gutsy at times! The lyrics are very creative, inventive and out-of-the-box – a far cry from the usual bill of fare for songs you hear these days. It’s an art to make thoughtful, intelligent, clever and funny songs, and I would say all of these tunes are just that type of art. I hope you’re continuing to write songs like these!

Steve Grimes
Grimes Guitars
Maui, Hawaii

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Love your CD!  Thank you for being you!

Ruthie Ristich
Jazz Vocalist
Boston, Massachusetts

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Sassy, sexy, sophisticated and smart!

Sophia Songhealer
New Age Singing Goddess
Carmel Valley, California

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Howdy Alicia!  I hope this finds you happy, healthy and happy!
-L-O-V-E your NEW CD, “What Living’s All About”!!!
“Floozy Tune” is one of my favorites!  I can’t wait to share your tunes on the air.

Take Care- – – Miss Holley King
Radio Host
KBSZ-AM Saturdays 8 AM to 12 Noon
Radio Free Phoenix Sundays at 2 PM

MY PLAY LIST FOR TODAYS’ SHOW
Show No.21 – Sunday, June 25th, 2006 – “Bad To The Bone” – includes:
(the funny) – Alicia Bay Laurel – Floozy Tune

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Playlist for radioshow in 3 weeks from now :

Radioshow Psyche Van Het Folk
1st week of August : 2006-8-05  (8PM-10 PM),
on Radio Centraal, Antwerp Belgium 106,7 FM :

New acoustic releases, often with serious minimalist ideas..

Alicia Bay Laurel : What’s Living’s All About  Tr.8, “Nature Boy” 8 min -115

My favourite track of this new album of former hippie living in Hawaii. Jazz is a new inspiration. This Nat King Cole /Grace Slick interpretation is really well done.

3 releases reviewed : http://singersong.homestead.com/folk2.html#anchor_56 

from Gerald Van Waes, Radio Host

*                *              *                 *              * 

They are playing Dr. Sun and Nurse Water right NOW!
on Radio Free Phoenix.
I think it is Liz Boyle DJ-ing right now…
Cool huh!
Hope you are having a good day!

Miss Holley King
DJ Radio Free Phoenix

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ItÂ’s a terrific piece of artistry, and deserves to shine at its brightest! WeÂ’ve been enjoying AliciaÂ’s new CD a whole lot. [re: Nels Cline] Wotta guitarist! Whoo-ee!

Ramon Sender Barayon
Electronic Music Pioneer and Author
San Francisco, California

*        *        *         *        *

Soul sister beautiful Alicia

Congratulations!

I got your wonderful new CD. Also CD cover art.

It is so great!! You reach higher place in mountain of music!

The message is so straight.  It came into my heart.

Music are so sophisticated. Your vocal is growing up.

So wonderful!!

We are enjoy it.

Always I can feel connected your spirit.

Goddess blessing you!                

Sachiho Kudomi
Vocalist/Songwriter/Bassist
Naha City
Okinawa

*           *              *               *            *
 
Got Alicia’s new CD & really do think it’s the best ever. I dearly love jazz & blues anyway & Alicia’s voice is perfect for “Floozy Tune” – the first old timey song. Another of my favorites is “Best of the Rest of You”. I’m tempted to quote lyrics, which are all excellent. Anyway, far as I know
, Alicia wrote all the songs except the classic “I could write a book” in which she gives a little talk about the vicissitudes of the publishing business – a subject wherein she knows whereof she speaks. Youse guys are missing out if you don’t check this out. Alicia’s one of our own & she’s done us proud IMO.
Pam Hanna
Freelance writer, editor and critic
(writing on to our commune alumni Yahoo group Mostpost)
Thoreau, New Mexico

[Alicia notes: there are TWO jazz standards on WLAA, “I Could Write a Book” and “Nature Boy.”  The spoken words on “I Could Write a Book” are from literary agent Michael Larsen‘s book How To Write a Book Proposal, Third Edition (Writers Digest Books, 2003) and used with permission.] 

*        *        *         *        *

i just got my sample of your discÂ….i must say, it looks AND sounds
very good! congrats on an excellent release! we do so many titles,
that itÂ’s rare that i actually LIKE one. but, yours is certainly an
exceptionÂ….totally going to get it on my iPod.

please donÂ’t hesitate to contact me, if/when you have another need for CD or DVD manufacturing. same with your friends: send them directly to me and have them drop your name. iÂ’ll certainly take care of them!
cheers,
Joe Vent
Sales
AtoZ Media-Midwest
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

[Alicia notes: A to Z Media did a wonderful job manufacturing my CD and both Joe Vent (sales) and Sandra Gray (production) were a pleasure to do business with.  Very reasonable prices, too.]

*          *             *             *          *

Dear Alicia:

The CD certainly arrived.  I waited until family left, as I like to listen to a new album with undivided attention (NOT as background music!).  I sat with the liner notes, read your commentaries and the lyrics.  I LOVE the album.  You are the most incredibly creative woman!

Floozy Tune is great fun.  I like traditional jazz and blues a lot, but tend to get lost in the current stuff.  Your sensibility pleases my ears! 

I’m recommending your web site to like-minded colleagues and friends.

Hugs,
Barbara
 
Barbara Neighbors Deal, Ph.D.,

Literary Associates
 
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Dear Alicia:

It seems new CD is different arrange from ever work.
I enjoy many sound, may be your friends.
I love illustration of jacket too !

Koki Aso
Freelance Journalist
Kamakura, Japan

*         *             *           *           *

The Hippie Museuem’s most cherished Fairy Godmother Alicia Bay Laurel, artist, musician, and author of “Living on the Earth”, the more than famous Hippie “bible” of back to the land living, has just released a new cd, “What Living’s All About”. The description on the cover reads “Jazz, blues and other moist situations”.. Read what Alicia has to say about it, and follow links to purchase it on her site, as well as listen to clips on cdbaby.com

Sudeaux at www.brokenhallelujah.net

*         *              *           *             *

I’m sorry to late to mail. I went to Tokyo and Kanazawa. The day I back from Kanazawa, your CD came to my home. Thank you!!

When I listen your CD, [my teenaged daughter] Seina came home and she said,
“It’s cool! I love this CD!”

We are surprised that this CD has very different world from your 1st and 2nd CD.

I’d like to sell this CD also. Please ask GATS production to inform me when he releases your CD in Japan.

Thank you!!

with love,
Yoko Nema
Musician
Owner, Tata Bazaar
Naha City
Okinawa

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You are so frigginÂ’ talented it makes me weepÂ…
Thanks so much for sending me your new CD. I am enjoying it thoroughly!
Aloha nui loa, Barb
Barbara J. Fahs, M.A.
Hi`iakaÂ’s Healing Herb Garden, LLC
Author of Super Simple Guide for Creating Hawaiian Gardens
KeaÂ’au, Hawaii

*        *        *         *        *

I listened this morning to all of the tracks and itÂ’s great music.  I enjoyed AliciaÂ’s voice and the arrangements—it was well worth the listen!
Connie Higginson-Murry
Midnight Blues Radio Show

*             *              *             *               *

I was struck by the uniqueness of the sound and some of the melodies and voiceplay grabbed my attention!
Don Strachan
Author, Watsu Therapist and Tantra Teacher
Middletown, California

*        *        *         *        *

I have listened to you music and I am stunned and delighted!!! I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! YES!!!!!! ManÂ….. the jazzy bo ho beat sultry powerful oh yes.
Thank you , Alicia, for Being You!

…….Love, Char ~*
Webmistress of Hippie Museum
Santa Cruz, California

*        *        *         *        *

Dear Alicia,

I just listened to your CD: “What Living’s All About”. Oh, every one of the
songs was really good. I especially lik
ed the “doctor sun and nurse water”
which is, like the song you recited to me, a poem and a prayer at the same
time. I love the “nature boy” also. “it’s not fair” is funny and sad…
“america the blues”, so strong. The music, voice, the content of the songs
are all so good.

Through these 32 years, both of us have seen pleasure and pain, beauty and
sadness of life which, I think, made us closer.  I had such a deep feeling
of solace being with you.

Good night for now.


Kenichi Iyanaga
Saitama, Japan

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Alicia!
You did good, mama.
What a beautiful baby. I listened to her at CDbaby and bought it right away. Hilarious and absolutely GORGEOUS.
A Hearty Congratulations To You.
Thanks for sharing.
Emily Capehart
Permaculture Teacher
Pilot Point, Texas

*        *        *         *        *

Vintage Alicia. Alicia at her best.
Milo Clark
Pahoa, Hawaii

*        *        *         *        *

The CD is eclectically superb! On to the 3rd listeningÂ…
Joel Goldfarb
Jazz Pianist
Makawao, Hawaii

*        *        *         *        *

Your CD is a delight. I know good things will come of it.
Delia Moon
Santa Barbara, California

*        *       *          *        *

I listened to all of the songs… GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!  You must be so proud because it really is awesome.

Thank you so much for bringing your spirit to the music world.  I will cherish this CD.

You never cease to amaze me. 🙂

Hope you have a beautiful day… you are a beautiful and blessed woman.

Peace, Love & Understanding 🙂

Hollywould

Redneck Riviera, Florida

*           *           *          *         *

Aloha fairy godmother. I heard your latest album the other day with my mom. High props to you for creating a jazzy piece with a political message. Keep rockin!

My man and I are off the end of this week to Northern Cali for High Sierra Music festival to vend LalaSun. It should be fun.

Kisses to you.

Blessings

(((*leilea*)))
Clothing designer/manufacturer
Honokaa, Hawaii
www.lalasun.com
Live free & enjoy! Its the way to be.

*          *            *           *             * 

I listened to all of the songs and really enjoyed them.  I’m going to continue listening to your CD many more times.  Your songs show sensitivity, depth, and breadth of life experience.
Jerome Franklin MD
Psychiatrist
Los Angeles, California

*           *           *            *            * 

We got the CD…

Its so cool…
i love the cover design…
it sounds great!
you sound great!
you must be so proud and happy…
what a great accomplishment…
a completion af a trilogy…
WOW!!!  You go girl!!!

Lihau Daly
Hollywood, California

*           *              *            *           *

Hi Alicia

I received What Livings All About last week (what a fast delivery!).  I love it!  And you signed the cover – thank you.  Your voice is so expressive.  It sounds better than ever.  The other musicians are great too.  Alan and I are enjoying it.

Lani Harriman
Cupertino, California

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Dear Alicia,
Congratulations on your new CD! My favorites are Floozy Tune, The Best of the Rest of You, and Dr. Sun And Nurse Water. I play them over and over. Your songs are a great de-stresser for me and and I love having my lifelong friend singing to me. It doesn’t get any better! Congratulations on your musical legacy to the world. Your hard work, planning, and determination has come to fruition! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BIG LOVE AND HUGS TO MY LIFETIME FRIEND,
GERI WOOLLS
Huntington Beach, California

*            *               *              *            * 

Hi Dear Alicia,

Wonderful album! We listened as we drove to and from Tahoe this week.
There is such a great range of music and the styling is perfect.
Thank you!!
The protest song is great
The literary statment at the end is a hoot and will be appreciated by every writer I know.
 

 

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Dearest Alicia,

Yes!  I got your wonderful CD.  It’s great to hear you with such an amazing back-up.  I especially loved the sax player. 

Good luck with all your adventures.

Love,

Leslie Doolin
Topanga Art Tile

*         *           *           *          *

I love your CD. You have such a pure voice and a great selection of tunes. Good for you.

Much love,
Stella Resnick, Ph.D
Psychotherapist
Los Angeles, California

 

 

All About "What Living’s All About"

 

buy What’s Living All About

 

Chosen by the indie editor of Performing Songwriter Magazine as one of the 12 Top DIY Picks in the May 2007 issue, praised as one of the best CDs he heard in 2006 by the editor of eJazz news in London, and hailed as “fantastic!” in the June 2007 issue of Feminist Review in New York city, What Living’s All About, Alicia’s CD debut as jazz diva and record producer, has a lot of people excited.  The opening cut, “Floozy Tune,” has placed in two international songwriting contests, Unisong International Songwriting Contest in 2007 and Indie International Songwriting Contest in 2008.

So what’s on the CD?

Alicia sings twelve catchy jazz, blues, and gospel tunes, ten of them original, including her in-your-face protest song, America the Blues, featuring avant garde guitar hero Nels Cline. Gorgeously (self) produced, with three ensembles of top notch professional players in an LA studio, What Living’s All About emanates sex, spirituality, cynicism, humor, hip repartee, and occasional righteous rage.  You can listen to all of the tunes on the WLAA page at CD Baby.

Other members of the cast include jazz upright bass legend John B. Williams (Nancy Wilson, Manhattan Transfer, Arsenio Hall Show Band, Tonight Show Big Band) and his red hot R & B vocalist wife Jessica Williams, who forms the gospel choir along with her daughter Vetia Richardson, and her friend Irene Cathaway (with whom she sings backup for Connie Stevens), gospel keyboardist Reverend Harold Pittman (Minister of Music at the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in South Central Los Angeles), woodwind wizard Doug Webb (who totally smokes on a different instrument on each of four songs), three fabulous top flight drummers: David Anderson, Kendall Kay, and Enzo Tedesco, fluid and cool jazz pianist Rick Olson, two rock-solid, multi-talented bassists: Kevin O’Neal and Chris Conner, versatile actor/vocalist Jody Ashworth, and soulful Liberian gospel singer Francis Nyaforh.

The tunes:

Floozy Tune: A 1920’s trad jazz tune about a girl who runs off with the band. Will make you Charleston, even if you don’t know how.

America the Blues: A love song to America, rallying voters to save her from corporate greedheads. Turn up your speakers.

Aquarian Age Liberated Woman Blues: The ultimate free-love hippie girl song complete with countercultural references.

Zero Gravity: Atmospheric jazz ode to night life in LA.

Doctor Sun and Nurse Water: Gospel blues waltz about the life-giving properties of sunlight and water.

What Living’s All About: Sex. Mid-century modern jazz in the style of “Fever.”

Sometimes It Takes a Long Time: A blues waltz that starts folk, ends gospel, and is uplifting enough be sung at a wedding.

Nature Boy: A spacy, improvised version, for voice, upright bass and percussion. Showcases the great John B. Williams.

Best of the Rest of You: Kick ass blues about the social mores of New Age bobos.

I Could Write a Book: Stylish rendition with classic jazz quartet and shocking revelations read from literary agent Michael Larsen’s book How To Write a Book Proposal.

It’s Not Fair: Jazzy blues bitch slap to an unfaithful lover and former creative collaborator. Great guitar solo by Nels Cline.

Love, Understanding and Peace: Gospel love ballad that reflects upon Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13, which Alicia wishes that some Christians would take a little more seriously.

For those familiar with Alicia’s first two CDs, this one may come as a surprise. It has a much lower glycemic index and is not recommended for children. Alicia widens her range as an actress, and addresses sticky issues personal and public. She also collaborates as musician and producer with some of the most gifted players in Hollywood.  All three of Alicia’s CD covers are about women in ecstatic union with nature; this one is a moonlit, wet, surreal image with soft edges.

Listen to and/or buy the CD at CD Baby

Buy the CD directly from Alicia, and have her sign it to you (or whoever) in silver ink!

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