Say a Little Prayer (Live Concert)

Time to thank a few folks.

I recently saw Marcy Kelly and Rickie Louise Miller at the Knickerbocker, a club in my hometown; a wonderful show! The band’s “Sugar,” usually fronted by Marcy and Natalia Rosso. It’s mostly indescribable …

Marcy sets the bar for professional singing; the best I’ve seen in a regional touring act, and on Thanksgiving Eve I was ten feet from the stage dancing, and at one point looked up and pretty much gave up any prayer to be a great singer!

Hey … I’m not bad, and learn fast. But wow! When Marcy decides to show you what singing really is, time will stop.

Entertainment is a competitive space. To Sugar, thanks for doing what you do! I wrote recently entertainment should appear to be easy after a lot of dedicated practice and preparation. But Marcy reminded me it’s more than that; it’s living in every second of perfection while performing.

While it may sometimes appear easy, and should, for the audience to feel comfortable, it also needs to get your attention and entertain! When it’s great, we need to make sure the performers know it is!

Some of the best things I’ve done … I only figure out later, stumbling across an old video – in the moment, I was just that, in the moment. I wish, for example, people could hear me, with my band, in some of the really beautiful collaborative “jamming” we do at the house. Then I found a video, which had been recorded a year earlier. They heard me … it was great … and I have it on tape!

It’s a mostly-original set, beginning with “Kalamazoo,” first song on the CD, and ending with “Friends!” Not too bad Marco! See the video below!

The show was at the Knick for my CD release (thanks Shawn Allen) and is the best me I have on video, and it’s not just me; it’s testimony to how much better my music is when I have the privilege of playing with really skilled musicians. The band shines, but I remember after the show all I could see and hear was what I wanted to fix. In the end, time fixed my perspective. Check “Friends” and “Echidna,” written by Brandon and me!

Hey … “Brandon and Me” would be a good name for a band!

Add it to the list!

After “Echidna” is “New Day.” I’m proud of this song; it has a bluesy foundation, which is fun, and two rap parts. It’s a singer, which I tell myself in part to remind myself to SING!”

Throughout this show I’ve already been schooled by Marcy (“Schooled By Marcy” would also be a good name for a band!), but you’ll get the idea. This band has potential; I just have to remember to listen to it!

Go, man go! John Laabs on drums is fine and fantastic, as always, in this performance. John didn’t get to practice these songs more than a few times with us, but as he does on my version of JT’s “Fire and Rain,” he reads the scene, adapts, presents then adapts again, keeping the puzzle from falling apart. I’m very grateful whenever John makes himself avaialable for gigs, and hope you hear what I mean! John’s a pro (and well out of high school); he and his son, Max, are finishing their 2nd album with their band “JMK.”

These other guys are kids I met through Sara, my daughter, me obsessed with making a great CD; we spent hundreds of hours having blast after blast.

Sal Fontana is a Westerly boy, Sara’s age, and will always be one of my favorite guitarists; he speaks fluent Floyd and Zeppelin, Clapton and even a little Spanish and Italian! Sal plays his Epi Les Paul onstage for me in the video. The two of us reinvented the classic Charmichael “Stardust,” which we endeavor (at 18:20)! Our version is Sal playing Clapton’s “Nobody Knows When You’re Down and Out” and me putting the dust on top.

Brandon Raimondo (Charlestown, RI) is a 20 year-old master git slinger, wielding a Hagstrom Viking he borrowed from me, which is like giving the dog trainer your dog … he makes things happen and you tend to find your jaw drop every now and then. It’s a bit flabberghasting! Brandon wrote the music for “Echidna,” and the song’s appearance in this show is rare. Go Brandon go!

Kevin Tillinghast (also flabberghasting) supports us on bass; I met Kevin through the guys. Chris Foster joins on piano, and along with Kevin keeps the nice, smooth Grateful Dead sound threaded in. Chris and Kevin were only practicing with us for a few weeks, and though they don’t play out regularly, it was amazing for me to meet people just out of high school who could take the stage like this. Chris is a focused, schooled pianist who adds a nice layer, and Kevin was born to play guitar!

Adding these guys turned a jam into a band!

Over the past couple years I also met many other young up-and-comers, and while I wish them all well … I’m mostly left glad there’s talent blossoming around us … and amazed finding it seemed so easy. What a great run!

The video shows me with a full band, which is the direction I need to go. I’m writing for a louder more energetic performance, and ready to have more fun! So guys (and gals), get ready ‘cause the studio is opening again soon for the next CD, Globe of Time! The video also reminds me there are songs I can’t do at all by myself, like “Echidna,” which requires Brandon, and “Stardust,” which requires Sal! At first blush, it might seem like a handicap … that I can’t move forward without these friends … but it’s not … it’s God reminding me I can’t move forward without them, because that’s the only way I can be the best I can be!

It’s a lot harder to collaborate and engineer a band than just playing alone … unless everyone has vision and talent … which, I remind myself, is a rare bunch to be blessed with. The trick is, I can only pull off my “single sound,” but with the band there’s a “special sauce!” Good collaboration is exponentially better.

So thanks, to my friends … and their friends … and everyone’s parents, too … and the Universe … for allowing us to create a video time capsule when all these great players got together for “Share The Moon!” We’ll do it again soon!

Ziggy, my pup, may be on the rug before God’s drums these days, but the new cat’s beginning to catch on! The new record will be mostly originals (again), a mix of funky folk and edgy rock (which cats like) … and if we turn it up loud enough I’m pretty sure we can make Ziggy’s tail wag in heaven!

Most importantly thanks to my beautiful Sara for introducing me to so many cool cats, cheering me on, letting me make a lot of noise and bringing a crowd to my show!

So until next time, here’s that large, loud video! After the video I’ll post the song list and even lyrics! Enjoy!

Go!

Most of these songs are original and studio-recorded on “Share The Moon,” available where great music is sold! Any musicians interested in any of my songs, contact me! I can also do commissioned songwriting, and generally love to talk!

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Songs:

Kalamazoo (Urso)
Crazy Love (Morrison) (start 5:50)
Echidna (Urso/Raimondo) (start 9:20)
New Day (Urso) (start 14:31)
Stardust (Charmichael) (start 18:20)
Share The Moon (Urso) (start 21:50) (lights go red)
Friends (Urso/Raimondo) (start 25:58)

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Kalamazoo (Mark Urso)

I searched for myself and I found you!
We were ridin’ on a train down ta Kalamazoo
A white picket fence a little kid or two
All the while you’re stagin’ yer coup!

(Chorus:)
Rock me and roll me say me a little prayer!
The world around me vanishes into the air
When I look in your eyes – and I stroke your hair!

We are mirrors of each other I got nothin’ on you!
After-awhile-it’s-all just a rotten old stew!
I got myself this room with a beautiful view
And I look in the mirror, searchin’ for you!

(Chorus:)
Rock me and roll me say me a little prayer!
The world around me vanishes into the air
Say a little prayer! (repeats)

I searched for myself and I found you!
Sometimes it just seems like a rotten old stew!
I got myself a room with a beautiful view
And I look in the mirror, searchin’ for you!

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Crazy Love (Van Morrison)

I can feel her heartbeat from a thousand miles!
And the heavens open every time she smiles
And when I come to her, that’s where I belong!
Yeah, I’m running to her, like a river’s song

(Chorus:)
She give me love love love love Crazy Love!
She give me love love love love Crazy Love!

She’s got a fine sense of humor when I’m feeling low down
And when I come to her when the sun goes down
She take away my trouble take away my grief
Take away my heartache, I go right to sleep!

(Chorus:)
She give me love love love love Crazy Love!
She give me love love love love Crazy Love!

(Bridge:)
Yes I need her in the daytime!
Yes I need her in the night
Yes I want to throw my arms around her
Kiss her hug her kiss her hug her tight

And when I’m returning from so far away
She gives me some sweet lovin brightens up my day
Yes it makes me righteous, yes it makes me whole
Yes it makes me mellow down into my soul!

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Echidna (Mark Urso)

I said fa-eva (chorus)
What I meant was ne-va
I shoulda letcha suffa
You turned into a terra

Wishy washy wisha
You were a very good kissa
Why doncha treat me betta
I’ll write it in a letta

(chorus)

Or should I even botha
Don’t mess up yer mascara
They called it the last suppa
The mother of Chimera

(chorus)

— instrumental —

So when ya gonna lissen
A woman on a mission
I shoulda letcha suffa
You turned into a terra

Why do I even botha
It’s like I neva metcha
I watch the water glisten
She didn’t even lissen

(chorus)

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New Day (Mark Urso)

New way! It’s a new day!
Livin’ in the new day … Livin’ in a new way!
Livin’ in the new day … In a new way!
Livin’ in the new day … Comin’ around with a new way!

All around up and down and in between!
We’re gonna have a sweet daydream!
All around and in between
Up and down or so it seems!

In the new day! … Stayin’ in the new day!
If I had my way! … Come on this way!
I wanna tell you, I know! … I know a new way!
C’mon baby my way! (I ain’t afraid to say! – one, two!)

I’m lookin’ for somebody! … to come and play!
And that’s not everything that … I got to say!
Somebody not afraid … to let me be who I’m gonna be!
‘Cause I don’t know who that is yet … and I wanna see!

(All around-Up and down-and in between!)

I’m lookin’ for somebody … who’s grateful for what she has
A girl who’s not afraid to win … or take a compliment!
Somebody not worried … ‘bout how she’s gonna fit in
‘Cause you gotta do your thing too …
And I’m gonna be right here for you!

Wigglin’ and jigglin! … To the sweet night ocean spray!
I see ya over there sugar!… I’m gonna dance around your way!
I’m lookin’ for somebody … and y’know I’m here to stay!
Let me tell you everybody … ‘bout this beautiful brand new day!

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Share The Moon (Mark Urso)

Standing too close to the edge of the stage
Creature of beauty, drama and rage
You kick me when I’m down, like you’re kickin’ a tire
I can tell you want to kiss me, but you’re breathin’ fire!

I don’t wanna share my moon with you!
It’s okay, for most other animals in the zoo
But I wish a black sky, would be cast over you
When I catch sight of my moon’s sultry glow

You’re a dragon you know I just found out too late!
Night time it no longer feels so great …
Me I’m runnin’ so fast I need roller skates!
To go see my lawyer; gonna set up a case!

You’ll regret it I promise; you’ll find out too soon
My lawyer will put an end to this swoon
It’ll be clear sailing in the courtroom
Justice prevail! All I want is the moon!

I don’t wanna share my moon with you!
Want something to gaze at? Go get a tattoo!
A lifetime of overcast nights for you
Enough with your wicked moonlight voodoo!

It’s mine, all mine, keep your greedy eyes
Out of my particular section of sky!
You and your vindictive dragon paws
Are violating my free sky laws!

I don’t wanna share my moon with you!
You’d be better off if you just withdrew
I’m not gonna start tryin’ to understand you!
Miles away … and you ruin the view!

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Friends (Urso/Raimondo)
(Inspired by South Park Episode 199)

I love myself I love myself (repeat 4X)

I love myself, I want you to love me
Or at least can you FB me

My friends you know who you are
Makin’ me feel like a shining star
My fireflies in a mason jar
It’s better than a coffee bar

Go on Facebook once a day
Gotta see what ya gotta say
Pork chop for dinner, nice applesauce too
That nerdy guy Kip still hangin’ wit choo?

My daddy wants to friend me
And grammy’s pissed off too
And who’s this new girl that I see?
I thought you loved me true!

I can’t sign in, I can’t sign out!
I can’t even delete my account!
All I want’s a million friends
Make me happy ‘till the end!

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