On Monday, Mark Janas invited me down to the Manhattan School of Music where I met with two wonderful students, Leona and David, who are going to be performing "How Do You Fall Back In Love" at an event next week. I am so thrilled and proud of them. I taped their rehearsal and though it's probably not fair to post much of it while they're still working out the kinks, they gave me permission. So, I'll be making a video soon.
Then, this morning, I met with Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell who is informally gathering material for a new album. After a nice "hello and howdy" over tea and coffee, we settled in to work. Unlike Devin, who preferred to jump right in and try out the songs, Stokes wanted to just listen. It was quite intimidating, but I didn't let it keep me from plunging right ahead. In fact, it was quite an honor.
I would play him a song, he would say he loved it and then, excitedly, say, "Play me another!" And another and another. I think we sat there for two hours going through song after song. I also printed out some sheet music and gave him a CD with all my demos. It was really thrilling.
Nothing guaranteed. I know every songwriter in New York would die to have a song sung by him, so I have no idea if anything of mine will make the cut. But just the fact that he was really so very moved by so many of them, and so anxious to hear everything, it was a songwriter fantasy come true.
The thing about my songs, everyone keeps telling me, is that they are contemporary, but they still tell full stories that can be useful for solo cabaret performances, band gigs or theatrical settings. In L.A., this scene is non-existent, so it feels amazing to be here and to have great singers telling me how much they respect my work. In L.A., songwriters get about as much respect as a buggy whip salesman.
I like it. I like it a lot.