Long Way Out Wednesday 4: Pet Me

“Pet Greetings from the desert! The free track for this week is “Pet Me.” I’m currently in Kingman, Arizona, made famous by the highway and song “Route 66,” staying with three adorable rescue pets. The newest addition to the family is a majestic feline called Jin-Jin—a possible Maine Coon named for his two golden eyes (jīn, or , means “gold” in Mandarin). His kind owners saved him from their neighbors who threatened to kill him by stoning. He’s definitely got a wild streak to him, but it’s clear that now that he’s being given love, he’s quite capable of loving back.

“Pet Me” is from the point of view of a cat who longs for such kind owners, but still wants to keep a sense of her independence. It’s among the oldest songs on The Long Way Out—in fact, I originally wrote it on the guitar, but later transferred it to the harp. Now, after so many years of playing it on the harp, I don’t remember how to play it on the guitar anymore!

Snatch up “Pet Me” for free while you can! It will be free for the next seven days. Enjoy this tiptoe-jazz-pop number with harp by yours truly and cello by Valerie Thompson. Be sure to tell all the cat-lovers you know!

Long Way Out Wednesday 3: Oh, Aunt Clara!

Lily of the Valley This week’s free track is “Oh, Aunt Clara!” By the time the week is out, I will have been to Las Vegas for the first time. With such a showbiz-oriented city on my horizon this week, I thought I would give a nod to my most showbiz-y song on The Long Way Out.

This song is about my great-great-grandmother’s sister, Clara, who was a vaudeville and burlesque performer in the New York/New Jersey area in the 1930s and ‘40s. Although I never got to meet her, I’ve heard so many stories about her from my grandmother and other relatives that I feel I almost know her. She was quite a character in the family, and was known for being very religiously devoted but also extremely foul-mouthed (and hence, this song contains the album’s only f-bomb). Her signature number in vaudeville was the song “Ja-Da,” which I sing a portion of as an introduction to the song.

“Oh, Aunt Clara!” is made fabulous by many musicians, including Raky Sastri on drums, Sean Peters on trumpet, and Brendan Cooney playing slide piano for the excerpt of “Ja-Da.” This is by far the liveliest track on the album, so grab it while you can—it’s free through next Tuesday!

Long Way Out Wednesday 2: Lily of the Valley

Long Way Out WednesdaysI'm going with “Lily of the Valley” for this week’s Long Way Out Wednesday track. I’m beginning to feel a little wistful that summer’s days are numbered, and am trying to savor the warm, flower-friendly weather. Hence, my choice of song is about a flower.
Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is the birth flower for the month of May. When I sing this song, I imagine being in a rocking chair on the porch of a cabin in the Appalachian Mountains. I hope someday to visit there and do just that.

“Lily of the Valley” is free for the next seven days! It is also made marvelous by the fiddly cello-playing of Valerie Thompson. Have a listen, close your eyes, and enjoy a few quiet moments as summer begins to wane.

Long Way Out Wednesday 1: Ursa Minor

Long Way Out WednesdaysThis week’s free track is “Ursa Minor.” I decided to go with this song because of the Perseid meteor shower, which will peak during the course of this week. Ursa Minor and Perseus are practically constellation neighbors, at least from our earthly vantage point, so I’m in a stargazing mood.

“Ursa Minor” is the most recently written of all the songs on The Long Way Out. It was originally commissioned by the fantastic folks who run The Encyclopedia Show: Somerville, which is a variety show which endeavors to present information on a given topic through performances by artists of all kinds. A diligent fact-checker makes sure that the information presented is indeed true. I was asked to be a part of the first Encyclopedia Show in Somerville (there are Encyclopedia Shows in different cities throughout the country), and the topic of that show was bears. I was assigned the subtopic of Ursa Minor, which I was grateful to use as a point of inspiration.

For the next seven days, you can download “Ursa Minor” for free here. It’s a great song for anyone working up the courage to follow the compass in his or her heart or to make a big life change. Please enjoy, and send your friends the link as well!