Monday, 1 May 2017

Sumer Is Icumen In

Well, "Sumer Is Icumen In," as last night's and this morning's screeching buzz of cicadas has unmistakably announced! No worries about tinnitus now! I won't hear it again until the myriads of various cicadas mate, lay their eggs, and die. Otherwise, one is entertained over breakfast with the Toucans amorous billing and the doves romantic cooing. With any luck, my wife will get the message!! Things are really heating up here though, temps up to a 105 the other day. We spent all afternoon yesterday up to our necks in the river splashing around with friends. It takes the sting out of the heat! Here's a pretty little Hummingbird that visits the veranda now and again. He's a White-necked Jacobin.

As to the birth of Bittersweet Dreams, however, we had gotten as far as bringing Sam Harris to the project. Without him, there would have been no project. But, halfway into the first day, we decided we needed help with using the multi-trac recorder. My former performance partner, Santos Dominguez, had been learning to use the machine before we disbanded Doktah D and Santos, so Sam and I piled into the truck and took off in search of Santos. Fortunately, he was home and agreed to come out and give us a crash course in Boss digital multi-trac recording. Once getting him there, we cajoled him into teaching Sam the keyboard part to Another One Barrel Morning. But then, of course, it was so much easier to just play it himself! And so he was on the team.

Santos learned keyboard from his dad and older brother playing by ear. He cut his teeth playing in church but, in truth, he just couldn't limit himself to that. The "Bwai" just couldn't keep his fingers off the keyboard! He's a quiet guy, so I don't know a lot about his early playing, but I first ran into him playing with Sam and the World Culture Band. A year or so after we both left that band, we got together and formed the duo Doktah D and Santos. We played about town for a few years before he decided to play on his own again. Santos is an amazing talent and both Sam and I were thrilled to have him join the team. Suddenly we had the potential for a serious musical effort. What you will hear on Bittersweet Dreams are my songs and Sam's rhythms and arrangements but the musical fireworks are 95% young Santos Dominguez. He's an "arty" guy, here's an "arty" picture of him. Kinda cute, huh?