Jiminy Crickets – it sure is cold here in New England! This month I am thinking about planning a trip to someplace warm. How about Jamaica? Come into the kitchen and warm up with some tea. I’ll sing you a song about it.
At The Mediator Stage, Photo: Donald Tassone
The world mourns the death of Pete Seeger. He died earlier this week of natural causes at the age of ninety four. It is difficult to overstate the affect he has had on the lives of millions of people. There have been many informative and eloquent articles published about Pete in the last two days – for example, this New York Times article. I plan to dedicate an upcoming issue of The Kitchen Musician to this man whom I have admired and consider a mentor ever since I was a child. For now, I will just acknowledge my deep sadness, and also the immense gratitude I have for his life. Godspeed Pete Seeger, “The Last Folksinger“.
This Month’s Music
To Jamaica! (the outdoor version)
© 2014 Tom Smith
I hope my New Hampshire friends know that this is all in fun. Lyrics in the comments section below.
It was 9 degrees in my back yard and the wind chill made it feel much colder. I set up the camera – tuned my guitar in the kitchen – stepped outside and pressed the record button. It didn’t matter that my guitar instantly went out of tune when it was hit by the frigid air. At this temperature, “good enough” takes on a different meaning than one would use in the studio. One take and then it was back into the kitchen for some hot chocolate.
As some of you know, my daughter Mally Smith is traveling on the adventure of a lifetime. Her successful crowdfunding project has funded her trip to Bali for advanced Yoga training. She starts that work in about two weeks. On the way there she has made a side trip to Ko Lantra, an island paradise off the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. Thanks to modern technology, she has been sending us occassional text messages and emails. As you can imagine we love hearing from her, but a couple of days ago it was 16 degrees Fahrenheit here in New England, and she sent the photo below to show us what she was looking at from her breakfast table.
Mally’s Breakfast View in Paradise
Not fair, Mally! Your father is wrestling with a Polar Vortex here – and losing. Dang it’s cold!
Last Friday I visited the Main Street Cafe in Groton, where I played this month’s song. The open mic there is hosted by Gayle Picard, Marc Feldman and Paula Feldman. For good reason, this open mic is known as “the coolest place on earth”. The musicians are all wonderful, the audience is attentive and enthusiastic, and the food is great. It is a rare and wonderful musical community. Marc kindly sent me a video of that performance. So here is the indoor version of “To Jamaica!” – same song but with ebullient audience participation.
Click the image above to play the video.
To Jamaica! (the indoor version)
© 2014 Tom Smith
Lyrics in the comments section below.
Wishing you all warmth and music shared with friends. See you in Jamaica!
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014: Groton, MA
Opening for Andrew Parker-Renga at Main Street Cafe.
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014: WATD-FM
Joining host Sandy Tannenbaum Streid for some music and conversation. Listen live on WATD-FM 95.9, or on the web at http://959watd.com/
Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014: Concord, MA
The Chanticleers share some Irish music as we approach Saint Patrick’s Day. I am joined by Kate Chadbourne, Oen Kennedy, Pat Kenneally, Robert Phillips and Linda Abrams.
Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014: Providence, RI
Songwriters in the Round. I am joining Steve Allain, Craig Sonnenfeld and Lizzie Davis for an evening of shared music.
Click to view details for all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-profit: Pine Street Inn
Winters like this can be deadly for the homeless. One organization that is working hard to serve the needs of our increasing numbers of homeless people is the Pine Street Inn.
“The mission of Pine Street Inn is to be a community of respect and hope for each guest it serves; to be a resource through which neighbors and friends can help to meet the basic needs of others; and to serve as a national leader in the fight to end homelessness. … Founded in 1969, Pine Street Inn serves more than 1,600 homeless individuals daily and 9,500 annually, providing the full spectrum of services to help men and women reach their highest level of independence and get back to a place they can call home.”
For more information or to get involved, please visit this link.