“WHY CAN’T WE LIVE TOGETHER?”
I always loved the lyrics to this tune and hoped to record a new version at some point. As some of you know, I don’t usually record cover tunes and focus mainly on instrumental compositions in various genres, but I felt a need to send out this message to the world with this recording. If we could ask ourselves the same query, I hoped this might be a step in the right direction.
I had a scratch track created in 2020 and was going to record the whole thing myself, but then the pandemic shut down that idea, so I started working on different arrangements with different instruments. By 2021 I had a working track that I liked so I reached out to my Detroit pals, Larry Minne and Charles “Buddy” Smith, and said let’s do another record. I wanted to record 2 versions of this track, a vocal on the A side and an instrumental version on the B side. As fate would have it, I had some health issues over the year, so the recording was postponed until I could get up to Detroit in September ‘21 for a one-day session. I had sent up the working track earlier to these guys to listen to. I brought all my recording gear and setup..... so on recording day I had Larry on harmonica, while Buddy arrived with a special guest, Audra Kubat, another fine Detroit singer/songwriter...... I was planning on a 3-4 minute tune without any solos, just the lyrics.......so I rolled the track and then we started improvising and trying different combinations of voices and harmonica, I just kept all the tracks we did record and I added some additional vocals that could be used in the mix. I had an idea for an ethereal opening that would set the tone for the tune and grab the listener, so I asked Audra and Larry to just play off each other without using lyrics, imagining standing on a mesa overlooking giant canyons, with the voice and harmonica floating in space, Buddy pulled off a masterful vocal, and I just let the track roll at the end and let Buddy and Audra improvise an incredible scat. So we made it up as we went, and that is how I like to work to catch the spontaneity of the moment. I had a lot of material to take home and listen to, edit and put it into a song format that would work. I finished with a song that was something different than I had imagined and much, much more interesting ....... I hope you enjoy this 6 minute opus, we all worked on this recording to spread the message...... we have to learn to live together........RS