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Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band Release New Album “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience”

Book 4. Scott Fagan and The  MAAC Island Band, Release New Album “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience” www.10greatsongsinsearchofanaudience.com

That’s the headline, here’s the story…These songs (and many other songs of mine) have not found their audiences because, after all is said and done, I have not been successful at promoting myself  to the point where audiences have heard these songs and accepted or rejected them.  Complexly, It’s simply that simple.

For one reason and another I have always been inhibited about promoting myself. At this point that is unlikely to change. I am really relieved for my son Stephin (Merritt) that he has Claudia (Gonson) to help  him with that, because if  left entirely to the elements for self promotion that he inherited from his dear mudder dear and his fine pater fer’tater, the boy might be raising Chihuahuas. Not unlike his Grand Father the Great Frankie “Tic Tac Toe Trio” Galvin, who couldn’t promote himself either, and wound up in a skeeter riddled rust bucket trailer in “El Swampo De Los  Everglades” with little Beau “The Father Abraham of Chihuahuas”, and Beau’s multiple wifeys and Babble barking  nations of offspring.

So the point is.. this release, this album, is about the songs and not the dude that yodels ’em.  That is why it is titled as it is and why it is a mix of sessions here, there and everywhere. The trick is to get the songs to the people that will love them or leave them alone. Songs are born to have a life (and relationships) of their own, but they have to get out there in order for that to occur. My job (after  wrassling the thing out of the ether)  is to get the song heard by whatever means possible. I love these songs and have spent many years trying to get them to you. I’m going to try my very best to promote them. I sincerely hope they find you this time. That’s the story Morning Glory.

P.S. Oh yes!  Please go and give them a listen, and if you like one or more, then please pass them on www.10greatsongsinsearchofanaudience.com   Thank you, Scott Fagan 2012

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Book 4. “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience”

March 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve  just started a kickstarter project called  “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience” which is the title of the new album that ! (along with the MAAC Island Band)  am trying to finish up (we have four more tunes to go) If you have enjoyed my posts and identify at all with my passions and proclivities, then please by all means do what you can to support the project.

Just go to www.kickstarter.com and look for 10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience and follow their directions!

I think that this could be the break through album (this is not to say that I don’t enjoy being your very own secret artist and that I’m anxious to abandon you in favor of  universal  accolades, pieces of eight, the lusty waterfront wenches of  Trader Dan’s, money in the bank, clean clothes, a new set of guitar strings and something to eat) rather it  means I’d very much like to have something tangible to leave for my long sufferin’ little ones who have heard their dear father dear described, damned  and dismissed as everything but a success.

Ah well…Yes indeed, please do go and listen/see what these “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience” are all about and whether or not you like im’.

Here is our most recent recording from the album “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience”

  “Sure Has Been Good Loving You Baby”

Book 4. Continued…Tales of The Second Coming.5 And Book 1. Isla Grande .4

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Book 4. Continued…Tales of The Second Coming .5

I am in the muddle of, ah…middle of, preparing for three very important occasions, and the April 15 tax deadline.

First, Sula’s One Hundred and Eighth Birthday, (the 22nd of April).

Second, The release of my new CD “The Virgin Islands Songs, The Musical. In Concert” Containing my new single “Surrender To The Sun” and

Third, A benefit Concert for COAST (The Council On Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, St. Thomas, St John) on April 25th at French Man’s Reef in St. Thomas, and…

 yes, I filed online, just in the nickel of dime.

 We have completed the production elements of “The Virgin islands Songs, The Musical, In Concert” and are now snaggled up in the manufacturing process.

Shari Brandt, Digitaldave (both from MAAC, the collective that I am involved with here in the states) and I spent much time on the cover last evening and that element looks great.  Shari had a photo of a “Golden Sky” that she took in the Virgin Islands.

The photograph is wonderfully representative of lines from “The Virgin Islands Song” 

The Virgin.Islands Song

 Have you ever been, to a Virgin Island?

If you answer no, come let’s go come let’s go

Have you ever seen what Virgin Islands mean?

If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

 In this world of gray on gray

I know where the rainbow day

Is born upon the golden sunrise

That scatters the stars turning diamonds to sky

Over Amalie… an emerald in the sea

Her perfumed mystery, bold as love longs to be.

 Have you ever seen what Virgin Islands mean?

If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

 In this world of grey on grey

I know where the rainbow day

Is born upon the golden sunrise

That scatters the stars turning diamonds to sky

Over sisters three… like emeralds in the sea

Their people’s history, bold as love, wild and free.

 Have you ever been, to a Virgin Island?

If you answer no, come let’s go come let’s go

Have you ever seen what Virgin Islands mean?

If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

If you answer no, come let’s go, come let’s go…

 And our upcoming single “Surrender To The Sun”.

 Surrender To The Sun

 Go down by the sea, surrender to the sun

Find the one you used to be, forget what time has done

 Go down by the sea and heal your heart,

Too many memories are tearing you apart

 Your eyes show you’re tired so

Of love of lose or win

Old friends know you’ve got to go

And let your heart begin again.

 Instrumental

 Your eyes show you’re tired so

Of love of lose or win

Old friends know you’ve got to go

And let your heart begin again.

 Go down by the sea and heal your heart,

Too many memories are tearing you apart

 Go down by the sea, surrender to the sun

Find the one you used to be, forget what time has done

 Go down by the sea and heal your heart,

Too many memories are tearing you apart,

They’re tearing you apart…

 We need to work quickly as I am scheduled to travel back to St. Thomas on Tuesday the 20th of April, for Sula’s Birthday Party on the 24th and the Benefit Concert at French Mans Reef on the 25th. I would like to have at least fifty copies of the new CD to take along. The CD is a double album so we are actually burning and printing 100 discs to make 50 copies.

The package looks great (Thanks to Shari Brandt of MAAC) the production quality is great (thanks to Digital Dave of MAAC) and the content is interesting and unusual.

(The printing and burning is being done as I write, by John E. a once well-known New York City recording engineer who is also a part of the exciting MAAC collective)

In terms of content, the CD contains what I believe to be a selection of good and appropriate “Virgin Island Songs” (of which there could have been three times as many) poetry, and lots of what we call (down in the Islands) “schupidness” aka (in the USA), as “humor”. I think that folks will find it interesting, amusing, and worth their while.

 This is our first co-production with MAAC (The Middletown Area Arts Collective) and this afternoon the media committee is meeting to discuss and create an action plan for getting the product (most especially the single “Surrender To The Sun” to the public. We do believe that there is an audience for this song and this recording of it, and the trick is how to get the recording to its audience. Specifically,

1. How to get exposure for the recording.

2. How to make the recording available to those people who would like to have it

3. How to collect sufficient pennies, nickels, dimes and dollars from sales of the recording to be able to create more recordings…

We think that this recording is close to the perfect one to help us develop and establish a promotion and distribution (and collection?) process that we will be able to utilize for future products.

 Of course we have no freakin’ “mowker balowker” (moolah boolah) (At last report it took an investment of $250,000 to get a hit) to pursue the traditional or established promotion and distribution processes. Which includes printing thousands of promotional copies and shipping them to radio stations, hiring an “independent record promotions person” who would “get our release to the top of the pile” hiring a publicist to get us as much  “press” as needed, shipping copies to and getting the interest and attention of ”reviewers” inclined to “rave or even rant” about our humble offering, and mounting a “Promotional Tour” to get exposure and support for the release” so, we have to uncover and discover new ways to achieve our goal. Which is in a word,.. ah six words, “To make this record a hit”.

We are certainly interested to hear your ideas and to engage your help in this. Please write to me at scott@lilfishrecords.com with your thoughts, and suggestions. I (and we) thank you very much.

P.S someone is saying “Scott you’ve got to bribe folks! Urging me to offer “half a bag of Hershey’s Kisses as a grand prize” Continued…

 Book 1. Isla Grande .4

I walk right up to it and stop and stare almost every day. The house on South Catherine, it was my sister Gale’s home. We were here together loving each other as much as a brother and sister can. What fun we had rambling through the house shouting or mumbling silliness in English, Spanish and Calypso, in and out of yesterday, today and tomorrow. (incidentally, that’s the fun of being a “grown up” you get to  shout and laugh and yell as loud and as often as you want to, and turn the music way up high).

Who in the world could have imagined that Gale would have to split? Not to California, not to Florida, but completely. Clean gone outta here, off the Earth…Not here there or anywhere, and not back tomorrow either. Gone gone gone. It’s unbelievable.

So, I walk right up to the house and stop. Almost every day. I just can’t believe she’s gone.

 She would have loved “The Virgin Islands Songs, The Musical”,  The MAAC Collective (right here in her little town, Middletown,) and her brudder bonehead’s new recording of “Surrender To The Sun”.  After all, she was the one. She was the one that first heard the whispers in the wind, that realized a new kind of music was being birthed, one that she and her little brother Bonehead, belonged to, and were born to be part of.

It was the beginning of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Bill Haley and The Comets, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Elvis Presley,  The Platters, The Moon glows, The Flamingos, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, their music, the idea that their music was OUR music, that spoke, that sang our freedom became our strength, the sweet salve, solace and succor for the soul, that we, that Gale and I, in that time and in our place, so desperately needed. Continued…

Book 4. Concert Review From the Artists Point of View, Continued…

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Book 4. Concert Review From the Artists Point of View, Continued…

 Did I say no hanky panky at all? Well perhaps I’d better re-examine that policy. Because early “come le we goers” are arriving like crazy and they each seem to have the same idea as the first early bird. Apparently numbers of ladies have heard one or another of my recordings on the radio during the promotional blitz of this past week, and have confused me with Engelbert Humperdinck or something. Ladies  are  batting their eyes  and asking if I have any CD’s for sale and before you know it, the sound check is no more, and I am signing CD’s instead. Now, in my view, all things considered, this is not a bad start.

 The trick will be to keep the whole thing from going down hill from this point on…

Here come a number of ladies from the class of “64” who (although I did not graduate from high school) have claimed me as a member because we were classmates up to the point that I left High School, went to New York, and signed with Doc Pomus and Columbia Records.

 I was just telling the great Marcellus (Tutsie’s son and volunteer sound man for the evening) that I have to get a new pair of glasses because recently everyone beyond the second row has fuzz where their faces used to be. When folks that I know or knew, show up. some, (as people often do, ) start with “whats my name? do you remember me?” If you remember me, then whats my name?” The last thing I want to say is “no, I’m sorry I don’t because in reality, I half remember everyone. But the deeper truth is, a number of these ladies look exactly like the irate parents that used to show up at school, raising triple heck about the science teacher who was regularly found passed out at the Normandy Bar at 2:30 in the afternoon when in fact he was supposed to be in the classroom tryin’ to larn us sumpin’.

 It’s extraordinary to see the close camaraderie that still exists between these school girl lady girls, that they want me to be a part of what they share is exciting and really touching for me. However, I do wish that they had squeezed me as closely and for as long, when we were sixteen. But that’s another story.

 The place is filling up and it’s  just past five thirty, the show is scheduled to start at six. The Director of the Museum says to me, “Let’s get started” I say wait! Wait! Lee Carl is coming to film us, starting at six, and he isn’t here yet. We are spared an adrenalin fueled discussion because just then Lee pulls into the loading zone with his equipment.

 We are now moments away from face the freakin’ music and dance time (which, on the chance that it hasn’t occurred to you, is certainly among the most stressful series of moments imaginable, moments in which the question “what in the flaming hell am I doing here”  presents repeatedly, demanding an answer. Fortunately, “What am I doing here? What am I doing here? Leads nicely into “I’ll show you what I’m doing here! Oh Yeah? I’ll show you what I’m doing here! Which is a grand attitude to have when you suddenly find yourself propelled towards and then all alone at Center Stage.

In this case they gave me a fine hand just for showing up, which is again, a pretty good start. A start which in the past might have led to “well I guess I showed them” I’m outta here, (in spite of the fact that leaving at that point might have been just a little bit premature.)

 Traditionally, there has (from time to time) been a little difficulty in getting me (or me getting my self) actually onto the stage. A fine example might be the night in 1966, that Mort Shuman brought George Martin (arranger/producer of the Beatles) to see, hear and hopefully sign me, at “The Scene” in New York. Just before “Show Time” I broke a string and spent the next hour and a half chasing all over the City looking for a replacement string, rather than just doing the performance without the missing string. One can only imagine what the good man thought as he left after sitting there waiting for me for an hour and a half, and then again, what he might have said during the period in which the Beatles were considering my album “South Atlantic Blues” to be their first release on Apple Records. “Oy Say, (he might have said) this bloke’s a flukin’ flufferin” Idiot! Ay Wot!” (Just joking, I know that George Martin doesn’t really talk like that, however having only shaken his hand once just before I was to play for him, but ran away to play “find the string” instead, I don’t really know which words he would choose to use in describing yours truly, but I think we can agree that, in general, the sentiment would be about the same.

 And Ah yes, there were those occasions when in anticipation, too large a spill down the gullet, too many times in a row, may have led to yours truly making a staggering entrance from stage left and actually stumbling all the way across the stage and out the other side.

But not tonight….’cause I mean business…and here we go!

The Director has given me a nice intro, Tuts has asked me to do “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” before I start the program, and dedicate it to “Our Brothers and Sisters and all the lost souls in Haiti” it’s a beautiful song by a great writer and singer, Bobby Scott. I do a good and sincere rendition, hitting some nice notes and ending big. It warms the heart, and breaks the ice, and gets an appreciative response.

 We move into my script and first up is “Annalee”

I will (for the first time) be utilizing my own pre-recorded music tracks for four of the tunes, because I think they will be more effective that way. I have had all kinds of philosophical problems with the idea, but the overriding fact is, I want the audience to experience the songs as closely as possible to the way that I so carefully recorded them, and holding out for absolute purity has shown it’s self to be counter productive and in my case, absolutely silly.

 If you are offended by my use of my music tracks, I apologize, I am sincerely sorry. (please consider that this is a free concert, and I have no budget or bonaroos to rehearse and pay a band AND no band to play it for free AND that I have held out on this question for forty five years)  That said, what a  pleasure it is for me to sing against the music from “Annalee” and what an enthusiastic response it receives from the audience …

 Next is two little pieces of poetry “A Kindness Here And A Kindness There” and “Do You Like My Color, Like I like Yours” they are well received.

Then I throw on the battle-axe and slide into “SOON” the theme of my Rock Opera (which happens to be the first Musical ever written by a Virgin Islander to be produced on Broadway) “SOON” is a powerful and passionate song speaking a commitment to justice, brotherhood and equality, that is the direct product of my own Virgin Islands childhood. I still feel it, and sing it that way. The folks are excited and stimulated and let loose with enthusiastic applause.

 Off comes the guitar and I begin to read “The Girl With The Golden Skin”. The audience has never heard anything quite like it and they sit in anticipation waiting to see what will happen…zamo they erupt in laughter and  seem to quickly realize that this piece will be going back and forth between humor, poetic language and strong sentiment. It ends  with a truth about color ,often unspoken but true nevertheless. It gets a big hand… The people seem eager, for more, they like the songs and they like the poetry, so far so good!

I signal Marcel and he starts the track for the La Beiga Carosuel/Tutsie medley, a song that always gets ‘im regardless of who what when where and why. Tonight, its eliciting encouragement and whoops galore from the very start. When we get to the instrumental section, and I start to “wuk up” and shake my bum, they go a little wild, it’s wonderful.

We come back with a tender last verse and take it out in the joyous defiance that the song exemplifies. We get a rousing round of really enthusiastic applause. Next, is another spoken piece, “I Dreamed I Made A Record Called South Atlantic Blues” and then, on with the guitar and into the song “South Atlantic Blues”. This song has always been a unique and powerful experience for me as a writer and singer, it is now forty-five years old but (based on the content) it could have been written yesterday. It’s a pleasure to sing and play it, and hitting the high drama notes and the sweet dynamics passages is very satisfying for me, the audience seems to feel the same way and shows it.

That was the end of ACT l,

 I went straight into  the spoken introduction to ACT ll it’s called:

 “SOOKIES WESTERN JAMBOREE”

 “Some of you good people will remember that once upon a time we had one radio station in The Virgin Islands, WSTA.  A wonderful station that did it’s best to play something for everyone. This meant that we were all exposed to every kind of music.

Believing in music as I do, I believe that this wide exposure had a very positive effect On us all. Among the varieties that we enjoyed was good old Southern Gospel and what they called back then, Country and Western.

 At 3 O’clock in the afternoon the islands looked forward to a show hosted by a young Buckaroo from Frenchtown called “Sookiess Western Jamboree”. The show featured artists like the great Hank Williams, Gentleman Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Skeeter Davis and Patsy Cline and songs like “You’re Cheatin Heart” “Cold Cold Heart “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On” “He’ll Have To Go” and many many others.

 In those days as you know we here in The Virgin Islands had a number of our own “Home grown cowboys” young (and old) rough and ready hombres who worked and lived out in the  wild wild East, West, North and South sides, and rode their horses all over the place, and once a year, in the big Carnival Parades.

In addition to the working cowboys, there were a number of fellows in town who had perhaps been too strongly influenced by the Western Movies that played at The Apollo, The Alexander, and The Center Theater what seemed like every day and night of every week of every month of every year for many years running. These home-grown desperadoes, certainly considered themselves to be the real deal also, and as romantic a figure as any other cowpoke anywhere and they were.

 Anyway, as  noted elsewhere, I intended to grow up to be Gene Autry the singing Cowboy. So naturally I was very interested in learning how to “make up” songs like those that we heard, on Sookies Western Jamboree, in the movies and in the Saturday morning Children’s stories so kindly broadcast for us by WSTA.

 The next Virgin Islands song grew directly out of these parts of WSTA’s influence on our lives, an influence for which I will be eternally grateful.

So here we go. In remembrance of Sookie’s Western Jamboree and our very own Caribilly Cowboys. A little Caribilly Christmas Song for all the children in all of the warm weather places in the world, our very own “Sandy The Bluenosed Reindeer”

 (The audience remembered Sookies show and that wonderful time in our collective musical history right away and although they had never heard this spoken intro before, they actually began to echo my words as we went through it, and then gave a wonderfully warm reception to Sandy The Bluenosed Reindeer both before and after I sang it.

Can’t beat that.

This sweet momentum led us into “Captain Hookfoot”  an eight minute piece of spoken Calypso humor about a character I created called “Buckra De Paehae” and Pirate Treasure and Jumbies. (Buckra means poor white. Paehae means white man, in French Creole) It is written and delivered in Calypso (the language of my childhood, an idiom which lends its self wonderfully well to broad, exaggerated and colorful Island humor) Hookfoot was the biggest hit of the night so far. I said to my self “Wow, So far so good, now for Gods sake, don’t choke on a mosquito or something.” I knew the next tune “Where My Lover has Gone”  was pretty good, it’s been a hit for me for years. It’s a great tune to sing. On went the guitar and from the first C MAJ 7th we were in the groove.

Next up was another humorous spoken Calypso piece called “The Barracks Yad Bay And beach Club” about a (now gone) UPSTREET neighborhood  fondly remembered by all, and the building of the waterfront drive. The folks loved it and… we were on to “Surrender To The Sun” this song is a definite hit for me and this time I sang it against a most beautiful new track produced for me by Warren Schatz. It was absolutely beautiful. The audience could not have been more receptive and I did what I could to sing the heck out of it. Very beautiful, very romantic very much a success.

Next was another spoken Calypso piece called “The Inheritance Box” about the History of the Illustrious often blusterous “House of Buckra De Paehae”  it’s also quite funny. The people laughed it up and loved it too.

Which brought us to a poetic little piece called “The Reason We Sing” which doubled as an introduction to “The Virgin Islands Song”  which is the theme and the finale.

We utilized the  musical track featuring Jeff Medina’s beautiful guitar work., I sang the heck out of it and it was a smash. The applause was so effusive that I was frankly, a little embarrassed…I bid the good folks good night and told them truthfully that they had been my favorite audience of all time ever anywhere.  

We got back to signing CDs, and getting  to the Kalaloo.

All in all it was simply wonderful; I really do wish you were here.