Well, it’s been two days since the official release of Out of Context: The Songs of Michael Patrick Walker. I would’ve blogged about this on the actual day, but it’s taken me 48 hours to recover from the amazing release concert at Birdland! I was definitely stressed out putting the show together – there were a lot of moving parts to manage and I had to handle pretty much all of them! But, in the end, it was a huge success, it was all worth it and a fantastic crowd was on hand to help celebrate the release.
I’ve performed at Birdland a number of times over the last few years – but always as a part of somebody else’s show and almost never with a show that had even one song that I wrote in it. So to suddenly find myself on stage doing my own show of all my own material – and hosting and playing piano for it – was a big old jump in the deep end of the pool.
It was made even better by being on stage with a group of amazing musicians and singers – all there to make me look better than I could ever look on my own! I have to say a huge thank you to the singers who sang their hearts (and lungs!) out for me – Andy Karl, Betsy Wolfe, Jim Stanek, Kenita Miller, Julie Foldesi, Noah Galvin, Peter Friedman, John Tartaglia, Andy Mientus and Lauren Kennedy.
And an equally huge thank you to the musicians who played every song with artistry and skill – Claudia Chopek, Clay Ruede, Mary Ann McSweeney, Brian Koonin and Michael Croiter. And an extra special thank you to Michael Croiter and Yellow Sound Label for having faith in me and the album and being so amazing at every step of the process from day one. I’m honored to have the album released on the Michael’s and Bill Sherman’s label.
While the Birdland show was a huge project for the last month or so, it would not have happened without the album so I also need to thank the wonderful people who sang my songs on the CD itself – Anne L. Nathan, Kate Wetherhead, Andy Karl, Lisa Howard, Telly Leung, Michael Arden, Andy Mientus, Kelli O’Hara, Noah Galvin, Jim Stanek, Rachel York, Peter Friedman, Kerry O’Malley, Natalie Venetia Belcon and Cheyenne Jackson.
Finishing the album and doing the launch concert gives me a wonderful sense of accomplishment, but it’s also just the finish line on one project, so as much as I’d like to relax and kick back, it’s on to the next thing. Right now, I’m in Costa Mesa, CA for a few days performing with Chita, then it’s back home to NYC for the opening night of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the premiere of my brand new Rockette number – I’ll be talking about that in an upcoming blog post.