Tag Archives | Birdland
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.
Well, things are really rolling now! The physical CDs arrived yesterday and, while I’ve been looking forward to that moment for months, I was surprised how holding one in my hand actually hit me. I’ve seen and heard everything about the CD a million times, so none of it is “new” to me, but there’s something different about it actually existing in its final form that is very, very cool!
The press stuff is starting to ramp up both for the Birdland concert I’m doing on Monday November 7th at 7pm and for the release of the actual album the next day. I’ve been doing some interviews which and polishing the orchestrations for the concert and it’s coming down the line like a freight train, so we better be ready! I’ve mentioned the amazing people singing on the album and doing he concert before, but the here is the track list for the CD:
1. All About Me – Anne L. Nathan
2. Weird Little Man – Kate Wetherhead
3. Never Added Up – Andy Karl
4. Irene – Lisa Howard
5. Different Kind of Man – Telly Leung and Michael Arden
6. More – Andy Mientus
7. Moonflower – Kelli O’Hara
8. Sometimes – Noah Galvin
9. Finding Me – Jim Stanek
10. Pour Poor Me – Rachel York
11. The Wall – Peter Friedman
12. Sometimes – Kerry O’Malley and Natalie Venetia Belcon
13. I Believe – Cheyenne Jackson
For the concert, Andy Karl, Peter Friedman, Andy Mientus, Jim Stanek and Noah Galvin will be there from the album as well as Ann Harada, Kenita Miller, Julie Foldesi, Betsy Wolfe, Lauren Kennedy, John Tartaglia and Tyler Maynard. I’ll be playing piano with Michael Croiter on drums, Brian Koonin on guitar, Mary Ann McSweeney on bass, Claudia Chopek on violin and Clay Ruede on cello.
You can’t hear the CD quite yet, but if you go to amazon.com you can hear snippets and whet your appetite for the full album. And come on down to Birdland (315 West 44th Street, NYC) this coming Monday November 7th and be the first to hear it all and get your own copy of Out of Context: The Songs of…well, me!
It’s been far too long since I’ve updated things here – especially with all of the things I’ve been up to since my last post. Where to start, where to start…? How about here – I’ve spent much of the spring and summer planning for, recording and completing my first album, Out of Context: The Songs of Michael Patrick Walker. It’s a collection of thirteen songs, pulled out of context from the shows they were written for and sung by an incredible group of Broadway singers. Make no mistake, putting together an album like this is a lot of work – both for me and the other people involved – but it’s also a lot of fun to do!
Picking which songs to include, figuring out who best to sing them, arranging and orchestrating the songs, recording the band, the vocals, the overdubs, figuring out the cover art, mixing, re-mixing, etc, etc and on and on! It’s a lot of work but I couldn’t be happier with how it’s all come out and I can’t wait for everybody to hear the finished product. The official release date is Tuesday November 8th, 2011 and the album is being released on the Yellow Sound Label. It will be available on Amazon.com and iTunes as well as out of the trunk of my car…if had a car.
The album itself features a few songs from The Distant Bells, a few songs from my trunk, a song from being theo and maybe even a re-imagined version of an old favorite. I’ll be talking alot about the album in the coming weeks but for now I want to share two things with you all. First, the cover which hasn’t been widely released yet – and here it is: