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Imagined: John Lennon Song Project is inspiring PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joyce Grondin   
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 21:35

 

When I was working on the Live Maine Music Web site a few months ago, I came across a calendar event for Imagined: The John Lennon Song Project, which was held in October at the Chocolate Church in Bath. It looked like a really interesting show put together in honor of John Lennon, who would have turned 70 on Oct. 9, 2010, if he had not been killed 30 years ago.

 

Unfortunately, I had a lot going on so I couldn’t make it that evening. I noticed the show was touring the Northeast – Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Boston, Maine, etc… and thought it must be pretty darn good.

 

I got lucky because the show returned to Maine. And this time, there was no way I was going to miss it. On Saturday, Nov. 27, my friends Melanie and Dwain joined me on a trip to One Longfellow Square in Portland – nice venue by the way - to take in songs written by John Lennon, which were arranged by top-notch musicians heard around the Northeast circut for many years - Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step and Tom Dean of Devonsquare.

 

I wholeheartedly believe that John would be proud of the fabulous job these two musicians did in “re-imagining” his songs. The acoustic guitar-playing was fantastic and the three-part harmonies were beautiful, not to mention the classical guitar intertwined in the numbers, played by Robby Coffin of Gardiner; the beautiful sounds of the cello performed by Jordan Jancz; wonderful vocals by Alana MacDonald, also of Devonsquare; and Paul Guzzone on bass. We also had the opportunity to hear Robby Coffin’s teen daughter, Maggie, sing a rendition of “Revolution.” She has a wonderful voice.

 

I wondered how this project came about and called Tom Dean for the background. It was really quite simple:  It was done out of sheer inspiration. Rex called Tom about a year-and-a-half ago, saying that he wanted to put an acoustic performance together for John’s birthday. The two musicians met in 1979 and have been friends since. They’ve written songs and worked together on many projects throughout the years.

 

Tom said they met at his house in New Hampshire and talked about it, and the following week they went in the studio. Because Rex lives in New York City, they each did their own creations at home and sent ideas back and forth through e-mail, phone, etc. They ended up recording the CD in a little less than a year.

 “We had an incredible catalog of songs. We really wanted it to be good and do justice without copying them,” Tom said. “It was humbling. We did them the way we felt them as though we had written them.”

 

 

Among the songs performed are “I’ll Get You/Imagine,” “Come Together/I am The Walrus,” (wonderfully done, by the way), and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away/Norwegian Wood.”

The only song that was not a John Lennon song was one written by Rex, called "Johnny's An Angel," after John lost his life to someone with a gun.

 

It wasn’t feasible for him to travel to Portland that night, but Gary Schreiner plays accordion and chromatic harmonica on a few songs on the CD, including “Julia.” Jeff Pevar plays fretless bass, dobro and mandolin on “Come Together/I Am The Walrus,” on the CD.

 

We also had the opportunity to listen to Alana sing “In My Life,” which is on the CD and “Beautiful Boy” from Lennon’s Double Fantasy album – both very well done.

 

They’ve got a few performances coming up in the next couple of weeks and they’ll take a break for six or so weeks and start touring again.

 

Tom said they’ll continue touring as long as the crowds keep coming.

“The shows have been getting better and better. This could go on for a while,” he said.

 

Those of you who haven’t had the chance to make it to a show or want to learn more about it, can check out the web site: www.johnlennonsongproject.com

 

I give these guys an A+ for there work and recommend anyone go see them, if the opportunity should present itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 03 December 2010 05:40
 
 
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