MP3 Chris Alan and Stefan des Lauriers - Carousel Wind
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16 MP3 Songs
POP: Folky Pop, GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel
The Musical Spin on Carousel Wind: Five Days that Changed the Music World
Chris Alan and Stefan des Lauriers flew to Toronto to record Stefan's songs at Ken Whiteley's Casa Wroxton Studio. Produced by Ken Whiteley, the CD features Ken playing several instruments, such as acoustic guitar, string bass, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, organ and ukulele. Arriving on a Monday morning, the last week of May; they went straight to session and started with "Carousel Wind," the title track.
"Carousel Wind" is a song about a lonely girl who sat day after day daydreaming beside the carousel at the Garden State Plaza, in Paramus, New Jersey. The song features Chris doing vocals and piano, with Ken on acoustic guitar and bass. Here Chris's piano playing is somewhat reminiscent of Joni Mitchel's style on "River."
Chris would play a song once on the Wurlitzer baby grand, then Ken would suggest which instrument to accompany him on the "bed" track - such as guitar, accordion, autoharp or banjo. Most of the songs were recorded this way, in one or two takes, giving the CD a uniquely spontaneous quality. The ability of Ken and Chris to improvise on the fly reached its peak in the "dueling" banjo and piano ending of "Imaginary Mountain."
On a few songs Stefan taught his guitar arrangement to Ken, so that the song could be faithful to the way it was written. "Masterpiece of Heart" was recorded with just guitar and vocals, and "Tiger Swallowtail" was Chris accompanying himself; whipping up a piano interlude that suggested a butterfly's flight.
"Sweeping the Fog Away" is a tribute to Stefan's grandfather, a part time vaudeville entertainer who performed one last soft shoe routine for his grandchildren, just months before being hospitalized with cancer. Ken played Stefan's guitar arrangement on a Gibson L1 (as well as ukulele, string bass and brushes) to get an authentic sound. As with all but one song Chris did the vocals on this track
"One Too Many Rungs" is a funny song where Stefan sings and goes into a talking blues about his fictitious summer job as an assistant to the Lion Tamer. The song has Chris on piano and background vocals, with Ken on banjo, string bass and jaw harp.
By Wednesday sixteen songs had been recorded. On Thursday, Chris went sightseeing, while Stefan stayed on with Ken adding bass and other instruments. They finished with Chris and Ken doing background vocals Friday afternoon, taking a last minute cab to their flight back to New Jersey.
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