DONUTS & COFFEE
by Kermit Lynch
Is there something unsavory about a wine merchant hawking his music to his clients? The question has occurred to me. They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, but I would argue that wine and music make great bedmates. We know that Mozart and Beethoven composed at times with a glass of wine within reach. And you wine lovers better be careful ignoring my music. What if I get demoralized and it affects my nose?
Donuts & Coffee is my fourth CD, the third to be recorded in Nashville with a core of master musicians led by drummer/producer Ricky Fataar. It opens with one of my favorite Muddy Waters songs, “Honey Bee,” also known as “Sail On.” Great bottleneck guitar by Rick Vito. Let’s buzz!
Fataar and I wrote cut two, “Frustration.” He came up with the riff; I contributed the words and melody. Here’s verse two:
Maybe it’s for the better if I just walk away,
’Cause I’m under the weather on your rainy days,
I need an umbrella, I gotta tell ya, when you’re acting crazy.
At the end, the band kept jamming and I let ’em jam.
Elvis lodged “Playing for Keeps” in my brain way back in 1956. I tried to unearth the original version—where did Presley hear it before he elvis-ized it?—but couldn’t find anything. So I imagined the original version and recorded that.
“She Thinks I Still Care” has been covered by hundreds—mostly country singers. George Jones nails it, for example. Our version might get me kicked out of the Country Music Hall of Fame—if I were in it.
After Take Five, the next jazz record I owned was My Fair Lady with Shelly Manne, André Previn, and Leroy Vinnegar. “On the Street Where You Live” by Lerner and Loewe expressed the feeling I had whenever I walked by Marci Sears’ house in San Luis Obispo. She later turned into my first wife. Here’s hoping you experience the same feeling:
That overpowering feeling
That any second you may suddenly appear
Piano played by the great Michael Omartian. Oo la la!
And my version of “Ring of Fire”? So far, at least, my version of Johnny Cash’s classic has led to no invitation from the Grand Ol’ Opry. You’ll hear why.
Way back when, Richard Olney would inebriate me with old Yquem and Romanée Conti followed by Billy Holiday discs. I’m sure that my song “Donuts & Coffee” is a result of those soirées.
“Any Day Now” was written by Burt Bacharach, and Elvis put the song on the charts. He sang it with such passion—some believe it was because when his wife Priscilla was leaving him for her karate teacher, he sang straight from his broken heart.
“In My Solitude” is a classic blues song from Duke Ellington—simple, deep, a song with a whole lotta soul. So many great singers have recorded it. Do I dare? I asked myself. But we recorded it and ended up liking the results. There are no interpretive fireworks, no diva moments—we just let the words and music speak for themselves.
The final cut is “Sunset Avenue.” Maybe this one falls into the rock category? There is, however, that middle section, and I don’t know where you file that. I started writing the song in the sixties when I was struggling to buy a harmonica, a jug of red, and food for my cat, all in the same week. I call it Sunset instead of Telegraph Avenue, because I don’t want anyone to think of today’s Telegraph Avenue. Back then it was a bohemian paradise, and everyone was out at sunset, it seemed, strolling the Ave.
The CD’s official release is October 5, but right now winos with ears can obtain it right here for only $6.95. That’s right, drinking fine wine can actually reap financial rewards! NO WINE PURCHASE NECESSARY. Listen to it sober for all I care. We can mail it to you too, but, sorry, no case discount this time.