"Down in Ohio, I found a good friend in Bob Stewart, the leader of the Bob Stewart Band, and Professor in the Scripps School of Journalism. During my first summer in Athens, I took his course in web journalism. Summer courses are almost always a bit more relaxed and Bob, being the always-relaxed guy that he is, after finding out that I was a musician, asked me to listen to a song he'd written, sung, played, & recorded. I, in turn, brought him to this page, and that pretty much began our musical association. :) The original band was Bob, myself, a really good harmonica blower named Dr. Scott Schell and lead guitar master Elliot Abrahms, a Professor of Anthropology at OU. We've would play here and there, and rehearse just about every week. For this recording, our group had played an open mic to prepare for our big March 5th headline gig at the Donkey. We performed four songs, of which three came out ok on my mini-disc recorder. This is the best of the three, it's an old Peter, Paul and Mary song, with our unique take on it harmonically. For having a novice sound engineer on the board, it didn't turn out half bad."
Pearl of the Quarter
"After performing this song with Elliot Abrahms as a warm-up for the Bob Stewart Band, Bob agreed to add it to the band's roster. The opening act version was enjoyable, but doing it with the full band was just heaven, and we continued to press upon Elliot to sing harmony for this song. He has a great voice, he's just shy about using it. Fortunately, he's not shy about playing his guitar. He is, hands-down, the most amazing guitarist I've ever worked with, and his contributions are a major part of why this song got added to the band's roster.
I Got This Feelin'
"Of the songs that Bob asked me to step up and take lead on, this is my favorite. I also get a thrill every time I hear him say that he asked me to sing it because I sound like a blues singer. I know that it's a little foolish, but his endorsement made singing that song as satisfying as such an experience could be. Susan was also wonderful, her harmonies blending in so nicely that you'd think it was actually written as a duet and I was telling her not to sing at times (I wasn't, of course).
"Bob asked me at one point if I had any original music I wanted to add to the mix. I wasn't confident enough (and I'm still not) to bring forward any of the solo stuff I've done, but then I remembered the Nevermoor song, and let him hear "Ice." He liked it, and we started working on it. The first time we played it in public it didn't go so well, but this time, we absolutely nailed it. It's a bit faster than the Nevermoor version, and it has a little more of a punchy blues feel to it, but I think it works, and Bob liked it that way.
Blues is Just a Bad Dream
"This song, one of Bob's favorite James Taylor covers, we broke into three parts, with Bob singing the first verse, Susan the second, and me the third. Of all the songs I sang with the group, this one I can actually allow myself the conceit that I sounded like a real blues singer, and because of that it has a very special place in my heart.
"I'll admit, this one's included here simply because A) it rocks, and B) it's the only time you'll ever hear a recording with me on percussion. I don't sing, no one does, but I'm the dominant percussion you'll hear, and I was quite proud of myself for actually daring to try a different role with the band. It was the only song I did percussion for.