A message from Dennis Livingston…

Here’s a message from songwriter Dennis Livingston — be sure to visit his site. Some really great material here (as Beverly Cosham has already found).

Hello. I’d like to call your attention to several new songs posted at my website (dennislivingston.com) for your consideration, as well as other news from the past year.

First, now you can hear my songs and read their lyrics more easily than ever. At the top of my home page, a prominent link takes you to the Songs page, where you need only click on the Play This Song or Read The Lyrics buttons placed beneath each title to do just that. The performance information (length, key, range, “about” the song) I list for each piece is still there; if you want to read it, click on the title for the song.

Another more personal change is that last summer I joined the Board of Directors of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA), where I now handle the group’s website content and publicity. A bunch of new directors and strong leadership has reinvigorated BACA this year; if you’re curious what we’re up to, take a look at our newsletter, “Boston Cabaret,” available for download by anyone at the BACA website (bostoncabaret.com).

My work continues to be performed in the US and abroad, including a premiere performance last year by Stephen Miles of “If I Could Tell You,” set to a poem by Auden, at a festival honoring his centenary at the grade school Auden attended in England. I seem to have a growing outpost in San Francisco, where Lua Hadar (whose 2005 recording of “It’s Time For Roses” on her CD, IT’S ABOUT TIME, continues to draw attention), Vandana Bali and Tory Agardi have done my work in local venues. In May, Dane Vannatter performed my collaboration with Bob Levy (more below) at the NY Sheet Music Society. Later that month, four Boston singers presented a half-hour showcase of my work at BACA’s first Cabaret Songwriters Showcase.

The latest additions to my site include the first fruits of a number of collaborations now in progress:

1. SOONER THAN SOMEDAY, words by Bob Levy, a prolific songwriter of country and jazz material whose work was recently honored by an all-star cast in a New York showcase.

This danceable rumba provides the backdrop for the frustrated musings of someone impatient for a friendship to become something more. Vocals by Dane Vannatter.

2. I WANT IT ALL BACK, words by Los Angeles singer-songwriter-actor Trent Walker.

This is a soulful, blues number with a moderate swing tempo about the longing to restore an affair or a marriage that’s ended. It’s given a powerful R&B treatment by vocalist Gordon Michaels.

3. THE PATH TO MY KINGDOM, set to a c.1850 Shaker text by Polly Ann Reed.

And now for something completely different. Years ago, I wrote down the words contained in a Shaker “spirit” drawing by a leader of the Mt. Lebanon, NY, community and recently set them to an original tune. The hymn-like song has already been performed in several churches and is an obvious candidate for shows in the holiday season or for any performer who wants to go beyond the usual cabaret fare. Vocals by Jinny Sagorin.

4. SUCH A CURIOUS FEELING, words and music by myself.

Do I ever write anything, like, funny? Of course! But you know that if it’s a song about love, there’s going to be some offbeat twist. Here a nerdy type ponders, to a bossa beat, how he could be the victim of that curious feeling which neuroscience tells us is only a matter of chemicals. Vocals by Phil Kassel.

As always, sheet music is available in any key, upon request, as are MP3s or CDs of any of my songs with vocals or without (piano track only).

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