Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Best Music You’ll Ever Make

As a result of a personal growth seminar he is participating in, Philbillie is producing an event called "Twang for Tots," a benefit for a children's music in the schools. It all started with our dear friend and fiddler Marisa Martinez who teaches at one of the most financially impoverished schools in San Francisco. We kept hearing horror stories about funding cuts and teachers spending out of their own pockets for the most basic supplies like pencils and the books. All these years, Marisa has been quietly buying art supplies for her class and teaching them to sing and draw. Phil and I went there once or twice to sing for these little munchkins. Once was Halloween. They loved it, they all sang with us and we watched the parade in the playground. But there were some sad and troubled kids in that classroom to be sure.

It has been a long-standing dream of Marisa’s to create a children’s CD, and so she has finally done it with "ABC and Chickens," with our good buddies, Eric McFadden, Paolo Baldi and others. Philbillie produced and engineered it. Marisa did the artwork, sang on it, played on it, wrote all the songs except a couple. I was pleased that she covered an unreleased song of mine, “Schroedinger’s Cat,” whose subject matter I thought was pretty advanced for the kidlets, but Marisa assured me that the meowing cat on the track would work just fine for them. So bleary-eyed Phil went down to the school bright and early to record the kids singing on several of the tracks. As a treat Marisa bought a pizza. Some of these kids don't know where their next meal is coming from.

Phil and I have regularly played shows for Bread and Roses, an organization that provides music for people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society. They are dedicated to promoting wellness through the healing power of music. We’ve played rehab centers, cheered up abused moms and kids in shelters over Christmas, played for mentally disabled adults who could barely talk, but sure could sway to the music. We always have an indescribable feeling when we do these shows. A light feeling in the soul. It’s why we do it. The best music you’ll ever make is for the ones who need it the most.

Twang for Tots Benefit for Friday, June 4th, 7 PM

Restoration Workshop

630 Treat Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94110-2016

415 671-5219