304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
This new release is R&B Soul but more of a songbook throwback. It’s remarkable to me that music like this is imagined and then captured.
This whole EP is haunting and beautiful, with depth. It’s intimate. It’s storytelling that inspires storytelling. So, here goes.
Queue Flash Fiction <inspired by the last track, Bloodline)
It was a misty rain, the kind that makes you chilly more than wet. The street lights seemed to have trouble keeping the night at bay. The cars moved slowly, inching down the city street. Heavy would be the word and my feet were in tune with the moment. It had been a hard day, a dark day. I could not face going home, I needed to shift the mood.
As I crossed Field street, passing a Bodega where a guy was sitting on the pavement asking for cigarettes, then an alley. I’d never noticed it before but there was a red glow at the alley entrance. I stopped and peered down. It was a dead end lane but in the middle was a bright red sign that just said Drinks and Music. No name, just a red door and that red light.
As I opened the door, I almost had to stoop as a really old building will make you do. Down some foot worn dirty wood steps and a short hallway opened to a classic dive bar. It was no more than thirty feet wide and about a hundred or more feet long. The bar was on the left and at the back of the room was a small stage with an old smoke worn red curtain.
There were no more than ten small bistro tables, each with two chairs with extra seats down the walls on each side. It was dark and each table had one of those 70’s oval glass candles and they too, were red. It was as if I stepped through a rip in time and was in the 1950’s.
The patrons were scattered among the tables. Each talking quietly amongst themselves while they drank their drinks under the glow of the red candle light.
“Ya just going to stand there stranger” a voice on my left said. As I turned, I was faced with the most striking woman, dressed in a patchwork ensemble of thrift store clothes, with costume jewelry to match. Nothing about it should have worked but with her storied ebony skin, piercing knowing dark eyes, and bright glowing red lipstick it was perfect. She was beautiful and ageless and it made me stare.
“Well stranger?” She said, “Oh sorry, yes can I have a Maker’s Mark neat?” I said while grabbing the bar stool furthest from the stage and closest to the door.
“Here you go stranger, my name is Betty what’s yours?”
“Steven” I said while she put the drink in front of me.
“Well now ya not a stranger” Betty said and then walked back to the other end of the bar to sit on her stool to look at the stage where a weird collection of musicians were setting up. I was not really in the mood for music, but there I was.
I sipped my drink, glancing at the odd collection of items that adorned the bar. It was a crazy collection of old live show concert posters, vinyl album covers speaking the who’s who’s in the city’s music history. Lady Sings the Blues was front and center on the cracked mirror at the back of the bar. Pork Pie, Homburg and Fedora hats on the walls, signed dollar bills and old heavy dark glass ashtrays stacked off to the side. The old-school cash register seemed to be modern in this storied setting.
Then, everything stopped. No one was talking, no drinks clinking, a hush hit the room as this man dressed in a black velour dinner jacket and wearing leopard printed glasses, stood in the middle of the stage, looked out into the red gloom of the bar and bowed his head. He reached up and held the mic and then the drummer counted off. He lifted his head, looked straight to the door and this music came out of his soul.
Play the track Bloodlines. Be listening.
Clint Ward is a music industry veteran know by many as “SeeDub”. Currently he’s creatively at large with the The Audioward and is co-founder at New Music World. Clint was a founder at Emagic North America, worked at Apple, Apogee, Line 6, IMSTA and Roland Cloud. He’s a music creation technologist, passionate music curator and fierce industry observer.