The duo’s Keith Zarriello digs one out that happened to be a bit formative for me as well. Go figure.
Harry Belafonte – An Evening with Belafonte: This record came to me while doing a moving/demolition job at a friend’s deceased Grandpa’s place in Fresh Meadows, Queens. The house was ripe with relics from the past and part of my pay was being allowed to rummage.
I got a bunch of great books and records and this was one of them. I have to thank Jo for initially helping me delve properly into Belafonte. I had always known about him since childhood being a lover of Sesame Street. I was initially turned onto his Calypso album and fell head over heels in love.
Obviously, as a minstrel he’s one of the greatest of all time and most diverse. “Day-O” is such a classic that you learn it as a small child before even knowing about music. Then to come to tracks like “I Do Adore Her” and “Brown Skin Girl” open you up to such melody and simple beauty that I’ve always striven for in music.
So, I get An Evening with Belafonte and put it on the record player I’ve also just gotten from the house. I set it up in my new basement apartment. This record player is very old and slowly dying. The motor is going and it doesn’t quite spin at 33.3 rpm nor does it spin in an even rotation. This adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the music.
The Shivers – Love Is In The Air
From the first track “Merci Bon Dieu” I start to weep. I break out the wine and keep putting the needle back. This is what I’ve always wanted to do in music. And by the time he gets into “Hava Nagila” on side A you realize he’s a genius. To be able to master the art of song in multiple languages is a true gift and Harry’s got it.
So all is well and good with Side A. But when you flip it over and he does an absolutely gut-wrenching version of “Shenandoah” , you are in vinyl heaven. I put this on while my lady friend was over and she is now my girl so let’s just keep it at that.
But yes, have a bottle of vino on hand.
The Shivers’ new LP More is in stores now.