Leslie Stories Behind the Songs

My favorite part of Avalanche is Mike’s guitar solo. You rock,  Mike.  I first heard this song in 1990 or so in a tiny guitar shop in West LA.  The writer Shawn Colvin was giving a small concert for industry execs.  I don’t know how I got lucky enough to get into it (as I was working at a bank), but oh well.  Shawn commented that it was weird writing a song with the person it is about.  She and her writing partner were going through a break up.   Avalanche has haunted me for years.  It’s our son’s favorite song on our album and I’m glad to share it with you.

Still Dream
One day I arrived at the studio and Terry’s eyes, were gleaming.  “Les, you’ve got to hear this song!!!!”  He had just seen the Rise of the Guardians movie with his adorable daughter.  This is the theme song from it.  David Lindsey-Abaire wrote it years ago to comfort himself when his eight year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
This song felt like a massage on my throat.  Tom Scott blows me away on this.

Broken Vow
I’m at the point in my life where a few friends are going through divorces.  I once read that divorces are like deaths in that no one knows what to say.  No matter how you slice it, it is heartbreaking.  It was hard to make it through this song without crying.

Welcome to Our World
Terry, showed up one day saying, “Les, we really need to do something sacred – because that’s a part of who you are.”  Chills went up my spine.  “Wow. I replied, I’ve been hoping for a way to reach out to share about the divine I know.  An inclusive loving presence who cares for everyone.” He introduced me to Welcome to Our World.

I’ll Fly Away
On a similar note (pun intended) I’ll Fly Away reminds me of growing up in my Mimi’s United Methodist Church (where my cousins still attend) in a tiny town in Arkansas.  My Mimi made everyone feel adored.  Each meal was filled with about seven vegetables from her garden.  Everyone who walked through her door felt about ten feet tall after spending time with her.  She was hospitality personified.

On a completely different note —- can I tell you how much fun it is to harmonize with yourself!!! Kind of narcissistic.

Con Te Partiro
In 1974 we had an exchange student from Italy.  In looking for Arkansas (where she would be spending the year) the World Book Encyclopedia represented our fair state with a picture that looked like it was right out of Deliverance.  Huge person, no teeth, on a dilapidated porch.  Our soon to be sibling from Italy was mortified at what she was getting into.  But we surprised her.  She became my sister.  We’ve never looked back and our families have gone back and forth from Arkansas to Italy.  She heard Con Te Partiro and told me, “Your Italian is good-a.”  She may have been teasing me, but I hope you like the song.  It’s a treat to sing with Erich. He’s very direct and is a crack up.

Autumn Leaves
I once sang this song for a funeral in LA.  I went home to my new husband and started talking about the service and how the couple had been married for 62 years.  I was telling him the lyrics to the song.  I had made it through the song, no problem, during the service, but when I told him the lyrics, I started wailing!!!! Love that song.  Isn’t Tom Scott the most awesome thing!!!!!

A Quiet Thing
I learned this song in ninth grade from an amazing voice teacher who had been on Broadway.  It really speaks to me now.  You know, you have an idea of how your life is going to be.  Many paths are taken and it’s wild how it turns out.  I really do believe that “happiness comes in on tiptoe….it’s a quiet thing.”  It reminds me of the quotation, “Normal day, let me be aware of the blessing that you are.”  Kander and Ebb nailed it.

Moon River
Almost one take.  What a classic.

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