The Lord of Song Sings Hallelujah!

Greetings Good Folks, listening to Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” and it’s a divine ride indeed. My cousin Gabe told me about this tune a long time ago. It’s a gem written by Leonard Cohen and today we play it at a service for a good fellow who has left us. There is sadness and beauty and this song holds the truth close.
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen – “Hallelujah”

Last week Bop Mod terrorized the Rancho Bernardo Library with a great turnout and young Curtis Taylor on trumpet playing up a storm. What a joy to be inside the music with these folks and thanks to all that came out and to the good people (Don and Harvey) who run the show there.

Throwing down at the RB Library! Left to right, Peter, Duncan, Curtis Taylor, Gunnar and Tripp. photo by Mark Keller

Throwing down at the RB Library! Left to right, Peter, Duncan, Curtis Taylor, Gunnar and Tripp.
photo by Mark Keller

From the RB Library we left the next day and tangled with the traffic on the I-15 to make our way to the Rancho Mirage Library to share the music with the desert tribe. Great hit and I decided to stay on an extra day to soak up the heat. My friend Brian took me out to a magic oasis with palms swaying and water bubbling up from San Andrea’s curvy fault line. Mini mindblower!

A half a mile away from this oasis it's as dry and desolate as it comes.

A half a mile away from this oasis it’s as dry and desolate as it comes.

Relaxin' at Camel-rillo! Legend has it that Charlie Parker bathed in this spot once.

Relaxin’ at Camel-rillo!
Legend has it that Charlie Parker bathed in this spot once.

Next my brother Tripp and I got dressed up and played a gig overlooking the Scripps Pier in La Jolla. Other creative constituents joined in and even though it’s legally spring, it was chilly!

Desert – warm
Coast – chilly
Keep it varied, keep it coming!
Coat and ties with Tripp and Peter. photo by Beth Ross-Buckley

Coat and ties with Tripp and Peter.
photo by Beth Ross-Buckley

The big news of the week is on Friday night at the Museum of Making Music we’re celebrating and playing the music from my new CD release Ocean In Your Eyes. I’ve got most of the players from the recording in the loop plus two ultra gifted singers from Mira Costa College who will join in on a few tunes. In the band we have:

Leonard Patton, Kevyn Lettau, Matt Falker, Lisa Hightower, Gunnar Biggs, Duncan Moore, Mellisa and Nina from Mira Costa and me on guitar.

We’ve had some good times working up the music and each singer will be featured, plus a bunch of vocal ensemble excursions as well. All of the songs are certified Sprague compositions executed with humor and schooled discipline. They are well rounded ditties.

OceanEyesCDReleaseConcert

A week back I dished out a prompt as to why the CD is called Ocean In Your Eyes. A few folks came back with the correct answer and that is, when you listen to “Mudra” there’s a section before the bridge that goes:

“When I look into you, the ocean in your eyes.
We slide through the swirl of a thousand things, to the sweetness of a still mind”

“Mudra” – Peter Sprague / Randy Phillips

Every time I hear it, a righteous sense of well being comes over me. It’s a miniature bliss moment and I’m wondering if it happens to you too. Let me know…

I hope you can make it to the show, it’s going to be fun. Click here for more details.

If you want to hear the music we’re preparing for the concert, click here.

Rehearsing at SpragueLand with (left to right back row) Peter, Matt, (front row) Kevyn, Leonard and Lisa. photo by Stef Sprague

Rehearsing at SpragueLand with (left to right back row) Peter, Matt, (front row) Kevyn, Leonard and Lisa.
photo by Stef Sprague

there it is and thanks for reading along, Peter

Giving It To The Singers!

Friends, salutations from my springtime perch here at the offices of SpragueLand. The surf is slightly up, the conditions are perfect and I’ll make this email quick as I need to get over to Tripp’s house to make a rehearsal. We’re gearing for tomorrow’s Bop Mod hit.

Thanks a mil for the wonderful email responses and the actual buying of the new Ocean In Your Eyes CD. It’s a RAGE! It’s a jazz RAGE (meaning it’s a small RAGE compared to say, a Michael Jackson RAGE). Small but mighty and so much appreciated.

My good friend and jazz singer deluxe Denise Donatelli said, “I LOVE the CD! Didn’t know you were such an awesome lyricist. Thank you for giving it to the singers!!”

I dig that phrase, “giving it to the singers”. Thanks Denise!

And then Adrian, bless his heart, went on and on and finally reported, “I really hate sounding like a ‘fan-boy’ and I don’t mean to embarrass you, but I think this is the best I’ve ever heard you play.” Wow, love it and thanks for the kindness.

Let the REVOLUTION press on!

OceanInYourEyes_500

Up for this week we’re playing a show tomorrow night at the Rancho Bernardo Library. It’ll be my Bop Moderno group, this time featuring Curtis Taylor on trumpet, subbing for Gilbert Castellanos. Gilbert’s out on tour and he said Curtis was the man to fill in for him. I heard a snippet of Curtis online and he’s playing up a storm. Can’t wait and I know it’s going lift off!

Bop Moderno with (left to right) Tripp, Peter, Gunnar, Duncan, and Gilbert. photo by Kylie Sprague

Bop Moderno with (left to right) Tripp, Peter, Gunnar, Duncan, and Gilbert.
photo by Kylie Sprague

Last up for the week, we’re heading out to Rancho Mirage to play a concert at the library. I’ve been there before to play with Denise Donatelli and Geoffrey Keezer and it’s an amazing performance space filled to the brim with enthusiastic jazz listeners. For this show it’ll be Leonard on vocals, Tripp on sax and flute and me on the guitar. It’s a long drive and so I know most of you won’t make it but please pass along the news if you know someone out there that might dig the experience. Bring on the heat!

ShenandoaYTPeter

That’s it for now and thanks for the read…all best, Peter

Ocean In Your Eyes

Greetings Good Folks, riffing your way via the alphabet with Bob Dylan’s “New Morning” filling the airwaves. Have you heard this tune?

Can’t you hear that rooster crowing ?
Rabbit running down across the road
Underneath the bridge where the water flows through 
So happy just to see you smile 
Underneath the sky of blue
On this new morning with you.
 

Every time I hear this tune it takes me back to those early morning surf sessions where we’d freeze out before school started. The sun was on the rise and even though the school 9Am alarm would reel us in, the morning was still a free moment brimming with possibilities.

Can’t you feel that sun a-shinning ? 
Ground hog running by the country stream
This must be the day when all of my dreams come true
So happy just to be alive 
Underneath the sky of blue
On this new morning with you. 

Bob Dylan “New Morning”

I’m happy to announce the release of my latest recording!

OceanInYourEyes_500

It’s a collection of ten of my original songs, jazz and samba, brought to life by some amazing vocalists, lyricists and musicians. I like singers! You play the intro, set up the tune, and if the singer has it right, the song takes off and you’re carried away into the magic of the song. Most of the songs are new but a few of the pieces are tunes that I’ve recorded before as instrumentals and now they’re outfitted with a lyric and a spirited vocalist. Also new are my explorations in writing for a vocal ensemble. Check out the sound that the True North singers brought to this project!

Click the album cover above and you’ll be transported to a place where you can listen and read more about the new CD. If you listen closely you’ll figure out why I call the recording Ocean In Your Eyes. In fact, the first person that contacts me with the correct answer as to where the title comes from will be awarded a free, autographed CD sent to their home. Turn it up and check it out!

Also, just looking ahead, we’re playing a special

OceanEyesCDReleaseConcertWe’ve got the whole crew lined up and ready to jam. Hope you can make it and click here for more details.

Upper

Check out my hero Paul McCartney in this video singing a demo of “For No One”. I’ve seen a ton of Beatle footage but I’ve never seen this one. I’m blown away with how effortless he sings and plays the guitar along with his concepts of where the French horns should go and how the arrangement should play out. Gorgeous!

PaulVid

Downer

After 50 years, the San Diego Opera will stage its last performance on April 13, 2014. Last Wednesday, its board voted 33-1 to close this priceless cultural institution.
Keep the music going and here’s a link to sign the petition if you wish.

Last Week

Leonard and I made the desert trek to Yuma last week and had a spirited concert topped off with a Chili’s veggie burger session staring down the TV’s trying to help the SDSU basketball team win against Arizona. Leonard knew all of the game details and he had to keep his enthusiasm somewhat in check as we were deep in Arizona territory. Enthusiasm aside, we lost…urgghhhh…

Next up we played a wonderful hit at the First United Methodist Church in Chula Vista. What a cool venue! We won!

Leonard and Peter winning in Chula Vista! photo by Kevin Kinnear

Leonard and Peter winning in Chula Vista!
photo by Kevin Kinnear

This Week

Coming up we’re playing a concert on Friday night at Grossmont College with Blurring the Edges. That’s Fred on guitar, Tripp on sax, flute and percussion and me on the twin neck. These shows are always a hoot with jazz, blues, Beatles, samba, flamenco, boogaloo and Fats Waller music spilling forth. See you there!

Peter and Fred dancing on the double necks!

Peter and Fred dancing on the double necks!

There it is friends, thanks for reading and hope to see you soon!

adios, Peter