SARASOTA, D.C. Anderson’s twelfth recording - his eighth for LML MUSIC, finds D.C. in a playful mood with original parodies of Charles Chaplin’s ‘Smile’ titled ‘Frown’, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s ‘Johnny One Note’ skewering today’s ‘riff’ happy songsters titled ‘Jack the Riffer’ and his musical suggestion that Dolly Parton may have wanted to focus her displeasure on her husband ‘Carl Dean’ before begging ‘Jolene’ not to take her man (rendered on SARASOTA by Madalyn McHugh). New light hearted songs co-written with Chicago’s Elizabeth Doyle give suggestions to actors dreading the night sweats during rehearsals - ‘Actor’s Prayer’ and to the partner of a lover who cannot seem to give voice to ‘I love you’ - ‘Buy Me Something’. D.C.’s sister, Claudia, has written beautiful melodies to the ballads ‘Some Big Love’ and ‘You’re Lucky’. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES’ composer Matt Vinson has partnered with D.C. in a musical reaction to the POTUS boasting of greeting refugees of repressive/unsupportive governments with ‘Beautiful Barbed Wire’. A collaboration with Robert Sprayberry produced the haunting, ‘Ever the Broken Wing’. Equally pensive is Andre Catrini’s first co-write with D.C. titled ‘Nothing of Us’.
As is often the case, D.C.’s love of the Great American Songbook is reflected in his recordings of Thelonious Monk’s ‘Round Midnight’, Gaskill and McHugh’s ‘I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love with Me’, Andre, Schwandt and Kahn’s ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’, Burke and Van Heusen’s ‘But Beautiful’ and a song made famous by his daughter, Rickie Lee Jones is Richard Loris Jones’ ‘The Moon is Made of Gold’.
D.C. with Jim Prosser
Jim Prosser, D.C and Matt DeSear in the booth at Burnt Orange Sound Studio
Tanmart Selby. D.C. and Kroy Presley
Madalyn McHugh recording 'Carl Dean' ('Jolene' parody)
‘I loved SARASOTA. . . . I have long admired the voice and writing of D.C. Anderson! Sarasota is a must listen . . . the ballads are sheer poetry, the parodies are hilarious and when he covers a classic it’s pure and un-adorned, simple and true. Bravo!‘
The new album by D.C. Anderson
2. I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH ME 2:15
3 JACK THE RIFFER ('Johnny One Note' parody) 2:11
4 NOTHING OF US 2:35
5 CARL DEAN ('Jolene' parody) featuring Madalyn McHugh 2:11
6 BUY ME SOMETHING 2:12
7 EVER THE BROKEN WING 2:58
8 ROUND MIDNIGHT 2:12
9 FROWN ('Smile' parody) 1:53
10 BEAUTIFUL BARBED WIRE 5:42
11 ACTOR'S PRAYER 2:51
12 DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME 1:34
13 SOME BIG LOVE 2:18
14 BUT BEAUTIFUL 2:28
15 THE MOON IS MADE OF GOLD 1:44
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Matt DeSear, Burnt Orange Sound Studio in Bradenton, FL
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty
Listen to D.C. Anderson on Spotify, YouTube.
thanks: Lee Lessack, Doug Coe, Florida Studio Theatre, Lily Friedman, cover dog: 'Bailey'. The city of Sarasota. My family and friends. You.
TALKIN’ BROADWAY REVIEW of D.C. Anderson’s SARASOTA by Rob Lester (8/11/2020)
With an ingratiating presence, singing gently (or with a splash of unaffected joy) to achieve an intimate feel, D.C. Anderson's Sarasota makes for satisfying company. Displaying both the sensitivity and sly humor he's shown over a considerable body of recorded work, the singer (whose musical theatre performance work includes a long association with The Phantom of the Opera) seems warm, wise, and earnest. Material here falls into three categories: cover versions of established material spanning the decades; fun parodies of other familiar fare with his own clever lyrics; and wholly original pieces with him again as wordsmith in collaborations with five different composers. Instrumentation is limited but effective on the 15 tracks, most with the presence of just one instrument: only piano on nine of them; otherwise it's guitar and/or bass. Moods and emotional impact are made concisely and precisely, as all but one of the selections clock in under the three-minute mark, with three of those shy of two minutes in length. The exception, quite contrastingly at 5:42, is named for President Donald Trump's quoted pleasure at seeing "Beautiful Barbed Wire" installed at the southern border. This politically woke commentary has an unblinking chilling effect, its reality increased by the inclusion of two actual snippets of the POTUS' voice (music is by Matt Vinson). Turning the microscope inward, there's close-to-the-bone honesty and haunting authenticity coating ruminations on love—or lamenting the loss thereof; two come with well-matched melodies courtesy of D.C.'s sister Claudia Anderson ("You're Lucky" and "Some Big Love"). Two other originals, both with Elizabeth Doyle's music, provide cute comedy. They are "Buy Me Something," the greedy demand its title suggests, and—of special interest to our theatre-aware target audience—"Actor's Prayer." This is a delectably fraught panic attack: a deep dip into the common nightmare performers have of being frozen in fear, going blank on stage.
The parodies are especially savvy in both performance attitude and writing, with devilishly deft, direct references mirroring the source material. That old standard that encourages you to simply "Smile" despite the reality that "your heart is aching" is transformed into the opposite advice: to give in and "Frown." Borrowing and tweaking actual lines of a Lorenz Hart lyric (his classic story-song with Richard Rodgers) of the guy with the most limited vocal range possible ("Johnny One Note"), quite the LOL hoot is the portrait of the melisma-mad showy vocalist, "Jack the Riffer." The writer sits out his third spoof, letting high-spirited guest Madalyn McHugh take over to provide the vocal (and her own guitar accompaniment) for the Dolly Parton-derived tune "Jolene." It now directly addresses "Carl Dean," invoking the name of the conveniently rhyming name of Parton's longtime husband.
The oldies are somewhat modest and straightforward in presentation, but cozy and convivial like old friends. A few take us to D.C. Anderson's happy place—serene or ebullient. On the dark side, those usual suspects of despair, dread, doom and gloom are in shorter-than-usual supply in "'Round Midnight," lessening its full dramatic potential. But "But Beautiful" showcases the Anderson insightful, speaking-from-experience persona. Whether singing his own words or those of those who came before him, whether waxing sweet or sassy, Sarasota's song stack projects the actor-vocalist as always thoughtful and actively thinking. And I think that's to the good.