Album Share: New Version of Six Petals by Devora Clemmons

March 6th, 2013

Way back in 2004 I had the pleasure of finding several copies of an unusual and oddly compelling CD entitled Six Petals. The artist responsible for the album, Devora Clemmons, has remained somewhat of a mystery. I’ve been able to find bits and pieces of information, but every lead that at first looked promising has lead to frustrating dead ends.

Recently though, there have been a couple of pleasant developments that shed new light on the whereabouts and activities of Ms. Clemmons.

First, fellow Devora fan and friend of the Orphanage Gregg Turkington was able to determine that Devora is still actively making music. It looks like she has relocated from Florida to Los Angeles, and is now using the pseudonym Leah Devorah. Mr. Turkington has unearthed many of Devora’s social media haunts including a Twitter account, Facebook page, Tumblr blog, and several MySpace pages. The jewel of his finds is her YouTube account which is filled with fascinating slices of Ms. Clemmons’ creative output.

Second, a few months ago as I was in line waiting to check out at a local thrift shop, I glanced at a rack of CDs near the register. Sitting there was a copy of Six Petals. I purchased it thinking I got lucky and scored another copy to add to my collection. The art work and track list was identical to the copies I already had. I popped it into the CD player to make sure it played and was amazed at what I heard. The tracks on the original Six Petals were simple recordings with Ms. Clemmons singing against an electric piano background. The tracks on this CD are completely new versions of the songs, most with expanded arrangements. The title track, for example, adds banjo, percussion, and spoken word sections to the mix, creating a quite different feel than the stripped down original. You can download the entire new version below and if you are looking for the original you can find it here.

I’ll admit that Leah Devorah/Devora Clemmons is not for everyone. She’s an odd bird who’s following her own flight plan, but there is something about her music that makes me return to it over and over again. I’d like to extend a sincere thanks to Mr. Turkington for his detective work. It is nice to know that Devora is still going strong and I look forward to seeing what she will come up with next. Have fun listening and as always, Enjoy!

Download individual tracks:

1. Six Petals
2. Jesus Knocking
3. Drop a Pebble
4. Badge
5. Animals in the Zoo
6. Danger Undertow
7. Mommy and Daddy

Album Art

Devora Clemmons frontDevora Clemmons back

Or download all tracks and album art in one 50MB zip file.

Album Share: Spirits of ’71 – High Spirits – Holy Spirit School Choir

October 18th, 2012

I first shared this gem way back in 2005 and thought the time had come to give it another go around.

What we have is an extraordinary recording from 1971 of the High Spirits Choir of Holy Spirit School in Columbus, Ohio. The director, Sister Carol Ann Krell, expertly manages to coax out some truly beautiful performances out of a group of approximately 160 children aged eight to fourteen years old, without it becoming  cutesy, pretentious, or boring. The children build up musically rich arrangements from simple guitar and percussion elements, sing in well, but not over rehearsed voices that blend wonderfully, and display an enthusiasm and sincerity that just drips off of the vinyl.

The Pastor is especially fond of the performances of Bridge Over Troubled Water from the Peace Medley, Taste Of Honey, and Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me.

The school is still in existence, but there is no mention of the group on their webpage. A few years ago I found what I believe was the Dominican convent where Sr. Krell was stationed, but emails inquiring about the recording went unanswered.

If you are looking for more from the High Spirits, they released a Christmas album in 1973 that is available to download at the always interesting Music You (Possibly) Won’t Hear Anyplace Else blog. The liner notes to this album mention that this is the second recording, so it looks like there yet one more waiting to be found. Have fun listening and as always, Enjoy!

Download individual tracks:

Side One:

1. Peace Medley
2. Love will keep us goin’
3. Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me
4. My Love Is Warmer
5. So Long, Stay Well
6. Raindrops
7. Autumn Leaves
8. Long Way to Go

Side Two

1. God Of Our Fathers
2. Circle Game
3. Let It Be Me
4. Look What They’ve Done To My Song
5. Lara’s Theme
6. Taste Of Honey
7. I’ll Be There

Album Art

 

Or download all tracks and album art in one 47MB zip file.

Album Share: Concerthon ’85 – Ed Kearney

September 20th, 2012

Howdy friends! Long time no see! The lights are on at the Orphanage again!

Up in the bull pen for your listening pleasure is this gem of a recording of a recital performed by the members of Allegro Music Studios under the direction of accordion teacher Ed Kearney.

Recorded in 1985, the recital also served as a vehicle to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy and starts off with a personalized greeting and thank you from Mr. Jerry Lewis himself. Mr. Lewis also recognizes Mr. Kearney’s 20th anniversary as a music teacher, and judging from the enthusiastic performances this recording provides, a very effective music teacher he must have been.

Not to be missed are the James Bond Medley and Rock and Roll Heaven performed by the Master’s Ensemble and Senior Club. Both are immensely enjoyable and offer the opportunity to hear the rarely heard but satisfying sound a large accordion ensemble can provide. The album also includes several tracks from the younger set, two strong efforts by soloists Robert Trucious and Mike Greenshields, and some cute duets between Mr. Kearney and juvenile vocalist Renee Scott.

I’ve not been able to turn up much information about Allegro Music Studios or Mr. Kearney other than a few dead end references in some online accordion forums. Mr. Kearney, if you are out there, thank you and here’s hoping you are still going strong and celebrating your 47th anniversary.

Thanks for reading and as always, Enjoy!

Download individual tracks:

Side One:
1. Introduction by Jerry Lewis
2. The Star Spangled Banner
3. James Bond Medley
4. Jazz Magic
5. Georgia On My Mind
6. Big Top March
7. Cotton Candy
8. Las Classes De Cha Cha Cha
9. Swanee River
10. Two Guitars

Side Two:
1. Whistle While You Work
2. Accordion Boogie
3. Moon River
4. Waltz Allegro
5. The Grass Is Always Greener (I)
6. The Grass Is Always Greener (II)
7. Rock & Roll Heaven
8. God Bless America

Album Art:
Kearney Front

Download all tracks and album art in one 77MB .zip file:
Kearney.zip