“The Blue Room” was a phrase used by writer Robert DeFelice during an extremely low period in his life that coincided with the staging of the ill-fated dark comedy “Lingering”; A play that starred Tom Detrik and never saw the light of day. Though the production never opened, the ordeal of mounting the show coupled with the personal drama plaguing Robert and his husband, Julian Tome (also the producer & artistic director), resulted in the song of the same name. During this time frame, Tom was also set to star in a feature film entitled “Bitter Heart,” written and to be directed by Christian Jude Grillo of Potent Pictures (a few years earlier, Tom had stared in a short film for Chris). Tom enthusiastically composed a title song for the closing credits which Chris termed, “the mad note!” When the production failed to raise suitable funding, shooting was postponed. A pattern was ensuing...
Fast forward one year. Chris contacts Tom about staring in his new feature “Booley.” During pre-production meetings, Chris asked about recording “Bitter Heart” which quickly catapulted to Chris recording & producing an entire album.
Tom came prepared to bring a “T-Rex”/”Roxy Music” based influence to the recording while Chris was gearing-up for a more “Skinny Puppy”/”Primus” based sound. Somewhere, they found common ground.
Two song's Tom wrote for the closing credits of “Booley”, “Wasted” & “The Booley Shuffle”, were included in the sessions.
During recording, Tom was asked if he would be willing to work on two songs that Chris had composed; “Touching Heaven” (which has a deep and personal meaning to Chris) & “Pretty Girls” ( for which Tom composed the lyrics).
Given all the aspects stated above and some strategic selections from Tom's catalog (including “My Young Life”, which is based on a scene from Elia Kazan's “America, America”); the result is what could best be considered, “A somewhat dark & brooding album!” Though, hopefully, very enjoyable.
All songs; Music & Lyrics by Tom Detrik except where noted...
* Music by Chris Grillo / Lyrics by Tom Detrik
** Music & Lyrics by Chris Grillo
Photo by Bonnie Loev
Additional Insights from Writer, Robert DeFelice:
Overall Thoughts: This may come across as gushy, but I’m honestly being as objective as possible. I found The Blue Room to be truly remarkable and haunting. The lyrics have such extreme depth, passion, and wit… much more powerful, reflective, and, most importantly, insightful, than what I’m ever used to in a lot of the music I’m familiar with...
...the songs are definitely rich and memorable in their dark and painful honesty. I hope this comes as a compliment, but I’d put this CD up there with the best of Pink Floyd and older Bowie, in terms of wit of lyric, overall emotion transferred to audience, and style. To me, and this may just be me and my hardwired brain, you’ve created a chamber opera of sorts. So many genuine emotions, brutally raw and open for an audience to take part in… Have you ever considered writing for musical theatre? Rock is making it big on Broadway right now, especially given the success of Spring Awakening and American Idiot… If you tied a book to this, you could really have a winner. Your music does what most music doesn’t…it captures the essence of a moment and tells a story. With the majority of the songs, I know I’d like them more even live than on the CD. I hope my observations have been helpful. If you have any questions, let me know .