Joe Mock and friends take you a musical voyage from New Orleans to Tokyo to Vancouver through songs of insight and humor. It is a musical snapshot of a era of colorful people and experiences. From a Calypso beginning to a ballad ending with everything from Country to R&B in between, a musical journey unfolds. If you are looking for background music, this is not for you.
1) The opening song "Johnny B. Getting On" starts with a nod to Chuck Berry. Everyone has heard Johnny B Good. After hearing it for 20 years you begin to wonder, “Where did Johnny Go”? You'll find the answer in the 3rd verse. The Calypso rhythm should give you a clue. By the second song you'll find yourself on a holiday on the beach in Thailand. What next? How about the sultry voice of Pam Hawkins bringing some California, San Jose heat to funk up the question “What Is Your Heart Reaction”. This is followed by “Let's Virgin”. This quirky piece of writing of author Jack Stamm first appeared in the Tokyo Weekender. It appears here in a sound track akin to the Mothers of Invention. Then comes "Harmony" with Casey Rankin inviting us all to "get together in harmony" and "It Takes Two" featuring the spunk of Yvonne Evans in a pop duet.
"Spirit of the Music" takes you into the groove world of something Steely Dan-ish and the obtuse question, “Is this direction out of line?” Ans: “Please allow me to change the time”. The question is ominous as is the mood. Maybe the past or future will bring some light? "Slow Down Baby" has a swamp groove, think Little Feet. The images are pure Roppongi. Exciting, fast talking, packed bars, crowded streets, the international bar Maggie's Revenge and women dancing on the table.
Jack Stamm's alias Jacques Booblieux contributes "Jimmy Bring the Candles In" from his Book of Rhymes for Horribly Precocious Children. Quote, “Give him a sock to chew on and ask him to be still”. Perfect atmosphere for The Band to play a swinging country groove. Since a country flavor has slipped into this repertoire it might naturally follow that the next tune is bluegrass. “Honey Can I Have a Poke” was inspired by the made for TV movie Lonesome Dove. After hearing this, imagine it with a live audience and when Gus asks the title question, all the women answer “OK”. It's a hoot!
"Louie on the Highway" is a tribute to a hitch-hiker picked-up on the B.C. Highways. You can almost hear the Eagles singing in the background. "The Light of Christmas" is the final track and features the writing and voice of actress Lynda Boyd. Images of winter and carol ships in the harbor of Vancouver's English Bay fill the air with the cozy wish, “may you live the light of Christmas everyday.” A variety artists bring a variety of style and taste to the table. Prepare to be entertained.
Casey Rankin the onetime godfather of “gaigin” (foreigner) musicians provided the studio, co-production and everything else that musicians do together in a studio. Pam Hawkins, powerhouse singer from San Jose. Vocalist Yvonne Evans from Vancouver. Studio guitarist Massanori Sumide. Guitarist singer Victor Wells. Slide Guitar by Hoshi Kazutoshi. Actress Lynda Boyd. Author and Haiku guru Jack Stamm.