It's a party, and you're invited! Your host is Noel Paul Stookey, whose talents as a singer, songwriter, musician, and stand-up comedian are showcased for your entertainment. This party is decidedly informal. There's no need to dress to impress. No small talk required as you eye the passing tray of hors d'oeuvres with suspicion. No one trying to sell you insurance, or touting the latest can't-miss stock tips. We're all just friends here, old and new. The guest list is as varied as the eclectic offerings of our host. Musicians, technicians, computer nerds, and just plain folks. All assembled in the same place, at the same time, for the same purpose. To enjoy each other's company, and to listen to the universe presented from a slightly tilted point of view.
The format of this collection of recordings is somewhat reminiscent of the classic Radio Variety Show. There's good music to be found here, and thoughtful comedy, too. It's theatre-of-the-mind, and we all share the best seats in the house. Whether you're listening to it from the comfortable reality of your favorite easy chair, the traffic-induced insanity of your automobile, or amid the multi-tasking clutter of Cyberspace, you'll hear a celebration of everyday life, an escape from the madness, and a promise for the future.
There's good reason to celebrate this collection of songs and comedic monologues. In many ways, they've been more than thirty years in the making. Many of the musicians, engineers, and producers featured here also contributed their talents to Noel's first solo album, "Paul and" in 1971. While the music has changed and technology continues to evolve, their friendship and dedication to quality remain constant, despite long years of widely diverse projects and pathways. It's the convergence of these experiences, coupled with the new faces and voices (including Christine Lavin, folkmusic's pre-eminent contemporary womanly wit, joining Noel on "Let's Go To The Stars") that make these tunes so special.
The four songs share common threads in content and craftsmanship. They whimsically reflect upon the rapidly expanding world of technology, and offer unique and personal insight into what is, as well as what might yet come to be. Is the availability of rapidly evolving technology as important as what we do with it? Can the imperfections of humankind overcome their collective flaws to harness the promise of its potential power? Where does reality end, and the infinite horizons of technology begin?
Compiled from the last twenty years of Noel's solo segments at live concert performances with Peter, Paul, and Mary, the material delves into topics as diverse as strange toilets and equally odd vegetables. The excerpts reveal the comic underbelly of life, exposing us to fresh perspectives that we're often too distracted to see and might even cause the listener to wonder if maybe, just maybe, they can hear themselves laughing in the background. If you've been to any of the trio's concerts during the past two decades, it's a distinct possibility.
Any good party has many facets. Laughter, music, thought provoking conversation. Old friends mingling with new. It's the duty of the host to bring all of those elements together, and make certain that everyone's having a good time. This is Noel Paul Stookey's party, and he's always been a gracious and accomplished host. Relax. Enjoy yourself. It's not often that you're invited to a virtual party. Especially one that you can attend in the comfort of your favorite pajamas.