I was honored to have Richard Shindell cover my song "Shades of Black, Shades of Blue". He has been called one of the best songwriters to come around in a long time and he is indeed a master lyricist. The New York Times wrote "What then does it mean to say a singer-songwriter is the best? It's pointless, given folk's idiosyncrasies. Mr. Shindell is so literary that his ballads would go straight into The New Yorker if they were prose. Such skill can often be deadening. Shindell is a master builder of songs." The track was produced by Larry Campbell and the personnel included Larry Campbell -guitar and fiddle, Lincoln Schleifer-bass, Denny McDermott-drums & percussion and Teresa Williams-backing vocals. The people who played on this recoding are all very dear friends of mine who I have recorded and played with. "Shades of Black, Shades of Blue" was written about Thomas Jefferson Kaye, who was a dear friend of mine. He was a musician, songwriter, and producer responsible for a number of classic pop records, including Question Mark and the Mysterians' "96 Tears," the Shirelles' "Soldier Boy," and Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk," to name just a few. He also worked with Dr. John, John Hammond and Gene Clark who was one of my heroes. Gene was one of the most underrated singer songwriters ever in the music business. I met Tommy through my good buddy Marty Kupersmith, who was a founding member of Jay and the Americans and still in the group. Tommy produced their biggest hit, "This Magic Moment" written by Doc Pomus. I met Tommy when he moved up to the Warwick area and I heard that he had some of Gene Clark's last notes and a book of lyrics that Gene wrote prior to his untimely death on May 24th, 1991 at the age of 46. How strange that Gene passed away on the same day as Bob Dylan's birthday. Marty, Tommy and I became quite the trio at the time hanging out and performing in the Orange County area. I was with Tommy when he passed away in Warwick on a late summer's day in September of 1994. We were working on a Charles Lyonhart record at the time which Tommy produced about 8 tracks for me that I have stashed away. I hope to share these with you on this blog one day.
Benefit Concert to be Held June 21st.
The friends and musical family of Charles will come together for a very special evening of comfort, caring, fellowship, and love. The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY, will be the site for a benefit concert in his honor.