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American Songbook: Redaceted

Beep! Beep! Outta the Way!

A little song about Henry Ford

We all know Henry Ford as the car guy, the man who adopted the assembly line, made affordable cars, and whose company changed transportation and manufacturing, but did you know he had some strong opinions about music?

He hated the popular music of the teens and twenties, what was starting to be called jazz. He thought it was crude, vulgar, a bad influence on young people, and he blamed its popularity on a Jewish conspiracy. He blamed a lot of things on the Jews. So many, in fact, that he bought a newspaper and had them publish a weekly anti-Jewish column. It ran for 91 weeks.

Musically the old man preferred the old timey music he found wholesome so he heavily promoted square dancing and fiddle contests. Did you take square dancing in grade school gym class? Thank Henry Ford.

So I figured the best way to make fun of all of this ridiculousness would be to write Henry Ford a 1920s-style jazz song. It’s featured in my new show The American Songbook: Redacted!

AS:R had debuted!

AS:R debut, May 18, 2022!

American Songbook: Redacted logo

The American Songbook: Redacted has finally hit the stage! The show last week at Caveat was a lot of fun and I’m really excited by how everything went, from the material to my performance to the crowd and the all the tech. Performing 11 new songs (with detailed intros and slides, no less) is a daunting task and something I would never consider in a regular standup set. But this show—an attempt at understanding American history and culture through music and humor—is near and dear to my heart and something I’ve been eager to try.

I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who came out the the show in NYC, it was on the later side on a Wednesday night in the middle of yet another Covid variant surge, so I know it wasn’t easy to show up in person. The team at Caveat was also top-notch, from front of house to the tech, everyone there was helpful, friendly, and damn good at their jobs. When I checked out the video of the live feed I was blown away by the quality and was so excited to realize that the people watching the live stream (thank you all so much for tuning in!) got such a great view of the show. If you’ve seen any of my Cover Tuesday DIY livestreams from home you’ll know that I know that tech is hard!

Now that the debut has has debuted I’m excited to develop the show further with performances, festivals, and more. I hope to do the show many more times here in New York, perhaps even an extended run somewhere. I’d also like to take it to select theaters and venues in other cities, and now that I have video of it to prove it actually exists, I’m going to start reaching out to places. If you have thoughts on a venue that could be a good fit let me know!  I’m also going to start recording studio versions of the songs for a companion album. Maybe I’ll release it as a live/studio double album! 

So many possibilities, and the possibilities feel even more real now that show #1 is in the books! Thank you to everyone who helped get it going!

The American Songbook: Rescheduled!

Timing is everything, right? Yesterday, the day before the big show, I felt pretty achy, tired, and had a slight fever, so I took a home Covid test and it was positive. That of course meant I couldn’t perform The American Songbook: Redacted, the show I’ve been working on for about 5 months, tonight at Caveat.

Thankfully the wonderful people at Caveat were very understanding and we’ve rescheduled for Wednesday, May 18, 9:30. All advance tickets for the live show and the live stream will be honored on that date.

So far the symptoms have been mild and I hope that trend continues. If the worst thing that happens is I have to reschedule my show I guess that’s acceptable. I’m really excited to get this new material up in front of people, I’m really happy with it and the songs have gone over well when I’ve worked on them at The Odd Rock Comedy Hour at QED over the last couple of months.

Speaking of which, I hope to be back and virus free in time for this month’s Odd Rock Comedy Hour on April 23, which will be more than 10 days after my initial symptoms from Monday night. I’ll test before the show and if I can’t make it I’ll find a very capable replacement and the show will be in good hands

Take care of yourselves out there and I hope to fist-bump you at a show soon!

RobP

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