SUMMERFALLWINTERSPRING, a four-song collection by Noel Paul Stookey has just been released on CD and for digital download. The new recording features a tune for each season. “Two of the tracks are ultra-political”, says Stookey referring to his viral hit “Impeachable” and the recent followup “I Will Stand” where he is joined by Peter Yarrow, Jonathan Edwards, Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Josh White Jr, David Mallett, Barry Ollman, David Roth and Maureen McGovern. The remaining two songs “Moon River” and “Somethin’ Special” are part of his longer range project: a holiday album for 2018.
“It’s sort of like sweet and sour”, says Noel about the SUMMERFALLWINTERSPRING combination of material. “There’s the harsh reality of our political climate”, he continues “but there’s also the realization that beneath the surface of our rhetoric, is the possibility of a genuine regard and respect for one another. That’s why i chose to include “Moon River” – to speak to the hopeful dreamer in each of us.”
The ‘Winter’ offering of the release features “Somethin’ Special”, a semi-autobiographical story-in-song that harkens back to a nostalgically sweet and warmly glowing memory of a Christmas past that is sure to bring a smile to the season. Following recent performances of the song, audiences have shared with Stookey similar stories from their family holiday times.
Summer’s offering is “I Will Stand, (Work Together)”, and draws its inspiration from a FaceBook rant by Thomas J. Gray, that spoke to Noel and cried out for being put to music. It quickly found its way into the live set list and aroused spontaneous ovations that interrupted almost every line. Noel invited a few folk friends to add their voices to the recording and many responded with their passion, too. Be sure to check out the YouTube video with lyrics and photos of the participants!
What song could be more romantic, sentimental and appropriate for the Fall than “Moon River”? This beautifully rendered acoustic version is enhanced with guitar chords inspired by Eric Satie’s atmospheric “Gymnopedie No. 1”, and will certainly become a favorite take on the classic composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, that made its appearance in the film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and sung by Audrey Hepburn. Noel’s sensitive cover is destined to stand tall beside Andy Williams’ and Frank Sinatra’s recordings as one that will be shared in the hearts of a new generation of lovers.
Spring brings us full circle with “Impeachable”. Set to the tune of Irving Gordon’s “Unforgettable”, (first made popular by Nat King Cole,) this is the orchestral version by Stookey of the new song that went completely viral as a video when a very modest, man-and-his-guitar version found its way to YouTube, quickly tallying views well above a six digit count. What else does a folk icon, whose pedigree goes back to protest songs of the 1960’s, do when faced with the bizarre results of the 2016 election?