With Gunboat Diplomats, you never know what to expect. These musicians recording as a group, who perform in a variety of venues and bands, including solo acts, most definitely embrace variety. The last song, “Original Sin”, was described as “a bastardized bossa nova.” I liked that song, bastardization or not. The latest from GD is a sharp turn compared to past recordings, however.
“If Summer Could Stay” took me back many years, to a time when my friend drove us around in her Mustang. We’d listen to the radio and cruise by favorite haunts, and count the days until school started back up.
This new song captures the feel and fabric of those times. It’s catchy and perky.
In an email accompanying the sound track, Keith (aka Gunboat Smith) said of the latest release:
“It’s called “If Summer Could Stay,” a bouncy sixties pop song with female backing vocals. It’s the first tune on our side project called A Song For All Seasons.
Credits on the song include Chuck Nash doing lead vocals and guitars, Ken Nasta doing percussion, Kenny Hamilton working saxophones in most excellent fashion, and The Diplomettes (Linzy Marie Lauren, Rachel McGoye, Skye Walters) offering tight backing vocals.
What makes Gunboat Diplomats so interesting to me is the convergence of musicians whose purpose is to record. Some of these individuals, like Chuck Nash, also work fulltime as musicians. The music the group creates is always different, always interesting, and well-arranged. I never know what to expect. I like that aspect of their creative endeavors.
There’s a nice poetic nod in these lines in “If Summer Could Stay”:
“Time puts the lie to alibis that go astray
For by and by these precious ties will tear and fray
Stars in my eyes if summer could stay…”
Although you can catch some of the performers at gigs, you can listen to their collaborations online. The model for their music comprises Web-based messaging, and I’d say that’s smart because that is where music will be for quite some time to come.
We look forward to sharing releases from the group’s new collection A Song for All Seasons in future columns. “If Summer Could Stay” is a nice paean to the kid in all of us, wishing summer could stay just a little longer, whether it’s summer, the season, or the cycles we go through as we approach fall and the winter of our lives. It works both ways for me.
(Kay B. Day/Aug. 24, 2018)