Detroit, MI

Motown!

The Motown peeps were strangely silent, despite my advertisements. But I did manage to get in touch with some peeps in the Detroit area: Dan Martin in Belleville and Allie Habhab in Dearborn Heights.

Let’s start with Dan, a multitalented musician and our kind host for a night.

Dan Martin, multimath!

Dan contacted me and mentioned that he could play piano, guitar, harmonica, sing, and do various character voices. He actually called me as Jimmy Stewart. It was pretty cool. Except, thinking about it, I should have asked him, “didn’t you die in 1998?”

Anyway, JH and I had a good time hanging out with Dan in his comfy mobile home. It turns out that he does even more than what he said in his email. He writes books, makes a Christian radio program, drives cab, writes songs, all kinds of things. He played and sang one of his own tunes for me which was nice.

I had just been thinking that Dan’s voice reminded me a lot of Rich Mullins when he asked me, “Are you familiar with Rich Mullins?” Awesome. Anyway, he had a very nice voice, and his music had a healthy dose of the emotive etherealness going on. It was my hope to be able to capture some of that for my project. So we had a few improvisations on some “floaty” kind of music.

A little jammin' goin' on.

Dan also put down some harmonica and piano for me.

Bustin' out some mad harmonica and piano action.

After dinner, we recorded a bit more (I had him do a piano improv), watched a movie, and hit the sack.

Next morning, I was off bright and early to meet with Allie Habhab, a vocalist who had contacted me about recording. He showed me some of the stuff he had already recorded, which was some very groovy R&B stuff, the kind of stuff where you can say you like “the beats.” In particular, his half-falsetto voice sounded fantastic and I immediately started looking for which songs that could fit in, and we started recording.

Then, it came up in conversation that his family is Labanese and he speaks Arabic fluently. Hmmmmmm.

Sing, sing, sing the Arabic!

So we spent a while coming up with some complementary Arabic lyrics for one of my songs, and added them in. Definitely a little Desert Rose action going on with that track now. I was super happy after recording with Allie. Another language! Another culture! Diversity unified! Anytime that happens I get pretty happy.

After lunch with Allie at an excellent subs/kebobs place, we were off to the next stop, which, as it happens, ended up being a lot of driving for minimal payoff. But at least the driving was scenic.

NEXT: A Tale of Scenic Driving (Minus Any Actual Scenes)

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