Green Man Said: Night on Earth

September 2004: Hurricane Frances, Ivan, the peculiarly erratic Jeanne, Lisa . . . It was another crazed storm season in South Florida, and every single time Magda Hiller and I booked a vocal session for her to come down to Fort Lauderdale and duet on Night on Earth we found ourselves directly in the path of another monster. Mag's new baby Wyatt made any thought of a trip impossible on each occasion. It began to look as if this session just wasn't meant to be.
On the fourth attempt Mag finally made the gig, but my surprise she showed up chauffeured by mom (I'm an old friend of the family) and with a pronounced limp! She'd injured her back but said "I told my mom I can't possibly cancel again!" Mag (pictured here at a 2005 house concert she did with Diane Ward and Jack Shawde) did this session all-standing because she simply couldn't sit down due to her back pain, and she was in evident pain throughout the session. This was courage above and beyond, yet the singing is vintage Magda with all her sly humour and unique style. Whenever I'd sung the line "She laughed" I'd heard Mag in my head, and I knew Maria needed to be gutsy and indestructible. Mag proved herself to be just that.
The 28 players on this album together constitute my dream line-up, and seven of the contributors are women. At times on this song when Lori's piano smiles, Shasha's soaring violin swoops and dives and Magda's vocal winks, Maria the waitress (a character provided by Leigh Johnson in a lyric co-written as a paper-folding game of consequences) gets the setting she deserves. 


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