Summer traditionally goes hand in hand with bright, foot-tapping music. One song often rises to become a particular year’s summer anthem.
You know what I’m talking about — “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas (2009); “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson (2012); “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (2017) — to name a few.
Fort Walton Beach musician William Garrett, aka Bill Garrett, aka Billy Garrett recently released an album that’s destined to become a favorite for summer 2019 and beyond.
Titled “Everybody Eats When They Come to My House,” the festive feast of music features a playlist – or menu, if you will – of food- and drink-themed songs. Some are covers; some are originals, he said when he dropped it off a few weeks ago.
“It’s been about three years in the making,” Garrett said in an email. “It’s an upbeat, humorous effort that features some fine musicianship by some of the area’s most talented musicians.”
You may definitely count Garrett himself among the area’s most talented musicians.
“The disc is an eclectic bag of musical styles featuring jazz, rock, doo-wop, country and Latin,” he went on to say. “I think you might like it.”
He was right. I like it a lot, and the more I listen to it, the more I like it. I’d go so far as to say I love some selections.
The 17 tracks are exactly as he described – a wonderful gumbo of musical genres spiced with wit, wisdom and a huge dollop of hilarious all performed with top-notch vocals and musicality.
Some songs you’ll recognize by their titles. There’s an instrumental version of “Shortenin’ Bread,” and I remember hearing “Just a Bowl of Butterbeans” as a child.
One of my favorites is “Kitchen Rag,” which immediately made me think of Scott Joplin, so I wasn’t surprised at its title. “Java Jive” also caught my ear because it sounds partly like a traditional jump-rope rhyme: “I like coffee, I like tea, I like Billy to jump in with me ...”
Two of the most amusing selections are “My Last Meal,” in which a condemned man orders delicacies that don’t exist to delay his sentence, and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” which includes some near-genius wordplay.
If you listen closely after the last song, “Hors D’Oeuvres,” you’ll hear an unlisted bonus clip. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but if you’re a longtime fan of Dana Carvey and a certain concert pianist character he did on “Saturday Night Live,” you might be able to guess.
Michael McCarty designed the colorful cover art. See page 2 for a photo of it. The CD itself looks like a round cornbread fresh from the oven with pieces strategically cut to form a peace sign.
As of this writing, the CD is available directly from Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org and at CDBaby, https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/billygarrett. He was working to make it available for download on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon by May 17, which is why I held off telling you about it until now.