New London, Conn., has its parochial political infighting, its righteous Colonial history, a small city-state inferiority complex and the infamous Fort Trumbull debacle.
But its music scene, notwithstanding some claims of cliquish behavior, stands apart.
With its Hoots for Hunger, Sinners Circle, open mics and the influence of producers like Jim Carpenter, Hugh Birdsall, Ben Parent and Carl Franklin — not to mention, the welcoming format of The Day’s Live Lunch Break — amazing songwriters and performers are emerging all the time.
The song this inspired started out because of my friendship with one such songwriter, Vince Tuckwood.
Yet, the lyrics, especially the line “Music is what your life’s for,” are intended for a wider audience, the musicians we all come across as we try out new material in each other’s presence.
This song and the lyrics that follow go out to everyone, and I mean everyone, who has ever, does now, or will ever let loose an original or stroke a cover at the Bulkeley House, the Garde Arts Center, the Parade, the Waterfront Park, the Hygienic Art Park or any other number of places where music flourishes. And that includes the out-of-towners who travel here to play.
The recent Whalies have elevated the camaraderie for bands and solo acts alike. The Wailing City website promotes the scene and those artists in “award season” and every other day of the year. And the Shoreline Acoustic Music Society, which gives acoustic folkies a place to jam and try out new material, is a revolving door of growth and talent.
New London’s a special place. Magic is made here every day and many a night and weekend. A Waterbury, Conn., transplant, I make my home here, and the music scene makes me feel at home.
Give us a listen. Most of us are only a download away.
Breadcrumbs to My Heart
Walk into the light, even if you are lonely
We can make it right; this is for your ears only
Follow the breadcrumbs to my heart
Dictate the words as they come
This is the way into my heart
Love is where memory’s from.
Sing til your voice gives out
Strum til your fingers are sore
Music is what you’re about
Music is what your life’s for REFRAIN
Write til your hands feel the glory
Love til your body’s asleep
Make out of this your own story
Hold close the loved ones you keep REFRAIN & FADE