“I believe that what you will hear is us, kicking around on our own little piece of ground – decaying but fertile – here in bold and charming Baltimore.” -ellen cherry
On Friday afternoon I stopped by ellen cherry‘s Baltimore home to chat with her and fellow musician, Sandy Asirvatham. The Baltimore songwriters are the masterminds behind one of the city’s most exciting contemporary music projects, Mobtown Moon. Sandy first conceived the idea of doing a re-imagining of the 70s classic Dark Side of the Moon in the summer of 2009 while training for a triathlon and feeling nostalgic. She spent her summer on the treadmill revisiting her favorite albums, and Dark Side of the Moon certainly got the most play. From there she contacted friend and singer/songwriter, cherry and that sapling grew into what is now an epic, twelve song album spawning several genres and featuring over forty local musicians, dedicated to the masterwork of Pink Floyd and the charm of Baltimore.
Together and over the course of three years, Asirvatham and cherry formed, arranged, collaborated, recorded and branded the sprawling work – all with the vision of not covering but “re-imagining” Dark Side of the Moon, which was released forty years ago March. While we sat on ellen’s comfy furniture, listening to the birds chirping in the Spring sun, we talked about the importance of making the project as much about Baltimore as it is about Pink Floyd. “We wanted to draw attention to all the talented artists that haven’t necessarily broken through on a national level” cherry said. “We hope Pink Floyd fans are drawn to this record and as a result will get an exposure to all these wonderful Baltimore musicians.” Among the artists featured on the album are Andrew Grimm of June Star, Cris Jacobs of The Bridge and The Cris Jacobs Band, Femi the DriFish, David Ross of the 5th L, gospel vocalist Lea Gilmore, Patrick Klink of We’re About 9 and many more.
Go to mobtownmoon.bandcamp.com to buy the album on CD or digitally. And spend some time with it – put it on your iPod or bring it in your car and listen as you explore Baltimore or whatever city you find yourself wandering in. It’s a musical experience that exceeds just auditory pleasure and makes social and historical statements about love, loss, greed, war and power in some of the same and often in different ways than Dark Side of the Moon did all those years ago.
Featured below are samples of five of the twelve tracks on the album, just to get a little taste of the wonderful textures.