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News from Bob Norman

Time-Takin' Man

Welcome to my Web site. I'm very pleased to announce the release of my fourth CD of original songs, Bob Norman: Time-Takin' Man (Order CD). It features 15 new songs and a prose poem. Like my previous efforts, this one was produced by Bob Rose, whose wonderful guitar and mandolin stylings and skillful orchestrations give the songs the settings they deserve. They range in style from contemporary folk through blues, jazz, country, traditional fingerpicking, classical guitar, and stuff I don't really know how to describe. The subject matter takes in love songs, road songs, dreams, manifestos, Jersey history, memories of my childhood, the fall of the Twin Towers (which I witnessed from a NJ Transit train), and my seven-year struggle with prostate cancer. It's about life. (Top left photo of Bob Norman by Herbert Brown. CD cover photo by Vincent Capers Jr./Don Capari Photo)

All in all, we were 20 musicians this time around. These include some old friends whom you may recognize from my previous albums: Linda LoPresti and Eugene Rufollo on backup vocals; Mark Wenner of the Nighthawks on harmonica; Paul Kaplan on cuatro; Stanley Schwartz on keyboards, sax, and flute; Kenny Kosek, fiddle; John Miller, bass; Roy Markowitz, drums; Donald Castellow, low whistle. The newcomers include two special guests, Lindsay Rose on backup vocals and Sam Norman-Haignere on guitar, both born around the time Bob Rose and I did our first album and both grown to be fine musicians. Others: Joel Thompson, recording engineer and associate producer, who also plays flute; Ted Klett, my stage companion in recent years, on harmonica; Dan Trueman on Hardanger (Norwegian) fiddle; Nikka Lanzerone, backups; Bud Burridge, trumpet; Carol Webb, strings; Scott Ballantyne, cello. Imaginative graphic design by Gary Falkenstern. Great photography by Vincent Capers Jr. and others.

You can hear sound clips of all the songs at Recordings and download the entire first song, “Down By Me,” at Free Downloads. I hope you'll give it a listen.

La Rosita de Broadway

Around 1978 I was living on the Upper West Side of NYC in a neighborhood that was about a third Hispanic. I often had lunch at a restaurant at 108th St. and Broadway called La Rosita de Broadway. I wrote a poem about the restaurant and later made it into a song. It was published in Sing Out! Magazine and the Fast Folk Record/Magazine, and I eventually recorded it on my first album, Romantic Nights on the Upper West Side. I found myself singing it all over the country, always inviting the audience to sing the chorus with me, which was just the name of the restaurant. Recently I was contacted by a photographer named Nan Melville who is making a film about the closing of La Rosita. I was very sad to hear that this much-loved neigborhood institution will be gone but glad to know it will be preserved on film. Nan invited me to come sing the song at La Rosita, and she filmed Bob Rose, Linda LoPresti, and me performing it for the owners and some friends. It was a wonderful afternoon. I hope to have some photos (and maybe even some video) here soon.

Thanks

to Mary Anne and Bill Stewart for the elegant redesign of this Web site, and to John McGlinchey at Fortissimo Folk Music, which hosts the site and created it in the first place (more on them at Links).

Love,

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