Richard Barone's Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village In The 1960s casts new light on the songs that sprang from the singer-songwriters in and around Greenwich Village during that pivotal decade. While Top-40 hit songs were being churned out uptown in the Brill Building and at 1650 Broadway, the downtown writers were weaving folk, blues, R&B and rock into songs that five decades later still sound fresh and inventive. Richard's choices cover a broad range of writers, from Buddy Holly, who was living and demoing songs in his Greenwich Village apartment just before he died, to up-and-comers like Paul Simon, John Sebastian (of the Lovin' Spoonful) and James Taylor (of The Flying Machine), to the artists redefining folk music – Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tim Hardin, Fred Neil – for a new generation.
Sorrows and Promises revisits and re-imagines these songs that were a vital contribution to the American Songbook, treating them like the modern standards they are. Barone is uniquely qualified to reinterpret these ‘60s classics; throughout his career, first with The Bongos and then as a solo artist, his work has shown the influence of the pop, rock and folk singer-songwriters who lived and worked in the Village neighborhood where Richard has lived since the mid-1980s. The album features an all-star line-up of guest musicians and vocalists including John Sebastian, Dion, Allison Moorer, Nellie McKay, David Amram, Jenni Muldaur, and The Kennedys.
The album was produced by Steve Addabbo, who has a strong creative connection to the music being revisited on the project. Among his many credits as a producer, engineer and musician are albums by Bob Dylan, Suzanne Vega, Jeff Buckley, and Eric Andersen. Also contributing to the album was Mitchell Cohen, a long-time music writer and A&R executive (Arista, Columbia and Verve) who suggested the concept to Richard and worked with him on selecting the material.