The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.


If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face and/or a tear to your eye… Well, I don’t know what to say.

Playing For Change | Song Around The World “Stand By Me” from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

More after the jump.

As usual, I’m the last to catch on to these things. I was catching upon Google Reader, and called some my co-workers over to see it, only to have them say “Oh yeah. I saw that last week.”


I will always, always be behind.

Anyway, I saw it thanks to Jesus, who filled in the back-story.

This cover of Stand By Me is recorded by completely unknown artists in a street virtual studio all around the world. It all started with a base track-vocals and guitar-recorded on the streets of Santa Monica, California, by a street musician called Roger Ridley. The base track was then taken to New Orleans, Louisiana, where Grandpa Elliott-a blind singer from the French Quarter-added vocals and harmonica while listening to Ridley’s base track on headphones. In the same city, Washboard Chaz’s added some metal percussion to it.

And from there, it just gets rock ‘n’ rolling bananas: The producers took the resulting mix all through Europe, Africa, and South America, adding new tracks with multiple instruments and vocals that were assembled in the final version you are seeing in this video. All done with a simple laptop and some microphones.

Wow. I wish these guys had come to D.C. I’d have gladly contributed a chorus or two. Note to self: if one of these guys walks up to you and asks “Can you sing…?” just say yes.

Speaking of singing. This is one of the songs I sing to Parker every other night.

And I’ll definitely be singing it tonight. Once I show him the video, he won’t let me not sing it. And that’s fine by me.’

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