Red hot music video promotes solar energy with red hot Austin musicians.
By Ric Sternberg / The Rag Blog / March 11, 2009
Why do we keep fiddling while Texas burns? We are burning our environment, burning fossil fuels. But the solution is right over our heads. This hot, Texas/New Orleans style music video makes the case for solar energy in Texas.
It was produced in response to a call from Environment Texas to submit videos on the subject. The piece centers on a song by singer-songwriter Frank Meyer, and features great Austin musicians including Phoebe Hunt on fiddle, Marvin Dykhuis on guitar, Oliver Steck on trumpet, Joe England on flute and Geno Gottschall on the big honking Sousaphone.
As a renewable energy advocate for many years, I was thrilled to answer Environment Texas’ call.
This was a labor of love, not only for me but for many of the talented folks who helped. Frank Meyer often writes songs that relate to his passions for peace and alternatives and is a brilliant green builder as well as singer-songwriter. (In fact, Frank helped tremendously and led the wall raising at our straw bale home.) So he was the logical choice to write and perform the song when I came up with the idea.
Phoebe Hunt is an Austin phenomenon — a genius fiddler (at only 24) who is also very committed to saving the planet. Oliver Steck (another genius, IMO) and his trumpet, baritone horn, accordion, etc., can be found, along with Frank and Bill Oliver and Richard Bowden, making music at just about every peace demonstration. Marvin Dykhuis is yet another brilliant musician who donated his considerable talents to this project. Marvin also generously donated his studio to record his tracks along with Frank’s vocal and Phoebe’s fiddle part. Marvin, BTW, is also a straw bale house dweller.
Geno Gottschall provided the funky bottom on his hot tuba (he marched with the Sousaphone but played the part on tuba in the studio). My fellow Minor Mishap Marching Band member Joe English provided the top with his tasty flute playing. And I filled in the rhythm, playing both the bass and snare drum parts (though I credited two other Minor Mishap members — monster bass player Rob Jewett and my old buddy Skip Gerson, who carried the instruments and faked it for the video shot). Rounding out the parade was another old friend – Mike “Sully” Sullivan, who mimed playing the baritone horn beautifully.
My friend (dating back to the early 70s in Vermont) East Side Flash did the recording of the instruments that we did not do at Marvin’s at his great facility – Flashpoint Recording Studio. Flash also did the mix and audio sweetening.
The Austin area is probably the best place in the world to do a project like this, not just because of the abundance of talented, committed musicians and facilities, but because everyone seems to be into these ideas.
Now, as my dear departed friend Susan Lee Solar sloganed when she ran against George Bush as the Green Party candidate for Governor, let’s GO SOLAR!
[Ric Sternberg is an Austin writer and filmmaker. Vist his AIM Productions website.]