Songwriter/composer Dick Connette intended to major in Mathematics at Harvard, but was soon seduced into Music and American and English Literature studies. After graduating cum laude, he studied percussion (snare drum, marimba, tympani) ran his own Soho recording studio and worked as a freelance musician/composer. In 1997 Nonesuch released Connette’s the first (of four) Last Forever CDs, which the New York Times named one of the year’s top releases.
With Last Forever, Connette released four albums based on American folk and popular traditions. His new project, Too Sad for the Public, Vol. 1 – Oysters Ice Cream Lemonade, features six originals and two covers, with vocals by Suzzy Roche, Ana Egge, Rachel Garniez, and Gabriel Kahane, among others—17 artists in all. Elmore’s proud to premiere Suzzy Roche’s cover of Carole King’s “He’s a Bad Boy.”
Here’s what Connette told us about “He’s A Bad Boy,”: “Some years ago, I was trying to give John Cohen a taste of some music outside his accustomed folk fare, and played him this Goffin/King number. I had the temerity to think I should/could stretch him out some. He immediately identified the song as a take on ‘Stagger Lee.’ Well, dammit, he was right, of course, and I got schooled. Turns out Gerry Goffin was shook by the folk scare, primarily as embodied by Bob Dylan, and this was, evidently, an attempt to incorporate. King gave it a sort of Belafonte island/calypso vibe, hardly au courant, at best only recently passé, and part of that whole ’50s/’60s pop-folk-radio-roots movement, you know – The Weavers, The Limeliters, The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary – that crowd. Whatever their intentions, Gerry and Carole reverted to (spectacular) form, and turned a bad man ballad into an expression of lovestruck teenage defiance. For my version, I put Lloyd Price front and back, and Frank Hutchinson in the middle, trying to keep the faith with whatever the fuck is going on here.”
Rufus Wainwright, Anohni, yMusic, Linda Thompson, Bob Neuwirth, Marc Ribot, Jake Shears, Michael Daves, Nico Muhly, Hazmat Modine, John Scofield, Chris Smither, Suzzy Roche, Duncan Sheik, Geoff Muldaur, Chis Thile, Aoife O’Donovan, Dave Douglas, and Julian Lage have all worked and recorded at Connette’s studio, 2nd Story Sound, located on the Lower East Side, New York City. In 2009 Connette won a Grammy for his work on Loudon Wainwright III’s High Wide & Handsome.