#MusicMonday – July 2, 2018

It’s Music Monday, the week of fourth of July, and…I’ve lured you in with yet another Chicago song!

All part of my master plan!

If you clicked “Read More,” you’re obviously a sucker, or just really like good music.  I’m going with the latter, rather than the former.  Because anyone who likes good music is hardly a sucker.

Today’s Music Monday choice not only fits the bill of a “Fourth of July” esque song, but is also a Chicago song.  It may or may not be one that you already know, either.

I received Chicago’s 2014 album Now – Chicago XXXVI as a birthday present this past year (along with the awesomely underrated and long unreleased Stone of Sisyphus).  If you’ve ever wondered about Chicago and if they had it in them to release more current albums, rather than just rely on their incredible library of music, please consider listening to this album.  They still have it, and the album itself has some great songs.

Rather interestingly, it was released on July 4, 2014, which makes today’s song choice all the more appropriate!

As for today’s song, the simply titled “America,” and it is the third track on the album.  The song was written by group co-founder Lee Loughnane, he of the trumpet, flugelhorn, sometimes lead vocalist (“Color My World,” “Let It Snow,” and”Rockin’ and Rollin’ on Christmas Eve”), and songwriter (my personal favorite of his contributions is “Call on Me,” from Chicago VII), with lead vocals by Lou Pardini (himself a newer member of the group, replacing Bill Champlin in 2009).  Upon the album’s release, a copy of the song was sent to every member of Congress.

Now – Chicago XXXVI entered the Billboard 200 at #82.  While giving a more modern sound, the album as a whole sounds just as good alongside any of their past hits.

There is, however, something different about “America.”  It isn’t a gritty rock song, horn-infused rock, or Adult Contemporary staple.  It’s Chicago, but doesn’t sound like Chicago.  And that’s not a bad thing at all.

Take a listen to this version, as aired in a 2014 episode of On Tour, which airs on Philadelphia, PA/Wilmington, DE PBS station WHYY (Part 1 – December 17, 2014, Part 2 December 24, 2014).

Pretty moving, don’t you think?  Isn’t this was the holiday is all about?

And there you have it, another Monday, another musical treat.  Have a great Monday, a great Fourth of July, and as always, don’t forget to enjoy the music!


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