Mike Opitz Song Writing and Theory Project

Featuring the Karma Refugees

Free One Else EP

“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”
Toni Morrison

To listen to the EP click here

Free One Else:  In a Troubled Time

Sometime during our ongoing musical collaboration, I wrote a song and Tom produced a dub version of it.  I only had this hefty working title for the song:  “Inspired by the rhetorical tradition of addressing a poem to a mysterious, glamorous, seductive, slightly dangerous figure called ‘You.’”  Somehow through the magic of editing, it became just “You,” and ended with the phrase, “like almost everyone else.”  Tom used echo effects and who knows what other techniques on the dub version and “everyone else” became “free one else.”  It was so cool to hear those syllables echoed over and over.  We liked the sound of it and the happenstance of hearing those syllables and words.  We chose the syllables as a title for this EP.  We had no idea that our phrase would come true, and that we would be sequestered, hiding from a plague, more than ever needing to “free one else.”

Last summer seems long ago.  We were thinking about Woodstock because of the fiftieth anniversary of the festival that Tom had attended.  We wanted to hear his stories.  We got into music of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Amy Winehouse and Emily Dickinson.  We had fun and collaborated on producing these tracks—all the while enjoying the playing, recording, discussing and producing.  Brian came back on a Saturday morning and took the tracks to do a final production.  Nobody thought of Social Distancing.

In some instances, Mike has written an essay explaining the song’s musical and/or literary influences. Clicking on the link will take you to the corresponding essay.

The players: 
Mike Opitz                   guitar, vocals
Kathleen Downes       vocals
Tom Daddesio             bass and webmaster
Caitlin Brutger            keyboards, vocals and art work
Brian Heilman            production

The songs:
1. Will you stiill love me tomorrow? (Carole King/ Jerry Goffen)
Essay on the song by Mike Opitz
2. Midnight in Triana (Opitz/ Daddesio with Junior Murvin)
Essay on the song by Mike Opitz
3. Woodstock Mystic (Joni Mitchell with Bob Marley)
4. Emily D. (version by Opitz/ Brutger)
5. You (Opitz/ Daddesio)
6. No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley.  This version was recorded live in 2016)

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