Bleecker Street
(Black Sheep Global / Sundazed)


While John Sebastian was selling millions back in the mid ‘60s with the Lovin’ Spoonful, his younger brother had penned a song that would become that band’s most famous. The song was “Summer In The City,” a track that went on to become the Spoonful’s first number one during the summer of ‘66. Although penned at 15 by the younger Sebastian, the Spoonful tweaked it up lyrically as the song’s composer reveals in the liner notes of his 2009 Sundazed CD Bleecker Street. Named after the famous street in lower Manhattan, the CD is released on Sebastian’s Black Sheep Global label and features a number of tracks Sebastian recorded as far back as 1999. Funny enough, Mark Sebastian’s voice is reminiscent of John Sebastian! Must run in the family. The songs are certainly a bit more rock based than what John Sebastian is doing these days. The CD spotlights several bluesy rockers that feature Mark singing and playing guitar while backed up by a top band including lead guitarists Johnnie Lee Schell and David Kopatz as well as Van Dyke Parks (piano) and drumming icon Jim Keltner. The younger Sebastian cites his brother John, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks among his chief inspirations and Van Dyke also receives co-producer credits here. Even the bluesier tracks are suitably haunting, both lyrically and musically. “I Have Not Forgotten” is one of the great Sebastian songs (from either brother) and would make a great Yes cover. Ditto for track 11, “Don’t Tread On Me.” One could make another valid comparison here to Brian Wilson’s ‘99 album Imagination, a landmark rock album recorded around the same time as some of these cuts. Another cool thing here is the CD cover art which is visually adorned by several key Greenwich Village landmarks. Finally receiving daylight, Bleecker Street is Sebastian’s undiscovered musical jewel brought to light.


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