BOSTON (CBS) – Musician Chris Georgenes had already been recording tracks and sharing them with fellow musicians. But when the pandemic hit and gigs everywhere were canceled, he came up with an idea to bring musicians together, including one as far away as Northern Italy.
“I realized it was time to start tracking drums at home and getting my musician friends to collaborate remotely,” he explained on Facebook. “This is helping us stay creative.”
Georgenes’ wife Becky suggested the song. “O-o-h Child” became The Five Stairsteps’ biggest hit in 1970.
Hearing it now, at a time of unprecedented uncertainty, is comforting. Georgenes knew it was the perfect choice. First, he tracked the drums. He sent those tracks to bassist Mik Mersha (ironically, the two have never worked together in person) who recorded his part. They sent their combined tracks to a keyboardist. When Berklee voice instructor Lydia Harrell agreed to sing, they knew they had something special.
They received a “landslide” of contributors including three members of the Wellesley Village Church Youth Group and Massachusetts General Hospital cardiologist Dr. Jim Januzzi. Januzzi plays lead guitar—in his scrubs—at the end.
Georgenes took all of the audio recordings and added them as different tracks in his editing software. He mixed and mastered it so that it would sound as if all the performers were in the same room.
Once he added all the different video tracks, his labor of love was complete.
He says the response has been incredible. “It’s bigger than we are at this point!”