Guitarist Gary Lucas (Jeff Buckley, Captain Beefheart) and award-winning singer Jann Klose are adamant about bringing attention to our neighbors in need. With January 2016 plans to release STEREOPTICON, an album of song collaborations, the two continue to spread the word about their 2014 music video "Mary Magdalene.” Co-written with Dan Beck (who has written with Dion DiMucci and the Rascals’ Felix Cavaliere), “Mary Magdalene” brings attention to people in Long Island, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and New Jersey still struggling to get their lives back to normal since Oct. 29, 2012's Superstorm Sandy.
Among the other indignities these disaster victims have faced, some people who didn’t have flood insurance were told by FEMA that they needed to return money.
These songwriters still hear stories of people desperately wishing Long Beach had its hospital back. “An urgent care center is not good enough for the different health emergencies any of us would have on a given night,” says resident and musician, bassist Joanne “J-Bird” Phillips. “I needed to go to the emergency room but the hospital has been boarded up since Superstorm Sandy. I had an eye emergency and went to the Urgent Care Center that's on the grounds of the former hospital. They had no ophthalmologist and a very limited pharmacy that didn’t have the medication I needed. I had to drive almost a half hour to a 24 hour pharmacy, with my eye problems, while waiting 3 hours to be seen by a doctor who didn't even physically examine my affected eye!”
Gary Lucas says, “Until everybody is back in their homes and things are back to normal, we are getting the word out in support of everyone affected by Superstorm Sandy.”
Dan, Gary and Jann created the video for “Mary Magdalene” with help of Long Beach, NY travel agent Debra Michaels who cleared locations with colleagues in Island Park within a half hour of hearing about the video. They all said, "We want to get the message out that we're having a rough time getting Island Park back to normal."
Recalling tragic songs like Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” Christy Moore’s “Back Home in Derry, Peter Adamson's "The Titanic,” "Mary Magdalene" is about living through Superstorm Sandy. Jann, Gary and Dan, plus a three-person production crew: Z3Rro The Comet, and Ashley Christopher (recent graduates from Five Towns' College) and EDM DJ James Messina filmed "Mary Magdalene" throughout Island Park. They showcased footage of condemned homes, the local firehouse and a favorite pub, The Local Ale House. In addition to cinematography in Island Park, the video uses footage of Breezy Point supplied by Getty Images Editorial Footage/Getty Images. Jann and Gary's songwriting style is based in the Roots Music Genre. In actuality both artists are eclectic musicians, who tour throughout the world on their own.
Through his career, Gary Lucas worked extensively with both Jeff Buckley and Captain Beefheart. He is a solo artist and band leader with 27 albums of his own to his credit. He just toured Australia as the music director of A STATE OF GRACE, the music of Jeff & Tim Buckley; Martha Wainwright shared the stage with Gary. He shared a GRAMMY nomination with Joan Osborne for co-writing the song “Spider Web.” ROLLING STONE says Gary is, "One of the best and most original guitarists in America...a modern guitar miracle." His long-awaited Fleischerei album (Music from Betty Boop) will be released on Cuneiform, end of January.
Jann Klose recently finished touring South Africa where he grew up as a child; he sang with South Africa's National Symphony Orchestra’s conductor Richard Cock and talented orchestra students from South Africa and Nambia. He is a multiple Independent Music Award (IMA) winner. In December, the award-winning Australian documentary VENUE FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, that Jann appears in alongside of Dick Cavett and Ian Anderson, will be out on Brink Vision.
Gary and Jann both worked on the movie GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY (Tribeca Films/Focus World/Universal). Jann is the singing voice of Tim Buckley, while Gary consulted and played guitar. Tony Award winner Frank Wood plays Gary in the film.
"Mary Magdalene" appears on youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA-GJNH0I38.
Gary & Jann encourage their fans to donate to the Island Park Volunteer Fire Dept., P.O Box 500, Island Park, NY 11558 or online at 2ndbattalion.org/departments/island-park/.