Artist: Johnny Hamil of Mr. Marco's V7
The Song: "The Privilege (Recycled Winter)" performed by musical act Victor and Penny
It started with a dream: "I just dream sounds," says bassist and composer Hamil. "Sometimes I see colors but mostly it's just black." The Kansas City, Kansas, native says that music is running through his brain constantly. He's composing in his head all the time.
It was a dream that inspired Hamil to start a musical project titled GAV7D: Thanks For Everything. The idea, to take old instrumental songs from his band Mr. Marco's V7 and invite other artists to collaborate on a series of recordings. Sixteen tracks and 26 different artists later, the first of a series of five albums was completed.
The privilege: The seventh track on the album, The Privilege, it dedicated to, and mostly about Anne Winter, who was a central part of Kansas City's music scene. Winter owned the record store Recycled Sounds. She died at the age of 45 in 2009.
Recycled Sounds used to be at Westport Road and Main Street. Hosting frequent in store concerts, it was a focal point for the local music scene in the 1990s and early 2000s. It closed about 10 years ago.
Hamil invited collaborators Victor and Penny to help write lyrics and perform the song. Based on their own experiences and a collection of stories gathered from other local artists who knew Winter, they found the words.
Hamil says the whole collaborative project, has been a celebration and tribute to Kansas City's music scene and all the supportive people who have been a part of it. "It was just a privilege to play music with my friends."
Remembering Anne Winter and Recycled Sounds: "The best part of Recycled Sounds was Anne," says Hamil. He recalls that Winter would loyally show up to local gigs and encourage artists to make recordings, which had a lasting impact on the scene.
"You knew that she was going to ask you to record a record every time she saw you. Every time. You know like, 'Where's my recording that I can sell in my store?'"
Hamil says that encouragement and positive push, inspired a lot of local musicians to pursue their music. It came up again and again as Hamil talked with other artists about their memories of her.
Hamil says their first three CD release parties were at Recycled Sounds. He says Mr. Marco's V7 avant garde style would often stump Winter when labeling his music in the store.
"She'd be like, 'It's hard to actually know where to put your CD in my store.' Which I liked a lot," he says. Hamil says his main purpose in life is to defy categories. "Like you could put a V7 record in a rock aisle, the jazz aisle, the weird aisle, the polka aisle."
Hamil says he thinks it was hard for Winter to shut Recycled Sounds down, but recalls that it was a changing time for record stores.
"It was at the time when people weren't buying records. You know, the digital age," says Hamil. "That killed every record store. It's interesting now that we have Mills (Record Company) and Josey (Records), and that they're popping back up, because people are realizing that they're missing this thing."
Now everyone is digging the kcbeat
and this girl is always dancing with those happy feet
ask her and you’ll get a list of all the local greats
find the sound Davey’s Uptown
(getting down Recycled sounds)
Supporting the scene with your face in the place
and she is always waiting for the record release
Community sets the creative pace
Inspirational reach is long and deep
and her smile is your weapons defeat
politely teaching the kc belief
gather around, passion found
There you are
You’ll go far
living in that smelling car
Life is war for the Main street star
Smiles to you Records True
if it takes a little while KC style
Building creatively Music Scene
It’s just a privilege to know you
It’s just a privilege to know you
It’s just a privilege to be true
It’s just a privilege to see you
It’s just a privilege to be you
I only know that you're the only one
that looked at me and didn’t run
You looked at me and set me free
and gave me the power to be You