Happy Musical Monday, friends! I’m here with our monthly Alice in Wonder Band song, & this one’s very good—to my mind, it may be Eberle’s best composition, at least in terms of vocal songs.
The Alice in Wonder Band started as a vehicle for Eberle’s considerable compositional talents, & her original songs were always our best material. She was able to compose songs that underlined the strengths of each band member, & the tunes themselves were always fun to play.
The song “Plum Alley” comes from a stretch of road near us that’s lined with wild plums. In fact, plums thrive in our part of Idaho—many of the plum photos in the slide show accompanying the tune were taken in our own backyard! The song is seasonal, too, because the plums are just now coming ripe.
“Plum Alley” had an interesting origin. Clarinetist Bob George joined the Alice in Wonder Band in 2003, & Eberle decided we should have an improvisational warm-up in Bb, the clarinet’s base key. The first section of the song was the “basic” melody for this warm-up. Not long afterward, the words came to Eberle along with a second section, & the warm-up became a song.
The recording comes from a 2003 performance at the Alpine Playhouse. We did record this song during our one “studio” session, but the mix was all wrong. Unfortunately, I don’t have the master tracks from that session, & so I can’t do anything to fix it. Tho the live recording isn’t perfect, it does give a fair representation of the song as we played it, & it's superior to the studio version in the latter's current form.
Speaking of recordings, if you’d like a digital alum of Alice in Wonder Band music (including this track) for free, just follow this link to Bandcamp & download our one & only album, Elephant Cloudland. If you prefer, songs may be downloaded individually.
Hope you enjoy the song!