The songs of the Beatles tap into all of our emotions, providing a soundtrack to joyous celebration and helping us through difficult times. It’s a treat to hear their songs reinterpreted in different styles. After our story last week of New Jersey’s The Weeklings’ recreation of “All You Need Is Love,” we present three more tri-state area bands who put their own spin on the boys from Liverpool, recorded during the quarantine lockdown.
Michael Ghegan: “Blackbird”
Michael Ghegan is a Jersey-Shore musician who is currently a member of Roger Hodgson’s band, and has performed with artists as varied as Justin Timberlake and Andrea Bocelli A multi-instrumentalist who sings and plays saxophone, keyboard, guitar and more, Ghegan has become of indispensable part of the live performances of Hodgson’s Supertramp classic hits “Take The Long Way Home,” “Breakfast In America,” and “Give A Little Bit.” He’s also performed with noted songwriters Pat McGee, Colin Hay and produced a wide range of independent musicians, including Quincy Mumford and Josh Zuckerman
In this video, Ghegan puts a unique jazz and soul-influenced spin on the primarily acoustic “Blackbird,” playing all the instruments himself in his home studio.
Michael Arrom: “Here Comes The Sun”
Sit back, close your eyes and prepare to be soothed by this peaceful instrumental rendition of “Here Comes The Sun” performed by keyboardist Michael Arrom. The New Jersey-raised keyboardist/producer is based in Los Angeles these days and is working with various Disney stars, including Sofia Carson. Arrom got his start playing locally in New Jersey, wound up performing with Keith Urban on the Grammy Awards through the Grammy Foundation, went on tour with Steve Vai throughout Asia at the age of 18 and then went to college. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s an adjunct professor at his alma mater, USC Thornton School of Music.
The Black Ties: “Sweet Little Sixteen”
The Fest for Beatles Fans has been paying tribute to the music of the Beatles since 1974, when founder Mark Lapidos simply wanted to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Beatles taking America by storm. Fast forward to present day and the tribute, which normally plays live in Chicago and New York, has moved to a virtual celebration every Fab Friday. Tentative plans are in place for an October show in New York.
Here, the Black Ties, a young band around the same age of the Beatles when they first hit it big, take on the Chuck Berry classic “Sweet Little Sixteen.” Sometimes it’s better to play it straight and not deviate from the tried and true.
The Black Ties original music definitely falls into the ‘inspired by the British Invasion’ category, as can be seen in their original “I’m Talking About You.”