So, back to Joe. "Why do you ask?" I ask. "Have you ever heard of Leonid and Friends?"
And he gives me the skinny on Leonid and his friends. "Leonid and Friends" are, I suppose, essentially a cover band; in particularly covering Chicago (the band) tunes. They also do a little Earth, Wind and Fire and other stuff. But mostly Chicago. Now, who doesn't like that handful of Chicago classics from the 70's? For example, "Saturday, In the Park." I like them enough; but maybe not enough to go seek out Leonid and his friends.
Apparently, they are more of a collective of musicians who like Chicago a whole lot. The "friends" are composed of Russian and Ukrainian musicians, who, also apparently, learned English so they could sing the songs in the original language. Now, as to whether or not they learned English in it's entirety or just the English found in the songs, I cannot answer.
So, Joe sent me a link and I clicked on it. I was expecting something campy, perhaps mildly amusing, disposable...but when I watched it, I was mesmerized. The clip Joe sent me was their cover of "Only the Beginning":
Why? Why though? Why was it having this effect. The original never did. Why should a bunch of Europeans doing a note perfect copy of an old pop song be so transformative? It's joy. It's just sheer joy. You can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices. And they're honoring something they're thankful for by making it as perfect as they can. It's like joy reverb. And it's made me see people from that region (a region that is now being torn apart) in a different way. They're not dour and cowed. They love life and music and creativity as much as anyone. As much as I do. I feel a connection to these people because in many ways this country is being torn apart too.
I don't know...maybe you'll find it corny; but I'm thinking you won't.
Anyways, I just felt like I needed to share this discovery. Here's another one: