New single: St. James Infirmary

On this new single Ewald Kegel goes back to his roots when he learned to play the piano in his teenage years. His piano teacher interested him to play boogie woogie and blues tunes. One of this tunes was St. James Infirmary. It was not until early 2022 when Ewald Kegel discovered the sheet music of the song again. He decided to delve somewhat in the history of the song and it turned out it was very old and already recorded in the roaring twenties of the past century.

By then he had known the song from the sheet music book purely as an instrumental track, yet it turned out that the tune actually was vocal with many incarnations in the lyrics over time. By the time Louis Armstrong recorded it the lyrics had the subject of a man whose wife has died. Later on in the song he described how he wants to be buried and there is also some reference to the involvement of booze.

Ewald Kegel could relate to the first lines of the song but from there took the lyrics in a different direction. It now has a more spiritual meaning, where the soul of the deceased person will never feel the same love she felt with her former husband at home. In the last couplet the husband recognises that his own death will reunite him with the soul of his wife.

Musically Ewald follows the arrangement (chords, harmony) of the first part of the sheet music he learned as a teenager. But the second part of the sheet music had a sheer endless range of descending chords that Ewald deemed less appropriate for the song. Yet he liked the melody of the second part. This melody is now the main ingredient for the guitar solo in the middle of the song.

So the result is a song with a mixture of some elements that existed before but introducing many new elements (lyrics, use of synthesizers). It might serve as the start of a renewed interest in this old yet remarkable song. The song will be released on May 3th 2022 through popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.