With Love From Cuba

by Mike Evin

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  • Poster/Print + Digital Album

    Bring a little of my Cuba trip home with you. All photos (front and back) are from my 2012 Cuba trip. Each postcard is dedicated to one of the cities in which I spent time in Cuba. On the back of each postcard, I write extensively about the songs that were inspired by that city.

    Includes unlimited streaming of With Love From Cuba via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Get all 10 Mike Evin releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of With Love From Cuba, Life As A Lover, Voice Memo Demos, Live at the Tranzac, Live on Ships & Dip V, The January Muse, Let's Slow It Down, I'll Bring The Stereo, and 2 more. , and , .

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about

This is an EP of songs that were inspired by my trip to Cuba in 2012 to study bata percussion. Most of these were written after my return to Canada, but I've also included "field recordings" from Cuba. I recorded most of the songs in August 2015 in my Toronto apartment, with the help of Zephie James and Ian MacKay on percussion.

credits

released November 25, 2015

TORONTO RECORDINGS:
Piano and lead vocal: MIKE EVIN
Conga and djembe: ZEPHIE JAMES
Assorted percussion: IAN MACKAY

CUBA RECORDINGS:
Bata percussion: MIKE EVIN, GILBERTO "INDIO" MORALES, LORENA
Vocals: MIKE EVIN, GILBERTO "INDIO" MORALES
Piano: MIKE EVIN

Recorded and mixed by Mike Evin
Recorded in Summer 2012 and Summer 2015

All music and lyrics by Mike Evin, except "Iyasa" and "Moyu Ba Orisha" traditional

Special thanks to all of my friends in Cuba who inspired these songs. I will find a way to get these recordings to you somehow. Thanks as well to Zephie and Ian for giving their time to make these recordings.

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Mike Evin Toronto, Ontario

I play piano and write songs.

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Track Name: Malecon Lovers
I’ve been to a place they call the Malecon
stretching for miles along the sea
not too long ago I found the Malecon
where all the resting lovers seemed so free

CHORUS:
Woah-oh - I wished that we could be
Woah-oh - Malecon lovers, you and me

It was hard to find a place sometimes on the Malecon
but next to a family I would sit
just pretending I was the oldest son
who came back to town for a visit

CHORUS

BRIDGE:
And on the other side of the family
he’s got the back of his head on her thighs
and his lips around her eyes

They’re selling guitar strings on the Malecon
for cheaper than you find them in the shops
but there always is a trovadore on the Malecon
even if fishing wire’s all he’s got

CHORUS

Woah-oh - caught between the sea
Woah-oh - and Malecon lovers getting free
Track Name: Benny Moré On The Radio
When you were young
you heard Benny Moré
Benny Moré on the radio
on a Sunday at lunch
your dad knew all the words
he took off his shirt and he danced alone
Oh, you move your hips so easily

CHORUS:
You had a head start
you had a head start on me
I hear the beat and parts
but you had a head start on being free

When I was young
I was strapped in a car
strapped in a car with the radio
with the words in my head
and the beat in my teeth
I sang from my seat and I sang alone
Oh, you move your lips so easily
but...

CHORUS

Sha la la la
hey hey hey

When I'm at home
I put Benny Moré
Benny Moré on my stereo
on a Monday at lunch
I don't know any words
but I take off my shirt and I dance alone
Oh, I take my hips so seriously

CHORUS
Track Name: Matanzas Stars
Shine on me, Matanzas stars
shine on me
Track Name: Matanzas
In Matanzas, in Matanzas
there are people waiting on a phone call
in Matanzas, in Matanzas
there are children using a medicine bottle as a baseball
in Toronto, in Toronto
in Toronto, in Toronto
I don’t speak Spanish anymore
like I did in Matanzas

In Matanzas, in Matanzas
Mariam is waiting on bassoon reeds
in Matanzas, in Matanzas
Gilberto is grooving to 90’s R&B
in Toronto, in Toronto
in Toronto, in Toronto
I don’t move my shoulders anymore
like I did in Matanzas

Just like you
I wait too for a call

In Matanzas, in Matanzas
promises were made inside the kitchen
in Matanzas, in Matanzas
helping Delvis everyday with her English diction
in Toronto, in Toronto
in Toronto, in Toronto
I don’t make promises anymore
like I did in Matanzas
Track Name: Crespo
I am back in Canada
and the stiffness in my neck
is plainer now to me than before I went away
All I wanted was just a couple of breaths
so deep I wouldn’t need to leave Mejunje

CHORUS
Oh, Crespo
bang your chest one time for me
Oh, Crespo
raise your hands to the air
somehow it was meant to be - that I’d meet you there

If I had more gumption
I would live just like you
drink rum all day, live in a ponchero
Not have legal papers
but a citizen through and through
carry speakers to Mejunje for the evening show

CHORUS
Oh, Crespo
bang your chest one time for me
Oh, Crespo
raise your hands to the air
Someone’s watching out for you - someone up there

If I could I’d send some money
to that punk rock band
and T-shirts from Montreal, but I’m shirtless now
Crespo when you talked to me
it was hard to understand
I hardly drank, didn’t smoke at all but felt Santa Claran somehow

CHORUS
Oh, Crespo
bang your chest one time for me
Oh, Crespo
raise your hands to the air
Someday I will make it back - until then take care
Track Name: Silvio's Songs
Dear Darien, dear Adriana
I’m in Montreal, back in Canada
these old familiar streets
against a 4/4 beat
used to feel like home
I just gave to your friend Elena
a disc of music you might like
it kept me up all night

CHORUS 1:
I started with Silvio’s songs
and found out the night’s not so long
Silvio’s songs made their mark on me
but I think it was more how you’d sing
a night full of Silvio’s songs to me

I’m not one to show too much before I go
I walk away in lights, and never get to know
if I stayed a little longer
and played a little stronger
what would I see grow?
but in the morning I came to your gallery
to see if you remembered me
I almost stayed asleep

CHORUS 2:
We started with Silvio’s songs
and found out the night’s not so long
Silvio’s songs seemed intruiging to me
but now and forever they will be linked
to the way you sang Silvio’s songs to me

BRIDGE:
I’ll be back in Trinidad someday
Elena tells me that’s where you wanna stay
just when I begin to learn if I give more of myself
I get more love in return

Take care Darien, take care Adriana
from a new-found friend in Canada
it might take a while
so think of me and smile
soon we'll catch up in style
and when we run out of things to say
we’ll let the dancing lessons start
with open awkward hearts

CHORUS 3:
We started with Silvio’s songs
and found out the night’s not so long
Silvio’s songs lasted 'till way past three
But now they’ve become a memory
you singing Silvio’s songs
a night full of Silvio’s songs to me
Track Name: Independence Day in Parque Central (Trinidad, Cuba)
What’s a day if not to celebrate
being around to celebrate?
the wrinkles ‘round her eyes
as she sucks on ice from a water bottle
give away

CHORUS:
It’s Independence Day, Parque Central
in Trinidad, Cuba
I’d like to know how we’re really that different