Marblehead native, Amanda Maffei, is making a rare appearance on old, familiar turf when she takes a special place on the me&thee stage on Friday, April 4. Her song entitled “Run Boston Strong” needs to be heard as we make our way toward the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon tragedy. Amanda asked if she could sing her song to memorialize those whom we lost that day last April and to console all those who have been hurt in any manner of ways due to this horrible incident in our not too distant history.
Have you always been into music? Tell us about your musical influences.
Music has been my constant companion from a very young age. I remember my first original song as ‘The Elephant and the Ant.” It was an improvised instrumental. The elephant clomped on the lower keys of the piano while the ant scurried across the uppers.
Teenage angst brought music and lyrics on in force. Lots to ponder and express. I’ve reworked some initial songs and include them in my set lists.
My greatest musical influences are many. In no particular order, some include James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, Bonnie Raitt, Anita Baker, Quincy Jones, Simon and Garfunkel, and…the young Michael Jackson! I learned phrasing singing over and over to his records in the TV room!
How would you describe your music?
I challenge myself to compose in varied styles of music, though I’m predominantly a folk/pop songwriter. An accomplished Boston based jazz tenor sax player once said the tune we recorded together sounded like Theolonius Monk!
You’ve touched a lot of hearts with your song “Run Boston Strong.” Can you tell us about the genesis of that song?
‘Run Boston Strong’ nearly wrote itself. Like many of my songs, the melody and words formed themselves together. A local Hopkinton minister called a prayer service in Hopkinton at the town common shortly after the bombing. I heard his recounting of events at the finish line. I wondered how I would have reacted. I felt a strong desire to say however anyone dealt with the blast was okay.
I held Martin Richard, his family, and most particularly his mother, close in my heart. I had a qualifier for 2013 but opted not to register due to an Achilles injury. My son Sam was 8 years old. I had stood right in front of those shops with my two stepchildren when their dad crossed the finish line after a long hiatus from marathon running.
I’ve experienced that inexpressible, sheer, exhausted joy making the final turn onto Boylston Street. The destructive choice of those two young men smashed its way through Boylston’s sanctified corridor of heightened cheering that serves to propel one so spent to persevere and cross the finish line.
The experience of stewarding ‘Run Boston Strong’ through this year has given me some important insights. I love music being of service to others. I love performing for others. I love collaborating. I love learning how to sit back and let others bring their own selves to the work. I love loving other peoples’ work. And I love participating in the Muse!
Do you have any short and long-term goals that you’d like to achieve with your music?
I look forward with great pleasure to performing at the me&thee, my teenage touchstone…for (fifty-something) friends I did some growing up around…in the presence of the distinguished talents of both Sally Rogers and Bill Staines.