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Little Blue Suitcase | Little Blue Suitcase

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Country: Country Folk Country: Country Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Little Blue Suitcase

by Little Blue Suitcase

Mother-son acoustic duo from Alaska, singing old favorites and new originals. Patricia has toted her music in the little blue suitcase for 45 years, which inspired the name of our group and the title track.
Genre: Country: Country Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Love of the Common People
3:02 $0.99
2. My Heart's Been Broken
4:37 $0.99
3. Dream Lover
3:04 $0.99
4. Colorful Rainbow
4:12 $0.99
5. The Snakes Crawl at Night
2:57 $0.99
6. George (I Knew He Was the Puppy for Me)
4:51 $0.99
7. I'm Gonna Knock on Your Door
2:14 $0.99
8. Slowly
4:01 $0.99
9. Little Blue Suitcase
3:06 $0.99
10. Get Together
3:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
*** Song-by-song thoughts from Patricia Wade (2008) ...

Love of the Common People ~ I’ve sung this song with my brother from the time Greg was a baby.
He grew up loving this song as much as I do, and it’s such a pleasure to be able to sing it now with

My Heart’s Been Broken ~ when asked if we had any originals, I thought to myself, “I can write a
country song for Greg to sing!” It had to be sad, and I wanted a space for the 'Gregisms', which he
graciously included. After my cousin Jan heard the song, she said what an impact it has because
so many times problems happen because of words that ‘go unspoken’.

Dream Lover ~ always one of our favorites, this tune brings back memories from years gone by
and is lots of fun to sing.

Colorful Rainbow ~ Greg was driving up Moose Creek hill when he saw the rainbow that inspired
this song. It has a bit of an Ahtna beat.

The Snakes Crawl at Night ~ this old song by Charley Pride was a favorite of Greg’s before he
could even talk. He would carry the 45 record around, wanting us to play it. He couldn’t
pronounce the ‘s’ sound, so he would hold up the record and say, ‘h-nakes’.

George (I Knew He Was the Puppy for Me) ~ this heartfelt song is self-explanatory. It shares the
importance of having a beloved pet, from finding him at the animal shelter in Anchorage
through his full life and the heartbreak of turning him loose at the end of his long life.

I’m Gonna Knock on Your Door ~ we love to sing this snappy little song, especially after a
sad ballad.

Slowly ~ is a song we have both loved for many years because of its melodic simplicity and
the feelings we can share via these words and melody.

Little Blue Suitcase ~ my niece, Lisa, suggested we call ourselves by this title because I
always carried my music in that little blue suitcase. Greg suggested we have a song, a title
cut, so I tapped into my memory bank about the beginning of our relationship and wrote it
out. It’s the first song I ever wrote.

Get Together ~ this is another song that my brother and I used to sing from the time Greg
was a baby. It holds many cherished memories for us. After Ken added guitar and bass,
we loved it even more.


Singing from the Heart: Mother & Son Fulfill Lifelong Dream
By Patricia Wade (2008)

My firstborn son was turning 40, which pushed me up over the 60-year mark. Reflecting back on
his life, Greg admitted he always wanted to record music. That had secretly been a wish of mine
when I was younger, so I asked him if he would like for us to start practicing some songs and
just go for it. He said "yes" and my heart soared at the possibility.

I purchased my first baritone ukulele from Sears and Roebuck when I was twelve and sat in my
bedroom for hours by myself singing and strumming. We had lots of sing-alongs at my parents'
house. People would come from miles around to eat and sing together, bringing their instruments
and/or voices. Out of tune or in, it didn't matter. It was lots of fun. I chose to sing harmony, feeling
that my range wasn't big enough to hit the high notes. My favorite times were when I got to sing
with my older brother, Larry. We had a few favorite songs, like Love of the Common People, that
Greg grew up listening and singing along to.

Greg has always had a great voice. Once nearly 20 years ago some friends and I asked him to
come to a karaoke contest and we talked him into getting up to sing a song. Of course he won
the contest. To be able to sing with Greg for me was like a dream come true.

A year and a half ago we started practicing once or twice a week. The first couple times we got
together it was hard work and we both came away exhausted. I had been so used to strumming
a certain way and singing harmony through entire songs that I had to revise my whole style to
accommodate Greg's creativity. For example as we started singing our old favorites, Greg used
a highlighter pen to mark the areas for my harmony. He also had me learn different styles of
strumming and picking, rather than my usual "plunk-plunk-plunk" method. Although it was great
fun, it was definitely a strain on the brain.

After a couple weeks some of the songs started sounding the way we wanted them to and it was a
great feeling of accomplishment. When we finally got up the courage to sing in public during open
mikes at places like the Golden Lion and Organic Oasis in Anchorage, we were asked if we had
any original songs.

Greg had written several songs many years before. One called Colorful Rainbow came to him when
he was driving up Moose Creek hill: “It just poured rain like crazy. We had the biggest downpour in
days. I got in my car went for a drive and much to my eyes' surprise I see a colorful rainbow, like a
bridge across the river...”

The other song was about his beloved dog, George. George was just a small furry pup that Greg
chose at the animal shelter when he was ten years old. They were together, best friends, for 17
years until George’s old body could no longer stay alive. It was one of the lowest points in Greg’s
life. Driving 50 miles to the vet’s office in Anchorage, Greg’s hand rested gently on George’s little
body the entire way. Greg had a kinship with a wonderful animal doctor, and they sat in the room
together for a long while talking as Greg held his best friend for the very last time. The hardest
part was watching the vet carry George out of the room and hearing the door shut. Greg always
said that in that moment it was as if a part of his life had ended. “He's getting so frail and old. It
scares me to death. Who's going to be my comfort when it's his time to go? I knew he was the
puppy for me the moment I saw him in that little cage. A puppy that I named George…”

Because we were in the creative mode, I was able to put chords to his songs and we started
working on them. After we added music to the song called George (I Knew He Was the Puppy
for Me), and Greg recorded it so I could practice my part, I wept as I listened to it on my drive
back home because of the grief I felt coming through that song. It only gets sung if Greg feels
the time is right. Even in the recording studio it was basically one-take.

The feeling of being so affected by voice and words through a song reminds me of once having
lunch with one of our favorite female vocalists, Sylvia, hours before her concert. I mentioned how
some of her music touched me so deeply that I couldn't help but weep. She explained that was
probably because I was hearing her real human voice—whereas so much of today's musical
vocals are filtered through machinery. I've always loved Greg's voice, maybe partly because he
sings so genuinely from his heart.

Several years ago my niece Lisa was visiting us, listening to some of our songs, and said we
should sing for the public. She said, "I know what you could call yourselves. "Little Blue Suitcase."
That was because when I was a senior at Palmer High School I placed another order to Sears
and Roebuck for a set of three inexpensive suitcases that fit one inside the other. The smallest
of the three wound up carrying my music after the other two were long gone. For 45 years I have
toted my music in that little blue suitcase. It was decided, that would be the name of our group.

Later Greg said to me, "Mom, you like to write. Why don't you write a song about the Little Blue
Suitcase and that will be our title cut." It sounded like fun to me, never having written a song
before, so I let my memory take me back to 1963 and the words started pouring out. It starts,
"Standing on the Glenn Highway, I was heading south leaving home. We all gathered around,
waiting for the big Greyhound, coming down the road to carry me away." Greg liked it and we
made a few alterations and it's now one of our fun, upbeat songs.

I thought, "That was easy enough. I think I can write a country song for Greg too." We listened to
country music a lot in our growing up years. So to write a country song, I figured if it was sad
enough and someone's heart got broken, it would qualify. Plus I wanted to have some 'Gregisms'
in there. So I wrote an aptly titled song, My Heart's Been Broken. To hear Greg sing a song I wrote
for him really brought joy to my heart.

In addition to this CD being a mother-son collaboration, we invited another member of our family
to be involved in the project. My son, graphic artist Dimi Macheras, produced the artwork for the
CD cover.

We recorded at Mirror Studios in Anchorage. with Ken Sease’s production and engineering
expertise. He also added acoustic guitar, bass and slide guitar to some of the songs. We
settled on ten songs, four originals and six old favorites to mix it up.

It has been a dream-come-true for us to work together on these songs. It just goes to show that
dreams can come true, no matter how old we are. We were told at the studio that sometimes
family members who sing together have a synchronicity that isn't found elsewhere. At a time
when I might be retiring and settling back into my rocking chair, I feel so fortunate to be able to
sing with my son Greg that my heart also sings with joy.


My beloved mom, Patricia, passed away in 2014 and my life has been so empty without her beautiful
and always uplifting presence. I have such great memories of recording this music with her. We had
the time of our lives and I cherish the memories of the many times we got together to sing.

Mom's guitar is still sitting in the corner of my apartment where she left it. I see it all the time. It's
bittersweet to see it sitting there as all the wonderful memories come flowing through me. I know
how much joy it brought mom and many, many people over the years. You can hear it featured
throughout this whole CD, along with mom's beautiful harmony vocals. I strongly feel her guitar
and the little blue suitcase belongs in a museum exhibit dedicated to my mom.

I've given it a lot of thought the past year or so and decided that instead of this music being kept in
storage, like it's been for many years - I'd like to share it and make it available for people who
might be interested in adding it to their collection.

I think that's a great way to celebrate what would be mom's 74th birthday, and also the
Eleven-Year Anniversary of when we recorded this album. But most importantly, to honor mom
for the amazing woman that she was and for her incredible talent.

Thank you,

Greg Wade (2019)

*** In Loving Memory of My Wonderful Mother, Patricia Mae Wade ***

August 17, 1945 – July 31, 2014



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