From the recording Two Brothers
It's difficult to remember much during the haze I was in after Mikie left us. One bittersweet moment was when New Orleans musician Alex McMurray sent me a demo of a song he wrote for Mikie. My little brother introduced me to Alex's music and he became one of our favorite singer-songwriter-guitarists. We saw him so many times over the years but our favorite was always an Alex solo acoustic show. Mikie and I would always theorize what it might take to make it into an Alex song. Mikie took the hard way. I know Mikie would have loved the official recorded version of Two Brothers released last year, but this demo of the song, that Alex sent me in the months after Mikie's death, has a certain feeling that resonated with me during those dark days. Thanks Alex for letting me share it...
A note from Alex McMurray:
“This one is for Mikie Lee Prasad, my friend from the wilds of California. Our paths first crossed at a Royal Fingerbowl gig in San Francisco back in the late 90’s. Some little club I can’t remember the name of. Mikie was in the opening band and I’m not even sure we even spoke to one another that night, but somehow I stayed on his radar and in 2005 he talked me into playing a semi-private affair at a crazy little bar way out on Long Island where he and his family were staying. That party was too insane to go into detail here, but after that we stayed in touch and he was instrumental in getting me gigs in the Bay Area. We hung out a lot talking about music and life and all that follows. Mikie was a beautiful guitar player and writer and used to record his own albums in his home studio on 1” tape. I helped him out a little with the songs that eventually became his great “Jukebox Folktales Vol. 1” album, and he used me on some sessions while I was out West. He and his brother Che used to put together these junkets to New Orleans, usually around Halloween and Jazz Fest, and bring their friends down here to blow their minds, eat and drink as much as they could and hear as much music as was humanly possible. They’d hire people like Luke Allen, Scully, Schatzy and myself to play these command performances at the Saturn Bar and later on at Siberia. Just huge music lovers and great spirits with the air of folks who just can’t believe their good luck. Mikie and Che had a special bond, like if you cut one guy the other guy would bleed—what I imagine the Wright Brothers, or the Van Halens, or Dizzy and Daffy Dean would be like. Mikie and Che were about as tight as any two brothers I’ve known.
When Mikie got sick Che sprang into action, pulling every string he could and looking at every possible option to save his brother’s life. But Mikie got dealt a bad hand, as they say, and he checked out in October 2015, leaving behind his beautiful daughter Daisy along with his parents Judy and Kedar and brother Che. The day after he died this song jumped up out of the void. My son was about a year and a half old at the time and it was all hands on deck pretty much constantly, so pretty much zero songs got written for a couple of years. Any song at all that came was as precious and rare as Beluga Caviar, or enriched uranium. I’m not sure how much stock I take in the Spirit World, but I give Mikie most of the credit on this one. It was written in the kitchen of 617 Gallier Street, and recorded in the next room over on September 26 2017. Thanks to Andy Forest for his (always) great harp playing and to Michael Mehiel for capturing the performance with his usual sensitivity and elan. Thanks especially to Mikie for writing this tune for me. I hope it satisfies and brings a smile, wherever it is that you are. We miss you, man. Stay cool until we meet again.”
music and lyrics by Alex McMurray
Alex McMurray - guitar, vocals
El Che Records 2018