Sting taped some tracks at The Cutting Room in New York on November 6 for inclusion in an upcoming Charlie Rose Show.
You can see two clips here:
Have You Seen The Bright Lily Grow (w/ Edin Karamazov)
Soul Man (w/ Sam Moore)
Ten lucky Sting.com members were there to report on what happened...
"Thanks to Sting, Edin Karamazov, Sam Moore and his band, and Sting.com for a memorable afternoon this past Monday at the Cutting Room in New York City. The breadth of Sting's musical ability was on display as he transistioned from 16th century lute music (John Dowland's 'Come Again' and Robert Johnson's 'Have You Seen the Bright Lily Grow') to 20th century R&B (Sam Moore's 'None of Us Are Free' and 'Soul Man'). After the Police disbanded I recall an interview with Sting where he stated his concern that musical forms were becoming too rigid and that it was his belief that an artist should be free to explore different genres. The versatility of his performance on Monday shows Sting has remained true to his musical beliefs and consequently he, unlike many "pop stars," continues to evolve as a musician. Ultimately, I think this why we as fans remain hitched to Sting's star - he always takes us somewhere different and exciting." - Martin
"On Monday, November the 6th, ten lucky winners (including myself) got a chance to go and see Sting and Sam Moore tape for The Charlie Rose Show at Chris Noth's little spot in NYC, The Cutting Room. Sting sang two pieces off his 'Songs From The Labrynth' album ('Come Again' and 'Have You Seen The Bright Lily Grow') with the help of Edin Karamazov on yet another lute. Edin is pure talent and concentration, and I can't imagine anyone didn't sit fascinated as he navigated this most magnificent instrument. As a gift to the crowd Sting and Edin went on to perform a sweet version of 'Fields Of Gold' that I hope others will have the pleasure of hearing in the future. After that, Sam Moore got on stage and along with Sting, and Moore's very own incredible back-up singers, belted out 'None Of Us Are Free', off his new album 'Overnight Sensational'. The man is good! The album is great but nothing compared to the live performance. Sting and Moore had a great time on a small stage, in front of a small and very grateful crowd, laughing, singing and dancing about. Hearing the happy ensemble sing 'Soul Man' was a bonus I never saw coming. For someone who's been following Sting since she was 8, I can't even begin
to tell you what an amazing experience this was for me. Perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of Sting in an intimate setting and watch him make jokes as he struggled to tune his lute. Thank you Dave, Tina, and Wendy for a memory I'm sure never
to forget!" - Ronit
"The other fans have done a great job of describing the particulars of the event. I continue to be moved by the experience and have but enough energy to perhaps make a feeble attempt to find words to describe some of what I felt.
Certain things come out of moments; Feelings of exuberance, particles of foreign sensations may bathe your skin and this whole spectrum of awareness may suddenly surround you. Moments where lucidity wavers and you stand in the balance of what is real and what is a dream. All of this filled me the moment Sting began to sing 'The Bright Lily Grow'. It is my testimony that his energy traveled threw all of us present and the intimacy of the setting was soothing all our senses.
The place was quaint and the walls were decorated with paintings of musical prowess which looked on accenting the talents we were witnessing. We were all participating in life and as I stood still tears began to drown my breath. I felt the wave of Sting's voice wash over me. His poise was spiritual and his energy in the last verse intoxicated my ability to keep my sight focused. Edin's fingers carefully dancing on the strings of the lute together with Sting's voicings nourished my soul and left a feeling of spiritual communion.
I thank you from the inner most roots of my soul. I will never forget this day, never forget this gift, for it is in moments like this that we find discoveries that are beyond our capacity to apprehend in our awaken state." - Divar
"Just returned to Pennsylvania from my absoLUTEly wonderful afternoon courtesy of Sting.com. at Sting's performances with Edin and Sam Moore. What can I say? I don't think the afternoon could have been any better. Sting and Edin entered the room about 2:45 and we were treated to a wonderful - or should i say "absoLUTEly" wonderful) soundcheck in which they played 'Come Again' and 'Have you Seen My Bright Lily Grow', not without challenges in getting the multi-stringed Lutes in tune.
After the fantastic, Edin/Sting set (and I do have to comment that Edin appeared to be channeling Domenic during the set with his long bangs dangling fully in front of his face), Sting exited but returned shortly thereafter with the great Sam Moore. They soundchecked 'None of Us Are Free' from Sam's 'Overnight Sensational' and it was AbsoLUTEly fantastic! Janis Pendarvis and Brenda Russell were among the "girls" doing backup. OK. The highlight was at the end, someone in Sam's or Club management said "Hey guys, what to give the crowd some dessert?" With this, Sam and Sting and the ladies launched into "Soul Man!" Does it get any cooler??? I think not." - Margie
"Hey everyone. Got home a little while and figured I'd sit down to bang out my recount of today's wonderful time. A big heartfelt thank you goes out to Tina, Dave, and Wendy for making this and all the other great opportunities possible. Here are my observations and unique tidbits for the day.
1. Edin is a true talent on the lute. I was on the fence about lute music as a concept, but was totally blown away by him. During one song in which Sting was not playing, I would have sworn that 3 or more instruments were playing and it was just Edin by himself. I could listen to him playing the more complex stuff all day.
2. Sting couldn't get a note in edgewise during 'Fields of Gold'. At one point, he made that embarrassed/silly look as he didn't have any notes in his fingers to put into the lute. Even still....The version they did of 'Fields' was the most incredible rendition I have ever heard.
3. Sam Moore is a trip... I mean a total character like no one else I have met.
I sat in the very front and was serenaded by Sting and Sam Moore. Across the board, this was another outstanding day in my history with Sting fandom. Tough to compare this versus nights like Kenny's tribute show or Carnegie Hall 2000...But today was really special. Thanks a bunch for making it happen!!" - Josh
"I really want to thank Sting.com for this wonderful gift. That is what I consider it! You certainly can't put a price on it. It was great to meet all of you! To me it is always a thrill to meet fellow Sting fans. It was so small and intimate. It really was a treat! I saw Edin come in and others from the group, and then the man himself. I was able to say hi to Edin and Sting and I was thrilled to meet Sam. He is so awesome. The setlist and events pretty much went as Margie and Josh have stated. It was so incredible to hear the sound of the lute in person and Sting's voice was smooth as silk! He sounded so good! It was better than front row tickets! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! What I really enjoyed the most was the banter back and forth. Sting was witty and humorous as usual. It is so good to see him in such a relaxed setting. I could have sat and listened all day!" - Kathy
"It was an absolutely amazing afternoon and an incredible experience that I will never forget and am truly grateful for. I must admit that I was a bit surprised that there were feedback issues at the beginning of the first soundcheck with Edin and Sting....I had assumed that only the highest caliber audio engineers worked with Sting....I was also surprised at the patience and humor that Sting exhibited when the feedback was occurring, as I'd imagine that he does not usually have to deal with problems of that nature. I thought it was really cool when Sting said something to the effect of "I can sing without a microphone....just use it to accentuate my voice" (sorry, i forgot the exact wording). Anyway, all of the music was phenomenal, and the performance of 'None Of Us Are Free' was heavenly. Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity." - Mary
"When the good folks at Sting.com contacted me about being selected, I was ecstatic. I absolutely love and constantly listen to Songs from the Labyrinth and looked forward to hearing a few of the songs live. I also looked forward to meeting other Sting.com fans. When we walked into the building, we entered into a large room set with tables and a bar. We were directed to the other side of the room and instructed to stand just outside another set of doors leading to a back room where the recording was to take place. While standing there, I glanced to the front of the room by the bar and was shocked to realize I was looking at Sting, who had just arrived and was greeting friends. The first taping they set up to do was Sting and Edin. Edin was maybe 6 feet from where I sat. Sting maybe ten. It was absolutely awesome to watch them play their instruments. The first run through of 'Come Again' was a sound check (sounded great to me). Before moving on to doing it again for taping, Sting was trying to fine tune a string on the lute but was having a difficult time doing so. He made a few humorous comments concerning the lute while Edin worked at tuning the instrument. If I recall correctly, the heat of the lights was affecting the strings. Edin was able to get the lute in tune. I didn't think the song could get any better the second time through, but it did. The timbre and tone of Sting's voice was incredible. The second song was 'Have You Seen the Bright Lily Grow'. I can't remember if they did it twice or not. But, again, it was a beautiful rendition. When done, someone (important, I think) suggested Sting play 'Fields of Gold' on the lute. That was gorgeous to listen to as well.
I was impressed by the complexity of the lute and the ease with which Edin Karamazov played. It was mesmerizing to watch his fingers deftly handle the instrument. Though Sting kidded he removed a few strings because he's a bass player, he's no slouch at playing the lute. And why does he liken his hands to plumbers' hands? They are fine just as they are! After Sting and Edin were done, their chairs and instruments were removed. Sam Moore's band was already set up and they quickly took the stage. Both performances of 'None of Us Are Free' rocked. It was unusual to see Sting sing without an instrument in his hand. I was unable to pick up Sam Moore's album during the weekend but I am now determined to get it. What an excellent song! He ended the session with a rollicking rendition of 'Soul Man', to which Sting seemed to have a fun time dancing and singing. In summary, I don't know how an event could have gotten any better than this, at least from a fan's viewpoint. We got the opportunity to see Sting at work in a way that was very different, that few people get to see. Thanks Sting.com and Tina, Dave, and Wendy for having arranged this. It was very worthwhile. It's a memory I'll treasure and carry with me always." - Sharon
"First of all I'd like to thank Sting.com for this awesome oppurtunity. I had never met Sting before or been that close to him. So it was wonderful just to see him walking and talking to people. After Sting and Edin walked in Edin found a seat close to me and I thought about introducing myself but hesitated. Then I saw Kathy walk up to him so I new it was my turn. After I shook his hand he asked if I was with the fan club and of course I said yes. I noticed John Corbett early on and did get to meet him at the end as he was leaving. Evidently he has a band that playes there in the evening when the place is open as a bar with live music. I think by what our contact said we were to be introduced to Sting or something but it was bit chaotic so she said to just find a seat which we were ready to do. The sound check and taping were relaxed and extremely enjoyable. There was maybe 70 or so people including everyone connected with the taping in the room standing or sitting wherever they chose. One thing I noticed, Sting is definitly no clothes horse and was in the same clothes as the Regis show from that morning. It made me realise he must be a very busy and tired man. Not that he looked tired because he didn't. I thoroughly got into the Sam Moore taping. He was very relaxed and thankful to his band, the backup singers and Sting. A very nice man who would be a great friend. I must get his CD 'Overnight Sensational'. After Sam's taping was finished, much to his surprise the band broke into 'Soul Man' which he graciously sang for the "audience". When Sting did a mock twist Sam laughed so hard he couldn't sing but soon regained his voice. The whole taping only lasted an hour but what an hour!! Pictures were taken, CDs were signed and friends were made. Then it was time to say goodbye. A very memorable day in NYC." - Barbara