EP 030 – Interpreting Billy Part 1 (with Michael Cavanaugh)

After 1993’s River of Dreams, fans waited and wondered if Billy Joel would ever release another pop album. The answer, as we know now, turned out to be no. But, nearly a decade after that release, we saw a new development for Billy’s music. 

The first years of the new century saw three new releases that featured Billy Joel’s music, but without him playing on two of them. In 2001, Sony Music released the two-disc Essential Billy Joel. 

But, in terms of new music, Billy also released Fantasies and Delusions that year. It premiered music that Billy had written in the style of 19th century romanticism. Then came the award-winning Broadway production Movin’ Out in 2002, which strung many of his hit songs into a loose dance-based narrative.  

The styles of these two projects are very different. But, they shared a common thread: Both featured other musicians interpreting Billy’s music. In Movin’ Out, Michael Cavanaugh led the pit band through hundreds of sold out shows. And, the Fantasies and Delusions recordings were arranged and performed by classical pianist Hyung-ki Joo. 

What changes when other piano players perform Billy’s music? What elements shine through? What’s it like to be tasked with performing music written by one of the most popular recording artists of the 20th century? 

In a special two-part series, we’re asking just that. And, we’re going right to the sources. This episode features a new interview with Michael Cavanaugh about his Broadway experience. And, stay tuned for the second installment featuring our conversation with Hyung-Ki Joo. 

Join us, as we dig deep into the music of Billy Joel, with two players who learned and interpreted the pieces.

Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

Glass Houses – A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

Support the podcast: