As the whole world knows, Bruce Springsteen is a Jersey boy.
But did you know that Curtis King — the Boss’ long-time backup singer — now lives in Westport?
King — who has performed and recorded with James Brown, Michael Jackson, Madonna, David Bowie, James Taylor, Snoop Dogg and Luciano Pavarotti (!) – says, “I have been blessed to be in the company of some amazing people.”
Westport seems blessed to have this talented musician. (In addition to singing — “My voice is as low as the lowest guy, and as high as a girl,” he says — King plays guitar, piano, percussion and French horn, and writes songs.)
His wife lived here in the 1980s. They’ve lived all over the world — most recently in her native Puerto Rico — but moved here recently for the community and schools. (Their daughters are 9 and 6.)
King appreciates Westport’s musical heritage. He and his wife knew former residents Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. The other day, King ran into his old friend Joey Levine, a noted jingle producer.
Their early weeks here were eventful. His wife caught pneumonia, and they still have not found a house. (They’re living at the Westport Inn.)
But he made time last weekend to do something he’s wanted for a long time: record a song he wrote. “No Sign of Religion” — which he’s worked on, off and on, since 9/11 — is an anthem about racism, society and life.
When King met Patrick Talev, a producer whose Norwalk home includes a beautiful recording studio, the key parts fell into place.
Telev suggested the song could use children’s voices. King talked to his friend Dodie Petit, a voice teacher. She found 7 who would be great. King added his daughters and a few friends.
The 12 — 11 girls and 1 boy — assembled on a Sunday morning. None had ever been in a recording studio. But the session went well. They sang the choruses. The result, King says, was “beautiful.”
The track will appear on “Changing Face,” King’s album project. He hopes to include Nils Lofgren — Springsteen’s guitarist — on the last track. The projected release datesis early next year.
Meanwhile, King says, “I count my blessings every day.”