Texas has its “yellow rose.” Georgia was on Ray Charles’ mind; Gladys Knight took a midnight train there, and Brook Benton sang about a rainy night.
There are too many California songs to count: “Girls,” “Dreamin’,” “Hotel” — you name it.
A quick Google search shows one from 1945, by Judy Garland and Bing Crosby. There’s “Kylie from Connecticut” by Ben Folds, and a couple of others — including (I’m not kidding) “Connecticut’s For F*cking,” by Jesus H Christ and the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
I haven’t heard of any of them.
Hopefully, all of us — in 06880, 90210 and everywhere in between — will soon hear “Connecticut,” by Emma Charles.
It may be the tune that puts us on the musical map.
Emma is certainly on the fast track. The 2015 Staples High School graduate — known then as Emma Ruchefsky — went on to the prestigious Berklee College of Music. She concentrated on performance and songwriting, and studied with Livingston Taylor.
Her first professional gig, as a sophomore, was at Rockwood Music Hall.
After graduating, Emma (whose professional last name, Charles, comes from her mother, Rondi Charleston — she’s a professional singer too) relocated to Los Angeles. She’s recorded and toured nationally. Billboard named her a Best Emerging Artist of 2020.
That initial trip to LA was the impetus for “Connecticut” — the song, the EP of the same name, and the video.
Emma wrote the title tune after a 2-week road trip from Westport west. She took the southern route, and called it “amazing.”
Along the way — and then in California — Emma reflected on her lifetime in the Nutmeg State, and the people she grew up with here. “Connecticut” flowed easily.
The video, meanwhile, began this past Christmas. Home for the holidays, Emma and her parents watched old home videos.
She also toured the town with former Staples classmate Sarah Quagliariello. They videotaped favorite sites.
Emma and her creative director, Msrina Piche, spliced together those old and new tapes, plus footage from Emma’s road trip to create the video.
It’s an allegory for transitioning from the familiar to the unfamiliar, the comfortable to the unknown. She grew up quite happily here, but is eager now for whatever comes next.
Viewers love the video, with its “old-timey” format.
“They say it’s organic — not curated or perfect,” Emma explains. “They like that it’s raw. They see a lot of me in it.”
Four more songs from the “Connecticut” EP rolls out soon. In May and June Emma heads off on a 12-city tour, opening for a band called Shell. The last date is at Joe’s Pub, in New York City.
Many of her Connecticut friends and fans will be there.
No doubt singing along with “Connecticut.”
(For more on Emma Charles — including songs from the “Connecticut” EP — click here.)