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Rush Hour (Inadvertent Meditation for a Friend)

by Speed the Plough

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Rush Hour is one of the first pieces we started working on when the lockdown in the NYC area started. It was shortly after attending our last live performance, by the Philip Glass Ensemble, in the city. Hence the appropriation of his musical themes. Then, in late March we connected with our friends in the Beirut-based band Safar on an live Instagram thing they were doing. We inquired about each other’s experience with the virus and I mentioned that we lost a good friend and fan, Tony Donato, who happened to be at the last show we played with Safar in New York. We talked about doing some sort of long distance collaboration, which seemed to resonate as a bit of a refuge from what we were all going through. So we sent the music to Safar vocalist Mayssa Jallad, with the title Rush Hour and nothing else but the music. To our great delight she wove together the quaint notion of a rush hour and the loss of our connections with friends, loved ones, people.

Proceeds from these downloads will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.


I miss rush hour
I miss crowded bars, loud music and funerals...
How do we say goodbye to those we lost?
I miss your presence in every crowd
Will you let me sing you this song?
I miss rush hour, with you by my side

In Arabic:
إشتقت إلى زحمة السير
إشتقت إلى الحانات المكتظة و الموسيقى الصاخبة و إلى الجنازات 
 إلى الجنازات
فكيف نودّع الذين خسرناهم؟
إشتقت إلى وجودك في كل جمهور 
هل تسمح لي  هل تسمح لي  هل تسمح لي بهذه الأغنية؟
إشتقت إلى زحمة السير معك قربي


released August 14, 2020
Written by John Baumgartner and Mayssa Jallad
Toni Baumgartner - flutes
John Baumgartner - piano, accordion
Mayssa Jallad - vocal
Recorded in New Jersey and Beirut
Mixed by Don Sternecker at Mix-o-lydian Studios
Mastered by Scott Anthony at Storybook Sound


all rights reserved



Speed the Plough Hackensack, New Jersey

Speed the Plough is a New Jersey-based chamber pop band that has been playing since 1984. The band was formed by John & Toni Baumgartner and Marc Francia, the founders of The Trypes, a mainstay of the ’80s Hoboken scene, which included most members of The Feelies. STP has released 9 full-length albums (Coyote, ESD, Dromedary, and Bar-None), a single on French label Acetone, and a self-released EP. ... more

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