By Marion Filler
“Canon” with one N refers to music, not military equipment.
It’s also a clue to describe The Loose Canons, a group of eight singers and musicians who will take aim at First Night Morris 2019 in the Parish Hall of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer on New Year’s Eve in Morristown.
“We have a very eclectic variety of music,” says Murray Spiegel who, with his wife Randi, has been with the group for about 13 years.
“We do doo-wop, we might have a song from the ’60s and ’70s, and music from the 2010s,” Murray Spiegel says.
“We also skewer anything at all that we think is a prime target,” which explains the Loose Canons moniker.
Celebrating its 27th year, First Night Morris consists of more than 100 top artists and 81 events at 23 venues, all within an easy walk or free shuttle bus ride. This festive evening, which includes fireworks at 9:15 pm and midnight, is organized by Morris Arts.
The Canons’ canon includes original parodies which can be silly, satirical, semi-political and, according to their website, “socially (ir)responsible songs.”
The ensemble has been called a cross between Manhattan Transfer and Second City.
“We do nice harmonies, but also have fun,” says Murray. “We try to be zany, humorous, and always entertaining. We do it all!”
The results are especially impressive, considering nobody in the group is a professional musician.
“This is a very fun hobby for all of us,” explains Murray, a speech technologist at Bell Labs. “When you talk to your phone it talks back to you – that’s the field I work in.”
The other performers include a university professor, a dentist, a financial specialist, a marketing professional, an insurance executive, and “several vagabonds,” Murray says. Piano, banjo, bass and mandolin back up the vocals.
A hit at prior First Nights, the Loose Canons are certain to bring fresh ammunition, inspired by the latest headlines, ensuring new laughs. Performances are scheduled for 7:15 pm and 8:15 pm at Redeemer, at 36 South St.
First Night Morris starts at 4:45 pm on New Year’s Eve and concludes with midnight fireworks over the Morristown Green. One admission badge gets you into as many performances as you can manage. Badges are $25, or $90 for a four-pack. They may be purchased online line or at the Mayo Performing Arts Center box office at 100 South St., (973) 539-8008. Parking will be free at municipal lots in Morristown. MorristownGreen.com is a proud supporter of First Night Morris.