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Local musicians create song about "New Routine" of quarantine

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A quintet of Detroit area musicians has joined forces for "New Routine," a song and video created well beyond the normal creative routine.

The melodic, Americana-flavored track, whose video rolled out Monday, March 30, on social media, is the brainchild of Andy Patalan, a member of the band Sponge and a producer and recording engineer who's worked with Ted Nugent, Nineteen Wheels, Bob Guiney and others. The Shelby Township resident's original intention was to do a song with Sponge, but after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home order made it impossible to get a band together in the studio, he took another route.

Creating "the raw bones of a song," he chose "some of my favorite area musicians who I knew had recording capabilities" -- including bassist Takashi Io in Clinton Township, keyboardist Chris Codish in St. Clair Shores and guitarist Jason Waggoner in Flint. He recruited Alyssa Simmons, who recently moved to Austin, Texas, to duet with him, and she came up with the lyrics about living in quarantine, with lines such as "I'm building puzzles with 1,000 pieces/I bought too many bags of Reese's/How many times can you clean the same damn thing?"

"When I sent the music out to Alyssa I didn't want the lyrics to be too on the nose about this thing," Patalan says. "She sent back all the lyrics and I said, 'I'm not gonan top that. That's perfect!'

"I was playing it for my kids and they started cracking up -- 'Omigod, we're doing all these things, eating mac and cheese and everything...Obviously this is a heavy thing going on, but it's always important to have a lighthearted approach during bad times."

Patalan -- who also runs a charity initiative called Andy's Guitar to benefit St. Jude's Hospital -- plans to make "New Routine" available on digital sales and streaming services "as soon as I can."

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