02_The Hawana Way (2003) single
In the early 2000s I went to Cuba a couple of times. It was in a hotel room in York, UK after a rained out gig that the first trip was planned. The town was flooded, with boats in the streets. I was feeling sorry for myself and called my friend Bonnie Raitt in LA for a chat. She mentioned she was going to Cuba on a special trip and would I be up for joining her? Would I what? I jumped at it. Hanging out with iconic Havana singer-songwriter Carlos Varela, lute player Barbarito Torres from the Buena Vista Social Club and seeing Chu Chu Valdes perform live were highlights in a trip of many highlights. The song came to me while I was there. Why ‘Hawana’ and not Havana? I just thought it sounded better… and I recalled a hit song from my youth called ‘Wimoweh’ which I thought was a cool title…’Hey, Hey, Hawanway’!