“I got a call from a friend that works with Stevie Wonder,” says local percussionist Steve Haney. “He mentioned that he had an opportunity for me to record with Stevie. Stevie had an idea to present a new tune called ‘Fear Can’t Put Dreams to Sleep’ at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, where he would volunteer his time to perform.”
Shortly before the late-August event, Haney was invited to record the song at Wonderland, Wonder’s L.A. studio.
“I dropped everything I was doing,” says Haney. “Stevie’s idea was to present a multicultural drum ensemble groove. We recorded as a six-piece drum group with Stevie in the recording console room on keys and vocals.” Haney played tambourine, snare, and “more cowbell” on the track.
“Next thing I know, a few days later, I was on my way to Denver to perform live in front of 84,000 people [at the Democratic Convention].… We were essentially the opening band for Al Gore, who presented a speech after Stevie’s songs.” Other performers included John Legend, Sheryl Crow, and Michael McDonald.
Steve Haney appears every Thursday with the house band at downtown’s Anthology jazz club.
– Jay Allen Sanford