From Lalah’s 1990 debut Album Lalah Hathaway this cut stayed on repeat… well actually let me rephrase that, it stayed on constant rewind with the auto search to the beginning of the track. I literally wore the cassette out on this cut because it was my “driving” music. Whether I was headed to school or who knows what else I could count on the intro to get my energy level up and then as the story unfolded I often found myself nodding in agreement that this was the kind of evening I would like to have. I would have to wait a while on that… but hey I think it’s always great to have a soundtrack prepared while you are on the casting search for your leading lady.

Musically “Stay Home Tonight” has always been a great example of groove tight playing. The rhythm section is locked together in the best way possible, warm background vocals accentuated often by a keyboard line, and Lalah’s ad-libs drive the sentiment of the song home through that rich tonality and inventiveness of melodic lines that she has become known for.

One thing that I really enjoy about “Stay Home Tonight” is that even though it’s been a few years and automobiles since it was my driving theme music, every time I put it out I still get that same feeling and in some ways for the 4:08 that it plays in my mind I’m the age that I was when I first heard it, except with a lot more knowledge about the world and its ways than I had then and a leading lady.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.