2. Greenland away (3:19)
3. The Ship The Diamond (3.05)
4. Shenandoah (2.26)
5. Sail Away, Ladies (2:52)
6. Greensleeves (4:15)
7. Mr. Koto (1.49)
8. Scarborough Fair (3.32)
9. The Star of the County Down (3:31)
10. The Wabash Cannonball (3:44)
11. Blackberry Blossoms (3:02)
12. Oh Susannah (2:22)
13. Shady Grove (2:34)
14. Cripple Creek Gal (1:41)
15. Richland Woman Blues(2:52)
16. Old Paint (3:35)
17. Windy Bill (2:16)
18. Buffalo Gals (2:54)
19. I Know You Rider (3:40)
You can listen to some of the tracks from this CD on the Music Page
All the tracks from this CD are available as digital downloads from most digital music services
I just (2009) found a box of 50 I overlooked in storage, so I'll have those for a little while.
I actually stopped printing these years ago when I began to record with my own studio gear with the new electric dulcimer.
I will release new CDs of traditional songs in the future, and they will be available as digital downloads even before I print CDs.
Recorded in 1994, the "Folksinger" CD contains all traditional songs, primarily American. It starts with songs from our maritime heritage and selections
from our English and Celtic roots, and a reminder that America has roots in the Orient as well. Then it moves into the strictly American with a song
of the hobos, and then appalachian/bluegrass traditions, with some Piedmont blues and Dixieland thrown in. It finishes up with Westerns, both fast
and slow. The whole CD contains both slow, gentle ballads right through to hard driving ones. It is a small cross section of the wealth of American
Folksinger. That is a name I took long ago. Like the storyteller, the Bard's role is to play the people's songs for them. Some of these are
songs that everyone knows. They are songs people still ask to hear, songs remembered, songs that still move people. Folksongs contain images, ideas,
and feelings that span cultures and generations, the way that great art must. Folksongs capture the scenes and language, the lives of people far
away in culture and time, and lets us feel the fires that moved them. These are the songs of seamen, cowboys, pioneers, and hobos. America is the great "melting pot" of the world, though it might be better called a "stew", since it is a great mix of many ingredients, Irish and English, Gypsy and Japanese; European, Asian, African, and Native American, some blending, some remaining distinct, all part of one great whole. This is just a small sample, a mere spoonful, from that great stew.
I recorded this CD at The Private Ear in Key West, Florida in 1994. I didn't have much money for studio time, so I essentially recorded a few takes of a bunch of traditional songs I like and perform, then kept the best. I came back for a over-dub session, but the night before some nutcase jerk came running around and doing donuts in the anchorage with a jetski, waking everyone up. I was too tired to play guitar, but I could still sing, so I added harmony vocals and called it done. I had decided I would have to build my own studio, and the new digital recording gear was making a professional studio within reach, but I wanted to have something for people while I made the long and slow progress to my own studio.
"The Water Is Wide" begins the album with a soft gentle ballad from the british Isles. I added several male harmonies (all me) though I lacked the female voices for the repeating descant. Hopefully I can add them one day. The images of the sea lead into a couple more driving seafaring songs from the Greenland whalers. Then a gentle "Shenandoah", a beautiful tune that became a favorite among seafaring men, though it is a love song from the Shenandoah Valley. "Sail away, Ladies" is a true song for hauling away, but again, you'll have to imagine the sailor's chorus on the refrain for now. Then I move through a salute to traditional roots with "Greensleeves" and "Scarborough Fair," separated by an instrumental I call "Mr. Koto," an original created in response to a request that I play something traditional and Oriental. I sing a personal favorite, "Star of the County Down," to finish off my following of "roots."
I move on to the branches and their flowers, American Folksongs, starting with "The Wabash Cannonball". I fly through a quick instrumental appalachian tune, "Blackberry Blossoms," just to show I can, though I'd rather sing! I pay tribute to Stephen Foster with "Oh, Susannah" though I add some Dixieland in the second verse. I follow that with a couple of fast appalachian songs, and touch the Blues with a tune I learned from Mississippi John Hurt. I have spent much of my life in the West after I left Virginia, so I still play the old cowboy tunes; this time, a slow "Old Paint," and a blistering "Windy Bill," finishing with a bouncy "Buffalo Gals." Finally, I play a traditional Blues and Bluegrass ballad, "I Know You Rider", which has achieved perhaps its greatest popularity being performed by The Grateful Dead.
It goes to show, there's still plenty of life left in the old songs, not because they are traditional, but because they are great music.