Recently I caught a little show at the Bird's Nest in Davidson, NC, with Claudine and Triona (photo right). These two virtuosic players presented their very own little afternoon hit parade (without the aid of a sound system) to a sunny crowded room of grateful longtime fans. Hearing songs like "Jack Haggerty", "Casadh Cam Na Feardarnaighe", "Jealousy", "Susanna Martin", "If You Love an Apple", "Sonny" (the song by Canadian writer Ron Hynes, which I'm sure I heard Claudine and Triona sing long before everybody and their dog started covering it) -- and "The New Land" -- these tunes seeped into my DNA years ago -- and it was wonderful to hear them head on again, delivered with wit and heart by two such dignified and graceful gals.
Here's Tommy doing his version of "Oh How I Wish I Was in Peoria", me doing "Bidin' My Time", and Jim doing "Jerusalem Morning", a song he learned from his father. All three tunes are from a gig at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, in October 1983. Special thanks to John Sheffler at WCMU FM for digging these up!
"Oh How I Wish I Was in Peoria" (H. Wood, B. Rose & M. Dixon)
"Bidin' My Time" (Geo. & Ira Gershwin)
"Jerusalem Morning" (authors unknown)
"I Ain't Dead Yet" (Mike Craver) -- a new one, from THE QUEEN OF THE COWTOWNS :
Well I survived the West Virginia Turnpike one more time and made it back home in one piece and just wanted to give a shout out saying how lovely it was to be in Illinois again and to work with all my dear friends there. Everybody did such a great job on THE QUEEN OF THE COWTOWNS -- and I am so proud of everyone for helping make and be part of something so exceptional and unique: John and Caryl Buford, Peter Woodruff, Terrie Miller, Mary Jo Frederick, Josh and Emily Ryan, Phil Jackman, Reynold Nolan, Sandy Sweitzer, Brad Field, Deb Ketzel, George Diaz, Glenda Adamns, Sue Wichman, Dawne Degenhardt, Diane Tepper, Jim Riley, Kelly Rhyner, Jolene Kilcoyne and anyone else involved. I am fortunate to be included in your world and to be the grateful benefactor of your talent and trust and friendship. An especial thanks for the photo book. If any of my friends in NC ask about my "double" life in Illinois all I have to do is show 'em that! Thanks again to everyone of you -- you have definitely changed my life for the better. (photo by Jolene Kilcoyne)
RADIO GALS at the Cape Playhouse went swimmingly. A great director (Pam Hunt) and a wonderful cast (Mary Stout, Joy Franz, Michael Brian Dunn, Katrina Yokey, Jessica Wright, Guy Strobel & yours truly) made it a delight to be in and watch every night. And audiences seem to agree too. As far as I'm concerned the only thing missing in Cape Cod is a K & W Cafeteria. (Good luck with that!)
In Craver Hicks Watson & Newberry news we played the Hiawatha Folk Festival in Marquette, Michigan in July. Mt. autumn temps and a heavenly breeze from Lake Superior! Pic below. Who knew????.
My summer reading (so far): "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach; "Martin Eden" by Jack London; "Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name" by Vendela Vida; "The Book of Other People" edited by Zadie Smith; "The Master" by Colm Tóibín; "The South" by Colm Tóibín; "The Blackwater Lightship" by Colm Tóibín; "Brooklyn" by Colm Tóibín; "The Last Testament of Mary" by (you guessed it) Colm Tóibín! Oh, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.
For the past four years I have been writing new musicals for the Northwestern Illinois Theatre Coalition. These shows (BOSH AND MOONSHINE, THE BELLE OF THE WABASH, SARAH BERNHARDT IN TEXAS, and OKLAHOMA HALE & DAMNATION) follow a motley band of 19th century music hall entertainers as they wander through the Midwest. The troupe includes a saloon singer, a Shakespearean tragedian, a love-struck young couple, a gunslinger, and an undertaker. I have picked 17 of my favorite songs from these musicals and put them on this cd. I hope you like it!
A very special thanks to Rich Warren, host of THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL on WFMT Chicago, for playing many of the cuts from this record over the last couple of months. "THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL" (which was begun in 1953 by Mike Nichols) is syndicated nationally on over 70 stations throughout the South, Midwest, and West, including the stations of Alaska Public Media, Montana Public Radio, High Plains Public Radio, Yellowstone Public Radio, plus stations in New Brunswick Canada, and Great Britain!
Also a big thanks to Dr. Demento for playing a cut ("Stuffed People") on his Mother's Day show (5/10/2013)
Also out is TUNES FROM A TARHEEL TOWN featuring SIDETRACK: Gene Knight, Joe Newberry, Mike Aldridge, LeRoy Savage, Bobb Head, and Dewey Brown, with special guests Mike Craver, Mandolin Orange (featuring Andrew Marlin and Emily Franz), LaNelle Davis, Jason Beverly, Tony Williamson, John Worthington, Jim Watson and Rebecca Newton. Produced by Penny Knight.
Summer Fall 2009
Fall Winter 2005
Spring Summer 2005