graphics: Chris Baker
Available as vinyl LP or CD-R. Vinyl LPs are available from the original Flying Fish 1984 release, with all the original artwork, etc. They are shrink wrapped, and in mint condition.
I recorded this album between 1981 and l984 in Chapel Hill and Chicago, during a period of time in which I was traveling a great deal with the Red Clay Ramblers. It's an album of travels, on the outside; and, I trust, on the inside too. It was an oddball project to begin with, and here in the year of 2017 I find myself still going back and restoring cuts (to the CD-R version) from the original session tapes, even though the oxide from those tapes had degraded to the point that most were unsalvageable. I managed to rescue only five additional cuts, and although each one seems to have a little flaw or two, I still wanted to get 'em back in the parade.
So many people helped with this record and its further installments, that I don't even know where to start my acknowledgments. I am deeply indebted to Peter Anlyan for initially encouraging me to go into the studio, and to Bruce Kaplan for honoring me with the Flying Fish imprimatur. I'd also like to thank Mike Rasfeld, Don Dixon, Jerry Brown, and Mike Monseur -- for their studio wizardry, also Steve Netsky, Shaleen Tethal, and especially Chris Baker for his friendship and graphic talents, and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill for her magical clavinet playing on several cuts.
Some of these songs are from the Golden Age of American songwriters: George M. Cohan, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, Al Jolson and Billy Rose. And from across the pond: Noel Coward, John Dowland, Gilbert & Sullivan not to mention Robin Williamson, whom I've revered for a long time. "Jim" I learned from a Billie Holiday record. I hope the liberties I've taken with these beautiful words and melodies might be overlooked.
Some notes about the original songs. "Fishing for Amour" was the by-product of jet-lag and insomnia. "Woolly Sheepsong" started out as a humorous song that Tommy Thompson was writing. He gave it to me and I of course made it tragic. "The French Paratrooper" was inspired by a New York Times photograph taken during the Chadian civil war in the early l980's. I found the first line of "Spoonyland" on a bathroom wall in the airport at Libreville, Gabon. An incident during that same State Department tour of Africa provided the inspiration for "Councilhouse in Gaborone". "Old Mister Soul" came about after a friend 'suggested' that I read Karen Horney's books on neurosis! "Secrets in the Sand" was inspired by the swirl of projections surrounding the assassination of Benigno Aquino in the summer of 1983."The Facts of Us" is about a complicated relationship that never saw the light of day.
"Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite," "Fishing for Amour," "Spoonyland", "The French Paratrooper," and "Woolly Sheepsong" are now available as sheet music, scored for piano/vocal, chord symbols included.
FMI: Sapsucker Sheet Music Store