Recorded at home, solo, Grapevine began as a simple idea that took two and a half years of research, arranging and familiarization with the songs and their history. Stephen Foster's "O Susanna" has been restored to its original length of four verses; "Casey Jones" reworked to reflect the historical record - a better story than anyone has been singing since the version sung by its original author, Wallace Saunders, was co-opted by vaudeville songwriters into a droll slander on Mr. Jones and his wife. There's a cowboy song, two whaling ballads, a river shanty, a spiritual, 3 old and one new song from Ireland, and a reworked "How Can I Keep From Singing?," blending Robert Wadsworth Lowry's 1895 hymn with folk versions.
Calhoun developed the material while busking at Chicago area farmer’s markets over the summers of 2009 and 2010. Danny Schmidt took the cover photos in Austin and Annie Gallup designed the cover in Santa Barbara. Bruce Roper (Sons of the Never Wrong) mixed and mastered in Chicago. Oasis manufactured in Maryland.
"I tapped into a powerful feeling of ancestry while working on the material for Bound to Go, and when I went back to the other folk songs I've always sung, they had acquired a new dimension. Folk songs are most than history, more than good songs. They connect us to our ancestors."
I Gave My Love a Cherry (also called The Riddle Song) American folk song/lullaby
The Fox -American folk song, The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
Gartan Mother’s Lullaby (S.MacCathmhaoil) - Irish lullaby
The Little Beggarman - traditional Irish song. A rigadoo is a shillelagh.
O Susanna (Stephen Foster) Stephen Foster song written in 1847, popular in the gold rush. Two of Fosters’s verses are never sung and for good reason but they have been reworked here in the interest of the song. Susanna don’t you cry - Mary don’t you weep.
Noah's Dove Collected from Memphis woman named Dink in Texas work camp in 1908. One of the most poetic of American folk songs.
O Mary Don’t You Weep - Antebellum spiritual, adapted from various versions.
Hanging Out The Linen Clothes - a capella women’s work song collected by Carl Sandburg in San Francisco
We’ll Rant and We’’ll Roar -a high spirited whaling ballad
Sperm Whale Fishery - a tough whaling ballad
Shenandoah - river shanty
I Ride an Old Paint - cowboy song, with rarely sung 3rd verse.
15 Years on the Erie Canal (Thomas S. Allen, arr Calhoun) written as tribute to a passing way of life in 1905, expanded to twice its length by the folk process.
John Henry - epic version of the most widespread Southern ballad, adapted after reading “Steel Driving Man” by Scott Reynolds Nelson.
Casey Jones (Wallace Saunders, arr Calhoun) American railroad ballad
Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier - came over to US from Ireland during Revolutionary War
The Foggy Dew - Irish, Charles O’Neill’s tribute to the men who gave their lives for Ireland during the Easter uprising in 1916.
Buskers Contermporary Irish - Colum Sands’ understated testament to the power of music.
How Can I Keep From Singing? -American hymn written 1895. (Robert Lowry, arr Calhoun)