My music is influenced by a lifetime of listening to and playing bluegrass, old-time, and, the music of Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Old Crow Medicine Show, Railroad Earth and many others. I literally grew up in the back of honkey tonk bars where my mother performed classic country in the 1960s in Upstate New York.
Tr 1 - New Morning Waltz was originally called My Darling While Reading and is dedicated with love to C3!
Tr 2 - Poor Little Sailor Boy came to our Moscow, Idaho music circle from an old Norman and Nancy Blake album.
Tr 3 – We used to play this set of old time fiddle tunes in the band Dancing Trout. We learned these tunes from Songer and Curley’s The Portland Collection.
Tr 4 – My mom, Faith Lyman, wrote the original version of this song in 1967 after dreaming that my cousin Mike was killed in Viet Nam. Luckily he came home safe but sadly mom died 2 years later in a car accident. I revised the song in 2003 and made it into an anti-war ballad. We didn’t have a recording of the original so I also wrote a new melody. We used to play this in the bluegrass band Blackberry Jam.
Tr 5 – This song was lovingly borrowed from Old Crow Medicine Show. The imagery is so evocative with nods to the Paiute Wovoka, creator of the Ghost Dance, Elijah, Jesus – the gentle Lamb of Judah, and, the flowers growing in the rubble of the Twin Towers.
Tr 6 – I wrote Clearwater one day after reflecting on a bumpy kayak ride down the Clearwater River one spring day with Carla. Thanks to Jeff Evans and Garrett Clevenger for helping me flesh out the timing and chords. Garrett’s fine guitar solo reminds me of a cross between Django and Enrique Coria.
Tr 7 – I love Jorma Kaukonen’s version of this Rev. Gary Davis tune. To my ear Jorma’s playing conveys the essence of the blues. After losing both my parents and a sister I feel I have earned the right to sing this mournful ballad. This song is dedicated to my parents – I love and miss you both! On the Brightside, my faith reminds me that death has lost its sting through Christ Jesus. Halleluiah!
Tr 8 – I wrote this sad tune after reflecting on losing my promising career as a school teacher. This song is dedicated to my mentor Dr. David Greenwood who ignited my passion for place-based education when I was a graduate student at Washington State University.
Tr 9 – My life and music have been intimately shaped by the Grateful Dead since I was a kid. This is one of my all-time favorite songs. It powerfully embodies nature, the seasons (Weather Report Suite!), planting and growing, living and loving – what else is there. I love you Jerry more than words can tell. Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there.
Tr 10 – Many of my earliest memories involve the music of the Fab Four. Thanks to the Beatles for inspiring generations of people to embrace a life filled with both silly love songs and world-changing imaginations.