The year was 1994; the genre of filk had only a few years before made the jump to CD (courtesy the Dandelion Digital label), and "self-publishing" still meant a tape recorder in the living room. Filksinger Nancy Louise Freeman, little known outside the Arizona skiffy convention circuit at the time, went into Tempe's O-Tu Studios armed with three fellow musicians, a baker's dozen of songs, and a guitar-full of chutzpah. The resulting album retained the immediacy of traditional filk while introducing world influences and Nan's unique viewpoint, and remains a favorite of fans today.
So what's it all about? Sometimes funny and sometimes serious, it's about life's changes and how we cope with them. For skiffy fans, there's the moment of shared recognition as Nan tackles the familiar filk topics of Fantastic literature (Joiry's Gifts, Jumpstretch), mythology (Ithaka, Ithaka, Annwn), and plays off other filk songs (Dawson's Mitzvah). But fan and uninitiated alike are emphathize with the album's main theme, even when it comes out in an unexpected way - like fantasy art's classic "babe in the brass bikini" hitting mid-life crisis in Slave Girl Blues.
Recorded live-in-the-studio, Nan keeps it simple with guitar and voice, showcasing her signature soprano. Master drummer Eric Zang sits in on several tracks, as does Bill Bainbridge on clarinet, and Paige Sullivan (who also provided the beautiful cover art) on zils.
[This album is also available from the artist in casette format]