THE BIG PICTURE © 2004 ZANE WILLIAMS MUSIC PUBLISHING, ASCAP / Zane Williams
I first heard this song as one of the finalists in the MUSIC 2 LIFE songwriting contest of 2006, and it would just not leave my heart. Unassuming and vulnerable yet at the same time declarative, prophetic and bold, the lyric and melody conspire to bring the listener to those meditative moments where we cannot escape our mutual responsibility to one another and to the planet upon which we live.
PONY © 2009 NEWORLD MULTIMEDIA PUBLISHING, ASCAP / Noel Paul Stookey, Rebecca McCall
In 2009 I was asked if I would contribute a performance to a fund-raising CD by creating a song in response to a painting done by a Maine artist of my choice. I immediately thought of my talented neighbor Rebecca McCall and, after a visit to her studio, came away impressed by her series of sensitive portrayals of the Iraqi people. This piece then grew out of her rendering (and my musical interpretation) of a young man standing proudly before his horse in one of the Baghdad marketplaces.
EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE © 1983 EMI BLACKWOOD MUSIC, BMI / Gordon Sumner
Most everybody knows this classic hit by Sting and the Police from the late 90's and that it is a lyric written about a rejected - and somewhat obsessed - lover. I found the melody so tender and endearing that I recast it as a ballad, transforming the hard edge bridge into an instrumental and with a few word 'nudges' sing it as if it were from the perspective of a all-seeing all-caring Divinity.
CAPRICIOUS BIRD © 2010 NEWORLD MULTIMEDIA PUBLISHING, ASCAP / Noel Paul Stookey
The soul's relationship to the heart has always been a subject of curiosity to me. Are our deepest feelings those which are held in the heart or simply sensed there and truly dwell in the soul? My conclusion might not be proveable but I sense that souls are the resting places of our spirituality to which our hearts, searching for the meaning in life, inevitably return.
AND IF IT'S NOT TRUE © 2009 PAX MUSIC PUBLISHING, ASCAP / Tom Paxton
As I said from stage the first time I performed this song (with Tom and his wife Midge in the audience) "...I'm happy that Tom has finally gotten in touch with his inner senior citizen". Though I knew Peter and I would inspire each other's performance (as we have for over 50 years in the trio) on this recording, I was totally unprepared and blown away by his creation of the french answers in the last choruses. In the words of Paxton, 'magnifique!'
CREDITS for CAPRICIOUS BIRD:
PETER YARROW - vocal, PAUL PRESTOPINO - mandolin, MICHAEL BURD - bass, KENT PALMER - bass, MICHAEL MCINNIS - keyboards,
ED MOTTAU, JR - drums, BILL FRIEDERICH - percussion, NPS - guitar and vocals
JIM MASON – producer and vocals, ED MOTTAU – producer and vocals, JOHN STUART - line producer and recording engineer,
KEVIN SALEM – recording engineer, TOM SWIFT – mixing engineer,
SALLY FARR – graphics, JOYCE HALL - coordinative assistant, DAVID SNYDER – project assistant.
SPECIAL THANKS to Dee Deloy.
DEDICATED to my wife Betty from whom I draw both inspiration and resolve.
A complimentary EP cover/liner note graphic is available at www.noelpaulstookey.com/downloads/cb-insert1.pdf