Two Roads Home:
An imaginative and mystical exploration of what might have been
A precious gem from the pen of Suzanne Vega. Simple yet haunting,
this tune came together for us when we gave it the rolling rhythm
in Brys backyard on Harding Street.
Abby: Vocals Bryan: Acoustic Guitar Duncan Cameron:
Violin Rick Roy: Snare
I Am Stretched On Your Grave
A lovers wild lamentation in the irish death ballad tradition. Had
a crazy time figuring out who wrote this. Despite the OConnor/King
writing credit, we still believe its a true folk song. If its not,
its sure got us fooled.
John Peel (listen)
A study of the hunt and a well known English folk tune. A lucky find
while internet searching. Bry had the basic melody in his head by
the time he showed it to Abby. Together we fleshed out the meat of
the tune (pun intended) and the harmonies. Since recording John Peel,
many friends from the U.K. have told us that they had to learn this
song in school (different melody, slightly different words). Folk
scholars differ on whether Peels coat is supposed to be grey
(traditional colour for the leader of the hunt) or gay (brightly coloured).
Whatever the case, we had a blast working on this song.
Another Scottish classic, simply arranged to heighten the poignancy
of the theme. Between the two of us, we thought we had heard every
recorded rendition of this song, from the very simple and beautiful,
to the very maudlin and overworked. On this recording, we feel that
we bring back some of its original simplicity, subtly coloured by
Susan and Jeff on cello and guitar (respectively).
The Selkie of Sule Skerrie
Epic love ballad about the mysterious seal-man creature of Nordic
and Celtic folklore. Pound for pound, the most unusual song on the
record. Its also the best-produced, IOHO. In this strange and
ancient tale, the Selkie (half-man, half seal) returns to claim his
son, the product of an earlier tryst with a human woman. Will the
woman give up her son? Will the Selkies prophecy come true?
And what about the evil twins and that whole dream sequence? Stay
When You Are Old
The only spoken-word track on the recording, this poem paints a picture
of reflection upon love lost. Abby has recited this poem as part of
The MadriGALS Renaissance Love Safari concert program (our audiences
graciously forgive the leap forward in centuries), and thought it
would make a gorgeous companion piece to Sally Gardens.
Down By The Sally Gardens (listen)
Classic ballad from Irelands beloved poet and resident expert on
unrequited love. Also by Yeats, we never really found out where the
melody came from. The sheet music we used cited Yeats as the only
author, yet the tune sounds very familiar, like an old traditional
melody. Perhaps some wise folkiphile will set us straight some day
on the origin of this tune. Due to Bryans self-proclaimed erratic
sense of rhythm, we had to ditch our original bed track for this song.
What we have instead is a live-off-the-floor take featuring Abby,
Bryan, and the amazing Duncan Cameron on violin. Among our favourite
moments on this CD.
The Farmers Curst Wife
A saucy ballad of the sexes. With tongue planted firmly in cheek,
we recorded this tune at the risk of offending women everywhere. This
old misogynistic song is about a woman who was too bad to live on
earth, and hell wouldnt take her. Or, as Abby sees it, its a study
of hell as the seminal boys club. We had a ball recording this song
with all of its various bits. Highlights include the Jerry/Heather/Abby
singalong chorus. Voted best on the CD by Bryans son James and Abbys
young friend Ben. We think the refrain might have something to do
Traditional tune mourning the destruction of natural beauty at the
hands of man. Its sad how relevant this message remains, hundreds
of years after it was first written. Whether were dealing with
clear-cuts in British Columbia, or the burning of the tropical rainforest,
trees are a symbol of life and a benefit to all living things. We
were inspired by Loreena McKennits beautiful reading of this
song, and we feel weve done it justice.
Black Jack Davey
Devoted wife leaves hearth and home for the love of the proverbial
gypsy rover. When Bry was fifteen, his sister returned from a year
of living in Europe with a lifetime of stories and a stack of record
albums under her arm. One of those records was "All Around My Hat"
by Steeleye Span. Bryan became a convert to the rockin traditional
tunes of the Steeleyes, in particular, this song. When Abby brought
this song up for possible inclusion on our recording, he was initially
hesitant, concerned that the Span had put too much of their mark on
it, and that anything we tried would pale by comparison. He is happily
eating his words now. Our version fairly rocks, and weve added some
interesting vocal twists. So feel free to groove on this track, please.
(Whats So Funny Bout) Peace,
Love and Understanding
Vocals and guitar and the most vital message of all. We first played
this song together on the afternoon of September 11, 2001; it was
so tragically relevant. For the CD, we thought wed save this
little gem til the end sort of the listeners prize
for hearing the whole recording! Like the rest of the world, we first
heard this Nick Lowe song played by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
in 1978. Not content to let it remain a thrashing rocknroll
song, we gave it the Abby and Bryan treatment, and are proud to present
it in its current incarnation. Thanks Nick!