After Dancing Cat Productions (in their guise of Eagle’s Whistle Records) relinquished all rights back to me in 2022 I took control of releasing albums in the new world of downloads. I had been recording a considerable number of songs – still with Dan De La Isla – and we were able to produce new releases every few months, instead of the several year interval heretofore. We still haven’t worked out all the details of the new format, including any remuneration, if any, but I am heartened by the reaction.
In July, 2022, I released a single, “On January 6th They Came,” a dramatic solo work, commemorating the infamous attempted overthrow of the United States by right-wing forces instigated by a failed presidential candidate.
I released this single, “The Leaving of Afghanistan,” based on the traditional English farewell song, “The Leaving of Liverpool,” in September, 2022. It was dedicated to all the NATO forces forced to abandon their allies as they were driven from the country by the Taliban.
In June, 2023, I released, as a single, a dramatic reading of my thoughts on the demise of the Los Angeles celebrity puma, P-22. It is dedicated to all our wildlife, increasingly endangered by humanity, consciously or not.
In June, 2022, I released “Polly Dang Doodle,” and launched into the new era of self-produced albums.
The second album, in July, 2022, was “Punkin’ Pie.” [The first tune, “Ground Hog,” has the line “Here come Sal with a snigger and a grin…” which some bot evidently didn’t understand so it was designated an “Age-restricted video.” It’s Not – but you’ll have to access it from the complete YouTube list.] 😉
The third album, The Blue Goose,” dropped in September, 2022.
1. The Blue Goose. Learned from Stu Jamieson, one of my Old-Time musical gurus. [A blue goose is the dark variety of the Snow Goose.] With a Homer Ledford dulcimer and John Huron mountain banjer.
2. The Spirit of Love. An obscure maudlin, and obviously-literary Carter Family song for which I wrote a counter melody; with accompaniment on my 1941 Oscar Schmidt autoharp.
3. Little Sadie. From the singing of Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson. Played on my Wm. S. Mount fretless copy.
4. Cold Rain and Snow. A lonesome song from Obray Ramsey, popularized by many others. Played on a Jethro Amburgey dulcimer.
5. Poor Mike Pence. Written before the Vice President finally showed some backbone.
6. Sailor on the Deep Blue Sea. Carter Family classic, played on my 1894 Dolgeville, N.Y., 5-bar Zimmermann autoharp (with original strings).
7. My Little Old Sod Shanty (on my Claim). A rustic Midwestern parody from the 1880s played on a Bell & Son Boucher copy fretless.
8. Roll On, John. Another Rufus Crisp song learned from Stu Jamieson.
9. The Lady of Carlisle. Learned from Mike Seeger, played on a different Bell Boucher, with Nylgut Red strings.
10. Fod! Unique nonsense song collected from a California migrant worker in the year of my birth.
11. The Prodigal Son. A gospel version of the famous parable, learned from the singing of Dock Boggs.
12. Poor Ellen Smith. Late 19th-century semi-factual murder ballad, based on part of the same melody as the hymn, “How Firm a Foundation,” of which I utilize both closely-related strains. Played on my (probably American) 7-string cherry épinette.
13. “Sweetheart” Banjo Medley: Liza Jane/ Skip to My Lou/ Black-eyed Suzie/ Cindy. Played on an anonymous mountain banjer.
14. This World is Not My Home. Another Carter Family hymn, sung with my sister Lee Davis.
15. King Kong Kitchie. Another version of “Froggy Went A-Courtin'” recorded by Chubby Parker in 1928. Played on my first dulcimer build, 1963.
16. I Never Will Marry. Another Carter Family classic, popularized during the 1960s by Pete Seeger among others. Played on my 1894 5-bar Zimmermann, with my sister, Lee Davis.
December, 2022, saw the release of “Moonshiner.”
The fifth album, “Old Paint,” featuring two different songs about the titular horse, was released in January, 2023.
Album six, “Juba,” was released in March, 2023.
Album seven was released two weeks before my birthday in May 2023.
Album eight was released in early August, 2023. My sister, Lee Davis and I enjoy singing together now as much as we did eighty years ago.