Archive Recording Liner Notes

1. Cannonball - 'Folkscene' Radio Show, Los Angeles, CA June 8, 1975
David – acoustic guitar, vocal

Howard and Roz Larmer had a folk music show on Pacifica Radio in Los  Angeles.  Sadly, Howard's  gone, but Roz still does  a great job with the show. I was on the show in 1975 and wanted to do a song I didn't perform on stage, so I did this one.   It was recorded by the Carter family, but I must have learned it somewhere else as the Carter family didn't sing the chorus. They did play the chorus though.

2. If I Get Lucky - Philadelphia Folk Fest, Schwenksville, PA August 29, 1970
David – acoustic guitar, vocal

Big Boy Crudup recorded a song with this title. Elvis did his version on one of his first records. I thought at one time I was doing Big Boy Crudup's song. This song has nothing to do with that one beyond the first line. I think I wrote it.

3. Salt Creek - Jabberwocky, Syracuse, NY April 30, 1972
David - acoustic guitar

This is an old fiddle tune I learned when I lived in New York City in the 60s and 70s. I was playing it in the Jabberwocky Coffee House in Syracuse and decided on the spur of the moment to see if I could play the harmony and the melody part at the same time. I didn't think it worked, so I doubt that I ever did it again. It actually did work, but I never heard the tape until 2014.

4. Danger Man - Calderone Theater, Hempstead, NY December 12, 1972
David – acoustic guitar, vocals, Steve Burgh – bass, Andy Statman – sax, mandolin, Will Scarlett – harmonica, Peter Ecklund – trumpet, Kenny Kosek – fiddle

This is an early version of my band. The song is one of the first ones I ever wrote, and is still much requested. You get a flavor of the band. I know, we were weird.

5. Pine Tree Woman - Bell Sound Studios (demo), New York, NY September 28, 1970
David – acoustic guitar, vocal

This is another early composition of mine. I love the groove. It's  pure 1930s. I haven't heard a groove like that that wasn't on a 78 record. The lyrics are mostly pretty good, very much inspired by Howling Wolf, but I was into "shocking" lyrics. I really wish I hadn't sung "bitch" in the last verse.

6. Wheelhoss - Philadelphia Folk Fest, Schwenksville, PA August 26, 1972
David – mandolin, Andy Statman – mandolin, Peter Ecklund – guitar

This is a great old Bill Monroe tune. I think that's me and Andy Statman playing mandolins and I think I hear Steve Burgh playing bass. That means that Peter Ecklund must have played the guitar on this track.

7. Every Day of the Week - The Jabberwocky, Syracuse, NY Oct. 31, 1970
David – acoustic guitar, vocals, Steve Burgh – bass, Tom Hosmer – mandolin

I learned this tune from a Pink Anderson record.  I used to do it a lot, and added some lyrics. At the time, my band was "The Fabulous Torpedoes".  It consisted of Steve Burgh on bass; no one else, just Steve Burgh. We used to stay with Tom Hosmer and Tony Trischka when we played in Syracuse. That's Tom sitting in on mandolin on this track.

8. Fiddle Tune Medley (Johnson’s Reel, The Growling Old Man & the Grumbling Old Woman, Kitchen Girl, Devil’s Dream, Red Haired Boy) - 'Folkscene' Radio Show, Los Angeles, CA June 8, 1975
David – acoustic guitar

This was from the Larmer's radio show again.  I made up a medley of fiddle tunes on the air. The first one is called "Miss Johnson's Reel" I think. I learned it from Jody Stecher, from whom I learned a lot. I've never heard anyone else play it.  I've never recorded it, though I plan to. The next tune is a Canadian tune called "The Growling Old Man & the Old Woman". The third tune is "Kitchen Girl" which I recorded on fiddle on Fantasy Records twice, and once on Kicking Mule Records on guitar playing harmony with myself (not simultaneously). Then I played "Devil's Dream" followed by "Red Haired Boy". This is not a flawless performance, but by now you know I'm not a flawlessperformer. Also, as usual, I was making it up as I went.

9. Jelly Jaw Joe - Nassau Community College, Garden City NY April 10, 1976
David – acoustic guitar, voc, Dick Fegy – mandolin, Hugh McDonald – bass, Brantley Kearns – fiddle, soft shoe, John Firmin – sax, Artie Baron – trombone, slide whistle, hand puppet, Steve Moseley – drums

I like this track. There's a YouTube video of us doing this tune. Both the recording and the video show how truly nuts we were. Steve Mosley, playing drums, does a solo by striking his cheeks. Brantley Kearns does a soft shoe solo (it's kind of hard to hear), and Artie Baron fakes a solo with a hand puppet pretending to play a slide whistle while John Firmin plays soprano saxophone. What can I say? We were nuts.

10. Someone Else’s Blues - Calderone Theater, Hempstead, NY December 12, 1972
David – acoustic guitar, vocals, Steve Burgh – bass, Andy Statman – sax, mandolin, Will Scarlett – harmonica, Peter Ecklund – trumpet, Kenny Kosek – fiddle

Another of my early songs. I'd like to record it again with a B-3 organ and change some of the lyrics, but listening to it again after all these years, I think it' s actually a pretty good tune.

11. Send Me to the Electric Chair - Calderone Theater, Hempstead, NY, August 26, 1978
David – acoustic guitar, vocal, Dick Fegy – mandolin, vocals, John Firmin – clarinet, Peter Ecklund – trumpet, Curtis Lindberg – trombone, Hugh McDonald – bass, Steve Mosley – drums

This is a Bessie Smith tune I've always loved.  I think the horns really make the tune good.

12. Statesboro Blues/Church Bell Blues - 'Folkscene' Radio Show, Los Angeles, CA June 8, 1975 David – acoustic guitar, vocal

Statesboro Blues comes from Blind Willie McTell.  Church Bell Blues was by Luke Jordan. I had a tape of Paul Seibel doing these two tunes together and learned this arrangement from it. I asked Paul if he minded if I did them, and he was fine with it. In recent years I've heard Chis Smither doing a really great version, and I wonder if Paul learned it from Chris.  Maybe I asked the wrong guy if he minded my doing the tunes together this way. 

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