The origins of Laughing Willow are in my early roots in the south Texas hill country. Some images recalled in the TEXAS SUMMERS segment of the recording include my grandmother's pillared house where I spent long hours swinging on the porch listening to crickets and cicadas, mocking birds and bob-whites, and watching for pecans to fall from the decades-old pecan trees that shaded the honeysuckle vines. It must have been in the summer when I was ten that this recording project was unknowingly sparked in the creative subconscious of a gangly Texas innocent, during the hot Texas summer of 1956. My adult life has been rich with travel. I spend half of each season touring as a performing musician, and this wanderlust was born as I accompanied my traveling salesman father on his weekly sojourns around Texas. The ROAD RUNNERS AND SEAFARERS section honors this travel spirit. It takes me to the places where Irish hornpipes are danced, where Scottish pipes echo slow airs across heathered hillsides, to the rousing barn dances of the young New World, and to the Caribbean Ocean, home of the Caribe Indians. The LAUGHING WILLOW myth was conceived in a reverie. I imagined myself in the physical form of a tree, a bristle cone pine tree, one of the heartiest of all living creatures. Not only is it the oldest living organism on the earth, but it grows in alpine areas, frequently the last tree before timberline. Many times I had tried to huddle in the branches of a bristle cone pine on treks in the Colorado alpine regions, and admired it's strength as it clung tenaciously to life in regions where summer lingers barely a month or two and the winds blow so perpetually that limbs only grow on the leeward side of the tree. The bristle cone was admirable, capable of surviving anything, but one did not snuggle in it's branches or feel cradled by it's trunk. It was to be admired only from a distance. A tree I preferred to resemble, the weeping willow, came to mind - it's soft beauty, it's giant flowing limbs, it's inviting shade, but not wanting a lifetime of tears, the willow swayed with the breeze and laughed.