Birds of a Feather
Martin Said to His Man TRADITIONAL • TRACK #1 Martin Said to his Man is one of the oldest traceable songs in the English speaking tradition! In 1588 The Stationers Record (newspaper of it's time!) contains a mention of a ballad with this title, but no copies have survived. The song first appeared in print, with words and music, in Thomas Ravenscroft's 1609 collection of folk music and the tune shows up in William Byrd's Fitzwilliam Virginal Book II, before 1600. We put our Southern Hen spin on this classic drinking song. The line "clogging up Saint Peters shoone" means "fixing Saint Peter's shoes." ALLAN: LEAD VOCAL LINDA: VOCAL JANE: FIDDLE, (AEAE), VOCAL DAVID: ENOCH BANJO, (gCGCD, TUNED DOWN THREE) Off the Griddle JANE ROTHFIELD • TRACK #2 Jane wrote this tune on the banjo one day in the middle of moving house! It was originally named Off the Grid as a nod to Jane's affection for extemporizing old time tune melodies, but we renamed it in honor of our "hen-ness." JANE: FIDDLE LINDA: GUITAR DAVID: BANJO, (gCGCD, CAPOED UP TWO) ALLAN: BASS Cluck Old Hen TRADITIONAL • TRACK #3 The first recorded version was by Fiddlin' Powers and his family band in 1925. The earliest printed version remotely related to what we know as Cluck Old Hen is found in the book, Negro Folk Rhymes: Wise and Otherwise, compiled by Thomas W. Talley and published in 1922. We combine Ralph Stanley's uniquely phrased version with Allan's driving Celtic rhythm guitar. JANE: FIDDLE, LEAD VOCAL LINDA: VOCAL DAVID: MASTERTONE BANJO, (gDGBD, CAPOED UP TWO), VOCAL ALLAN: GUITAR, BASS, VOCAL Little Bird LISA MANDEVILLE • TRACK #4 Linda learned this song from her friends Lisa and Fran Mandeville when they sang it at the 2009 Gottagetgone Festival in Ballston Spa, New York. She knew it would be a great addition to the Red Hen list of "bird" songs. A wonderful new song that sounds old. LINDA: GUITAR, LEAD VOCAL JANE: VOCAL DAVID: FIELDING BANJO (gDBGD, CAPOED UP THREE), VOCAL Down in Mississippi J.B. LENOIR • TRACK #5 J.B. Lenoir was born on March 5th, 1929 in Monticello, Mississippi and at a young age his dad introduced him to the music of Blind Lemon Jefferson and other blues masters. This autobiographical song paints a chilling and artfully understated picture of the conditions in Jim Crow South. In 1949 he and his family fled to Chicago, where J.B. met Big Bill Broonzy and became part of the thriving Northern blues scene. Dave first heard this song sung by Sara Grey. Martin Grosswendt's version of this song on the fretless banjo nudged Dave into the Old-Time music world. DAVID: BANJO; FRETLESS BROOKS MASTEN (f#DF#AD), VOCAL LINDA: VOCAL JANE: FIDDLE (ADAD) ALLAN: BASS Blue Yodel #3 (Evening Sun Yodel) JIMMIE RODGERS • TRACK #6 Jimmie Rodgers was born in Pine Springs, Mississippi in September, 1897. His father was a railroad man, and Jimmie began working the rails as a youth. He learned to play from the railroad workers and hobos, and earned the nickname the 'Singing Brakeman." He wrote and recorded dozens of classics, including Muleskinner Blues, T for Texas (Blue Yodel #1) and California Blues (Blue Yodel #4). He succumbed to TB in 1933 at 36. This is an old bluesy country song that slips perfectly into the swing of bluegrass. DAVID: MASTERTONE BANJO (gDGBD), LEAD VOCAL LINDA: GUITAR, VOCAL JANE: FIDDLE, VOCAL ALLAN: BASS Walnut Gap OWEN "SNAKE" CHAPMAN • TRACK #7 We learned this tune from our friend Jimmy McCown from Hardy, Kentucky - who learned it from Snake himself. Jimmy played regularly at Snake's house for the monthly kitchen jams in Chapman's Hollow, Kentucky. Walnut Gap is at the top of Chapman's Hollow where Snake's family settled. Hear Snake himself play this tune on his CD titled Walnut Gap, on Rounder Records. JANE: FIDDLE DAVID: FIELDING BANJO (gDGBD) LINDA: GUITAR ALLAN: BASS Do You Love an Apple? TRADITIONAL • TRACK #8 Allan first heard this from the singing of Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill (of the Bothy Band), and it has always supported Allan's belief that country music and Celtic traditional songs are intimately connected. The age-old story: She loves her man, no matter what! ALLAN: GUITAR, LEAD VOCAL LINDA: VOCAL DAVID: DOBJO (gDGBD), VOCAL Jute Mill Song TRADITIONAL, MARY BROOKSBANK • TRACK #9 Mary Brooksbank (1897-1978) was born in Allan's hometown of Aberdeen Scotland in 1897 and at the age of 14 her mother put her to work as a shifter of bobbins in the Baltic Jute Mill in Dundee. She worked 12-hour shifts and witnessed the plight of the Dundee jute workers first hand. Even at an early age Mary made up "wee rhymes" as she called them and secured a reputation for creating songs and poetry about the plight of her class and her city. The Jute Mill Song describes the harsh experience in the mills, of the "poor wee shifters" - children who were small and agile enough to run in and out of the mill changing bobbins while the machines were running, and of the women who worked there to support their families on "ten and nine" (10 shillings and 9 pence). In an interview with Hamish Henderson (School of Scottish Studies) Mary recalled hearing the Dundee mill lassies saying the line "oh dear me, the mill's gaen fest, the puir wee shifters" and that she wrote the song around that line. ALLAN: LEAD VOCAL LINDA: VOCAL JANE: FIDDLE, VOCAL DAVID: FIELDING BANJO (gDGBD) Free Little Bird TRADITIONAL • TRACK #10 This version is modeled on the 1927 source recording by Dykes Magic City Trio, with a simple guitar/banjo accompaniment that showcases Jane and Linda's duet vocals and the song's metaphorical allusions about freedom. LINDA: VOCAL JANE: VOCAL ALLAN: GUITAR DAVID: FIELDING BANJO (gCGCD, CAPOED UP TWO) Farewell Trion TRADITIONAL, JOE BLAYLOCK (with JAMES BRYAN) • TRACK #11 The primary source for the tune is fiddler Mack Blaylock (1914-1987), of Mentone, Alabama, who got it "from his great uncle Joe Blaylock (b. 1854)". Joe composed it upon returning to Alabama after getting laid off from a mill in Trion, Georgia and fiddler James Bryan added third part. This is one of those dreamy tunes that help us achieve what we call "lift off". JANE: FIDDLE DAVID: FIELDING BANJO (gCGCD) LINDA: GUITAR ALLAN: BASS Ishikawa CATHY FINK • TRACK #12 Cathy wrote this blazing tune while touring Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan and staying with friends, Hisato and Naomi Ishikawa. Hisato is a Buddhist priest who loves music. Jane learned this tune from Cathy during a marathon session at Clifftop Festival (2005), and it has been in our repertoire ever since. JANE: FIDDLE DAVID: FIELDING BANJO (gCGCD, CAPOED UP TWO) LINDA: GUITAR ALLAN: BASS Colours DONOVAN LEITCH • TRACK #13 Many people think this is an old folk song, as Donovan (a Scot) may have drawn inspiration from the Scottish traditional song Black Is the Color. Linda and Allan both sang this song as teenagers and Linda brought it to the band after remembering a drive past Donovan's house while visiting friend Sara Grey on the Isle of Skye. We love when the audience sings along with this ageless song. LINDA: GUITAR, LEAD VOCAL DAVID FIELDING BANJO (gCGCD), VOCAL JANE: VOCAL Smithland Farm DAN RUBLEE RUBETUNES • TRACK #14 Dan is a great banjo player and prolific tune writer from Harrisonburg, Virginia. We love this tune so much we had to sing the title as a chorus. Thanks, Dan! JANE: FIDDLE, VOCAL DAVID: FIELDING BANJO (gDGBD), VOCAL LINDA: GUITAR, VOCAL ALLAN: BASS, VOCAL All arrangements by Red Hen Stringband RECORDING ENGINEER Ace Parkhurst RECORDED & MIXED AT Cotton Hill Studios, Inc., Albany, NY MASTERING SoundMirror, Inc., Arlington, MA GRAPHICS Sue Muldoon (Photography and Cover Graphic Design); Paula Frederick (Graphic Design), David Kiphuth (illustration & lettering); Andrzej Pilarczyk (inside front cover). PRODUCER Jack Radcliffe ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Jim Bennett MANUFACTURED BY The Dering Corporation, Lancaster, PA.