Across the Blue Ridge
Chance and Susette perform a beautiful selection of Old Time Country Music songs that trace their family heritage from the Shenandoah Valley of Virgina to the deep south. Drawing on the music of the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Delmore Brothers, among others, the Shivers add their vocal harmonies to the chorus of American music. "Across the Blue Ridge", for me, started with my earliest memories of 78 records on my grandfather's windup Victrola up in Honeyville, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley. That's my family on the front cover of the CD. For Susette it really started when she began to play the autoharp. That just naturally led her to the Carter Family song book and there she found her true voice and her yodel amongst the simple and beautiful melodies of Maybelle, A.P., and Sara. All the songs on this CD are just like that, simple, beautiful, compelling songs. We truly hope you enjoy them. Here are the liner notes: 1. My Home's across the Blue Ridge Mountains. While we were mixing the title song for the CD in the studio, Donna Stoneman told us that her father, Ernest 'Pop' Stoneman wrote this song, although we have added a verse about the Shenandoah River. 2. Deep River Blues. We took Doc Watson's version of this Delmore Brothers song (Big River Blues) and added back harmony. 3. Lorena. This song is a beautiful survivor from around 1857 and was sung by both sides during the Civil War. 4. My Creole Belle. Creole Belle is Mississippi John Hurt's version of J. Bodewalt Lampe's Creole Belles published around 1900 in Detroit, MI. Some might ask why include a John Hurt song in this album of 'country' music, but our people in the Appalachians loved the blues and John Hurt stands out among the blues artists that influenced us. 5. You Are My Flower. We love this song for it's lyric beauty and the chance to employ our take on Maybelle Carter's memorable guitar work. 6. Homestead on the Farm. Homestead on the Farm comes from AP Carter, but it has it's beginnings in the chorus of a song published in 1909 that was titled, I Wonder How the Old Folks are at Home. 7. Only Want a Buddy not a Sweetheart. This song we learned from a Patsy Montana recording, but was sung by Helen Carter with the Carters during their border radio days. 8. Cannonball Blues. We arranged this Carter Family song with a Piedmont style finger-picking style. The song comes from an Appalachian Blues Singer, Lesley "Esley" Riddle, who accompanied A.P. Carter on many of his song collecting ventures. 9. Blackberry Blossom. This is our take on this traditional fiddle tune. 10. Engine 143. The initials in the first line, FFV, stand for Fast Flying Vestibule, the name of the train that crashes in this Carter Family version of a railroad ballad. The story goes that A.P. Carter was traveling in Poor Valley, Va., selling ornamental trees when he walked upon a house and heard Sarah singing this song. The rest, as they say, is history, in this case the history of Country Music. 11. My Rough and Rowdy Ways. Rough and Rowdy Ways was written by Jimmie Rodgers and his sister-in-law Elsie McWilliams and recorded by him on January 3, 1930. 12. Going to the West. This song was collected from Janie Barnard Couch, the Alabama singer and was likely composed in the 1850s. It was published in Arnold's 'Folksongs of Alabama'. Like Deep (Big River) Blues, this song reflects our most southern Appalachian connection in Alabama. 13. My Clinch Mountain Home. Clinch Mountain Home is said to be the first song AP Carter wrote, and was recorded by the Carter Family. 14. School House on the Hill. We learned this song from the Carter Family, but it comes from a John D. Vaughn Shape Note book published around 1907. 15. The Cuckoo. Our version of this Traditional song is loosely based on that of Clarence Tom Ashley. We adapted 'Tom' Ashley's version from a Folkways recording with Doc Watson. Chance Shiver.