In the year 1900, Pablo Picasso moved to Paris. He was around twenty and already the wonderboy of Barcelona.
Picasso quickly gathered a group of friends, an international circle of artists and writers whose daring and talent changed Western Art forever. Guillaume Apollinaire, poet and sometime pornographer, coined the term “Cubism” and died, regretful for dying young, of the Spanish Flu on Armistice Day, 1918. Max Jacob, who liked to fly high on Ether, pioneered absurdist poetry. Artists like Soutine, Matisse, Braque, and Modigliani were all part of the scene. Expatriot American writer Gertrude Stein facilitated the success of modern art with her salons.
“O, Lion” is a line from one of Guillaume Apollinaire’s poems: Oh, lion, unhappy image of sadly fallen kings … These artists saw the fall of the old empires and were part of the new, modern spirit of rebellion. They were serious about art and reckless with it, producing for their time and place and for eternity. They believed in the importance of their moment and in each other. In order to sing my tribute to them, I had to make myself into an old barber, finding an old razor blade with Picasso’s blood on it. That old barber was young in 1902. He kept that old blade for the rest of his life.
Please let me know if you would like to order my new CD, Receiver. I will be sending them out myself. For $15 each, I will send them directly to the postal address you supply. Pay me through paypal or by check. If paying by check, I’ll send a mailing address when I get your request.
The Snow On The Pine, The Godless Rambler, My Father’s Cigarette In The Dark, Angry Sister, Evalina, Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor, Keep Tamales In Christmas, Receiver, The Hippie Of White Rock Lake Recorded Live at Poor David’s Pub, Dallas, TX.
Its taken a few years, but here we go. My favorite new songs plus a couple of older ones that had not been recorded.
Receiver showcases nine songs. The Snow On The Pine, The Godless Rambler, Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor, and Keep Tamales In Christmas were recorded at Parrot Tracks Studio with George Coyne just south of Austin. George also did the mixing and mastering for the whole album. Make Me A Pallet… is an update of a traditional blues song, co-written with Ruben Dominguez of Southern Colorado.
My Father’s Cigarette In the Dark is the oldest song on the album, written long before my dad passed away. Receiver is also an older one, dating back to the period when Tom and I were searching the American West for our home. I’m not sure exactly when I completed Evalina. It took me about fifteen years to write. The topic is very close to my heart. Angry Sister is a ”me too” song, completed in 2018. Each of these four songs was recorded at Dallas Sound Lab with Paul Osborne, and they all feature Linda Relph of DFW on fiddle.
The Hippie Of White Rock Lake was recorded at a very fun Halloween JMP concert, 2021, at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas. Carlos Sanchez was the sound engineer. Thanks to everyone who came out to that show and to David Card for his faith in me.
I hope you enjoy listening to every song as much as I enjoyed recording them.
I’ll be releasing my new album, Receiver, this spring. This track is a stark folk ballad. The Snow on the Pine is a story told in intimacy after a few glasses of wine. Maybe she will come to regret her loose tongue …
I came to Chama with the snow on the pine
Along with my husband who worked in a mine
He told my parents when he asked for me
That a man could make fortunes in the silver country
My mother said,daughter, watch out what you do
You can’t trust a husband who’s younger than you
But we mde plans for leaving, my cattle I sold
And we headed for Chama up the high mountain road
Good-bye, Tucumcari, my dear family
I’m ready to marry, I’m past thirty-three
But love’s a rare treasure and love makes you blind
When it’s fresh and unspoiled, like the snow on the pine
He wasn’t a miner, there wasn’t a claim
He made all his living by the luck of the game
The surname he gave me wasn’t event his own
And he played with my money until it was gone
My new baby son asleep in his bed
My husband burst in with a gun to his head
Both men demanded I settle a debt
But the one with the gun said he’d have me instead
Marry an old man, your love he will crave
Marry a young man, he’ll make you his slave
Marry a gambler and one day you will find
Their heart hgas turned cold like the snow on the pine
I hid all I earned from the work that I found
washing the clothes of the miners in town
Winters are lasting but summers are brief
as the life of a gambler in the silver country
I paid off his liquor, I paid off his debt
I paid off his killer without a regret
Alone with my conscience, but I have been told
That Chama has widows like Denver has gold
And now my dear sisters I’m not what I was
You know me before I gambled on love
Men speak of treasure to be found in a mine
while love melts away with the snow on the pine
If you have visited the Alamo in San Antonio, TX, you know that many stories converged there. Susanna Dickinson had come with her husband Col. Almeron Dickinson from Tennessee. She and their baby, Angelina, endured the siege and were then taken to Gen. Sam Houston’s camp in Gonzales. Not long after, Houston would stage the Battle of San Jacinto, winning all the Mexican-claimed land north of the southern Rio Grande border, which would become US territory when Texas became a state. Booklets provided by the keepers of the Alamo count 189 Texan combatants in the thirteen-day Alamo siege. In my song, Susanna counts herself to make a total of 190.
Live music has gone digital in the age of COVID-19. Here is my part in a Dallas Songwriters Association songwriter showcase that streamed on Facebook and YouTube, March 27, 2021. Songs on mountain dulcimer: Putting On the Old Folk’s Clothes, The Milkmaid and Her Pail. Plus: Everyone is Equal At The Laundromat, Two Sisters, You Disappointed Me, and Receiver.
Here is a song that I started singing as a Renaissance Faire performer, 1982-1985, accompanied by mountain dulcimer. Nobody said a word about my off-period Ozark Mountain Dulcimer at Scarborough Faire; my songs, I tried to keep reasonably in period, in spirit, style and topic if not age. Fair Maid is a ballad from a very old family of trans-man, or anyway crossdressing, sailor and soldier folk ballads.
When Pegasus Project formed in 1991, I switched to guitar for the change from grove to stage. Everybody in the Band is in on this and I love that it ends with some jolly horn pipes on Linda’s fiddle.
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day Week, a time of the year when Pegasus Project was very busy in the years 1991-1993. Here’s a song I always enjoyed singing. Rupert Crabb plays accordion and Bodhran in this track. Linda Relph accompanies on fiddle and back-up vocals, then springs into a lively fiddle tune at the end.
Jenni sings and plays Bodhran for the band’s take on this old Scottish song; Rupert adds a second Bodhran. Linda, brilliant as always, adds the fiddle back up and ending tune. Recorded in 1992 for our album Ascension (no longer available.)