Tag Archives: folk music

New Album: Receiver

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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.


You can hear the entire album on Hear Now at the link above. For a few weeks I am making all of the songs available, full length, for free.

Thanks for listening! I would love some feedback, so plase leave a comment below.

The Snow On the Pine

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The Snow On the Pine, (c) Jennifer M. Peal

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

THe Ballad of Susanna Dickinson

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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.

The Ballad of Susanna Dickinson, (c) (p) Jennifer M Peal, Flood, 2004

Pegasus Project: Fair Maid

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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.

Fair Maid, performed by Pegasus Project: Jenni Mansfield (Peal), Linda Relph, Rupert Crabb. (p) Scatterbranch Music Publishing 1992
when I was a fair maid … more like thirty …

Pegasus Project: Rock-a-bye Baby

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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 Mansfield, Linda Relph, Rupert Crabb: Pegasus Project, a Celtic Band based in DFW

Pegasus Project: Greenland Whale Fisheries

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Pegasus Project, my 1990’s Celtic band comprised of Rupert Crabb, Linda Relph and myself, really drew on Rupert’s love for sea shanties and whaling songs. As a folk-song lover from my early childhood, his repertoire was a joy to work with, as was he. We had a standing gig at the old Tipperary Inn on Lower Greenville in Dallas, and for awhile after it moved down on Skillman. We also enjoyed playing the North Texas Irish Festival and other events in our region.

South Wind

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Through the next few months I will be making my earlier recordings available here online. I hope you enjoy them!

My song South Wind was recorded in 1990 not long after I won that year’s B.W. Stevenson Songwriting Contest in Dallas at Poor David’s Pub. A fellow contestant, Jim Jones (yes, that Jim Jones, the famous song and fiction writer in New Mexico) helped me by producing my first album of original songs, Big Wind.

The melody is also called South Wind, a traditional Irish harp and fiddle tune.
This recording features Linda Relph on fiddle. This four-time California State Champ fiddler (just by 1990) had recently moved to Dallas, and we met at a Celtic Music Session at the old Tipperary Inn on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas. We later formed a band together with folk singer, Bodhran player and accordionist Rupert Crabb called Pegasus Project. We played hard for about three years and it was a blast.