This tune, and the blues that follow, date from about 14 months ago when I was back in Oz, staying at my in laws on my own. I got an old guitar and sat out on the back porch. and it came. One of the finest tunes I have ever written.
‘November’ comes from part of the tune being borrowed from the Rite of Spring – November is the last month if Spring here.
I’ve had a feeling all year that come November, things might sort out. It has been a hard winter but Spring has been good, and everything has an end of year feeling building. So this tune turned out to be just about right.
It is going to called Boundary Road, on account of that is where I live now.
It is a counterpart to a CD I made in Adelaide / Honiara few years back, and gave copies to a few folks, which was called Live at Home.
The style will be noisy folk, with banjo and mandolin and drums and yelling, a bit similar to some of the Luker and Southern stuff but without Emma Luker’s deft touch to stop the whole thing degenerating into anti-folk which is where the record is currently headed. Maybe one day Emma will play violin on a few tracks when I am back in Adelaide.
Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill look like a couple of old geezers, don’t they?
Apparently they met in the eighties playing in a jazz fusion band – go figure – but found a mutual love for Irish music. I haven’t heard their first album The Lonesome Touch but I’d like to. I have this, their second album, on high rotation in the house and car. It puts me in a good mood most times I put it on. They have done other records, but not together, so I believe.
Hayes’ playing is kind of slower and less flamboyant than a lot of other Irish fiddle stuff I have heard, but there are soulful swoops and touches to replace the sound of the virtuoso’s burning fingerboard. But for me, Cahill’s playing is what really makes it work out. It’s all voicings of the same five or six chords we all play, but Cahill always picks the perfect inversion for the particular moment in the tune. And the sound he gets brings out echoes of harp, lute, and banjo, and goes well beyond the standard steel string strum-along that sits behind so much Irish fiddle playing.
All up, these guys are really worth a listen. It’s all instrumental and all quite slow and soft, but it’s groovy, too.
This particular tune is apparently a Scottish dance set but to me it sounds kind of American. I can see it as the instrumental track to some coming to America story, the first time an immigrant sees Boston, or something of that sort.
Incidentally, the chords / melody at the end of each verse are from an English trad tune called the Weaver and the Factory Maid. I love this song immensely, probably my favourite Maddy Prior tune. It was important to me at around the time my Dad died so I think that is why the lyrics to my version have ended up being about that.
Two mixdowns of a semi-serious recording session with Michael and Louise, a few Sundays back.
The mixes still have alive quality but in with the process was far more careful and procedural than the rather haphazard wine and cheese influenced sessions this group is used to having. Next jam session might be one of that other kind.