Welcome to the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys' second CD liner notes page! This site is a general collection of thoughts, comments and trivia related to our second CD, Lightly-Toasted. We feel lucky to have been able to again include John Austin in this project since he so often joins us at the bakery on Friday mornings and brings a whole other dimension to many of these tunes. We sort of think of the four of us together as being "The Blue Ridge Bakery Band"!! We hope you have fun with our thoughts and abstract ramblings as well as the detailed instrument listings for each tune. For the sake of brevity (and when did that ever become an issue with me?) I have used only the last name initial below which can be translated into either Austin, Burger, Carter or Rollins. OK, I'll change my last name to begin with a "D" when Don changes his first name to "John"... Enjoy!!!
John Carter and I have been playing together on a fairly regular basis for ten years, enjoying the ease of similar musical tastes and an easygoing approach to performing. We've been blessed to add the multi-faceted John Rollins and John Austin for the past several years. When we're "cookin'" at the Blue Ridge Bakery, it's a "icing on the cake" for me as a musician. Many thanks to John Rollins for many hours spent and the patience to find just the right "recipe" to present each song. I'm glad to say that the CD represents well what you hear along with your coffee and goodies on Friday mornings. Thanks, too, to our great fans who show up, sing along and fill the tip jar, making this album possible.
John, Don and I are first and foremost good friends and musical partners, and less a trio than an "ensemble of three" in which each supports the others in various ways- contributing vocal support and/or additional instrumentation. It was a pleasure to record this music with my fellow "Bakery Boys" who energize you and complement what you hear in a song. The musical journey for the Bakery Boys began in the halcyon years of the 60's and continues: an informal, non-competitive, affectionate sharing of music with others who hod similar musical values. The songs and tunes are both traditional and contemporary, the approach is thoughtful, the performances are without pretension or the obvious devices of commercial intent. The focal point here is the music, the songs, and we hope the spirit lives on.
John R. Like our fist effort, Half-Baked, this project was a true melding of tunes and techniques. It started as the "cutouts from the first CD sessions as there was simply not enough playing time on a single CD to hold all the tunes. But the more we looked at the songs having to be left out, the more we realized that another CD was the better solution. So, as with the first CD, this is something of a compromise between a true, live recording of the group and a more, polished studio production. I like to think of it as what we "could" sound like "live" with a good sound system and engineer at the controls. There are, of course, exceptions to this statement where one of the members plays more than one instrument or sings more than one vocal part but I hope you'll forgive this anomaly and enjoy the end result...
The CD Tracks Themselves
Coleman's March/Princess Royal - Traditional
Arrowhead - Richard Shindell (ASCAP)
This is from one of Richard's earlier CDs, The Blue Divide (1994), and could easily have been written during the Civil War by any of the young, impressionable young men who, yearning for adventure, went off into war to become men. Sadly, many never returned and many more did return but horribly changed. This tune is a first-person narrative from one such boy having faced the grim reality of battle. John R.
No Choice - Bruce Mondlock, Fire of Change Music (ASCAP)
Learned from a Gordon Bok recording. John C.
When John C sings this, it rings so true for me as an artist and composer: I do it because I have to! Don B.
Blue Mountain - Fred W. Keller, 1920
Art Thieme and Bok/Trickett/Muir recorded this old cowboy song several years ago. I've been doing it for at least 20, and recommend the ongoing discussion of it at www.mudcat.org. It tells much of the colorful history of Monticello, Utah, as told by Fred W. Keller in 1920. Don B.
As Don mentioned, this song was written in 1920 by a prominent judge in the Monticello area of Utah; a full account of its origins can be found here and is quite interesting... John R.
I Don't Love You Much, Do I? - Guy Clark/Richard Leigh EMI April Music Inc/GSC Music/Lion-Hearted Music (ASCAP)
I first hear this done by Guy and Emmylou Harris on his 1992 CD Boats To Build and felt an immediate connection with it. There are so many times when we become frustrated by our inability to verbalize our emotions for our "significant others" and this song gave me the perfect way to make up for it. This one's for Rocky... John R.
Mary Don't You Weep - Traditional
I've sung this for many years, with many others, but my favorite version is ours. It's always uplifting for me to give this one everything we've got. Don B.
Another traditional tune attributed to the Carter Family - with a great sing-along chorus!John R.
Canadian Whiskey - Tom Russell, 1984 Bug Music O/B/O End Of The Trail Music (BMI?)
"Her eyes were the color of Canadian Whiskey, pure blended whiskey, so light brown and fine". Another favorite from Tom Russell with an original (mine) extra verse. John C.
Me & My Uncle - John Phillips, 1963, Honest John Music (BMI)
Supposedly written "live" during a drinking session in a hotel room with Judy Collins, Stephen Stills and Neil Young, this is a merry tale of wild times and frontier family values in America's West... John R.
Georgia Calls - Don Burger, 2012
My wife Deb and I were driving from FL to visit a friend near Atlanta. After hours on the road, and anticipating our friend Eileen's dinner "table of friends," we saw the "Welcome to Georgia" sign. Out came the pencil and notebook, and we had it written by the time we pulled in the driveway. Don B.
Don wrote this tune while travelling through Georgia and when he played it for us it struck a harmonic chord, reminding me of the road trip I made moving back to Florida from New Hampshire. It was a cold October morning when I left Manchester and drove through Washington DC into Virginia before stopping for the night. The next morning I headed out early and by the time I reached Georgia it was warm enough to open the sun roof and bask in the warm, morning sun. At that moment a solitary thought passed through my mind, "I'm going back home". With that mindset, I made some alterations to Don's basic arrangment and chord structure; what you hear hear is the result. Thanks, Don, for trusting me with your song. John R.
Heavens & The Years - Bill Staines, 2007, Mineral River Music (BMI)
A poignant look at life and memories. "I will feel the world a-turning through the heavens and the years"... John C.
Singing Through The Hard Times - Bruce "Utah" Phillips, Strike Music (???)
A song in tribute to our veterans who returned home only to be greated by hard times. John R.
Letter In The Mail - Tim O'Brien & Tim Hadley, Blue Water Music (ASCAP)/Hadley Six Music/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI)
A wonderful tune from Tim O'Brien and Tim Hadley about the meaninglessness of geographical distances. John R.
Silver Sea - Steve Wainwright and Kevin Evans, 1980, (???)
This song evokes a certain wistfulness about life and the ocean. The song was written by Steve Wainright and Kevin Evans in 1980, and won international acclaim. John C.
Learning The Game - Buddy Holly/John Rollins, 1958, Peermusic Publishing (BMI)
This is one of those "little known" Buddy Holly songs that only a few artists have recorded (most notable among them are the Everly Brothers and John David Souther). The only problem I had with the song was that it only had one verse! So I "fixed" that problem and how have a song I describe as "one I wrote with Buddy Holly"! John R.
Will There Be Chickens In Paradise - Emily Luertzing & Neal Walters, 1998
"Hatchin' and Layin', Peckin' and Prayin', Crowin' a Heavenly Chord." A fun song with a great chorus. John C.
Maybe the less said about this tune, the better. This is one of our most requested tune though - go figure... John R.
My French Broad River Home - Don Burger, 2012
I imagined a simple romantic story, with the beauty of the French Broad River and Pisgah Forest as characters in the mix. It really completes the song when our audience echoes back on the chorus, and I'm most grateful for the way John R "tweaked" the presentation to bring it to life. Don B.
This is another tune of Don's that "spoke" to me the first time I heard it, though I heard it differently than he played it. We spent a couple of hours talking about the tune and the story being told before we played a single note in the studio. Don was gracious enough to let me lay down the instrumental tracks for the tune - I hope he approves... John R.
Produced and engineered by Raker john at Imladris Studios, Brevard, NC with artistic guidance from the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys.
This was a long and bittersweet journey as much of the content was recorded during our 2011-2012 sessions that produced our first
CD, Half-Baked. Since that time, Don has moved to Tennessee, making rehearsals and recording sessions a lot more
difficult and infrequent, and I have taken a leave of absence to pursue other musical interests and side projects.
On the plus side, John Austin has taken up much of the slack by performing at the bakery on most Fridays (whether or not he is on
grand-daughter duty). On a few occasions, I have rejoined the group for local charity performances and the odd Friday morning
bakery song-swap. Consequently, these tracks languished in limbo for many months before the group got together to decide their fate.
It seemed to make no sense to simply discard them since so much time was invested in their original recording and subsequent additional instrument recording and sub-group mixing done in the studio. Rather than "cobble" them together and produce another CD of lesser quality than the first one, it was decided that we would do what was necessary to complete the effort and release our next (and perhaps final) CD with the same care we took with the first. So, almost a year after that decision was made, here it is. It was a labor of love, sadness, frustration and all the other emotions that are part of life - we hope the CD conveys those emotions to you as well as you listen to it. Enjoy! John R.
As always, we'd like to thank Rocky for hanging around and taking pictures for us while we attended to the business at hand. We thank her for her patience and understanding when things didn't go as planned and took longer than we'd originally thought they would ... way, way longer ...
Please remember that your comments and suggestions are always welcomed. We take requests; we don't promise to play them but we take them, none the less... Keep those electronic cards and letters comin', folks!
Send comments to: BRBBoys@comporium.net
Changes last made on: Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 3:55pm