Story"Lucky Lady" was written many years ago in honor of a kitten abandoned at my doorstep. My partner at the time, who swore he'd never get a second cat, came in the house bearing this tiny little kitten who had already won him over. "Cats on the Ceiling" seemed a perfect fit!
StoryI first heard this lovely schottis from Deb Suran, hammered dulcimer player and builder from Deer Isle, Maine. One of the many things I love about Swedish music is the close harmonies the fiddlers weave. I tried to re-create that sound here with the magic of multi-tracking dulcimers.
"Swinging on a Gate" is a familiar Irish session tune. "Blueberry Mountain Reel" I wrote in commemoration of a lovely hike to the top of Bear Mountain in Sumner, Maine in 1998. When we reached the summit it was covered with blueberries. My old black lab-x, Brandy, grazed happily on them! You can find the sheet music here
The Silver Thaw was written thinking about the Great Ice Storm of January 1998. I was teaching at Hebron Academy (Hebron, Maine) at the time and vividly remember standing in the Fine Arts Center watching the great elm trees losing huge limbs as the storm progressed. The woods were eerily silent and beautiful after the storm itself was over. Then the winds came up...the woods started to cry....The academy lost several trees over 100 years old, I was without power for eleven days, and I know many people were without heat or power for much longer. The forests here still have not recovered from the devestation. It was some time after that I heard that kind of ice storm referred to as a "silver thaw". You can read the sheet music here
Story"Sally in the Garden" - my take on this lovely tune taught to me by Jim Joseph as an old-time banjo tune. "The Strayaway Child" is another long-time favorite multi-part Irish jig. I learned it from the recording of the same name by Jerry Read Smith.
Spring Sparrows - A waltz celebrating the return of spring, and sparrows, and all things green! I have organized a fiddle ensemble for my students for many years. One grouping named themselves "The Cats and the Fiddles" when they started to play for community contradances; this waltz was, of course, written for them. You can find the sheet music for Spring Sparrows here
The Trestle Bridge is a railway bridge over the Androscoggin River in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine. Dating from the 1800s, it was also used as a footbridge by the mill workers who lived an worked on opposite sides of the river. The bridge was reopened as a pedestrian bridge in recent years. Every August the Great Falls Balloon Festival is held on the banks of the Androscoggin. For several years one of my bands, Scrod Pudding, played for a contradance on the old trestle bridge during the festival, with the last waltz timed to coincide with the evening balloon launch. I wrote "The Trestle Bridge" with the image in my mind of the dancers waltzing at sunset with the balloons lifting all around them. You can find the sheet music here.