We started this recording
in 2004 hence the name, Better Late Than Never.
Dedicated to my dear, departed friends: Betty (Goldberg) Glasser,
Dave Van Ronk, Betty (Ringer) Von Bergen, Hedy West and Winnie Winston.
In loving memory.
Dave Nielsen of Rancho Armadillo Audio Services, for his un-wavering
My husband, Greg Arrufat, for more than I can say.
The musicians, whose incredible talents graced this recording.
George Winston for his playing and encouragement.
Dave Gordon of Rancho Armadillo and Gail Korich of Dancing Cat
their friendship and assistance.
Steve Netsky of Rounder Records for his guidance from afar.
The DJs on the community, public and Americana radio stations.
Jeff Samuels of Graphics Resource Network.
Acres of Houses was
inspired by a visit to the rural area outside of Burlington,
Vermont a few years ago. In the 1970s and early 1980s I recorded at
Records Barn in North Ferrisburg, which is south of Burlington. Back
then it was
almost all farmland and houses were few and far between. During this
visit my friend,
singer and musician Rik Palieri, took me for a drive to show me how
changed. Like everywhere else, houses are sprouting up where fields
used to be.
The Lights of Spartanburg was written after the death of singer-songwriter
Walter Hyatt, who was killed in the Value Jet crash in 1996. Singers
Robin and Linda
Williams were old friends with Walter. Returning home from a show the
night of the
crash, they happened to be driving past his hometown of Spartanburg,
when they heard the news on the radio that Walter was among the dead.They
see the lights of Spartanburg in the distance. Unchained Melody
is a song I've
always loved. Most people associate it with the Righteous Brothers,
but it has actually
been around since the 1950s. One of my great inspirations as
a singer and banjo
player is the late Hedy West.This arrangement of Bei Mir Bist Du
Schön is a sort
of Hedy West Meets the Andrews Sisters. Mike Beck
is a working cowboy who is
also a marvelous singer-songwriter. He caught the real feeling of the
Sound in Oildale. Jim Ringer wrote Sabres and Guns
and performed it on stage,
but never got to record it.This is one of my favorite of his songs.
A few years after
his death I found a copy of the lyrics and started singing it. Soon
it became obvious to
me that it needed more of an ending, so I added the last verse.
Standing in the
Doorway was inspired somewhat by Bob Simpsons song Cornerstone
which is on the Prairie in the Sky album. Steve Netsky put the melody
to my lyrics.
The arrangement of Losing End heard here is based on how I remember
played by Robb Strandlund and Larry Blom.This is one of my favorite
songs. It is a heartbreaking fact that children disappear every
year and are never
seen alive again. Often, after a search that takes months or years,
an international level, the remains of the child are found within less
than a couple of
miles of home.The idea for Missing came to me after one of these
Youve Forgotten is a very early Jackson Browne song. Its
among a number of
great songs that he wrote in the beginning of his career and never got
recording. This is my third recording of the late Hoyt Axtons
great anti-war song
To Some Cool Blue Iced Shore. Somehow it never appeared on any
recordings.The guitar part here is the closest I've come to Hoyts
playing on the
demo of this song I was given back in the 1960s.
Jim Ringer learned California
Joe from his cousin and grandmother and he recorded it in 1972 on his
album,Waitin for the Hard Times to Go. His family had a wealth
of old songs that
were handed down through the generations. California Joe was
originally a poem
written by Captain Jack Crawford and published in his 1886 book,The
The melody Jim uses is particularly beautiful.This song is for the Ringer
families, for Debbie Shockley, who presented me with a copy of the Poet
for my husband, Greg, who encouraged me to record it.
Mary McCaslin October, 2006