Her Heart Did Sing
1. Let The Mystery Be – by Iris Dement. Thank you, Bob Cochran, for introducing us to this Arkansas treasure.
Lead Vocals & Baritone Uke – Mim; Guitar – Joanie; Back-up Vocals – Joanie & Julie; Mandolin – Peter Lippincott
2. Pretty Fair Maid In The Garden – Traditional. Based on an English folk song named “John Riley”; this version we got from Tim O’Brien on Fiddler’s Green. We found our title Her Heart Did Sing in the lyrics of this lovely song.
Lead Vocals & Guitar – Joanie; Back-up Vocals – Julie & Mim
3. Bring Me Little Water Sylvie – We believe this song comes out of slave tradition. It was popularized by Lead Belly in 1937. We thank Moira Smiley for this marvelous arrangement & Evie Ladin for the delightful choreography.
A Capella Singing & Body Percussion – Joanie, Julie, Marya, & Mim
4. Bonnie James Campbell – Child Ballad #210. There are many versions of this song, also known as “Bonny George Campbell.” Some are surprisingly upbeat; this one is not. We first heard it from our friend, Aubrey Atwater, who generously lets us steal all her best songs.
Lead Vocals & Guitar – Joanie; Harmony Vocals – Mim
5. Going To The West – Traditional. This beautiful ballad chased us until we caught it. We’re grateful to the Herbin’ League of Stone County, AR and Aubrey Atwater & Elwood Donnelly for carrying it to us. ‘Bout time, right?
A Capella Harmonies – Joanie, Julie, Marya, & Mim
6. The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night – Traditional. Taken from a 15th century English poem, this is one of our favorite childhood songs.
Lead Vocals & Banjo – Mim; Guitar – Joanie; Characters – Julie; Back-up Vocals – Joanie & Julie
7. Desert Lullaby – by Chris Stuart. From his album Angels of Mineral Springs. The only thing more beautiful than a mother singing a lullaby is three mothers singing a lullaby.
A Capella Harmonies – Joanie, Julie, & Mim
8. Old Blue – Traditional. Our version of this lovely song, which is believed to have originated in the minstrel shows of the 1920′s, was recorded by Jim Jackson in 1928 in a collection called Anthology of Folk Music. Dedicated to good dogs everywhere.
Lead Vocals & Banjo – Mim; Back-up Vocals – Joanie & Julie
9. Shortnin’ Bread – Often thought of as a plantation song, “Shortnin’ Bread” was actually written by James Whitcomb Riley in 1900. We got our inspiration from a version of this song that Riely Baugus did on a CD with Ira Bernstein called Appalachian Roots. Riley says he found it on a Library of Congress recording of an elementary school student from Missouri named Ora Dell Graham. And then, of course, in the good old oral tradition, it changed itself a bit…
Vocals – Joanie, Julie, Marya, Mim, & Peter; Flatfooting – Mim; Jingle Stick – Joanie
10. Spanish Is The Loving Tongue – This ballad was taken from the poem “A Border Affair” written by cowboy poet Charles Badger Clark in 1907. It was later set to music by Billy Simon in 1925.
Lead Vocals & Guitar – Joanie; Harmony – Mim
11. The Devil & The Farmer’s Wife – Child Ballad #278. The Child Ballad is called “The Farmer’s Curst Wife.” We love this rollicking version which fits so well with the Arkansas tradition of humor and tall tales.
Lead Vocals & Banjo – Mim; Back-up Vocals – Julie & Joanie; Jingle Stick – Julie; Washboard – Joanie
12. Crawdad Song - Traditional. Collected by Cecil Sharp in 1917, this song is now a familiar classic. Living in crawdad country brought us first-hand experience with the subject!
Vocals – Joanie, Julie, Marya, & Mim; Banjo – Julie & Mim; Guitar – Joanie; Kazoo – Julie & Marya; Foot Percussion – Joanie & Mim
13. Another Train – by Pete Morton. We heard a stellar unaccompanied version on a recording by the Poozies, and we were in love. This is our rendition. Keep watch…there’s always another train.
A Capella – Joanie, Julie, Mim, & Peter
Bonus Track: Breathe – by Marya McKee.
Vocals & Guitar – Marya McKee
Gimme Little Sugar
1. Hallelujah – MaMuse (MaMuse Records). This glorious song came on the radio one day while we were baking cookies. We dropped our spatulas, looked at each other, and said, “Oh my God, we have to sing that!” Thank you, MaMuse, for the the gift of this song!
2. False Young Man – Traditional. There are many different versions of this song. Our version was inspired by Kieron Means & Sara Grey on Kieron’s gorgeous album As Far As My Eyes Can See.
Marya – lead vocal and guitar; Mim – lead harmony
3. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean – Blind Lemon Jefferson (Universal Music Corp). We got it from the amazing Aubrey Atwater who bowled us over by adding foot percussion and banjo while she sang this at the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky.
Joanie – Foot Percussion
4. Queen Of The Rails – Utah Phillips (Strike Music/BMI). It took us a good while to be able to sing this song without crying. No one loves you like your dog…
Marya – lead vocal and guitar; Joanie – lead harmony
5. Soul Like Me – A lovely spin on John Newton’s beloved “Amazing Grace,” this melody is by Kristina Das, inspired by an ancient Tibetan chant. This is our loose interpretation of Jerimoth Hill’s version on Halfway Ground. Thank you, Elwood!
Joanie – cajón
6. Sugar On The Floor - Jean Ritchie (Geordie Music Publishing 1964, 1971). There’s so much to say about Jean we just don’t know where to start, but we can say we named ourselves after this happy song. Thank you, Jean, for this and all the songs. Nuff said.
7. Long Time Traveler - Traditional. We started with The Wailin’ Jennys’ lovely version, played around with the harmonies, and added a fourth voice.
Mim – lead vocal
8. John Lover - Johnny Whelan wrote this Civil War song by adding words to a fiddle tune called “Johnny’s Gone to War.” We borrowed our version from Kieron with Sara’s exquisite harmonies on Run Mountain. As mothers living in times of war, this song grieves our hearts.
Mim – banjo
9. Pat Do This – Traditional. This song was collected by John A. & Alan Lomax in the 1950’s. We learned it from Kieron and Sara, and sing it as a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Irish immigrant.
Julie and Marya – lead vocal; Mim and Joanie – foot percussion
10. Red Winged Blackbird – By Billy Edd Wheeler (Bexhill Music Group w/ Gimbell Music Group). We were captivated when we heard Kathy Mattea singing out the heartbreak and hardships faced by coal miners and their families. This is for them.
Joanie – lead vocal; Mim – harmony
11. I Ride An Old Paint - By Billy Edd Wheeler (Bexhill Music Group w/ Gimbell Music Group). We were captivated when we heard Kathy Mattea singing out the heartbreak and hardships faced by coal miners and their families. This is for them.
Joanie – lead vocal; Mim – harmony
12. The Wind And The Rain - Traditional. We first sang this song at the Ozark Folk Center with Sara as storms raged and Stone County, Arkansas flooded around us.
Marya – lead vocal, guitar
13. Parting Friends – Traditional American. (Tune: John G. McCurry, 1842). We thought we’d already heard all the good stuff, but when Aubrey sang this for an encore, her lovely voice and Elwood Donnelly’s haunting harmonies left us speechless.
Julie – lead vocal
14. Make Me Down A Pallet On The Floor - Traditional blues. First recordings by Mississippi John Hurt. We took our version from the honeyed voice of Gillian Welch. Makes us think fondly of all the friends who so willingly make us down pallets on their floors.
Joanie – lead vocal, guitar; Mim and Julie – harmony
15. Parting Glass - Traditional Irish. We love good-bye songs so much we had to put in two. This is another of those Wailin’ Jennys songs that lifts your heart and curls your toes. Hope they never stop singing!