New Leaves on an Old Tree

New Leaves on an Old Tree

Chris Caswell & Danny Carnahan
“Contemporary Celtic Music In Two Point Perspective”

with guests:
Kate Wolf
Sylvia Woods
Michael Gravina

Music is magic. Like the trickster’s toy that exists only while his hands move, its edges feather into the physical world. We grew up in the shadow of the last hills before the western sea, learning our sleight of hand from magicians 6000 miles away. In summer, mist clung to the tops of the hills. There in the redwoods the voices of the waves echoed clearly. We’ve heard that the old folk of the islands in the North Sea understood the words in the changing tide as their Gaelic was a memory of the sea’s own tongue. Their harpers and pipers and fiddlers and singers knew the waves as well, sometimes sleeping by a stream to listen for tunes. We wonder what they would have heard beneath these ancient trees along this endless coast. Here is some of what we’ve heard. We dedicate it to all those fiercely gentle poets, then and now, glancing often to the west and the open sea, listening. (Chris Caswell, 1981)

Rathdrum Fair
(Mick Fitzgerald)
Danny: guitar, fiddle, viola & vocal; Chris: alto & tenor recorders

The Galbally Farmer/The Blarney Pilgrim
(trad. arr. Caswell Carnahan)
Danny: octave mandolin, fiddle & vocal; Chris: flute, whistle & bodhran; Michael Gravina: uilleann pipes

The Girl I Left Behind/The Girl Who Broke My Heart
(trad. arr. Caswell Carnahan)
Chris: ancient Celtic harp & vocal; Danny: fiddle, cello & vocal harmoniy; Sylvia Woods: neo-Celtic harp

The Tipsy Sailor’s Farewell to Ireland
(trad. arr. Caswell Carnahan)
Danny: octave mandolin & fiddle; Chris: bodhran

Robin Hood and the Pedlar
(trad. arr. Caswell Carnahan)
Chris: bodhran & vocal; Danny: octave mandolin, fiddle & vocal

The Whistling Thief/Pigeon On the Gate/Tatter Jack Walsh
(trad. arr. Caswell Carnahan)
Danny: guitar, fiddle & vocal; Chris: whistle, flute & bodhran

Madam I’m a Darlin’
(trad. arr. Caswell Carnahan)
Danny: guitar & vocal; Chris: ancient Celtic harp & vocal harmony

Breton Air
(Mick Fitzgerald)
Danny: guitar & vocal; Chris: flute

The False Lover Won Back
(trad. lyrics with new music by Caswell Carnahan)
Chris: vocal; Danny: guitar & vocal harmony; Kate Wolf: vocal harmony

Black Jack Davy/The Jug of Punch/The Shepherd’s Crook/Tiree Hallowes
(first three trad., fourth by Chris Caswell, all arr. Caswell Carnahan)
Danny: octave mandolin, fiddle & vocal; Chris: concertina, Highland pipes, bodhran, Highland drum & vocal harmony

Produced by Robert Force.
Engineered by Steve O’Hara.
Recorded & mixed at John Altmann Recording, San Francisco.
Chris’ harps by Caswell Harps, Guerneville, California.
Danny’s guitars by Ove Veggerby, Mill Valley, California.
Photography by Dwight Caswell.
Album design by Caswell Carnahan.
Copyright © 1981 Caswell Carnahan.
All titles BMI.
Originally released on LP as Kicking Mule Records KM 313 (1981).

Re-released in 1995 on CD, combined with Borderlands, as Gargoyle Records 70103. “The Tipsy Sailor’s Farewell to Ireland” was cut in order to cram both LPs onto one CD and has become the stuff of legend.