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Waiting For Inspiration, 2004

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Musicians:

Dan Carollo (guitar, mandolin, bodhran)

Ted Yuen (fiddle)

Torrey Hoffman (bass)

Travis Coster (djembe)

Dan Allen (keyboard)

Beth Soderlund (vocals)

Special Thanks to...

Richard D. Stone: For 7 years of putting a roof over my head in Kent, WA. Also for  supplying the Sawchyn guitar (a gift) and Breedlove mandolin (on loan -- right?), with which this album was recorded.

Other important people who supported me in this venture: My wife Susan and kids (Karen and Jonathan), the regulars at the Celtic Bayou, regulars at Victors Coffee, Creekside Worship Team, Extreme Worship Team, Jerry "Big Dog" Lindman and the Chumley Hooker Toons, J.C. at Emmaus Road Studios.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The album title "Waiting For Inspiration" came from my wife Susan. I thought the cover photo looked like I was waiting for something -- The bus?  The mailman? A sunny day in the Northwest?  Then, my wife took a look at it and said:  "Hmmm...Looks like you're waiting for inspiration!"

 

The name stuck.

 

1. Gander In The Pratie Hole / Morrison's Jig / Drowsy Maggie**

I first heard this delightful Irish set (two jigs and a reel) performed by the Tacoma group Slainte, who unfortunately are no longer together. I loved their guitar arrangement so much I just had to duplicate it here. I think "Pratie Hole" is some kind of Irish word for a potato patch.  Morrison's Jig needs no explanation, although I honestly have no idea who Maggie is or why she's drowsy.

 

2. St. Peter's Hot Rod

Sometimes I just like to let down my mullet and do some shredding. This song was inspired by a disciple of Jesus named Simon (whom Jesus called "Rock" or Peter). After having denied Jesus three times, Peter is confronted by Jesus (who had just come back to life after 3 days in a tomb) who says to him: "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" To which Peter replies "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you". Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 

A careless reading of this passage almost sounds like he's telling Peter: "Take care of my Jeep!"  I imagine that today, Jesus might well have driven a jeep -- handing his keys to Peter in his final moments in the world.

 

3. Ashokan Farewell*

I first heard this Jay Ungar tune on the Ken Burns "Civil War" documentary. While not a period tune, the feeling is very much of the Civil War era.  As I hear the haunting fiddle, I can imagine the broken bodies of Union and Confederate boys littering the field at Gettysburg. I have a difficult time fighting back tears when I hear it. (Read about Ashokan Farewell in Jay Ungar's own words)

 

4. Denis Murphy / John Ryan's Polkas**

A couple of Irish polka tunes often played together with another  Irish tune: "I'll Tell Me Ma" -- one of our kids' favorite. Although I didn't include the latter tune in this recording, I sometimes perform it live sets.

 

5. Amazing Grace***

Composed sometime in the late 1700's by the former slave trader John Newton, Amazing Grace has become one of the best-known hymns -- loved by saints and sinners alike (of which I'm the worst). While trying to navigate his ship through perilous waters in 1748, Newton first experienced what he called "a great deliverance". Amazing Grace is a cry of his heart, celebrating his conversion to Christianity.


6. Nothing I Desire

I feel the same way about sappy love songs as I do about pickled beets.  But in this tune (my only vocal song on the CD), I've tried to describe a sort of spiritual kind of love. The song comes from two Bible verses:  Psalm 73:25 "Whom have I in heaven buy you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you" and Proverbs 3:13-15, which describes the importance of wisdom:  "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding ... she is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her."

 

7. Instrument of Peace

The title of the song comes from a poem by St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century: "Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy..."

I originally had words in mind when I wrote this song, but decided I enjoyed it better as an instrumental.

 

8. Down In the Valley To Pray**

This song was made popular by Alison Krauss' performance, which was re-titled "Down In the River To Prayer" in the movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?".  It's actually a traditional Appalachian spiritual, that has been recorded by the likes of Doc Watson, Martin Simpson and many others. 

 

9. Soldier's Joy / The Wind That Shakes the Barley**

This is truly a "celtograss" combo. "Soldier's Joy" is a popular American tune from the 18th century, which I've heard played in both Irish sessions and bluegrass jams.  "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" is a widely-recorded traditional Irish Reel.

 

10. Thinking Time

Everyone needs "thinking time", to dig deeper and reflect on life's great mysteries. One of my favorite activities is going to Victors Coffee Company every Tuesday morning, where I grab a warm cup of coffee, open a book, write down some notes, or -- just sit and think.  I wrote this song as an ode to "thinking". (See related article >>)


11. Waking Up / Voice of the Irish

This set is couple of original tunes. "Waking Up" is sort of a sleepy, morning kind of tune -- right before coffee.

"Voice of The Irish" is based on a dream St. Patrick had just before becoming a missionary to Ireland. In the dream, Patrick saw a man carrying thousands of letters containing the words "The Voice of The Irish".  As Patrick describes in his Confessions:  "as I read the beginning of the letter I thought that at the same moment I heard their voice they were those beside the Wood of Voclut, which is near the Western Sea and thus did they cry out as with one mouth: `We ask thee, boy, come and walk among us once more.'"

(See my related article on St. Patrick here >> )


12. New Wine Reel***

This is a fiddle tune written by my friend Ted Yuen. It was inspired by a metaphor Jesus used to describe the Kingdom of God.  Like freshly-made wine, the ultimately Real cannot be contained in brittle, airtight structures.  In this tune, I [Ted] attempt to convey the irrepressible nature of the "New Wine".


13. Ashokan Farewell (reprise)*

I just love this tune so much I had to do it again!  This one is a guitar-only arrangement.

 


 

All music/lyrics by Dan Carollo unless otherwise noted...

*Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar 1983 by Swinging Door Music-BMI (used by permission)

**Traditional (public domain)

***New Wine Reel by Ted Yuen 2001 Karisongs (used by permission)

 


 

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