Taking Turns

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Description

TAKING TURNS is a song swap among my musical pals – twelve exciting artists and ensembles ably supported by Austin’s best session players, and lovingly captured by skilled engineers. Armadillo has always offered a wide range of talents and styles to provoke the adventurous and discriminating tastes of our audiences. It is within this tradition we are TAKING TURNS.
I believe Ed Sullivan would have approved – as would Lawrence Welk. ~ Fletcher Clark, Producer


Lyrics and Liner Notes

Shaidri Alrich ~ Darlin' (Don't Wait Up for Me Tonight)
DARLIN’, don’t wait up for me tonight.
I’ll be late, but, love, I’ll be alright.
The bright lights and the music are callin’ me away,
And I must go, but I’ll be home.
And I swear I’ll love you all the time I’m gone.
Yes, I swear I’ll love you all the time I’m gone.

Dear, it’s not the limelight or the wine.
It’s the music poundin’ in this heart of mine.
The music can be jealous like a lover.
So I must go, but I’ll be home.
And I swear I’ll love you all the time I’m gone.
Yes, I swear I’ll love you all the time I’m gone.

Loud music hurts your ears, smoke burns your eyes.
And you don’t like those screams and drunken cries.
Well, I don’t like ’em either, still I go there.
To sit and sing, the same old song.
And I swear I’ll love you all the time I’m gone.
Yes, I swear I’ll love you all the time I’m gone.

by Jack Jacobs & Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Floyd Domino – piano
Spencer Starnes- electric bass
Art Kidd – drums
Larry Nye – guitars
Hank Alrich – mandolin

Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Larry Nye – La-Z-L Studio (Kingsland)
Spencer Starnes – Bee Creek Studio (Spicewood)
Chet Himes – ASM Studio (Austin)

Shaidri truly has the voice of an angel, and I knew her voice should be the first in the song circle. She has known this song for a long time, but not from its honkey-tonk roots. (Jack and I were relaxing on the Pitch’n’Putt behind the Split Rail for a Balcones Fault break when this song was born, eight years before Shaidri.) She freed this wonderful tune from its roadhouse shackles (with the able support of concertmeister Floyd). Not wanting to wait for all of Taking Turns to be completed, Armadillo Records recorded and released the critically acclaimed Carry Me Home.

We cut the rhythm tracks with her scratch vocal at Cedar Creek (after the rhythm section had cut Until You Walked Out on Me with Craig Toungate and Don’t Be Nowhere with Mady Kaye). Later, almost-brother Larry and Hank teamed up at the La-Z-L for a guitar/mandolin session. Once Spencer had replaced his original acoustic bass part with electric bass, Shaidri could record the final vocal. After the third take, she wanted to do it again, and Randy Sulsar remarked, “I don’t know why – she keeps doing it exactly the same.” And, I might add, with feeling each time. So we recorded one more take, I kept the previous one, and we called it a day after thirty minutes! As Chet was about to mix, rather than edit previous takes, Hank grabbed his Gibson Model A mandolin, along with his Schoepps mics and cut the final mandolin track – fittingly the last recording for Taking Turns.

Tommy Elskes ~ Get My Soul
Girl, the time has come to face the situation,
That loving you has almost been my ruination.
When you were poor, I gave you money.
I gave you warmth when the night was cold.
I let you take my heart and hand,
But I’ll be damned if you GET MY SOUL.

The hell of who we are is an illusion.
We can’t make sense of all of this confusion.
You wanted me to be somebody
That you could pour into your mold.
How can I make you understand?
I’ll be be damned if you GET MY SOUL.
Can’t GET MY SOUL!

You wanted me to be your mortal savior.
But I can’t cleanse the sins of your behavior.
There in the darkness of my shadow
You placed your life under my control.
I‘ve taken all that I can stand
And I’ll be be damned if I’ll take your soul.

O-Oh No! Can’t GET MY SOUL!
O-Oh No! Can’t GET MY SOUL!
O-Oh No!

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Bill Browder – guitars
Mike Rieman – electric bass
Eddie Cantu – drums
Riley Osbourn – organ
James Fenner – congas, percussion
Paul Pearcy – percussion
Joe Forlini – electric slide guitar
Layton DePenning – background vocals

Layton DePenning – Elmos’s Lab (Manchaca)
Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Eastside Flash – Flashpoint Recording Studio (Downtown Austin)

Tommy brings great passion to everything he sings, which can range completely over any songwriter’s work – he easliy could have been the sole artist for all of Taking Turns. I’ve known for most our long friendship that the time would come when he would be exactly the right voice. Check out his CD Bohemia.

For a long time he could be coaxed out of New Mexico only occasionally, and such an occasion while visiting with friends in Cuero made him available to record.Tommy drove up to Layton’s studio in Manchaca to cut the basics with Denim.

Listening to Tommy’s first few vocal phrases, Layton sputtered, “What an instrument!” Later, Riley laid down the vintage Hammond C3 w/ Leslie at Cedar Creek. Then at Flash’s, we recorded Fenner and Pearcy together for the percussion parts. (Man, talk about ear candy! …and Joe, another favorite guitar player of mine. His slide here embraces the tension of meandering chromaticism pitted against pedal roots and modal tones.

Craig Toungate ~ Until You Walked Out on Me
You sauntered into my sight.
You sashayed into my view.
You moseyed into my memory,
And became a melody.

You ambled into my life.
You sidled into my heart.
You strutted your stuff down the thoroughfare,
Sportin’ your high-toned air.

A promenade down Main Street.
A cakewalk in the park.
A kiss shared on the hiking trail.
How could I know I’d fail?

You swaggered right out my door.
You left me without a key.
I always admired the way that you walked,
UNTIL YOU WALKED OUT ON ME.

No marchin’ down the aisle.
No glidin’ ‘cross the floor.
No prancin’ by your side.
How could I save my pride?

You shuffled on down the road.
I muffled my plaintive plea.
I always admired the way that you walked,
UNTIL YOU WALKED OUT ON ME.
You know, I always admired the way that you walked,
UNTIL YOU WALKED OUT ON ME.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Floyd Domino – piano
Spencer Starnes – acoustic bass
Art Kidd – drums
Fletcher Clark – archtop guitar

Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Eastside Flash – Flashpoint Recording Studio (Downtown Austin)
Gary Powell – Powell Productions Studio (Oak Hill)

Cozying in on an autumn morning at Cedar Creek with its scrumptuous vintage Neve console, Art set up his kit while Spencer loaded in his v-e-r-y old upright bass. And there’s something about Fred’s piano that just seems right for Floyd and for this cut. We recorded the basics head-on with Craig’s guide vocal to capture his phrasing and the spontaneous energy of the rhythm section – what mean when drums stop? At a later session at Flashpoint, I overdubbed archtop guitar – Slim Richey’s 1937 Gibson L-4 set up with flatwounds.

Craig can sing anything – no, everything. Broadway, Nashville, Tin Pan Alley, R&B – you name it (he, too, is my almost-brother). Check out Craig’s latest CD, Vintage Delight. He has recorded scores of songs for Disney Productions with Gary, so when it came time to record this vocal, they were the obvious combination, creating a sound inspired by the great swing era vocal ensembles.

Michael Durbin ~ Lord, Please Send Me Someone

LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE who’s not too good for me.
Someone who won’t see I’m not the man that I could be.
Someone not so pretty, not so very smart,
Someone who can make me sing and warm my chilly heart.

LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE who’ll never give a thought
To how she could do better, or how I could be taught.
Someone not too picky, easily satisfied,
Someone who can let me be with all my foolish pride.

LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE
LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE
LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE
Some one who’s not too good for me.

LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE who’ll take me as I am.
Not someone so polite that I would have to call her ma’am.
Someone who’d be happy sleepin’ by the sea.
LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE who’s not too good for me.

LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE
LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE
LORD, PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE
Some one who’s not too good for me.
Some one who’s not too good for me.
Some one who’s not too good for me.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Bill Browder – guitars
Mike Rieman – electric bass
Eddie Cantu – drums
Riley Osbourn – keyboards
James Fenner – congas
Paul Pearcy – percussion
Tony Campise – alto sax
Layton DePenning – background vocals
Fletcher Clark – background vocals

Layton DePenning – Elmos’s Lab (Manchaca)
Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Eastside Flash – Flashpoint Recording Studio (Downtown Austin)
Fletcher Clark – Vogel Haus (Lockhart)

Michael happens to be a great songwriter, and was very much the inspiration for this song. So when it came time to record it, he had to be the voice. We have shared many a song circle at the Kerrville Folk Festival over the years, and if we were Taking Turns, he just had to have his. Michael’s nom de plume is Moe Hansum, …and he certainly is. Check out the latest CD, Poor Boys Long Way from Home.

When this tune arrived in the studio – thank you, Mose Allison and Randy Newman, not necessarily in that order – it seemed fresh from what might have been the local Primitive Episcopal parish. (What? You don’t have one in your town?) Michael found an easy quality to lilt atop the darker emotions. And then Browder came up with this great idea to modulate the chorus. What?!*?

At Cedar Creek, Riley recorded piano, B-3 and Rhodes to define the space. At Flashpoint, the late, great Tony Campise recorded this solo, just another day in the life of one of our greatest alto sax players. Percussion from Paul and James completed the rhythm bed, and I added a church chorus to complete the vocals. Amen!

Mady Kaye ~ Don't Be Nowhere
DON’T BE NOWHERE without me.
Don’t be takin’ no trips.
Don’t be lendin’ those sweet lips
To anyone but me.

DON’T BE NOWHERE without me.
Don’t be dancin’ at clubs.
Don’t be getting’ no back rubs
From anyone but me.

I know I can’t possess you.
You’re simply too headstrong.
But then when I caress you,
I pray you prove me wrong.

I won’t be nowhere without you.
Won’t be far from your side.
Won’t be takin’ no backslide
From anyone so true as you.
So although wherever you are,
That’s where you happen to be.
My darlin’, won’t be nowhere – without me.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Floyd Domino – piano
Spencer Starnes – acoustic bass
Art Kidd – drums
Fletcher Clark – archtop guitar
Mike Mordecai – trombone

Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Eastside Flash – Flashpoint Studio (Downtown Austin)

An unabashed fan of the Great American Songbook, Mady is “…a skillful interpreter of Tin Pan Alley’s classics, and when she gives voice to these masterpieces of wit and romance, she communicates all the craft, all the feeling that has made these songs standards…” In addition to our musical relationship, we shared stewardship of the Music Umbrella of Austin and its Songwriter Competition, the progenitor of the Austin Song Writers Group. To hear more of her, check out Mady Kaye Goes Cabaret, Volume 2: The Magic of Mercer

After the rhythm section had recorded Craig’s Until You Walked Out on Me, a breezy Cedar Creek morning became a swinging noon when Mady showed. (Sidebar: Ray Charles: play in time, in tune, with feeling!) Actually, more than a sidebar, that’s Mady. Wow! This wonderful songstress and these tasty players – together. It’s so easy this way. At Flashpoint, after adding archtop rhythm guitar, this song was made complete with Mike’s trombone, a baritone complement to a mezzo soprano. I never spoke aloud the names Billie Holiday and Jack Teagarden, but they had always been the voices in mind’s ear. And then there’s Floyd’s expressive piano… Spencer’s easy lines… Art’s superb brush work…

Denim ~ The Quiet Time
In THE QUIET TIME, before the dawn
When the night is dark and the moon is gone.
In THE QUIET TIME all the visions fade
From the hopes you’ve had and the plans that you’ve made.

There’s no one there at your side.
And day by day you’ve lost your pride.
And oh the pain of how she lied to me,
And toyed with me,
And all I see for me now…

Is THE QUIET TIME when you’re all alone
And the chance to sleep has come and gone.
In THE QUIET TIME all your mind can see
Is a wistful face in your reverie.

Why did she tear us apart?
Why must she stay here in my heart?
How will I ever learn to start anew,
And love anew,
When I all I do leads to her?

And oh the pain of how she lied to me,
And toyed with me,
And all I see for me now…

Is THE QUIET TIME before the dawn
When the night is dark and the moon is gone.
In THE QUIET TIME.
In THE QUIET TIME.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

David Moerbe – vocal
Bill Browder – vocal, guitars
Mike Rieman – electric bass
Eddie Cantu – drums
Layton DePenning – vocals

Riley Osbourn – keyboards
James Fenner – congas
Paul Pearcy – percussion
Ian Davidson – oboe

Layton DePenning – Elmos’s Lab (Manchaca)
Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Eastside Flash – Flashpoint Recording Studio (Downtown Austin)

DenimDenim brings together the essential elements I value in an ensemble – great vocals, rich textures, expressive guitars, a killer rhythm section. Theirs has been a defining sound in Austin music, a sound which continues to change and grow as in their latest release, Cool Blue Flame. In the day, they performed at the Armadillo, and they have been valued friends all along. The quiet time can be both pensive and strident, each mood offering meaning to the other. And it seems musicians naturally understand space in any quiet time, expressing this in notes not played.

David, Bill and Layton form the signature Denim vocals. Bill is one of my favorite players in many ways, but none more than the soaring wail of his Gretsch. Steady Eddie comes by his name honestly, and Mike is a recovering drummer – drummers often make great bass players – so the groove is rock solid. (This was the first of three tracks for Taking Turns cut by this rhythm section, and the first up in the song circle.) Riley’s keyboards plus percussion from Fenner and Pearcy prepared the mood for the plaintive songs from Ian’s oboe and Bill’s guitar.

Shake Russell ~ Mary Kay's Waltz

You asked me to write you a waltz.
I never knew what it might mean to you.
Now that I see all of you that’s in me,
The words seem to come out in three.

Mary, sweet Mary,
My sweet MARY KAY.
The waltz that you asked me to write you,
I wrote you today.

You asked me to write you a waltz.
It’s straight from my heart, though we might be apart.
If my words frighten you, I swear they’re all true,
For no one can dance like we two.

Mary, sweet Mary,
My sweet MARY KAY.
The waltz that you asked me to write you,
I wrote you today.

Singin’ Mary, sweet Mary,
My sweet MARY KAY.
The waltz that you asked me to write you,
I wrote you today.
The waltz that you asked me to write you,
I wrote you today.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Floyd Domino – piano
Spencer Starnes – acoustic bass
Art Kidd – drums
Mike Harris – classical guitar
Danny Levin – sting trio – violin, viola, cello

Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Marty Lester – Tequila Mockingbird Studio (Austin)

Shake RussellA man is seated at a small writing desk in dim light. On the floor nearby is the sheaf of onion skin manuscript paper with the music he has just penned. …and, of course, her note. …and the words of his plaint flow from his pen…

Shake is not merely an outstanding songwriter, but a gifted vocalist who captures and conveys the pure emotional content of a song, giving voice to the writer. I have been a friend and a fan for over thirty years and I don’t believe I have ever enjoyed his music as much as now. Check out his latest CD, The Shake Russell Band Live at Gruene Hall.

Floyd’s first reaction to this song was to point out that it is an “Irish” waltz, FYI. Music being essentially a two-part invention between melody and bass, Spencer elegantly establishes a cantus firmus against the melody such that the dulcet intimacy of chamber music just seems right. At Tequila Mockingbird, Danny scored and recorded the string trio (violin, viola, cello), gently nestling Shake’s voice and Mike’s guitar, and conveying the sweet anguish of the writing desk.

Béto y los Fairlanes ~ Marinera Luna

Make up your own lyrics

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Robert Skiles – piano
John Fremgin – bass
Steve Summer – drums, percussion
Arturo Garza – congas
John Mills – clarinet, tenor sax
Rich Haering – trumpet
Mike Mordecai – trombone
Tony Campise – alto sax
Laura Mordecai – percussion

Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)

Folks have been butt-shaking to cumbias in Austin since Beto y los Fairlanes first set up shop at Liberty Lunch, playing occasionally at the Armadillo. They sound better than ever on their latest CD, Conga Dog. I had arranged Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man for a 1963 high school talent show with a seven-piece rhythm/percussion section and four-piece horn section. Robert’s dad and mine were friends and his uncle Jack Skiles was one of my guitar mentors, so when I couldn’t line up a decent trumpet player from my own school, I turned to this neighborhood chum. I know this seems like a long time to revisit a good idea, but I think of it as waiting for that propitious mellowing moment. Actually, it was Robert’s idea to produce Taking Turns in this manner, a brilliantly cavalier idea from a brilliant musical cavalier. You can take the boys out of San Antonio, but…

Special kudos to Professor John Mills for his corking nonchalance in providing a signature clarinet sound (clarinet is a mainstay of Colombian cumbias from Carmen Rivera which heavily influenced me). The seductive interplay between clarinet and piano is not unlike an apache dance. Here again, the late great Tony Campise brings his enormous heart to the horn section, and the percussion has a great frolic atop Arturo’s steady drive. When you listen on a good system, turn up for Rich Haering’s trumpet solo if you want your heart to soar.

Greezy Wheels ~ No Fault, No Blame, No Shame
NO FAULT, NO BLAME, NO SHAME – the way love ought to be –
Just two consenting adults consenting to be free.
But then one day when I woke up and saw what we became,
I knew our love was over – NO FAULT, NO BLAME, NO SHAME.

You started pointin’ fingers to remind me
Of just how you believed I should behave.
We started off as equals and as partners,
But then you started treatin’ me as if I were your slave.

So can you understand me now that I won’t play your game?
It’s clear our love is over – NO FAULT, NO BLAME, NO SHAME.

While playin’ on the road at some country dive,
I thought I’d use the phone to see that you’re alive.
Imagine my surprise, my dear, when a man called out your name.
When trust is gone, it’s over – NO FAULT, NO BLAME, NO SHAME.

Now, darlin’, I know well you’ll find another
Who’ll answer to your every beck and call.
But we both know that one day it will happen
That that poor fool will find out that he’s headed for a fall.

And so, my dear, I’ll make it clear – I’ll never speak your name.
Thank God our love is over – NO FAULT, NO BLAME, NO SHAME.
Thank God our love is over – NO FAULT, NO BLAME, NO SHAME.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Cleve Hattersley – vocal, acoustic slide guitar
Mary Hattersley – violin
Lissa Hattersley – vocals

Penny Jo Fullus – vocals
John Inmon – acoustic guitar
Ponty Bone – accordion
Fletcher Clark – electric bass
James Fenner – percussion
Jim Franklin – jew’s harp

Fred Remmert Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)

In the day, Greezy Wheels, Balcones Fault (me & Jack Jacobs) and Freda and the Firedogs (Marcia Ball) would pack the Armadillo on a hot Saturday night. Cleve and Mary were among the first musicians I met when I came to Austin. Later I did a brief stint as their first sorta-full-time piano player.

Anyway, after hearing this tune, Cleve asked if it would be okay to give it the full Greezy treatment. More than okay, the sketch started me thinking of a Cecil B. deMille production. Finally, Cleve said he wanted to do it “acoustic”, and suggested I add guitar. Reflexively, I called one of my favorite guitar players, and Inmon said he would be delighted to do this. Then we invited Ponty to the party – like a sprinkle of filé.

Set up in Fred’s studio, we cut the track head-on with everyone having a relaxed and fun evening. I love it when a plan comes together! Now good jew’s harp players are hard to come by. As the true Armadillo guru, Jim Franklin has regaled thousands of music lovers with his performance art, and was perfect for this cut. Cap it off with Lissa and PJ’s signature Greezy vocals, a touch of bass, a dash of tasty percussion, and this cut was done!

Elizabeth Wills ~ Dreamin' About You
I’m DREAMIN’ ABOUT YOU.
You’re always on my mind.
I’m wastin’ without you
And I just can’t seem to unwind.

I’m DREAMIN’ ABOUT YOU.
You live in every tear.
From now ‘til tomorrow will seem like a year.

From dusk to dawn, how can I carry on.
So much heartache ‘til the daybreak

I’m DREAMIN’ ABOUT YOU
And starin’ at the wall.
‘Cause sleepin’ without you ain’t sleep at all.
No, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh,
No, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh,
No, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh,
No.

I’m DREAMIN’ ABOUT YOU.
You’re always on my mind.
I’m nothin’ without you
And I just can’t leave you behind.

Im DREAMIN’ ABOUT YOU
And starin’ at the wall.
‘Cause sleepin’ without you ain’t sleep at all.
No, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh,
No, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh,
No, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh,
No.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Floyd Domino – piano
Spencer Starnes – acoustic bass
Art Kidd – drums
Russ Scanlon – classical guitar
James Fenner – congas, percussion
Paul Pearcy – claves, percussion
Tony Campise – bass flute

Fred Remmert – Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)
Eastside Flash – Flashpoint Studio (Downtown Austin)

Elizabeth has a voice which on the surface may seem all about sweetness, but right below that there is a substratum of grit, and the combination is compelling. (I first experienced that years back when she was a New Folk artist at the Kerrville Folk Festival, an excellent singer/songwriter.) And I really liked this song not coming from a man. She conveys the reflective mood of the song lovingly.

She first had to finish her latest CD Love Comes Home with producer Mark Hallman, and then she could record. I jumped at the chance to work with Mark, a long-time colleague and friend, and it was a pleasure to have them work together.

We had cut the basics at Cedar Creek, then repaired to Flashpoint to capture James’ and Paul’s percussion, and later Russell’s guitar, and then Tony’s bass flute, not long before his untimely passing. The sounds of these beautiful instruments so tastefully played and recorded are absolutely transporting!

Rose & Judy ~ Golden Pathway

How you gonna walk that GOLDEN PATHWAY?
How you gonna know your steps are true?
Standin’ at the fork ‘tween this and that way,
How you gonna choose what’s best for you?

How you gonna make your way through darkness?
How you gonna find that guiding light?
Hopin’ you can take His simple likeness,
How you gonna go into that Good Night?

And there’s an answer for all your questions,
And a shield from all your fears.

How you gonna find a hand to help you?
How you gonna wipe away those tears?

How you gonna walk that GOLDEN PATHWAY?
How you gonna know your own true pace?
Willin’ to believe that there’s a right way,
How you gonna find that Blessed Place?

And there are questions for all your answers,
As there’s truth for every lie.

How you gonna find that Land of Promise
Where you never live and never die?

Forget your questions and all your answers.
Let your faith be bold and free.

Then you’re gonna walk that GOLDEN PATHWAY,
And you’re gonna find who you can be.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Rose Kimball – vocal, guitar
Judy Painter – vocal, mandolin

Sally Gibson – acoustic bass
Laurie Gibson – fiddle
Mike Harris – dobro
James Fenner – percussion

Fred Remmert Cedar Creek Studio (South Austin)

Rose & JudyRose & Judy have blood harmony, a musical blend that comes from lifelong partners. I felt that connection upon first hearing them, and in that moment anticipated events to unfold. A couple of years later while planning a show for Old Settler’s Festival (I was running sound), Judy mentioned that they wanted to do some recording and wondered if I knew anything about that. My heart leapt as I responded, “I thought you’d never ask!” So in four days over three weeks, we recorded, mixed and mastered The Journey. Recording as we did – head-on, no click track, no isolation, no headphones, at fastidiously high resolution (as we did with Carry Me Home) – I was reminded how important are feelings and sonic clarity.

So two weeks later while riding a Caldwell County Road, I heard Golden Pathway in my mind’s ear and fortunately was able to transcribe it before the Muse abruptly departed. I knew I had the right song and the right talents to bring the Taking Turns song circle to twelve. We went back to Fred’s along with the Gibson Sisters and Mike Harris on dobro, set up and played it head-on for a few takes, and then got this one. (Real-time playing/recording – folks used to do this a lot.) The cherry on top is to have James add the tiniest, tastiest bit of percussion.

Lindsay Haisley ~ A Choirboy's Lament

A CHOIRBOY back in Boston,
How clearly I recall
The gentle hand of that sweet man
Who gently touched us all.

His name was Father Francis,
A shepherd to his flock.
And when feeling blue, each tenor knew
The shelter of his frock.

He clearly was quite wise
To devise a master plan. Though
Too young to realize who
Had made me a soprano.

I’d kneel to gain his favor,
Bending to his will.
What must have been a cardinal sin
Lingers with me still.
Such memories, such melodies
For A CHOIRBOY back in Boston.

by Fletcher Clark
©2010, Armadillo Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Lindsay Haisley – autoharp
Fletcher Clark – guitar, bass

Larry Nye – La-Z-L Studio (Kingsland)

Lindsay HaisleyLindsay is a world-class autoharpist, valued for his instrumental prowess and stylistic breadth. More importantly to me, this great musician and songwriter and combines all of these elements with a forthright performance style – Mother Maybelle Carter meets Martha Raye. In 1981 , Hank Alrich produced and I engineered Lindsay’s Christmas on the Autoharp for Armadillo Records. Now while the topic of A Choirboy’s Lament is apparently timeless as it cycles and recycles through the news of the day over the years, it still takes an especial performer to deliver this poignant ditty – something like Maybelle Carter/Martha Raye.

Virtuoso autoharp players are rare, as is having another engineer well-experienced in recording autoharp (my almost-brother Larry Nye). I had both, so no worries! Just have Lindsay drive up from Leander to Larry’s La-Z-L, and enjoy the richness of their sound. N.B. It was strongly suggested to me by well-intentioned, supportive friends that this song not be included in the circle. My response was immediate (only later did I realize I had paraphrased Mel Brooks):

“If only one person is genuinely offended,it will have been worth it.”

All songs by Fletcher Clark (Darlin’ with Jack Jacobs), Armadillo Music (ASCAP).


The Players

Hank Alrich: mandolin ~ Ponty Bone: accordion ~ Bill Browder: guitars, vocals ~ the late Tony Campise: alto sax, bass flute ~ Eddie Cantu: drums ~ Fletcher Clark: archtop guitar, electric bass ~ Ian Davidson: oboe ~ Layton DePenning: vocals ~ Floyd Domino: piano ~ James Fenner: congas/percussion ~ Joe Forlini: electric slide guitar ~ Jim Franklin: jew’s harp ~ John Fremgrin: electric bass ~ Arturo Garza: congas ~ Laurie Gibson: fiddle ~ Sally Gibson: acoustic bass ~ Rich Haering: trumpet ~ Lindsay Haisley: autoharp ~ Mike Harris: classical guitar, dobro ~ Cleve Hattersley: acoustic slide guitar, vocals ~ Lissa Hattersley: vocals ~ Mary Hattersley: violin ~ John Inmon: guitar ~ Art Kidd: drums ~ Rose Kimball: guitar ~ Danny Levin: strings ~ John Mills: clarinet, tenor sax ~ David Moerbe: vocals ~ Laura Mordecai: percussion ~ Mike Mordecai: trombone ~ Larry Nye: guitar ~ Riley Osbourn: keyboards ~ Judy Painter: mandolin ~ Paul Pearcy: percussion ~ Penny Jo Pullus: vocals ~ Mike Rieman: electric bass ~ Russell Scanlon: classical guitar ~ Robert Skiles: piano ~ Spencer Starnes: acoustic/electric bass ~ Steve Summer: drums/percussion.

Recorded by

Fred Remmert Cedar Creek Recording
Layton DePenning Elmo’s Lab
Eastside Flash Flashpoint Recording Studio
Larry Nye La-Z-L
Marty Lester Tequila Mockingbird Studios
Gary Powell Powell Productions Studio
Mark Hallman Congress House Studio
Spencer Starnes Bee Creek Studio

Mixed by Chet Himes ASM.
Mastered by Jerry Tubb Terra Nova Digital Audio.

Bridge Crew

Producer Fletcher Clark
Assistant Producer Randy Sulsar
Executive Producer Hank Alrich
Cover by Guy Juke
Guidance by the late Bill Narum


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