Flowers of Edinburgh
I filmed this video a year ago, November 2019, while on tour with my Tiller brothers and our friend Alan in Edinburgh Scotland, one of my favorite places on earth. This is what was caught on tape during a 24-hour meander. Edinburgh’s grand and gritty medieval splendor has captivated me since my first visit as a 19 year old, on what seemed like a once in a lifetime adventure with my mom just a year before I lost her to cancer. On my 2019 album, Six Feet of Earth, I included a well-known old tune called Flowers of Edinburgh for my mom and our memories of the old city. Patti Walker plays the wonderful hammer dulcimer accompaniment. This video revolves around that tune. One year later, in this time of pandemic, I truly miss the adventures of being a touring musician and so this video makes me long for it, I guess. We are all now living much different adventures than we were a year ago. Here’s to hope!
Up On The Roof
I think one of the greatest things about experiencing music as a kid is that some songs can take you to a different world. The best songs are the ones that can still work that magic once you've become an adult. "Up on the Roof" was always that song for me. I used to scribble the title in notebooks over and over, so as not to forget it, and pray I would hear the opening notes of The Drifters' iconic version on early morning drives in my mother's car to school. In 2015 at a raucous show with my band, The Tillers, I chanced to meet Mr. Clyde Brown, a legendary member of The Drifters living right here in Cincinnati. I couldn't believe it! I was starstruck, but kept it cool. 'Turns out that Clyde Brown is the nicest human being on the face of the Earth. He has the biggest smile and the biggest heart. We became fast friends. It is an absolute honor to get to sing this song with Clyde and to have collaborated with Kate Wakefield, from the band Lung, on the cello accompaniment. Take a listen. Drift away!
My mother was born in 1942, and with four younger siblings, grew up on a farm in rural, central New York. Her father and mother raised sheep on the farm nestled between the rolling hills and old stone walls. As an adult, she moved to Northern Kentucky to take a teaching job, met my father and in 1982, I was born. Every summer and winter we’d drive or take a greyhound bus north-east, back to the family and the farm. Aunts and Uncles gathered every Wednesday night for coffee in homes not but a few miles apart, dwellings made of lake-stone and wood. Grandmother sent us kids out to gather from the garden, pick wild blackberries, or check on the new lambs. And for me, a kid from the outskirts of Cincinnati, I experienced a real freedom running around those hills, woods, barns, creeks, pastures, corn cribs, and stone walls. I felt a connection with the land, the natural world surrounding me, and a bond with my family and ancestors. Now, years have passed; it’s a place I don’t get to visit too often, but it remains a place that is dear to my heart, never far from my thoughts. The time I sing about exists now as a memory in song. This one is for my mother, Lori, and my grandparents, Agnes and Albert. All my love!
The Rebel Girl
Jean Dowell, Maria Carrelli and I teamed up to sing and play the Joe Hill / wobbly classic, The Rebel Girl. What an honor it is to sing this song with two such incredible and inspirational women. Enjoy! You'll also find the studio version on my second album, Six Feet of Earth, coming October 12 2019.
Riverboat Dishwashing Song
This original shanty is a musical nod to my first job working on a riverboat restaurant that sank during a lunch rush. I didn't do it! Heres to you, dishwashers of the world! (PS. this video was brilliantly made by Evan and Alex Hand and won best video at the 2018 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. The Hand brothers are amazing)