Tag Archives: folk music

A Brown Road Campfire

Hi gang, sorry I haven’t been around much the last couple months. I’ve been busy displaying my awesomeness in ways other than being a world-famous blogger. I promise there are some things in the works and that I will be back soon. Until then, in the spirit of Summer which is finally here and warm campfires on crisp, clear, starry nights, here’s a pretty epic old post from Summer of 2011 when this blog was a younger version of itself and which many of you have probably never had the privilege of experiencing.

So that you can vicariously enjoy the whole Brown Road experience and since I can’t think of anything to write about, here’s me singing a campfire song, including all of the outside bird and peeper sounds from the swamp behind us! One of the critters got so loud towards the end, I think maybe it was sitting right underneath me. Maybe it was singing along. I laughed because I thought it sounded like one of those combination music and nature sounds CD’s you can buy.

Sweet Baby James is one of my favorite songs.  My Mom sang it to me to help me fall asleep when I was a baby. I don’t really remember that, but I imagine that’s where it all started. My parents had a copy of the James Taylor album that this song was originally recorded on and I would listen to it all the time.

If you’d like, here’s a video I found on youtube of a crackling campfire, that you can look at as well!

You should play them both at the same time to really get the full effect! You may have to adjust the volume settings on the videos to watch them together, the crackling fire is pretty loud.

Have fun at the Brown Road campfire!

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Baby Can I Hold You

“Baby Can I Hold You” by Tracy Chapman

This was the very first “real” song I learned on the guitar. This song was released in 1988, while I was a junior at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  For my Christmas present that year, my middle brother had traded in an old classical guitar that had sat around our house our entire childhood, for the Yamaha acoustic guitar (and probably lots of extra cash) that I still play. The guitar he bought me is nothing fancy, not a world class instrument by any means, but a piece of wood and metal and strings that I have fallen in love with over the years.  I will be indebted to him forever for the foresight in buying me an instrument that although will never be used in a professional environment (thankfully!), really changed my life in an indescribable way.

I remember sitting in my dorm room trying to figure out the chords to this song, at the time barely knowing how to hold the guitar in the correct position and the tips of my uncalloused fingers burning from trying to hold down chords. Of course, 1988 was long before we were able to go onto the internet and search for the chords to a song, which are now readily available. So I listened to the cassette tape (yes, cassette tape, I’m that old!) and picked and strummed and picked and strummed until I figured out what I thought were the correct chords. Honestly I still don’t know if they are the correct chords and I figure at this point, it doesn’t really matter.

Look, I’ll never be a professional musician, I accepted that long ago. But I do believe that learning an instrument and being musically inclined is a “hobby” that is more important and can provide a more profound, lifelong impact than many others, including sports. Both of my kids are currently involved in music programs and I hope they will continue.

So… if you’ve ever considered picking up a guitar, banjo, mandolin, flute, clarinet, saxophone…

Well, what’s stopping you?

So, here’s my version of “Baby Can I Hold You”. Okay, it’s tough to compete with the amazing voice of Tracy Chapman… whatever…

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A Girl and a Horse

Madeline and Jack

What is it about a girl and a horse?

What brings them together, what powerful force?

Not the beautiful tack,

Nor the ride on his back,

But the unconditional love, of course!

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Here’s my favorite song about horses. Written by the daughter of folk singer Peter Rowan and featured on a CD called “Daddy’s Sing Goodnight” which I’d encourage you to get a copy of if you have little ones!

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Hobo’s Lullaby

Just doin’ a little croonin’…

These days I don’t seem to pick up the guitar as much as I used to.

I used to like this song a lot, hadn’t heard it in years and tripped over it today on youtube. It was written by a guy names Goebel Reeves, but the most well known version is probably the very somber Arlo  Guthrie rendition off of his album of the same name.  I like the dark, graininess of the video too… fits the song well. Its a simple three chord song and when you have my limited skills, those are the best kind!

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As Long As You’re With Me v.3.0

Sorry to bombard you with yet another version of this song, but I’ve been fiddling around with some very cool home recording software, recorded the song, added some harmonies and this is what I came up with:

http://tinysong.com/NTTe

It’s not ready for iTunes,  but I think it sounds pretty good.  It’s hosted on a website called Groove Shark so hopefully the link works.

Anyway, thanks for listening!  One of these days I’ll get back to serious blogging.

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