Acorns

by Ben Winship

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1.
2.
3.
Pilgrim 04:05
4.
I'll Live On 02:43
5.
6.
Cherry Tree 02:50
7.
8.
Turtle Dove 03:05
9.
10.
11.
12.
Lily Green 03:53
13.
Kennedy Rag 02:15
14.

about

ACORNS is my version of old time string-band music. It was mostly recorded live in my studio with a crew of my favorite people over several days. Lots of meals, jokes, laughing and libations. While I produced it and the songs are mostly mine, it was very much a collaborative effort and I think the community spirit of real time, spontaneous music making is accurately celebrated.

Featuring Chris Coole, Brittany Haas, Eli West, Pharis Romero, Scotty Meyer, Forrest Gibson, Rayna Gellert, Mollie O’Brien, Roy Andrade and Eric Thorin

credits

released July 9, 2019

All songs written by Ben Winship (Fried Acres Music, ASCAP),
except where noted.
Produced & Recorded by Ben Winship at the Henhouse, Victor ID

Mixed by James Tuttle
Mastered by David Glasser at Airshow
Photos by Forrest Gibson and Lara Agnew
Design by Sam Winship
Lettering by Clawhammer Press

Ben endorses Elixir Strings and mandolins by Michael Heiden, Lawrence Smart and Fletcher Brock

©2019 Snake River Records
All rights reserved.
PO Box 215, Victor ID 83455

A Little Goes a Long Way
A riff on my general tendency towards impatience.
Don’t ask me about the weather, I don’t care if it rains
I got no use for small talk, that’s just the way I came, a little goes a long way.

Ben - vocal, mandolin
Pharis Romero - harmony
Brittany Haas - fiddle
Roy Andrade - banjo
Eric Thorin - bass

Shakin Down the Acorns (PD)
I learned this from Scotty Meyer who says, “my version is pretty close to Burl Hammons'. Burl got it from his Uncle Nige Cogar. In Burl’s recording, he plays the tune and then talks about Nige's brother Hink Cogar riding down a snowy mountain on the carcass of a deer.” I think I would have liked Hink.

Ben - mandolin
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar

Pilgrim
(Owen Winship, Ben Winship, Rayna Gellert, Fried Acres Music/Willow Garden Music, ASCAP)
Lyrics mostly by my son Owen. I re-worked the melody, then Rayna tweaked it and wrote the chorus. Through the wireless folk process, we conjured this without ever being in the same room.

Ben - vocal, mandola
Eli West - harmony
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar
Eric Thorin - bass

I’ll Live On
A lighthearted commentary on how our spirits reappear in various forms after we’re gone. This came out of a songwriting challenge that required using nonsense words. I’m still not sure what thunder pie means…

Ben - vocal, mandolin
Pharis Romero - harmony
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar
Eric Thorin - bass

Phoebe’s Rest
Several years ago I was asked to compose music for the documentary Far Afield, about Jackson Hole naturalist, Bert Raynes. This was one of my favorites and I was happy to have Rayna play fiddle on it.

Ben - tenor guitar, mandolin, guitar
Rayna Gellert - fiddle
Natalie Padilla - 2nd fiddle

Cherry Tree
Guy Clark used to split his time between writing songs and building instruments — an enviable renaissance lifestyle. I got to play with him once, but it wasn’t enough. Trees have played big role in my life; between climbing them as a kid, studying them in forestry school, making stuff out of them in my shop, and playing wooden instruments.
Here’s a small offering to the world of wood and music.

Ben - vocal, mandolin
Chris Coole - banjo, harmony
Scotty Meyer - fiddle

Katy Bar The Door
I plucked the phrase “Katy bar the door, too wet to plow” from William Kennedy’s great novel, Ironweed. Initially recorded it with Brother Mule, but always wanted to hear it with clawhammer banjo.

Ben - vocal, mandolin
Eli West, Pharis Romero - harmony
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar
Eric Thorin - bass

Turtle Dove (PD)
I learned this one from Jody Stecher, who got it from the amazing Georgia Sea Island singer, Bessie Jones. Jody asked her about the lyric, “Sasalado on Salasari" (she had sung it on other occasions as Fa Sol La Do on Sol La Sa Ri which is pretty close to solfege). "Why I know what Doremi Falasido means”, she replied, but she went on to suggest that even the original songmaker did not know the meaning…

Ben - vocal, mandola, tenor guitar
Mollie O’Brien, Eli West, Chris Coole - harmony

Fit to be Tied/Sail Away Ladies
I’ve always loved Sail Away Ladies in all it’s various forms. It certainly didn’t need to be re-written, but this version popped into my head last winter when I was climbing up a hill on my skis.

Ben - vocal, mandolin
Pharis Romero - harmony
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar
Eric Thorin - bass

New River Train
(PD, arranged Ben Winship)
There’s a happy version of this song that’s popular in bluegrass circles — Clarence White’s is my favorite — but when I heard Wade Ward’s spooky banjo version, there was no turning back. Mine is a mash up of Wade’s with some old lyrics from Ernest Stoneman, and a little sculpting of my own.

Ben - vocal, octave mandolin
Eli West - harmony
Brittany Haas - fiddle
Roy Andrade - banjo
Eric Thorin - bass

One-Eyed Dolly
Named for a dolly varden I caught on MacDonald Spit in Alaska that was missing one eye — assuming the poor fish had a run in with a treble hook.

Ben - mandolin
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar
Eric Thorin - bass

Lily Green/Grey Owl
Lily Green was a character in Ernest Gaines’ novel, A Lesson Before Dying. Though fictional, I loved the name and figured she deserved a song. Apparently Lily liked to dance to the Grey Owl, which comes from the Métis fiddling tradition.

Ben - vocal, mandolin
Pharis Romero - harmony
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar
Eric Thorin - bass

Kennedy Rag (PD)
From the Stripling Brothers. Kennedy, Alabama. 1929. Population 277 — same size as Victor, Idaho when I moved here in 1986.

Ben - mandolin, guitar
Nimajneb Pihsniw - guitar

bonus track:
Boys Them Buzzards are Flying
(Garry Harrison)
According to Sammy Lind, “Garry and some buddies had had a late night and woke up on the ground with tunes and other things spinning in their heads and one pal just said "boys, them buzzards are flying”.

Ben - mandolin
Chris Coole - banjo
Scotty Meyer - fiddle
Natalie Padilla - fiddle
Forrest Gibson - guitar
Eric Thorin - bass

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Ben Winship Victor, Idaho

Winship plays mandolin, sings and writes songs. His musical stew is a mix of bluegrass and old-time, dixieland and blues. Gigs have taken him from Hawaii to Shetland, Anchorage to Ecuador, with appearances along the way at places like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and A Prairie Home Companion. Tim O’Brien refers to him as "One of the acoustic music scene's best writers.” ... more

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