Story 2006-06-19 Saratoga Springs, NY

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´John Henry´´
´´Welcome, friends….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´O Mary Don´t You Weep´´
´´Good evening….welcome, welcome….welcome, picnickers out there….hello, everybody on the lawn….I think we lucked out, we have a lovely night, alright….come on, Charles, Uncle Charlie, come on….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Old Dan Tucker´´
´´Thank you, thank you…..good evening, good evening….alright, so, uh, got folks from Rochester? (some cheers) folks from Albany? (some cheers) no, they´re all locals, relatively locals…New York City?…alright….we´re gonna test the New York vocal chords….see how we´re doing….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Eyes On The Prize´´
´´That´s pretty good….wooh….oh yeah….thank you, thank you….it´s nice out there, I bet, a breeze….I´ve been telling the folks we haven´t played outside too much (?) we never played outside, didn´t want the wind to mess up my hair….this was originally a gospel, gospel hymn called ´Hands on the plow´…was rewritten in mid-50s by Alice Wine, it´s called ´Eyes on the prize,´ a great freedom song….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Jesse James´´
´´This was a historical ballad, originated in the immediate aftermath of the murder of Jesse James by a friend for 25 dollars….it was written by minstrel Billy Gashade, was rewritten as a social protest song by Woody Guthrie in 1939…this version here´s derived from the original and, uh, I guess holds to the maxim of when the legend becomes fact, you write the legend….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Erie Canal´´
´´Greg Liszt on the banjo!….yes, yes….alright….this was a great work song, written, uh, around 1900 but, uh, recalled in the mid-1800s when the Erie Canal was changed (crowd cheers) alright, the Erie Canal, we must be up in folk music country now, Erie Canal gets a great round of applause (crowd cheers) I know Pete´s only a couple of hours away so he´s gonna hear, he´s gonna listen if you´re singing loud enough or not…but uh, I don´t know if there´s someone here said they just did a tour of the Erie Canal, (?) a lot of great Canal ballads and uh….this was written by a guy named Thomas Allan, ´Low Bridge, Everybody Down,´ and the Erie Canal changed the face of….how goods were brought to market, it changed the face of the country….alright, let´s hear it….(Bruce gets the crowd chanting)….and now cease the horrible clapping (chuckles)….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´My Oklahoma Home´´
´´Yes, yes, thank you….this is another great song, I tell you when I, when I went back and, when we sort of stumbled into doing this….the, uh, the beauty and the detail of so many of these songs, how well written they were and how Jackson Browne, a friend of mine, once said ´Those good songs, they stay written´ and uh….they do, they do, this is, uh, this is another beautiful song, I can´t believe it´s only been recorded two times, I think, it was written by Bill and Agnes Cunningham, they were members of the Almanac Singers and, uh, uh, founders, editors of Broadside Magazine, Dustbowl refugees, this was a great song called ´Where is my Oklahoma home, my Oklahoma home is blown away´…I remember when I was a kid, reading about the Dustbowl, they were the kind of events that you didn´t think happened any more, happened in, in your lifetime, but we´ve lived to see, you know, thousands of people uprooted from their homes and spread out across the country….(?)….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Mrs. McGrath´´
´´Thank you, that´s, uh, Frank Bruno….on guitar and vocals….lovely Lisa Lowell….Curtis King….supervising (chuckles) and beautiful Cindy Mizelle….thank you, this song was a great Irish anti-war ballad, was first published in 1815….was in Dublin Broadside….they had to write ´em then and they still gotta write ´em now, it´s a shame….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?´´
´´Thank you….Our first stop on the tour was the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and ….this was a song I heard just a week or so in front of that and…´s hard to explain New Orleans, I tell the folks every night you have to sort of see it, it´s hard to explain an American city that´s half emptied out, you can go for miles and miles and miles and there´s, a hundred thousand people lost their homes and, uh, a hundred thousand homes lost and, uh…. uh, you can´t quite get it from the television or from the newspapers and….um, it´s such an important American city that´s given so many beautiful things and beautiful people to the soul of the country (huge applause) that, uh….so this was a song that, uh, by a fellow named Blind Alfred Reed and, uh, he wrote it about a week after the stock market crash and I kept his first verse and I wrote a few other ones, two or three other ones, as we were about to go into New Orleans, uh….this is called ´How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?´´ ….I wrote this on the occasion of our President´s disasterous visit down there (chuckles) where he managed to gut the only agency that, uh, was there to assist citizens in times of national disasters through political cronyism….but that´s all in the day´s work these days…. but I think that they´re sending some money down there now so….for the city of New Orleans, alright….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Jacob´s Ladder´´
´´Alright, we are all climbing Jacob´s Ladder….step by step every day….little by little, Jacob was in the Bible, Jacob was, uh, I read a little bit up on him and he was somebody who was always sort of, uh, fucking up in God´s eyes, but God kept giving him another chance….I don´t know why….and he kept fucking up and fucking up again (chuckles) but God kept giving him another chance….and bit by bit, little by little….first crawling, then walking…. then running, then climbing….step by step….mile by mile….hand over hand, day by day, choice by righteous choice….we are all climbing Jacob´s Ladder….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´We Shall Overcome´´
´´Yes it is!…there´s good news….yes there is!….oh yes!….oh yes!….that´s right!….step by step….inch by inch….we´re gonna get there….I can´t go by myself, I need you to go with me ….oh Lord…yes, yes….woo!….the next tour I´m gonna get me a big tent and that´s gonna be the whole damn thing (chuckles)…just a big tent (chuckles) play anywhere (chuckles) oh, this song is the song that sort of started us off on our whole adventure, ah….a friend called, got doing a tribute cut for, for, uh, Pete Seeger and uh (crowd cheers) yes, his ears are, his ears are ringing tonight….we´re close enough, I think (chuckles) and a friend of mine suggested this song, I said ´I don´t know how does anybody sing this song?´ you know, this song has been such a, uh, it´s such a major part of our culture and major part of American history and it´s meant so much to so many people and it´s done so much…..and, uh, I guess, like I say, it´s the most important political protest song of all-time but I hate to just put it in that box ´cause, I guess, it´s, basically it´s a spiritual, uh, written, it was originally a Baptist hymn and it was brought into the Labor Movement I think in the ´30s and then in Civil Rights Movement in the´50s but, uh…it´s one of those songs that get sung so much that people almost lose their ability to hear it but it´s such a big, powerful piece and, uh, so I figured ´Well,´ (?) basically, basically a prayer, I said ´Well, I think I know how to do that´ so I do this tonight, here´s ´We Shall Overcome´….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Open All Night´´
´´Thank you….Uncle Charlie gonna play the piano….(?) Gentlemen, I´ve got to, I must take the temperature of this audience….too cool, baby!….they´re not ready, boys….no….(?)….let+s give another shot….(band stops)(crowd cheers)….not ready! (?)….alright….we´re gonna give ´em one more chance, fellas, one more chance (?)….(crowd cheers)….they´re ready!….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Bring ´Em Home´´
´´Thank you so much, thank you…..thank you for a lovely evening….thank you, thank you, this is, uh….oh man….this is a great place, I´ve never been here, a beautiful building….a great place to play….how we doing out there on the lawn? (crowd cheers) sounds good… me a spot on one of them blankets, man (chuckles) oh, we´ve got some friends of ours, the Supplemental Food Providers Incorporated, a network of 61 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, they operate solely through donations here in the ten county heartland of New York state, Supplemental Food Providers will be outside on the way out, please give them a hand ….they´re, uh….out there helping New York state´s struggling citizens….(says off-mike: ´Bring ´Em Home´)…this was, uh….I guess, Pete, Pete wrote this in ´65, if I´m correct….like I said about ´Mrs.McGrath,´ they had to write ´em then and they need to write ´em now….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´Buffalo Gals´´
´´Alright, this is a song I remember my grandma singing to me when I was little… here´s for all the kids, there´s some kids out there….some nephews out there tonight, right (chuckles) and nieces, oh, nieces, and a mother-in-law?….I´ll do this for her too (chuckles) alright….´´

19.06.06 Saratoga Springs, NY, intro to ´´When The Saints Go Marching In´´
´´Oh, my apologies to the band on that last one (chuckles) I thought I had that voice….it just got away from me….(chuckles) oh yeah….oh, thank you all for coming out tonight, thank you so much….yeah!….hey everybody out on the lawn there!….oh yeah….I´m glad you got a nice night, yes….oh….I wanna thank you, uh, for coming out and taking a chance on our little adventure here, thank you very much….it´s, uh, the whole thing was a really happy accident and a lovely blessing, all these wonderful musicians came my way, I wanna thank them….
got Marty Rifkin on the steel guitar, played on ´The Ghost of Tom Joad´ and ´Devils&Dust´ ….Charlie Giordano on the keyboards out of New York City!….beautiful Cindy Mizelle…. Curtis King….lovely Lisa Lowell….the debonair Mr.Larry Eagle….the Silver Fox, Art Baron, the king of the tuba….Richie La Bamba Rosenberg….Mark ´Love Man´ Pender…Eddie ´Thin Man´ Manion….we got some blood up here, Frank Bruno on the guitar and vocals….Sam Bardfeld on the fiddle….Greg Liszt on the banjo….the fabulous Soozie Tyrell on vocals and fiddle….and Mr.Marc Antony Thompson on the vocals and the guitar….and Mr. Jeremy Chatzky on the bass….yes….I thank them and I thank you….this was a, uh, song we learned when we went into New Orleans, it´s kind of the theme song of the city….and it was one of those songs that you´ve heard since you were a kid and you´ve heard it sort of a thousand times and, and it sort of disappears on you and uh….but I was going through, there´s a Weavers´ version that sings these two extra verses that´s really terrific and I found these verses also on an old folkbook that I had, I was paging through and when I came across it, it sort of opened, opened the whole song up for me and, and, and gave me an understanding into, into it and, uh, it also explains kind of what we´re trying to do up here tonight and what we want the evening to be all about so, uh, I wanna send this one out, wishing you ´God bless´ many times over, good fortune and happy travels….along the way….and we´ll meet again….´´

Compiled by : Johanna Pirttijärvi

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