First Song

First Song by Stanley Greenthal Stanley's newest CD

Stanley Greenthal — guitar, tenor guitar, bouzouki, mandocello, laouto, lavta, vocals
Kip Greenthal — bendir, vocals
Christos Govetas — clarinet, oud, daouli, bendir
Luke Plumb— mandolin
Eliot Grasso — uilleann pipes, flute, low whistle
Bill Lanphier — double bass, fretless electric bass
Joel Bernstein — banjo, harmonica, concertina
Will Dowd — drums

FIRST SONG LYRICS (all songs) - PDF, 64 KB »
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1. Just Like The River  (Robin Williamson)  I wanted to sing this evocative song by Robin Williamson the moment I heard it. You can hear Robin’s craggy, quintessential rendition on his recording Just Like The River And Other Songs For Guitar, Quadrant Records. — Christos–clarinet / Luke–mandolin / Joel–banjo, harmonica / Bill–double bass / Will–drums / Stanley–vocal, guitar
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2. Eilean Beag Donn A’ Chuain / Sileas  (Donald Morrison / Scottish, traditional)  These two Scottish waltzes comprise one of the mandolin and bouzouki duets Luke and I concocted for performing at ZoukFest, a world music camp held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Luke learned them from Scottish fiddler Angus R. Grant, while playing together in the band Shooglenifty. The title of the first tune means “Little Brown Island in the Sea.” — Luke–mandolin / Joel–concertina / Stanley–bouzouki
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3. Cretan Syrtos  (Crete, traditional)  A Cretan syrtos dance from the repertoire of Periklis Papapetropoulos, from his recording of the Greek sazi, Sazi–The Greek Folk Instruments, Vol. 8, FM Records. The taksim in the middle of the syrtos is dedicated to my luthier friend Dimitris Rapakousios of Athens, Greece, who built the laouto and lavta, heard on this recording. — Luke–mandolin / Christos–oud, bendir / Stanley–laouto
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4. The Waves  (Stanley Greenthal)  This song is inspired by music from Crete, where I attended the Labyrinth Musical Workshop founded by Ross Daly. Traditional Cretan singers will often sing part of a phrase and repeat that phrase before going on to the next line or image. The lyrics were written while taking the ferry from Anacortes to Lopez Island, Washington. — Christos–clarinet / Luke–mandolin / Will–drums / Kip–harmony vocal / Stanley–vocal, bouzouki, laouto
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5. Marche / Ridées  (Brittany, traditional / Soïg Sibéril, traditional)  A march, followed by three ridées. The march, “Ar Plac’hig Yaouank,” comes from the Baud region in Brittany. My arrangement is inspired by the violin players Pierrick Lemou and Dominique Trichet, accompanied by Frank Le Bloas on bouzouki, from their recording Reabaterien, Le Label. The ridée is a lively 6-beat round dance that comes from the southeastern part of Brittany. The first, “Les Ridées du Printemps,” was composed by Breton guitarist Soïg Sibéril, in the style of the Redon region. The two ridées that follow are from the group Storvan's recording An Deiziou Kaer, Keltia Musique. Yvon Lefebvre from Pontivy composed the last ridée. — Eliot–flute, uilleann pipes / Stanley–bouzouki
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6. Verses At Ellesmere  (Robin Williamson)  A love song by Robin Williamson, written for his beautiful wife Bina when they were first courting– “and as we still are,” says Robin. I think of Kip when I sing it. — Christos–clarinet / Stanley–vocal, guitar, mandocello, tenor guitar
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7. The Sleeping Tune  (Gordon Duncan)  This pipe tune by Scottish piper Gordon Duncan is another ZoukFest duet from Luke. — Lukemandolin / Stanleybouzouki
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8. Kas A Barh  (Brittany, traditional)  This couple’s dance from the Vannes region in Brittany is a variation of the An Dro. The first three thèmes are from the repertoire of Storvan, and the last thème is from the group Penn Gollo, on their recording Skeud An Amzer, Coop Breizh. — Eliot–uilleann pipes, flute / Bill–double bass / Christos–daouli / Kip–bendir / Stanley–bouzouki, guitar
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9. Song For David  (Stanley Greenthal)  I wrote this song for David Ott, a friend whom I had not seen for many years since graduating from university. One day, his wife Carol called to tell me David was critically ill. I flew to New York City to visit him, and in spite of his illness, we were able to catch up on each other’s lives­. We remained in touch until his death several months later. While flying home after his funeral service, I wrote the words that were to become the lyrics for this song, dedicated to Carol and their two daughters. — Stanleyvocal, guitar, tenor guitar
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10. Farewell To Nigg  (Duncan Johnstone)  Luke taught me this Scottish pipe tune by Duncan Johnstone- perhaps the most famous composition of that prolific composer. It won best march in a competition run by the College of Piping to mark the launch of the first oilrig from the Highland Fabricators’ Yard at Nigg. The Nigg of the title refers to the village and bay that lie to the north of Inverness at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth. — Luke–mandolin / Eliot–uilleann pipes / Stanley–guitar, bouzouki, tenor guitar
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11. Asik Veysel Nefe / Cecen Kizi  (Turkey, Asik Yeysel / Western Greece & Caucasus, traditional)  This medley begins with a song by Asik Veysel, “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim.” Asik Veysel was a revered 20th century folk poet and saz player in the Asik tradition. After becoming blind at a young age, he learned to play the saz, and composed many songs that the older generation of Turkey still knows by heart. This type of song is called a nefe, which means “breath.” We follow with a traditional composition made famous in a recorded arrangement by Tanburi Cemil Bey. My appreciation to Ross Daly and Christos Govetas from whom I learned versions of “Cecen Kizi.” The taksim is not traditional but is inspired by the tune. — Christos–clarinet, bendir / Stanley–lavta
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12. One More Time  (Stanley Greenthal)  The lyrics of this song came to me in an uncanny way, through a voice not my own, after the sudden loss of a charismatic Lopez Island resident, Dave Fisher, who died tragically in a skiing accident on the slopes of Mt. Baker. Two days later, another beloved Lopez resident, Leta Currie Marshall, also died suddenly. This song is for Dave’s and Leta’s families. — Lukemandolin / Billdouble bass, Reynolds fretless electric bass / Eliotlow whistle / Kipharmony vocal / Stanleyvocals, guitar, mandocello, tenor guitar
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13. Stis Gramvousas T’Akrotiri  (Crete, Kostas Mountakis)  This song by Kostas Mountakis was written as a tribute to Nikolaos Tzengas, a highly regarded singer and composer of songs who lived and worked as a fisherman in the town of Kastelli in the region of Kissamos. Grateful thanks to Spyridoula Toutoudaki, a wonderful singer from Iraklion, who recorded this song with Ross Daly on Me Ti Fevga Tou Kerou, Seistron Music.Christos–clarinet, gaida drone / Kip–bendir / Stanley–laouto
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14. Patrounino  (Greece, Macedonia, traditional)  An energetic dance in 11/16 time (3+2+2+2+2), from Edessa, Aegean Macedonia / Greece. Patrouna is a woman’s name. This tune is also known as “Patroula,” another woman’s name. — Christosclarinet, daouli / Lukemandolin / Stanleylaouto, mandocello
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15. First Song  (Stanley Greenthal)  A reflection on the passing quickness of life, shared with friends, loved ones and family. For my grandchildren Oran, Will, Daisy, and Caroline. And for Kip, always. — Kip–harmony vocals / Stanley–vocals, bouzouki, tenor guitar
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