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Ed Littlefield
Mike Phelan
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Kingdom Coming
By Henry Clay Work
1862

Say, darkeys hab you seen de massa,
Wid de muffstash on his face,
Go long de road some time dis mornin'
Like he gwine to leab de place?
He seen a smoke, way up de ribber,
Whar de Linkum gumboats lay;
He took his hat, an' lef berry sudden,
An' I spec he's run away!

Chorus:
De Massa run? ha! ha!
De darkey stay? ho! ho!
It mus' be now de kingdom comin',
An' de year ob Jubilo!

He six foot one way, two feet tudder,
An' he weigh tree hundred pound,
His coat so big, he couldn't pay the tailor,
An' it won't go half way round.
He drill so much dey call him Cap'an,
An' he get so dreadful tann'd,
I spec he try to fool dem Yankees,
For to tink he's contraband.

Chorus

De darkeys feel so lonesome libing,
In de loghouse on de lawn,
Dey move dar tings to massa's parlor,
For to keep it while he's gone.
Dar's wine an' cider in de kitchen,
An' de darkeys, dey'll hab some;
I spose dey'll all be cornfiscated,
When de Linkum sojers come.

Chorus

De oberseer he make us trouble,
An' he dribe us round a spell,
We lock him up in de smokehouse cellar,
Wid de key trown down de well.
De whip is lost, de han' cuff broken,
But de massa'll hab his pay;
He's ole enough, big enough, ought to known better,
Dan to went and run away.

Ed's Extra Liner Notes
Ed plowing with the draft horses.
Ed Littlefield, Jr.
Going to the West
Liner notes beyond those published with the CD:
Songs,

Instruments
Technical recording details
Look on the left for original lyrics to "Kingdom Coming," written in 1862 when "politically correct" had an entirely different meaning.

More about Going to the West: 
Ed's CD page  and  Ed's Review page

SONGS

Ed Littlefield: Going to the WestNotes by Ed Littlefield, Jr. (EWL) and Glenn Howard (GH), founder of the American Musical Heritage Foundation, on the songs and tunes on Going to the West.

“'Pure endorphins' is what I said when I first heard Ed’s solo CD, and I still get blissed out each time I hear it. Even after great sets by Ralph Stanley, Dave Alvin, Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks and Michelle Shocked, the high point of my entire Fall 2002 Strawberry Folk Festival was listening to an advance copy of this CD. It’s that good. The only way I could be more pleased with this recording would be if I could have it on vinyl." -– Glenn Howard, curator of the American Musical Heritage Foundation.

"Going to the West"
GH - Introduced to the folk world by Ginny Harker who learned it from Mike Seeger, who learned it from his sister Peggy, who learned it from the book Folk Songs Of Alabama by Byron Arnold.

"Johnson Boys"
EWL - I sing and play two of the lead fiddle tracks, the guitar, mandolin, piano, jews harp.
GH - Other recordings - On 78s: Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters with banjos by Charles Bowman & Jack Reedy, (Brunswick 179); and Grant Brothers and Their Music, (Columbia 15460). On LPs: New Lost City Ramblers Vol. 3, (Folkways 2398); and David Lindley on 5-String Banjo Greats, (Liberty LST 7357). Lindley used to win banjo contests in the 1960s with his version of this tune.

"You'll Find Her Name Written There"
EWL - This is a classic Bill Monroe song about his mama. Jon Wilcox plays mandolin. I sing and play rhythm guitar, lead guitar, dobro, bass, and pedal steel.
GH - Written by Harold Hensley, American Music Inc. BMI Recorded by Bill Monroe in 1954 (Decca 30178)

"Been All Around This World"
EWL - I have heard many fine versions of this fine song, Jerry Garcia and the Dead, Tim O'Brien and many others.
GH - Recorded by that old timey band, The Grateful Dead, from the 1981 album Reckoning. Uncle Dave Macon did not record this. I can hear Grandpa Jones doing it, but I can't find it on the shelves. There is a related folk song called "Cape Giradeau."

"Pretty Peggy-O"
GH - Also known as "Fennario". Years ago I asked Jerry Garcia about the Dead's source, and he told me he did it because of the Joan Baez' version. He said he'd heard other versions and was also familiar with the variant "The Bonnie Lass O' Fyvie" by Ewan MacColl from Scots Folk Songs (Riverside 12-609), and Popular Scottish Songs with Peggy Seeger, (Folkways FW 8757), and Jean Redpath's take on her rare first album, Skipping Barefoot Through The Heather (Prestige International 13041). Joanie's source was, I believe, a recording by Richard Dyer-Bennett, but it's not on the shelf.

"Miss Julia's Waltz"
EWL - Tom Rozum on a mandolin track on his Gibson Lloyd Loar F-5. I play a second mandolin track on my old Gibson F-4, as well as piano, pedal steel, dobro, and guitar.
GH - The only known copy of the rare wax cylinder of this turn-of-the-century classic fell off the shelf during an earthquake and melted all over the floor next to the wood stove. Fortunately, the composer/artist is still living and playing so we're looking forward to a new "digital" cylinder to be recorded soon. (You handle the cylinder by placing your first two fingers spread through its center, which of course, makes it digital).

"Waterbound"
EWL - I sing lead and harmony vocals, and play guitar, mandolin, jews harp, Dobro, two fiddles. At the Morningtown Pizza's 10th year reunion, singing this song was the last thing I remember after drinking way too much whisky from a passing bottle and losing four hours of my memory, a brush with ethanol poisoning that I'm not eager to repeat.
GH - I'm not sure where this comes from originally. There are recordings on LP by John McCutcheon, Art Rosenbaum's Five String Banjo (Kicking Mule KM108) and on 78 by Fields Ward & the Bog Trotters.

"Kingdom Coming"
EWL - I first heard this from the Warner Bros cartoons that used musical director Carl W. Stalling's brilliant work. The tune is featured as background music in the second Mickey Mouse cartoon produced for Disney by Ub Iwerks in 1928, "The Gallopin' Gaucho".
GH - Written by Henry Clay Work (1862) and is in the public domain by virtue of age. There is a great version with all the original politically incorrect lyrics by Frank Crumit (1927, Victor 21108). Work's other huge hit was "Grandfather's Clock" from 1872.

"Standing in the Need of Prayer"
GH - This was on the classic 1961 bluegrass LP John Duffy, Charlie Waller & the Country Gentlemen, Sing & Play Folk Songs & Bluegrass (Folkways FA 2410), a record found in the collection of many old folkies and Bay Aryans back in the day.

"Sail Away Ladies"
EWL - I used a partial capo made by Rick Shubb on the 3rd, 4th and 5th strings on the second fret of the guitar. This bears some resemblance to dropped D tuning except that it is in E. I started by playing the first guitar and singing the lead. Then I added the piano, second lead guitar, dobro, mandolin, and finally the harmony vocal.

"Green Light on the Southern"
EWL - The railroad plays an important part in American folk music traditions; it's there in the soul of the blues. This is one of my favorites by one of the great traditional artists performing today, Norman Blake. I send this out to my old railroading buddy, Ben Biaggini; he should be able to figure out why I started with rhythm guitar and added vocal, piano, lead guitar, mandolin, dobro, bass, and harmony vocals.
GH "Green Light On The Southern Railroad Line" - Written by Norman Blake.

"Over the Waterfall"
EWL - As with "The Year of Jubilo," I try to recreate the feel that my contra dance buddies might impart to these tunes for a dance. "Over the Waterfall" was one of the tunes Alan Jabbour collected. While a graduate student, Alan had the good fortune to befriend and study with a gentleman from West Virginia, Henry Reed, who was in his eighties. Henry was the last musician to know this regional tune, which may have been lost forever if Alan hadn't learned it. He began playing it with an old timey stringband, and the tune got popular with the old timey musicians on the East Coast. Alan was pleasantly surprised when he took a teaching position in San Diego a couple of years later and found that the tune had preceded him there and was raging like wildfire up and down the West Coast.

(Alan Jabbour was the USA's folklorist for 25 years, head of the American Folklife Center at Library of Congress.


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INSTRUMENTS
Ed's Guitar

Ed in concert playing his copy of a 1918 Martin 1-28 guitar.The principal instrument on the Going to the West CD is a copy of a 1918 Martin 1-28 guitar. The number 1 refers to its size and number 28 indicates how it's built and what materials are used. In Martin terminology, a 28 means that it has Brazilian Rosewood back and sides with a spruce top, plus a herringbone binding around the top. This is the tale Ed tells about this guitar:

Around 1995, I wandered into People's Music in Sebastopol, California, and looked up on the wall and found something that looked like a little old Martin parlor guitar on consignment. I played it a bunch and asked "How much do you want for this little old Martin parlor guitar?" He said $1500.

I was curious to see how sharp this guy was and offered him $900. He said, "No, I've advised her to hold out for $1500."

"Would she sell for $1500?"

"I'll ask the old gal and find out," he said.

The next day I get a call and he says, "It's yours for $1500, tax, license and out the door." I drove up and got the guitar and I also got the rest of story."

The owner wasn't that old, only 55, and she was a Marley's Ghost fan. She knew who I was and she was delighted to sell it to me. It was a marvelous little guitar. It had Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. I called Rob Girdis before I picked it up and mentioned they wanted $1500. He laughed and said that the back and sides of rough cut Brazilian Rosewood would be worth more than that.

Martin started putting steel strings on guitars in 1921, so this 1918 parlor guitar was braced for gut strings. When Ed used regular lightweight bronze strings, it was not playable. It needed special strings to get the intonation right. John Pierce medium gauge bronze silk and steel strings were the key to getting this guitar to play with reasonable intonation.

I liked the guitar so much that I wanted the Santa Cruz Guitar Company to make a copy of it. (A size 1 guitar is available by special order.) They built me this copy, but instead of building it as a style 28, they built it as a 42 with abalone inlay around the top and around the sound hole, an inlay stripe on the back and simple perfling on the side. It has a Martin torch on the peghead and snowflake inlays on the neck. With electronics, it weighs a little less than 4 pounds. The original weighs 3 pounds. The neck is 1 7/8 inches at the nut. It has a slotted peghead with Sloan Waverly bronze tuners with ivory buttons.

"Although we don't use them in the studio, it has a Pick-up the World transducer and a Joe Mills microphone for performance on stage and we use the Pendulum preamp."

It's a challenge in the folk business getting the instruments to sound like real acoustic instruments while amplified. We had a mic and amp shoot out in the studio and those were the winners.

Other Instruments Ed Plays on
Going to the West

GUITARS:
Rob Girdis - 2 custom dreadnought cutaways
Santa Cruz Guitar Company (SCGC) - #1 - 42, OM-28 , 00-28.
Tom Rozum plays a venerable Gibson F-5 by Lloyd Loar.

RESONOPHONIC (DOBRO) GUITARS:
Scheerhorn, Dobro

FIDDLES:
Bob Childs, George Orth, GligaVasile

ELECTRIC BASS:
Alembic

MANDOLIN:
Gibson F-4 (# 61750)

SIERRA PEDAL STEEL GUITARS:
"I have three pedal steel guitars made by Tom Baker at Sierra Musical Instruments, Portland, Oregon. Two of them have custom woodwork and inlay by Rob Girdis. I use an E9th/B6th Universal tuning on 14 strings, eight floor pedals and seven knee levers."

PIANO:
Steinway D, Mr. Edward J. McMorrow, Piano Technician "When set-up, voiced and regulated by a person of Ed McMorrow's genius and sensitivity, the grand piano is truly one of the Wonders of the World. While some southern purists may gnash their teeth about having a piano backup on southern tunes, I submit that the southern good ole boys would have used pianos more often had they been more available. "

PEDAL STEEL AMPS:
Summit and Mesa/Boogie tube amps.


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TECHNICAL RECORDING DETAILS

Laurie Lewis in the studio taping a track for Going To the West

Laurie Lewis taping a track for 'Going to the West'
MICROPHONES
B & K 4003, 4004, ... Manley Tube Mics, Neumann

MIXING CONSOLE
"The custom mixing console and much of the custom studio gear was designed and built by our old friend and the most amazing tube wizard, Fred Forsell."

TAPE RECORDERS
"The recordings were done on Studer 80 Series Mk IV analog tape recorders with the exception of "Standing In The Need of Prayer" which was originally done on a Sony/MCI 16 track analog machine. We're traditionalists around here so we use lots of vacuum tube gear in the recording. The format is usually 8 or 16 tracks being printed to 2" tape at 30 ips. No noise reduction was used. We love a minimalist signal path and usually go from microphone to the mic pre-amp and then directly to the machine input of the tape recorder and then return back through the mixing console."

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