The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120805   Message #2631017
Posted By: Joe Offer
13-May-09 - 02:21 PM
Thread Name: Riggy Rackin CD: Somewhere in Between
Subject: Riggy Rackin CD: Somewhere in Between
Sometime Mudcatter Riggy Rackin has a new CD out called Somewhere in Between, and it's a good one. You can learn more about Riggy and his music at

It's always a pleasure to hear Riggy sing. When he pulls out his concertina, the room gets quiet, and people perk up and pay attention. If it's Riggy singing, they know it's going to be an interesting song, and that its presentation is going to be authentic. Riggy looks authentic. He looks like one of those guys who sits in the back of the general store or the forecastle of a ship and spits tobacco juice on the floor, but people put up with him because he can sing. And sing he does. He makes a little masterpiece out of every song, milking out every nuance. He also gathers together an interesting group of people to accompany him - many of you will recognize some of these names. And there has to be a story behind those hats he wears - I'll find out some day.

Here are Riggy's notes. I'll add links to threads discussing some of the songs.
  1. Seven Yellow Gypsies
    A quite amazing, rarely heard version of Black Jack Davie, learned from English luthier Stefan Sobell, while staying with him & his wife Liz at the Black Gate Castle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1971.
  2. Off to California
    From the singing of Tommy Magee, the energy source of the Brattle Streetband
  3. The Merry Andrew
    My favorite ECD tune. Named for Henry the Eight's laugh-a-minute physician.
  4. Younger Every Day
    Written by Sydney Carter, whose famous other song, "Lord of the Dance," anchored the early Revels and gave Michael Flatley his first show's name. From the singing of two old guys at the Edinburgh Castle in San Francisco, named Holdstock & MacLeod.
  5. Trip to Paris
    A lovely folk-meets-Baroque melody ca. 1728.
  6. Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes
    Thomas Campion knew way back in the 1590s the cure for sudden-oak-death.
  7. Moss
    Written by my best friend, Ernie Noyes, & provided the title for this album in a line near the end of the second verse. Neither fish nor fowl, but happy, all things considered.
  8. Staines Morris
    THE May Day song of all time. I have mixed two versions together, one from John Roberts and Tony Barrand, and one from Jane Threlfall.
  9. Epping Forest
    The first tune I ever heard played on a concertina, and so beautifully, by Alf Edwards on his classic recording The Art of the Concertina.
  10. Sweep Chimney Sweep
    The Copper Family has been singing this one literally for centuries.
  11. Tennessee Blues
    Louisiana writer Bobby Charles must have had a thing about leaving Tennessee. From the singing of my old buddy Jacki Spector back in the day.
  12. Message in a Bottle
    Written by the Brattle Streetband's accordion player. Nancy Koch.
  13. Bold Doherty
    Frequently heard these days, much to my delight. I love Norma Waterson's way.
  14. The Old Man
    June Tabor sang this Bill Caddick song and I was truly smitten. [in DT as "Old Man's Song (Don Quixote)"]
  15. Drink Good Ale
    Bill Whaley & Dave Fletcher sing this and call it "The Stixwood Harvest Song."
  16. Hole in the Wall
    Henry Purcell's piece honoring Shakespeare's favorite pub.
  17. I Wanna Die Easy
    I got this from the singing of the acappella group Rock Creek. I was drawn to learn it from my experiences watching my late wife take a long, painful path to dying.
  18. Bound for Australia
    From Stan Hugill's Shanties of the Seven Seas, and learned from my friend and partner in R&R Ashore, Richard Adrianowicz.

      Riggy Rackin - lead vocal, guitar and english concertina
      Sylvia Herold, Shay Black & Doug Olsen - chorus
      Roxanne Oliva - harp, accordion, crumhorn, recorder and triangle
      Jon Berger - fiddle and viola
      Rebecca King - piano
      Jeff Martin - bass, cello and 12-string guitar
      Ed Neff - mandolin and backing vocal
      "Diamond" Dave Lux - guitar
      Henry Nagle - pedal steel guitar
      JD Limelight - octofone
      Vic Carberry - drums

      Produced by Jeff Martin
      Recorded and Mixed by Jason Andrews and Jeff Martin
      Mastered by Jason Andrews
      Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Studio E Sebastopol, CA
      Cover painting by Sandy Eastoak — Graphics by John Hanses
      Special thanks to Roxanne Oliva for critical production assistance and inspired musical input and to Gloria and Dikran Martin for continuous musical support