I’m a sucker for a waltz. I gravitate toward ¾ time at the drop of a hat. I’m not much of a dancer, but a waltz I can handle with joy and abandon. I first learned to waltz in the Mendocino Redwoods, at the Lark In The Morning Music Camp. Soon after that I met Sabrina and took her for a spin at the Great American Music Hall. We waltzed to Peter Rowan singing Free Mexican Airforce, with the legendary Flaco Jimanez on accordion. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I call Gravedigger’s Boy my gothic waltz. It’s a little dark, but hopeful. That’s Chojo Jaques playing the fiddle. I’m nuts about his unorthodox playing style. And I love the fiddle so much that I’ve got one of my very own. You probably shouldn’t ask me to play it unless you like the sound of cats in pain. Don’t make me do it.
I should mention Gravedigger’s Boy won best song at the NewSong Contest in West Virginia some years ago. Many people find song contests to be a bit odiferous, but I was grateful for the opportunity just to play at that festival, with it’s fireflies and it’s octagonal barn. It was held at an old farm built by George Washington’s nephew, Bushrod Washington. They don’t name ‘em like that anymore.
The highlight of the fest was when a thunderstorm broke during Nickel Creek’s set. They had to shut down the stage, so Nickel Creek took refuge in the big farmhouse and played acoustic while the rest of us squeezed in as best we could. I’m still grateful to Gravedigger’s Boy for putting me there at that moment in time. Unforgettable.
My friend Caren Armstrong who sings harmony on this tune doe a great rendition herself. And my young buddy Jaime Michaels covers it on his Crooked cd. I’m honored that such great writers would give one of my songs legs. Won’t somebody dance?