Could Have Been a Dream (2011)
"What you hear on this album is the pure sound of new American folk music"- Rutland Herald Newspaper
“A collection of finely written songs, with wonderful vocal performances, and solid instrumental backing to put the whole over with eloquence and grace.” - Oliver di Place, Musings on Music
"The recording is loaded with quality. Ruane is a talented storyteller, painting whole scenes with his lyrics. Duquette has a lovely voice, and her soulfulness shines through. Barron is, for my money, the top acoustic bass player in Vermont. That variety and a solid sound are two of the reasons that Bread and Bones are attracting a growing fan base from the Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to coffeehouses in Maine and throughout Vermont." Robert Resnick - Seven Days, Vermont's Alternative Weekly Newspaper
Could Have Been a Dream, the second recording by Bread and Bones, was released on October 25, 2011. Its fourteen songs include eleven originals, a traditional Irish ballad, a song by the Canadian songwriter Charlie Sohmer, and a cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” with a finger-picked ukulele accompaniment. Renowned Vermont fiddler Pete Sutherland is featured on “Play a Waltz and Go Home.”
All songs written by Richard Ruane, except Who Do You Think It Was, written by Charlie Sohmer; Spokane Waltz, attributed to Ozark Mountain fiddler Jess Essary with chord arrangement by Pete Sutherland; Rocking the Cradle, traditional with additional words and music by Richard Ruane and Three Little Birds, written by Bob Marley. All of Richard’s original music is published by Okey Dokey Folkie Music (BMI).
This was recorded from October 2010 to September 2011 at Toast Pirate Studios, Michael and Cindy Seligmann’s barn, the Rost Family cabin, Pete Sutherland’s living room and the Centerpoint School.
The musicians of Bread and Bones are Richard Ruane – vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele; Beth Duquette – vocals; Mitch Barron – fretless, fretted and upright basses and vocals.
Pete Sutherland joins us on fiddle on Play a Waltz and Go Home. Find him at www.epactmusic.com.
Our thanks to Cindy and Michael Seligmann (and Kathy Clarke and Clover Blossom), the entire extended Rost family (and especially Ron), Pete Sutherland, Lane Gibson and Centerpoint School. Thanks also to Mark Mulqueen (and Ike and Liam), Andrea Chesman (and Rory and Sam), Susan Abell (and Max).
In addition, a special thanks to Mar Harrison, Diane Stolar, Rick Shappy and Tonya Engst (and Adam and Tristan) and a very special thanks to Tom Ruane (and Eileen, Joseph and Patrick), everyone at The Top Floor, Cindy and Michael Seligmann (we just can't thank them enough) and Fran McKay (thanks Fran).
And an extra special thanks to all the folk DJs who have been so supportive. To mention just a few:
Robert Resnik (WVPR), Wanda Fischer (WAMC), Chip Morgan (Farm Fresh Radio), Ray Baumler (WRUR), Rich Warren (WFMT), Jeff Boudreau (WCUW), Mary Cliff (WAMU), Chris Darling (WMPG), Dennis Brunnenmeyer (KVMR), Sue DuMond (KLOI), Larry Hillberg (KVMR), Susan Forbes Hansen (KHUS), Michael Alzo (WSLU), Angela Page (WJFF), Mark Michaelis (WGDR), Craig Huegel (WSLR), Bob Weiser (WOMR), Kenneth Batista (WYEP), Harlon Joye (WRFG), Diane Crowe (WMCB) and Chris McGill (WSPN), Ron Olesko & Bill Hahn (WFDU), Matt Baya (WERU), Todd Tyson (WNCS).
The CD was produced by Richard Ruane.
Mixed and Mastered by Lane Gibson at Lane Gibson Recording and Mastering, Charlotte, Vermont (www.lanegibson.com).
Beth took the cover photo in her yard in Lincoln, Vermont, looking towards Mount Grant and Mount Cleveland in the Green Mountains. She took the interior photo of the instruments at the wonderful Dream Away Lodge (www.thedreamawaylodge.com) in Beckett, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. The photo of Beth as a child in the interior was taken by one of her older sisters (Beth wasn't sure which one).
Here’s the complete list of the songs. Click on a song title to read the lyrics (you'll need Acrobat Reader installed). The song notes are by Richard Ruane.
This song was written about my father’s brother, my long-lost uncle Jim. Just after I was born Jim borrowed all the savings my parents had (a meager amount) and moved to New York City to start a new life. He wasn’t heard from again for twenty-seven years. He was always just a story in my house. My father believed he had died. Then one day he called my father. He’d had a hard go of it for most of the intervening years but was back on his feet. Years later I got thinking about what it must have been like to make that call and I wrote this song. And he was very welcome.
This is the story of a woman’s reminiscence of the last year she was with her birth mother, when she was only two or three. She was unsure about the details because of how young she had been, but she clearly remembered what her mother said when she kissed her good night.
Also known as “The Train Song”, this is about traveling at night to avoid being seen. The song doesn’t say specifically why, but I had been doing some work concerning undocumented immigrants at the time.
Contra dances traditionally end with a waltz. My friend Mark Mulqueen and I ran sound for the dance stage at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival for many years as well as for many other contra dances. We noticed sometimes, after a dance had been going for many hours, the dancers might be passed out on their feet while the musicians were happily and obliviously playing with no end in sight. We came up with the (never realized) concept of making hats that said “Play a Waltz and Go Home” to put on as a hint to the musicians. After awhile the phrase got used anytime it was time to go. Pete Sutherland, a great songwriter, wonderful fiddler, contra dance king and member of the renowned Clayfoot Strutters, graciously agreed to help us out with a waltz. It was his suggestion that we use Spokane Waltz and I used his chord arrangement for the fiddle tune accompaniment (another one of his many talents).
This was inspired by an elderly woman I met at a nursing home. She had been a dancer when much younger and it was obvious by the way she carried herself, even though she had been in a wheelchair for a number of years.
This song views winter as a returning friend. If you live in Vermont or in any of the colder northern places, it sure helps to be able to get along with winter
I met Charlie Sohmer several years back at Solarfest’s Singer/Songwriter Showcaseher in Vermont. I was really impressed with his songwriting. We got together the following November at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference where the whole band got a chance to hang out with him, playing music and telling long stories from about 2:00 AM until dawn. A really sweet guy too.
I spent a summer living on an island off the coast of New England. During that time I got to know some commercial fishermen who fished out of sight of land during the day. When they came back at night, even if their navigation equipment was out, they would know where they were along the coast line by sight. The different lights from the shore, the radio towers, the buoys, the harbor lights, the bridges and roads lit by car lights would tell them where they were. This song takes its imagery from that. It’s about leaving home but knowing where it is if you need to find it again.
This is a traditional song from Ireland. I first learned it from an LP recorded back in the 1950s by song collector Robin Roberts. I once had all my records stored the attic of an apartment house and when I came back for them, someone had taken many of the LPs, including this obscure one. I only partially remembered this song and had to fill in some of the gaps. It is a ballad of love gone awry and being left with a baby, but it is told from the male’s perspective. It’s almost an “answer song” to Fair and Tender Ladies from our last CD.
I first heard Bob Marley and the Wailers shortly after the Catch a Fire album came out. I saw them a few years later at an amazing concert in New York’s Central Park. I was playing the ukulele not long ago and started riffing on this familiar song. It took.
Bread and Bones
Could Have Been a Dream
Riptone Records RR003