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A Note from the Producer

One thing I love about Mayne Smith as a songwriter is the fact that — starting from a craftsman’s solid basis and musical expertise in traditional styles like bluegrass, folk song, and honky-tonk country music — he is absolutely fearless about plunging into a wide variety of other American song styles he has somehow absorbed, and using them to express himself and get to the emotional heart of the situation he’s exploring in his lyrics.

On this album, you hear him writing not only classic honky-tonk and bluegrass (both styles he uses beautifully); you also hear charming early 60s pop/rock (“My Dancing Days,” “Letting People Go”), gutbucket Mississippi/ Chicago blues (“TransAtlantic Blues”), smooth jazz tunes (“Solitaire,” “Saturday 6 A.M.”), raw roadhouse R&B (“Stoned Again”), an intimate acoustic love song (“My Heart’s Content”), good-humored Tex-Mex (“Mojave Wind”), and a bravura rendition of the Louisiana/Texas 12/8 slow-dance lament (“To Each His Own”). You hear the way he can use an old song to build a new one — working the melody of “Careless Love,” one of the all-time great American folk songs, into his own “Careless Love Again,” in a way that somehow makes you hear the meaning of the older song with a poignant new awareness. And you hear a song (“Saturday Matinee”) which spans traditional Appalachian folk ballads, gritty blues, and down-and-dirty rock and roll to tell one of the great American road stories — a story that is true and taken directly from Mayne’s own life experience, and which he somehow uses to comment on the power of myth, movies, heroic archetypes in our lives — all in the tough, concrete, concise language of a narrative folk tale, of a guy sitting next to you in a bar talking to you about his hard life. This is songwriting on a level that would knock Raymond Chandler out! Mayne just writes the song because — he’s who he is.

It’s his musical craft, combined with his ability to get to the heart of the matter and really touch you with a song, that makes him so inspiring to work with, that keeps me coming back to his music. It’s this quality of emotional authenticity — along with the wonderful singing, writing, and playing — that makes this an album for you to keep coming back to and keep thinking about.
—Johnny Harper, 2008    
 

1. Careless Love Again (4:18)
2. My Dancing Days (3:23)
3. Saturday Matinee (6:01)
4. I Like It (2:36)
5. Letting People Go (4:03)
6. Let the Good Love Flow (2:17)
7. I’m Still Hungry (3:34)
8. It’s Not Time to Go (3:54)
9. Solitaire (3:29)
10. They’ll Know Who I Am (2:24)
11. Stoned Again (3:10), by M. Smith and M. Greenhill
12. Home Away from Home (4:10)
13. Dateline Ramble (2:35), by M. Smith, N. Rosenberg, E. Neff, T. Mitsui
14. Saturday 6 A.M. (4:41)
15. Lost Another One (2:57)
16. To Each His Own (4:25)
17. TransAtlantic Blues (3:51)
18. Back to the Lost Highway (2:38)
19. Mojave Wind (4:49)
20. My Heart’s Content (3:18), by M. Smith, G. Wilson-Smith, J. Harper

All songs were composed exclusively by Mayne Smith except as noted.
All songs copyright © Hillgreen Music: <www.folkloreproductions.com/publishing.html> (BMI).


Recording Personnel
Notes on the individual songs and the recorded performances, along with lyrics, are available in the SONG LYRICS section of this website. Here is a general listing of the people who played on this album.
The electric group on this album was made up of Johnny Harper (lead guitar), John Hall (drums), and Marty Holland (electric bass). The piano and (on several tunes) organ was provided by John R. Burr.
Other contributions, as specified in the song-notes, came from Tom Rozum (tenor harmonies), Tony Marcus (fiddle), Sam Page (bass fiddle), Jim Peterson (alto saxophone), and Gary Smith (mouth harp). It was an honor to work with all of them.
The Redwood Canyon Ramblers started playing together about 50 years ago, with Mayne (guitar), Neil Rosenberg (banjo), and Scott Hambly (mandolin). We picked and sang together through Berkeley High School. Tom Glass (bass) joined us for our biggest season, the summer of 1960. Ed Neff (fiddle) has performed with us on important occasions since 1991.

General Credits and Acknowledgements
This album is a songmaker’s look at his favorite offspring, most of them unknown but to a precious few. A lot of the songs have not been released to the public at all before; some are available on other records, but I wanted to present them in a different light. All of them honestly represent states of my own mind — that is, Places I’ve Been.
All the songs were written by me, sometimes with others as noted. They began coming in 1965 and still emerge occasionally. With three exceptions, all the recordings on this CD are new. I sing lead and play acoustic guitar on all the songs unless it is otherwise noted. On some cuts, I also play “dobro”-style steel guitar (2, 6, 7, 17) and electric pedal steel guitar (1, 4, 5, 12).
Johnny Harper, friend and collaborator for thirty years, produced this record and had a hand in every decision. He led the electric studio band, wrote charts and arrangements, and played almost all the electric guitar parts. Without him, the album would probably not have been made. He plays and sings with voices that are right on my frequency.
Particular thanks to Mitch Greenhill, my musical partner since 1969. We have composed, performed, and recorded together in many contexts, and to him I owe a big proportion of my musical knowledge and capability. His acoustic guitar work graces “Saturday 6 A.M.” and “Mojave Wind,” and his singing and electric lead guitar are featured on “Stoned Again.” We have collaborated on a lot of the best music I’ve ever played.
Gail Wilson-Smith, my soul-partner and best friend, the only person who knows all “my secrets and my ways and means,” has provided the context of all my work for twenty-five years, and she took the CD cover photograph and Photoshopped it aggressively. I bless her daily and sometimes remember to say Thank You. (I was responsible for the design and computer work that went into the CD package.)
Ray Bierl <www.RayBierl.com> was not directly involved in these recordings, but he was one of the first, besides myself, to learn and sing my songs. I can’t adequately express my admiration for his singing, fiddling, and exquisite taste.
Mike Cogan converted my old demo tapes to digital format and offered sage counsel. Thanks also to Sharkbite Studios (Oakland, California) and Adam Myatt, our engineer. The CD was mastered by Paul Stubblebine and manufactured by Oasis CD.


THESE NOTES WERE LAST REVISED 4/8/09

 
       
 
 
Live with No Overdubs

This album was recorded in a big old Victorian house near Grass Valley, California, where our friend Paul Emery lived and operated his personal label, Bennett House Records. The year was 1986, and Mitch and I felt right at home in this small Gold Country town. We had been performing as a duo for about 10 years at little clubs and giant folk festivals, mostly on the West Coast but also across Canada. It was released on cassette as BHR107; with Paul’s permission we reissued it as a CD in 1999 (GSCD02). Now, in 2010, that run of albums has sold out and we’ve had another batch manufactured in the new wallet format that uses no plastic.

In contrast to our 1979 album, with its numerous guest musicians, BWWNB was recorded direct-to-digital on video cassette tape. These are all live performances of Mitch and me playing one instrument apiece. There are no overdubs, no special effects, nothing taken out “in the mix.” If you listen for them, you will hear a few more mistakes than on our multi-tracked studio albums, but nothing to be ashamed of. These are some of our best compositions and arrangements, and though we’ve both grown as musicians in the intervening 20-odd years, I truly enjoy listening to this record. We were working in the simple format that we knew best, giving the music everything we had.

You’ll find the lyrics for my compositions on this album, along with explanatory notes, in the SONG LYRICS AND NOTES section of this website.
— Mayne Smith, 2010    
 


1. Jay Gould’s Daughter (3:08). Traditional, arranged and adapted by Smith & Greenhill (© 1970, Hillgreen, BMI).
2. I Wish I Was Here Tonight (4:22).
Greenhill (© 1983, Folklore, ASCAP).
3. Lost Another One (2:39).
Smith © 1982, Hillgreen, BMI
4. Carmen Goes To Bimini (3:38).
Based on “Comin in on a Wing and a Prayer” by H. Adamson & J. McHugh (© 1943, Robbins, ASCAP) and “Habanera” by G. Bizet (1875, P.D.); combined, arranged and adapted by Greenhill & Smith (© Folklore, ASCAP). This cut was included in the collection Out on the Rolling Sea: a Tribute to the Music of Joseph Spence (Green Linnet Records GLCD 3095, © 1994 Hokey Pokey Records).
5. Ranger’s Command (3:08).
W. Guthrie (© 1963, Ludlow, BMI).
6. Face In The Crowd (4:01).
Greenhill (© 1975, Folklore, ASCAP).
7. Slave To A Six-String Guitar (5:23).
Smith & Greenhill (© 1985, Hillgreen, BMI).
8. Transatlantic Blues (3:36).
Smith (© 1983, Hillgreen, BMI).
9. Boulevard’s End (2:23).
Greenhill (© 1983, Folklore, ASCAP).
10. Steel Guitar Rag (3:35).
L. McAuliffe/M. Travis & C. Stone (©1947, Bourne, ASCAP).
11. Teach Me To Cry (3:20).
Smith (© 1977, Hillgreen, BMI).
12. Dividing Up Friends (3:26).
Greenhill (©1986, Folklore, ASCAP).
13. Careless Love Again (3:50).
Smith (© 1974, Hillgreen, BMI).
14. Time Is Draggin’ On (3:39).
Greenhill (© 1983, Folklore, ASCAP).

Credits and Acknowledgements
GSCD02 is a reissue of Bennett House Records cassette BHR107, engineered by Paul Emery in Grass Valley California in 1986. Recorded live in real time with no overdubs. All rights reserved. (P) and © 1986, 1999, and 2010.
Cover photo plus moral and material support, Gail Wilson-Smith. Graphic design, Jake Belsky and Mayne Smith. Thanks also to Mike Cogan, Elinor and Manny at Folklore, Tom Schmidt, Claire Lhermitte, and the Grass Valley gang.
In memory of my father, Henry Nash Smith, 1906–1986: R.I.P.


 
       
 
 

A Special Message from Rosalie

Storm Coming
is the result of a long-time collaboration between Mitch Greenhill, who helped me to find my voice to sing while building his own beautifully unique musical house, and Mayne Smith, whose voices, human and instrumental, have always entranced me. Both write finely crafted songs that are in touch with real-life and are a pleasure to listen to or sing. Their choice of material is impeccable and their treatment is, as always, original and exciting. Just like a good watch, given time, care and skill, a well-made thing with moving parts, it works.

—Rosalie Sorrels, 1979
www.folkloreproductions.com/
RosalieSorrels.html
 

1. Storm Coming (3:37), Smith/Greenhill, Hillgreen Music (BMI)
2. It’s Not Time to Go (3:28), Smith, Hillgreen Music (BMI)

3. Don’t You See that Train (4:18), A. Delmore, Vidor Publishing (BMI)
4. Freight Train Blues (2:48), Trad., arr. & adapt. Smith/Greenhill
5. Joshua (4:45), Greenhill, Folklore Music (ASCAP)
6. Ain’t No Instant Replay (2:38), Greenhill, Folklore Music (ASCAP)
7. Tucson One More Time (2:43), Smith, Hillgreen Music (BMI)
8. Alameda Blues (3:38), Smith/Greenhill, Hillgreen Music (BMI)
9. Brightwood Fire (3:48), Greenhill, Folklore Music (ASCAP)
10. Saturday Matinee (4:07), Smith, Hillgreen Music (BMI)
11. Satisfied Mind (4:11), Hayes/Rhodes, Starday Publ.


To contact Hillgreen Music or Folklore Music, please visit Folklore International Artists
online <www.folkloreproductions.com/publishing.html>

Credits and Acknowledgements
Storm Coming, GSCD01 (including music, text, and Eric von Schmidt’s cover painting) is reissued by permission from the original 1979 Bay Records LP, Bay 215.
Mayne Smith: vocals, rhythm guitars, Dobro, pedal steel
Mitch Greenhill: vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, electric bass, horn charts
Stuart Brotman: double bass, cymbalom, tuba
Taj Mahal plays rhythm (electric piano and percussion) on “It’s Not Time to Go.”
Doc Watson picks lead guitar on “Don’t You See That Train.”
Merle Watson plays slide guitar on “Freight Train Blues.”
Tom Schmidt plays clarinet on “Ain’t No Instant Replay.”
Tony Marcus frails the banjo on “Saturday Matinee.”
Carol Burleson & Maryann Price sing background vocals as the Primordial Oohs.
Larry Hanks sings bass on “Joshua” and plays jew’s harp on “Saturday Matinee.”
The horns: Mike Morris, tenor and alto saxophones; Cal Lewiston, trumpet; Al Bent, trombone; and Gary Myose, baritone saxophone.
Special thanks to Michael Ruggles, Delilah Lewis, Big Joe Burleson, Janet Smith, and Hideo Kamimoto. Also to Frontier — Lee Poundstone, Dave Holt, Michael Woodward — our old band.
“Joshua” is dedicated to Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail alone around the world. Beware the willewas.
Produced by Mitch Greenhill, Mayne Smith, and Mike Cogan.
Engineered by Mike Cogan at Bay Records Studio in Alameda, California (1979).
Management: Folklore International Artists, Inc. , Santa Monica, CA <www.folkloreproductions.com>, (P) and © 1979 and 1999.

Doc Watson and Merle Watson appeared courtesy of United Artist Records.
Cover art by Eric von Schmidt.

THESE NOTES WERE LAST REVISED 4/8/09