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Closer CDCloser

Come close and closer still
And tell me what you see. What reflection
dim and hazy in the ancient clouded glass

Lean close and closer still
And still your mind. Turn gently back
Turn gently back, remembering

And carry the burden gently

Richard Cuccaro, in Acoustic Live of NYC, describes Closer as “a shimmering set of jewels, celebrating every aspect of her crossing to the hopeful place she has found for herself.” He calls the final poem, Hanging Up the Snowshoes, “staggeringly beautiful,” – and the entire album “a keeper.”

For Lui’s notes on the release of this CD, see her “Musings” entry for February, 2006.

Produced by Anand Nayak

Recorded by Greg Steele, Derek Studios, Dalton MA,
Anand Nayak, Dizzydog Recording, Northampton MA,
and Alan Stockwell, SouDesign Studios, Brattleboro VT

Mixed by Huck Bennert, Dog Earz Recording, Portland ME
and Anand Nayak

Mastered by Colin Sapp at Specialized Mastering, Framingham MA

Lui Collins: vocals, guitar and banjo
Anand Nayak: acoustic and electric guitars and basses, mandolin, banjo, shaker, harmony vocals
Rani Arbo: fiddle
Scott Kessel: percussion
Keith Murphy: piano, harmony vocals
Dana Robinson: guitar, banjo
Rose Sinclair: accordion
Larry Unger: banjo
Order this CD

All songs and poems, except as noted, by Lui Collins, ©2006 Molly Gamblin Music/BMI

*Spoken poem

(©2001 Lui Collins)

Red Red Robin
(Harry Woods ©1926 Callicoon Music)
I learned this song from my Mom, who learned it from the radio when she was three years old. My grandmother used to tell stories of her bopping around the house singing it. Even as I grew up, my Mom sang constantly around the house; this song is the one I most identify with her.
Lui: vocal, guitar; Anand: bass, mandolin, harmony vocals; Dana: banjo; Rani: fiddle; Scott: Drumship Enterprise

The Creek*

Written on its banks, just off the Southern Tier Expressway in western New York State.
Lui: banjo; Anand: bass, guitar, mandolin; Larry: banjo
banjo is tuned to Double C tuning: gCGCD and capoed
(main four strings only) on the 3rd fret so the notes are gEbBbEbF

Making Pies
(Patty Griffin ©2002 Almo Music Corp/ASCAP)
Lui: vocal, guitar; Anand: bass, banjo, electric guitar, slide guitar, harmony vocals; Scott: brush kit

(©2001 Lui Collins)

Step Into the Water
(©1992 Molly Gamblin Music/BMI)
Lui: vocal, guitar; Anand: bass, guitar, mandolin, harmony vocal; Keith: harmony vocal; Rose: accordion; Scott: cajon

With apologies to any horticulturists, who will have immediately recognized that the plant described is not astilbe at all – it’s actually a type of kalanchoe. I claim poetic license on this one, as I didn’t find out till after the poem was written. I kept the original for the sheer pleasure of the sound of the word.

Blood Red the Stain
Images from the movie The Red Violin haunted me for weeks, inspiring the writing of this song, a re-telling of the making of the violin. With thanks to François Girard, director of this compelling film, and to Bob Franke for the writing assignment. We were on tour together the weekend I sat in on his workshop; I fear I was poor company on the drive back from NYC to New Haven, immersed as I was in the writing.
Lui: vocal, banjo; Anand: bass, resophonic guitar, mandolin; Rani: fiddle; Rose: accordion; Scott: tambourine, cajon, tom tom, brushes

Journey’s End*
(©2001 Lui Collins)

Someone to Come Home To
Lui: vocal, guitar, Anand: bass, electric guitar, Keith: piano

(©2001 Lui Collins)

Gone But Not Forgotten
(©2000 Molly Gamblin Music/BMI)
Written in and for the Oberlin Village Cemetery, a freed slave graveyard in Raleigh, North Carolina. Read the story behind the song here. Thanks to Bill Padgett for taking me there. Lui: vocal, banjo; Anand: bass, guitar, mandolin; Keith: harmony vocals; Rani: fiddle

Glance in a Mirror*
(©2001 Lui Collins)

Lui: vocal; Anand: shaker

Bells of May Street
For the students at May Street Elementary School, Hood River, Oregon. Lui: banjo, Anand: bass, guitar, mandolin; Larry: banjo
Banjo tuning: double D tuning: aDADE

Shiny White-Toed Hightops*
(©2001 Lui Collins)

All the Pretty Birds
Lui: vocal, banjo; Anand: bass, mandolin; Dana: guitar

His Hometown
(Cheryl Wheeler ©1999 Penrod & Higgins/Amachrist Music/ASCAP)
Lui: vocal, guitar; Anand: bass, electric guitar, mandolin, slide guitar, harmony vocals; Rose: accordion
See Cheryl Wheeler’s website for background on this song and its subject.

I Wrest My Joy*
(©2001 Lui Collins)

(©1988 Molly Gamblin Music/BMI)
Lui: vocal, guitar; Anand: bass, resophonic guitar, mandolin; Keith: harmony vocal; Rose: accordion

Hanging Up the Snowshoes*
(©2001 Lui Collins)

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