I’ve had a thing about the Carter Family for years, and about June Carter Cash in particular. She came from a line of graceful, hard-working, deeply talented and spiritually rich women who toured this country, playing 6 nights per week and raising extraordinary families from the back of an old Ford Model T. Mother Maybelle and her sister-in-law Sara Carter overcame extreme hardship as working musicians during the Great Depression, singing Maybelle’s husband A.P. Carter’s songs about their lives filled with pain, pragmatism, spirit and sass. June Carter was a shining credit to her mother and grandmother, a caring, kind and talented woman with a deep spirituality, quick wits and a legendary capacity to love.
I love June, so I wrote this song, ‘June Baby’
It’s an homage to her and her love, Johnny Cash, and to their beauty. This song was recorded as a strings sensation, complete with violins, viola, cellos and harps behind a full guitar band. This lil video is just me singing and pickin’ Carter-style last night in Topanga at a small, intimate venue called Hillbilly Hip.
Revisiting a sea shanty from the past, namely
‘Rum Cove’, which I wrote in 2004 about a Rum Cove I encountered back then and our voyages together overseas.
“What’s a Rum Cove?!” I hear you cry, to which I reply… It’s a Romany gypsy phrase, tricky to translate accurately, but ‘cove’ means man, and ‘rum’ means good and bad at the same time, like the word ‘wicked’.
Anyway, since writing it, this song has had many incarnations, including being recorded with Amena from Scanners in 2005. The lyrics change as time goes by to reflect the current Rum Coves frequenting my world.
Today’s recording with Alain Whyte was inspired by a Rum Cove I’ve never actually met, and, well, I hope I never do, especially if he hears this song! It’s hopefully light and witty and not too vicious, but illustrates the point rather well that he’s pissed me off by saying nasty things about my mate, which is something I can never abide. My friends are like family to me, so watch your step if you cross them…
Hear this mermaid’s warning, all ye folks and ghouls with spiteful thoughts and blackened hearts, lest ye slander a friend of mine, I’ll have yer guts for garters, yaaaaarrgh!