Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron and Nobody Knows You when You’re Down and Out are a couple of songs we’ve been singing in the sessions and folk clubs lately – so we thought it was time to share them.
Dashing is a bit of a departure for Julie, who usually leaves traditional songs to others (but may sing a few more now). I gather from our pal Barbara Brown that it was collected at Minehead by Cecil Sharp – and that he got it from a Captain Lewis. That makes a nice connection, so thanks Barbara!
Nobody Knows You is a prohibition era song about how life can go all wrong for the black market booze dealer. Well, if he or she don’t like their friends, perhaps that’s something to do with the sort of people they hang out with…
Frankie drew back her kimono, pulled and old 44
Then it’s rooty-toot-toot through that bar-room door…
I guess this is what you get when a guitarist of four decades takes up the melodeon – a crazy old American song, with a bit of triplet-blues feel creeping in!
One of the important things I’ve found about being a multi-instrumentalist is that all the instruments inform each other. I’m already beginning to find out how playing the melodeon is influencing my fiddle playing, for example.
We’ve been learning some new songs ahead of a gig at Islington Folk Club on the 1st October – and this is one of them. Julie and I think it’s a hoot – Frank Loesser’s chords for Slow boat to China alone are wild and wonderful.
The splendid postcard of the liner United States is courtesy of the Wikimedia, by the way – but in the interests of peace between our two nations, I guess I should point out that the slow boat in question is the yacht – not the Blue Ribband-winning liner.