This album is dedicated to Larry Stanley who passed away Jan. 1999.
He enriched our lives, we laughed so hard, we played so fierce. The other travelers: Sam Walton, Tony Perkins and my mother Marjorie DeBolt, they''re all up there with him in the front row laughing, saving us a place.
Touring in the Canadian Rockies has always been a right of passion for me.
Every visit a little wiser, a little older, needing fewer words to express the spiritual pull these Old Fellows have. You try singing "Saskatchewan!"
As Bobby mixed this, we became so aware of the mountains speaking on the different instruments, the low rumbling-his feet in the earth, fireflies of light on the Skeena, arpeggios of moonrises and sunsets, playing the subplot, the notes between the thoughts.
Thank you to the musicians: Larry Stanley, Rod Booth, Phil Dwyer, George Koller and Bobby Derkach.
Thank you to Bobby & John Switzer who helped me record my soul-reckenen'' -questorama and to Milt Swanson whom I met on tour who offered his ranch as a retreat to write and learn the ways of the ranch & mountains.
Daisy, February 3, 2000
This is how mountains make me feel.
Thank you Daisy.
1996 - Live at Harbourfront, Toronto
Skeena River of Mists
Daisy - vocals & mandolin, Larry Stanley - keyboards & vocals
Bob Derkach - accordion & vocals, Rod Booth - violin
John Switzer - Recording Engineer
1997- Live at the Performing Arts Lodge, Toronto
Luna Grande View Ranch
B.C. Mountain Suite
Daisy - vocals & mandolin, Bob Derkach - piano & accordion
George Koller - bass, PhIl Dwyer - tenor sax & Flute
John Switzer - Recording Engineer
Co-Writers - Daisy & Bob Derkach on Mountain Folk &
B.C. Mountain Suite, Daisy & Milt Swanson on Luna
Producer & Arranger - Bob Derkach
Associate Producer & Recording Engineer - John Switzer
Edited, Mixed & Mastered by Bob Derkach at Bob Derkach Studios
Assistant Golden Ears - Daisy
Final Master - Jeff Wolpert
Manufactured by Accudub Inc.
CD Cover Design - Daisy
Cover Photo - Liza Soroka
Back Cover Photo - Barbara Pedrick
Executive Producer & Art Director - DeBolt Productions
Special thanks to Milt Swanson for the experience of my life working on his ranch, Ian Harper at Harbourfront for the great house sound, Dale Roberstson for getting the Knabe Concert Grande Piano in shape for the Pal sessions, my son Jacob for assisting at PAL, William Weckesser & Brian Balin.
Special thanks to The Ontario Arts Council for the writing grant that enabled the mountain songs to come forth.
Also becoming "Mandolin Gal" on this album, I have mandolin player Jacques Lussier to thank for inspiring me to play mandolin ( who toured with Larry Stanley and me on our "I Can" tour out west.) The songs Skeena River of Mists & Mandolin Gal were written during this tour.
The lyrics to Luna Grande View Ranch, Mountain Folk & B.C. Mountain Suite were written at Grand View Ranch and the long bus ride back to Edmonton in the dead of winter.
Ron Forbes - Monday Magazine, Victoria B.C. - October, 2000
Back in the early seventies, the Ontario based duo Fraser & DeBolt were making acoustic music that was among the most original and creative of that time. The qualities still apply to DeBolt''s work although her music is far more complex and eclectic than the hallucinogenic country-folk sounds she was known for back then. On her new CD, she has fashioned her impressions of the Rocky Mountain area and its people into a sort of song cycle that strongly evokes the character of this region- it''s beauty, isolation, violence, sexuality and humour and her place in it as a "Prairie Girl". Some of Canada''s finest musicians such as George Koller on bass and sax giant Phil Dwyer create dazzling soundscapes behind her rich lyrics using element s of free jazz, tango, ragtime and other styles. but the most awe-inspiring instrument here is DeBolt''s powerful, nuanced voice which easily manages the wide range of expression needed to make these songs work.
Wm C. Weckesser Oct, 2001
Daisy DeBolt''s "Just Mountain Songs" is as Canadian a work of art as there ever has been. The lyrics could easily have been quoted in Margaret Atwood''s seminal manifesto "Survival." Yet they owe as much to Allen Ginsberg and Dante''s "Divine Comedy."
Life and death struggles in a vast landscape sung by an artist who has lived every line. The veteran vocalist is virtually without peer as a confessional balladeer.
A virtual autobiography of a modern Canadian played out against a breathtaking backdrop.
Of particular note is "B.C. Mountain Suite" which is a radical departure. Like Kurt Elling with better chops she reminisces about a thirty year period of her life always in terms of her visits to the mountains.
Harrowing bicycle rides, blackberries and oysters, up to her elbows in blood.
"You become speechless, you become sane" she sings. We should say no less of the experience of listening to this CD.
Andrew Periale / Perry Alley Theatre, NH
"Skeena River of mist,The mountain''s head in the clouds, City of Rainbows, You take my breath away."
These words, sung as sweetly as any mountain bluebird might, open Daisy DeBolt''s latest release: "Just Mountain Songs". Once again, DeBolt proves that she is more than a fine craftsman; she is a poet, actor and musician with a voice that stings like nettles, and soothes like jewelweed as she guides us through this wild mountains of western Canada. The tinkly mandolin and high flying fiddle which accompany these first lyrics make it easy to imagine that we''ve just awakened at Heaven''s pearly gates. This is a DeBolt theme which goes back decades--that nature is Paradise, if only we have the eyes to see it.
Skeena segues smoothly into "Mandolin Gal," which yanks us abruptly back to earth with a recollection of a night of music-making in a smokey cowboy bar, and the sort of beer induced, yeehaw sexuality that thrives in the dark little hideaways. Here, and throughout the album, you can feel the sweat on dancers'' bodies, smell the blood of slaughtered sheep, taste the wild blackberries--all under the spell of those "Big Fellows," those great mountains.
Like all of Daisy''s work, "Just Mountain Songs" is hard to categorize. It moves easily from folk, to cabaret, to jazz, beat poetry and --dare I say it--musical theatre, and yet the album feels all of a piece. it has the excitement of a live album, but the sound is clear and bracing as a swim in one of those freezing mountain lakes. I can''t say enough about the other musicians in the two small ensembles whose performances were recorded for "Just Mountain Songs"; they''re all absolutely first rate. Bob Derkach, longtime DeBolt collaborator, was the album''s producer, arranger and mixing engineer( he played piano & accordion) and deserves a lot of credit for the great sound here. DeBolt''s poetry has the pure, raw beauty of mountain crystal, and Derkach provides the setting which lets her brilliance shine, and it is pure gold
Daisy, YOU take my breath away!
Mary Leary - https://www.tradebit.com - March 6, 2002
Just mountain songs perhaps, but DeBolt is no ordinary musician.
Recently I did a search for Daisy DeBolt''s trippily collaboration with Allan Fraser & Ian Guenther. While cult classic Fraser & DeBolt is still out of print, I''m delighted to report that DeBolt''s still kicking the stuffing out of anything resembling set musical categories.
A musician''s musician, DeBolt studied with the legendary guitar wizard Lenny Breau and has collaborated with or been backed by the cream of the progressive Folk/Jazz/Blues/Fusion musicians. Her eclectic recordings are unified by casually brilliant visions and a barrelhouse contralto that can dissolve into sultry smoke or blast out of the box, as often happens on her latest CD, Live Each Day With Soul.
That''s a good one to get if you want to feel like you''re in a club, hearing DeBolt tear into the Blues with a jazzy feeL.
But if you crave the over-the-edge-without-a -safety-net kick of Fraser & DeBolt "All This Paradise," I recommend another recent DeBolt release, Just Mountain Songs. Try to imagine a kaleidoscope quilt patching beautiful Folk and CLassical strains with "out" Jazz. This sounds at times rather like Tom Waits if he abandoned his cool stance, or Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht''s Three Penny Opera fast-forwarded a few decades. While Just Mountain Songs incorporates ethereal moments a la Vaughan Williams, this is no simple or well-worn evocation of the mountains, cowboys or the past. DeBolt''s eye for everyday miracles and horrors eschews politically correct fables for the hazier territory of ambiguous, varied human experiences.
The slightly dissonant rapture of opener "Skeena River of Mists" feels more like Fraser with DeBolt than any solo DeBolt I''ve heard on other tracks, wild blackberries nestle cool in the mouth, "Fancy Nancy will do anything to get high...anything to silence the wolf...and the dogs," and DeBolt, or some "fat woman," is insulted by/attracted to a Calgary barfly.
DeBolt isn''t afraid to be passionate or ridiculous. Some of her lyrical and instrumental risks go deep into subconscious and shadow-self territory. There''s exhilaration to be gleaned from her freckless inhalation of the natural world and her accounts of various characters, which are depicted in their frustrating and endearing reality, not touched up for easy consumption. We''ve grown accustomed to Pop artists who pretty up what pass for portraits of people and experiences. DeBolt disproves cliches and prejudices regarding musical genres, older people, large women, women and white people who sing the blues.
The fact that Just Mountain Songs was recorded live seems incredible until you see the list of players: Bob Derkach ( who co-wrote some of these compositions) on piano/ accordion/vocals, Phil Dwyer on saxes /flute, Larry Stanley keyboards/ vocals, George Koller on bass, and Rod Booth on violin. DeBolt plays mandolin and sings, narrates, roars, cries and does the spoken word bits.
DeBolt''s offhand comments seem as heartfelt, poetic and funny as her lyrics.
About Just Mountain Songs she said: "As Bobby mixed this we became so aware of the mountains speaking on the different instruments, the low rumbling~His feet in the earth, fireflies of light on the Skeena, arpeggios of moonrises and sunsets, playing the subplot, the notes between the thoughts."
The only thing missing from this Cd is a lyric sheet. I wish i could share more of DeBolt''s words with you, as I am rendered some-what inarticulate by this uncommonly musical journey. If you like music that takes the risks necessary to create something beautiful, poetic and offbeat, I hope you''ll take a chance on daisy.
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