Before It Was Blue
School in Wales during the 1950s was a miserable experience. The dark days of World War Two had left their mark. People were trying to get back to a semblance of normality, and my school was no exception. The school was a large early Victorian building with several classrooms with high vaulted ceilings; age had become the schools worst enemy. It was worn out old and tired. We marched into assembly every morning to our headmistress playing the piano. We sang the same hymns, said the same prayers and listened to the headmistress tell us things I soon forgot. Returning to our class rooms, we would get out our song books and sing, and sing, and sing some more, every single day. As children we all learned songs of one kind or another. I just wondered why the hell I was singing these songs at all. Looking back on those dismal days, it would have been hard to believe that fifty years later many of those old songs were to become such an important part of my life. I have grown to love, appreciate and respect the valuable heritage entrusted to me. Most of the songs on this recording I learned between the ages of five and ten, and I would like to think I sing them better now than then. The music's greatest blessings, and mine, are the two gentleman who have been accompanying me for the past fifteen years. Glen Bettencourt combines many bluegrass banjo styles with my traditional vocal and guitar styles to create a unique sound. Glen does what I can only dream of. He is without a doubt a musicians musician. Patrick Trihey, the only true Irish feller in the band, adds the kind of bass that makes you want to sit close to a fire in your local pub, on a cold winters night with a Guinness, nice and warm and cozy. Together we are Greengrass. Greengrass is a name given to us by our old friend Larry Murphy of Murphy's Irish Pub in Sonoma, CA. These recordings were done at Buzzard Studios, Napa, CA. The photos were taken by our good friend Judy Lowe. Jon Bettencourt, Kreative Korporation, designed the font and helped with the graphics. Glen Bettencourt produced the whole thing. To all the people who helped and encouraged us to do this album, many thanks. John D. Kelly.