Small Country Towns
Each of these songs is original, written by one of the band. Each has it's own story, based on some noteworthy event, person, or place. Some of the stories are obvious, such "Wheeler County Waltz," "Homeless and Lonely," "Rocks of Ages" (about the town of Fossil where Jay's family homesteaded 5 generations ago), or "Blond Haired Girl," about the Alexander's beloved golden lab "Maggie" who joined us on stage at the Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival in Fossil. Jay was inspired to write "Misty River" as a tribute to the Misty River Band, but the story in this song as well as in "This Old Fiddle" tells of his family's immigration to Oregon beginning in 1844. Eric wrote "Ethanol Blues" after he and Marlene visited their childhood territory in Missouri in 2007, when corn prices shot through the ceiling and every available piece of tillable ground was growing corn. "Road Kill" is from the classic bluegrass genre about love gone bad. Loren got his first mandolin AFTER joining the band, and shortly thereafter composed a sweet little tune that he named "Sally's Waltz". .He subsequently wrote "Larissa" named after a village in Greece in recognition of the Mediterranean flavor of this tune. "Who's the One to Blame" touches on some universal themes of Bluegrass and country music, but tells a true story, as so many songs do. And finally, the title track, "Small Country Towns" was written on the morning after the Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival, while Fossil was still slumbering after 3 wonderful days and nights of great music. We hope you enjoy listening to the music as much as we have enjoyed preparing it for you. Acknowledgements: Not long ago, four neighbors from Quincy Street in Bend, Oregon, discovered the fun of trying to make music together. But that alone could not bring us to where we are today-a bunch of old farts forming a fledgling band that has responded to requests for a recording of some of our songs by releasing our first CD. Carol Harley from the great Misty River Band has been an inspiration to all of us. It was Carol who introduced us to bluegrass summer school where we learned instrumental and vocal techniques from Laurie Lewis and the wonderful faculty at Steve Ruffo's "Bluegrass at the Beach." We also appreciate the constant support and encouragement we've received from some of our heroes like Dale Adkins whom we've seen playing in too many bands to list here; musician, sound engineer and promoter of bluegrass--Ken Cartright; and the crazy but wonderful guys of the Great Northern Planes. And especially, we thank our "band coach" Kate Mackenzie, who has taught us way more than we can enumerate here. We also thank our families and friends for encouragement and for listening to us.