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THERE ARE a few artistic liberties taken here. This CD is a one-sided collaboration. It is unfortunate that Earl is not here to give his input to what I have done to his poetry & songs. Most likely he might smile and say, "That's real pretty, but I think you changed it for no good reason," or so I imagine. Oh, if he were alive today, that I might see his beaming grin, hear him recount a tale or bit of history, sing a song, perhaps even critque this work. But alas, memories, words and photographs are all that are left to tell those wonderful stories. So I leave the critque of this work up to the listener, in hopes that you will find as much joy in listening as I had in creating this CD.
IT WOULD BE neglectful of me not to thank all the kind people who have given me help & encouragement with this project. First, the Earl Shaffer Foundation for its permission to use Earl's verses & tunes. The ongoing encouragement of Chris "Spur" & Sanne "Ready" Bagby. Thanks for their input, the gift of a copy of "Calling Me Back to the Hills," and the many days' stay at their home that provided me with the muse & environment to work on a number of the tunes. Lastly, members of Earl's family who have given me assistance with the project, particularly, Earl's brother, John Shaffer, who proposed the concept and made available many of Earl's works. Many thanks to you all!
SONGS OF THE BLUE RIDGE RUNNER
Click on song titles below to hear a sample of each song
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1. BLUE RIDGE RUNNER: Words by Earl. Music by Takoma Tedd. Adapted from a four-verse poem by Earl.
2. WALKING WITH SPRING: Words by Earl. Music by Takoma Tedd. Taken from the quatrains that begin each chapter of Earl's book of the same name.
3. SUSQUEHANNA: One of Earl's many songs about rivers. I arranged the tune to celebrate the river which Earl liked so well!
4. ROBIN SINGING IN THE RAIN: Somehow I can see the robin on a branch whistling his chorus as Earl writes this tune.
5. KINZUA DEATH CHANT: Earl wrote this sad requiem for the Seneca Indians who were forced from their lands in the Kinzua Valley of western Pennsylvania so the valley could be flooded by the Kinzua Dam Project. (I added the last verse.) The arrangement is of my own persuasion.
6. CALLING ME BACK TO THE HILLS: Words by Earl. Music by Takoma Tedd. Earl wrote this poem while serving in the Pacific Theater during the second World War. I recite it to music here.
7. WANDERER'S QUEST: Verses by Earl. Music and chorus by Takoma Tedd. The first poem Earl ever wrote.
8. MOUNTAINEER MANIFESTO: Verses by Earl. Music and chorus by Takoma Tedd. A lyrical synopsis of Earl's philosophy of life.