Folk Festival Photo Collage
STAN ROGERS: An Interview at Mariposa, 1978
Reprinted from The Folk Life Quarterly, Vol. III, No 1
[We ran into Stan Rogers on the ferryboat from the Toronto Docks to Centre Island, perennial home of the Mariposa Folk Festival, and discussed with him my review of his first record, Fogartys Cove, a review which had appeared in Audio Magazine and in which I had fantasized what might have been Stans fate had a major record label rather than Mitch Podolak, organizer of the Winnipeg Folk Festival been involved in his recording career. After making a date for an interview later on, Stan handed me a copy of his new record, Turnaround, and we separated in the crowds streaming ashore on the island, heading for the distant festival grounds. With nowhere to stow the album, I carried it around with me for the rest of the day and I got a lesson in Canadian folkie popularity. People kept stopping me, saying, "Hey! Is that the new album? Can I see it for a minute?" And wed talk, and Id find out about the breadth of Stan Rogers appeal across Canada.
Its going to happen in this country too, especially after his appearance at the Philadelphia Folk Festival this August. You can bet that his version of Archie Fishers "Dark Eyed Molly" or the wistful title tune, "Turnaround," will turn some heads around even if you are a traditionalist who wont love his punk-folk version of "Oh. No, Not I!"
or his Tom-Scott-styled, "So Blue." In the meantime, heres some of his sharp insights, only mildly edited, so as not to get him into trouble with his mother, into life as a contemporary singer-songwriter, in the "Apathetic Seventies."]
John: I really liked that first album, as you know. How did that come about in the first place?
Stan: Well, its really quite a funny story. Actually, its not funny at all, its just a bit weird. Before Barn Swallow Records, I had three contracts. None of them went anywhere. The first one wanted to make me into a kind of Ray Stevens "Ahab the Arab" kind of thing? -- and the next one wanted me to cross over into the pop market for them, and the third had bad luck with investments and couldnt do anything with a high-risk project such as myself.
John: Oh they wanted to get an "Alan Lightstep," was that it?
Stan: Right! So a year and a half after the last one goes by, and I was playing at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Im walking around the site with Mitch Podolak, and he says, "Stan, how come you havent recorded?" So I said, "Well, thats a long story," and proceeded to tell him the story Ive just told you. And he says, "Well, youve got all these songs about the Maritimes why dont you do an album of them?" And I said, "Thats all well and good, but I dont have the kind of money it takes to make an album." And he said, "Look, Ill get the money, and Ill start a label, and Ill record you." And so the following September we went into the studio, and in two days we recorded the album."
John: Just like that. That Mitch Podolak hes something else again, isnt he? Let me ask you let me ask you did you have any sense when you were doing the record that it would come out so traditional sounding?
Stan: Not really. I did want to write stuff that did sound like what the people in the Maritimes play when theyre not playing country-and-western.
John: Six-guns and chaps at the C&W club on a Saturday night?
Stan: Youve got it. No, I wanted to write the kinds of songs that more closely reflected the Maritimes themselves than stuff Id heard before. There are fine Maritime writers, but they tend to write in a very uptown style they write pop songs about the Maritimes. I wanted to write "old" songs about them. I wanted to write some songs that would sound like anything from thirty to two hundred years old. "Fogartys Cove" was the first tune, and I did that mostly just to satisfy my aunt. Out of that tune, and out of the realization that I could write stuff like that, came the whole album. I think there were three songs on the album that were written within about three days of its being recorded. In fact, "The Wreck of the Athens Queen" I wrote as we were going to record it reading the lyrics off the music stand and it took us eleven takes to record that. "Giant" was written during rehearsals. "Fishermans Wharf" was written during the little "Band-aid" session, on a separate day apart from the main session.
John: Then theres the monster "Barretts Privateers." When was that written?
Stan: At the Northern Lights Folk Festival, in 76. I was hanging out with The Friends of Fiddlers Green that bunch of loonies.
John: Ive heard of them.
Stan: Rightly so. Theyre very sick men.
John: Tam Kearneys gonna come after ye wi a lumbers helper, Stan!
Stan: He knows what I think of him. He knows I love him. He also knows I think hes totally crazy. At any rate, I was hanging out with all those guys theyd rather sing than eat almost rather sing than drink and they were hanging out in their own rooms, all into singing sea-shanties. I loved the parts, it was great fun, but I wanted to sing lead and have them sing the harmonies for a change. But I didnt know any of these songs, because I was a total neophyte in traditional music still am, for that matter so I went back to my room and I thought over a story a poet friend had told me, about Nova Scotian privateering in the time of the American Revolutionary War. I got this little bit of a tune running through my head, and twenty minutes later I had "Barretts Privateers" written down. I went back to the room where the Friends all were, and said, "Hey-hey!
Ive got a new song!" And Tom Kearney said, "Aw folk! Rogers is gonnae make us a cry again!" And I said, "No! No! You dont understand! This is a different kind of song!" So I started singing it, and by the time I got to the second chorus, they were all crowded around, reading the page over my shoulder, and singing perfect bloody harmonies! So I knew that the song had satisfied my desires. I never expected it to go beyond that point I just wanted a song that I could sing lead on that one night. Since then, it has taken off.
John: Or taken over. That was one of the things that did come up in your on-the-air conversation with Gene Shay down in Philadelphia last Winter that in away you wouldnt mind being "the last of Barretts Privateers," if it tended to identify you too closely with that one song.
John: Because I know that when you sang "Forty Five Years" to Archie Fisher last year, in the hotel room, he just rocked back, closed his eyes, and got this big grin from ear to ear. As far as Archie Fisher is concerned, youve got a lot more going for you than one song. Theres "Make and Break Harbour," which hes pretty much adopted for himself.
Stan: I havent heard him do that, though Id love to.
John: Yeah, its a lovely setting, with just his guitar.
Stan: You know, there is one singer-songwriter-performer if he wasnt such a down-to-earth guy, I would just set him up on a pedestal and worship him.
John: I know what he would say to that "Och, come oan, Jimmy ! (Laughter)
Stan: Well, hes just tremendously well-respected, his songwriting is so perfectly crafted, its carefully researched, he does think carefully about what he sings, hes a tremendous instrumentalist.
John: Is that why you have his "Dark Eyed Molly" as the opening song on your new album?
Stan: Yeah. Im just crazy about his songs. But that was the first one of his I learned. If Id known the other two of his Ive learned since we went in to record the album, theyd have been on there too.
John: Which ones are those?
Stan: "The Witch of the West-mereLand," and also "The Final Trawl." We do that one as a shanty "Its been three long years since we made her pay ." [Singing] We just put that one together recently.
John: Tell me about some of the others on this new record.
Stan: OK. "Oh, No, Not I," we got from a Folk Legacy recording, with Margaret Christl, Ian Robb and Grit Laskin. Since then Ive heard Ian Robb do it, and Im anxious for him to hear this version we re-arranged it, a la Steeleye Span. And "Second Effort" I wrote for a CBC folk opera, So hard to be so Strong, about the Olympic Games. And "Bluenose" was written for a Nova Scotia government film, about the reproduction, Bluenose II, of the Grand Banks schooner, Bluenose. We recorded it for the film, then we liked the tune so much we decided to put it on the album. "The Jeanie C" I wrote in December, about a Cape Islander fishing boat. And "So Blue" was written on the Ocean Limited, between Montreal and Halifax we set it up as a sort of take-off on Joni Mitchell with Tom Scotts LA Express
John: Oh gawd!
Stan: That kind of thing seemed to suggest itself on the train and theres a line in there,
"I want to listen to Joni Mitchell on the radio and make love ."
John: To Joni Mitchell?
Stan: Oh, no, no no!
John: Sorry. Sorry, Mrs. Rogers (Stans wife, sitting near us, joins in the laughter).
Stan: "Front Runner" is also from that CBC folk-opera about the Olympics, and its a straight-ahead, hard-core, country-and-western waltz tune, with a Dobro and electric guitar and wailing back-up vocals.
John: Dobro? All right!
Stan: "Song of the Candle" I wrote in 1972, in London, the result of a very hard night trying to write a song the night before. You know, when you sit down to write and nothing comes out and you spend a white night because of it, and watch the sun come up and realize that nothing has been done. That old burned-out, tired and wasted feeling. Its essentially that trip, but done in a soft ballad way. "Try Like the Devil" is sort of a hard-edged blues, a white blues, almost Ray Charles style about being a folk musician playing in bars. And "Turnaround" is probably the oldest song in existence.
John: Youve thrown away a lot over the years, I guess.
Stan: Oh sure, a lot have just fallen away.
John: Or you lost them?
Stan: Well, you know, my mother has most of them.
John: She would! (Laughter)
Stan: The way "Turnaround" got on the album is really interesting. Id forgotten it ever existed, and one night after we were finished we were downstairs, in the living quarters below the studio, and Mike Curry, our Spiritual Advisor he advises us on matters of spirits picked up my brothers guitar and just started playing this old song of mine. He made it sound so good, and it fitted in so well with what we conceived this album to be, that the next night we went into the studio and recorded it.
John: Would you say theres fairly heavy instrumentation on this album?
Stan: It varies. It goes from myself and one guitar, al the way up to my screaming rock-and-roll band. For example, "Dark Eyed Molly" is done with guitar, violin, bandura and bass.
John: Ken Blooms bandura?
Stan: Ken Bloom, right! And "Oh No, Not I" is done up with electric guitar, Northumbrian small-pipes, electric violin, drums, bass and vocals. "Second Effort" has three acoustic guitars and violins. Theres a violin on digital delay on "Bluenose" an interesting effect, something like seagulls. "So Blue" has a soprano saxophone and backup vocals, besides electric guitar and drums. But then "Turnaround" is done with just two acoustic guitars.
John: Were these pre-arranged, or did this come up in the studio?
Stan: No, the album is 99% what I first heard when I conceived the songs.
John: Are you happier with this album?
Stan: Very much so. The arrangements are better and more sophisticated. Also, the songs tend to show the other side of me. I mean, Im very much interested in traditional music, and I hear more and more of it all the time. Ive written a new song, "The Flowers of Bermuda," which sounds like another of those "traditional" songs. But Im also a contemporary writer, and popularity such as Fogartys Cove got me also gave some of the people who heard it the wrong impression. They kind of got the idea I was strictly a singer of the traditional-sounding songs, and I dont want to get myself locked into that.
I want to do popular music, pop-folk, too.
John: Do you see yourself as a folksinger?
Stan: Yes, but theres all kinds of folks, and all kinds of singers. I a sense I feel akin to the Watersons, but in a sense I feel akin to people like Gordon Lightfoot too. Im very much a contemporary writer, although I do love traditional music.
John: Speaking of that I heard someone this morning say you were into publishing now.
Stan: I have a publishing company, my own record-label, a mail-order distribution outlet.
John: Traditional music?
Stan: No, I set up my own publishing company to manage my own music.
John: To prevent yourself getting ripped off?
Stan: To have more control, yes.
John: What direction do you think youre heading in?
Stan: Towards some kind of wider public acceptance. I see myself doing a lot more concerts its probably going to mean some changes. Ill probably still be playing small clubs and small concerts even the occasional bar, if I like the place but Im going to become a more sophisticated performer, I think.
John: Do you expect to be coming down to the USA more often?
Stan: Oh yes. Ive a couple of tours in the Fall, well be down in Philly for the festival, and again in October? You know Caryl Weiss?
John: The girl with the Vega that you lifted out of the snowbank to get to Gene Shays show? Sure.
Stan: Well, Caryls doing our booking down there, and shes doing a marvelous job of it. Shes never told me a lie, and shes a hard worker.
John: She delivers.
Stan: She delivers. Thats right. Shes never let me down, and shes a neat lady to hang out with. She doesnt drink much, but she just gets funnier and funnier. She doesnt get sloppy or stupid.
John: Coming from Stan Rogers a great recommendation! Let me ask you, are there any other musicians youd like to work with in the future that you havent had on any album yet?
Stan: Holy mackerel! Archie Fisher, for sure. Id like to get hold of the various members of Steeleye Span and work with them. Martin Carthy, for sure. Theres a lot of British traditionalists and revival people Id like to work with. Theres also a lot of rock-and-rollers Id like to work with too.
John: Such as?
Stan: Oh, a guy called Rick Taylor. Id like to get to know Kelly Jay, from Crowbar, a little better. It was an influential rock-and-roll band up here for a while? Id like to get into blues.
John: Taj Mahal?
Stan: Taj Mahal! Of course Taj but also Johnny Shines?
John: Sure he has an album on Biograph with David Bromberg and his band.
Stan: Bromberg is another guy Id like to see more of. He had a workshop at Mariposa last year Estelle Klein was astounded. I think it was called "Modern Songs in the Traditional Idiom," and my band and Bromberg, and the Balfa Brothers all went on and did Beatles tunes!
Stan: Oh no [Singing] "Ive got something to tell you" and Garnet and I going, "Gonna let you down, and leave you flat!" people just loved it.
John: The audience is cracking up over Steve Goodman doing "Stagolee" this afternoon.
Stan: The thing I love most about folk music is that anything goes absolutely anything goes. And long as you dont get too stiff-necked about it.
John: You know, this does bother some people sometimes, when they think of folk music as trying to take over the world. Everything is folk jazz is folk music, bluegrass is folk music rock and roll is folk music thats empire building.
Stan: Oh! Why put limitations on music. I like singing bluegrass and I like the stuff Im doing now. Take The Seldom Scene if ever there was a synthesis of jazz with bluegrass, thats it. Look at Eddie Adcock, with the Second Generation. All those bands grew out of the original Country Gentlemen.
John: Washington, DC bands.
Stan: Right. Now, the way we go at it is a synthesis of bluegrass and rock-and-roll. Space-rock-bluegrass. I think things of that kind are really exciting. Thats why I get awfully frustrated when I get cornered by some traditionalist who tells me Im all wrong for putting an electric bass on a tune.
John: How could you stop yourself?
Stan: Right! How could I stop myself, if thats the very sound I want?
John: I wouldnt want to argue the toss with you!
Stan: Well, John, I dont see the sense in putting limits on what you do. The more experimentation, the more exciting the music is. The more youll be able to accomplish.
There is something to be said for pure preservation. But I found outfits like Fairport and Steeleye Span and over here, groups like Barde and Figgy Duff to be really exciting.
Theyre making the music real to us, and exciting again.
John: Let me ask you, how would you describe your own singing style, in that context?
Stan: Florid! (laughing) Well, Im an untrained baritone, which means I dont have a whole lot of flexibility. I cant rip off a lot of vocal pyrotechnics. I do have decent control, and a reasonable dynamic range. I dont have a very agile voice. I also like good diction. If you care about diction, and you have a clumsy mouth, naturally you sing things straight. I do play with tone going for a hard edge one time, a softer, more mellow tone another time. Its a matter of diaphragm pressure, altering the shape of my mouth.
John: Do you think you have more flexible control, or more range available to you, when youre playing with other instruments?
Stan: Oh yeah! I still do enjoy songs with a solo guitar, and lately Ive been caught up with a capella singing thats the greatest challenge of all, to make instruments unnecessary. But I also like to use instruments, depending on what the song is, what my feeling is. I like the big band sound. Once again, its a case where an audience can fall into the trap of trying to fossilize their favorite performer. They find a guy or an act they like, and they want to freeze it forever. Now, I dont see that as being healthy. Its one of the ways theyre killing folk music. Once a song is in print written down, or collected by a folklorist they insist that if anyone performs that song they do it in exactly the same way. So that song is stopped dead, and isnt allowed to go through its various changes.
John: The best folklorists I know are in fact fascinated by that fact and I think performance analysis offers a clue as to how and why it happens. The best people I know are fascinated by the variants, and they dont insist that people come back into the museum to see if they can live amongst what once existed.
Stan: Well, its happened to me more times than enough, which leads me to be very wary of your basic folklorist your basic hidebound traditionalist. Thats why I tend to get off on Tom Kearney and those guys Friends of Fiddlers Green. Theyre very loose people, and if a song is good thats all they care about. They love traditional music, and they certainly perform it very well. Let me tell you a story, John this is true, and its a neat story. Some folklorist went up to Quebec, and he hunted up this old fellow in this backward village, and he asked him, "Sing me some of the old songs floating around in your family." The old fellow said, "Heres a song taught me by my uncle," and proceeds to sing this lovely old song that the folklorist had never heard of before. "Thats a fine tune," he says. "Now sing me another one." "Okay," the old fellow says. "Ill sing you one my mother taught me." "Oh, this is great," says the folklorist, and he switched on his tape-recorder. And the old man rears back and goes into [singing] "Please release me, let me go " [Laughter]
John: Must have bummed out the folklorist.
Stan: Sure did. But see, to the real people, who lived with the music, and to who it is a part of their lives they make no distinction between a song which is two years old and one that is two hundred years old. If they enjoy it, that is the only criterion a good song is a good song.
John: I think most folklorists would be fascinated by someone like yourself, who has what I think they would call the "ventriloqual" ability, to compose songs that sound old the minute theyre written.
Stan: Sure but they also hate it!
John: Confuses the texts? [Laughter]
Stan: Sure. Emily Freedman talks a lot about the frustrations of people who stumble over Ewan MacColl songs which have somehow slipped into the tradition. To a hard-core traditionalist, this is heresy. Trying to slip a modern song into the traditional repertoire ands fool a folklorist! [Laughter]
John: I think of the Ewan MacColl song, "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," and how Ive heard a lot of the singers doing that amongst themselves. But theyre not changing the words or the melody much. Is that one difference?
Stan: Well, a lot of peoples songs are going to go into the tradition. Cyril Tawney is an obvious example. I mean, "Sammys Bar" is a classic. It cant be resisted. But I guess if you define traditional music as music that outlasts its author, then I guess Cyril Tawney is going to have to die and his name is going to have to be forgotten, and then "Sammys Bar" can be a traditional song.
John: Robert Frost says at one place that the way you can tell if poetry is going to last is not to wait and see. Its the effect it has on you the first time you hear it your hair stands on end. "Barretts Privateers" did that to me.
Stan: Theres all kinds of arguments about it, and I find myself caught in the middle, between my traditionalist friends whod like me to do more traditional material, and my contemporary friends who wonder what Im doing back among this old stuff. Me, I just have to do the songs I like, thats the only criterion.
John: Do you find yourself defined by your songs as a "Canadian"?
Stan: Oh yes. I am a Canadian, so of course my songs will do that.
John: I was curious, because on the way up here, on that superhighway to Toronto, wed pass some old barn off in the fields, and theyd be tearing it down for a McDonalds or something just the way theyve been doing down in Pennsylvania until very recently. And some of your songs like "Rawdon Hills" make me feel you care about he passing of that old Canada in fairly profound ways.
Stan: I quite think so. This is why I write about the passing of the inshore fisheries. Its a shame its dying, and youd like to preserve some part of it. And if it can only be preserved in song, so be it. But somebody should be able to tell that story. Id like to think that somebody a hundred years from now could run across "Make and Break Harbour," and find out something of what it was like to be around during the dying of the inshore fisheries.
John: Sounds as if folksong can only be a witness of that change, it cant be an agent of change.
Stan: Well, Im a folksinger of the Apathetic Seventies, you know. Im not a wild-eyed
idealist, like some of the singers were in the 60s. People dont want to hear that kind of thing in the 70s, either. I find myself more or less in the role of observer. I try not to editorialize too much, though I do do it. For example, in the last verse of "Make and Break Harbour" "I can see the big draggers whove stirred up the bay, the lobster traps smashed on the bottom Can they think it dont pay to respect the old ways that Make and Break Men havent forgotten?" To an extent thats editorializing. But Im not condemning the ways of change so much, as Im mourning the passing of the old life.
John: The song I think of in relation to that is Archie Fishers "Men of Worth," and in that song he seems to be trying to warn men about it, to stop it before its too late. Once its done, you cant go back,
Stan: I see the change as being inevitable. The simple fact is that the North Atlantic is being fished out. Theres not much anyone can do about that except stop fishing, but people love to eat fish. Theres not much anyone can do about it, and the role I see for myself is writing songs to preserve something of it.
John: What is it that you want to see kept?
Stan: I essentially like the kind of people they were. Theres something about going out in a small boat, risking your life daily to make a living, through all kinds of weather, taking whatever fortune or misfortune comes to you, that appeals to me. The people who are or were involved in it were more warm, more open and more kind. What can I say? There seems to be more virtue in what they do, when people put their lives on the line for way of life all the time. And they do it in such a matter-of-fact way, they dont even seem to realize its a brave thing theyre doing. Its a dangerous occupation, but their families have done it for generations, why should they be any different? I see that as quite beautiful. The people are beautiful. I just spent two and a half weeks among them, and came back with my head reeling. We dont see that kind of beauty in urban areas any more. Now theres an inshore fisheries to some extent, because people will still continue to go out in small boats and catch the odd bit of fish. But there is only one boat shop in all of Eastern North America now thats building Cape Islanders.
John: I know that Pete Seeger is getting into this, getting people to build small boats. Its part of the whole Clearwater thing, of course. Do you think that the kind of personal character can be found in different life-situations, or do you think that kind of person is inevitably passing away along with the fisheries?
Stan: Well, I find less and less heroism in lives of people, if thats an answer to your question. More and more our lives are being protected and regulated, and its becoming more and more easy for you physically to obtain a living. Less and less are we having to go out and slug it out in ditches, making little ones out of big ones to earn a living. More and more machinery is doing that kind of job. Thats essentially whats happened to the fishing industry. Instead of the man going out and setting his long lines and his small trawl from a Cape Islander, now theyre out in 150 foot trawlers, in draggers, doing it from there.
John: You know John Jackson, the bluesman from Virginia? Hes a gravedigger, and he used to do it with a pick and shovel. Now hes got a front-end loader. But he still has the same sense of humor about digging graves. I asked him once about the connections I saw between the blues and his job, and he laughed at me "Theyre dead already theyre the ones cant hurt you!" [Laughter] So to him, pick and shovel, front-end loader, makes no difference, its the same old job.
Stan: But I think you can see the change in values of people all up the East Coast. More new cars, TVs, CB radios, discos in town even C&W is being replaced by rock-and-roll. To a certain extent, folk music once again is respectable its clean, its harmless.
It wasnt in the 60s, as most people understood it it was protest songs. Real traditional music had a helluvah time in the 60s.
John: Is it possible to regard the current folk music scene as being in some sense a scaled-down version of Woodstock, laid on end all Summer long?
Stan: Not in my head it isnt. But it is respectable, its clean, its harmless, its entertaining, theres a lot of variety in it. Look at this festival, for instance. I just watched a workshop with Willie P. Bennett, Peter Bellamy, Mary McCaslin, and those three girls?
John: Huxtable-Christensen-Hood barbershop singing at a folk festival?
Stan: Yeah! Willie Bennett is a rockabilly writer, Mary McCaslin is a country-to-contemporary writer and singer, Peter Bellamy is very much a new traditional singer
John: He has a couple of interesting albums, on the songs of Rudyard Kipling, on Innisfree Records.
Stan: I dont know this trio of girls, I never heard of them before, but they were good.
And here they all were, in a workshop together, and you couldnt have asked for more diverse styles. Oh, and Grit Laskin was there too!
John: "The Masked Luthier of Dupont Street?"
Stan: Right. And hes another guy who writes old-sounding songs.
John: Like his "Broken Token Ballad" to end all broken token ballads. Do you think theres something about the location of the Mariposa Folk Festival, so close to the US border, that affects the program? The availability of the performers?
Stan: It certainly has a bearing on the programming, so many people are accessible to the planners. One of the questions for the planners of a big festival like this is what its going to cost to get all these people to the same place. And the closer you are to the big knots of performers the better off you are. This is pretty central not so far from New York, or Chicago, or Philadelphia, where a lot of folkies are.
John: Not so hard as for Winnipeg, for example?
Stan: Well, Winnipeg is actually fairly central to all of Canada, when it comes down to it, so youll find Winnipeg having a more even representation of Canadian performers than Mariposa, for that reason.
John: I also think there are a lot of US citizens in this audience, because of its accessibility to the Eastern US, and theyre getting an exposure to Canada that they couldnt get otherwise and to Canadian performers.
Stan: Well, Teresa Pyott from the Philadelphia Folk Festival heard me here, and as a result I got down to Philly a couple of times, and now Im playing the Philadelphia Folk Festival this year.
John: She just responds to fine voices, she loves singing.
Stan: Shes a fine singer in her own right, too. I have one of the groupie T-shirts for the Liverpool Judies.
John: They do a great job on "Barretts Privateers."
Stan: Well, that song has certainly done well for me.
John: Youre not ungrateful?
Stan: Certainly not. As a matter of fact, I have another chorus song in mind, when I get the chance to sit down and work it all out.
John: So there are other albums in the works?
Stan: Sure. Next time, to satisfy the trad types,
Id like to do an album of nothing but purely traditional music. And Ill also do an album of purely contemporary music.
John: A double album?
Stan: No -- two albums and then just become as schizzy as possible! [Laughter]
John: In closing, would you define yourself more as a traditional singer, or more as a contemporary singer or does it depend on what you had for breakfast this morning?
Stan: Right it all depends on what I had for breakfast this morning. My favorite album of the last week was Paul Brady and Andy Irvine. What does that say?
John: It says "Irish music strikes again"!
Stan: Its a great album. My brother and I have a duet guitar version of "Arthur McBride" from that album all worked out. "Oh, me and McBride ." [singing].
[ And we closed the interview on that note. Garnet, his brother, has gone on from strength to strength since the untimely death of Stan, in 1983, a death we all still mourn. Stans music can be found on the website of the company founded by his wife, Ariel, after his death, and Garnets music is on his own website, the company founded by his mother, Valerie, who had been the mainstay of Stans publishing and recording efforts, before. It Caryl Weiss who broke the news of Stans death to me, of his being trapped in a plane fire on the ground while helping other people escape, his great voice roaring in the smoke-filled plane, "Let me help you!" Its with that image that Id like to close this time with Stan, whom I miss like a brother to this day.]