Album #3 The Dissolution Wagon Liner Notes

We started choosing the songs for album #3 in 2000. Plans were made to start soon, but never got underway until late 2001. Greg laid down the basic rhythm tracks with keyboard in December after working with Dave on the tempos for each song. Most of the songs do not contain every known verse because of the time limits of the cassette version and the desire to include as many songs as possible on the album. There are so many good songs to choose from that itís always difficult picking the ones to record. This album is a mixture of basically three types of 19th century music. Military songs, parlor songs and minstrel songs. Each song was recorded one instrument and one vocal at a time. Our home studio (Roland VS-840-EX), one condenser microphone and a small recording space lend itself to this type recording technique. This is also the way our first two albums were recorded even though they were recorded in larger studio surroundings. After discussing a name for our 3rd recording, we finally went with the title of the 1st song on the album. The Dissolution Wagon was finished in July 2002 after many hours of studio time. As all of the band members have full time jobs and families, the recordings took place at night and on weekends whenever we had the time. The cover photo was taken in our Confederate camp at Shiloh NMP in April, during our annual living history there.

Instruments used on the album.

Greg uses a Korg O1W-FD keyboard for piano, harpsichord, hammered dulcimer, and bass. He plays a Gold Tone White Ladye open back banjo and a "Bob Flesher" fretless open back (period type) banjo. His guitar is an Epiphone classical style with nylon strings. Hohner harmonicas and a jaw harp from parts unknown.

Lee plays a "baby" Taylor guitar.

Dave plays an Epiphone mandolin.

Mike plays a fiddle of German origin made between 1820 and 1840. On "Rising of the Moon" he switches to a Guarnerius copy made around 1900. Mikeís banjo is an open back type made by Tommy George of Memphis.

Joe plays an Alpine Silver Flute, a Selmer Series 10 Clarinet and an Irish Crystal Fife (key of D).

Preston plays period type wooden bones and tambourine made by George Wunderlich. His drum is a copy of a civil war era rope tension marching drum. On some tracks he used a modern snare drum. The triangle brand is unknown and we usually use it to call us to dinner.

Note, Greg had learned how to play "clawhammer" style banjo by now and this is the style most used on the album.

Song #1. The Dissolution Wagon. Written by R.P. Buckley

The original version of this song was called Wait for the Wagon. The verses that we sing were written during the war to the same melody.

The Players

Dave sings lead on the first verse and melody on the choruses and plays mandolin. Lee sings lead on verse #2 and plays guitar. Greg plays keyboard and banjo and sings lead on the 3rd verse as well as handling the harmonies on the choruses. Preston sings lead on the 4th verse and plays the drum. Mike on fiddle and Joe on flute. Jason Wade (a part time performer with the band, and Daveís son-in-law) plays trumpet.

Song #2 Ring, Ring de Banjo. Written and composed by Stephen Foster in 1851

The Players

Greg sings lead on this one and plays two banjos. He also sings harmony with himself. Joe on flute, Mike on fiddle, Preston on bones and tambourine and Lee on guitar.

Song #3 All Quiet Along the Potomac To-night. Words: Ethel Lynn Beers; Music: John Hill Hewitt 1863

This was a poem set to music. It describes the lonely, sometimes dangerous job of the picket.

The Players

Dave sings lead and plays mandolin; Greg handles the harmonies, keyboard, guitar and harmonica. Joe on flute, Mike on fiddle, Lee on guitar

Song #4 Boys Keep Your Powder Dry. Written by FR. C. Mayer.

As the soldiers carried paper cartridges, they especially needed to keep them dry in order to fire their muskets.

The Players

Greg sings lead on this one and plays keyboard. Preston plays the drum and sings on the chorus. Jason Wade on trumpet. Joe on flute and Lee on guitar.

Song #5 Westphalia Waltz

This is a period waltz that we play many times for Grand Military Balls.

The Players

Joe plays two flute parts on this one. Mike plays two fiddle parts also. Greg on keyboard and guitar. Preston on triangle. Lee on guitar also.

Song #6 Old Joe Clark

The Players

Dave sings lead and plays mandolin. Mike on fiddle, Lee on guitar, Greg on harmonies and banjo, Preston on tambourine and Joe on flute.

Song #7 Gentle Annie. Written and composed by Stephen Foster in 1856.

The Players

Greg sings lead on this one and plays keyboard and guitar. Lee on guitar, Joe on clarinet, Preston on triangle and Dave on mandolin.

Song #8 The Rising of the Moon. Traditional IrishTune. Words by John Keegan Casey 1858

The Players

Dave sings lead and plays mandolin. Greg sings harmony and plays banjo and keyboard. Mike on fiddle Joe on twin fifes, Lee on guitar and Preston on the drum and tambourine.

Song #9 Cheer Boys Cheer (A Tribute to John Hunt Morgan)

The Players

Greg sings lead, plays keyboard and sings harmony with himself. Preston on the drum, Joe on flute, Lee on guitar

Song #10 The Vacant Chair. Written by George Root 1862

The Players

Dave sings lead on this one with Greg on harmonies. Greg plays keyboard, guitar and harmonica. Lee on guitar, Preston on triangle, Mike on fiddle, Joe on clarinet.

Song #11 The Glendy Burk. Written and composed by Stephen Foster in 1860.

The Players

Greg sings lead and harmony on this one. He also plays the banjo. Mike on fiddle, Joe on flute, Lee on guitar and Preston on bones and tambourine and Dave plays mandolin.

Song #12 Tenting on the Old Campground. Written by Walter Kittridge. 1864

We wanted to give this a "campfire sing along" feel to it by using the crickets and frog sounds and only two guitars with harmonica.

The Players

Dave sings lead joined by Lee and Greg on the second and succeeding verses. Greg sings the harmonies. Lee on guitar, Greg on guitar and harmonica.

Song #13 Nelly Bly. Written and Composed by Stephen Foster in 1850.

The Players

Greg sings lead (& whistles) and plays banjo, harmonica and jaw harp. Preston doubles the melody on the chorus and plays bones. Lee on guitar, Mike on fiddle, Joe on flute, Dave on mandolin.

Song #14 Hard Times Come Again No More. Written and composed by Stephen Foster in 1855.

This is a little faster than most versions you hear, but with our research, is closer to the original tempo.

The Players

Dave sings lead and plays mandolin. Greg on harmonies, keyboard and guitar. Lee on guitar, Mike on fiddle, J Joe on flute, Preston on triangle.

Song #15 Gary Owen.

This started out as an instrumental for the album, but vocals were added later.

The Players

Dave sings lead with Lee doubling on melody. Greg on harmonies and keyboard. Joe on twin fifes, Mike on fiddle, Preston on the drum and tambourine and Dave on mandolin.

Song #16 General Pikeís Dixie. Music by Dan Emmett and words by General Albert Pike

The Players

Greg sings lead on the first and third verses and harmony on the choruses and plays harmonica. Preston sings l ead on the second verse and plays tambourine and bones. Dave sings melody on the choruses. Lee on guitar, Mike on fiddle and banjo, Joe on flute and Jason Wade on trumpet.

Song #17 The Minstrel Skit

This is a combination of old corny jokes we enjoy using during live performances performed in the old minstrel style with Mr. Interlocutor asking the questions of the band members

The Players

Mr. Interlocutor, Greg Todd
Mr. Bones, Preston Todd
Mr. Tambo, Mike Kisner
Mr. Constitution, Dave Eason
Mr. Proclamation, Joe Skelley
Mr. Washington, Lee Millar
Exit music = Greg on guitar and banjo.

 

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