Q&A December, Part II
1/19/2011 (updated 2/27/2011)

By the way, Dream Attic has loads of great songs and great cover art!  What's the wrapped package at the right side of the front cover? My guess is a hurdy gurdy.  Did you personally select all the represented objects, e.g., the photo of Chairman Mao? Thanks! Bob P., Chicago Illinois

I selected the objects, but a couple of things couldn't be located, so Tornado design came up with substitutes. Chairman Mao was all mine.

I adore those newest pictures of the Cabaret of Souls, the ones from Royce Hall. Fantastic!!! The theatricality was, I strongly suspect, just what the audience needed to get them out of concert mode and into the else-where of the piece's musical limbo. Is there any chance this new, theatrical version is going to be performed in the northeast? Like, say, three nights at Harvard's Sanders Theatre? [Wouldn't that be IDEAL???] Any chance my fond fantasy might become a reality? -- And if that won't work, what about a short Northeast run of the Globe [Nutmeg and Ginger] show? love, Joanne Dexter

What lovely suggestions! 3 nights at the Sanders -  perfect! The main problem with staging Cabaret of Souls is the expense - this is a costly undertaking. 18 musicians plus conductor, plus costume, make up, sound, lights, stage crew. We are looking to do a run somewhere, in a larger city, where the one-off expenses can be amortised (is that the word?) somewhat. Nutmeg and Ginger would be fun to bring to the US. No plans at this stage.

1973 was the year I discovered Fairport and saw the wonderful and much missed David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. Nutmeg and Ginger was therefore an absolute must and thank you for such a marvelous concert at the Cadogan Hall last night. I do hope that the "maybe" you answered to an audience question turns into a "yes" and that you can persuade someone of the commercial viability of issuing a recording.  These are wonderful songs and dance tunes and both they and the astonishing musicianship of the Musicians of the Globe deserve a much wider audience.

There is a recording. No release plans yet.

Some of the songs struck me as being extremely difficult technically. Not so much in their vocal range as in the sheer number of syllables to the bar. How did you train for them?

Sometimes the tunes come from one source, and the words from another, and they don't always seem to line up. There are three or four songs in that set that have very dense lyrics, almost unsingable. Leading me to wonder of they were sung slower, or was more liberty taken with the phrasing? Really tough to sing -  I had to mark breathing points and not miss them!

The renaissance guitar that you played is a beautiful instrument and it was fascinating to contrast your playing style with that of Lynda. How difficult was it to adapt your playing to this instrument and will you be using it on future recordings? Once again, many thanks for an enchanting evening and I look forward to a very different experience next month in Aylesbury. With best wishes, Wilson Cotton

It's a whole different feel, gut-strung with very light tension, 8 strings in four courses, tuned like the top 4 strings of the guitar, but up a fourth ( but then down a tone, being in early pitch, i.e. A = 392). A beautiful sound, best played finger-style. I thought it worked with the lute and bandora, being higher than both. That instrument is owned by Phil Pickett, and if I asked him nicely, he might let me borrow it for some future recording project!

I escorted my mom to her first RT Experience this past November in Pittsburgh, and she seemed to like it very much.  After the quick first wave of impact ("Look how long his legs are!") she fairly determined that, "He's like Hendrix, without the drugs."  WHOA. Come Up For Air, Mom!  If I could ever wash away my teenage memory of her confusing Hendrix with Lynyrd Skynyrd 20 years ago, I'd be recruiting You (RT) right now to help gold-brick her path to the Cool Mom Hall of Fame.  Luckily, instead I just promised her that I would pass along the question she asked that evening:  "Nice harmonies!  Who is singing bass on "A Brother Slips Away?"

Congratulations on your recent Grammy nomination, and many thanks for all you do! Ann Barish, Arlington, VA

Your Mum sounds very cool. It is Joel Zifkin singing the bass part on 'A Brother Slips Away'.

The first time I saw you was on the TNT Joni Mitchell Tribute.  My question is about your arrangement of Woodstock.  What tuning is that played in? Thanks! Sam Stone

It's played in DADGAD. I had one hour to learn the song (Stone Temple Pilots didn't make the show) so I had to make some quick arrangement decisions.

This may sound stupid but is "Too Late to Come Fishin' " about Raquel Welch? "And you were type-cast as the Stone Age charmer In that Darwin docudrama" Don't know why it made me think that. Howard Bernstein Des Moines, Iowa

Only in the sense that everything I write is about Raquel Welch. Really I had someone rather more reptilian in mind.

Re: Lovely song you sang in French
I heard a beautiful song you sang in French, played on WXPN in Philadelphia - What's is called and what CD is it on? I'd love to get a copy. Thanks! Robin Millar

I'm not terribly sure what this would be - I don't sing a lot in French, well, not outside the shower, anyway. Maybe it's 'Ja Nuls Hom Pris', written by King Richard 1, when he was imprisoned in Austria. I don't think it is on a recording. We perform it in the '1000 Years Of Popular Music' show sometimes.

Since we posted Richard's response on January 19th, another fan kindly wrote us and suggested: "Another candidate for the lovely French song: perhaps it was Les Flammes de'Enfer from the Evangeline Made Cajun tribute album?"