Q&A July 2013, Part II
8/7/2013 (updated 8/7/2013)

I caught your show in Solana Beach a few weeks back and it was awesome as usual. I LOVED when you threw in the passing phrases from "Peter and the Wolf" on your Lowden. It got me thinking how cool it would be to hear a complete symphony (such as Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf) played with your unique arragement style, similar to the way you and Fairport tackled the traditional songs. Have you ever thought about taking on any of the classic classical pieces? I loved Cabaret of Souls by the way! Thanks much! - Dan Mahin, Carlsbad, Ca

The trouble with that classical stuff is that it is so darned complicated. You would need a lot of musicians to play even a reduction of a piece like Peter and the Wolf, and it would probably have the texture of broken glass. Most attempts to 'rock' classical music end up as pretentious crap. Dangerous territory!


I was fortunate enough to see Wizz Jones recently, playing the in back room of a Dorset country pub to 30 or so people. He's mentioned in Keith Richards' autobiography (many people are...) and Springsteen opened a show in Germany with one of his songs. He deserves greater exposure - this was Glastonbury weekend, and the Rolling Stones were playing to a lot more than 30 people. Did your paths cross at all? Regards, Mark

I don't know Wizz at all, but he had already been there a while when I started to go to folk clubs, and I'm delighted that he's still doing it. He was surely an influence on a lot of players.

You are without question one of the most gifted songwriters of our time, and your writing (as well as your guitar playing) seems to be getting stronger. When I listen to your songs I cannot help but be reminded of the greatness of the Louvin Brothers. Is your songwriting influenced by them? What is your opinion of Charlie and Ira as songwriters, musicians and singers? Have you ever performed any of their songs in concert? Please come back to Philadelphia soon as a headliner! Thank you, TPD

I came to the Louvins fairly late, so I probably got their influence more through the Everlys. They wrote great stuff, and I count myself a fan. We'll be at the Philly Folk Festival on 16th August.

Would I be correct in saying that Buddy Miller plays a solo on "Will You Dance, Charlie Boy?"  If so, can you recall if another individual has ever played a guitar solo on one of your recorded songs? Many thanks. Brian Jacobs

Yes, Buddy does play a distinctly 'Buddy-esque' solo - many are called, but few are chosen…

As a Yank who is mostly-but-not-entirely unfamiliar with the sport of cricket, I would like to know your opinion of the Duckworth Lewis Method (the pop group, not the mathematical formula). I know they appeared at the Meltdown you curated, but I'm curious as to how you feel about the job they did (and did again on their new CD) creating pop songs about cricket (or using cricket terminology for other ends). Also, will you be bringing the Trio back to Northern California (and, specifically, the Bay Area) anytime soon? Thank you, as always, for your music and your thoughts. Pat Healy, Vallejo, CA

P.S. If you have any thoughts to share about the actual mathematical formula mentioned above, I would enjoy hearing those, as well.

Very few songs get written about cricket. Perhaps the very understated nature of the game precludes sing-alongs and boisterous celebrations of any kind, so there are few outlets for the performance of a good cricketing song. All the more value added, then, to Duckworth Lewis, who have found ways and means to write, record and perform their valuable contributions to the genre - indeed, they are the only artists in the genre.

As for the mathematical formula for deciding the results of weather-affected cricket matches, there is nothing I can say on the subject. I am as baffled as a centipede in a shoe shop. That it works, I have no doubt. That it is impenetrably difficult to understand, I bear witness. Yet everyone seems to accept its results with good grace.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass could be a possibility.

I had many unforgettable experiences at F&R 2013. I didn't think it could possibly top the inaugural F&R, but it did! I'm curious to know what YOU enjoyed most about camp. Also, did you see any interesting wildlife at Full Moon - besides the frogs in the pond?

I get great satisfaction from seeing happy students and fulfilled teachers. Of course I enjoy my own classes, but I get the greatest pleasure from sensing that the overall aim of the camp is achieving its goals.