2005 Answers to Your Questions II
1/13/2005 (updated 1/13/2005)

Frances Taylor: This is from Britain's most northerly outpost, Shetland. Please can you come and play a gig here. You would be made most welcome. Although the venue would be small, you would, I promise, have a great time. There is a huge tradition of music here and everyone loves a good tune! Please consider. Most grateful. Kind regards

I have been invited to play the Shetland Folk Festival a few times, and one year I’ll make it. Thank you for waiting. Of course I’m aware of Shetland’s fantastic musical heritage.

Allan Steele: Hi There, Can you tell me if Richard is touring the UK next year. (2005) and if so will he be in the North East of England (Newcastle or South Shields). There were a lot of disappointed fans when he missed the region with his 2004 tour.

I Shall be playing Newcastle, at that new hall (forget the name) in either late ’05 or early ’06. See you there…

don lennon: richard i took my daughter to see the tarrytown show and she was disappointed that you didn't play waiting at the church. i hope you include it on the dvd. she was surprised that one of her dads favorites would play a "modern" song that you ended that show with, but the name escapes me. great show as was the irving plaza show in june. are you going to play the IMAC in huntington and have you considered bb kings club in times square? Thanks.

Please tell your daughter that I really appreciate her musical taste – that’s a good song for a kid to get into! The modern song was presumably ‘1985’ by Bowling For Soup.

Simon Hardy: Hi, Is the version of "She May Call You Up Tonight" on "the Chrono show" the same as on "Celtschmerz" - it really sounds the same and not a new recording - or am I going mad? My recollection of the Royal Tonbridge Wells show this summer was that it is better than the ones recorded on Chrono shows - maybe a double CD's worth!

It is different, but similar, or similarly different. If I’d thought about it, I could have left the version off the Chrono Show – I had forgotten it was on Celtschmerz.

Cyrus Won: Richard, I saw both your solo shows in Honolulu and was so impressed by your guitar work that I'm wondering if there are plans to release any DVD of a solo date. And what titles will be on the upcoming solo acoustic CD? Also, are you aware of a song "Down by the Greenwood Side" which appears on an old Joan Baez album which tells the same story of the mother who kills her two babies? Different tune, but same story, down to the thorn bush.

Tim: RT, where can I find a decent version of the Cruel Mother ballad you sang for the 1,000 years show in Boulder?

No plans at present to release a solo DVD, as we have three released or pending – but definitely down the road. ‘The Greenwood Side’ is another version of a very large family of songs which also includes ‘Bonny St. Johnstone’. Common threads are the cruel mother, the murder of the babies, the babies returning as ghosts, and divine retribution on the mother. Our version of ‘Bonny St. Johnstone’ will be on the upcoming ‘1000 Years’ DVD, available in ’05.

Stephen Gilmour: Richard, I went with my wife a few months ago to the Fleadh festival in London– primarily to see one of my other favourite artists – Christy Moore. He did the most wonderful rendition of Beeswing – and paid you handsome compliments to your unique songwriting ability. What is your opinion of Christy (and Planxty) – any chance of you two playing or recording together at some point – it would be a lovely union.

Christy is one of the greatest singers I’ve ever heard, a fantastic interpreter of a song. He’s also one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet. And surely Planxty was the pinnacle of Irish traditional groups? Two killer singers, the best piper around, and the master blender in the background. I’m honoured that Christy would sing a song of mine, and I don’t have to hear it to know he’ll nail it better than anyone.

Brian Selway: Richard, I have been dying to ask you a question regarding the lyrics of Beeswing. As a child growing up in the 50s I used to help my mother push a "tansad" full of dirty washing every week to the steamie in Caldrum Street in Dundee. When I first heard Beeswing and the reference to the steamie in Cauldrum Street it totally blew me away and now thanks to the wonders of the internet I can at last ask you the source of your lyrics. Surely it can't be the same steamie? I think it probably continued to operate in Caldrum Street in Dundee till about 1970 and although the street is still there the steamie is long gone. 2 steamies in similar sounding streets is one hell of a coincidence don't you think? Could you shed some light on the source of your lyrics? thanks for years of listening pleasure, may there be many more to come.

I had relatives in Dundee, so I remember it from my childhood. I misremembered Caldrum as Cauldrum. But it’s the same place. Doesn’t mean the song is set in Dundee – I was just looking for a name…

Richard, Have you seen/heard David Gilmour's treatment of “Dimming of The Day" on his live DVD? I'd be interested to know your views on it. (I loved it). Did he ask your permission before he played it and what's the usual procedure for getting approval for a cover version? Also, are you familiar with Bruce Cockburn's work and how do you rate it?

I haven’t heard it, but I trust Mr. Gilmore to do the Right Thing. A writer can object to a cover version, but I think that’s very rare – usually, you just contact the publisher, and off you go. I would never say anything bad about a fellow artist in print – that’s not my job – so if you ask me about another musician, I’ll always say they’re fine, and great, and fab, and nice people. In the case of Bruce Cockburn, I don’t have to cross my fingers under the desk, because he really is a consummate artist and performer – writer, of course, one of the best political writers around – singer, great – guitarist, really really good acoustic player.