Posts Tagged ‘Maggie’s Farm’

Saturday Single No. 736

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Every music hunter knows the deal: You’re flipping through a bin of CDs or LPs, looking for nothing in particular, nearly hypnotized by the click-click of the CDs or the floof-floof of the record jackets, and then you stop. And go back one or two or three spots. And you pull out a CD or LP and scan the jacket.

You have no idea why that particular album grabbed your attention. Sometimes something on the jacket, something in the credits clicks. Maybe a name, maybe a place, maybe a song title. You look at the price, and if it’s reasonable for something you don’t seem to know about, you set it aside and it goes home with you.

And when it’s in the player or on the turntable, maybe it works for you. Sometimes, it’s good stuff. Most of the time, I’d guess, it’s just okay music. And every once in a while, it’s something that you really needed, even if you didn’t know what it was. The universe is funny like that.

Twenty-one years ago today, I was in the budget room of a Half Price Books in St. Paul, sifting through first the books and then the CDs. I don’t remember if I bought any books, but one of the CDs on the budget cart called to me. I looked it over and couldn’t figure out why.

The album, Glory Road, was from 1992, by a group called Maggie’s Farm. Okay, a Dylan reference. The lead vocalists were two women: Allison MacLeod and Claudia Russell. No recognition there, nor with the rest of the band: Steve Bankuti on drums and percussion, Jason Keene on bass, Brian Kerns on keyboards, and Roy Scoutz on guitar.

I scanned further and found a couple of names I recognized: David Lindley on Hawaiian guitar and lap steel and Rosemary Butler on background vocals. I headed for the cash register.

At home, I dropped the CD into the player and sat back to listen. I don’t even remember what the second track on the album sounded like. I’m sure it’s popped up on the RealPlayer from time to time, as have, no doubt, others from the CD. The first track, the title track, was all I needed.

Since 1992, Claudia Russell has played with and/or written for other folks and has released a few solo albums, the most recent in 2013. Allison MacLeod’s credits at AllMusic are more slender, with nothing since 2003.

I’ll probably look for some of Russell’s work. And I’ll likely rip Glory Road as a full album and see if I like it when it pops up. If so, fine. If not, okay. All I really need, just like back in 2000, is the title track, “Glory Road.” And it’s today’s Saturday Single.

‘Sleep’

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

I’ve not been sleeping well lately. Folks who know me well might think that I’m being kept up either by fussing cats or by worries about the future of the Republic. Well, it’s neither of those (although I am concerned, as I indicated last week, with the direction of public affairs and it is true that any of the three cats can contribute minor bits of mayhem at any time).

No, it’s medications. A combination of meds required for the time being limits my sleep and leaves me somewhat zombied during the daytimes. That’s going to go on for another ten days or so, which means it’s tolerable; there is an end point visible to the fuzzy daze in which I frequently find myself.

It’s not utterly disabling: I just need to be a bit more careful and a bit more mindful of things that need to get done during the day. As always, lists help. And I’m off to make another one of those in just moments. Before I do, I’m going to run at random through the 300 or so the tracks on the digital shelves that have the word “sleep” in their titles and see what I find.

And I come across the lovely and very brief – 2:03 – “River Of Sleep” by the group Maggie’s Farm, fronted by the duo of Allison MacLeod and Claudia Russell. The group’s 1992 album, Glory Road, remains one of my faves among the CDs I found on a budget rack at a St. Paul bookstore during the spring of 2000. A few years ago, I noted that Glory Road was the only album released by Maggie’s Farm although MacLeod and Russell have released solo albums since. I said then, “I’ve seen the album classified as Americana, and that fits, I guess, but whatever you call it, it’s just a darned good album.”

“River Of Sleep” was written by McLeod and Mark Lee (who does some vocal work on the album and, I think, contributes the lead here):

Late at night, the world is quiet
It’s cold outside but you’re alright
Nothing can hurt you
Float down the river of sleep

The sun’s behind the trees
The nightbirds sing sweet melodies
Nothing can hurt you
Float down the river of sleep

Close your eyes
Dream of peace
For nothing can hurt you
Float down the river of sleep

Close your eyes
Dream of peace
For nothing can hurt you
Float down a river and sleep