Inverness (Wild Mountain Thyme​/​McManus​/​Merrily Danced the Quaker's Wife)

from by Jonny Grave

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The team at Sofar Sounds booked me for a few dates in April, to come to the UK and play some shows. I packed my bag, and headed out a week early. Before the shows in Reading, London, and Birmingham, I spent two nights in London, then a night in York, two nights in Edinburgh, and another two nights in Inverness, before heading back to London for the gigs. Each of these tunes are full of phrases I picked up during the trip.
"Wild Mountain Thyme" is a tune I've known for years, but rarely play or sing, mostly because I've never been in a situation that's called for it. On a Saturday afternoon in Inverness, though, every last person at Gellions was on their feet, singing along.
"McManus" is a tune I wrote earlier this year, after hearing Tony McManus play "Lament for the Viscount of Dundee" in the style of a pibroch. Although the tune I named after him sounds nothing like his lament, I did manage to steal the tuning. It's DAAEAE.
"Merrily Danced the Quaker's Wife" was one I had been working on since January, and hadn't come close to really nailing it. When Vivi and I walked into the Sandy Belle, and heard the session musicians playing old fiddle tunes, I asked if they could play "Merrily Kiss the Quaker," in the hopes that hearing the tune in its natural environment might inspire me to finish learning it. Instead, the fiddler turned to me, and said "well, you're clearly not from here, are you?" He later went on to explain that in Scotland, "Merrily Kiss the Quaker" is played less like a march, and more like a jig. He also explained that in Scotland, it's known as "Merrily Danced the Quaker's Wife." My version sort of splits the difference between the two.


from The Highest Bough, released December 21, 2016



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Jonny Grave Washington D.C., D.C.

Jonny Grave is a guitarist, songwriter, singer, bandleader, teacher, musical historian, and Bluesman from Washington DC. Growing up in a very musical family, Grave was introduced to the sounds of American traditional folk music early on. At age fifteen he found himself learning slide guitar techniques from old Blues records, and by seventeen he was performing them live. ... more

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