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This is the title of my first full-length studio album, officially released on 10 December 2022. I would like to take this opportunity to provide information about it, especially to those who might download a digital version of it, and not have the benefit of the package that surrounds it. Much of the text below appears in the CD package.

The album is available from CD Baby on Amazon (both as physical CD and as digital download, as well as in digital files on other music sites, such as Amazon Music, You Tube, Spotify, and others. It will also be available directly from me at any performance I might do. You might also request a copy from me at the email address on this site.

The album features:

WS Monroe (voice and guitar), Rebecca Leuchak (harmony voice), and Chris Turner (harmonicas).

Produced by WS Monroe and Steve Rizzo. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Steve Rizzo at Stable Sound Studio, Portsmouth, RI.

Artwork and package design by Amy Webb, mockingbirddesign.biz

Cover photo by Denise Bass Photography.

Thanks to all those people named above, along with Rachel Maloney, Steve Jobe, Matteo Casini, Billy Walsh, Al Koren, Sharon Davidheiser, The Quahog Quire, The Providence Wholebellies, The Quahog Qafé, The Parlour, Stone Soup Coffeehouse, The Coffee Depot, Winnie Lambrecht, the Vox Hunters (Ben and Armand), David Brown, John Fuzek, Chris Monti, Flannery Brown, Lynz Morahn, Phil Edmonds, Gary Fish, Joanne Lurgio, Patty and Buster,  and all the others who have played music with me, and for me, and given me a place to play. 

The songs:

  1. Providence (WS Monroe, ©2006). A song I wrote for the city in which I live, and for the good fortune I’ve had elsewhere.

  2. When Fortune Turns the Wheel (Traditional). Louisa Jo Killen collected this song from a singer who lived near the English/Scottish border. When I first heard it, I was in college and happened to be writing a paper on the goddess Fortuna in the Middle Ages, so it stuck with me.

  3. Shady Grove (Traditional). A classic old-timey song that I’ve only begun playing in recent years.

  4. Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons, Bob Buchanan). My favorite song from the Byrds’ important Sweetheart of the Rodeo album, and one of my all-time favorite songs.

  5. The Outlandish Knight (Traditional). I first heard this great ballad (Child no. 4) sung by Michael Cooney at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (PFF) in the early ’70s. The twist on the stock murder ballad goes back a long way. It first appears in a Middle Dutch poem from the Middle Ages (Heer Halewijn).

  6. Dark-Eyed Sailor (Traditional). Another great song that I learned from Louisa Jo Killen. The motif of “the broken token” is common in many of these songs.

  7. By the Water’s Edge (WS Monroe, ©2011). This is my anthem for Rhode Island. Many of the details refer to Pawtuxet Village, at the mouth of the river of the same name.

  8. Tam Lin (Traditional). A very old ballad (Child no. 39) that I learned from the singing of the great Frankie Armstrong, whom I heard at the PFF in the early ’70s. The version I sing is very much hers, except that I have modified some of the lyrics as I describe in a blog post “Tam Lin and #MeToo: On the Modification of Traditional Songs.”

9. River of Song (WS Monroe, ©2011). I wrote this song in honor of all the people who have written and/or passed down songs through the ages, and especially those who have influenced me greatly: Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips, Jerry Jeff Walker, Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Frankie Armstrong, Louisa Jo Killen, and my namesake, Bill Monroe. “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” (Psalm 46)

10. Going to the West (Traditional). A song collected in Alabama in the 1940s, but was probably written in the 1880s when many people left Alabama for Texas. I first heard it played by the great band Uncle Earl, who have since gone their separate ways.

11. Little Bird (WS Monroe, ©2017). For Kristina Belyakova (1997-2017), and others who have left us all too soon. 

12. Wabash Cannonball (Traditional). A song about the last train the hobo rides, which takes him to the other side. I have modified the final verse to honor the late great Utah Phillips, the “Golden Voice of the Great Southwest,” who told stories and wrote songs about those left behind by our society.

13. If I Could Be the Rain (Utah Phillips). Probably my favorite song, and the best country song ever written.

Providence, By the Water’s Edge, River of Song, and Little Bird are written and copyright by William S. Monroe. All rights reserved. Hickory Wind and If I Could be the Rain are used by permission (http://www.idblm.org/347655).

All other songs are in the public domain.  (P) 2021

I would like to note that there is a mistake in the original jacket copy, where I identified Louisa Jo Killen as Louise Killen, due to my faulty memory. I should have checked. Thanks to Patrick Hutchinson for catching that mistake.

I would also like to thank Disc Makers and CD Baby for making the production and distribution of the album very easy.

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