Thank you for buying our 2022 album TAKE TO THE SKIES! 



 
Piper Jones Band, Take to the Skies
 We want to thank GINZY LAMPRECHT for her support in getting this project going!

Also thanks to PAT JONES for her support while we were in the final mixing stages!
Also thanks to these wonderful fans of ours who have contributed to the effort:Kim Kimball
Charles Phipps
Julie FordWe’ve been so buried in the music for the album and getting ready for the release at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games that we haven’t written the “liner” notes for the tunes!  We had a great time putting all this music together over the course of the last few years, and it’s the culmination of our years of experience playing together and wanting to do an album like this!Track 1: Take to the Skies
3 tunes written to be played on the Scottish Small Pipes, which have a different style than the big Highland Pipes.  They are fast and showy but actually pretty easy to play!Track 2: On The Road
One of EJ’s only songs with shout outs to friends in the Green Men, and two of our favorite festivals, one held on McRae Meadow, the other in Revel Grove.  It’s a wish for everyone to be in a band and have the joy and adventure and friendship that comes from going on the road.Track 3: Night Drive The first tune was written by Frances after spending some time reading through a book of Gordon Duncan tunes one afternoon. Later we had to do a long overnight drive; EJ was asleep and Frances was behind the wheel and bored, and so this tune was dreamed up. The second is a traditional Scottish Country Dance tune played on the Isle of Lewis. Frances fell in love with it after playing it with Lewis native Alasdair White in a set at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. The third tune was also dreamed up while driving- Frances later asked her then 9 year old daughter Nora what it should be called, and the answer was “Running Under the Sun.” Track 4: The Mountains of Pomeroy

The melody of this song is very old, and Dr. George Sigerson: physician, biologist, politician, poet from County Tyrone wrote the lyrics in the 1860s based on the popular folk character Renardine. Frances learned this song from fellow bouzouki player and friend Pat Broaders, and then we did one of our very favorite things which is coming up with arrangements. The little tune at the end was written when her small daughter had some friends for a sleep over. The whole evening was very high pitched and Frances’ ears needed a break, and so she stole a few quiet minutes with a mandolin and out came this melody.

 

Track 5: Muiniera de Chantada / Cafe Avino / St Vincent’s 

It’s rare for this tune to be played on the Highland pipes since it uses 3 “forbidden” notes.  It’s really a tune for the Galician Gaita bagpipe which has an extended range. EJ loves the tune and figured it out!  The two reels that follow are compositions of Richard Kean, one of which was named for a coffee bar where he and EJ used to jam on Tuesday nights in Montrose, TX

 

Track 6: The Taoist’s Tale / Rachael’s Wild Horses

Frances found this song by way of the WXNA radio show, Down The Back Lane. Chris Wood’s singing of ‘Hares On the Mountain’ was played and Frances thought it was so beautiful she had to pull over, and immediately bought the album it was on, called Albion. Also on that recording was a song called The Taoist Tale, written by Tucker Zimmerman. The song tells an old story that dates back to China in the 2nd century B.C. about a farmer who loses his horse. The story is often used to express the idea of a “blessing in disguise.”  The reel was composed by EJ 

 

Track 7: Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin

Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin is a well known Robert Burns song, written to celebrate his own 28th birthday in 1787. It sort of laughingly tells the story of his early life in the form of a prophesy given by a midwife present at his birth, who predicts his poetic destiny. A ‘blast o’ Januar wind’ actually did knock part of his house down when he was an infant! An eventful start to an eventful life. Don’t laugh at us, but EJ and Frances had to record the entire song 3 different times to find a key that suited our voices. We were choosing keys based on our instrument preferences and not vocal ability! In case anyone is curious, we landed on B. VERY unfriendly to the instruments but worth it. 

Track 8: The Pyhrric Picnic

Once upon a time Frances, Wolf, EJ and their good friend, photographer Jay Ford were on a photo shoot in Houston on the Buffalo Bayou. Jay pointed his finger to a disturbance and said “What’s that?” We couldn’t quite make out what was happening until the participants took a breather, and we could then see that it was an epic battle between a large catfish struggling to stay in the water, and a large water moccasin on the bank trying to get him out of it. We crept closer and closer as they were not at all concerned by our presence, and watched for ages as these two evenly matched warriors fought. We have to assume that eventually the venom won, but as EJ pointed out when he named the tune that Frances wrote in their honor- at what cost? Frances went back to Buffalo Bayou later and wrote this, and it just felt right to make it surf rock. Thank you to our very talented friends Rich Brotherton and Jeff Taylor for helping pull off a surf rock track written by an Irish musician. And Frances would also like to thank EJ for the most perfect name possible for this track: The Pyrrhic Picnic.

Track 9: The Flower of France and England

Frances learned The Flower of France and England from Archie Fisher’s 1978 album, ‘Will Ye Gang, Love.’ The town of Carlisle being full of rebels refers to the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745 but what the song is really about is a boy and a girl. He is rich and rowdy but is stopped in his tracks by her beauty as she works hard in the hotel he had found himself in on that lucky day. Will she quit her job and run away with him to his castle? The song will tell! One of Frances’ favorite things is dreaming up song arrangements, and the melodic ideas for this one came about while on a drive out west with EJ. There were windmill farms and very long trains, mesas and lots of sky to look at, which is a great time to let your mind wander- especially when you have a ukulele in the car. The western landscape is far from Scottish, but you take inspiration where you can get it!

Track 10: The Wrenkeeper Set

Three jigs composed by EJ in response to one of France’s “tune challenges” where we each have to write a tune and then play them!  It was a challenge issued on the way home from a festival in NY and we had a loooong drive ahead of us!

Track 11: Sing It Louder

Wolf found this song and collaborated with Frances and EJ on the arrangement