No there isn’t anything wrong with your speakers, it just sounds that way. 60 minutes of music and chatter, recorded before a very live audience and rescued some years later from a low-bias, slightly magnetized cassette tape.
It was never intended to be a document. It was a just a live concert recorded by the college radio station. As Robert Force puts it(,) “It arrived with one channel fluttering on a cassette tape, was listened to once and put in a box for twenty years.” With the untimely death of Albert d’Ossché in 1990, it became one of the few surviving documents of their partnership and a recording of a good night.
No. Not just a good night. In fact, it happened to be a perfect gig. It was the second show in a three-week tour in support of their third album “When the Moon Fell on California.” The venue was Mama Sunday’s in Bellingham, Washington; a coffeehouse that Robert had started. The combination of the new album, the old venue, and a very warm audience all added up to a great night, somewhat serendipitously preserved here.
Robert and Al are in great spirits throughout and you can hear the depth of their friendship expressed in the music. They finish each other’s sentences, riff off each other, leap into spontaneous bits of absurdist comedy: (t)There is no straight man. I have listened to this CD over and over in the last few years and I still cannot tell who is Robert and who is Al, despite the fact that they call each other by name. This was the night that Robert nailed Wabash Cannonball for the first time. The night they tried –and manged– to beat the best recorded record for their 60-second song Tabac Alegria. And the audience was with them: hanging on every word, laughing at every joke, breathless with every note. It was the night of transcendence that every performer dreams of.
After Al died Robert stopped performing for over ten years. He once told me, “I couldn’t see playing a song and not hearing that other voice coming back at me.” Today there’s merely a handful of people that remember F/d’O in their prime, and there is a whole generation of players who have no idea what the fuss was about. But that’s okay, it’s still all right here. No it’s not the best sounding recording, it is in fact the worst, but of all the albums Force and d’Ossché recorded, this one is hands-down my favorite.
Dulcimer Players News
Thank you, Butch and DPN. After all these years, other CDs and tunes, this disc still stays fresh as a magical moment in time for me. Those of you who saw us live will again be stepping down a familiar, fun pathway. For those of you for whom this is new, this is as vibrant as it was when it was recorded over 25 years ago. Enjoy! Madcap duo showcases the dulcimer across genres and cultures. This CD can be ordered directly from the artist by sending a check or money order for $18.00 to Robert Force, 1228 Blaine Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Be sure to include name and address. Price includes shipping. again, Thanks! rf