Young Jane is a collection of some of Dr. Joe's favorite folk tunes from
Ireland, Australia and the British Isles, as well as a few more recent songs in the same tradition. All of the songs
are solo guitar or vocal with guitar accompaniment except "Bells of Rhymney", which has three voices with guitar.
As of August 29, 2003, a review is available at the following site:
Toad Records, April 2001
So how does a classically-trained American-born son of Italian parents
produce such and album? On the one hand, medieval music, a subject I have studied well, is a direct ancestor to Irish music,
which, as a teen musician, and I regularly played at the Cleveland Irish-American Club. On the other hand, I have always
had a fascination for Australia and World War I.
The first song,YOUNG JANE, dedicates this album to the memory of
my mother, Mary Jane Baldassarre (1911-1998) whose photo (ca. 1929) appears on the cover. The lyrics to THE MINSTREL BOY tell
of a harper boy who is mortally wounded in battle. Before he dies, he breaks his instrument so that it can not be played by
THE BELLS OF RHYMNEY is the only song featuring overdubbing, with three vocal tracks and 12-string, a tip
of the hat to one of my early favorites, THE BYRDS.
Unlike the patriotic fervor of World War II, music, films and
art of World War I focused on the futility of war and the personal suffering that it caused. CHRISTMAS IN THE TRENCHES, THE
GREEN FIELDS OF FRANCE and THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA handle the soldier's point of view beautifully. CHRISMAS IN THE
TRENCHES recalls real fraternizations between sides that were noted especially in 1914 and 1916. The parade mentioned in THE
BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA refers to ANZAC Day, celebrated on April 25 in Australia.
I was taken with the music
of Steve Gillette in my first year of college and he has remained one of my favorites. DARCY FARROW was inspired by a non-fatal
riding accident involving Steve's sister, and not an historical occurrence. In THE ERL KING, Gillette faithfully translates
the famous Johann Gothe poem, originally set to music by Franz Schubert, into the American folk tradition.
is a tough bugger--despite the efforts of early prohibitionists, man's love of whiskey prevails. This is undoubtedly the oldest
song on the album, dating back to the 15th century.
Most of the traditional Irish folk tunes were taken from Glenn
Weiser's wonderful solo guitar arrangements. ASHOKEN FAREWELL came to my attention as the theme for Ken Burn's film "THE CIVIL
WAR". This James Edwards arrangement is my way of saying "farewell".
Baldassarre is currently working on two new CD's with the able recording and mixing assistance of his son Stephen.
1. Young Jane/The Minstrel Boy (traditional)3:25
Darcy Farrow (S.Gillette/Campbell) 3:45
3. Rosin the Bow (traditonal) 1:08
4. Christmas in the Trenches (John McCutcheon)
5. The Parting Glass (traditional) 1:25
6. John Barleycorn (traditional) 3:23
7. Wild Mountain Thyme (traditional)
8. Jimmy Allen (traditional) 1:47
9. King of the Fayries (traditional) 1:34
10. The Erl King (S. Gillette)
11. The Southwind (traditional) 1:28
12. The Green Fields of France (E. Bogle) 4:28
13. She Moved Through
the Faire (traditional) 4:21
14. O'Connell's Lamentation (traditional) 1:55
15. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (E.
16. Planxty Irwin/MacPherson's Lament (traditional) 5:54
17. The Bells of Rhymney (I.Davies/P. Seeger)
18. Ashoken Farewell (J. Unger) 3:10
Instruments used on this recording:
Antonio Baldassarre classical
guitar - 1983
Guild 212 12-string guitar - 1977
Taylor GW514 guitar - 1998
Recorded and engineered by John
Fransen for University Recordings, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.
Album concept 2001 by Joseph Baldassarre
Album graphics by Cunningham Audio Production