lyrics ...

My Little Town

There's a road that runs straight through my little town
A movie theatre about half way down in my little town
But now they've turned it into a bingo palace
They don't show films there no more, no more

There's a railway line runs through my little town
And all the kids can think about is getting out of this little town
See them on the platform on a Saturday night
About half past eleven there'll always be a fight

What can a poor boy do
But get drunk and play the fool
In my little town, in my little town.


An old-school troubadour in the Guy Clark, David Olney vein and equally at home with literate songwriting. His cd 'On the border' sees him travelling the same dusty roads and showcases his gravelly voice and neat fingerpicking.

James McSweeney: vocal, guitar
Publishing: James McSweeney/Inside Straight/BMI
Latest album 'Perfect World'

November Morning Sun

The trees shine in the morning sun
There's a blue sky and the clear rivers run
No more frost on these sticks and stones
The wind don't cut through to the bone

La la la la la
November morning sun

Flowers are bright in the graveyards
Bells are ringing through the farms
The whole green country's turning red
The birds are all headed out west

I filled up my suitcase with clothes
Headed down a gravel road
The dog followed me to the gate
As I walked off into a brand new day

Don't even miss me now or try to say
What it was that made me leave today
Weren't no money problem or lover's tiff
Was just the sight of a morning like this


“Delicate Shades of Grey” sounds more like it came from Atlantis. It’s a near-perfect melding of classy old-world folk atmosphere with American college-radio guitar-pop, circa 1985. When Wilkinson’s voice locks in with Hughes’ Byrdsy guitar lead on “Weather,” you’d almost swear Sandy Denny was sitting in with Let’s Active.
No Depression

Kris Wilkinson: vocals, guitar, harmonica, brushes on desktop, background vocals Joe Hughes: bass, background vocals
Publishing: For Kate's Sake Songs /BMI
Recorded and mixed at Super Tiny Studios by Cicero Buck Latest album 'Delicate Shades of Grey'

Drowning Moon

I made a cross out of sticks and bone
Then I walked to town
Kept it in a pocket hid
So the devil wouldn't see it

I was shivering like a drowning moon

Talked to a crow in a sycamore tree
He said now go carefully
'Cos I seen the devil walking in front of thee
I was shivering like a drowning moon

The devil better be aware
I'm not gonna let him stop me
Seeing my darling Marie
'Cos she means the whole damn world to me

And I'm shivering like a drowning moon

The crow said he'd seen better men than me
Thrown by the devil in that cold dark stream
But I feel no fear with my cross on my chest
I'll see her because I feel blessed

The devil took my baby away from me
Now I'm shivering all over


"Wonderful blend of folk and rock elements by this young singer/songwriter. A perfect example for all acoustic american folk'n'rock."
- Music Network, Bremen, Germany

Brian Lillie: vocals, guitars, keyboard.
Jim Roll: fiddle, keyboard, percussion.
Produced by Brian Lillie and Jim Roll Engineered by Jim Roll Recorded at Backseat Productions, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Publishing: Chimp Hammer Family Champion, ASCAP Latest album 'Good Luck Fire Chief'

The Devil's Address

I'm in heaven that's what the sign says
This bar's more like hell, everything painted red
Every once in a while a truck goes by headed north
Headlights flashing across these smoky walls

If you want to find me
Post a letter to 'Happiness'
Mark it care of the devil's address

I started driftin' when I couldn't pay the rent
That mobile home was more like a shed
I spent every winter watching the rain
Turn that gravel path into a lake

Now I'm fine and dandy but I'm all alone
Just me and the sparkle of the tarmac road
Thousand miles behind me, wife's in another man's bed
Thousand miles ahead before I'll ever rest



Ronny Elliott was insurgent country before insurgent country was cool.

Ronny Elliott: vocal, guitar
Walt Bucklin: vocal, harmonica
Latest album 'Magneto'

Dusty Trees

Hail in the ditches, ice on the tyres
We gotta find another road out of here
This way there's nothing but weeds and briars
We're tangled up in a past we cannot clear

Can't see nothing but dusty trees
All around me, nothing but dusty trees

There's no new crop in the far field
There's no more walking through the harvest sheaves
Our river's dead, nothing left to give
A sunken barge is breaking up in the reeds

When the sun goes down you can feel the dark
Pouring down through these dusty trees

Blood on your finger, a hook in your heart
And the maps you bought are falling apart
Because you've lost your compass, lost the path
When you leave here you'll never look back


Steve Roberts released his first solo album in May 2001. Described by The Guardian as an 'acoustic troubadour', his acoustic driven album stakes out classic singer/songwriter territory and was co-produced by Martyn Campbell (Lightning Seeds).

Steve: vocals, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel
Martyn Campbell: bass, slide and electric guitar, background vocals, tambourine
Tony McGuigan: drum Recorded at Da Capo.
Mixed at Maxim
Latest album 'It just is'

Desert Dust

Five years ago we slid across the bridge at dawn

I kept waking up to see the black
All I could taste, all I could taste was desert dust
I woke with the dust in my teeth
We carry our countries in our blood like a disease

All I can taste, all I can taste is desert dust, desert dust
Every winter words have crept into my mouth
Still I struggle on and on
I stare at the back of another in the rain
I stare at the roads as summer clogs my brain

But all I can taste, all I can taste is desert dust
desert dust, desert dust



"Darby has her precedents -- Nick Drake and Beth Orton come to mind -- and, like any good rock artist, she kills them off with conviction." -Roy Kasten, Riverfront Times

Diana Darby: vocal, guitar Produced by Diana Darby, Mark Linn and David Henry Green Eyed Girl Music ASCAP Latest album 'Fantasia Ball'


The Lynton Flood

Well no-one knew where all the water come from on that fateful day
But it came down like a wall and it washed all them houses away
And some of them poor folks were drowned and some of them poor folks survived
And to this day no-one knows the reason why
But that water ran so fast and high
On the night of the Lynton flood

My daddy was just a boy of twelve, but he did not look his age
In a picture taken there but a year before
The road beneath his wheel just slipped away
And the house behind disappeared in the mud and clay
But that water ran so fast and high
On the night of the Lynton flood

Well I was there in '76 with another bunch of kids
Just some poor art students drawing pictures with our charcoal sticks
When I see the monument upon the wall
Showing where them flood waters came pouring through and all
You know that water ran so fast and high
On the night of the Lynton flood


His melodies are haunted: his phrasing is hunted and his voice carries the depth and dimension of each story he turns over and over, like dirt being tilled to discover the meaning inside."
- Thom Jurek, Detroit Metro Times

Kevin Meisel: vocals, guitars, bass, keyboard. Recorded and mixed by Kevin Meisel in a secret bunker in Belleville, Michigan
Copyright Kevin Meisel, ASCAP
Latest album 'Coal and Diamonds'

Ghost of What Might Have Been

She carries a sack full of money
In hands that are wrapped in beautiful silk gloves
She whispers in my ear" time to leave"
And I wake in another city without my love

I'm waking from a bad dream
Waking with the ghost of what might have been

She knows my heart is shot full of holes
Because she was the one she never was gun shy
She calls to me and she points out to sea
And I wake up with a echo of her sighs

She's haunted me on the midnight streets
I want to wake up on the other side
She's haunting me on the midnight streets
A love that lives on after it has died


This vinegar-and-honey-voiced balladeer ruminates on family ties, personal breakouts and the challenge of reconciling history and possibility in songs that mix folkish heart and post-punk skepticism.
-Ann Powers, The New York Times

RBW: Vocal/guitar
Jackpot Jackson Publishing, BMI Recorded by Ralph Legnini, Shokan, New York 15 May 2003
Latest album ' this day'

Clown's Car

Driving through the night
Rain on the windscreen
Black clouds hanging over the city
Ships in the harbour tugging at their chains

There's a forest out in California
I saw it on the news
They were still damping down the flames
When I crashed into you

And everything fell apart
Just like a clown's car
And we sat there hand in hand
Looking up at the stars
From our clown's car

No more engines, no more wheels
Hey hey into the world we tumble
No more falling apart
In our clown's car

When you're alone at night
And the full moon starts to shine
Look out across these hills
See the stars raining down on the fields
As your world and mine collide
In a thousand sparks tonight

My heart still starts to race
Don't fall apart any more
Come for a ride
In my clown's car


Rocking singer Roll reconnoiters the folk borderlands, with smart, simple songs of domestic complication; he works with lyrics by Ice Storm novelist Rick Moody and Jesus' Son author Denis Johnson in his latest, unpretentiously, but it's his own stuff that still charms most.
- Barry Mazor/The Village Voice

Jim Roll recorded at Backseat Productions, Ypsilanti, MI USA
Produced by Jim Roll and Brian Lillie
Jim Roll: lead vocal, guitar, organ, bass, drums/percussion
Brian Lillie: acoustic guitar and backing vocals
Laura Eckenrod: backing vocals Latest album 'Inhabiting the Ball'


Bled Dry

Our hearts were always leaking
From the day we staggered through these doors
Like the engine of our old car
We were pouring love all over the floor

We never even saw it slip away
Until that night
We were both bled dry, bled dry

Well the night it all ended
We were going in circles, the tank empty
We ran out of gas in the middle of town
I tried to get us some more but there was none around

I gave you everything and more
But your heart had been broken twice before
Now I hold it here in my hand
That love we had, it's bled dry, bled dry
Smaller than the tears we still cry

Bled dry, bled dry, bled dry


A mostly mournful country blues record that feels old-timey and spare, "Tangled Messages" has earned Varagona comparisons to Steve Earle and Joni Mitchell, both of which seem oddly appropriate. It feels a million miles away from the strange and rollicking Lambchop, for whom Varagona plays saxophone and frequently sings.- Allison Stewart - Chicago Tribune

Deanna: all instruments and vocals Thanks to Charles Kim for mixing and friend duties
Love Matters publishing/Gadfly Records
Latest album 'The Goodbyes Have All Been taken, Hello'

The Devil's House

I live in a house on top of a hill
I've been here for years and I'm here still
And I watch you every day you go by
Every day of my life

And the rain pours down like tears
From the coal black clouds my dear
On to the devil's house

Well I've done things that I don't understand
I've been confused but I've worked and I've planned
Then along came a girl with a pretty smile
And before you know it you're already mine

And the rain pours down like tears
From the coal black clouds my dear
On to the devil's house

I live in a house on top of a hill
I've been here for years and I'm here still
And I watch you every day that goes by
Every day of my life


Claudia Scott says her first musical recollection was listening to the radio and hearing Frank Ifield's version of Hank William's "Lovesick Blues". "My dad," she explains, "who sings both Jazz and Country, and who also formed a band when I was about 10 years old, would play everything from Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, and Josh White to Waylon Jennings..
-WPLN - the songwriter sessions.

Claudia: vocals, guitar
Fats Kaplin : fiddle, accordion, drum
Engineered by: Phil Scoggins
Claudia Scott appears courtesy of EMI MUSIC Norway
A very special thanks to Diana and Brent Maher at The Moraine Music Group, Phil Scoggins for engineering and Fats Kaplin for beautiful violin, accordion and drum.
Publishing: Steelworks / Revolution ©, TONO/SESAC
Latest album: 'Soul on Soul'

These Wishing Fields

Can't shake the mud from my heels
Feel like a tractor sunk up to its wheels
Every time I try to quit and run away
I keep coming back to this old clay

Further out I go the deeper in I plunge
Feel this soil deep inside my lungs
Never gonna escape these wishing fields
I'm tied to these wishing fields

Now my father and his father before him
Believed in this land, believed in everything
But one man can't turn a failing farm around
I'll die a poor man, laid in this cold, cold ground


"You want to know about the American South? Just listen to my friend Cheevers. This stuff is anthropological,for God's sake."
---Kevin Welch

Bob Cheevers: vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals
Charlie White: electric guitar
Cory Fite: organ pad
Recorded at River Plantation Studio in Nashville by Bob Cheevers
Mixed at Mayberry Digital Studio in Nashville by Cory Fite
Publishing: Bob Cheevers Music SESAC
Latest album 'The Stories I Write'

One Horse Town

I come from the wrong kind of town
The kind I always hear you putting down
Wrong side of the tracks that's where I was born
Now I'm going back where the streets are worn

All my life I've heard people like you sneer
Bet you don't like my kind hanging out here
Someday I'm gonna make something of myself
I'll get there just fine without your help

Don't you write me off now mister
'Cos I'm from a one horse town
Don't you write me off now mister
'Cos I 'm from a one horse town

My daddy spent all day mending your roads
My mama spent all day cleaning your coats
My little sister clears away your kids plates
Me I don't do nothing but get up late

I can hear you laugh I can hear your jeers
But my time to shine is nearly here
Some day you'll probably brag that you knew me when
Even though you never had a kind word then

Well I been called rough for the way I talk
The rich folks way of talking always sounded false
So take your fancy cars and your country estates
'Cos I know one place where I ain't out of place

Where I come from no-one laughs at me
It ain't too hip but it lets you be
Your glamour and your wealth are nice to touch
But if you ask me it ain't worth that much


"DAMN, WHAT A RECORD!" -in fact, perhaps the most surprising, and welcome, singer-songwriter find since Tim Easton's Special 20.
No Depression

Dan: guitar, vocals, rudimentary piano Recorded in Dan's bedroom on a Fostex 4-Track Like the Country Music BMI
Latest album + Cultivators 'Love ain't a Cliché'

THE COMET (from Robert Merry's Museum, November 1858)

Donati's Comet

William Turner of Oxford is on his horse,
riding between fields and old barn doors.
Fields that should be blacker than a widow's dress,
but tonight there's a comet burning in the west.
The frost is building on the thatched walls as
William Turner picks up his pen and draws.

The light that falls from Donati's Comet.

Well it's the 5th of October 1858
and the cattle are restless behind the wicker gates.
There's an owl swooping through the beech trees
as the comet light sparkles between the reeds.
William Turner is up on the Downs tethering his horse
and trying to map that comet's course
but as he shields his eyes a tear falls
as he realises he'll never catch it all.

The light that falls from Donati's Comet.

Next morning he's mixing gum and powder on a plate
and tracing that comet's tail with a dark stain.
Thinking of all that light that flooded his eyes
and how he'll never see its like again in his time.
Leaves are falling one by one into the Thames
and a stonemason hammers at a monument to the dead.
On his palette the blues and greens turn to black
and the chisel chips time into a dark sack.



From west of London but he sings like his heart belongs in Sligo, Ireland and his bones are happiest in Austin, Texas, he tells stories about loners, freewheelers and passionate home-comings..
The Shelly River..a record that will tickle anyone who's ever got a thrill out of Springsteen's 'Nebraska' or The Pogue's Shane McGowan at his most displaced and sentimental..
-New Musical Express

Terry Clarke: vocal & 12 acoustic guitar (Guild) recorded at 'Mr Lucky' Argyll, Scotland live to minidisc
Latest album 'Green Voodoo'

English Country Heart ( instr. inspired by this lyric)

Living in the middle of England
But I can't understand a thing
Sometimes I think I'm American
Then I look at these fields in the wind

And I know you could take these broken parts
And build an English country heart

When the barn roof collapsed no-one did a thing
When these fields were bare they just left it rotting
Now there are no more people living off the land round here
All we got is city businessmen busy developing

Look over there and you'll see the rusting rails
Of a line that used to carry coal from Wales
Look over here and you'll see the crumbling walls
Where a thousand men built cars for Mr. Ford

Pick up the pieces and build
An English country heart



Ian, a multi-instrumentalist, has worked with The Oyster Band, The Blue Aeroplanes, Pete Astor, Heidi Berry and Caroline Trettine. He is also a contributor to Folk Roots. His long-awaited solo album, "Preaching to the
convertible", was released recently.

Ian: 12 string dobro
Ian appears courtesy of Dan Leno Records
Recorded in the kitchen, April 2003 Mastered by Tristan at Lumen Studios, Brighton
Produced by Ian
inspired by the lyric 'English Country Heart'
Latest album 'Preaching to the Convertible'

© Lyrics Shaun Belcher / Trailer Star Songs
Music by individual artists.
Except 'Donati's Comet' music and lyric by Shaun Belcher

images of Didcot from 'The Changing Face of Didcot' by B.F. Lingham & M.J.Hall 1977
Didcot and District Archaeological & Historical Society