Cordelia's Dad | How Can I Sleep?

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United States - Mass. - Western

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Rock: 90's Rock Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Mood: Brooding
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How Can I Sleep?

by Cordelia's Dad

Well-crafted mix of melodic rock and acoustic songs with compelling stories.
Genre: Rock: 90's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Idumea
3:58 $0.99
2. Narragansett Bay
3:43 $0.99
3. Farewell to Old Bedford
1:53 $0.99
4. Imaginary Trouble
2:33 $0.99
5. San Francisco
4:52 $0.99
6. Bend to the East
2:21 $0.99
7. Texas Rangers
4:02 $0.99
8. Delia
2:49 $0.99
9. Sweet William
3:59 $0.99
10. Little Margaret
2:58 $0.99
11. Shallow Brown
4:57 $0.99
12. Harvest Home
2:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
For over a decade, Cordelia's Dad has been on ongoing series of musical experiments. Beginning with an unabashed punk rock fury, evolving into the tender, intricate acoustic songs of Comet and Spine, and returning to bouyant, noisy rock on What It Is, the common threads have been powerful harmony singing, haunting melodies, and insistent rhythm.

Founders Tim Eriksen and Peter Irvine, along with long-time member Cath Oss, have travelled throughout North America and Europe, melding their passionate interpretations of early American hymns, ballads, and fiddle and banjo tunes with their own contemporary pop music sensibilities. Cordelia's Dad taps into deep veins of American experience and musical tradition, forging a sound that is just as surprising as it is familiar.

On "how can I sleep?," their second album, they teamed up with producer and session ace Dave Schramm (Yo La Tengo, The Schramms, The Replacements), and spent way too long polishing this collection of songs of love, remorse, and border patrols.

Liner Notes

Idumea mates an 18th century Methodist hymn text with an older ballad tune. John Leland, from Cheshire, Massachusetts, wrote verses 3 & 6 and is famous for giving Thomas Jefferson a 1400 pound piece of cheese. Narragansett Bay made its way from a printed source into oral tradition and back again, or vice versa. We added an additional verse and fitted it with a new tune. Farewell to Old Bedford comes from the singing of Mr. Lee Monroe Presnell of Beech Mountain, North Carolina; a standout among the many talented singers that folk song collectors Anne and Frank Warner befriended and recorded from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. Imaginary Trouble comes from another of the Warners' finds, Mrs. Lena Bourne Fish of East Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Again, we have imposed our own tune on her set of words. Mrs. Fish said that this song was popular with soldiers in the American War for Independence. Bend to the East came about when we realized our in-studio attempt to remember the fiddle tune been to the east had completely failed. The Texas Rangers were a group of mounted volunteers organized to combat people who had lived there before they did. Delia is a song that has been popular in a number of American singing traditions, its more well known relative being Frankie and Johnny. Sweet William comes from a Library of Congress recording of the North Carolina couple, Mr. & Mrs. I.G. Greer. Little Margaret was recorded in the 1920s by North Carolina lawyer and banjo player Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Harvest Home was adapted from a 19th century song and fitted with a new tune. All songs traditional, arranged by Cordelia's Dad, except for bend to the east, harvest home, music by Tim Eriksen, narragansett bay, imaginary trouble, music by, and san francisco, words and music by Tom King. Additional Notes (1998) Both the tune and arrangement of this version of Imaginary Trouble differ from that on the later recording, Spine, but the words are the same. Bend to the East was mistakenly called Swiss Nanny, a now obscure topical reference, on the first printing of the European release of this album, but the music is the same on all versions.



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Carrie Bernstein

My favorite album of all time, of any genre, any artist
This is my favorite album of all time, of any genre, any artist. The band is extremely competent and flexible, creating a perfect marriage of hard, almost punk, rock-and-roll and rich, direct, and emotional accoustic-style vocals with apt use of historical lyrics. The result is both passionate and well-paced album that stirs the heart and mind simultaneously. I was extremely lucky to encounter this band, which is an amazing assemblage of incredible talent, in my hometown of Amherst, MA. They have a drummer who can play both rock and roll drums and traditional English and Irish ones (used to excellent effect in Naragansett Bay, where both a rock and roll drumset and a traditional drum can be heard). The acapella song, Farewell to Old Bedford, showcases the talent, clarity, and passion of the lead vocalist. The directness of his vocals go straight to the heart and will have you singing the tune for days. The next two songs, Imaginary Trouble and San Francisco, are great examples of the range of the guitarist as he smoothly delivers accomplished accoustic and plugged-in guitar tracks which combine perfectly with the vocals to create the heart of the songs. This soul-stirring music with a great edge is the perfect antidote to 'catchy' pop written by robots for models to perform. If you can hear Cordelia's Dad in person, all the better, as they have added a singer with great integrety and strength in her voice, Kath, and they are all much sexier than the babyfaced pop phenomena you're likely to see in the nearest stadium.