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Silvertonic | Little Boat

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Folk: Singer/Songwriter Country: Alt-Country Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Little Boat

by Silvertonic

Little Boat is a thoughtfully and lovingly crafted Silvertonic vessel that we launch with an eclectic cargo of original songs and tunes celebrating the people and places of our past and voicing our hopes for a future that is always brightened with music!
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
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  Song Share Time Download
1. County Home Road
3:26 $1.49
2. Little Boat
3:02 $1.49
3. Shady Nooks
3:50 $1.49
4. Hardwired
3:33 $1.49
5. The Time Is Coming
4:08 $1.49
6. Out on a Limb
3:03 $1.49
7. Peace Hope Faith Love
3:39 $1.49
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Create and Connect

Silvertonic’s first CD, a seven-song disc titled Little Boat, has been some time in the making. The three band members – Miranda Bradley (vocals, guitar and occasional dobro), Peggy Daroesman (vocals, guitar, mandolin) and Bob Hefner (vocals, banjo and fiddle) are all performers and songwriters, and devotees of the classic alt-folk songbook and iconic writers and performers such as James Taylor, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Indigo Girls – to name a very few.

The band members had each been making music for many years. Miranda started playing in bands in her hometown of Adelaide in the early 1990s, among them Kai’s Dilemma, Fruit and Raw Honey. Peggy got her start in Singapore in the 1960s, where her all-girl band, The Friday Girls, recorded two singles with Phillips in 1967. She later performed solo and with old-time bands. Bob picked up his first guitar in North Carolina in the 1960s but later set it aside to play fiddle and banjo in bluegrass and old-time bands in North Carolina and Canberra.

The Silvertonic approach is to bring a song or a tune or even a riff to band rehearsal, either self-penned or a classic from the rock, folk, alt country songbook. It becomes evident pretty quickly if the song is a goer for the band; when it is, vocal and instrumental arrangements emerge instinctively. The band all play several instruments and for a time, there’s a fair amount of dumping this instrument to pick up that one, until the full arrangement settles in. The sparkly string arrangements combined with the three-part harmonies are a key feature of the band.

Bob composed County Home Road as a banjo tune back in the 1990s but shortly after Silvertonic got together he was persuaded to turn it into a song in memory of his father Claude. It’s a nostalgic and loving take on being a teenager waiting for his dad to come driving home in the summer twilight. Bob’s North Carolina roots are present in the crickets, the fireflies, and cars and trucks driving down the County Home Road in the long summer evenings. Bob tunes his banjo into an open G tuning here, and Peggy plays a dropped D tuning.

The title song, Little Boat, is a perfect example of what Silvertonic does best – “create and connect”, as Miranda puts it in the song Hardwired. The words to Little Boat were written by Peggy quite a few years ago and no tune seemed to fit, until Miranda sat down with her guitar and created this one in an hour or so. Peggy’s second guitar adds a different voice to the instrumentation.

Hardwired came to Miranda as she sat, guitar in hand, watching a little bird clinging bravely to its nest in a tree outside her window – just like the song says – while being buffeted about by strong winds and rain. How does the bird know that it’s worth hanging on, she wondered? She challenged herself to play a melody inside slightly unusual chords. The solo guitar, the simple harmonies and Bob’s lightly picked banjo make this one of the finest songs on the CD.

Shady Nooks is the name of the small dairy farm in Walnut Creek, northeast of San Francisco, where Peggy’s mother spent a happy childhood. It’s also the name of the song Peggy wrote to remember that sunny little girl who adored her mother and dad and her dog Rusty. That little girl used to read books in the shade of the walnut tree, and she loved going to school. Peggy uses a dropped D tuning on this song and is accompanied by Miranda’s understated guitar and Bob’s old-time fiddle.

When Peggy first started learning to play the mandolin, she didn’t know many mandolin tunes. So, she wrote this one. In the bush near where she lived in Canberra stood a huge old eucalypt with one sturdy branch extending horizontally, low enough to climb and wide enough to sit on. That’s where the name of this tune, Out on a Limb, comes from. Miranda’s funky, bluesy guitar backing gives the tune some serious punch.

Bob wrote The Time is Coming as a series of questions that he put to himself. The song was an immediate hit with the other two and begins with a beautiful, slow guitar duet before the banjo takes it away into an upbeat but thoughtful song. Bob plays this in double C tuning, with a capo on the third fret, while Peggy plays her usual dropped D tuning, and Miranda’s guitar, with dropped D tuning and inverted partial capo, adds flourish and sparkle.

Peace Hope Faith Love, the closing song, was written by Miranda during the tense times of 2001 which saw both the 9/11 crisis in New York and the Tampa incident in Australia – pivotal points for both Australia and the world. But while these crises were unfolding, Michael Leunig (Australian cartoonist and illustrator) reminds us that wonderful things still appear in unlikely places – in this case, a daisy growing through a pavement crack that smiles at a homeless man who’s smiling back – irrepressible life and connections against all odds. The song is featured on Raw Honey’s Unlikely Places CD but appears here with Silvertonic’s three-part harmony arrangement.

This CD was recorded at Murrumbateman’s Broken Knee Studio, near Canberra, Australia, and was engineered by Bruce Callaway and mixed and mastered by Bruce Callaway with Miranda Bradley.

Silvertonic band members

MIRANDA BRADLEY has been playing the guitar, singing and writing songs since she was a teenager in Adelaide. Her first band, Kai’s Dilemma, got its start with the Songwriters, Composers and Lyricists’ Association (SCALA) where she and bandmate Susie Keynes went on to receive several songwriting awards. Together they formed Fruit in 1995. By 1997 they had released two CDs (Fruit and Skin) and embarked on their first international tour (Canada, The Netherlands). Miranda then played in the duo Raw Honey with Suze Pratten through the early 2000s, releasing two CDs (Live at the Hive and Unlikely Places) and playing various Australian festivals (Port Fairy, Woodford and the National Folk Festival to name a few). She also played with The Standard Deviations before moving to Canberra where she continues to explore her love of acoustic, harmony-driven music with Silvertonic.

PEGGY DAROESMAN grew up with musical parents and has been playing guitar since her teens, when she formed an all-girl pop group in Singapore, The Friday Girls, which recorded two singles in 1967. After moving to Australia, she dabbled in folk music, but her world changed when she encountered the open tunings and the songs of Joni Mitchell. Since then she has been interested in, written and performed songs in various open tunings although these days she typically plays a dropped D tuning. Peggy has performed in folk and old-time bands (The Porch Band, The Horse’s Leotard, Kitty and the Bobcats) as well as solo and in a duo with pianist John Mills, in small and large venues and music festivals across Australia.

BOB HEFNER grew up in North Carolina and began his musical career singing in the church choir. He picked up his first guitar as a teenager as an adjunct to the less-portable piano, but later turned to the fiddle and banjo. In the USA he played with bluegrass bands such as Catfish Cotillion, and on moving to Australia, was a member of Spindlewood, The Porch Band, The Horse’s Leotard and Kitty and the Bobcats. Like his fellow band-members, he has performed at music festivals across Australia. Bob is a long-time poet and songwriter by inclination and writer by trade, and has a few more songs in his back pocket that we look forward to hearing soon.



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