Dick McCormack – Voices In The Hills
There I was, sitting at the Coffee Bean on Beverly near La Brea. Mets hat on, University of Vermont hoodie crumpled up in a ball on the back seat of my car. The sky was grey, the temperature a comfortable 68 degrees fahrenheit. And, for some reason, the Coffee Bean decided to turn on all their heat lamps. On a SIXTY-EIGHT DEGREE Thursday morning. Fucking Los Angeles…
Remember that University of Vermont sweater I mentioned, like, three sentences ago? Well, its convenient placement (crumpled up on the back seat of my car) serves a larger purpose in this story. Wanna know why? Because Dick McCormack was from Vermont! What a crazy connection, amiright!? That makes today the perfect day to share Voices In The Hills with you. Not because it’s been sitting on my hard drive for two weeks waiting for me to find the time to upload it and photograph the cover, but because of a little something I like to call KISMET.
Wait, do I mean kismet? Or do I mean serendipity? Are those two words synonyms? If I ate lunch three hours ago am I in the clear to snack on some chips and guac now? I’m trying to watch what I eat…
Gary Bartley is an archetype. THE VOICES IN THE HILLS are obviously human voices of the ghosts and finally they’re the voices of the hills themselves.
Robert Bundy of Bethel, Vermont was a scholar, a missionary and a local historian. Examining a stonewall he once commented, “We don’t know who built this wall, but we know what kind of man he was.” STONE WALLS owes its existence to Irene Cushing, who shared the quote in the Bethel Historical Society’s book, “The Old Days.”
I wrote RARE ONE AND FAIR ONES about eight years ago but I don’t think Dick Marsh has ever heard it. Dick and I share Irish verbosity, a fascination with cold weather, and occasionally some Old Duke. Riley Bostwick was a tree farmer and conservationist in Rochtester, Vermont. He blazed part of the Long Trail (an event the song erroneously places in 1923), grew two national Christmas Trees (perhaps one was for Rockefeller Center) and was amused that city people thought him picturesque.
AS THE RIVER THAWS EACH SPRING is about an apparent suicide in Bethel in the late twenties. Robert Bundy was a part of the search party and he told me the story.
William Wright may be the best all around musician I know. William and Katheryn’s house is like the music capitol of the White River Valley. WOKE ME IN THE MORNING is typical of his easy style of writing. I’ve changed some of the words but for a copy of the original send a self-addressed stamped envelope to William Wright, RFD 2 Bethel, Vermont. I do this song for a friend who was there when I needed her.
FILL ONE ROOM is a song about not squandering ourselves. “Not to want the whole earth, and to get nothing. Not to go mad thinking of a million lives, wanting the experience of a million people.” — Thomas Wolfe
Or as Hudson Valley Fats said, “When your river floods its banks, all you get out of it is alot of mud.”
GEESE is an attempt to capture a moment of perfection I shared with my elder son, Noah. Aaron missed it because he was taking his nap.
NANCY lived well, died young and left many friends.
When recording for the album was done, we all went out and got drunk. Someone started strumming a mandolin and we all started singing RED RIVER VALLEY. It sounded so good that Richard and Bob quickly moved the entire studio down to the bar and recorded us while we weren’t looking.
Voices In The Hills
(Green Mountain Records, 1976)
MediaFire DL Link
01. Voices In The Hills
02. Stone Walls
03. Rare One And The Fair Ones
04. As The River Thaws Each Spring
05. Woke Me In The Morning
06. Fill One Room
09. Red River Valley [MP3]
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