Larry Groce, host of West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Mountain Stage, distributed by NPR, singing original songs and classic covers in a folk-Americana style.
This collection of songs includes some I’ve loved for a long time, some I was introduced to by the writers or original artists when they appeared on Mountain Stage, three of my own songs and one recent suggestion. I’m very grateful to Ray for staying around after playing on Mountain Stage to record the duet. We were in a jug band together back in Dallas in our teens.
- When the Mist Clears Away – Anyone who has lived in rural West Virginia gets the central imagery here. The mist can be beautiful but can also keep you from seeing things clearly.
- If I Had A Boat - Lyle sang this on the show in 1987 and I’ve liked it ever since.
- Live Forever - Billy Joe has performed on Mountain Stage seven times. I heard this first when he and his son Eddy played it on the show together. It hit me hard. It’s probably best to record “Live Forever” only after you’re sure you won’t.
- What Do You Think About (When You Think of Love) – I wrote this inspired by the title of Raymond Carver’s book “What We Talk About When We talk About Love”. The song is not related to the stories, just the title. I was on the road a lot when I wrote it.
- Twilight - The Band was it for me. Ray Wylie first introduced me to the Big Pink album when it came out and I was hooked. “The Last Waltz” concert contains the core and spirit of the music we present on Mountain Stage. Rick and Garth did this song on the show in 1989 and it immediately became a favorite.
- Pancho and Lefty - Townes appeared on Mountain Stage three times, the last almost exactly two years before he died. I’m sure no one who’s been around him will ever forget him
- In the Wilderness – I sang this on Mountain Stage back in the nineties. After it aired, we got a call from Bette Midler’s office in NYC saying Bette had heard it on the show and I spoke with her and sent her a recording at her request. Her interest puzzled me until I realized that some of her biggest hits (“The Rose”, “From a Distance”) were basically acoustic folk songs. She never recorded it but was nice to get the call.
- Good Ole Boys Like Me - I first heard this on the radio and could sing it after two listens because I identified with it so strongly. I was grateful that Don Williams performed on the show later.
- The Boxer - I’ve loved this song since it was released in 1970. It was a thrill to sing it with Joan Baez when she requested it be the finale on one of her Mountain Stage performances.
- Choices - Thanks to the two Georges: Jones for singing it and Korn for suggesting it to me.
- My Songbird - Jesse visited Mountain Stage ten times starting in 1986. He was dear to all of us. His themes are classically bittersweet – a mixture of love, loss, desire and guilt, the spectrum of feelings that that come “As soon as you learn that you don't live forever” (lyrics from another of his classics, “Little Glass of Wine”.)
- BONUS TRACK Simple Song (Mountain Stage Theme) – This is a complete version of the song I sing at the beginning of every Mountain Stage. It’s taken from a show we did at the Mother’s Day Church in Grafton, West Virginia (the birthplace of Mother’s Day) on the 100th anniversary of that holiday in 2008.
Thanks to: Don for caring much more than this recording deserved; Sandra, Don, Michael and George for convincing me to do it; Ray Wylie Hubbard for his talent and the memories; Andy and Francis for calling me way back then; the musicians who played on this recording, as always working far more than they were paid for; the songwriters and the magic of songs; Francis, Adam, Vas, Jeff, Josh, Joni, Patrick, Paul, Ritchie, Jimmy, Joey, Lance, Woogie, Mary Lee, The General, Brian, Brew, P-Train, BT, Julie, Ammed, Ron, Steve, Ryan and Michael for keeping their hands on the plough; John Armstrong; Todd Burge; and most of all Sandra, Virginia and Bonnie – the reason for everything. This is dedicated to H.T.Groce, 1924-2015.
Produced, engineered and mixed by Don Dixon Vocals, acoustic guitar – LG Duet vocal on Live Forever – Ray Wylie Hubbard Viola - Sandra Groce Harmony vocals - Julie Adams Electric Guitars, omnichord - Michael Lipton Percussion - Jim Brock Electric and upright bass, melodica, high strung guitar, percussion - Don Dixon Piano - Bob Thompson Track 12 used by permission of Mountain Stage, West Virginia Public Broadcasting - Francis Fisher (engineer), Andy Ridenour/Adam Harris/Larry Groce (producers), Steve Hill (bass), Julie Adams (vocal), Bob Thompson (piano), Michael Lipton (electric guitar), Ron Sowell (harmonica)
Photography and album design – Josh Saul Session photography – John Armstrong © and ℗ 2016 Quarrier Street Records/Larry Groce