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Liner Notes:

Red and Chris: Bluegrass and Folk Music and Other Light Entertainment

Folks, we're glad to have you with us! Welcome to our CD. We have a good time with our music, and hope that you will too.

If you've seen us perform, you may already know who we are. Long-time musician Red Henry was co-leader (along with his wife Murphy) of the bluegrass band Red and Murphy & Co., which performed extensively in the Southeast from 1975-1986. Christopher is Red and Murphy's son. As he grew up, Chris began playing mandolin and guitar in the family band, and now he’s a professional performer in his own right. For the last few years, Red and Chris have been playing bluegrass and folk music together, and they're one of the few "father and son" musical teams around!

On this CD you'll find some of our picking, some of our singing, and also some of the stories which find their way into our shows. We've recorded many favorite songs by our musical heroes. Some of them are gone now (Chubby Anthony, Bill Monroe, Will McLean, Gamble Rogers), so we'll try to keep their music alive this way.

Now for a few words about our music, and a few snapshots of the people we learned it from:

Red first heard the lead-off number on a recording by Mainer's Mountaineers. Though today it’s often called Wreck of the Number Nine, we prefer the Mountaineers' title, On a Cold Winter's Night.

Bill Monroe created many fine bluegrass tunes which are rarely heard today. His tune Tallahassee is one of those. Red and Chris play the tune with twin mandolins, creating a distinctive, fascinating sound.

Musician, singer, and songwriter Chubby Anthony was a little-recognized bluegrass music giant. Red was privileged to know Chubby and to pick with him from time to time. Here's a Chubby original, Foothills of Home, one of the best bluegrass songs of all.

In 1940's Alabama, some mischievous, anonymous person re-wrote an old traditional song into an American political classic, Big Jim Folsom. Red first heard the song from our friend Wyndell Merritt (and we never will forget those picking parties at your lake house, Wyndell!). This arrangement and incisive commentary are from Gamble Rogers.

Red Wing has been one of our favorite tunes for years. If you see Red and Chris in live performance, you may be treated to Red’s entertaining description of his 1970 trip to Galax, Virginia, to play this tune in the national guitar contest. Circumstances...ahem...finally prevented Red from entering the contest, but the tune lives on.

Humor is a big part of Red and Chris's show. Here’s a story we learned from Gamble, celebrating some rural entrepreneurs. We introduce the country sage Clermont Hosford here, in a story about Clermont’s Grits.

Bluegrass musicians are often multi-instrumentalists. Here Red picks up the mandola (a large mandolin, tuned low) to use its bluesy sound on an old Sam & Kirk McGee standard, Blue Night.

For over 30 years, one of our greatest musical friends has been Florida folksinger Dale Crider. We’ve played a lot of music with Dale, on and off stage and on recordings as well. Here’s Mangrove Buccaneer, one of Dale's earliest songs, which Red learned from him some time ago.

Will McLean, "Florida's Black Hat Troubadour," wrote many evocative songs about people and events in Florida’s history. Osceola's Last Words is Will's story of how the great Seminole war chief, half-white himself, chose not to continue living in the same world with the invaders of his country.

The late Gamble Rogers was one of our biggest musical and performing influences from the start. In fact, Gamble was responsible, in a way, for the existence of the Red and Chris musical partnership, since he first introduced Chris's parents, Red and Murphy, to each other! Here Red sings Gamble's haunting composition Good Causes, inspired by a very early version of the song which Murphy taped around 1971.

Will composed Abraham Washington, a tale about the legendary debacle of Florida’s first electrocution and the life of the man who was spared. Here’s to Jim Williams, the man by his real name, and to Will, for an excellent song.

Next we present another narration about Clermont Hosford, this time stemming from an orgy held in the unlikely confines of Clermont's Trailer. Thanks to Gamble for a great story.

Red and Chris are both mandolin players by preference, so they usually include one or two twin mandolin numbers in their show. Here's a little original number, Bouncing on the Moon. This lively tune is ear-catching and fun. Thanks to David McLaughlin for liking it!

We heard Gospel Snakes from Dale Crider, who learned it as a recitation when a small boy in Kentucky, and who set it to music. Gospel, yes, but with a powerful twist!

Red recorded Red’s Zeppelin in 1981, but with no guitar, since for many years afterward, he could never find a guitarist who could really do the tune justice. Christopher, however, is that guitarist, so here Red and Chris play the tune together.

We learned Don Dunaway’s compelling number The Kennesaw Line from Gamble. As it's based on the true adventures of a Civil War soldier, we,ll dedicate this recording of it to our family members William Cameron, John DuBois, William Henry, and Richard Whitfield, of the Confederate States Army, and Nicholas Angel, private, U.S.A.

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