Roses on Annie's Table
"I'm 68 years old," Suzuki said,
"And the question that haunts me is,
What are we leaving our children?'"
You have to think about it.
I thought about it.
And then I thought about the roses on Annie's table.
I'm pleased to report that
The Roses on Annie's Table is ready. I think it is the best music I've ever made. You can hear for yourself by clicking here. Below, you'll find a list of the dozen or so musicians who joined me. You will also find Gary Cristall's comments on the album, and a list of the songs.
If you would like to order a copy, they are $20 each, all in. If you want to order 2 or more - Christmas is coming - the 2nd, and any additional copies, are $15 each.
Satisfaction guaranteed or your money quizzically refunded. To order your copy or copies click here.
Bossin's Roses powerful and complex
By Gary Cristall
The Roses on Annie's Table is Bob Bossin's first new CD in a dozen years. Like the Bossin of old, he asked his lengthy mailing list for contributions to the project and contribute they did, to the tune of $25,000. Unlike the Bossin of old, Bob put the production in the hands of a young whippersnapper, Veda Hille, a national songwriting treasure in her own right. It was a nice party - some of Bob's friends, some of Veda's. There is a brass band and a barbershop quartet, Bob's old Stringband fiddling associate (and more recently k.d. laing's co-writer and producer) Ben Mink, and some of the hottest players from Vancouver's contemporary music scene.
The result is a wonderful and diverse collection of songs. There is Bob's tribute to American banjo visionary John Hartford. There is a tongue-in-cheek denunciation of Nanaimo, BC. There is a song about a not-so-young mother confronting "love like a Jehovah's witness, banging on the door again." There's a sensitive celebration of adultery; a revisionist rendering of Hansel and Gretel sung by Bob's daughter, Madelyn; and an epic history of the folk music revival, featuring Ben Mink's bravura performance of Jean Carignan's Hangman's Reel. There are some songs by other writers too, like the Yukon's Kim Barlow and Edmonton's Maria Dunn - pieces that show how much contemporary songwriting owes to Bob and others who paved the way three or four decades ago.
And there is The Roses on Annie's Table, the title track, in which Bob takes his daughter to a lecture by David Suzuki. While listening to the environmentalist's dire predictions, Bob meditates on the delights of a love affair. The piece is, at once, a beautiful love ballad and a chilling warning of environmental apocalypse. You've got to have been around for a while before you can write something this powerful and complex. Bossin is one of the few songwriters who could, and, unquestionably, the only one who would. This is one of the country's finest songwriters at the top of his game.
Bob Bossin, vocals, guitar, banjo
Veda Hille, piano, organs, accordion, vocals, glockenspiel, jingle bells
Ben Mink, fiddle, mandolin, mandocello, additional percussion, lead guitar on Shirley Ann
Rene Worst, upright bass
Peggy Lee, cello
AK Coope, clarinet
Barry Mirochnick, drums
Martin Walton, electric bass
Keith Bennett, harmonica
Shaun Brodie, trumpet, euphonium, recorders
Ron Samworth, electric guitar
Brad Muirhead, tuba
Pietro Sammarco, trombone
Patsy Klein, vocals
Madelyn Bossin and Davy Bossin, vocals on Gingerbread
The Canadian Quartet, vocals on Nanaimo
The Roses on Annie's Table. "There are now more humans than any other mammal."
Gary Davis. "It must have been 1963, at the Bohemian Embassy."
Shirley Ann. "She's got love, like a Jehovah's Witness, bangin' on her door again."
Curve Ball. "I said, 'Babe', and she said, 'Don't start.'"
London. "It's been 50 years since I gave up the ring, and not a week goes by that I don't think of her winking eye."
Nanaimo. "If it wasn't for Midland Liquidators, we'd never go there again."
Lily. "Sometimes I think God sits 'round Heaven flipping cards into a hat."
The New Steamboat Whistle Blues. (By and, in this version, about the late John Hartford) "Daddy would have never been a Ballplayer, if it hadn't been for you."
Bob's Carol. "Goyische girl, yiddische boy, the whole mishigas, 14 seasons of sorrow and joy."
Gingerbread (by Kim Barlow) "We're not lost in these woods, we're exploring."
Dance Hall (also by Kim Barlow) "We'll dance like we're in high school, Grizzly, pressed up hard against."
We Were Good People (by Maria Dunn) "Put a man in uniform, he don't know right from wrong."
Slow Down (by Bob Franke) "A song came drifting to my heart, straight from The Grateful Dead."