4. This Little Apple
A joyful and upbeat nod to an adventuresome daughter who is leaving home, stepping out in the world on her own. “This little apple let go in the night. Left her Mama sleepin' didn't shake the quiet. This little apple jumped-the-scaffold-like-a-cat-into-a-fight, rolling like-a-bowling ball-headed-for-a-strike, straight through Sacramento heading south on 99 she watched the sun come up from the grapevine.”
5. Beware the Woman
A stinging tongue-in-cheek look at the power of language, the seduction that can come when you are lured by someone (a woman in this scenario) who "has a way with words” . . . only to find yourself left behind –heartbroken and robbed of your own ability to articulate the simplest thing. “You will eat your words, one by one – hook line sinker, chapter and verse . . .” Edgy electric guitar mines the dark humor and punctuates the warnings.
6. And So it Is
A simple ostinato in this song builds and enhances the lyrics as they carry us through the unpredictability inherent in the arrival of every new day. Be it by our own actions or through external change, one day seems a hurdle –the next, a blessing. “…You won't remember how it started but one day you'll know --the dart was love, the target was your heart, and someone hit it . . . and so today is not the way that you had planned it, and so tomorrow, and so it is.”
7. Southern Sea Song
In the tradition of all good stories about sailors, this is a ballad and it tells the tale of seven sailors who set out for the southern seas in a search for silver. Yes, we have alliteration here, with lyrics that are alternately light-hearted and heartbreaking. A gritty voyage that is piled high with striking images and mystery. “…heavy-hulled she hummed HELL as they headed home, and the halyards howled hard when they hit the hail storm. She shimmied from bowsprit to stern.”
8. Heading Home
This song is a tribute to Susan Butcher. Susan was a musher – a sled-dog-racing woman who inspired people around the world, and the 4-time winner of the Iditarod. Robin wrote this song in the summer of 2006 after learning that Susan had died from leukemia. There are a few words you will hear in this song that benefit from an explanation. One is “Kannanaq” – which means “North Wind” in one of the Alaskan native dialects, another is “Tuwawi” – which means “quick!” The expression mushers use to move their dogs along is “Hike” . . . and in this song the word is changed to “Hi!” as if the “k” is being snatched away by the wind.
9. Pra Prababička
Pra Prababička is Czech for great-great grandmother.
This is a sweet and poignant song in which a woman finds herself riding a train along the very same route her great-great grandmother traveled 150 years earlier when she immigrated to Philadelphia in the 1860's. Fragments of an imagined conversation unfold through questions that come up as the train travels from Tabor to Salzburg. “Did you walk across the Charles Bridge with the lovers and the beggars? Did you talk about America, and how to make your way there?”
10. Better Like That
“Better Like That” is a plea to people who have become complacent and unwilling to voice their concerns over the recent chiseling away at some basic freedoms in this country. It asks that fear-based tactics be challenged, that people come back into the arena and fight for these rights, lest they be taken away. “C'mon there's still a little bit of light. C'mon now and speak your mind – or on the day we're denied the right, well – we'd better like that.”
11. Rubies on the Boulevard
The electric guitar becomes a second voice in this haunting song in Eb minor. A woman tourist walks in the rain along a boulevard in Paris as shops close for the night. Watching lovers walking arm-in-arm beneath shared umbrellas, she recalls a time when she lived here with her lover. The seductive city lights are shining in the rain, the taillights shining like rubies… and soon she can no longer remember why things hadn't worked out. “Oh tell me once again now, why we didn't stay? My mind's been playing tricks on me all day.”
12. Blue Feather
Blue feather is a pure song of depth and simplicity… spacious, inspiring, melodic and lingering. “When you find a single blue feather, on the side of the road, on the way to the beach, you will hold it in your fist until your knuckles turn white. One single blue feather, just within reach, and you'll be looking for another for the rest of your life.”