Banjoman - a tribute to Derroll Adams
 (2002, Blue Groove BG-1420)

Tracks:

· Columbus Stockade Blues 
· Portland Town 
· The Cuckoo
· Freight Train Blues 
· The Mountain 
· The Sky
· The Valley
· Curtains of Night 
· Dixie Darling 
· Muleskinner Blues 
· 24 Hours A Day 
· Epistle to Derroll
· A Feather Fell 
· Banjo Man 
· The Rock
· Memories
· Lovesong
· Willie Moore 
· The Rock
· Goodbye Derroll, Goodbye Friend 
· A Profound and Beautiful Sadness

  Banjoman


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upColumbus Stockade Blues
(traditional)

Way down in Columbus Georgia
Want to be back in Tennessee
Way down in Columbus stockade
My friends all turned their backs on me
Go and leave me if you wish to
Never let it cross your mind
In your heart you love another
Leave me, little darling, I don't mind

Last night as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
When I woke I was mistaken
I was peering through the bars

Go and leave me if you wish to...

Many a night with you I've rambled
Many an hour with you I've spent
Thought I had your heart forever
Now I find 't was only lent

Go and leave me if you wish to...

 

Donovan, Erich Buchebner (Tonstudio Ollersbach), Arlo
Guthrie, Hans Theessink & Chris Scheidl (engineer)

Arlo Guthrie: vocal, guitar
Donovan: vocal, guitar
Hans Theessink: vocal, guitar, mandolin
David Ferguson: upright bass

Studio Ollersbach, Austria - engineer: Chris Scheidl
Additional recording: The Cowboy Arms Hotel and
Recording Spa, Nashville, TN - engineer: David Ferguson

upPortland Town
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

I was born in Portland Town
Yes I was

I got married in Portland Town
Yes I did

Children I had one two three
Yes I did

Sent my cildren off to war
Yes they did

Murdered my children one two three
Yes they did

I won't have no kids no more
No I won't

I was born in Portland Town
Yes I was

 

Derroll Adams, Hans Theessink, Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie: vocal, guitar
Hans Theessink: guitar

Studio Ollersbach, Austria - engineer: Chris Scheidl
Additional recording: Derek Studios, Dalton, MA - engineer: Greg Steele

upThe Cuckoo
(traditional)

Well the cuckoo is a pretty bird
And she warbles as she flies
But she never says cuckoo
Till the fifth day of July

I've gambled in England
And I've gambled in Spain
If I's here for to gamble
I'd win you next game

I build me a cabin
On the mountain so high
So I can see Willy
As he goes passing by

Oh Willy Oh Willy
I'm afraid of your ways
Your mind is to gambling
And lead me a-stray

Well the cuckoo is a pretty bird
And she warbles as she flies
But she never says cuckoo
Till the fifth day of July

 

Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Derroll Adams

Ramblin' Jack Elliott: vocal, guitar
Arlo Guthrie: guitar

Peter Miller Recording Studio, San Francisco, CA - engineer: Peter Miller

upFreight Train Blues
(traditional)

I was born in Dixie, in a boomer shack
Just a little shanty by the railroad tracks
Hummin' of the drivers was my lullaby
Freight train whistle taught me how to cry

Freight train blues
Got them in the middle of my ramblin' shoes

I'm old enough to quit this runnin' 'round
Tried a hundred times to settle down
Every time I find a place I want to stay
Freight train whistle sends me on my way
Freight train blues...
My daddy was a fireman and my mammy dear
Was the only daughter of an engineer
My sweetie's a brakeman and it ain't no joke
It's a shame she keeps a poor man broke

Freight train blues...

I was born in Dixie, in a boomer shack
Just a little shanty by the railroad tracks
Hummin' of the drivers was my lullaby
Freight train whistle taught me how to cry

Freight train blues...

 

Hans Theessink & Arlo Guthrie

Hans Theessink: vocal, guitars, banjo
Arlo Guthrie: guitar, b.vocal
Donovan: harmonica

Studio Ollersbach, Austria - engineer: Chris Scheidl

upThe Mountain
(Derroll Adams - Donovan Music Ltd. London)

It was up some laughing river
Where I'd gone to spend the day
I had such fantastic visions
I could hardly stand to stay
And I stood up within myself
And suddenly felt free
And I stood above the burdens
That puzzle you and me

I became awareness
That was shared with all around
With the trees the sky the flowers
And the wind the sun the ground
I heard the birds were singing
And I found them same as me
And I understood our sorrows
And why they should not be
I saw this plane of living
It was nothing more than faith
A skin that covered glory
Far beyond our love or hate
A living crystal fairy land
Where loving is our grace
A pyromanic garden
That knows no time or space

I saw what we've been doing to it
Saw it as insane
Still a-marching like good Christians
With our wars the sword the flame
To crash down all those infidels
To defend what should be shame
And again I shared our sorrows
Knew we all must bear the blame

I see it all as part of us
To know and share alike
With a universal willingness
To know and do what's right
To understand our brotherness
And stop this awful race
Let our children run and grow in peace
Know their lives shall not be waste
First there is a mountain
Then it seems the mountain's gone
But then if you take another look
Why - it's been there all along
We can be just like a river
As it laughs along it's way
Or stand beneath the shadows
That take the sun away

 

Donovan & Derroll Adams

Donovan: vocal, guitar

Donovan Studios , County Cork, Ireland - engineer: Donovan Leitch

upThe Sky
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

There's a time when the truth is bad
And that's so very sad I know
When I was a kid like a mother's sigh
I used to hear the freight train cry
They kept me on the go you know
Even now I stop to hear
The big freight-trucks a-shifting gear
They tell me what I want to know you know

There's a time when the past is past
Filled with things that never last I know
The freight trains lonesome whistles cry
Becomes a song but there's the sky
Spring always comes again again
That old car it was Christmas time
Filled with kids and they all were crying
They had no place to go I know

There's a time when you face your soul
To find if you are true and whole you know
I remember your face so clear
Sometimes it seems I hear
The softness of your sigh
But remember another time
Autumn's here and summer's dying
You asked me not to go

There's a time when you face the sky
To find if you are here and why you know
The freight trains far away cry
Or on the ground when the dew's not dry
And you hear a rooster crow
Just like a morning star
That you see so far
Through the clear sky the sky

 

Allan Taylor & Derroll Admas

Allan Taylor: vocal, guitar, psalter

Pauler Acoustics, Northeim, Germany - engineer: Günther Pauler

upThe Valley
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

Autumn time is getting closer
Soon green leaves will start to fade
Dripping rain they'll start a-falling
Summer's gone and past away

Children's hopes are like green leaves
They soon fade and tumble down
Come to rest in that lonesome valley
Where they never can again be found
That lonesome valley's name is sadness
Flowers they are coloured blue
Autumn leaves are coloured sorrow
There's not many left to fall

Children's hopes are like green leaves...

Winds played rain will be the music
Played upon those falling leaves
Played deep within that frost white valley
Summer's gone and past away

Children's hopes are like green leaves...

 

Hans Theessink, Donovan, Arlo Guthrie

Hans Theessink: vocal, guitar, mandola
Donovan: vocal
Arlo Guthrie: guitar + intro

Studio Ollersbach, Austria - engineer: Chris Scheidl

upCurtains of Night
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

Well the curtains of night are pinned back by the stars
And the dewdrops from heaven kiss the rose

I remember your love - I remember your love
I remember your love in my heart

Well the curtains of night are pinned back by the stars
And the beautiful moon sweeps the sky

I remember your love.....

Well the curtains of night are pinned back by the stars
And the nightbirds are singing in the trees

I remember your love.....

Well the curtains of night are pinned back by the stars
And the dewdrops from heaven kiss the rose

I remember your love.....

 

Youra Marcus & Derroll Adams

Youra Marcus: vocal, banjo
Yves Rouchaville: guitar, b.vocal

Studio Tube, Lausanne, Switzerland - engineer: Marc Champod

upDixie Darling
(A. P. Carter)

My Dixie darling - listen to the song I sing
Beneath the silver moon - with the banjo right in tune
I love no one but you - my heart is ever true
My dixie darling - my dixie queen

Going down south to have a big time
See that boy in old Caroline
Drink my booze and do as I please
For all the boys I long to squeeze
Singing a song of Dixie darling
That's where I long to be going
Down where the jelly roll growing
with my dixie dream

My Dixie darling - listen to the song I sing...
Way down below the Mason Dixon line
Down where the honeysuckles are entwined
There's where the southern winds are blowing
There's where the daisies 're growing
The girls of the north in the gay finery
Whirling around in society
Singing a song of Dixie darling
Where I long to be.

My Dixie darling - listen to the song I sing...


John Sheahan, Hans Theessink & Barney McKenna

 

Arlo Guthrie, Dolly Parton & Jack Clement

Dolly Parton: vocal
Arlo Guthrie: vocal
Hans Theessink: guitar, b.vocal
Barney McKenna: banjo, b.vocal
John Sheahan: fiddle, b.vocal
Jack Clement: ukelele
David Ferguson: upright bass

Studio Ollersbach, Austria - engineer: Chris Scheidl
Additional recording: The Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa,
Nashville, TN - engineer: David Ferguson

upMuleskinner Blues
(Rodgers/Vaughn)

Good morning captain - Good morning to you shine
Good morning captain - Good morning to you shine
Do you need another muleskinner out on your new road line

I like to work - I'm rolling all the time
I like to work - I'm rolling all the time
I can carve my initials on a mule's behind

I'm working on that new road - A dollar and a dime a day
I'm working on that new road - A dollar and a dime a day
I got three women waiting on a Saturday night
Just to draw my pay

I like to work - I'm rolling all the time
I like to work - I'm rolling all the time
I can carve my initials on a mule's behind

Good morning captain - Good morning to you shine
Good morning captain - Good morning to you son
Can you use another muleskinner out on your new mud run

 

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Ramblin' Jack Elliott: vocal, guitar
Arlo Guthrie: vocal, guitar

Peter Miller Recording Studio, San Francisco, CA - engineer: Peter Miller

up24 Hours a Day
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

Well I got hooked on whiskey
It was a terrible thing
I just didn't dream the truth
Like swinging on a swing
I was flying high - I was flying high
I didn't want to come back down
Didn't even wonder why

Whiskey first thing in the morning
Whiskey last thing at night
Put the whiskey here by the bed
God don't turn out the lights
I'm flying high
Don't even want to come back down for you
Let me go swinging - swinging in my booze

I lived by singing and playing
With booze it didn't work so good
My hands began to shake so bad
My head was made out of wood
I was flying high - flying high to the moon
I didn't want to come back down
Anyway not too soon
When I began to notice
't was already too late
My health had really gone to hell
I hardly slept or ate
I was flying high - thought I was doing good
Couldn't even count to ten
And my body hardly stood

Well I still thought things were a-swinging
Couldn't even get out of bed
Then they took me to the hospital
Where they gave me up for dead
I was flying high - thought I was doing good
Didn't want to come back down
And wouldn't have if I could

Somehow we got me through it all
A chance in a million they say
Hope none of you ever'll make that scene
It's sure a nowhere way
You think you're flying high - You think you're doing good
You might not want to come back down
Probably wouldn't if you could
There are angels up in heaven
Devils down in hell
But I am somewhere in between
And living sure feels swell
I'm feeling fine I'm feeling fine
I don't know how or where or when
But I am feeling fine

 

Hans Theessink

Hans Theessink: vocal, guitar
Arlo Guthrie: guitar, foottap

Studio Ollersbach, Austria - engineer: Chris Scheidl

upEpistle to Derroll
(Donovan Leitch - Donovan Music Ltd. London)

Come all you starry starfish - living in the deep blue sea
Crawl to me I have a proposition to make thee
Would you walk the North Sea floor to Belgium from England
Bring me word of a Banjo Man with a tattoo on his hand

The spokesman of the starfish spoke as spokesmen should
If'n you met our fee then certainly we would
Should you cast a looking glass upon the scalloped sand
You'll have word word of this Banjo Man with the tattoo on his hand

Oh come you starry starfish - I know your ways are caped
Maybe it's because you'r astrologically shaped
Converse with the herring shoals as I know you can
Bring me word of the Banjo Man with the tattoo on his hand
The eldest of the starfish spoke after a sigh
Youthful as you are young man you have a Wisdom Eye
Surely you must know a looking glass is made from sand
These young stars are fooling you about your Banjo man

Oh come then aged starfish - riddle me no more
For news I am weary and my heart is sore
All on the silent seashore - help me if you can
Tell to me if you know of the Banjo Man

All through the seven oceans I am a star most famed
Many leggies have I lost an many have I gained
Strange to say, quite recently, I've been to Flemish land
And if you are courteous I'll tell you all I can

You have my full attention - I answered him with glee
His brother stars were twinkling in the sky above the sea
So I sat there with rapt attention on the sand
Very anxious for to hear of the Banjo Man
I have seen this tattooed hand through a ship's porthole
Steaming on the watery main through the waves so cold
Heard his tinkling banjo and his voice so grand
But you must come to Belgium to shake the tattooed hand

Gladly would I come - O gladly would I go
Had I not my work to do and my face to show
And I rejoice to hear he's well but I must go inland
Thank you for the words you brought of my Banjo Man

I walked along the evening sand as charcoal clouds did shift
Revealing the moon shining on the pebble drift
Contemplating every other word the starfish said
Whistly winds they filled my dreams in my dreaming bed

 

Donovan

Donovan: vocal, guitar
Danny Thompson: double bass
Hans Theessink: dulcimer, banjo

Morgan Studios, London, England - engineer: Mike Bobak

upA Feather Fell
(Ralph McTell - Misty River Music)

We took the train to Bruxelles
Eddie had a girlfriend there
They fell into each others arms
So I'd plenty of time to spare
In the "Welcome Bar" they all spoke French
but sometimes strange things happen
I picked up a couple of words or three
And two of them were music to me
The name of Derroll Adams

Took him down to the bar next day
He sipped scotch and coke
And I hung on to every word
And he stopped shakin' and joked
"When some folks drink they get so stoned
they end up fallin over.
The opposite seems to happen to me,
An hour ago I was stumbling see,
Me and my tongue just couldnt agree
Now I drink till I get sober"

We took our instruments to town
I was trying too hard to impress
I had to learn to play it soft
I must have been OK I guess
Little birdie little birdie
That was what we sang
I was twenty one with a big guitar
Flown the nest left the door ajar
Pickin' out tunes in a Belgian bar
With the tattooed banjo man

That birdie little birdie
Must have been a dove
He had hate written on his left hand
His picking hand was love

When I got back to Paris
It was early in sixty six
I'd locked that evening in my mind
Though I doubt if he did in his
A few francs and a handshake
Sweet as a soft shoe shuffle
A little bird's feather fell that night
Across the street from the neon light
Silently and out of sight
Under a winter moon so bright
Cracked the frosty pavement right
In the cobbled stoned heart of Bruxelles
Litle birdie little birdie
Must have been a dove
Hate was written on his left hand
Picking hand was love - sweet love

Ramblin's a decision made
Whilst heads still rule our hearts
Moving on means something else
Than having to depart
A feather fell to the pavement
I was lucky to watch it down
And it fell with a whisper not a shout
There wasn't anybody else about
But someone saw a star go out
Over Portland town

 

Ralph McTell & Derroll Adams

Ralph McTell: vocal, guitar

RMS Studios, London, England - engineer: Andy Levien

upBanjo Man
(A. Taylor - M.C.P.S.)

Cowboy hat - cowboy boots
Denim jacket full of Mexican cheroots
How that man could sing
I got trouble on my mind
It's good to know that
He's a friend of mine

Came to Paris from Portland Town
Carrying a banjo playing around
How that man could sing
I got trouble on my mind
It's good to know that
He's a friend of mine

Too much whiskey - too much wine
Too much travelling down the line
How that man could sing
I got trouble on my mind
It's good to know that
He's a friend of mine

Headed down that one way track
Carrying the devil on his back
How that man could sing
I got trouble on my mind
It's good to know that
He's a friend of mine

He got a lady so sweet and kind
He's okay now and doing fine
How that man could sing
I got trouble on my mind
It's good to know that
He's a friend of mine
Cowboy hat - cowboy boots
Denim jacket full of
Mexican cheroots
How that man could sing
I got trouble on my mind
It's good to know that
He's a friend of mine

 

Hans Theessink & Allan Taylor

Allan Taylor: vocal, guitar
Hans Theessink: slideguitar, banjo, b.vocal
Donovan: b.vocal

Studio Ollersbach, Austria - engineer: Chris Scheidl

upThe Rock
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

Well I wished I was a rock
sitting on a hill
Doin' nothin' all day long
but just sittin' still

Wouldn't sleep and I wouldn't eat
and I wouldn't even wash
Well I just sit still a thousand years
and rest myself by gosh

Hi di deedle dum.......
And I wouldn't even wash
Well I just sit still a thousand years
And rest myself by gosh

 

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly: vocal, banjo
Hans Theessink: guitar

Studio: Electric Avenue, Sydney, Australia -
engineer: Phil Punch

upMemories
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

Something cries so low at night in silence
Something cries so low at night of home
Drifting far across that Columbia River
I still hear that freight-train's lonesome cry
Winds in forests nothing now but memories
Mountains turning dark against the sky
There's a sudden movement in the dark woods
Down there by the clearing stands a deer

Stillness seems to be the only music
Echoed in the night an evening star

Winds in forests nothing now but memories
Mountains turning dark against the sky

Something cries so low at night in silence
Something cries so low at night of home

 

Happy Traum & Arlo Guthrie

Happy Traum: vocal, guitar, banjo

Nevessa Production, Woodstock, NY - engineer: Chris Andersen

upLovesong
(Derroll Adams - Donovan Music Ltd. London)

My heart is like a flower for my love
That blooms as I hold her tenderly
But it's planted deep in fear
Just as heavy as the tear
That whispers low her love is not for me

My love is true
For her it is true
And I pray that her love is mine

My love is like the first star of the night
That brightens up the world's first darkness
Like lovestories very old
That a million times been told
Her eyes are worth more than bright
diamonds

My love is true
For her it is true
And I pray that her love is mine

Alone at night in my dark lonesome room
I lay awake and sadly dreaming
Though she's not very near
But still I can hear
Her soft and tender heart a-beating

My love is true
For her it is true
And I pray that her love is mine

 

Donovan

Donovan: vocals, acoustic guitar, leadguitar and Arp string ensemble
Leland Sklar and Dave Hungate: bass
Jim Keltner: drums
Bobbye Hall: percussion

A Donovan Discs Recording. Studio: A&M Studios Los Angeles, CA - Produced by Donovan Leitch - engineer: Pete Romano

upWillie Moore
(traditional)

Willie Moore was a king he was scarce
twenty-one
He courted a lady fair
Her eyes were as bright as two diamonds in the night
And raven black was her hair

He courted her both night and day
Till to marry they did agree
But when they came to their parents to consent
They said it could never be
She threw herself in Willie Moore's arms
As oft times she'd done before
And little did he think when he held her that night
Sweet Anne he'd see no more

It was just about the month of May
That night I remember it well
That very same night that her body disappeared
In a way no tongue could tell

Sweet Anne she was known both far and wide
Her friends were all around
And in the little brook before the cottage door
The body of sweet Anne was found

She was taken off by her weeping friends
And carried to her parents' room
And there she was dressed in a shroud of snowy white
And laid in a lonely tomb

Willie Moore never spoke - he took to the road
And from his friends he did part
Last heard of him he was in montreal
Where he died of a broken heart
Willie Moore was a king he was scarce
twenty-one
He courted a lady fair
Her eyes were as bright as two diamonds in the night
And raven black was her hair

 

Wizz Jones

Wizz Jones: vocal, guitar
Ralph McTell: banjo, b.vocal

RMS Studios, London, England - engineer: Andy Levien

upThe Rock
(Derroll Adams - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

Well I wished I was a rock
sitting on a hill
Doin' nothin' all day long
but just sittin' still
Wouldn't sleep and I wouldn't eat
and I wouldn't even wash
Well I just sit still a thousand years
and rest myself by gosh

Spoken: This is the philosophical part folks

Hi di deedle dum...
And I wouldn't even wash
Well I just sit still a thousand years
And rest myself by gosh

 

Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Derroll Adams

Ramblin' Jack Elliott: vocal, guitar

Peter Miller Recording Studio, San Francisco, CA - engineer: Peter Miller

upGoodbye Derroll - Goodbye Friend
(Tucker Zimmerman - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

Summertime has come and gone
Leaves have fallen from the trees
Rain is falling from the sky
Time has come to say goodbye

Goodbye Derroll - Goodbye Friend
This is where the trail ends
You ride on - I stay behind
With you always on my mind

I recall the night we met
Raining hard and soaking wet
Said I'm your friend don't you know
From a long long time ago

Goodbye Derroll - Goodbye Friend
This is where the trail ends
You ride on - I stay behind
With you always on my mind

 

Tucker Zimmerman & Derroll Adams

Tucker Zimmerman: vocal, 12-string guitar
Didier Bourguignon: banjo

Soliman, Stockay / St.Georges, Belgium - engineer: Michel Gilsoul

upA Profound and Beautiful Sadness
(Text: Derroll Adams, Music: Tucker Zimmerman - copyright control SABAM, Belgium)

A profound and beautiful sadness
Was the passage of all times
I hear the wind - the rain is falling
Through it all I hear time calling
And years go by like a silent cry

And there as a child my heart was thrilled
And all the dreams that speak to me still
And now my heart feels sad
Memories too - so many bad
A profound and beautiful sadness
Was the passage of all times
I hear the wind - the rain is falling
Through it all I hear time calling
And years go by like a silent cry

And there as a child my heart was thrilled

 

Derroll Adams: voice
Tucker Zimmerman: 12 string guitar

Recorded in Antwerp, November 30, 1997 - sound engineer: Alain Sironval - from Patrick Ferryn's tribute film to Derroll Adams "I Was Born in Portland Town"

upThe Making of
(by Hans Theessink)

For quite a while I'd had the idea to make a tribute CD to Derroll Adams - gather some friends that Derroll had an impact on and record some of the songs that he wrote or liked to perform. In April 1998 I sent a letter to Derroll and Danny to tell them about my plan. At the same time I contacted several musical friends - they all were excited about the idea and wanted to be part of the project. I had planned to do the CD fairly quickly so that Derroll still could hear the result. This all changed when Derroll sadly passed away on February 6, 2000.

We got the recording sessions going and all the musicians donated their talent and time for this worthwhile project. Arlo, Donovan, and Allan got really involved right from the start and were continually in touch with ideas, suggestions, and comments.We recorded at different places - musicians never stay at one place too long, so at times it wasn't all that easy to pin folks down - also part of the reason why this project has been in progress for a few years. Sometimes we were lucky to get some of the musicians gathered in one place to do a live group recording - on other occasions people recorded their song and sent me a finished tape. Getting the songs in the post was a great experience. Derroll was a dear friend to all the singers involved and it was wonderful to find that every song touched upon something Derroll-esque. Derroll had made such a big impression on all of us that it wasn't necessary to explain much - I just gave the singers a choice of songs. Sometimes they came up with something extra. That's why there are two versions of "The Rock" - at the end of his recording session Ramblin' Jack mentioned a funny song that Derroll used to do - Jack does a striking Derroll imitation and we had to include it. We also ended up with more songs than one CD can hold and unfortunately had to leave several great songs out.

A number of studios donated studio time - among them Günther Pauler in Germany, Jack Clement in Nashville, Michel Gilsoul in Belgium and Peter Miller in San Francisco - thanks a lot. Also thanks to Dave Peabody, who donated some great photographs including the cover shot. One Sunday morning in Antwerp, Danny, Milica and I went through a big box full of concert souvenirs and photos - we came across many great shots, but unfortunately we weren't always able to trace the photographer (Let us know if you see your photo!). While in Antwerp, Milica took the photo of Derroll's banjo that's on the backcover - we placed the banjo on Derroll's chair out in the little back garden that he loved so well. On this occasion she also made the shot of the banjoskin that's printed on the CD itself.

Viennese stringmakers Thomastik-Infeld sponsored the graphic design and printing - thank you for your generosity. A great help in writing the liner notes was the 1967 Sing Out article "Banjo Pickin' Expatriate" by Bill Yaryan. Luckily I still had the opportunity to meet up with Derroll and do some interviews at his kitchen table - many of his stories and comments are included in the liner notes. Derroll and his music have played an important role for everyone involved in this CD. He has touched us all with his music and his larger than life personality. These recordings are a celebration of Derroll's life and music and show our shared love and admiration for the Banjoman.

up What the press said ...

Old Time Herald, (USA)
Sing Out!, (USA)
Dirty Linen, (USA)
Folk Roots , (UK)
Fret, (NL)
Il Buscadero, (I)
Moors Magazine, (NL)
Rootstown, (B)
Bourdonske, (B)
Le Cri Du Coyote, (F)
Jyllandsposten, (DK)
Gaffa, (DK)
Varden, (N)
Akustik Gitarre, (D)
Folker, (D)
Concerto, (A)
Jazzzeit, (A)
Wienerin, (A)
Salburger Nachrichten, (A)

up Old Time Herald (USA) 2003

 
Banjoman: A Tribute to Derroll Adams
Blue Groove CD: BG-1420


Columbus Stockade Blues /Portland Town /The Cuckoo/Freight Train Blues /The Mountain /The Sky/The Valley/Curtains of Night /Dixie Darling /Muleskinner Blues /24 Hours A Day /Epistle to Derroll/A Feather Fell /Banjo Man /The Rock/Memories/Lovesong/Willie Moore /The Rock/Goodbye Derroll, Goodbye Friend /A Profound and Beautiful Sadness

Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Donovan, Dolly Parton, Ralph McTell, Happy Traum, Hans Theessink, Allan Taylor, Billy Connolly, Youra Marcus, Yves Rouchaville, Tucker Zimmerman, Wizz Jones, Danny Thompson, Barney McKenna, John Sheahan, Cowboy Jack Clement, David Ferguson, Leland Sklar, David Hungate, Jim Keltner, Bobbye Hall, Didier Bourguigon (vocals and instrumentals)

The archetype of the charismatic, mystical banjo-playing guru has played a role far out of proportion to his occurrence in the evolution of the philosophical underpinning of what we know today as the acoustic/traditional music subculture. Notable artists include Pete Seeger, Billy Faier, Mel Lyman, Guy Carawan, Peter Stampfel, and at the opposite end of the socio-political spectrum, Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The artistic contribution of the city-bred musical-cultural avatars to the subculture was the result of their unique fusion of their interest in traditional music to leftist politics, unconventional lifestyles, and personal mythology. Less known to American traditional music enthusiasts are the contributions of the late banjoist and singer Derroll Adams (b. 1925-d. 2000), the subject of the present tribute compilation.

Adams, a Portland, Oregon native, spent most of his musical career performing on the European street, folk festival, and folk club scene. His hanging-out genealogy can be traced back to the earliest period of the mid 20th century American folk revival, specifically to the late 1940's Topanga Canyon scene that included Woody Guthrie and Will Geer. He migrated to Europe in the mid 1950's at the invitation of musical associate Elliot Adnopoz (who was beginning to gain notoriety as Ramblin' Jack Elliot), and eventually settled in Brussels, Belgium. Adams influenced artists such as Donovan Leitch, Alex Campbell, and Ralph McTell, and evolved into a folkie elder statesman for new generations of musicians living in Europe, such as Dutch blues guitarist Hans Theesink, who co-produced this compilation with Arlo Guthrie.

Adams was known as an interpreter of traditional material and a raconteur with a riveting stage presence. The artists on the present recording cover songs associated with his performances in a quiet, gentle, casual fashion, reminiscent of Adams' own work. Notable old/traditional selections include a performance of "Muleskinner Blues" by Jack Elliot, which is almost indistinguishable from Elliot's Woody Guthrie-influenced presentations of four decades earlier, and British skiffler-turned-folkie Wizz Jones' straightforward reading of "Willie Moore", backed by Ralph McTell on clawhammer banjo. Adams is incorrectly credited in the liner notes with the song "Curtains of Night", actually written by William S. Hays in 1869. It receives a tender vocal treatment by French banjoist Youra Marcus, who is unknown to this reviewer. His banjo approach mixes frailing, up-picking, and fingerstyles into an understated, highly musical amalgam reminiscent of the style of Hedy West. However, an interpretation of the Carter Family standard " Dixie Darling" by Dolly Parton is marred by overly dramatic vocal delivery and an irritating ersatz-hick "yee-haw" during the instrumental break.

Adams was also a writer of ancient sounding songs that appeared to pre-date his time and place, much in the way Jean Ritchie produced material that slipped effortlessly into oral tradition. "Portland Town", his best-known work, became a folk revival standard. It receives a sparse, somewhat Dylanesque treatment by Guthrie, and is a highlight of this recording. Included as well in this collection is Adams' little-known trilogy of deeply introspective songs ("The Mountain", "The Sky", "The Valley"), covered sensitively by Donovan, Theesink (who sports an expressive, honey-warm, gruff bass voice), and Taylor. In another moving performance, Happy Traum presents a heartfelt version of Adams' "Memories", featuring subtle overdubbed banjo and rhythmically complex, lush guitar work. The recording also contains material composed in tribute to Adams, notably by McTell and Donovan. These efforts fall firmly into the mid-1960's urban traditional musician-turned singer songwriter genre, and may not appeal to readers of the OTH.

This recording does not present old time music, as we know it. While I may not recommend this collection to the readers of the OTH, it transported me back to my first hearing of the Elektra Records compilation "Folksong '65", and then, off to a late fall campfire decades ago at 3 AM where someone in the circle began vamping in open D tuning quietly singing "…green, green rocky road…" and I was trying to remember if my banjo case was in her tent or mine…deep down, we're all old folkies at heart.

The sound quality on all selections is uniformly excellent. The CD packaging is a hardcover booklet containing complete performance credits, lyrics, and more than 30 pages of Adams' reminiscences, photographs and tributes from his colleagues. All proceeds go to his family.

(Steve Senderoff)


up Sing Out!, USA, Winter 2003

Various Artists
Banjoman - a tribute to Derroll Adams
In the mid-1950s, American folk singers Derroll Adams and Ramblin' Jack Elliott teamed up and went over to England. The busked their way around Europe, made a few records and became influential performers on the British folk club scene. Around 1960, Elliott returned to the US while Adams stayed in Europe, eventually settling in Belgium. Adams died there in 2000 at the age of 75. Although he never achieved much popular fame, Adams was an influential figure on many of the European and American folk artists he came to know. Some of them contribute to this loving tribute put together by Hans Theessink and Arlo Guthrie.
The album is a mixture of Derroll's original songs, traditional folk and early country songs from his repertoire, and tribute songs written in Derroll's honor and memory.
There are some real treats here with the traditional material. Arlo, Hans, and Donovan kick off the album with a great trio version of "Columbus Stockade Blues." Later on, Arlo harmonizes with Ramblin' Jack on "Muleskinner Blues" the way Derroll and Jack might have done it almost half century ago. Dolly Parton's "Dixie Darlin'", again with Arlo's harmonies, is a lot of fun while Wizz Jones does a lovely rendition of the ballad "Willie Moore."

There are some moving performances of Adam's own songs. Some of these highlights include Arlo's rendition of "Portland Town", the anti-war song, written in 1957, which became a folk standard, Donovan's version of "The Mountain", a song that I used to assume was Donovan's own, Happy Traum's lovely version of "Memories", and Hans' version of "24 Hours a Day."
The most poignant moments come in tribute songs written and performed by Donovan, Ralph McTell, Tucker Zimmerman and Allan Taylor, and in the CD's closing moments when we hear Derroll's own voice.
(MR)


up Dirty Linen, USA, Feb/March 2003

Unpacking the Panoply
A Compilation of Compilations by Colleen Moore

With a few exeptions, this mont’s selections feature more obscure and unknown artists. This prevents a challenge to both listener and reviewer. We'’e all more more comfortable on familiar ground, but if that’s where we stay, we’ll miss some of the best music the world has to offer. Derroll Adams is not as well-known in this country as he deserves to be, overshadowed by contemporaries Woody Guthrie and Ramblin‘ Jack Elliott . A journeyman singer/songwriter who had a magical touch on a five-string banjo, Adams made what would ultimately be a permanent move to Europe in the late 50s.There he influenced a generation of musicians from every corner of the continent. BANJOMAN: A Tribute to Derroll Adams (Rising Son RSR-2102-2 (2002) is a loving homage by a few of those artists from both sides of the Atlantic to a man they considered a genius, a mentor, and a friend. The songs are performed singly, or in combination, by Arlo Guthrie (no surprise here – Rising Son is the Guthrie label), Hans Theessink, Donovan, Ramblin‘ jack Elliott, Allan Taylor, Dolly Parton, Youra Marcus, Billy Connolly, and Tucker Zimmerman. Some of the songs are traditional pieces, notably “Columbus Stockade Blues,“ and “Freight Train Blues“; others are songs Adams loved and played often, such as “Muleskinner Blues“ and “Dixie Darling.“ Many selections are penned by Adams, including “Portland Town,“ “Curtains Of Night,“ “Lovesong,“ “The Mountain,“ “The Sky,“ “The Valley,“ and “24 Hours a Day.“ Almost an equal number of songs were written as a tribute to Adams by those performers. These songs have the sam gentle, spellbinding quality as Adams‘ own songs, and are nearly indistinguishable in style.
Adams‘ biography reads like a Wallace Stegner novel, and the liner notes are nearly novel length. It’s enough to say that the number of crummy jobs he held probably equaled the number of women he married squared and multiplied by three. Much of his story isn’t pretty, but the music is another story. It ’s easy to see why Donovan referred to Adams as a “Zen-folk-hero“. There is no flashy instrumentation here. This is a simple and quiet little album, but the words and music lap up into consciousness in rhythmic, steady waves. This tribute CD is a absolute showstopper and tops my my “best of“ list for 2002.
(Colleen Moore)


up Folk Roots, UK, issue no. 234 (December 2002)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Banjoman (A Tribute To Derroll Adams)
This beautifully produced and presented CD is a tribute from some of his many musician friends to Derroll Adams, who died early in 2000. An outline account of Derroll’s 75 years on the planet, much of it in his own words, is contained in the substantial booklet that accompanies the CD, along with reproductions of some of Derroll’s paintings, the lyrics of the songs, and some lovely photographs. There are contributions from the producers Arlo Guthrie and Hans Theessink, along with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Donovan, Dolly Parton, Ralph McTell, Allan Taylor, Billy Connolly, Wizz Jones, Happy Traum, Youra Marcus and Tucket Zimmerman. Personal favourites include Tukcer’s beautiful Goodbye Derroll – Goodbye Friend, Ralph’s A Feather Fell and Donovan’s Beautifully sung performance of Derroll’s The Mountain. Strangely, my least favourites area also down do Donovan; a somewhat leaden version of Derroll’s Lovesong and his own Epistle to Derroll Which is simply naff. (Starry starfish and their many leggies, indeed.) Several of the songs are from Derroll’s repertoire, like Portland Town from Arlo and Freight Train Blues from Hans – the latter in a voice almost as deep as Derroll’s own. There are no fewer that two versions (Jack and Billy) of Derroll’s little gem The Rock , both worth hearing. Overall the CD is very good listening , much more coherent than might be expected from such a disparate bunch of musicians; and it brings Derroll vividly to mind. It stands as testimony not only to the lasting influence that Derroll had, but to the continued love and support that was in turn given to him by so many people even though his problem-drinking years: which love he would have been the first to acknowledge. Distribution by Blue Groove (Europe) and Rising Song (US). For more information visit www.theessink.com or www.arlo.net.
(Maggie Holland)


up "Il Buscadero" No. 240 - November 2002

ARTISTI VARI
– Banjoman: A Tribute To Derroll Adams (Blue Groove)
Derroll Adams non è un nome conosciuto ai più, pur avendo inciso parecchi dischi nella sua carriera,di cui due registrati a Milano per la Joker, eppure è un personaggio di tutto rispetto che avrebbe meritato più attenzione e considerazione. Fa parte di quella schiera di i musicisti che sono stati apprezzati ‘in carriera più dai colleghi, dagli addetti ai lavori, che ne hanno magari interpretato le canzoni o da cui si sono sentiti influenzati, che non dal pubblico che sceglie e consuma i dischi. Ecco allora l’occasione per parlarne e rimediare, per quanto possibile, al silenzio in cui lo abbiamo avvolto. Sicuramente fuori tempo massimo, non essendo egli più tra gli esseri viventi ormai da due anni, allora quando si è spento, all’età di settantacinque anni, ammalato e fisicamente limitato, in Europa, nella cittadina belga di Antwerp dove ha trascorso l’ultimo periodo della sua vita. Derroll, un chitarrista diventato un virtuoso del banjo, ecco la ragione del titolo del disco, èstato un folk singer a songwriter, ~: ouelli della prima leva fiorita re a seconda metà del secolo scorso, cne si è legato sia professionalmente sia amichevolmente con i diversi artisti che hanno calcato le scene europee e mondiali allora, a cominciare da Ramblin’ Jack Elliott e Odetta, per arrivare a Donovan, Happy Traum, Arlo Guthrie, lo scozzese Alex Campbell, Allan Taylor, Ralph McTell. Ha scritto parecchie canzoni, non tutte passate inosservate, se pensiamo appena a Portland Town, il suo pezzo più famoso, una riflessione sulla nascita, la vita e la morte, dedicato alla sua città natia, da lui inciso nel 1957, del quale abbiamo avuto sicuramente modo negli anni a seguire di ascoltare diverse covers. Banjoman, avviato quando Derroll era ancora in vita e presentato in una gradevolissima confezione con un libretto di sessanta pagine come inserto, è l’omaggio che tutti i musicisti che gli sono stati in qualche modo vicino, quelli citati sopra più qualcun altro, gli hanno voluto fare per ricordarlo degnamente e farlo un po’ meglio conoscere. Gli appassionati di folk revival e traditional music, dello stile cantautorale sixties e seventies non solo sono in grado di apprezzarlo facilmente, ma dovrebbero restarne piuttosto soddisfatti. Sono ventuno le tracce raccolte, registrate tutte in campo acustico, fatte di canzoni scritte da Derroll o che a lui piaceva eseguire, delle quali è opportuno sottolineare almeno le seguenti: tra quelle originali Portland Town naturalmente, protagonista Arlo Guthrie, che sembra il musicista più coinvolto nell’intera operazione, la ‘trilogia" The mountain, The Sky, The VaI/ey, tre pezzi sobri e semplici ma ricchi di pathos e feeling, interpreti nell’ordine Donovan e la sua chitarra, Allan Taylor e la sua chitarra e il suo salterio, il cantautore austriaco Hans Theessink, che ha partecipato alla realizzazione di dischi con diversi musicisti americani tra i quali Rick Danko, e la sua mandola con accompagnamento di Donovan e Arlo Guthrie alla voce e alla chitarra. Curtains of night, un motivo dalla squisita melodia sostenuta da banjo e chitarra e affidato alle voci di Youra e Yves Rouchaville, 24 Hours a day, il brano dedicato alla sua drammatica esperienza con l’alcool, che gli ha procurato diverse crisi in carriera, con Theessink ancora voce solista, The rock, deliziosa e divertente little song proposta in due edizioni, una curata da Billy Connolly e il banjo, l’altra realizzata da Ramblin’ Jack Elliott e la sua chitarra, in chiave più ironica e confidenziale quest’ultima con intervento parlato ad imitazione di Derroll. Tra i brani non a firma Adams l’attenzione va posta in maniera particolare sui traditionals Freight Train Blues e WiIIie Moore, il primo appannaggio di Hans, Arlo e Donovan in edizione che vuole essere la più folk possibile, il secondo opera del chitarrista e vocalist Wizz Jones, accompagnato ai banjo da Ralph McTell che è anche harmony vocalist per l’occasione. E sull’eccellente bluegrass di A. P. Carter Dixie Darling alla cui registrazione partecipa la più nutrita schiera di musicisti contemporaneamente coinvolti, in testa ai quali si pone la bravissima Dolly Parton. L’ultima citazione va riservata ai bel motivo di Donovan Epistle te Derrcll appositamente scritto per il nostro eroe ‘col tatuaggio sulla mano" nel lontano ‘67 (era apparso in uno dei più riusciti album del cantautore britannico Gift from a flower to a garden), quale testimonianza speciale di reale riconoscenza e ammirazione. (Raffaele Galli)


up Rootstown, B, Sept.02

Various (productie Hans THEESSINK & Arlo GUTHRIE) - Banjoman (A Tribute to Derroll Adams) - Blue Groove CD BG -1420 (Central Distribution) (in de US uitgebracht op Arlo's Rising Son Records) - 2002. (info: www.theessink.com en www.arlo.net )

Hans Theessink had er in het voorjaar gloedvol over uitgeweid tijdens zijn prachtige concert in De Boerderij te Eine: in het najaar zou een tribute volgen voor één van de meest invloedrijke muzikanten in de folk (en ver daarbuiten): Derroll Adams. Geboren en getogen in Portland, Oregon, niet meer welkom in eigen land wegens zijn pacifistische bezigheden, in allerlei problemen gesukkeld, stak hij in het zog van muzikale vrienden over naar Engeland, dan naar het vasteland, strandde in Antwerpen waar hij geluk en stabiliteit vond: in '70 trouwde hij met zijn geliefde Danny, een dochter, Rebecca, volgde. Die laatste speelt een mooie rol in de spotgoedkope live mfp-LP waarmee we Derroll 'ontdekten' in de vroege seventies. Derroll Adams: een groot ,,banjoman'' en songschrijver, zo mogelijk een nog groter mens. De idee van een tribute dateert nog van tijdens zijn leven, maar zijn dood in februari 2000 maakte dat hij er de afwerking niet meer van beleefde. Het is slechts één van de vele initiatieven waarin men de bewonderde én geliefde artiest wil eren, maar met ,,Banjoman'' is veel, zoniet alles gezegd. Hans Theessink en Arlo Guthrie (zoon vàn) hebben niet veel moeite gehad om veel schoon volk, vrienden, collega's en gelijkgestemden, te verzamelen voor deze collectie van 21 covers (songs van Derroll of met hem geassocieerd) en originals (songs over Derroll) De opsomming alleen al kan deze review vullen. Mogen we hier enkel Donovan Leitch, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Dolly Parton (jawel!), Ralph McTell, Allan Taylor, Billy Connolly, Tucker Zimmerman, Happy Traum en Danny Thompson vermelden? Theesink en Guthrie zorgden voor een uitstekende productie. Ze staan hier 'allemaal' op, zijn songs: Portland Town (het schrijnende lied over het leed veroorzaakt door de Koreaanse oorlog, de archetypische Derroll song als we dat zo mogen formuleren), Freight Train Blues (dat Hans in Eine en op de Gentse Feesten ,,à la Derroll'' zong), The Valley, The Rock (dat laatste zelfs twee keer)… Fraaie tributes ook van Donovan (Epistle To Derroll) en Allan Taylor (Banjo Man) Bescheiden als hij heel zijn leven was, laat Derroll zelf pas helemaal op het einde van zich horen samen met vriend Zimmerman, in A Profound And Beautiful Sadness, opname uit '97, geplukt uit de film ,,I Was Born In Portland Town'', een bijzonder ontroerend coda van een plaat die we eenieder volmondig kunnen aanraden, een noodzakelijke aanvulling op de live in Kortrijk opgenomen tribuut CD die n.a.v. Derrolls 65e verjaardag gemaakt werd (Waste Productions WP9101, 1991) Want behalve schitterende muziek vind je bij ,,Banjoman'' een verzorgd boekje met zestig van kant tot kant gevuld bladzijden vol foto's en informatie. De opbrengst gaat integraal naar Derrolls familie in België.     (Antoine Légat)


up Bourdonske, B, Sept.02

 Hans THEESSINK, Arlo GUTHRIE e.v.a., Banjoman (A Tribute To Derroll Adams)
- Blue Groove CD BG - 1420 (Central Distribution) (www.theessink.com)
Deze hommage begon reeds vorm te krijgen tijdens de laatste levensdagen van Derroll Adams. We denken dat de folkreus -want die titel verdient hij toch?- zeer tevreden zou geweest zijn met het eindresultaat. We houden doorgaans niet van 'verplichte nummertjes' maar dit keer is er geen ontkomen aan: wie van folk houdt, hoort deze Banjoman in huis te halen. Het werd een tribuut volledig in de geest van wat de man uit Portland Town altijd voorstond. Producers Hans Theessink (de in Wenen woonachtige Nederlandse bluesgitarist) en Arlo Guthrie (zoon van Woody, voor wie het niet zou weten), twee mensen die naar eigen zeggen heel veel te danken hebben aan Derroll, hebben gezorgd voor een sound die zeer dicht ligt bij wat Adams indertijd op plaat zette. De deelnemers aan Banjoman zijn overigens allemaal oude vrienden of kennissen, en het zijn er zoveel dat we hier slechts enkelen vermelden (men vergeve het ons): de gezellen van vroeger Ramblin' Jack Elliott en Tucker Zimmerman mochten niet ontbreken, maar ook Donovan, Dolly Parton, Ralph McTell en de grote Allan Taylor behoren tot de bewonderaars, allemaal artiesten die veel aan Adams te danken hebben. Er werden niet alleen songs van Derroll zelf geselecteerd, waaronder standards als Portland Town, The Valley en The Rock, maar ook andermans materiaal dat hij destijds graag zong wordt hernomen. Een aantal mensen -Donovan, McTell, Taylor, Zimmerman- hebben ook een liedje over de man bijgedragen. En gans aan het einde laat Derroll zelf nog even zijn warme stem horen…Vakkundig, verzorgd en recht uit het hart, zo mag Banjoman heten. Het zoemt allemaal zo lekker weg in dit jaargetijde, maar vergis u niet: Derroll Adams was a man for all seasons en, bovenal misschien, een prachtmens…Dat mag dit tribuut ten voeten uit bewijzen. Voeg daarbij het liefdevol samengestelde CD-boekje, 60 bladzijden vol waardevolle biografische informatie, songteksten en zorgvuldig gekozen fotomateriaal. Alle opbrengsten gaan naar Derrolls nabestaanden en ook dat is een goed punt bij. (Antoine Légat)


up Le Cri Du Coyote, F, No 72, Nov/Dec.2002

 BANJOMAN / A Tribute to Derroll Adams (Blue Groove BG 1420)

Coup de chapeau mérité à celui que David McNeil surnommait „le vieil homme au coeur tatoué“.
Personne n’a oublié la belle voix grave de Derroll Adams. Tous ses amis ont tenu à participer à cet hommage posthume. Les Américains: Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Dolly Parton et les Européens: Donovan, Allan Taylor, Ralph McTell, Hans Theessink, Tucker Zimmerman, et Barney McKenna l’un des piliers, de bar, des Dubliners!

Le CD est produit par le bluesman hollandais Hans Theessink et sera distribué aux USA par Arlo Guthrie. Petit regret, l’absence de Joan baez qui avait popularisé “Portland Town“ en pleine querre du Vietnam. Une belle brochette de musiciens et chanteurs, réunis pour le plaisir d’interpréter quelques classiques de l’homme au banjo. Excellent devoir de mémoire, livré en digipack avec un livret de 60 pages, débordant de photos et d’interviews. En guise de conclusion, c’est Patrick Ferryn qui a procuré le dernier enregistrement de Derroll, accompagné par la guitare de Tucker Zimmerman, „A Profound and Beautiful Sadness“, enregistré à Anvers en 1997... A travers ces contributions inspirées, vous revivrez une belle page de l’ histoire de la folk music universelle. (Alain FOURNIER)


up Jyllandsposten, DK, 23.Aug.02

En hyldest fra vennerne
En stor hyldest til den afdøde banjomand, Derroll Adams, Sådan er CD'en "Banjoman", som er indspillet af de muikalske venner.

5 stjerner (ud af 6 mulige!)

"It's good to know that he's a friend of mine", lyder slutlinjerne i hvert vers af engelske Allan Taylors smukke hyldestsang til den amerikanske sanger, sangskriver og banjospiller Derroll Adams, som døde i februar 2000. Og efter CD'en "Banjoman" at dømme havde Derroll Adams rigtig mange venner i folkemusikmiljøet. CD'en er èn stor hyldest til den afdøde banjomand. Mange hylder ham med deres personlige fortolkning af nogle af de sange, han skrev, andre ved at synge sange fra Derroll Adams store repertoire, og endelig har nogle (bl.a. Donovan og Ralph McTell) bidraget med hyldestsange, skrevet til Derroll Adams både før og efter hans død. En af de mest bevægende er "Goodbye Derroll - Goodbye Friend", skrevet af Derrolls mangeårige medspiller på piano og guitar, Tucker Zimmerman, og sunget for første gang ved Derroll Adams bisættelse. Jeg tror, at Zimmerman taler på manges vegne, når han synger "with you always on my mind". Men nu skal man jo ikke tro at CD'en er den rene jammer, Tværtimod - jeg synes, at de medvirkende kunstnere fint træffer grundtonen i Adams enkle, men ofte barske sange, sum rummer både humor og robyst styrke. CD'en rummer høreværdige versioner af Adams-sange som bl.a. "Portland Town", "The Mountain", "The Sky", "The Valley", "The Rock" og "24 Hours A Day", som handler om Adams' noget problematiske forhold til whiskey. En mere poetisk side af Adams afdækkes i "Lovesong", følsomt fortolket af Donovan. Og til sidst høres Adams selv i en duet med Tucker Zimmerman i Adams smukt-melankolske "A Profound and Beautiful Sadness". Men CD'en rummer også andre sange fra Adams repertoire. Bl.a. en saftigt rå-swingende version af "Columbus Stockade Blues" med Arlo Guthrie, Donovan og Hans Theessink. de tre initiativtagere til tribute-CD'en og i øvrigt tre af CD'ens bedste stemmer, men også Allan Taylor markerer sig stærkt vokalt. Vi får også "Dixie Darling" i en herligt humørfyldt version med bl.a. Dolly Parton. Hun kommer desværre ikke til søndagens finalekoncert på Tønder Festival, som Adams følte en særlig tilknytning til. Men ellers deltager de fleste af de medvirkende kunstnere på CD'en i søndagens live-hyldest til Derroll Adams, bl.a. Adams' mangeårige makker Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Stor ros til initiativtagerne og de medvirkende kunstnere for et flot og vellykket projekt, som også omfatter en velredigeret og inholdsrig booklet på 64 sider med masser af billeder, en udførlig biografi og mange kloge og gode ord af Adams og om Adams fra nogle af hans mange musikalske venner. Jeg vil tro, at Derroll Adams fryder sig i sin himmel - eller hvor han nu har slået sig ned. (Søren Christian Kirkegaard)


up Diverse Kunstnere

Banjoman (A Tribute To Derroll Adams)
Blue Groove
CD Udgivelse: 19-08-2002

Den amerikanske folk-musiker Derroll Adams blev født i 1925 og døde i 2000, før Banjoman var færdig. Med sit væsen, sin stemme, sit banjospil og sine sange har Derroll Adams påvirket især europæiske musikere. Også i Danmark var Adams skattet, og her debuterede han på Tønder Festivalen i 1976, hvor han også takkede af i 1999. Men Adams er næsten glemt i USA, hvor hans fans dog tæller folk som hans gamle medspiller Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie og Dolly Parton. Alle er de med på denne cd. Andre venner og medmusikere som Donovan, Ralph McTell og Hans Theessink høres også. Gennem 21 fine Derroll Adams-numre med mere, gennem de trykte sangtekster, fyldige, velvalgte interviews med Adams og med folk, der var tæt på ham, gennem et fint billedmateriale i det smukke, overdådigt, men økonomisk udstyrede cd-hæfte, kommer man helt ind under huden og ind i sjælen på Derroll Adams og hans musik. Og Adams selv får endda det sidste ord.

Banjoman er et fremragende, utroligt vellykket tribute-album.

   Gaffa (DK) 5 stjerner (ud af 6 mulige!)


up Varden, 07/09/02, N

Diverse artister: "Banjoman - a tribute to Derroll Adams"

Det er ikke alle forunt å få et minneord som dette. En flott samling sanger med dyktige utøvere.
Derroll Adams var en amerikaner som bosatte seg i Europa, de siste drøyt tjue årene i Antwerpen. Han har vært venn med folk som Woody Guthrie, Will Geer, Pete Seeger, Cisco Houston og Odetta. Han døde 75 år gammel for to år siden, da var arbeidet med denne hyllesten allerede i gang. Her i Norge kjenner vi nok navnet Derroll Adams først og fremst via Donovan, som både skrev låter til Derroll og spilte inn Derroll-komposisjoner. Derrolls aller mest kjente sang er "Portland Town", skrevet på 50-tallet og spilt inn av folk som The Kingston Trio, Joan Baez og Van Morrison. Hans Theessink, bluesmannen med utgangspunkt i Wien, er mannen bak denne samlingen her. Artister og musikere er folk som kjente og hadde et forhold til Derroll Adams: Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Donovan, Dolly Parton, Ralph McTell, Allan Taylor, Happy Traum og Hans Theessink for å nevne noen. Mange av sangene de framfører her, har du helt sikkert hørt før. Derroll selv spilte banjo og snakket og sang sine lavmælte tekster til dette instrumentet. Den rolige, avslappede og følelsesladede stemningen er tatt vare på gjennom hele dette albumet. Dolly Partons stemme er så absolutt den som skjærer høyest og den ene låten er kanskje en man velger å hoppe over. 21 sanger totalt, alt nyinnspilt og i spennende samspill. Hvem hadde vel trodd at Donovan, Arlo og Hans skulle synge sammen på en sang. I tillegg får du en velskrevet og fyldig innføring i hvem Derroll var og hva han har betydd for mange. 60 sider totalt.

Diverse artister
"Banjoman - a tribute to Derroll Adams" (Blue Groove)

terningkast 5

   Varden,N,Helge Ottesen


up Akustik Gitarre (D) 1/03

 
Zum Freundeskreis um Odetta, Woody Guthrie und Pete Seeger gehörte auch Derroll Adams, der nicht nur als Folksänger, sondern vor allem als "Banjoman" für Aufmerksamkeit sorgte. Mit Ramblin' Jack Elliott kam er 1957 nach Europa, begründete hierzulande seinem Ruf mit einem furios gefeierten Auftritt bei den Essener Songtagen 1968. Freunde hatte der kauzig aussehenden Mann mit dem Five-String-Banjo überall, von Hannes Wader hin zu Donovan, Arlo Guthrie und Hans Theessink. Und letzterer musste nicht lange bitten, als es darum ging, ein Tribut-Album für Adams aufzunehmen. Adams selbst verstarb 2000 in Antwerpen und konnte nicht mehr hören, was ihm seine Freunde zudachten: 21 Songs, vom "Columbus Stockade Blues" zum "Muleskinner Blues", von "The Rock" bis hin zu "Epistle To Derroll", wo in verschiedenen Zusammensetzungen Gitarren auf Banjos, Bässe und schöne Stimmen (wie etwa die von Dolly Parton) treffen. Um noch einige Nahmen zu nennen: Hans Theessink ist dabei, natürlich, in gewohnt guter Form; Arlo Guthrie, Donovan, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Ralph McTell, Wizz Jones, Happy Traum, u.a. Eine Garde die für Qualität bürgt. Und die fängt nicht nur dort an, wo technisch perfektes Fingerpicking zu hören ist, sondern wo alle Beteiligten mit Verständnis, Begeisterung und Mitgefühl bei der Sache sind. Das aufwendige Digipack mitsamt einem ausführlichen, 64-seitigen Booklet macht Various Artists "BANJOMAN - A Tribute To Derroll Adams" (Blue Groove/musictrade) zu einem perfekten Album für alle, die eine Grenze zwische Blues und Folk nicht ziehen müssen. (Adrian Wolfen)


up Folker, D, Nov/Dez 02

Verneigung vor dem "Banjoman" - Liebeserklärung an Derroll Adams

Hans Theessink, Arlo Guthrie und Donovan veröffentlichen Tribute-Album

Es gibt in der Musik Menschen, die bleiben ihr gesamtes Leben eher im Hintergrund und nur einem begrenzten, eingeweihten Publikum bekannt. Durch ihr Wirken, ihre Persönlichkeit, ihre Aura inspirieren sie aber eine ganze Generation von Musikern, die es an eine weit größere Öffentlichkeit weitergeben. So ein Mensch muss Derroll Adams gewesen sein, ein rastloser Streuner, musikalischer Beat-Poet und Menschen-Verzauberer, dessen Lieblingsmetapher das einsame Heulen der Frachtzüge war. Derroll Adams, ein Folkie aus der Generation von Woodie Guthrie und Pete Seeger, verließ die USA in der McCarthy-Ära gen Europa, wo er mit seinem Kumpel Ramblin' Jack Elliott auf den Straßen Roms, in den Bars von London, Brüssel und Paris und in diversen Aufnahmestudios spielte. Der Banjoman, dessen Spielauffassung der eines Zen-Mönchs glich, traf auf seinen erratischen Streifzügen in seiner europäischen Wahlheimat unzählige junge Musiker, wie z.B. Donovan, Hans Theessink, Woody Guthries Sohn Arlo, Ralph McTell. Am 6. Februar 2000 schloss Derroll Adams, der Banjoman, verehrter Mentor so vieler Folk-Musiker, in einem Antwerpener Krankenhaus für immer die Augen. Jetzt haben seine Epigonen, Schüler und musikalischen Weggefährten ihre Trauerarbeit mit der Veröffentlichung des Tribute-Albums "Banjoman" abgeschlossen. Beim Tønder-Festival in Dänemark wurde das Album in diesem Sommer von einigen der Beteiligten, darunter neben Theessink, Guthrie und Donovan u.a. auch Happy Traum, Ramblin' Jack Elliott und Allan Taylor, live vorgestellt.
Dem zuletzt sehr kranken Guru der europäischen Folk- und Rootsszen hatten seine Epigonen ein Tribute-Album versprochen, um ihm und seiner Familie in schweren Zeiten materiell ein wenig unter die Arme zu greifen. Während der Arbeiten daran ist der Banjoman verstorben, aber sie wurden von Hans Theessink, dem in Wien ansässigen niederländischen Blues- & Roots-Musiker, und seinen Freunden zu einem achtbaren Ende geführt und der Erlös kommt nun den Hinterbliebenen zugute. Die vor zwei Monaten auf dem Theessink'schen Blue-Groove-Label erschienene CD ist mehr als eine formelle Verneigung vor einem spirituellen und musikalischen Lehrmeister, sie ist in Form und Inhalt geradezu eine Liebeserklärung. Das geschmackvoll aufgemachte Digipak enthält ein 64-seitiges Booklet mit seltenen Fotos und allen 21 Song-Texten sowie persönliche Statements von Musikern und anderen Weggefährten, die Adams nahe gestanden haben. Allein schon das Cover-Foto mit dem auf Eisenbahnschienen meditierenden Banjoman - das Instrument in seinen Armen wirkt wie ein integraler Teil seiner gesamten körperlichen Erscheinung - ist eine Hommage, wie sie liebevoller und treffender kaum sein könnte. Ins Werk gesetzt wurde dieses Tribute-Album von Hans Theessink, der als Produzent und Projektleiter fungierte, sowie von Arlo Guthrie, der die CD in den Vereinigten Staaten auf seinem Label Rising Son herausbringt, und der schottischen Folk-Ikone Donovan.

Zen-gleiche Songpoesie

Die Idee für das Tribute-Album hatten Theessink, Guthrie und Donovan vor einigen Jahren beim Donau-Inselfest in Wien, bei dessen erster Ausgabe 1984 sie sich zum ersten Mal getroffen hatten. Für die Produktion gingen dann beinahe zwei Jahre ins Land, und aufgenommen wurde an verschiedenen Orten in Österreich, Irland, Belgien, Australien und in den Vereinigten Staaten. Zumeist haben Studios im Sinne der guten Sache keine Rechnungen geschrieben. Die Produzenten haben eine beindruckende Schar von Folkies aus Europa und den USA für das Projekt gewinnen können. Diese haben entweder Derroll-Adams-Klassiker wie z.B. "Portland Town" (Arlo Guthrie und Hans Theessink) neu interpretiert oder eigene ihm gewidmete Songs für dieses Album verfasst. Wobei Donovan und Jack Elliott mit ihren Interpretationen von "The Mountain" und "The Rock" der zarten Poesie dieser an Zen-Gedichte erinnernden Songs besonderen Ausdruck zu verleihen. Beeindruckend ist Theessinks Interpretation von "24 Hours A Day", der Song, in dem Adams ein nüchternes, selbstironisches, zugleich aber auch schonungsloses Bekenntnis seiner Alkoholabhängigkeit ablegt. Tribute-Songs im engeren Sinne des Wortes, die eigens über Derroll Adams geschrieben wurden, sind Allan Taylors "Banjo Man", Donovans "Epistle To Derroll", Tucker Zimmermans "Goodbye Derroll - Goodbye Friend" und Ralph McTells "A Feather Fell". Wenn letzterer seine erste Begegnung mit Derroll Adams mit dem Fallen einer Feder metaphorisiert, dann wird die Faszination dieses Mannes auch für Außenstehende begreifbar.

Verwurzelt in der amerikanischen Song-Tradition

Einige Tracks des Albums, wie zum Beispiel die Traditionals "The Cuckoo" und Jimmy Rodgers' "Muleskinner Blues" (beide mit Ramblin' Jack Elliott und Arlo Guthrie), erinnern daran, dass Folkies vom Schlage eines Derroll Adams ganz tief im Liedgut ihres Kulturkreises verwurzelt waren. Konzerte des Banjoman waren auch deswegen so geschätzt, weil er über einen unerschöpflichen Vorrat an Songs aus der Tradition der amerikanischen Folklore zu verfügen schien. In diesem Zusammenhang ist die grandiose Aufnahme des Carter Family-Songs "Dixie Darling" mit Dolly Parton (!), begleitet von den Dubliners John Sheahan und Barney McKenna. ein ganz besonderes Highlight des Albums. Bereits ans Krankenbett gefesselt, äußerte Adams den Wunsch, dass Dolly Parton bei dem Projekt vertreten sein sollte, erinnert sich Arlo Guthrie. "Aber die kennt dich doch gar nicht", habe er geantwortet. "Egal, ich mag sie und möchte, dass sie mitmacht", insistierte Derroll Adams. Daraufhin nahm Arlo Guthrie mit Parton Kontakt auf. "Und sie sagte sofort zu!". Die Aufnahmen mit ihr wurden in Nashville unter Federführung von Jack Clement gemacht. "Im knappen Minirock und Netzstrümpfen tauchte sie dann im Studio auf", erzählte Guthrie lachend. "Sie ist eine lustige und unglaublich professionelle Musikerin. Innerhalb einer Stunde hatten wir ihren Song auf Band." Besonders berührend wirkt der letzte Track des Albums: "A Profound And Beautiful Sadness", das letzte Stück zarter Zen-Poesie, das Adams selbst mit gebrochener Sprechstimme zur Gitarren_Begleitung von Tucker Zimmerman aufgenommen hat. Wie berichtet wird, war Derroll auch ein besonders humorvoller mensch. Ihm hätte daher sicher auch gefallen, dass es auf dieser CD neben der neuinterpretation seines Songs "The Rock" durch den schottischen Comedian Billy Connolly (Gesang und Banjo!) auch eine Parodie desselben Liedes von seinem alten Kumpel Ramblin' Jack Elliott gibt. Wer sonst als sein ehemaliger Partner des Folk_Duos "The Cowboys" wäre da glaubwürdiger! Adams und Elliott hatten sich 1952 bei einem spontanen Treffen im kalifornischen Topanga Canyon kennen gelernt. Dabei waren damals nach Arlo's Erinnerung auch Pete Seeger, der Schauspieler Will Geer, Odetta und sein Vater Woody.

Weitergabe eines relevanten musikalischen Erbes

Die Produzenten dieses Albums hätten in ihrer Absicht, einem Tribute gerecht zu werden, der Versuchung erliegen können, das Banjo zu sehr in den Vordergrund zu stellen. Sie gaben ihr nicht nach, haben aber mit Youra Marcus ("Curtains Of Night") und Happy Traum ("Memories") Asse ihrer Zunft gewinnen können. Nun war Adams ein ganz besonderer Banjospieler, dessen Stilmittel Sparsamkeit und Langsamkeit gewesen sind. Sowohl Traum als auch Marcus haben dem in ihren Interpretationen wohltuend dezent entsprochen. Wie wenige Veröffentlichungen seines Formates, ist das Album "Tribute To Derroll Adams" eine in jeder Beziehung gelungene Angelegenheit, die ohne Peinlichkeiten und Anbiederungen auskommt. "Banjoman" verdient es, von weit mehr Leuten als nur von der weltweiten Derroll-Adams-Kultgemeinde beachtet zu werden.

Folker (D) 06.02 Nov.-Dez. ((Jörg Eiben))


up Concerto, A, Ausgabe 05/02

Banjoman
Ein etwas anderer Tribut

Tributalben sind in Mode. Schaffen sie doch die kommerziell bequeme Gelegenheit, den Namen mehr oder minder berühmter Künstler - zumeist, aber nicht notwendigerweise, bereits verblichen - mit jenen gegenwärtig bekannter musikalischer Leistungsträger zu verknüpfen. Erstere müssen persönlich überhaupt nicht, letztere nur geringfügig anwesend sein. Konsumierende Freunde aller "Beteiligten" werden angesprochen, somit ein breites (Käufer)Spektrum abgedeckt. Beispiele derart jüngst Geehrter gefällig? Mississippi John Hurt, Howlin' Wolf, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, The Who und als absoluter Tiefpunkt das "Blues White Album". In wenigen Fällen grandios, in vielen anderen schlicht entbehrlich. Motto: schnell ins Studio, am besten gleich Songs mehrerer großer Namen eingespielt, und damit wäre der Grundstein zum Namedropping für zahlreiche (potentielle) Ehrerbietungstonträger gelegt. Danach möglichst rasch wieder aus dem Studio heraus und auf den Scheck der Plattenfirma gewartet.
Bisweilen spielen aber doch auch Pietät und künstlerisch kreativer Zugang eine Rolle und in sehr seltenen Fällen wird gar ein Konzept abseits des Kommerzes zur Umsetzung gebracht. In letztere Kategorie wird sich "Banjoman - A Tribute To Derroll Adams" einreihen. Produziert von Hans Theessink und Arlo Guthrie und als Projekt koordiniert von Milica Theessink, ist das Album eine intime, stimmige Liebeserklärung an einen kauzigen, vielschichtigen Folkmusiker, Banjospieler und Songwriter namens Derroll Adams geworden, dessen Lieder von extrem emotionalem Tiefgang geprägt waren. Es erstaunt, wie viele bekannte Musiker aus der Folkszene davon erzählen, von Adams beeinflusst worden zu sein. Dementsprechend umfangreich gestaltet sich die Auswahl auf der fast achtzigminütigen Huldigung. Neben den Produzenten geben sich unter anderem Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Donovan, Dolly Parton, Ralph McTell, Alan Taylor, Billy Conolly, Youra Marcus, Tucker Zimmermann, Wizz Jones und Happy Traum zum Teil sehr privatimen Interpretationen bzw. Eigenkompositionen hin, vom wohl bekanntesten Song des "Banjoman", nämlich "Portland Town" (Arlo Guthrie) bis zu persönlichen Erinnerungen wie "Epistle To Derroll" (Donovan), "A Feather Fell" (Ralph McTell), "Banjo Man" (Allan Taylor) oder "Goodbye Derroll - Goodbye Friend" (Tucker Zimmermann). Mit "A Profound And Beautiful Sadness" kommt - gleichsam als Epilog - dann auch der im Februar 2000 verstorbene Meister selbst noch zu Wort. Die sorgfältige Koordination und Produktion der Platte wird ergänzt durch eine aufwendige Gestaltung des 63seitigen Booklets samt Digipack.
"Derroll war für mich eine wirkliche Inspirationsquelle", bestätigt Hans Theessink im CONCERTO-Interview. "Ich traf ihn in den Spätsechzigern - als er bereits in Europa lebte, kannte seine Musik aber schon von früher. Es war faszinierend jemanden persönlich kennenzulernen, der eine Verbindung etwa zu Woody Guthrie und jener Zeit darstellte, die mich sehr interessiert hat. Derroll Adams machte mit sehr einfachen Mitteln Musik mit großem Tiefgang. Über die Jahre sind mir dann immer mehr Musiker begegnet, die ebenfalls von ihm inspiriert wurden. So entstand die Idee für dieses Tributalbum. Viele der an diesem Projekt Mitwirkenden waren Freunde von Derroll und somit von Anfang an mit Überzeugung bei der Sache."
Ein wichtiges Merkmal der CD liegt auch darin, dass es ein Benefizprojekt ist?
Jeder Musiker hat auf seine Bezahlung verzichtet. Der Reinerlös der Platte geht an die Familie von Derroll Adams. Vielleicht werden nun Derrolls Lieder auch wieder stärker gespielt, sodass seine Witwe und seine Kinder etwas an Tantiemen erhalten. Da Derroll in den letzten Jahren kaum mehr aufgetreten ist, lebte er mit seiner Familie zuletzt recht spartanisch. Er hat sich aber niemals beklagt.
Thematisch scheint sich das Album in drei Songkategorien zu gliedern. Einerseits Traditionals, die zum Repertoire Derroll Adams zählten, andererseits Lieder, die ihm gewidmet wurden und dann wieder Kompositionen von Adams selbst. Letztere spiegeln ein hohes Maß an Melancholie wider.
,Melancholisch' ist das richtige Wort. Obgleich Derroll live nicht unbedingt melancholisch war. Er war zwar stets ruhig und - wie erwähnt - mit viel Tiefgang, hatte aber auch fröhliche Sachen im Programm. Im Grunde deckte er das gesamte Spektrum an Gefühlen in der Musik aus, betonte aber doch oft das Melancholische. ,Portland Town' ist sicher sein bekanntester Song, gecovert etwa von Joan Baez oder dem Kingston Trio, das Derroll aber nicht als Autor angab. Derroll hat an Auf und Ab wohl alles erlebt, was es zu erleben gibt und dies verarbeitete er in seinen Liedern. Sein Banjospiel wiederum wurde eher von den zarten Tönen dominiert. Das mag auch Derrolls Hang zur Ausgeglichenheit entsprungen sein, er beschäftigte sich ja auch mit östlichen Philosophien, etwa dem Zen-Buddhismus.
Eines der bewegendsten Lieder auf der CD ist das von dir interpretierte "24 Hours A Day", eigentlich eine Anklage des eigenen Alkoholmissbrauchs.
Alkoholkonsum war sicher eine der "weniger erfreulichen" Seiten von Derroll. "24 Hours A Day" spiegelt dies sehr intensiv wider. Erstaunlicherweise war ich der Einzige, der diese Nummer sofort aufnehmen wollte. Das liegt sicher auch daran, dass es eine sehr bluesbezogene Komposition ist. Außerdem lernte ich Derroll zu einer Zeit kennen, als er bereits schwer alkoholkrank war. Trotzdem war er noch immer von einer gewaltigen Aura umgeben. Wenn er die Bühne betrat und mit seiner tiefen Stimme zu singen begann, hatte er das Publikum innerhalb kürzester Zeit im Griff. Auch bewog er etliche Musiker dazu, sich zumindest zeitweilig mit dem Banjo zu beschäftigten.
Trotzdem findet das Banjo auf der Tribut-CD nicht einmal auf der Hälfte der Songs Einsatz.
Im großen und ganzen sind die von Derroll beeinflussten Folkmusiker doch Gitarristen. Dazu kommt, dass Derroll letztlich kein Banjovirtuose war und das Banjo - außer du heißt zum Beispiel Bela Fleck - im Grunde ein sehr limitiertes Instrument ist. Auf seine besondere Art spielte er natürlich virtuos und es ist auch sehr schwer, sein Spiel nachzuahmen, doch er sagte selbst, dass er jemandem, der das Banjospielen erlernen wollte alles in nur einer Stunde beibringen konnte. Derrolls Spiel war kein Feuerwerk an Banjoklängen sondern fand sein beeindruckendes Gewicht in der Kombination aus Song und Gefühl.
Welche Bedeutung spielt Derroll Adams deiner Einschätzung nach heute in der Folkszene?
Davon war ich ehrlich gesagt etwas überrascht. Gegen Ende der Fünfziger, als Ramblin' Jack Elliott Derroll nach Europa holte, war gerade der Folkboom im Entstehen und Derroll konnte sich rasch einen Namen erspielen. - Übrigens reiste er mit demselben Schiff wie Big Bill Broonzy. Sie trafen einander allerdings nie, da Big Bill natürlich Erster Klasse unterwegs war.- Nach diesem Boom bewegte er sich eher an der Peripherie, zumindest der amerikanischen Szene. Seit ich das Tributprojekt in die Wege geleitet habe, bekomme ich allerdings viele emails von Menschen aus aller Welt, die Derroll kannten. Das reicht von Hongkong über Texas bis Neuseeland und sogar Tonga. Vor allem in England hat er nach wie vor viele Fans und auch in Skandinavien und Deutschland noch einen gewissen Bekanntheitsgrad. Insgesamt ist das Interesse aber deutlich breiter, als ich gedacht habe.    (Dietmar Hoscher)


up Jazzzeit, A, Sept.02

Derroll Adams - Verneigung vor dem Banjoman
Hans Theessink, Arlo Guthrie und Donovan veröffentlichen Tribute-Album

Es gibt Musiker, die bleiben ihr gesamtes Leben eher im Hintergrund und nur einem begrenzten Publikum bekannt. Durch ihr Wirken, ihre Persönlichkeit, ihre Aura inspirieren sie aber eine ganze Generation von Musikern, die es an eine weit größere Öffentlichkeit weitergeben. So ein Mensch, so stelle ich mir vor, muss Derroll Adams gewesen sein, ein rastloser Streuner, musikalischer Beat-Poet und Menschen-Verzauberer, dessen Lieblingsmetapher das einsame Heulen der Frachtzüge war.
Derroll Adams, ein Folkie aus der Generation von Woodie Guthrie und Pete Seeger, verließ die USA in der McCarthy-Ära gen Europa, wo er mit seinem Kumpel Ramblin' Jack Elliott auf den Straßen Roms, in den Bars von London, Brüssel und Paris und in diversen Aufnahmestudios spielte. Der Banjoman, dessen Spielauffassung der eines Zen-Mönchs glich, traf auf seinen erratischen Steifzügen in seiner europäischen Wahlheimat unzählige junge Musiker, wie z.B. Donovan, Hans Theessink, Woodie's Sohn Arlo Guthrie, Ralph McTell u.v. mehr.
Dem zuletzt sehr kranken Guru der europäischen Folk- und Rootsszene hatten seinen Epigonen ein Tribute-Album versprochen. Über die Arbeiten daran ist der Banjoman verstorben, aber sie wurden von Hans Theessink und seinen Freunden zu einem achtbaren Ende geführt. Die dieser Tage auf dem Theessink'schen Blue Groove-Label erschienene CD ist mehr als eine formelle Verneigung vor einem spirituellen und musikalischen Lehrmeister, sie ist in Form und Inhalt geradezu eine Liebeserklärung. Das geschmackvoll aufgemachte Digipak enthält ein 64-seitiges Booklet mit seltenen Fotos und allen 21 Song-Texten sowie persönliche Statements der Musiker, die Adams nahegestanden haben. Und von dieser haben neben Hans Theessink, der als Produzent und project leader fungierte, auch Arlo Guthrie, der die CD in den Staaten auf seinem Label Rising Son herausbringt, und die englische Folk-Ikone Donovan dieses Tribute-Album ins Werk gesetzt. Der erste Garde der Folkies hat sich daran beteiligt und entweder Derroll-Klassiker wie z.B. "Portland Town" neu interpretiert oder eigene ihm gewidmete Songs für dieses Album verfasst. Zu den ersteren gehören neben anderen Hans Theessink ("24 Hours A Day"), Donovan ("The Mountain") und Jack Elliott ("The Rock"), zur letzteren wiederum Donovan ("Epistle To Derroll"), Ralph McTell ("A Feather Fell") und Allan Taylor ("Banjo Man"). Daneben gibt es einige Überraschungen mit Songmaterial, das zum Repertoire der Folk-Gemeinde jener Tage gehörte, wie zum Beispiel "Dixie Darling" mit Dolly Parton (!), begleitet von den Dubliners John Sheahan und Barney McKenna (nebst anderen). Tief berührt hat mich der letzte Track des Albums: "A Profound and Beautiful Sadness", das letzte Stück zarter Zen-Poesie, die Adams mit gebrochener Sprech-Stimme zur Gitarren-Begleitung von Tucker Zimmerman aufgenommen hat.
"Banjoman" verdient es, von weit mehr Leuten als von der weltweiten Deroll Adams-Kultgemeinde beachtet zu werden. Ich glaube, es könnte im Sinne der Weitergabe eines global bedeutungsvollen musikalischen Erbes Menschen jenseits dieses begrenzten Personenkreises erreichen und berühren - jedenfalls hoffe ich das.    (Jörg Eiben)


up Wienerin, A, Sept.02

Amerikanische Helden
Banjoman - a tribute to Derroll Adams (Blue Groove)
The Rising - Bruce Springsteen (Sony)
Viel Musiker verarbeiten ihre Traumata künstlerisch. Wenn das so gut geht wie auf der von Gitarrenmeister Hans Theessink & US-Folk-Legende Arlo Guthrie produzierten CD Banjoman - A Tribute to Derroll Adams, die einem verstorbenen Freund und Kollegen gewidmet ist, sollte man ihnen dankbar sein. Ähnliches gilt für Rock-Hero Bruce Springsteen, der auf The Rising seine Gedanken und .......... (Peter Hiess)


up Salzburger Nachrichten, A, 07.11.2002

DCD-TIPP "Banjoman" - A Tribut to Deroll Adams

Die Arbeit an diesem von Hans Theessink und Arlo Guthrie produzierten Album für einen alten amerikanischen Freund begann noch zu Lebzeiten Deroll Adams, der im Jahr 2000 im Alter von 75 Jahren in Antwerpen starb. Vor kurzem erschienen, stellt es heute einen musikalischen Nachlass von hoher Einfühlsamkeit dar: Adams feinsinnige Songs, interpretiert von großen Blues- und Folkstars. In 80 Minuten um die Welt des legendären Banjoman. Ein transatlantischer Tribut an einen rastlosen Geist: Auf dem Cover sitzt Adams auf einer Eisenbahnschiene, die in die Ferne führt. Aufbruch und Suche vermittelten stets seine Folksongs, die von Leuten wie Donovan, Ralph McTell, Hans Theessink, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin Jack Elliott oder Wizz Jones sensiblisiert werden. Eine bemerkenswerte Produktion mit einem besonders gelungenen 64 Seiten-Booklet: Interview mit Adams, Gedanken der Musiker und abgedruckten Texten der Lieder.    (Salzburger Nachrichten)

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