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Stone by Stone - 1997

Stone by Stone

"one of folk's most magnificent albums to date"
—Lahri Bond, Dirty Linen

"The... album weaves together all the best aspects of Collins' previous work, gathering both an excellent group of backing musicians and an outstanding set of new songs, that explore love, friendship, spirituality, and earthly concerns such as her deepening of ties with Native Americans and her work with prisoners."
—Lahri Bond, Dirty Linen

Lui's guitar is tuned to Open G tuning (DGDGBD) except where noted.

Guitars include: Martin 000-28, Gibson 1991 J-185 with rosewood sides and back, Nick Lucas neck, Lowden, and Taylor

©1997 Molly Gamblin Music, PO Box 4005, Ashfield, MA 01330-4005

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Maisha Ni Safi
Lui Collins ©1995 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
May 24, 1995/July 30, 1995

I had been practicing some very basic Swahili with a young friend. One night as I lay down to sleep, the phrases running around in my head grew melodies, and this song emerged. There was no stopping it until I had dragged myself out of bed and written it down.
Lui - vocals, Martin guitar
Frank - electric bass
Rob - percussion
Billy - soprano sax
Jeff - electric guitars
chorus arranged and conducted by Robert I. Hugh
Chorus: Katrina DeGraff, Ben Fink, Eric Miller, Julia Rubin-Cadrain,
Gretchen Upholt, Cross Woodfield

Friendship Waltz
Lui Collins ©1992 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
April 3, 1992

This was one of those long car trip songs. Around four hours into the drive, around Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the first verse spun into my head so fast I careened the car to a halt at the side of the road to scribble down words and melody. The rest of the song had written itself on the steering wheel by the time I got to Blue Hill, Maine, where I finally could get out my guitar. I'd barely had a chance to put the song together when I got on stage that night and opened my set with it.
Lui - vocals, Taylor guitar
Jeff - mandolin
Frank - fretless bass

Gold Upon the Trees
Lui Collins ©1992 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
September 27, 1992

Lui- vocal, Taylor guitar
Jeff - lap steel
Donna - fiddle
Jeremiah - accordion
Frank Gravis - fretless bass
Rob - percussion
Joan and Greta -harmony vocals

Surrender
Lui Collins ©1992 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
February 2, 1992

Lui - vocals, Gibson guitar (DADGAD)
Jeff - electric guitars
Billy - pennywhistles
Donna - fiddles
Frank - 6-string bass
Rob - percussion
Bill - field drum

Step into the Water
Lui Collins ©1992 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
June 26 & 30, 1992

The two bodies of water mentioned here were 1) a swift-flowing creek in North Carolina, with a bed of stones so rounded and slippery that, combined with the treacherous current, I could barely keep my footing, and 2) a pristine pond in southern New Hampshire on a clear bright July day. As I swam alone out into the center of the pond, my eyes took in the rise of the wooded mountains from the shoreline, the hot sun over my head, and the children playing far off on the sand. Suddenly, in a panic, I realized I was being followed by a large black "something" at the bottom of the pond.
It was my shadow.
Lui - vocal, Gibson guitar
Billy - soprano sax
Jeff - dobro
Ron - banjo
Frank - fretless bass
Rob - percussion
Linda, Joan and Greta - harmony vocals

Blessing
Donna Hébert ©1992 Donna Hébert
Many thank yous to Donna for this exquisite song.
Lui - vocal, Gibson guitar
Jeff - mandolin, electric guitar
Frank - fretless basses
Rob - percussion
Greta and Joan - harmony vocals
Guinevere and the Fire
Fred Small ©1993, Pine Barrens Music (BMI)
This song is based on a true story told to Fred when he was touring in Australia. The lyrics stick very close to the story as told until the last verse. Fred himself introduced the idea of the black woman coming to the funeral, allowing her to give voice to a concept that would never have occurred to the family at the time. As Fred told it to me, the story was passed down in the family, and everyone would exclaim what a tragedy it was that the child didn't dare pass the Aboriginal village to go for help. It was not until after many many retellings that it even occurred to anyone to suggest that Guinevere might have gone TO the Aboriginals themselves for aid.
Lui - vocal, Gibson guitar (EADGBE)
Frank - fretless bass
Donna - fiddle
Jeremiah - accordion
Stone by Stone
Lui Collins ©1994 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
for Gkisedtanamoogk and Miigam'agan, Cjegkitoonuppa, Manitonquat and my brothers in the Open Circle at Somers (now Osborne) Prison
written June 1, 1993 - May 6, 1994

Cjegkitoonuppa (Slow Turtle) and Manitonquat (Medicine Story), two Wampanoag elders, lead sweat lodges and medicine circles for the inmates of several New England prisons. As a member of Beechtree Medicine Circle, a group which supports their work, I have had the privilege of participating several times in the medicine circle in one Connecticut prison. It has been a profoundly moving experience for me to hear the men speak in the circle and to share my own truth with them. In the spring of 1993, members of Beechtree gathered at our home, where we were led in ceremony by Gkisedtanamoogk, another Wampanoag elder, who came with his Miqmaq wife Miigam'agan and their two children. A council fire burned throughout four days, and we celebrated First Light ceremonies each morning, along with holding numerous councils. The stones for our sweat lodge were carried from old stone walls and set into the fire. According to Gkisedtanamoogk, at one time all of our ancestors knew the circle, knew the fire, and lived in sacred connection to the Earth and all of her creatures. Some of us have forgotten our origins. There are those, such as the Wampanoags, who still remember and who reverentially hold the
memory for all, until such a time as we may return to that place of respect and connection with all our relations.

Since writing this song, my awareness of the travesties done to aboriginal nations all over the world by "civilized" nations has grown, so that I now understand that the shame is not relegated to "so long ago," but continues to this day. I urge you to read Jerry Mander's book In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations.

Lui - lead and background vocals, Martin guitar (EADGBD)
David - cello, background vocals
Frank - bass
Joan - background vocals
Rob - percussion

Midnight
Lui Collins ©1993 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
February 21, 1993
Written on the coldest night of February 1993, right after a concert at the Roaring Brook Nature Center. A song of hope and the strength of love.
Lui - vocal, Lowden guitar
David - cello
Joan - keyboards
Pretty Bird
Lui Collins ©1992 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
February 21, 1992
Lui - lead and harmony vocals, Martin guitar
Jeff - dobro
Frank - bass
Rob - percussion
The Vision
Lui Collins ©1992 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
April 19, 1992
I am consistently nourished by spending quiet time in places of power. The hardest part is remembering that when I am in the midst of my angst! I used to think Sky was something far above my head, until one day I realized it actually comes all the way down to meet and touch the Earth.
Lui - vocal, Gibson guitar
David - cello
Joan - keyboards
Frank - bass
Lover's Fire
Lui Collins ©1992 Molly Gamblin Music (BMI)
May 27, 1992
Lui - lead and harmony vocals, Gibson guitar
Jeff - electric guitars
Frank - bass
Rob - percussion/drums
Joan and Greta - harmony vocals

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