The following videos are not an attempt to capture the songs in their most perfect form. They are merely a vehicle to let people hear some of my work that has never been in the public eye. They are shot using the video setting on my little Canon Powershot and a little Joby tripod. The guitars are either a Martin 000 series or a pretty beat up Johnson JD27. My old Kay banjo may make an appearance or two as well, for better or worse.

That's it. I welcome comments and encourage you to share the music if it strikes you.

All music and lyrics written by Richard Popovic, unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Song #3: There Be Owls Here

My little patch of woods is blessed with an abundance of owls, mostly Barred Owls. They have a very recognizable hooting call, but if you have never heard the rest of their repertoire, check it out. Their songs and calls range from comical to blood-curdling, especially when they are about ten feet from your window.

Anyway, I dig owls, and early spring is when they are really active with mating and territorial disputes. It makes for noisy evenings around here. After my daughter was born in early March, I spent a lot of nights walking with her in my arms, trying to soothe her to sleep, and we often ended up at the window listening to the owls. I created this song to explain to her what all the racket was about.

The weirdly worded phrase 'There Be Owls Here' is a play on a famous map of the world that labeled an unexplored section with the ominous warning 'There Be Dragons Here'. I picture a map of my woods, crudely drawn, with my house, surrounded by trees, with the warning 'There Be Owls Here' written in one of the margins.

(click through for lyrics)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Song #2: Catskills Town

It is a refreshing thing to write a good old traditional folk story-song. So much of my music gets mucked up with my own baggage that when I can manage to write something without any of 'me' in it, I find it extremely rewarding.

This song stems from a few things. The line in the first verse 'The torchlight of the Lady lit up my young dreams' is one I have been kicking around for a long time. I don't feel it is the strongest line I have ever written but for whatever reason, it has stuck in the back of my head for a few years.

But the real inspiration came from an article written by Larry Kirwan of the Irish rock group Black 47. Both of our bands play at the East Durham Irish Festival every year, up in the Catskills region of New York, and he was reflecting on how the stone walls he sees there reminded him of ones he saw back home in Ireland. And I latched on to that sense of continuity and connectedness, and created my character from that.

The name 'Mike Lunnie' was graciously lent to me by my friend Suzy Lunnie. It was her grandfather's name (I think), and I placed him on an actual ship that landed in NY from Ireland in the early 1900's called the 'Cushla Machree', which I take to be the phonetic rendition of  'a chuisle mo chroi,' which is Irish for 'pulse of my heart,' one of the deepest terms of endearment anyone can ask for. It fit in perfectly with the imagery of someone who loves the land and works so tirelessly upon it. 

(click through for lyrics)