Copper Kettle

by Kathleen Martin

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Happy Day to all Mothers!

My new Gristle cigar-box "Kat 330" guitar is featured here, whee! With its fret spacing and neck length, there are a limited number of tunes I can cover with any "panache," but this old repertory chestnut is one of them. I recorded the guitar first, continuing it on to the 3:30 mark or so. When I started fitting in the verse sections, I realized I had played six total, but Beddoe's lyrics only stretch to three plus a repeat of the first. I could have cut out two sections, but decided instead to write two new verses myself.

Now, other than portraying Daisy Mae in a Lake George resort's production of "L'il Abner," I have no experience with moonshiners nor the culture of that era's area; but I know the hills here and of Appalachia are alive with the sounds of music and morel mushrooms. So hopefully I incorporated both in the 'shinin' spirit of A.F.'s lyrical intent.

Layers include harmony (ending in my ™ trio to finish), tambourine (too loud when mastered, but had recorded it along with main vocal and not worth redoing all vocal layers); a banjo pluck and jug blow here and there, a brief entrance and exit of fiddle (recognize the musical allusion?); and effects of crickets, pouring liquid, a frog and a single owl hoot. I certainly had a hoot assembling the parts of this production and hope you have one when listening! xxx <-- for kisses AND the iconic markings of a moonshine jug ☼:)


Lyrics by Beddoe (+ Martin)

Get you a copper kettle
Get you some copper coil
Cover with new-made corn mash
And never more you'll toil

CHORUS: You just lay there by the juniper
While the moon is bright
Watch them jugs a-fillin'
In the pale moonlight

Build your fires of hickory
Hickory or ash or oak
Don't use no green or rotten wood
It'll choke you by the smoke

My daddy he made whiskey
My granddaddy did too
We ain't paid no whiskey tax
Since seventeen ninety-two

[Next two verses by K.A. Martin]

Our cabin's in a holler
Nestled by wooded hills
Momma can fetch top dollar
For a mess of wild morels

Ol' Beaufort bows the fiddle
Bobby Joe blows the jug
I tap my toes and whittle
As June cuts a jitterbug


released May 9, 2015
Cover art by JT Lindroos




Kathleen Martin New Albany, Indiana

For music fans who think outside the boxy confines of genre labels, find here my original work arranged for and performed on a variety of instruments for sounds ranging from sweet to sassy and reedy to brassy; from lofty to lowdown and soulful to hoedown; from serious to silly and urban to hillbilly. I urge you to click on my production notes/lyrics before or as you push play. ☼♥ ... more

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