Marie-Lynn Hammond & Vignettes combines my first solo album, Marie-Lynn Hammond (1978), with my second solo album, Vignettes (1983). Eclectic styles and production. Released on one CD (1999) by Vignettes Media (VM7881-2). Eternal thanks to Richard Hess! (Note: the little illustrations are by me, MLH)
From Marie-Lynn Hammond
1. Calico Cat 2:49
Cats and me, it goes way back. This was written for a stray my roomie and I took in. Doug Bowes wrote a swell jazz melody for it.
2. Maverick Gleam 3:27
Ah, the first flush of love: it always feels so REAL. What can I say? I was young!
3. Distant Early Warning Line 3:58
When my old band played in the high Arctic, we met a guy who worked on the DEW line…I got the inside scoop from him.
4. Houdini and You and Me 2:58
Some of us are really good at disappearing…
5. But for the Timing 4:09
About love and fate and “the times we hear, the times we turn away.” Gorgeous melody by my sister, Jacq Hammond, who let me write words to it.
6. Minitoken Sunrose (Nobody Loves You) 2:59
A fun, swing-type number by Graeme Card.
A bluesy, blackly humorous, somewhat surreal look at the end of a relationship.
8. Être libre 3:49
A lovely French poem my mother, Marie-Thérèse, wrote when she was a young woman. I wrote music for it. Translation with the lyrics.
About one of those “nowhere days” of winter, set in Toronto, where “popcorn men” still ply their little carts of treats.
10. Lights in the Windows 3:21
Another love song, another winter song, with a lovely ’cello part.
From the original Vignettes
11. Woman with the Radio Mind 3:14
This song quotes liberally from a flyer sent around my old Toronto neighbourhood by a fortune-teller seeking new clients.
12. All the Horses Running 3:03
I like to say this is the only song I’ve ever heard about horses, sex, and religion.
My bicultural dilemma: being caught between my “English head” and my “French heart.” Sung in French, translation on lyrics page.
14. Elise cherche dans le ciel 2:35
Lovely lyrics by poet Paul Savoie about a young woman searching for love. Translation on lyrics page.
15. Flying/Spring of ’44 4:38
A mix of my parents’ story—my father flew 75 missions over Germany—and that of others of their generation.
16. La jeune mariée 2:36
Inspired by traditional French Canadian songs, this is a tribute to my French grandmother, Corinne Clairoux Vaillant Allard. Sung in French, translation on the lyrics page.
« La jeune mariée » est dédiée à ma grand-mère maternelle, Corinne Clairoux Vaillant Allard.
“Elsie” is about my paternal grandmother, Elsie Kohl Hammond (1890-1960), a very unconventional woman. She’s also the narrator of “Over Queen Charlotte Sound.
18. Loving and Losing 3:28
A poignant waltz for lovers who are out of sync.
The first song is about Elsie (my English grandmother) and Ted Dobbin, her companion and a pioneering bush pilot, and it segues into a poem by Elsie that I set to music.
20. Le coffre à jouets 3:54
This heartrending ballad began as a poem that my mother wrote about her girls leaving home. I worked with her to turn it into a song lyric and then added music. Sung in French, translation on the Lyrics page.
En tout dernier lieu, « Le coffre à jouets» est fondé sur un poème écrit par ma mère, Marie-Thérèse. Ensemble, nous l’avons formé en chanson.
All music and lyrics by Marie-Lynn Hammond except
1. Music by Doug Bowes
5. Music by Jacqueline L. Hammond
6. Music and Lyrics by Graeme Card
7. Music by Doug Bowes
8. Lyrics by Marie-Lynn Hammond and Marie-Thérèse Hammond
11. Music by Marilyn Lerner
14. Lyrics by Paul Savoie
19. (“Where the Grey Sky Meets the Sea”) Lyrics by Elsie Kohl Hammond
20. Lyrics by Marie-Lynn Hammond and Marie-Thérèse Hammond
About the Album
Marie-Lynn Hammond is Marie-Lynn’s first solo album. It was originally released on LP in 1978. Prior to striking out on her own, she was lead singer (and cofounder along with Bob Bossin) of the seminal Canadian folk group, Stringband. While pleased with Stringband’s success, Marie-Lynn wanted to explore other areas of musical expression and fine-tune her creative and performance skills. This album takes the listener on an eclectic but satisfying survey of music in the singer-songwriter genre.
Vignettes includes many of the songs that ultimately became part of Marie-Lynn’s critically acclaimed play about her family, Beautiful Deeds/De beaux gestes.
The original pressing of the CD comes with a 20-page booklet. Subsequent pressings may or may not.
“It’s a wonderful CD…great lyrics complementing a gorgeous voice.” – Steve Jerrett, KOPN, 89.5 FM, Columbia, MO
“The maturity in Hammond’s songwriting is reminiscent of elements of Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Judy Collins and Lisa Ekdahl…. The sound quality is exceptional…. [It] is highly recommended.” – Norman, Oklahoma, Transcript 24 Dec 1999
Honored as #23 of the Top 40 albums on Thursday Breakfast Jam for 1999. – Susanne Millsaps, KRCL, Salt Lake City
“Neatly crafted elegance…a very special album…. [Vignettes] deserves the attention of a major label.” – Vancouver Province
Executive producers Richard L. Hess, Marie-Lynn Hammond, Mary Elizabeth Hess
Tape restoration and digital mastering Richard L. Hess
Design Richard L. Hess & Marie-Lynn Hammond
Original ink drawings (especially created for this CD and included on the lyrics pages on the Web site) by Marie-Lynn Hammond
Arrangers and producers Marie-Lynn Hammond, Doug Bowes, and Chad Irschick
Musicians: Marie-Lynn Hammond, Doug Bowes, Chad Irschick, Jay Alter, Bucky Berger, Don Bowes, Elizabeth Bowes, Tony DesMarteaux, Jane Fair, Jack Grunsky, Julie Grunsky, Terry King, John Lang, Brian Langill, Marilyn Lerner, Ben Mink, Allan Soberman, Bill Usher, Olga Van Kranendonk
LP originally released on Black Tie Records (1001) in 1978
Producer Ben Mink
Arrangements Marie-Lynn Hammond, Ben Mink
Executive producers Mark D. Goldman, Marie-Lynn Hammond
Vocal arrangements Marvin Dolgay
Musicians: Marie-Lynn Hammond, Ben Mink, Aaron Davis, Martin Deller, Cameron Hawkins, Marilyn Lerner, Allan Soberman, Jane Fair, Chad Irschick, Geddy Lee, Sharon Keates, Jack Grunsky, Danny Greenspoon
LP originally released on Black Tie Records (1002) in 1983