Liner Notes – Midwinter Spring

Midwinter Spring by Frost and Fire, 2013

Midwinter Spring is the debut album from Vermont folk quartet Frost and Fire.

Midwinter Spring, (c) Frost and Fire 2013“Midwinter spring is its own season… suspended in time… when the short day is brightest, with frost and fire, the brief sun flames the ice…
– from Little Gidding, T. S. Eliot

1. Anemone…4:24
2. Caald Nights o’ Winter…4:36
3. Gentle Annie…4:03
4. Tendrils…5:14
5. Miss Jasmine Walker…2:46
6. Wyoming…5:29
7. Glenuig Rant…4:02
8. Road to Adamant…3:59
9. Ae Fond Kiss…3:53
10. Tabitha’s Rambles…4:19
11. Ravencroft…2:27
12. My Darling So Far Away…3:59
13. Bobcat Strut…4:52
14. Deep Freeze…3:52

Aaron Marcus: piano, concertina, banjo, foot percussion, vocals
Hollis Easter: flute, Scottish border pipes, whistle, guitar, lead vocals
Peter Macfarlane: fiddle, low whistle, vocals
Viveka Fox: fiddle, djembe, bodhran
(c)(p) 2013 Mountain Road Music.  All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Frost and Fire
Midwinter Spring
Mountain Road 008

All arrangements (c) Frost and Fire
Produced by Frost and Fire
Recorded and mixed by Sam Sanders, Vermont Public Radio, Colchester VT
Mastered by Peter Engisch, Ad Astra Recording, Williston VT
Artist photography by Peter Edwards, Stowe VT
Sam Sanders photography by William Pelton
Cover image by Debora Cherington, Jack Frost Designs, Calais VT
Printed, pressed, and packaged by Oasis Disc Manufacturing,
Album notes available at

For information, bookings, or additional copies:
1379 Mountain Rd, Vergennes VT  05491
802-759-2268   |   |  |  www.facebook/com/frostandfire/

Thank you to:
-Gary Apfel, Brian Perkins, Jasmine Walker, Karen & Steve Easter, Peggy Marcus, Peter Edwards, Susie Hurd & Timothy Grannis, and Susie Petrov.
-All of the wonderful callers, hard-working dance organizers and enthusiastic dancers who have made our lives so much fun over the last 2 years.
-Vermont Public Radio for the use of their recording studio.
-Photographer Debora Cherington, whose images of frost were captured through her barn windows at sunrise.

Finally, to Sam Sanders: friend, mentor, fan, poetry lover, wise man, engineer, still point in our turning world. “Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it.

Liner Notes

– 2 Interior panels

1. Anemone

Anemone… (c) Aaron Marcus
Down the Broom… traditional
Macklimoyle’s… traditional

AARON: piano, feet; HOLLIS: flute, whistle; PETER: fiddle; VIVEKA: fiddle

Aaron challenged himself to write a tune with a traditional feel; Anemone was the result. We follow it with tunes from the Cape Breton and Franco-American traditions. Dancers always stomp their feet to this set!

2. Caald Nights

Caald Nights o’ Winter… traditional
Scalloway Lasses… traditional
Glen Where the Deer Is… traditional

AARON: banjo, piano; HOLLIS: flute, border pipes; PETER: fiddle; VIVEKA: fiddle

Caald Nights and Scalloway Lasses are Shetland tunes Viveka learned as a college student in Boston, and Hollis learned Glen Where The Deer Is from Hamish Moore at bagpipe/swimming camp in Vermont.

3. Gentle Annie

Gentle Annie… Stephen Foster (1826-1864)

AARON: piano, vocal; HOLLIS: lead vocal, guitar ; PETER: fiddle, vocal; VIVEKA: fiddle

Stephen Foster wrote dozens of classic American songs (which we strive to emulate) and died penniless because of people pirating his music (which we hope to avoid). Aaron brought this sweet song of remembrance to band practice one afternoon; before we finished playing it the first time, we had all fallen in love with it.

4. Tendrils

Tendrils… (c) Peter Macfarlane
Snake Mountain Gathering I… (c) Peter Macfarlane
Tendrils… (c) Peter Macfarlane

AARON: piano; HOLLIS: guitar; PETER: fiddle; VIVEKA: bodhran, djembe

Peter wrote Tendrils as a jig, and we transformed it into a reel while playing around one night during sound check. The Snake Mountain Gathering is a mystical event about which Peter says little and thinks much.

5. Miss Jasmine Walker

Miss Jasmine Walker… (c) Hollis Easter

AARON: piano; HOLLIS: flute; PETER: fiddle; VIVEKA: fiddle

Hollis wrote this tune to honor Jasmine for choosing to love a musician even when the road trips and instrument cases pile up. She makes his life a lot sweeter.

6. Wyoming

Wyoming… (c) Aaron Marcus
Liz and Adam’s… (c) Aaron Marcus

AARON: piano, vocal, feet; HOLLIS: lead vocal, flute; PETER: fiddle, vocal; VIVEKA: fiddle

Aaron fell in love with Wyoming and its people while doing botanical field work there after college. We follow it with a tune for the wedding of two friends.

7. Glenuig Rant

Glenuig Rant… (c) Peter Macfarlane
Trip to Reigate… (c) Peter Macfarlane
John Keith Laing… (c) Addie Harper, (p) Harper Music

AARON: piano; HOLLIS: flute, border pipes; PETER: fiddle; VIVEKA: fiddle

Peter’s brother runs an inn in northwest Scotland in the village of Glenuig, and Reigate is a town in Surrey, England. The last tune is a session classic on both sides of the Atlantic.

8. Bobbing for Brandywines

Bobbing for Brandywines… (c) Hollis Easter
Road to Adamant… (c) Aaron Marcus
Marche à Julia… (c) Aaron Marcus

AARON: banjo, piano, feet; HOLLIS: guitar, whistle; PETER: fiddle; VIVEKA: fiddle

Ever imagined bobbing for heirloom tomatoes instead of apples? Hollis did, and wrote a tune about it. The second tune came to Aaron while pedaling his bicycle toward the village of Adamant in Vermont’s Green Mountains, and the third tune is written for Julia Friend.

9. Ae Fond Kiss

Ae Fond Kiss… Robert Burns (1759-1796)

AARON: piano, vocal; HOLLIS: lead vocal, guitar ; PETER: fiddle, vocal; VIVEKA: fiddle

Robert Burns is Scotland’s most celebrated poet. Hollis learned this song from Susie Petrov, his former teacher and a longtime friend of the band. Love songs with a wistful twist have become a hallmark of Frost and Fire, and this is no exception: a beautiful song of farewell.

10. Tabitha’s Rambles

Tabitha’s Rambles… (c) Hollis Easter
All Hallows’ Eve… (c) Hollis Easter

AARON: piano; HOLLIS: guitar; PETER: low whistle, fiddle; VIVEKA: djembe, fiddle

Hollis wrote Tabitha’s Rambles while watching his kitten, Tabitha, exploring the outdoors for the first time. The second tune came from a challenge to write a spooky tune with autumn winds and dried leaves in its bones.

11. Ravencroft

Ravencroft… (c) Aaron Marcus

AARON: piano; HOLLIS: flute; PETER: fiddle; VIVEKA: bodhran

Ravencroft is the Burlington home of Susie Hurd and Timothy Grannis, two of our band’s earliest supporters and favorite friends. They’ve opened their hearts and home to us more times than we can count. For those keeping score at home, this tune is in 10/8 time.

12. My Darling So Far Away

My Darling So Far Away… (c) Aaron Marcus

AARON: concertina, vocal; HOLLIS: lead vocal, guitar; PETER: fiddle, vocal; VIVEKA: fiddle

We’ve all spent years wishing we could bring our loved ones closer whether mountains or oceans divided us. Aaron penned this beautiful meditation on what draws us together even when we’re far apart.

13. Bobcat Strut

Rebecca and Irvin’s… (c) Aaron Marcus
Bobcat Strut… (c) Peter Macfarlane

AARON: piano; HOLLIS: flute, guitar; PETER: fiddle, low whistle; VIVEKA: fiddle, djembe

Aaron celebrated the wedding of two friends with this sweet march. Peter found intriguing tracks in the snow one winter and wrote this tune for the elusive bobcat. It took a few years before he finally caught a glimpse of the bobcat strutting its stuff.

14. Nuptial Knot

Nuptial Knot… traditional
Deep Freeze… (c) Viveka Fox

AARON: piano, feet; HOLLIS: flute, border pipes; PETER: low whistle, fiddle; VIVEKA: fiddle

Nuptial Knot is an 18th-century Scottish fiddle tune that Viveka and Hollis have loved for years. We give it the full Frost and Fire treatment and follow it with a brand new reel that Viveka wrote to keep the dancers warm all winter long.

15. Recording Software Blues (online bonus track)

Recording Software Blues… (c) Hollis Easter, Viveka Fox, Aaron Marcus, Peter Macfarlane

AARON: piano, backing vocal; HOLLIS: guitar, lead vocal; PETER: low whistle, backing vocal; VIVEKA: djembe, backing vocal

This track doesn’t appear on the album, but we managed to catch it as an out-take during a long recording session when the main recording program we used, Capture, kept glitching and losing great tracks. After a while this became pretty frustrating—we’d play for five minutes, then look into the control room and see Sam shaking his head saying that Capture had glitched again. We couldn’t wait to get our tracks into Sony Vegas and leave Capture behind.

Well, don’t get mad, get musical! Hollis started improvising a lyric that drew from Broadway show tunes, blues, James Taylor, etc., and everyone joined in. We have fun playing together, and we thought we’d share it with you. See how many subtle jokes you can spot in the lyrics!