Show NotesTo an extent, we all live "a life of sorrow." We all experience pain, suffering, loss and disappointment-and much of our life's work becomes how we deal with it. The songs in this traditional American collection share common threads of human trials and tribulations; themes of unrequited love, heartache, tragedy, incarceration and death. While some of the melodies are somber and wistful, much of this music is uplifting, despite the dire messages of the lyrics. In essence, these songs are the antidote for the sorrow they depict, and that is perhaps why they are so meaningful.
This project is comprised of recordings, formal and informal, spanning over thirty years of pickin' and singin' with some of my best musical friends and heros. Artie Rose and I have been playing together for forty years. I first picked with Del McCoury and Herb Pedersen on different coasts in 1966. John Nagy and I were in Earth Opera (1968) together, and John Hartford played a gig with Old & in the Way (1973.) Friends from years on the festival circuit include Bryan Bowers, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and bluegrass patriarchs Ralph Stanley and Mac Wiseman. Of course, none of this would have happened if it werenít for the initial inspiration and encouragement of my friend and mentor, the late Ralph Rinzler, whom I met in my motherís art class at the age of two. To all of them I say, "Thanks for all your great music and memories." And may your sorrows be few. — David Grisman, April, 2003