acoustic music in the Pete Seeger tradition
In 1984, Bill had the opportunity to record an album at Fred Hellerman’s studio in Weston, CT. Fred was one of the original Weavers, whose music in the late 1950s had introduced Bill to folk music! Bill recruited Bill Shute, an extraordinarily talented studio guitarist, and his friend Tom Conger, who played bass. With Fred as sound engineer and perceptive advisor, A Time for Getting Wiser was recorded and released as a vinyl album that got regional and national airplay on folk shows in the mid-
The jackets of the old vinyl albums are big! There’s lots of room for notes, which don’t fit on CDs. Here, rearranged slightly, are the jacket notes as Bill wrote them then.
A Time for Getting Wiser
From the record jacket, a long time ago!
© 1984, 2018 Bill Berlinghoff
As a performer for some twenty years now, hovering in the twilight zone somewhere between folksinger and entertainer, I’ve picked up a varied miscellany of songs I like to sing. In choosing from that collection a handful to record I have been guided by variety, obscurity and nostalgia (as well as just plain enjoyment). Some are songs I’ve written; most of the rest are songs I wish I had written. Almost every one has its own story, some of them far too long for a record jacket. I want to tell you all of them but there just isn’t time or space; a few short comments about each one will have to do. I guess if I had to defend my song choices in one sentence, it would be this: After seemingly endless hours of rehearsing, taping, analyzing, mixing and reworking these songs during the past several months, I still like every one of them.
Bill Berlinghoff, September 1984
Recorded at Honeywind Productions, Weston, CT
©® 1984 Passing Tone Music
THE MUSICIANS on this album are a mixture of friends and family (sometimes hard to tell apart). Bill Shute, an old friend, is responsible for the exciting lead guitar parts throughout. Tom Conger, a new friend, plays all but one of the bass tracks. My daughter Cathy Kreger sings and plays 12-
THE COVER picture is titled “Talent, Trains, Tide and Time.” It is the work of Richard Tompkins, a Micmac Indian artist and good friend. He drew it long before this album was planned, but they seem to be made for each other; I am grateful to him for letting me use it.
“Last Call” © 1979 Matt Holsen Music, ASCAP
8. The Hand of Someone Wiser (Bill Berlinghoff) This song is very special to me. Its first version was written for the christening of a daughter of friends in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Since then, I have written forms of it for a wedding, two memorial services, and another christening—all for people close to me. These first two verses were written five years before the third one, which arrived in its own time. Now it’s done. [To hear this, click on its title.]
7. Hand Me Down My Walking Cane (public domain) Ever since I can remember, when my folks and I went to visit my uncle Jim Webb, he would take out his guitar and we’d spend the better part of an evening singing old songs. He had a special way with those songs; they would sparkle and shine a bit as we sang. This was one of my favorites. [To hear this, click on its title.]