under saturn's wheel

by Chris Rawlings

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    Chris Rawlings has spent enough years fishing for tunes to know when he's caught a good one. His latest release "Under Saturn's Wheel" spans 40 years of folk, jazz, blues and traditional music. Some of the album's 15 tracks are much-loved songs that he's played at festivals from the Maritimes to British Columbia, others are new compositions that remind us just how many musical places he's visited. Since he turned his back on a ticket to medical school in favour of a second hand Gibson guitar and the life of a minstrel, Rawlings' songs have told the sort of stories that rise towards us out of a bustling musical crowd -- they remind us where we've come from, what we can change and where we might be headed. His characters blend their sorrow with a hopeful eye to the future and Rawlings' smooth voice and complex guitar walk us through their tales.

    Rawlings, though, has always been the sort of folk musician that isn't afraid to leave the well-traveled path. He's done simple folk tunes and complex adaptations of traditional music; played his brand of dark-yet-hopeful songs in dimly-lit bars and brightly-lit festivals from Bulgaria to Louisiana to Nunavut; led an ambitious, 30 rock and jazz musician performance of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner in the Bibliotheque National de Quebec; stretched out one hand to lovers in New Orleans with his smoky blends of jazzy blues and another out to our children, educating them with humour and intelligence on the complexities of the water cycle.

    He’s been a busker at Montreal’s Expo '67, a headliner at Vancouver’s Expo’86, a silver medalist at Les Fetes de la Vigne, in Dijon, France 1976, and gold medal recipient on the shores of the Black Sea at a Bulgarian Folklore festival, and he does house concerts too! Along the way, he's worked with the likes of Acadian folk artist Gilles Losier, Quebec fiddler Jean Carignan, Quebec dance troup Les Gens de Mon Pays, the National Film Board, the McGarrigle Sisters, New Orleans Jazz legend Tony “Oulaboula” Bazley, folk icon Daisy DeBolt, Grammy award winner Cathy Fink, Mariposa in the schools and others. He has inspired Penny Lang to start writing songs, crossed swords with Stan Rogers, and shared quiet evenings of stories and songs with Ron Sexsmith, and Tom Jackson among many musical friends.
    True stories can come from many places, and Rawlings has found his muse in tales of social justice, dying love, the lonely road and the simple peace of a quiet forest. He may not have consciously planned it, but "Under Saturn's Wheel" is something of an autobiography, chronicling four decades spent as a folksinger working through life’s complexities with an ear, an eye, a hook and a line for his next song.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    traditional CD jewel case with cover artwork by Susan Freypons

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 10 Chris Rawlings releases available on Bandcamp and save 40%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of A Whistle, a Tune, a Song and a Dance, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, DJ special, Northern Spirits, Autumn Gold, Laurentian Flutes/Flutes des Laurentides, under saturn's wheel, Rocks and Water, and 2 more. , and , .

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1.
(How to Keep the) Blues on the Run Oh the rain keeps fallin' it's a blue grey morning Got some heavy pressure on me, pretty mama If you're feelin' like there's a low ceiling You've got my sympathy but Refrain: 2X I caught on just in time How to keep the blues on the run Oh it's hot and muggy, hay's getting' soggy Everything turning on me, Oh Lordy Got no money, I just lost my honey She just set me free but Refrain: 2X Well I'm an old grasshopper, real clock stopper I just fiddle round all day, pretty mama But my minds so busy, it would make you dizzy Come on, I'll show the way that Refrain:2X Give me a million dollars and a starched white collar I would feel like a hot dog steamé, Lordy I'm an old time rambler, but a hard luck gambler Must have been my lucky day that Refrain: 2X + 1st line Back
2.
It's Your Motto Out in the suburb, the foreman gives the word And the orchard melts away People in the city say ain't that a pity When they drive out for the day Somewhere down the line a banker gets rich Kids in a private school They get a feeling for wheeling and dealing They learn that money rules Chorus: Under the ramp there's a homeless street camp With the bags and the mats and the pigeons and rats And you pray every day as you pass on your way You won't be let go And you follow the creed of the corporate greed It's your motto You're right in the middle trying to answer the riddle Getting caught in the squeeze It's all about power, not the ivory tower No room for truth or trees Corporations gulp and the tabloid pulp barfs the latest rave People bleed while executives feed on what downsizing saved Chorus: Under the ramp there's a homeless street camp With the bags and the mats and the pigeons and rats And you pray every day as you pass on your way You won't be let go And you follow the creed of the corporate greed It's your motto Got Liberal guilt where your home is built Go buy the homeless news Or pick up your pen every now and then For a charity that you choose Ain't gonna change in the long range 'Till the Earth can't bear the toll Of people's need and people's greed With no will to control Chorus: As Above Back
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Funny How the Rain Gets In We bought a house in the old part of town Leaked every time it rained So we caulked the cracks around the windows Replaced the shingles and drain Tarred the roof, did the waterproofing Subterranean Got someone to put up siding It's funny still the rain gets in Went to a family reunion Talk about quality time The ghosts of the ancestors They were walking in their prime Well the young folk were toking, the old folk were joking As we watched the sun roll in With a joyful heart, it was a brand new start But it's funny how the rain gets in You can walk the straight and narrow Never throw your passions to the wind Somewhere, sometime, you'll be feeling just fine Then the rain gets in Ain't it funny how the rain gets in Now every once in a blue moon I get my ticket to cry Sometimes I think I'm a lucky man Sometimes I know it's a lie Yes and every time I get that way I know I just can't win For weeks in a daze, I'm lost in a maze Wonderin' how the rain gets in Ain't it funny how the rain gets in Now I never walked the straight and narrow I sailed my passions with the wind But somewhere, sometime I'll be feeling just fine Then the rain gets in Ain't it funny how the rain gets in
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Family Life 03:11
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Stormy Woman 04:02
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credits

released November 7, 2010

Recorded in the kitchen by Paul Benedict and Don Richardson, Reels on Wheels, Toronto, 2007

Produced by Paul Benedict & Chris Rawlings

Under Saturn's Wheel
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Chris Whiteley: harmonica
Henry Heillig: bass

Anguish of our Souls
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar, alto and tenor recorders
Jorn Anderson: percussion, kalimba
Henry Heillig: bass
Daisy DeBolt: accordion, vocal harmony
Ann Lederman: vocal harmony

Beads and Trinkets
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar, soprano recorder, electric guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Daisy Debolt: vocal harmony

Stormy Woman
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Anne Lederman: fiddle

Family Life (aka Chinese Acrobats and Jugglers)
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
William Carn: Trombone
Nicolas Heath-Rawlings: glockenspiel

Andy's on Bourbon
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Michael Pinsonneault: alto sax
Chris Whiteley: pedal steel
William Carn: trombone

Funny How the Rain Gets In
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Daisy DeBolt: vocal harmony, accordion
Michael Pinsonneault: flute
Richard Smythe: electric guitar

Potter's Wheel
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Chris Whiteley: pedal steel
Michael Pinsoneault: flute
The Rawlings' Tones*: chorus

It's Your Motto
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Warner Clarke: 12 String acoustic guitar on wa-wa
Daisy DeBolt: vocal harmony
Michael Pinsonneault: alto sax

How to Keep the Blues on the Run

Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Daisy DeBolt: vocal harmony
Michael Hasek: Harmonica
Anne Lederman: fiddle
The Rawlings' Tones*: chorus

To Cross the Great Divide
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar, tenor recorder
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Michael Pinsonneault: flute
Chris Whiteley: pedal steel, harmonica

Sweet Incenses
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Daisy DeBolt: vocal harmony, accordion
Michael Pinsonneault: alto sax

Ragin' @ Windstorms
Chris Rawlings: vocals, guitars
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Michael Hasek: national steel guitar

Hold on to Your Dreams
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar, alto recorder
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Daisy DeBolt: vocal harmony
Anne Lederman: fiddle, vocal harmony

They Fought for Bread
Chris Rawlings: vocal, guitar
Jorn Anderson: percussion
Henry Heillig: bass
Anne Lederman: fiddle, vocal, mandolin

*The Rawlings' Tones: Lynn Heath, Warner Clarke, Beth Hoen, Joe Romaine, Gail Fergueson, Noah Zaccharin, Laura Fernandez

Artwork by Sue Freypons

Web Site & CD Cover by Heidi Tsao

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Chris Rawlings Toronto, Ontario

Chris Rawlings is a honey-baritone singer, nimble-fingered guitar picker and gifted song-writer noted for his originality.

Rawlings embraces quick and complex chords and intricate harmonic and rhythmic structures. He adds authenticity to Celtic jigs and reels with a masterful touch on the recorder.
He charms with an easy voice that goes right to the heart.
See YouTube: Song of the Old Bush Pilot
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