A MUSICAL ODYSSEY
www.hillmanweb.com/albums/album07.html
Presents
BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN
RECORD ALBUM Volume 7
Featuring

I. SUE-ON: The Newcastle Sessions
II. ROAD SONGS: On Tour In England
Recorded
On Tour In England
Maple Grove Records
MGS 1007
CONTENTS
SIDE ONE
SUE-ON: THE NEWCASTLE SESSIONS
(Click to listen to the songs)
1. PAPER ROSES ~ RAMBLING ROSE
2. SILVER THREADS & GOLDEN NEEDLES
3. TAMMY
4. RELEASE ME
5. SONG SUNG BLUE
6. TINY BUBBLES ~ PEARLY SHELLS
7. WHY ME, LORD?
SIDE TWO (Hillman Originals)
ROAD SONGS: ON TOUR IN ENGLAND
(Click to go to lyrics and link to actual recording)
8. OUTLAW RAMBLING BAND
9. ONE NIGHT STAND
10. SWAMP ROMP
11. MONTANA
12. WHILE YOU'RE AWAY
13. BOOGIE WOOGIE
14. GOODTIME JAMBOREE


LYRICS TO THE
BILL HILLMAN ORIGINALS
ON THIS ALBUM
Click on the titles to hear the songs
OUTLAW RAMBLIN' BAND
(Written in Bromley, Kent and London, England)

We're a travellin' ramblin' outlaw band
Kevie, me and Suzy we travel the land
We kinda got our minds a-set on leaving the West
This prairie-land rebel band a-flyin' the nest
Took a 747, ride to heaven by jet
The closest that the most of us is ever gonna get
Heathrow, luggage slow -- we fuss and we fret
Sue, she's in the loo - she's trying to get her face wet.

Chorus
'Cause we're outlaws -- an outlaw ramblin' band
Outlaws -- Outlaw ramblin' band

Tea time, cars in line on Westminster Bridge
It's scarey for a prairie boy from Bunclody Ridge
Ride the M-5 -- still alive -- we're steaming up north
Workin' for the workin' man to show our worth
We bring on Lonnie Donegan -- they clap and they stomp
And we singa little song about an ole Cajun swamp
We rant about Canada - we pick and we sing
They can't understand 'American' -- "What's he sayin'?"

We're with the crowd -- singing loud -- yeh, we're starting to rock
When Housey Man, up on the stand, says, "I say Chaps - Stop!"
It's dour hour, holy hour -- time to unwind
Bingo is the single thing they got on their minds
Thirty nights of flashing lights -- the end of the grind
Heading down  to London town for studio time
Suzy drums, Willie strums in old Soho
Kevin just a revin' up the piano
Yeh, we're a transported, imported semi-deported, genuine, certified
Outlaw Ramblin' Band.

ONE NIGHT STAND
(Standing Up For Rock 'n' Roll)
(Written on a Western Canada tour of summer exhibitions and rodeos)

Make the same ole rounds
Hit the same ole towns
Picking Country and Rock 'n' Roll
Crowd gettin' loud
Band gettin' louder
Till the whole thing's outa control

Hey, Hey Alright
Gonna be alright tonight

We boogie all night
Watch 'em brawl and fight
People never listen like they should
They want the same old songs
Say there ain't nothing wrong
With 'Roll Over...' 
...and 'Johnny B. Good'

It's a one night stand
And we're standing up for rock 'n' roll

Fifteen years
Of smoke and beers
And fifteen thousand bars
Nights get lonely 
When you're on your own
With nothing but your old guitar

It's a one-night stand
And we're standing up for rock 'n' roll

 

SWAMP ROMP
(Written at Island Lake, northern Manitoba
and somewhere in the American South)

We've sung of Alabama -- Louisiana too
Montana where we paid our dues
Manitoba gold and Saskatchewan dust
Sunday in Alberta - yeh we cussed and cussed

We bin up and down
Round and round
We keep movin'
We bin north and south
Town to town
We keep a groovin'
We keep setting our eyes
On another horizon
To follow

O we fly to Toronto -- Fly to LA
Hustlin' all night -- And bussin' all day
Fly to the East -- Fly  to the West
England swings, we think it's the best

Long Hair, Redneck and Leisure Suit
We love 'em all -- we don't  give a hoot
Hustle, Bump and Boogie and Texas Swing
Just hum a couple bars and we'll pick that thing

 

MONTANA
(Written in Missoula, Montana
during our 1974 tour of the NW USA)

Rolling down the highway -- we're southern bound
Wind from the bus blows the sweet grass 'round
Kalispell, Missoula and their rodeos
Play a little fiddle and a dosey doe

Dancing and prancing -- the ponies a-flying
Cowboys cussing and their ladies a-crying
Pick a little tune, a jig and a song
Montana crowd wanna sing along

Chorus
Montana
Your song goes on
Echoing through the sky
Montana
I'll sing your song
Till the day I die

Phantoms and shadows on the far horizon
Stories of the redman and herds of bison
Railroad, wagon, trader and miner
Lawman, outlaws, and old moonshiners

Shaken outa my dreams by the tires a-whining
Just another sound of the Old West dying
Can't live the past but I'll sing it in song
Kindle old times as we roll along


BOOGIE WOOGIE BAND
(Written by Al Jones at one of our 
jam sessions in Brandon, Manitoba)

You need rhythm 
To hear the Boogie Band play
To keep with them -- 
You gotta dance all day
So clap your hands and stomp your feet
And then you're on your way...
You need rhythm

You need feelin' 
To hear that guitar play
It's still appealin' -- 
The 33rd time 'round
With the music high and the lights down low
And both feet off the ground...
You need feelin'

Play play play that music
Hey hey hey, it turns the world around

You need to move it -- 
To hear that saxman blow
You'll really groove it -- 
When he starts to go
So light your fuse and escape those blues
And give it all you know...
you need to move it

WHILE YOU'RE AWAY
Words and Music by Al Jones ~ Album 7 | CD 10
Vocals by Sue-On

Here's the sun
Shining through
Making me happy
Thinking of you

There's the moon
Riding high
Leaving me lonely
Making me cry

Summer breeze
Drifting free
Bringing sweet memories
Closer to me

Willow Tree
Whisperin' low'
Sharing our secret
No one should know

I'll find a swallow to fly around you
And leave you love from me
Time rolls by
Night and day
Only it's hurting
While you're away
REPEAT


GOOD-TIME JAMBOREE
(Written in assorted dressing rooms in 
Middlesbrough, England)

Chorus
Come on and give the band a hand on the ole bandstand
They're singing all night for you
Guitar's ringing and the drummer girl's singing the blues
We'll pick a little fiddle and diddle 
with the ivories in harmony
We'll have a rompin' stompin' good-time jamboree

Forget your tax laws, in-laws, out-laws, too
Even Grandma's jumpin' like new
Dancing and prancing -- any ole dude'll do
Dancing outside, inside, upside-down
Look -- her feet don't touch the ground
Struttin', double clutchin', and 
hitching up her gingham gown

The amp'll stapple crackle pop when we start to rock
You'll feel your toes tapping down in your socks
Skippin' and trippin' and rocking around the clock
We'll keep you creepin' and peepin' 
-- anything but sleepin'
Till the moonshine meets the sun
Then you'll drag it to your wagon and
The band's on the run again.

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CREDITS
Bill Hillman: Vocals and Guitar
Sue-On Hillman: Vocals, Drums and Percussion
Kevin Pahl: Grand Piano, Electric Piano, 
Hohner Clavinet, Piano Bass

Thanks to our English friends:
Mick Sandbrook: Bass and "Housey Man"
Bernie Watson: Keyboards
Alan Studholme: Drums
John Ashcroft: Arp Odyssey Synth & String Arrangements
Alan Jones: Piano on Track 12
Mickey Sweeney: Recording Engineer
David Wood

PRODUCED BY BILL HILLMAN FOR MAPLE GROVE PRODUCTIONS
Photography and Design by Bill & Sue-On Hillman ~ Terence Fowler
RECORDED AT IMPULSE SOUND STUDIO ~ 
NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE, ENGLAND
Band 12 recorded at Gooseberry Studios, London, England
Band 13 recorded at Century 21 Studios, Winnipeg, Manitoba 

For information regarding personal appearances and other albums, 
contact:
Bill and Sue-On Hillman
Maple Grove Productions
Box 280
Strathclair, Manitoba, Canada   R0J 2C0

RECORDING ANECDOTES
Near the end of our first tour of England we developed friendships with a number of other musicians represented by our agent, Borrow-Hunter Agencies of Middlesbrough. Bass player, Mick Sandbrook generously offered to drive us, along with all our equipment, down to London. Traynor amps of Canada had supplied us with most of our gear and it had to be returned to Wing Music in Bromley, Kent.  On our return to Canada we immediately started planning a second tour of England for the following summer.Throughout the coming year we kept up correspondence with Mick and he lined up session muscians and studio time at Impulse Studios ~ Walls End, Newcastle-On-Tyne.

As we had done on Album No. 6, we planned No. 7 to be a double concept package: Side One: Sue-On - The Newcastle Sessions which featured some of Sue-On's favourite solos and Side Two: Road Songs: On Tour In England for which I wrote songs inspired by our experiences on the road, both in North America and in England.

Side One: As with most of our albums we chose a number of cover versions of songs that would appeal to our record-buying fan base who always look for familiar titles. This allowed us to mix in an equal number of originals. We had done a less than spectacular version of Tiny Bubbles on our first album. Since that time we had combined it with Paper Roses in our stage shows.  Sue-On was anxious to hear how this medley would sound from a more acceptable studio. We had a ball doing this one in a shuffle rhythm and then used the synth to add some "bubble" sound effects to it. She also did new version of Silver Threads & Golden Needles. It turned out to be a much more driving version than the previous album No. 1 effort. 

Another fan favourite at our shows and dances has been Please, Release Me. For this one I set the rhythm by using a drumstick to beat out a percussive sound from my guitar. We have a number of Neil Diamond songs in our repertoire and we finally settled on his Song Sung Blue. When we contacted Neil Diamond to pay royalties for the release of his composition he requested that we send album covers/inserts. They were to be added to the display of covers on the walls of his Nashville office. 

We sing the gospel great, Why Me, Lord? as a duet on stage. For the studio session, however, Sue-On sang a fantastic solo and overdubbed harmony parts, a la Mary Ford and Patti Page.  Impulse owner Dave Wood was at the studio while we recorded Why Me Lord? and was so impressed with it that he immediately took a dub down to the local radio station. One of the jocks flipped over it and played it three times on his show. They later featured the song as a regular on their Sunday religious programmes, as well. We were pleasantly surprised when Why Me, Lord? went on to receive a nice bit of airplay across the UK and Germany.

Side Two featured seven more originals - two of them written by Al Jones who had organized and accompanied us on our first UK tour.  Sue-On had recorded the ballad, While You're Away, the year before in London's Gooseberry Studios. Boogie Woogie Band had come out of the Free Spirit sessions we had done the year before.

Outlaw Ramblin' Band narrates the events of the first tour: the rather scary decision to leave the Canadian prairies to embark on a 30-night tour of English clubs, our first flight in a 747, the hectic confusion of Heathrow Airport, the crazy London traffic, the long commute to Northern England in a packed Commer van, and the challenge of playing for packed Workingman Clubs every night. This involved adapting to taking the stage after a warm-up variety act and house band intro, playing a show set, getting off stage while the audience indulged in Housie (Bingo), and then going on for a dance set, and shutting the whole thing down by 11 o'clock. It also gave us the experience of working with musicians we had heard about and admired for so long, exploring dressing rooms that the Beatles had used a few years before, playing up the novelty of our "American" accents and country-based music, being typical tourists through the day, and suddenly adapting to Canada again after being immersed in British culture for almost seven weeks.

One Night Stand is a sort of wistful reflection on our many years of performing one-night shows for just about every venue imaginable. This duet opened many doors for us as it became a Top Ten hit on many stations and we performed it on network television, the national Big Country Awards Show, the Opry North Show and shows in various Concert Halls. It was also instrumental in our receiving the Manitoba Entertainers of the Year Award, which led to media coverage on the CBC National, newspapers, magazines and TV/Radio interviews.

Swamp Romp is a bit of a screamer but its main theme is that we were open to all musical genres and gigs. Over the years we have performed just about every type of music for all kinds of functions: military bases, TV/Radio, fairs and rodeos, outdoor festivals, arena shows and dances, auditoriums, penitentiaries, barn dances, high school proms, hoedowns, film soundtracks, commercials, churches, weddings, socials, Indian pow-wows, and festivals: folk, Celtic, blues, cowboy poetry, gospel rock, bluegrass, etc. ... we love 'em all.

Montana shares the experiences we had while performing on grandstand shows in US state and county fairs. All of our tours have been summer tours, taken during our summer break from teaching high school -- and university courses in our more recent years. Our backgrounds as geography majors and educators always influenced our appreciation of the geography and local colour of the places we toured. This fascination is quite evident in this song.

Good Time Jamboree  is a novelty song about our stage exploits and the experience of performing 30 years worth
of one-nighters. It was recorded during our Newcastle sessions in England. This studio, like so many of the places we played in England, was inaccessible in the extreme. We had to pull our gear up many flights of stairs and through a seemingly endless number of doors because the facility was situated on the upper level of a large bingo hall complex. After surviving this ordeal, which anyone in his right mind would have left to roadies, I returned to re-park our Ford Transit van only to find that the meter maid had decorated it with a parking ticket - to add infuriation to fatigue.

Impulse Studios were located above a bingo hall in Newcastle.  The studio is pretty well known since many popular groups have recored there: Lindisfarne, members of the Chieftains, Sting, etc.  Our bass-playing friend, Mick Sandbrook, had lined up musicians for the session and we were quite excited about working with a synth player for the first time. In 1977, synth players were still a bit of a rarity - the instruments were costly, not too versatile, and somewhat hard to master as preset sounds were not yet common. John Ashcroft's work on the Arp Odyssey Synth and his "string machine" really fattened and sweetened our sound.  We spent much of our time on the session trying to convey to him the arrangements and sound effects we heard in our heads but had no way of writing out. I was so busy eking synth arrangement I ran out of time, which resulted in not adding all the lead guitar parts I'd planned.

As usual we put in long hours and did the entire album in two days. We did the final mix far into the night, a job Sue-On has little interest in, so luckily our friends Keith and Margaret Jones from Spennymoor showed up and offered to take Sue-On to a gambling casino. She did quite well in her gambling debut and even won about 30 pounds. Keith is Alan Jones' brother and we've since enjoyed many get-togethers with them on both sides of the Atlantic.



PLAY
STING with LAST EXIT - Don't Let It Bring You Down (N. Young) 
Recorded in 1974 at Impulse Studios, Newcastle U.K.

BEHIND THE COVERS

Since the album cover was designed to be a "reversible," double concept project with both sides serving as "front covers," we inserted a lyrics, credits and photo sheet. After pressing Brandon photographer, Terrence Fowler, for something unusual, he came up with a seldom used prism lens which produced a multi-imaged Sue-On for her solo cover. For the Road Songs side, he came up with another special lens for which the three of us wore our London patched chamois/buckskin gear as we posed in front of a white fur rug we had borrowed from our Maple Grove fireplace.

The by-now-trademark filmstrip included some recent candid photos. We recycled some of our previous studio shots including the back-to-back picture that we had used on the cover of Album No. 6 and for promo 8"x10"s. Two other photos are with Mick Sandbrook and some of our English musician friends. 

During an open-house visit to the famed Pinewood Movie Studios we visited the main soundstage where they had just wound up a James Bond shoot and were bringing in truckloads of white styrofoam to create a North Pole set for the upcoming Superman movie. I stood under the studio's Superman sign, pulled open my shirt to reveal my maple leaf T-shirt  and assumed a heroic Captain Canuck pose. My hopes of being signed as a stand-in for Christopher Reeve never materialized : )  This gigantic studio burned down soon after - but was rebuilt - even bigger and better. 

Two London photos have me aiming a cannon at the Tower Bridge and Sue-On welcoming pedestrians on London Bridge. The last photo is of Sue-On seated during a break at an outdoor street dance back home on Main Street, Strathclair, Canada.

We had a great time prowling around the Pinewood backlot and finding many of  the props used for the just-completed James Bond film, including the mock-up shell of his submarine Lotus. For the Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, a giant 007 soundstage was built to replicate the inside of a tanker, at the cost of $1.8 million. Also impressive was the mammoth water tank that stored 4.5 million litres.Another highlight was touring the Avengers offices and locations where Patrick McNee and Diana Rigg had spent so much film time playing John Steed and Emma Peel.






Click for larger images

PHOTO GALLERY
Prism lens shot that we used for the front cover
Sue-OnSue-On, Bill, Kevin - On StageThe Outlaw Rambling Band from Canada
On the  road in England with bassist Mick Sandbrook and musician friendsSue-On on London BridgeJames Bond and Superman soundstage at Pinewood Studios, EnglandStreet dance in Strathclair before we left on England tourOn the road in England with musician friends

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TO THE HILLMAN 50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY CONTENTS
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BILL and SUE-ON HILLMAN: A 50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY

BOOK COVER
BOOK CONTENTS
1. Gig Notes: 1-10
2. Album Notes
3. Guitar Tales
4. Prairie Saga
5. Roots
6. Photos
7. Media
8. 100 Songs

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