The final half hour of  FOLK PLUS on October 23 1999 was an in studio interview with
Rod MacDonald on his way to CT from playing last night in Elmira.

A:  I'm proud to say that in the studio now wiht me is Rod MacDonald. Thank you for coming Rod!

R:  It is good to be here, I'm glad I made it.

A:  I gave you directions and I believe I was off by at least an hour, and you said  "I'll make it by noon maybe"  So I thought, "Oh, he will pull in at 1:10!"

R:  laughing

A:  I'll just force Jesse (the next show) to have you on live.

R:  I'm lucky there were no State Troopers out there on my route here.

A:  I wanted to tell you, as you know I post my show on the website....Oh, I should mention that anyone who
wanted to have some of the tunes themselves that I played in the last hour and a half can check the website and click on the setlist date and check any of the snail mail or e mail contacts that you
may want to order.  Anyway I got an e mail from Germany, it was London...somebody excited to
read the interview I did with you on the sidewald on New Years Day!

R:  Ah hah!  With Tracy and I...

A:  Yeah, hopefully it generated a sale for you.

R:  I don't remember actually.  I get mail from the UK sometimes since I have toured over there three or four times.

A:  So you have a brand new release!! Wanna talk about it.

R:  Yeah, its allmost all songs I wrote since moving to Florida in 1995.  Its got kind of a sunny tropical feel to it.

A:  It does.

R:  I like it.  I played the colimba on it which was real fun.  I was walking down the beach one day, there is a club near my house, and they had these two guys from Trinidad playing steel drums.  It had this particular kind of bouce to it and I thought, I'd really like that kind of rhythmic feel on my CD.  I sort of got it on a couple of songs  Tough Life is a tune with that kind of feel to it.

A:  I aired that last week.

R:  Uh Huh.  Well with each CD I like to do a kind of different kind of musical framework, I don't like to just do the same thing all the time, so this one has a kind of more sunny tropical sense to it.

A:  IT is really a happy Cd, and you have a lot of humour in this Cd.  I don't know if it was intentional or if that is just a part of your character these last five years, but there is a lot of humor.

R:  Yeah.  I'm a wise guy I guess.

A:  You don't do it musically.  You know that very moving song musically and then you say "well you can always catch his website" or some thrown out line...

R:  Right.

A:  I tried to air last week the one I have cued up now and ended up playing the one you just mentioned.  Because this tune starts with the word "six" I cued up cut 6.  You know what?  I'm doing it again!

R:  It is number seven I think. Six strings with a hole big and round.

A:  I am doing it again.  This is confusing for DJs.  Will you think about this?

R:  This is a tribute to the acoustic guitar. For all you pickers out there.

A:  OK Well here it is from Rod MacDonald's new CD called Into the Blue

R:  Yes

A:  An the tune is called...

R:  Six Strings With a Hole Big and Round

14.  Rod MacDonald - 6 strings and a hole big and round
       Into The Blue -
      "you can't play this $&^/* on the piano, you can't do this #*&)% on the slide trombone"

A:  Ok!  I love that tune.  I love that where play and say "Trombone can't do this"

R:  Yeah, I played trombone.  I played slide trombone in the school band as a teenager.  That was an interesting experience - yes.  I was a soloist on Trombone.  I had to learn all these complicated jazz songs from the Beeny Goodman repertoire and things like that.  But as I was telling Angela, you can't get girls with a big ring around your lips which is what you get from the big mouthpiece they give you.  Actually I found out since that professional trombone players use a very small mouthpiece and it doesn't leave this big ring around you lips, but when you are in school and they are teaching you how to play they give you this thing about the size of a toilet plunger and it leaves this big ring around your lips.

A:  It's amazing that they get anybody to play as a teenager.  So I love the flavor of your new cd.  It is peacefully fun.  You do have a political tune on there.  Cut 12 I keep calling it.

R:  I do?  Oh, yeah,  it is called Fear, yes that's right.

A:  Maybe we will just cut to that?

R:  Sure.

A:  Lets get as many as we can in here.  You are listening to Rod MacDonald.  He is live in the WJFF hydro-powered, volunteer-run studios.  We are at 90.5.  It is still overcast, 45 degrees and not going to be much warmer today.  There is a 40% chance of showers, if you are tuning in for the weather.  So lets cue up Fear. Rod MacDonald's new cd.

15.  Rod MacDonald - Fear
       Into The Blue   - macd index.html

A:  That was a quick tune!  I thought I had the wrong one cued up.

R:  Well you know.  No point in running on and on.

A:  Thats right!  This is a happy cd (they laugh)  Really you get the feeling of just sitting around in your bathing suit, strumming your 6 strings with a hole...

R:  That's it.  Actually, I did a lot of the production work on this cd very late at night in a studio in West Palm Beach and it was fun.  I recorded most of my musical parts in New York at Mark Dann's but I had the opportunity to bring in some people that I knew in Florida and do their stuff separately.  I'm sure it is no secret to people who listen to this show that you occasionally track things on song and then you kind of mix it later.  That is what I did with the rhythic instruments- the congas and the colimbas and stuff like that.

A:  Recently I aired an interview where John Gorka said that he just had the drums.  That is all he had for his new cd, and he put everything against the drums track.

R:  Yeah, well that is one way to record.  I prefer to start with the acoustic guitar because I don't like following a drummer.  I prefer...I'm a very good rhythm guitar player.  My right hand is on the money most of the time so I can usually lay down a rhythm part that a drummer can follow easier than my trying to explain to them the tempo to play the song at and him trying to do it.

A:  That noise is... I think, we are switching from hydro-power to electric, but just ignore it.

R:  So how does hydro-power work?  I'm sitting here in the studio looking out the window, I guess I see the hydro power working.

A:  You should have seen it during Floyd!

R:  Yeah, that is serious hydro.  Well we had some serious hydro in Florida last week.  We lost our lights for 12 hours.

A:  Oh pooh!  I lost all my power for 50!  Lets all call in with how long you...

R:  Well the whole house went dark.  During Floyd actually we lucked out.  If Floyd had hit us, not only would we have lost power but probably the whole house.  Irene was just like 50 - 60 miles an hour winds and some loss of power.  It was ok.  Ok is relative.  We got out candles and mandolins, and the shnapps and played cards.

A:  Is that the most excitement you have down there, know each October.

R:  Uh, no!  That is how we kill time.  We kill time with hurricanes. Actually I work a lot.  I am actually playing more music since I moved to Florida than I played when I lived in New York City.

A:  I know you do!  I talk to musicians all the time and they do not play as often as you do.  You have regular gigs!

R:  I am a work a holic.  I am working all the time and I spend about a night a week in a recoring studio as well as gigging four nights a week. It is a busy schedule.  It is a good thing.  Im doing ok with it.  Being a working musician has made me a better musician too.  One of the things that I always felt a difficult part of being a professional singer-songwriter is that you kind of starts in a vaccuum going out to play most of your own songs.  In my case, all of my own songs.  I still do in concert.  But you don't have the ability to really learn music that well.  I learned music as a trombone player and then folk as a guitarist a la Dylan and Peter Paul and Mary or Tom Rush, but you don't really learn to perform as a guitarist that much. You have to kind of do it from scratch.  Now Im playing four hours a night three or four nights a week.  I have to learn new songs all the time.  In the Irish group I play in we do a fair amount of cover music so I've had to actually really learn the guitar as an instrument all over again from the ground up int he last 3 years and its bewen a real good experience.  It has taught me a lot.

A:  We have Ray Micek in the studio with us, he is very instrumental in the Greenwich Village Music Scene.  I was hoping you would chat with him while I run down and get Tracy's cd..

R:  Hey Ray whats new?

A:  Tracy Sands and Rod have a cd out together.  You are great with rhythm guitar on that.  I could run down and cue something and you guys could chat...

R:  Why don't you play Days of Rain.

A:  You'll have to tell me the cut..

R:  That is I believe cut number four...

A:  This is the problem with my cds in my car, when I pop them out to play I have no idea what track is what because that info is home on my kitchen table.  Number four?

R:  So Ray how is it going?  This mike live.

A:  Speak right into it.

Ray:  Angela, what I can do is go get the cd, and you stay here and operate those...

A:  OK  It is this key- This is WJFF for you Rod.  That is the library key.

R:  Know what you are looking for? It says Tracy Sands on it.

A:  In the S's.  Folk music is straight ahead of you. Want to introduce cut four.

R:  This is called Days of Rain and is actually a hurricane song.  The vocal work is a duo of twin sisters and it occured to me that instead of getting a bunch of harmony singers that don't normally sing together and trying to teach them my songs,  I got a couple of people who have sung together for 20 years and come in a do what they do best, that is sing together.  It sounds very nic.

A:  If you would like to catch ROd live he will be in Peirmont at the Turning Point this wednesday.  Call me here and I can give you details.  Here is another cut from his brand new release.

16. Rod MacDonald   Days of Rain
      Into the Blue  - macd index.html  "When will it ever end?"

A:  Rhythm of the rain.

R:  It is called Days of Rain actually.

A:  And we have had a lot of them this month, all over the US.  This is Folk Plus at 8 minutes to 1:00.  Jess Ballew is up at 1:00.  We are here in the studio live with Rod MacDonald who is now living in Florida and has a brand new realease.  He gigs a lot in Florida.  One of the people that he regularly plays with is Tracy Sands and we have her voice here captured on a tune you wrote.

R:  Yeah,  I'll Walk in the Highlands.

A:  You want to introduce this tune?

R:  I wrote this song when I was visiting a friend in western Scotland.  I was playing hide and seek with his kids.  I found a rock to hide behind where his kids couldn't find me for a couple of hours because they were wearing me out.  I ended up just staring over the islands.  I could see the Isle of Rum, which is actually where my father's family is from.  Now it is a nature reserve.  No one lives there but a forest ranger.  It is where my dad's family came from originally.  I had this image of a guy of my ansenters sailing out on a ship and liooking back and thinking that he will probably never see it again.  It is probably what happened as a matter of fact.

A:  This is from the CD of Tracy Sands with Rod MacDonald called Voice on the Line.  Here she is singing a tune Rod wrote called I'll Walk in the Highlands

17.  Tracy Sands  (Rod MacDonald)  -  I'll Walk in the Highlands
          Voice on the Line - macd index.html
  "Well I remember the First of November...frost in the highlands"

18.  Rod MacDonald -
        Into the Blue - info above
        "remember when life was hanging out on the street....
         now.. sit in the courtyard til the stars are gone...
         I have no problem with this, I have no problem with this at all"

That is from Rod MacDonald's new release Into the Blue.  He was kind enough to stop off on his way from Binghampton to Connecticut, not really that on the way..

R:  If anybody would like to write to me can I give an address?

A:  Sure

R:  Ok  email is
      Snail mail is   Box 2152  DelRay Beach Fla 33447

A:  Thank for coming Rod.  Up next Jambalaya with Jess Ballew.