Wolf Song is a collaborative effort of many creative minds in support of Wolfwood Refuge near Ignacio, Colorado. This refuge accepts wolf and wolf dogs that cannot live in the wild, are not accepted by animal shelters or would die from starvation or being shot by people afraid of them. There are 11 songs written specifically for this project. This labor of love was begun after long time friend Jaqui Jacobs introduced Charlie to Paula Watson, the operator of WolfWood, and he learned of the work done there. Jaqui & Charlie realized the CD would be a way to volunteer in a sustaining fundraising project and the rest of the band joined in. Then friends offered help from writing press releases to proof reading copy and listening to the emerging music during the recording process and the rest is history.
Gypsyfire: the creative collaboration
Steve Sprague not only co-produced the project but played a Johnson Swamp Stomper (resonator), an Epiphone ES 339, Fender Telecaster and a Martin 000X1AE. He added Fender Precision Bass and drums. Then he contributed a song ("Grey Wolf Blue”) that he also arranged and sang lead on. This is Steve and Charlie’s third studio project together.
Charlie Stacey co-wrote and co-produced the project as well as being the recording, mixing and mastering engineer. He also played his trusty Martin 000C-1e and Seagull 12 string guitar as well as singing lead and harmony on many of the tracks. In addition he did some of the the photography as well as layout for the CD cover.
Lori Stephens Reed is back again in the line up for her second Gypsyfire CD. She led the choir on “Seattle’s Song", sang the duet on “The Conversation” and added harmony parts throughout. She also loaned us her son’s drum kit for Steve to play, loaned Ted the banjo for “WolfSong” and was available at a moments notice to do the recording.
Ted Miller is the band member with the longest history with Gypsyfire. He has played on almost every CD project since 1997 and made a trip from Houston for this one. Ted arranged banjo parts on "Wolf Song" and "Wolf Dog Cookies". He brought his mandolin to "Willow’s Waltz" and “Acorn and Amber”.
Susan Levin is back for her second turn with Gypsyfire. She appeared on “Time’s Mandala”. She wore several hats on this project. She played the djembe (African hand drum), shaker, balaphone (traditional African xylophone) and Native American flute. In addition she provided photographs from WolfWood.
Maria Blair came down from Durango to join in. She wrote and arranged the fiddle part on “Cheyenne” and a cello and fiddle part on the rollicking rag time “Wolf Dog Cookies”. She has been great friend and supporter of Gypsyfire but this is her first time to record with us. Her experience runs from Cape Breton fiddle and dancing to the San Juan Symphony and all stops in between.
Bob Condon, Bodhran; Member of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, Played with the Chieftans, Barley Brei, Cladagh, Harvest Home, Gypsyfire, The Elders, Giants Dance to name but a few and currently he is with Kitchen Jam Band from Durango. He taught bodhran in the Boston area for 15+ years before moving to the Cortez area.
Tori Myers is now a regular with Gypsyfire. She originally hung out and did roadie duty and then took on handling the merchandise sale at gigs. Then one day she let slip that she “used to sing”. She came into the studio on “Harmless Yet Alarming” and proved she still could sing. And if that wasn’t enough she wrote the liner notes and painted an original oil painting for the cover art. She has created high harmony parts on “Archie”, “Willow’s Waltz”, “Seattle’s Song” and “Refuge"
Jaqui Jacobs has been involved in the project from the beginning. She shares co-writing credit on the majority of the songs and took many of the pictures that will be used. More than that her commitment to WolfWood and to the wolves is what has driven this creative endeavor. She is now involved in getting the word out to the world that this project is here and the wolves need your help.
Without Paula Watson there would be no WolfWood and no Wolf Song CD. She is the founder and owner (with her husband Craig) and spark plug that keeps all the volunteers focused and the wolves safe and sound. The song “Conversation” was taken directly from a poem she wrote that imagined a conversation between a young girl and a wolf.
Not pictured but of special help in bringing this project to life were Lou Mancel who for the entire history of Gypsyfire has had the set of ears that makes final suggestions on mix and production before we lock things down and send it off to the manufacturer. Timithy Gordon listened and added suggestions as well as using his artists eye to help with the layout and typography of the CD cover. Kate Niles provided insight and help in the earliest stages of writing and recording. Anne Corley Rice let us have Ted Miller for a good part of their vacation to record with Gypsyfire again. Jackie and David McFarland provided good ears and helpful comments on the songs and the mix. Finally Candy Blasingame is helping with the press releases and guidance in the publicizing so the project can find friendly ears.
- Wolf Song 4:08 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Grey Wolf Blue 2:06 (Steven Sprague)
- Snapshots 5:36 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Archie 5:28 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Wolf Dog Cookies 3:45 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Willow’s Waltz 5:16 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Seattle’s Song 3:07 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Cheyenne 4:12 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Conversation 5:02 (Charles Stacey/Paula Watson)
- Acorn and the Amber 4:20 (Charles Stacey)
- Refuge 4:53 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
- Wolf Song - Reprise 3:58 (Charles Stacey/Jaqui Jacobs)
The songs: I am posting the final mix of the songs in low fi MP3 files. Feel free to listen but please don’t down load. Remember this is a project to raise money for WolfWood. At the bottom of this page are links to where you can buy the CD for $15. All funds from the links will go to WolfWood and used directly to feed and care for the wolves.
Archie is a wolf/dog who achieved a certain celebrity in Aztec, New Mexico not too long ago. He was adopted by someone in Aztec from his original home in Oklahoma but he was an escape artist and while friendly it was clear he couldn’t be allowed to roam. The local shelter contacted Wolfwood and after attempts to catch Archie were unsuccessful they procured a tranquilizer dart gun. Archie is now hanging out at Wolfwood and has his own song.
Cheyenne was a mainstay at the Rocky Mountain Wild Life Refuge near Guffey Colorado. Cheyenne was brought to the refuge as a small pup and raised there. The presence of the wolves made residents nervous and the refuge and art gallery had to relocate several times even though it was documented and many stories were written about Cheyenne’s ability to sense disease in visitors and help save several lives.
Paula Watson and her husband Craig are the heart and soul of Wolfwood having dedicated their lives to creating and guiding the refuge for all these years. Paula wrote a poem that imagined a conversation between a wolf and a young woman. Charlie took that poem and turned it into a song “The Conversation” and then brought it to life with the help of Lori Stephens Reed.
The CD Art
To Order Wolf Song (The CD): Click Here
To Order Wolf Song digital download: Click Here
All proceeds go to WolfWood Refuge