John Coletta & The Humpff Family

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Sleekit Slivers

Fathers

Mothers

Living in Hope






John Coletta ...sleekit slivers... MMGB68

Recorded in John’s Hovel and Kenny’s Blues Shack, Mixed & Mastered in, the Hovel

 

01 Blood Honey (John Coletta) A leaving song - it says it all in the opening line

“You know I still love, the edges so rough that I found on that very first date,

But there not as tough as that other stuff, I did not anticipate.”

And a wee dig at the pretence of inclusion

“Ask my favourite colour, then pick another,  I just don’t know how I got it wrong”

 

Button Accordion - Tom Roche

Cajon - Frankie McGuire                                                           

Electric Double Bass - Kenny Gair

Guitar / Mandolin/ Harmonica / Voice - John Coletta

 

02 The Ballad Of Drab McClatter (John Coletta) a man, who John had never met, called “Rab” hated him from the moment John started dating the woman Rab had been stalking for the last six years.  So Rab started bad mouthing John and his music, to anyone he met. Rab was one of these folk - fascists who hated anything new, non-traditional, tunes or songs.  John had written a hornpipe and was looking for a subject for a song to incorporate it, when he thought ”how about that terrible guy Rab” so firstly he called the hornpipe a “Ballad” just to annoy Rab’s sense of tradition.  For the song changed Rab’s name to “Drab”, and for a sir name used “ McClatter” this is to what Scottish children approximate John’s sir name – “Coletta”.  Rab then gave John the first line of the song when he harrumphed into a seat in the pub declaring “that’s forty eight funerals I’ve been to this year”. John freely admits that the savaging he gives Rab in this song may not be accurate, as he has never even spoken to the” wanker”.

 

Bass & Harmonies - Kenny Gair

Button Accordion - Tom Roche

Electric Double Bass - Kenny Gair

Guitar / Resonator Guitar / Mandolin / Resonator Mandolin / Voice - John Coletta

 

03 The First Dance (J Coletta / D Fitzpatrick) A song describing Scottish Weddings, from John’s ceilidh band experience, “Families merge in a circle of hands, as we sing, for auld lang syne”

 

Electric Double Bass - Kenny Gair

Button Accordion - Tom Roche

Snare - Pete Rabjohns

Guitar / Harmonica / Voice - John Coletta

 

04 Easy Liars (John Coletta) Friends of John’s started a business together, and when it all fell apart, people behaved in an unashamedly vindictive and childish way, surprising everyone who knew them.  The album title is taken from my favourite line in this song.

“Oh the - snide'll sidle to an - idle ear, in secret, sneak it, sleekit, slivers of sleaze”

 

Bass & Harmonies - Kenny Gair

Snare - Pete Rabjohns

Guitar / Mandolin / Voice - John Coletta

           


05 A Friend for your news (John Coletta) Lying in bed with your partner, knowing that they are gathering the courage to dump you.

“I'm waiting for that fatal blow, hunting for a reprieve, in a limbo of cold shoulders, preparing myself to grieve”

 

Guitar / Harmonica / Voice - John Coletta

 

06 Feed the party Intro (John Coletta)

Classical Guitar - John Coletta

 

07 Feed the Party (J Coletta / D Fitzpatrick) A Spanish friend (Paloma) told John years ago “in south America we have parties (festivals) they last two weeks and easily two hundred people die”, this was the inspiration that started the lyric, and George first Bass player in the “Humpff Family” gets a mention.

“While George used up his next last chance, Chasing cheeses down a hill”

George McCauley was a beautiful character who died of mischief in 2004, sadly missed

 

Voice - John Coletta

Cajon - Frankie McGuire

Button Accordion - Tom Roche

Bass - Lorna Thomas

Guitar / Mandolin / Resonator Mandolin / Mandolin / Hand Claps / Voice - John Coletta

 

08 Honey Rum (John Coletta) John had a friend who used to woo women with fantastic gestures and gifts that stopped when he “got them”. John was also acquainted with a lap dancer, which one was the more honest?

“An actor will act, but life is back stage, where you shave your back, and mask your age”

 

Bass - Lorna Thomas

Drums - Pete Rabjohns

Guitar / Organ / percussion / Harmonica / Voice - John Coletta

           

09 I Go Your Way (J Coletta/ D Fitzpatrick) this started as a re-writing of the lyric from John’s favourite Hank Williams song.

“The clues were there, but blind to me, condemned by those, whose hearts are free

You purse your lips, blow my doubts away, and once again, I go your way”

 

Button Accordion - Tom Roche

Fretless Bass - Kenny Gair

Snare - Pete Rabjohns

Guitar / Resonator Guitar/ Voice - John Coletta

           


 

10 The Putty Pickers (J Coletta) Putty Pickers, native to Scotland, are on the decline with the introduction of UPVC windows, but they are still keeping children under their covers, where they should be.

 “They sniff around for children’s feet, or hands or knees or bums

 ‘Cause children are so much tastier, than sour Dads or Mums”

 

Guitar / Harmonica / Voice - John Coletta

 

11 Raggle Taggle Dreamer (J Coletta) a friend described John in his younger days as a Raggle toggle dreamer, so he wrote a lyric about an unrequited but incompetent flirt,

“And I love my new tattoo, I have emblazoned your name

The story you’re telling, that you’re spelling, is not the same”

 

Cajon - Frankie McGuire

Bass - Kenny Gair

Guitar / Mandolin/ Harmonica / Voice - John Coletta

 

12 the Hill / Tarzan (J Coletta) Mandolin etc.

The Hill; Four Aberdeenshire families who had lived under “the hill” during World War Two, realized that after the war they would be disbursed all over the shire, so vowed to meet for berry picking every year, and they still do.   John had the privilege of being invited along one year; I was inspired to write the tune in two parts

a. marching up the hill with purpose and

b. staggering down in a merry state.

Tarzan; Johnny Weissmuller, before Tarzan was an Olympic swimmer, inventing the three kick per stroke front crawl, which as John was learning and it reminded Him of Jig time. 

There are three parts to the tune:- 

a. based on the Tarzan yodel  

b. the three beat kick jig kick to the front crawl, to which John missed the second beat when learning to swim, so removed the second beat from the first four bars of this part, and  

c. Jigging up the yodel.

 

Cajon - Frankie McGuire

Bass - Kenny Gair

Button Accordion - Tom Roche

Guitar / Mandolins / Yodel - John Coletta

 

 

13 Weight Of Desire (J Coletta / D Fitzpatrick) A Waltz of love and devotion

“I stumble my way between harp strings and fire, till I'm crushed by this weight of desire”

 

Electric Double Bass - Kenny Gair

Guitar / Mandolin/ Harmonica / Voice - John Coletta

 

14 Rusty Box (J Coletta / D Fitzpatrick) A tribute to all the vans John Has owned in his musical career, with a description of a Scottish summer as “waiting for warmer rain”.

“My engine oil shines those hypnotic white lines, on a reconditioned wing and a prayer”

On the way to a Gig in the Aultnamain Inn we realised that the moon lit up the road so we turned off our head lights to drive a while in the moonlight. About twenty minutes after we arrived our van was surrounded by about six cars full of very drunken revellers asking, “why did you put out your lights”, it turned out that they were all following us with their lights off, and hid off road when we dimmed our lights, thinking that we had spotted the police, from whom they were hiding.

 

Button Accordion - Tom Roche

Snare - Pete Rabjohns

Guitar / Mandolin/ Voice - John Coletta

 

15 The First Dance outro (John Coletta)

Harmonica - John Coletta