Session Rules
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We can learn a lot more than tunes from a session

lyrics by Melissa L. Tatum, Rich Brotherton and Ed Miller
music by Rich Brotherton and Ed Miller//The Silk Purse – Rich Brotherton
arranged by Rich Brotherton and Ed Miller
recorded by Ed Miller & Rich Brotherton
vocals Ed Miller
guitar, mandolin, cittern & bass Rich Brotherton
recorded at Ace Recording, Austin, TX
recording engineer Rich Brotherton

Here’s a preview sample of the song.

One night while sitting in a  hotel bar listening to a session, I looked around and realized that the musicians came from fivedifferent countries and yet were all playing and enjoying the same tunes, and the idea for this song was born. 
I have been a huge fan of Ed Miller since I discovered traditional music and started attending festivals. I love his song choices and his pithy commentary.  When Chris and I discovered the joy of house concerts and were talking about who we’d like to ask to do a concert, Ed was the first name on our list.

Ed Miller has been hailed as “one of the finest singers to come out of the Scottish Folksong Revival” and as “one of Scotland’s best singing exports.” Originally from Edinburgh, Ed relocated to Austin to attend the University of Texas, and has stayed put, much to the delight of American audiences. He uses his graduate degrees in Folklore and Geography to imbue his concerts with the connection between song, history, and place.

I knew from the outset that one of the challenges in organizing this CD would be handling the technical logistics of the recording process. I was coordinating artists all over the world, which meant I needed studio time and recording engineer expertise in many different locations. There was no doubt who would do the recording in Texas – Rich Brotherton. Ed Miller has worked with Rich for years and I love Ed’s albums. But while I was familiar with Rich’s work from Ed’s CDs, and I had the good fortune to see Rich in concert with Ed at the North Texas Irish Festival, Rich had never met me. So I was deeply touched when he not only recorded Ed’s track, he composed music for it, helped refine the lyrics, and played multiple instruments on the recording. (Not to mention his work with Dene on Heirlooms!). He has left an indelible stamp on this CD, and I can’t thank him enough.


The lyrics:

I thought of last night’s session and the people who were there
they came from different backgrounds and from places far and near
they spoke the common language of music and of song
If the world would only do the same, we all could get along

CHORUS: This world would be a better place if we lived by session rules
they’re not so very different from the ones we learned in school
So listen, share, communicate and take turns in the lead
It’s a simple way to make this world the best that it can be

The first rule of a session is about community
there’s reasons why a circle is the shape we aim to be
for a session should be much more than a hornpipe or a song
it’s time to share a pint and see how friends are gettin’ on

The second rule of sessions is to take turns in the lead
Everyone contributes or the session won’t succeed
It’s an old-time social network, no tyrants in the room
A jig from him, a reel from her, and have you got a tune?

The third rule of a session is to always be aware
That even a beginner might have a tune to share
We all can teach, we all can learn, we all can have a say
so keep an open mind, you might learn something new today