David Mallett (Marina Evans opens)
The cool breezes of Maines northlands have flowed through the songs of David Mallett for more than four decades. His latest, Greenin’ Up, is a compilation of some re-recordings of his finest work. Released in conjunction with the Maine Farmland Trust, it is a celebration of rural life.
Having grown up around country people and farmers, rural life has always been the wellspring for a lot of my best work, Mallett said. I was glad to be able to put some of my best nature tunes in one collection and help draw attention to and to support such a worthy cause as the Maine Farmland Trust, which essentially helps prevent valuable farmland from being turned into housing and strip malls. Ive always wanted to revisit some of my old stuff, like April, and present a more seasoned version of some of these songs.
Honing his craft as a soloist, Mallett increasingly expanded his repertoire with original tunes. When I was in my twenties, playing in bars, he remembered, I would sprinkle in a few of my own songs. They blended in pretty well. By the time that I was 26 or 27, I was singing all my own songs.
A turning point in Mallett’s career came in 1975 after he discovered that Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary had moved to Blue Hill, Maine and was opening a recording studio. That was back in the days when a recording studio was sort of like Oz, he said. It was a foreign land. I wanted to see his studio, so, I called him up and said, Can I come visit? Within six months of their initial meeting, Mallett found a true mentor in Stookey. In addition to producing Mallett’s first three albums, Stookey helped to bring his tune, The Garden Song, to the attention of influential folksinger Pete Seeger who included it on his 1979 album, Circles And Seasons. John Denver soon recorded the song and took it to the top ten in the adult contemporary charts in the late 70s.
MARINA EVANS and BERNARDO BAGLIONI