Saturday, November 6, 2010



The proclaimed godmother of Freak Folk was London born in 1945. A pal of Donovan, she once took off for the northern reaches of Scotland to join a commune, but before that she traveled to New York City and fell under the influence of early Bob Dylan (the Freewheelin' album). The traveling time in the UK was a year and a half on the road, stretching from South London to the Hebrides, in a horse and cart. Joe Boyd produced her first album Just Another Diamond Day, recorded in three evenings at the height of the sixties with some of the finest British folk musicians. Critically received, the album was never known. Having enough of that, VB disappeared into Ireland from the music scene for the next 30 years to raise three children and tend to her animals. A beautiful Earth Mother. In 2000 her first album was rereleased, followed by a second album Lookaftering in 2005. Word has it a fourth album is slowly in the works. I drew the song "Winter Is Blue" from the collection Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind, a 2-CD compilation of singles and demos cut from 1964 to 1967. The title of the collection and first song was penned by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and recorded by VB in 1965.

EDEN 6 ~


I went out before the rain and scythed the roadway. Only me out there, though Kokomo, our kitten, would certainly follow me anywhere. Yesterday I was scything and a neighbor was walking by, she limps and her elder dog wheezes. I can hear them coming from fifty feet off with my back turned on an old dirt road. She knows the pooch is going to die any time now, but I mentioned how she still wags her tail. What a heart an animal has. I’ve tried to learn my lessons from birds and animals and the great Mother more than other humans, but occasionally a human being becomes a spectacular moment. So as I am saying adieu to the neighbor and her dog heading up river for the mailbox, I turn and look down behind the stonewall and there’s my buddy Kokomo who has made his silent stay all the way to the road and by my boots where I stand...peering out with those glorious eyes. Beaming. It was his first look at a dog. I left myself and thought more about him. I know he is everything to me that I give to my one grown son. It can’t be helped.

from A Possible Eden, Bob Arnold, Longhouse 2010
photo: © Bob Arnold