Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4

Liner Notes

Rik is pleased to announce that all tracks in The Bonfire Sessions series are available in two high-res formats in addition to MP3s. 

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Coding) is a lossless digital audio coding format, which can compress an audio file by up to 60% of its original file size. When decompressed it becomes an identical copy of the original audio data. 

 

FLAC –  24bit/44kHz and 24bit/96kHz are hi-res formats that most consumers can handle with current technology.  iPhones and most other smartphones can handle 24/96 and 24/44 files.  To organize and play these files via iTunes, they should be converted to ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec).  Conversion is possible via freeware:  Try this one

 

MP3 – 320Kbps (16bit/44.1kHz) – Hi Quality MP3. 

 

If you choose one of the FLAC formats for your download, please be aware that the files are larger and will take longer.  Be sure to use a private internet connection, and avoid public connections like coffee shops or airports for best results.

The Tide of Times
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Our world, right now, is struggling. We can’t breathe, due to COVID and prejudice. Mother Nature can’t cope with global warming. How can we cope, personally? This song says – don’t panic. No matter how much we screw up, eventually, the nature of the universe will prevail. What’s the best of human nature? We must find our hope, and hold on to it with everything we’ve got. That’s the good fight.
Learn to Let Go
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Sample
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This a straightforward rocker, teeter-tottering between two blues riffs, based on one of the big takeaways from my therapy, from grieving and from aging. Life is full of choices – and sometimes the best choice is the simplest, but often the hardest to do – Learn To Let Go.
Bounce Up
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This boppin’ pop song is the oldest tune at the bonfire. It’s been waiting years to get recorded – yet another entry in the Emmett canon of optimism. Cynicism might be the thing that comes naturally to me, and it might even be despair that gets the process started – but the songwriter in me ‘opts for optimism’ as the humane by-product, and the landmark on the horizon.
Takes All Kinds
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The harmonic jazz tune for this set predates most of the songs written for The Bonfire, but got its liberal-lyrics start when Trump started selling fear and talking about building walls. This tune’s a guitar player’s nightmare challenge, but this style personally delivers big dividends. So – liberalism + harmonic sophistication = self-indulgence. I’ll take the opportunity here to dedicate this one to John Pizzarelli and his late dad Bucky: I had the great honour of meeting Bucky and having him perform on the bill with us Dec. 5, 2011 at The Iridium in New York. I love to imagine that he’s swingin’ in peace.
Story of Your Life
Lyrics
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This is one of the last songs I wrote for The Bonfire.  Certainly not an original title, but once a hook settles in, I don’t even bother trying to shake it anymore, I just go with it.  There are also themes that I’ve used before:  the butterfly effect, the singular winding path, the verse chords from ‘A Whisper Away’ on Invitations … but I get a very real emotional sense of accomplishment from this tune.  The bridge owes a huge debt to Jimmy Webb for its harmonic / melodic journey: and the fact that the key signature emerges a 4th higher for the last chorus, with its coda summation …?  Well, that song craft might not matter to the average listener, but it makes the sunshine break over the mountains in my heart. 
Limerick Song
Lyrics
Sample
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This novelty tune will bring us to the end of the 18 vocal songs in The Bonfire Sessions (with 6 finger style jazz electric instrumentals still to come as the encore finale). I’ve never written a song with limericks before: and never had the lyric within a song function so self-referentially. Plus, I never would have been inspired & encouraged to attempt something like this if Dave Dunlop and I hadn’t recorded Eric Idle’s Monty Python ‘Galaxy Song’ for our ReCOVERy Room 9 CD. I think a musician needs a sense of humour to survive a career in show biz, down the gauntlets of The Road.
But – the bonfire is dying down, and it’s time to say “bye bye, au revoir, adios, farewell and so long, cheerio and godspeed”. (But don’t forget to look for the bonus 6-pack of guitar pieces, functioning as the serious musicianly p.s. to all of this folk singing. )
Part 3 – Complete
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Rik is taking a hiatus from touring. Any updates will be posted here as soon as they are available.