The Wandering Fool

The Wandering Fool
The Songs of Bob Dyer Sung in Tribute by His Friends
Dave and Cathy produced this tribute album in 2008

How this album came about

The story behind the title song
CD Liner Notes

  1. Talking Waters Leela Grace, guitars and vocals Multi-tracking her voice and guitar, Leela Grace does a sparkling rendition of this song of a meditative trek she grew up hearing her parents sing, a song Bob revised at least twice over the years.
  2. Flood Song Jerry Foster, vocal and guitar Jerry Foster comes up with his most original delta-blues arrangement of this song Bob wrote about the Flood of 1993.
  3. River of the Big Canoes Central Methodist A Cappella Choir – Paul Drummond, dir.; with guest vocalists Dave Para, 12-string, Cathy Barton, banjo; Lee Ruth, guitar and Violet Vonder Haar; Dr. Barbara Hamel, piano; Choir: SOPRANO ALTO: Savannah Byrd, Becca Bales, Becca Campbell, Maria Clark, Cortney Campos, Cassie Coleman, Kathleen Earl, Katie Cummings, Katie Haffer, Maggie Damisch, Lauren Hardcastle, Rachel Dorson, Jordan Held, Traci Earl, Veronica Herman, Cathleen Fullerton, Jenna Long, Mara Guilford, Sarah Lucas, Katie Harris, Rebecca Morton, Mallory James, Lindsey Moum, Amanda Reed, Mallory Sandrock, Sarah Smith, Molly Teague, Elaine Stevenson, Katie Vestal, Stephanie Terry, Violet Vonder Haar, Kelsy Whitacre, Jamie Wells; TENOR BASS: Josh Atkins, Paul Blanchard, Justin Gillis, Todd Borgmann, Dustin McKinney, David Hutchison, Todd Oberlin, Daniel Martin, Mason Rivers, Kyle McClain, Brandon Wieland, Josh Reed, Shawn Thompson, Church Zumwalt Recorded by Ron L. Shroyer at Linn Memorial Chapel; guest vocals recorded by Pete Szkolka. Paul Drummond, choral teacher and director of the Central Methodist A Cappella Choir, wrote this choral arrangement of Bob’s most popular and enduring song. We were fortunate to get a recording from his class late in the semester, live in Linn Memorial Chapel. Guest vocals by Dave Para and Cathy Barton, Lee Ruth and Violet Vonder Haar were added later.
  4. Bingham’s Song Dave Para, vocal and guitar; Cathy Barton, vocal and piano; Steve Litwiller, clarinet Cathy Barton and Dave Para offer a serene and layered version of Bob’s song for Missouri Painter George Caleb Bingham, featuring Steve Litwiller on clarinet.
  5. The Wandering Fool David Lynn Grimes, guitar and vocal Recorded by Stephen Gardner at the Music House, Columbia, Mo. David Lynn Grimes came up with a first-time one-take of a bossa nova version of the title song, one that describes a particular tarot reading Bob was thrown back in the 1970s, and one Bob rarely sung. Read the story behind this song.
  6. Huckleberry Finn Rocket Kirchner and Mark Risch, guitars and vocals Rocket Kirchner pairs his voice and guitar with those of Mark Risch for this Rocket take on a version of Bob’s song he learned from Lee Ruth.
  7. Gooch’s Mill David Wilson, violin David Wilson takes Bob’s melody of the “Wild Child of Gooch’s Mill” for a few rides on his violin with some spooky reverb.
  8. The Last Man to Hang in Missouri SRE: John Schneller vocal and guitar; Jesse James, drums; Rob Lampe, electric guitar; Mike Robertson, bass; Jim Hellman; keyboards John Schneller leads the band SRE through a full rock version of Bob’s historical ballad.
  9. Jim the Wonder Dog Bartholomew Bean, guitar and vocal; Lee Ruth, banjo; Dave Para, guitar Bartholomew Bean lends a distinctive voice to this talking blues song about the legendary dog of mid-Missouri.
  10. On a Day Like Today Violet Vonder Haar, piano and vocals; David Wilson, violins and cellos Violet Vonder Haar’s more melancholy version with piano of one of Bob’s best and most beloved songs is made stunning with the arrangement of violins and cellos performed magically by David Wilson.
  11. The Death of Sitting Bull Bob Dyer, Guitar and vocal; Cathy Barton Para, drum. Recorded at Thespian Hall, Boonville, by Bill Adams, Steve Donofrio, Sam Griffin, Matt Griffin, Bill Lacey, Pippa Letsky, Kerby Mitchell; Radio Ranger, producer. A live recording of Bob Dyer at Thespian Hall in 2003 when the song was relatively new
  12. Mike Fink Michael Cochran, vocal and guitar; David Wilson, fiddle and mandolin; Nick Sibley, banjo, bass, piano and tambourine; Randy Ebrite, harmonica; Steve Donofrio and Dave Para, effects. Recorded by Nick Sibley at Ozark Sound, Springfield, Mo.; mixed at Pete Szkolka’s. Cochran, a long-time compadre of Bob, offers an energetic rendition of Bob’s song about the legendary keelboatman in an expressive and delightful production.
  13. From a Star Lee Ruth, guitar and vocal; David Wilson, violin Lee Ruth sings one he learned from Bob in the 1970s giving us an alternate interpretation of the significance of stardust.
  14. Here I Go Paul Grace, vocals, guitar and fiddle; Win Grace, vocal and accordion Also from Bob’s “Bermuda Triangle period” is this somewhat apocalyptic song rendered with urgency by Paul & Win Grace. Comments about this song
  15. Gooch’s Mill Reprise David Wilson, violin a return trip from David Wilson’s violin.
  16. Phantom Black Carriage Rick Hocks vocals and guitars, Jake Hansleman, drums; David Bradley, keyboards; Kevin Hennessy, bass; Will Hocks, vocals. Recorded by Adam Roehlke and Bruce Barcalew at Mansion Studio, Jamestown, Mo. Rick Hocks puts together a multi-layered full rock setting of Bob’s song of a local legend from Overton, Mo.
  17. Dry Waltz Don Cooper, vocals and guitar; Dan Tressler, fiddle. Recorded by Dan Tressler at Tressler’s Barn, Easton, Conn. From his home in Connecticut, Don Cooper sings this plaintive song of love and drought blown from a summer 30 years ago.
  18. When the Rains Come Down Big Medicine: Joe Newberry, lead vocal and banjo; Jim Collier, harmony vocal and mandolin; Bobb Head, harmony vocal and bass; Kenny Jackson, fiddle. Recorded live into one microphone at home in Chapel Hill, N.C. Joe Newberry leads his band, Big Medicine, through a string band arrangement of a song inspired many trips to the Ozarks in the fecund time of year, incorporating the tune “Elk River Blues.”
  19. One Last Time Ed Trickett, 12-string guitar and vocals; Cathy Barton, banjo and vocals; Dave Para, guitar and vocal; One Last Time Chorus: Jim and Tia Higbie, Sharon Dyer, Brenda Hanson, Bill Lacy, Ed and Judy Scrivner, Lesley and David Oswald, Jim and Sue Denny, Knox McCrory, Kathy Gordon, Margaret Waddell, Larry and Rita Sanders, Doireann O’Brien, Violet Vonder Haar, Ken and Linda Askren, Lee and Rena Ruth, Ron Morris, Diane Huneke, Ken Stroker, David Owens, Paul and Win Grace, Carolyn Mathews, Pippa Letsky and Doug Elley Ed Trickett, who first dubbed Bob “the bard of Boonville,” leads Cathy Barton, Dave Para and a chorus of 32 of Bob’s friends in what might have been the title cut of this album, and song Bob’s audiences sang with him in recent years with great poignancy.

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