Cold Winds (1991)
58:05 playing time
Prelude/The Captain and the Mystic [lee murdock]
Shores of Lake Michigan/May Day (Bannockburn) [traditional/larry penn]
Foxfire Light [lee murdock]
Last Winter Was a Hard One [lee murdock]
Downbound on Superior [kevin o'donnell]
Low Bridge, Everybody Down [thomas allen]
Cold Winds [tom kastle]
Living Gale [david drake]
Rebecca’s Lament [james keelaghan]
Wreck of the Carl D. Bradley [larry penn]
Banks of Cold Waters [craig johnson]
E.C. Roberts [traditional]
Walk-In-The-Water [lee murdock]
I’ll Be With You / Reprise [lee murdock]
Cold Winds was Lee Murdock’s fifth career recording, but the first CD to be devoted entirely to the Great Lakes theme. Well over a decade since its release, it is still an all-time favorite of many fans.
Total Playing Time: 58:05
Cover Art: Jay Steinke
Lee Murdock, guitars, vocals
Drew Carson, mandolin
Mark Dvorak, banjo
Paul Goelz, hammered dulcimer
Dave Humphreys, bass Howard Levy, harmonica
Don Stiernberg, mandolin
Mirium Sturm, violin
Backing vocalists: Kim & Reggie Harris, Liz Carson, Phil Cooper & Margaret Nelson, Fred Campeau, Michelle Thomas, The Gaping Maw (Jim Terry, Tracey Lee Roberts, Brighid Malone, Patrick Malone)
“From the first sounds of the waves crashing onto the lake shore, to the final love song on this CD, it’s obvious that Lee Murdock has strong feelings about the Great Lakes region. Cold Winds, his fifth recording, is a collection of contemporary and traditional songs that tell stories of the region and display the rich heritage and history of the Lakes.”
—Dirty Linen Magazine
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Northern Illinois is not known for its caves. The face lift that occurred here ten thousand years ago or so by the glaciers that helped form the Great Lakes, took care of much of the wrinkling of the pre-ice age landscape. However, on the east bank of the Fox River in Illinois, there is one such cave, where this legend dwells.
Also, I remember in my youth that I was mystified one summer evening while camping in Wisconsin, by an eerie glow near the ground. Upon closer inspection, I discovered a small stump was giving off its own greenish light. It was my first contact with foxfire.
c 1991 Lee Murdock BMI
When I was young and free and not so very brave
My friends and I had a place that we called Devil’s Cave
We’d meet out there after dark, tell tales by candle light
An event that marked all of our lives happened there one night.
The evening was bitter cold, the stars were shining hard
The wind cut through the leafless trees as a razor through a cord
And the feeble glow from candle flame brough us no warmth at all
Soon a fire was raging in its place, shadows on the cavern wall.
This night the legend offered was a hard one to believe
But with Chilling wind and a warming glow a spell began to weave
A tale of a native nation and a culture that’s long past
Of a people caught up in a flux in a land that was so vast.
A dream about dark rumors over murder that was done
Against the whites off to the east at the setting of the sun
A dream of council that was called and punishment proclaimed
And banishment for the one accused to soothe all those inflamed.
It was later in that year, in the season of the change
When the rut of stag and the russet tones spread throughout the range
A ghostly figure hovered in the valley glowing bright
“Tis the evil one,” the Shaman said, “who haunts us here at night.”
But a council was convened and a party then dispatched
They were to find the ghostly fiend, its path they were to match
It lead unto a barren cave where the river runs so wide
The pursuers built a fire so high the smoke was drawn inside
Not long after flames were licking at the cavern floor
And the Evil One, now all ablaze, came screaming through the door
And out to the river’s edge where the water flows so cold
And plunged into the blackened waves his soul they did enfold.
It was found the banished one had played the ghostly fiend
It was the foxfire made him glow even as the river gleamed
It was called the Devil’s Cave that he ran from that night
And it was called the Devil’s Cave where we held our vigil rites.
Now as the Evil One came screaming through the cavern door
I awoke and found my friends asleep lying on the floor
The fire it had spent itself, smoke filled the darkened damp
And the cavern closed in all around, our breath caught in a clamp.
As the moment for our death upon us did appear
A flaming figure split the dark, the Evil One drew near
Then we all followed close behind that specter through the door
And out into the evening chill to breathe the air once more.
I was told this story’s true, there was an Indian
Who rubbed the foxfire on himself and met a burning end
Perhaps it was his spirit that appeared to us that night
Perhaps to set the record straight he used the foxfire light.
Unaccompanied Vocal: Lee Murdock