American Fingerstyle Guitarist

You Can’t Take the Country out of the Boy



You Can’t Take The Country Out Of The Boy




Released by Edition Collage

on cassette




Note: Tracks from this album were re-released on The County Set in 2016, with the exception of Track 9.

1. Silver Bells
2. Maybellene
3. Make Me A Pallet
4. Blues For Dixie
5. Pappy Taylor’s Hornpipe
6. Grandfather’s Clock
7. I Shall Arise and Come to Jesus
8. Blackberry Blossom/June Apple
9. Allegheny County
10. New Song of the South
11. Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me
12 Might Be the Weather ( reisssued as The Mighty Midget)
13. Midnight on the Water

Recorded in Hilldesheim, Germany, 1985  Duck Baker guitar/vocals

All songs written by Duck Baker except: 9 (McOrison, Baker), 3, 5, 7, 8, 13 (trad, arr. Duck Baker), 6 (PD, arr. Duck Baker), 2 (Chuck Berry), 4 (O.W.Mayo), 11 (John Davis/John Hurt),


The recordings referred to above are included on 2016 release: The County Set (except for one track).
It was recorded in 1985 for Edition Collage, a short-lived label based in Hildesheim, near Hanover.
The title is derived from an old saying that begins “You can take the boy out of the country but…” has been used by others since then). The record focused on the kinds of country music I was performing in those days, which included fiddle tunes, western swing songs, and my own New Song of the South, a jaundiced look at the region that only a native could have penned. There had been a version of Silver Bells on that first Kicking Mule record, and I did record MaybellineMake Me A PalletBlackberry Blossom / June Apple, and Midnight on the Water again for later projects, but most of this material was not revisited on record, mainly because I have focused more on other styles in the decades that followed.

My version of Silver Bells owes to recordings both by Western Swing king Bob Wills and New Orleans trombonist Jim Robinson, and Maybelline, of course, is from Chuck Berry, a souvenir of time served in rock bands as a teenager. Both Make Me A Pallet and Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me come from the repertoire of John Hurt, the latter having been written by W. E. Myers, who sent the lyrics to Hurt in the late 1920’s. At the time of this recording, I used to see a lot of Jerry Ricks, who had known Hurt well in the 1960s. Jerry was also close to Doc Watson, and it is from Doc via Jerry that the settings of Blackberry Blossom and June Apple were passed along. Jerry also taught me the shape-note hymn I Shall Arise and Go to Jesus, while Midnight on the Water is another one that I got from Frank Ferrell. This great tune comes from Texas fiddler Benny Thomason, and was written by his father and uncle. I learned the other fiddle tune here, Pappy Taylor’s Hornpipe, from the first LP by the very fine revivalist old time band, the Indian Creek Delta Boys. The only original tune of this session was the blues, The Mighty Midget, which reminds me, in places, of the kind of blues tunes old-time and bluegrass fiddlers like to make up. Finally there’s Grandfather’s Clock, which I would have heard growing up, and included because my Dad always liked it. It was a pretty standard piece for fingerpickers in those days.

Duck Baker
Reading, Berks
February, 2016