Title: Songs for My Family

Artist: Bill Reid & The Fewer Sorrows Band

Released: December 1, 2012


  1. Talkin’ Junebug Blues
  2. The Mountain Man
  3. Max Growing Up
  4. Grace Before Breakfast
  5. Cheerio, You-All!
  6. That’s All Right, Jack
  7. Thursday Afternoon Arrival (Lullaby for Skipper Leigh)
  8. Good Night, Moon (Lullaby for June)


I wrote Talkin’ Junebug Blues (click for latest sample) (Children’s/Folk) when our only grandaughter, June, was about a year old. Her parents (Troy and Liz) had whisked her off to Baton Rouge from Austin, Texas, and one of the things I do when I lose people is write songs about them. June likes it, and it’s a great song for kids (as long as they’re old enough to know what a toad is — does that make you curious?). Talkin’ blues are easy to write and easy to play, but the words get wrapped around my teeth. In this new (2012) recording, background vocalists Vickie Carrico and Etta Britt giggled all the way through the take. There’s an earlier recording (2009) in which I’m on the old D-28; Chris Reeves plays lead guitar, Ron Knuth plays mandolin, and Christine Albert sings a “litte girl” part.

The Mountain Man (Children’s) is a real-life description of my young grand-nephew Dylan Hart, known affectionately to his parents as “Pickle” (from “Dylan,” get it? “Dyl” — “Dill” — dill pickle?). He and his family live high in the mountains not far from Conifer, Colorado, where bears really do wander through the yard and most New Year’s Eves are spent snow-camping near the summit of a nearby “14er” (14,000-foot mountain).

Max Growing Up (Children’s) is about a six-year-old grand-nephew who is quietly strong, takes care of his little brother, and is a tolerant straight-man for his younger sister, the born entertainer. He’ll make a fine grownup some day. This sample is from a new performance with the Nashville band.

Grace Before Breakfast (Children’s) is for my grand-neice, Grace. She’s a natural entertainer who uses her older brother as announcer and straight man. (When I wrote the song, she was four, and already knew how to handle men.) Then I had to write one for her brother, Max, and one for baby Will. It’s hard not to appear to be playing favorites. Anyone with a child in kindergarten or early elementary school with get the point immediately. This is a Nashville cut.

Cheerio, You-All (Country/Children’s) (formerly “Blimey, Will’s Got an Accent!”) is for my grand-nephew, William D. Reid, a brilliant and talented child who just happens to be the first person ever named after me. He was ripped from his Colorado roots (along with the rest of the family) and replanted in England on the pretense that his father had a good job opportunity there. Their address there was their house’s name, not a number; very fancy and traditionally English. It’s bad enough that the boy wasn’t born in Texas, but growing up with a British accent? That’s a heavy cross to bear. This is the Nashville performance version.

That’s All Right, Jack (Children’s/Rap). Yes, you read it right: This is a rap song for a baby, written by his 67 year-old white-haired, white-bread great uncle. Not exactly my metier, but it works, and background singers Vickie Carrico and Etta Britt had a ball with it.

Thursday Afternoon Arrival (Lullaby for Skipper Leigh) (Children’s/Lullaby) was written the day our second granddaughter was born (a Thursday). It would be several days before my wife and I could be there to see her.

Good Night, Moon (Lullaby for June) (Children’s/Lullaby) was written just after I rocked our granddaughter to sleep for the first time. The title comes from her delight in seeing the moon every evening, and from one of her favorite books, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd (New York: Harper & Row [Harper Collins], 1947). It’s not like anything else I’ve written; we appended it as a “bonus track” on the CD A Place Inside My Heart, and it’ll be on the upcoming Songs for my Family EP. Babies seem to like it; I played it for June when she was about two and she toddled over, laid her head on the sofa, and closed her eyes.