The first time I heard Diana Jones sing live was over a decade ago in Glasgow. My friends of Doghouse Roses opened for her at – I think – the CCA and kindly brought me along. A lot of time has passed, but I never forgot about that show, Jones’ songs and her voice. So, it was extra wonderful meeting up with Diana Jones at Take Root in late 2021, where she recorded this session with covers of traditional song Little Birdie, Blind Willie Johnson’s Motherless Children Have A Hard Time and her own We Believe You. Well, you should believe me, when I tell how happy we all were at the end of this shoot. And I hope you’ll get a portion of that happiness and fulfillment watching it now.
“The melody of Little Birdie flies like the bird it tells of.”
“This is a classic song in the Old-Time Appalachian tradition. Recorded by so many deeply inspired artists who I have learned from; most especially Ralph Stanley and Peggy Seeger. I just love the melody, the way it flies like the bird it tells of.”
“Motherless Children helps us feel better about the sadness.”
“Motherless Children is another classic mountain song. I learned it from The Carter Family recording and then from listening to Johnny Cash’s version another level of the song emerged for me and then Rosanne Cash recorded it and I fell in love with it again. I recorded my own version on my third record High Atmosphere with Ketch Secor. It’s sad in that way that helps us feel better about the sadness.”
We believe you.
“I wrote this song after I had recorded my sixth record Song To A Refugee. After a spring and summer writing songs to try in some way to understand the worldwide refugee crisis I thought I was finished with the record. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came back from a detention center talking about the women there and how she believed them. The song wrote itself.”
Motherless Children Have A Hard Time
(Blind Willie Johnson)
Tidal | Apple Music
Filmed & edited by Matthijs van der Ven.
Audio recorded & mixed by Matthijs van der Ven.
Grand Theatre, Take Root Festival
Groningen, The Netherlands