Kitchen Midden: Traditional Songs Volume One

by Chris Monti

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I love folk music! And I'm not talking about Bob Dylan or Towns Van Zandt. I love those guys, but what I'm talking about is traditional music: Old, Author Unknown. Why do I love it? I don't know! It hits me in the guts. It makes me feel something.

I started to get into fok music when I was 19 years old? What started it off? Rachel Ede, my old fiddler friend? Could be. I spent a lot of time hanging out with her and her old-time playing friends. At that time I started loitering around the AV section of the Providence Public Library (hey Cynthia R., I had a librarian crush on you back then!) and taking out folk records, Pete Seeger, Roscoe Holcomb, Doc Watson, Woody Guthrie, records of old-time music.

I met Jake Haller back then too and he started inviting me to folk jam sessions at his dad's cabin in central Massachusetts. The Hallers became the First Family of Folk Music to me. A family that plays traditional music together, that sings together. Sure, I'll invite myself to be an honorary Haller. And then in the 2000's the John and John Scott with help and interference from their close relatives, the Hallers, published an updated edition of The Ballad of America--a history of america through folk song--check it out!

Also, around 2002 I got turned on to the Providence Wholebellies. Wild folk music for dancing and cheering away the dread. This music is old AND alive. I've had the opportunity to play with that great group many times in the last 8 years or so and i've learned so much.

At this point, 2012, a good chunk of my time and life has been dedicated to learning and playing for people these traditional songs, some of them learned form other musicians, some learned form old records, some from books, some from YouTube--hey, it's the 21st century, man!

I hope you like this collection. Do whatever you want with these songs. Listen and enjoy! Learn them and play them! Change the chords! Change the lyrics! Skip the verses you don't like.

This music is a portal to the past. A message from our long-dead ancestors coming in loud and clear through our own voices.

I got the chills!

Chris Monti
Riding the Commuter Rail 2012


released January 1, 2013

Produced by Chris Monti
Recorded by Pete Vendettuoli on a cold day in the winter of 2008 at PM Recording
Chris on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica.



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Chris Monti Somerville, Massachusetts

Chris Monti is a singer/songwriter whose original songs are influenced by Rock + Roll, Country-Blues and Old-Time Fiddle Music as well as music from West Africa, Egypt, India and South America.
Chris has played with country-blues great Paul Geremia and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Chris has a puppet show called "The Yankee Peddler", and a dance band Big Biscuit. .
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Track Name: Going Swimming
Going Swimming
-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

If I could I surely would | Make all that I feel understood | So I’ll ask you straight and I’ll ask you plain | Won’t you come swimming with me? |

Going swimming you and me | Going swimming for the world to see | Test the water, it sure looks good | Won’t you come swimming with me? |

Well I don’t know but I’ve heard told | That you’re bound to lose what you try to hold | On the other hand I’ve heard it spoken | That an empty heart is a heart that’s broken |


I’ve got no towel, got no bathing suit | I’ve got a ragged voice, I play a broken lute | Nothing on my plate, nothing in my pan | But I’ll treat you just as well as I can |


If I could I surely would | Try to be about twice as good | But what you see is what I’ve got | Wont you come swimming with me? |