10/9/21: "The Great Divide" is now available as a digital track. This song was inspired by my grandparents - a Maine couple who celebrated 70 anniversaries together. It starts off with this old family anecdote: “Nana was a registered Republican, Pappy was a Democrat for life…” There was never a time I didn’t know that about them. And there was never a time that I saw any strife caused by it. A relationship like that seems almost inconceivable today. That makes me sad. And it makes me worried. It makes me want to find a way to reach out a hand - even when I feel it being slapped away.

A lot of political songs get their energy out of playing Us against Them. FaceBook knows this tactic all too well. And I’m as susceptible as anyone -- I do love a good rabble-rousing folk song. But when I look around today, I don’t think that’s what we need.

I wanted this song to capture the deep concern that so many of us are feeling today, and I wanted to do it without pointing fingers or casting blame. I hope there is healing in it. I know that I feel great healing when I play this song for a room of strangers, afraid that people might close themselves off in anger but finding time and again that they open themselves instead.

I take great pride in the fact that this song has been loved and shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. I hope my grandparents would be proud as well.

Thanks for listening and sharing!

6/16/20: Morning Cordial Vol. I is now available for download! It includes 14 tracks of remastered audio, originally released in my daily video series. Vol. I is all originals - many previously unreleased songs, some brand new, and a couple of dusted-off old gems.

5/2/20: A huge Thank You to everyone who gave to to support my "Morning Cordial" music series last month! Together we are donating over $1000 to local Covid-19 relief efforts! About half of this total was shared with the Covid-19 Urgent Needs fund run by the United Way of Midcoast Maine. The remaining funds are being shared with the Bath Area Food Bank and the Midcoast Maine Hunger Prevention Program. I can't thank you enough for listening, for reaching out, and for making this possible. Love to you all, and be well -- we'll get through this together! --Jud

4/1/20: "Live at the Seagull Shop" was the number one album on the FAI Folk DJ List for the month of March! Pour Me a Guinness was the number 4 song of the month (Happy St. Patrick's Day!) and Jud was the top played artist as well. This is a huge honor and couldn't have done without the hard promotional work of Kari Estrin and the support of Tim and Betsey Norland and the Seagull Shop!"

Virtual Home Concerts: If you'd like to be entertained in the comfort of your own home in these tough times, Jud is available to stream live music to you and a select group of your friends! Make requests, video chat, and then sit back to a private show! Email for more info!




The "Morning Cordial" playlist

Keep Walking

Pemaquid Sunset

Halfway There

1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Thick as a Brick

Rocky Road to Dublin


Jud Caswell--Photo by Neale Eckstein, 2017 Maine singer/songwriter Jud Caswell has got a keen eye for detail. There’s a magic to the way he draws you in until you’re transported -- to the old farmhouse, the salty shore, a wood full of birdsong. You might just think he’s taking you to visit his home. But there’s the magic. When the words are just right, and the chords are struck just so, and the river of melody pushes and pulls in all the right places, then it’s not his home at all anymore. It’s your home.

A seventh-generation Mainer, Jud grew up on the farm of his great-grandfather, a poet and humorist who wrote a column for the local paper and kept horses in the old post-and-beam barn to pay the bills. Jud went all the way to New Hampshire to get his degree in music at Dartmouth College, but came home to work for the family business, bringing his college sweetheart back to start a family of their own.

For a time, it looked like music might just draw Jud out of Maine. In 2006, he burst onto the national scene with wins at the most prestigious songwriting contests in the country, including the Kerrville New Folk competition, where his song “Blackberry Time” was hailed by songwriting guru Pat Pattison as a “perfect song.” Sing Out! Magazine called him “one of the leading songwriters on the scene… highly original and wise beyond his years” and his record was a folk dj favorite. His song “The Weight of the World” (cowritten with Amy Speace and grammy award winner Jon Vezner) was recorded by Judy Collins and named the “#4 Folk Song of the Decade” by New York’s premier AAA station, WFUV. It was in Judy Collins’ apartment in Manhattan, looking over the contract that would have signed him to Collins’ record label, that Jud decided it was time to go home.

“A singer/songwriter does one thing, night after night, in a thousand places,” Caswell said. “I wanted to be in one place. I figured it was time to go home and do a thousand things.” He rolled up his sleeves and got to work, playing up to 7 shows a week locally, teaching songwriting, working with kids, striving to make his music be of service to his community. He built a recording studio in his home, where he produces records for other artists while continuing to write and record his own songs. Most importantly, he was able to be with his young family, nurturing a connection to home and the roots that feed his music and his soul.

Jud draws inspiration from the land like Mary Oliver, pushing gently into the specific until it unfolds into the universal. He paints his landscapes like Wyeth, with an adoration for humble beauty that approaches reverence. His music rises from the land as well -- with a voice fresh as water over granite and soft as a pine needle bed. His melodies are familiar and surprising as an old sea-captain retired to shore, with a head full of far-away and a heart full of home. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he wields his guitar, banjo, whistle, and cittern with the easy deftness of an old woodsman with an axe.

He is at work now on a new collection of songs, written and recorded in Maine, but with a connection to place and family so clear that they’ll ring true no matter where you call home.


Phone: (207) 200-4583

Full List of the Morning Cordial Songs

6/3 #55 Just Like You (Jud Caswell)
6/2 #54 Norwegian Wood (Beatles)
6/1 #53 Skating Away (Jethro Tull)
5/29 #52 The Irish Rover (trad.)
5/28 #51 Still Life (Jud Caswell)
5/27 #50 The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel)
5/26 #49 Transistor Radio (Jud Caswell)
5/25 #48 No Man's Land (Eric Bogle)

5/22 Evening Cordial 1
   Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob Dylan) 0:09
   Phoebe on a Fencepost (Jud Caswell) 5:00
   For Sale (Jud Caswell) 9:10
   Thick As An Aqualung (Jethro Tull) 15:13
   Irish Rover (trad.) 23:12
   Pemaquid Sunset (Jud Caswell) 28:45
   Vincent (Don McLean) 33:03
   Watch The Fall (Jud Caswell) 39:12
   Halfway There (Jud Caswell) 46:11
   The Room at the Top of the Stairs (Jud Caswell) 50:37
   I'll Have To Say I Love You in a Song (Jim Croce) 54:30
   The Parting Glass (trad.) 58:48

5/22 #47 Pemaquid Sunset (Jud Caswell)
5/21 #46 Halfway There (Jud Caswell)
5/20 #45 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (Richard Thompson)
5/19 #44 So Far So Good (Jud Caswell)
5/18 #43 9 to 5 (Dolly Parton)
5/15 #42 Rare Old Mountain Dew (trad.)
5/14 #41 Immune (Jud Caswell)
5/13 #40 Thick As A Brick (Jethro Tull)
5/12 #39 Where Do The Children Play? (Yusuf/Cat Stevens)
5/11 #38 Dreams of My Grandparents' House (Jud Caswell)
5/8 #37 Little Beggerman (trad.)
5/7 #36 Laughter (Bruce Cockburn)
5/6 #35 Richard (Jud Caswell)
5/5 #34 What Ever Happened to Rob (Jud Caswell)
5/4 #33 The Only One (Billy Bragg)
5/1 #32 The Mermaid (trad.)
4/30 #31 Montreal (Jud Caswell)
4/29 #30 Leave It Like It Is (David Wilcox)
4/28 #29 The Long Walk Home (Jud Caswell)
4/27 #28 The Hills of Isle Au Haut (Gordon Bok)
4/24 #27 I'll Tell Me Ma (trad.)
4/23 #26 The Moon on a String (Jud Caswell)
4/22 #25 Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell)
4/21 #24 The Butterfly Effect (Jud Caswell)
4/20 #23 Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
4/17 #22 Rocky Road to Dublin (trad.)
4/16 #21 Holding It Together (Jud Caswell)
4/15 #20 Wond'ring Aloud (Jethro Tull)
4/14 #19 Golden Time (Jud Caswell)
4/13 #18 American Tune (Paul Simon)
4/10 #17 This Winter Night (Jud Caswell)
4/9 #16 If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out (Yusuf/Cat Stevens)
4/8 #15 Up Through the Snow (Jud Caswell)
4/7 #14 Pink moon (Nick Drake)
4/6 #13 Blackberry Time(Jud Caswell)
4/3 #12 Now Forever (Jud Caswell)
4/2 #11 Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)
4/1 #10 That's the Way We Climb (Jud Caswell)
3/31 #9 Homeward Bound (Paul Simon)
3/30 #8 Get Poor Slow (Jud Caswell)
3/27 #7 Phoebe on a Fencepost (Jud Caswell)
3/26 #6 Wondering Where the Lions Are (Bruce Cockburn)
3/25 #5 Pacing the Cage (Bruce Cockburn)
3/24 #4 Here Comes the Sun (George Harrison)
3/21 #3 We Just Disagree (Dave Mason)
3/20 #2 Ring Joy and Peace (Jud Caswell)
3/16 #1 Pour Me A Guinness (Jud Caswell)
3/11 #0 The Great Divide (Jud Caswell)

Watch the Fall


1. Get Poor Slow

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar / Jagoda: Drums / Jason Rafalak: Bass)

I­ never­ cared­ about­ money­ much
I­ never­ had­ a­ lot­ to­ throw­ around
I­ never­ cared­ about­ the­ fancy­ cars
Just­ give­ me­ something­ that­ can­ get­ around­ town
I­ never­ thought­ I­ would­ amount­ to­ much
Never­ wanted­ to­ go­ too­ far
All­ I­ wanted­ was­ to­ spend­ my­ days
Picking­ songs­ on­ an­ old­ guitar
If­ anybody­ asked­ me­ what­ my­ plans­ were­ I'd­ say­ œI­ don't­ know
Some­ people­ want­ to­ get­ rich­ quick
I'd­ be­ happy­ just­ to­ get­ poor­ slow.­

She­ never­ cared­ about­ money­ much
Never­ had­ a­ lot­ growing­ up
She's­ got­ an­ eye­ for­ the­ Goodwill­ gold
Makes­ it­ look­ like­ a­ million­ bucks
Don't­ need­ to­ buy­ caviar
Don't­ need­ the­ pearls­ or­ the­ symphony
Just­ a­ cider­ and­ some­ takeout­ Thai
Jane­ Austen­ on­ the­ DVD
She­ told­ me­ when­ she­ met­ me­ There­ was­ something­ I­ should­ know.
She­ said,­ œSome­ people­ want­ to­ get­ rich­ quick
But­ I'd­ be­ happy­ just­ to­ get­ poor­ slow.­

So­ I­ asked­ her­ if­ she'd­ marry­ me­ and­ wear­ that­ little­ ring.
I­ said,­ œthe­ best­ things­ in­ life­ are­ free.­
She­ said,­ œThe­ best­ things­ in­ life­ are­ not­ even­ things.­

Now­ we've­ got­ a­ place­ to­ call­ our­ own
Apple­ tree­ growing­ in­ the­ yard
Seems­ there's­ always­ something­ else­ to­ do
Seems­ we­ never­ have­ to­ work­ too­ hard
Little­ girls­ out­ on­ the­ swings
Smell­ of­ smoke­ coming­ off­ the­ grill
Maybe­ later­ we­ could­ bundle­ up
Sit­ and­ listen­ for­ the­ whip-poor-will.
All­ I­ want­ to­ ask­ her­ is,­ œBaby,­ when­ did­ you­ know
Our­ life­ was­ gonna­ get­ rich­ quick
Trying­ just­ to­ get­ poor­ slow­?
˜Cuz­ our­ life­ sure­ got­ rich­ quick
Trying­ just­ to­ get­ poor­ slow.­

2. Montreal

(Jud: Vocals, Uke, Melodica / Nat Hussey: Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Shaker, Glockenspiel / Jason Rafalak: Bass)

I­ can­ hear­ your­ laughter
I­ can­ feel­ you­ near­ me
See­ your­ lips­ as­ red­ as­ Cabernet
The­ breeze­ at­ your­ hemline
Filled­ me­ like­ a­ sail
We­ drank­ Sangria
In­ a­ sidewalk­ garden
Watched­ the­ tourists­ on­ Place­ Jacques-Cartierr
But­ the­ thing­ most­ clear
Was­ how­ I­ loved­ you­ on­ that­ day.

Holding­ hands­ on­ Rue­ Notre­ Dame
We­ stopped­ to­ hear­ a­ gypsy­ play­ guitar
Saying­ œje­ ne­ parle­ pas­ Francais­
We­ didn't­ speak­ the­ language.
I­ want­ to­ know­ the­ language.

We­ were­ strangers­ then
on­ the­ Saint­ Laurent
With­ a­ thousand­ secrets­ locked­ inside
Every­ passing­ gesture
A­ mystery­ sublime
But­ the­ wine­ is­ open
And­ we've­ filled­ our­ glasses
And­ it­ doesn't­ matter­ what­ we­ want
There's­ no­ road­ that­ travels
Back­ to­ Montreal.

3. Talk to Me

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonies, Keys / Jagoda: Drums / Jason Rafalak: Bass / Paul Benham: Electric Guitar, Harmonies)

That­ old­ familiar­ sucker­ punch­ has­ flattened­ you­ again,
Blindsided­ by­ the­ find­ winding­ line­ dividing­ enemy­ and­ friend.
There's­ no­ olly­ olly­ oxen­ free,­ there's­ no­ magical­ undo,
You­ can't­ go­ around­ or­ under,­ it's­ not­ fun,­ you've­ gotta­ somehow­ blunder­ through.
Sometimes­ you­ stumble­ backwards­ to­ get­ free.
When­ you­ lose­ your­ faith­ in­ second­ chances,­ come­ talk­ to­ me.

Because­ it's­ time­ for­ resolutions,­ it's­ time­ for­ planning­ plans,
You­ don't­ need­ more­ confrontation,­ just­ a­ place­ with­ a­ foundation­ you­ can­ stand.
You've­ gotta­ leave­ the­ past­ behind­ you,­ change­ the­ channel­ on­ that­ dial.
When­ you're­ history's­ a­ hornet's­ nest­ it's­ best­ if­ you­ stop­ kicking­ for­ awhile.
The­ way­ it's­ always­ been­ it­ doesn't­ have­ to­ be.
When­ it's­ time­ to­ pour­ the­ poison­ out­ for­ good,­ come­ talk­ to­ me.

You­ tell­ me­ it's­ your­ special­ kind­ of­ genius
To­ always­ take­ the­ bad­ and­ make­ it­ worse.
I­ say­ when­ it­ works­ out­ in­ the­ end
The­ victory­ is­ sweeter­ for­ how­ hard­ it­ was­ at­ first.

Those­ devils­ in­ your­ details,­ they've­ got­ the­ angels­ on­ the­ run,
And­ there's­ no­ one­ to­ explain­ away­ the­ pain­ or­ shame­ the­ blame­ for­ what's­ been­ done.
But­ there's­ a­ ladder­ in­ this­ labyrinth­ and­ you­ can­ look­ up­ above­ the­ walls
And­ when­ the­ crooked­ path­ that­ got­ you­ here­ is­ clear­ it­ won't­ seem­ hard­ to­ steer­ at­ all.
You­ got­ so­ turned­ around­ that­ you­ can't­ see,
But­ I­ know­ your­ north­ is­ true­ and­ I­ can­ prove­ it­ if­ you'll­ talk­ to­ me.
Yes­ I­ know­ your­ north­ is­ true­ and­ I­ can­ prove­ it­ if­ you'll­ talk­ to­ me.

4. Watch the Fall

(Jud: Vocals, Cittern / Paul Benham: Electric Guitar, Harmonies / April Reed Cox: Cello / Jason Rafalak: Bass)

The­ Androscoggin­ River­ is­ staggering­ and­ stumbling
Tumbling­ down­ the­ rapids­ through­ town,
Mumbling­ and­ shouting­ out­ the­ sorrows
He's­ been­ trying­ to­ drown
Ever­ since­ the­ ice­ broke­ he's­ been­ out­ on­ a­ bender
Muddier­ and­ meaner­ every­ day
Tripping­ up­ the­ riverbanks
Kicking­ down­ whatever's­ in­ his­ way.

Set­ ˜em­ up,­ knock­ ˜em­ down,­
That's­ the­ name­ of­ the­ game­ in­ this­ town
Set­ ˜em­ up,­ knock­ ˜em­ down,
Watch­ the­ fall.

I­ still­ remember­ the­ year­ this­ old­ river
Flooded­ out­ the­ old­ abandoned­ mill
All­ the­ boys­ were­ drinking­ Narragansett
And­ watching­ from­ the­ hill
While­ the­ Androscoggin­ river­ climbed­ that­ foundation
Tore­ out­ every­ scrap­ they­ left­ behind.
I­ guess­ he­ used­ to­ work­ there
And­ when­ they­ left­ he­ didn't­ take­ it­ kind.

Set­ ˜em­ up,­ knock­ ˜em­ down,­
That's­ the­ name­ of­ the­ game­ in­ this­ town
Set­ ˜em­ up,­ knock­ ˜em­ down,
Watch­ the­ fall.

The­ Androscoggin­ river­ was­ a­ hell­ of­ a­ worker
He­ carried­ this­ whole­ county­ on­ his­ back
Now­ he's­ just­ a­ drunkard­ singing­ shanties
On­ the­ wrong­ side­ of­ the­ track.
The­ new­ people­ frown­ and­ they­ hold­ their­ noses
Their­ little­ ones­ throw­ rocks­ and­ run­ away
But­ you­ should've­ seen­ him
The­ day­ he­ dragged­ that­ mill­ down­ to­ the­ bay

Set­ ˜em­ up,­ knock­ ˜em­ down,­
That's­ the­ name­ of­ the­ game­ in­ this­ town
Set­ ˜em­ up,­ knock­ ˜em­ down,
Watch­ the­ fall.

5. Now Forever

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar / Zach Ovington: Fiddle / Jagoda: Drums / Jason Rafalak: Bass)

Do­ you­ mind­ if­ I­ stare
While­ you­ let­ down­ your­ hair­?
Just­ stand­ right­ there­ for­ awhile.
Where's­ the­ fire,­ what's­ the­ rush­?
It­ won't­ be­ now­ forever.

And­ I­ know­ that­ it's­ late
And­ the­ morning­ won't­ wait
There's­ so­ much­ on­ your­ plate­ these­ days.
But­ the­ kids­ are­ in­ bed
­˜Nuff­ said
It­ won't­ be­ now­ forever

And­ I­ know­ I­ don't­ know­ and­ I­ see­ I­ can't­ see
The­ forest­ for­ the­ trees
You­ might­ say­ I­ don't­ say­ all­ the­ things­ I­ might­ say
But­ please

Won't­ you­ give­ me­ a­ sign
You've­ been­ reading­ my­ mind
You've­ been­ doing­ it­ fine­ for­ so­ long
Oh­ my­ love,­ Oh­ my­ friend
Let's­ pretend
That­ we've­ got­ nothing­ but­ time
It­ won't­ be­ now­ forever

6. Breathe

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Drum Programming, Bass, Keys, Harmonies / Nat Hussey: Electric Guitar / Eleanor Caswell: Harmonies)

We­ were­ born­ to­ mystery­ and­ sacrificed­ to­ math
We­ were­ on­ the­ high­ road­ when­ they­ said­ œtake­ the­ shortest­ path:
There­ ain't­ anybody­ anywhere­ who­ ever­ got­ a­ guarantee
So­ son­ you'd­ better­ find­ yourself­ a­ hole­ and­ start­ digging.­

But­ in­ the­ empty­ fullness­ of­ a­ reasonable­ day
There's­ a­ simple­ question­ that­ just­ won't­ go­ away:
Why­ would­ anybody­ ever­ want­ to­ sell­ another­ moment­ of­ the­ present
For­ the­ future­ that­ is­ never­ gonna­ be­ here­?

Buddha­ said­ breathe
You­ can­ be­ free
Still­ I­ believe­ the­ lies­ I've­ been­ living­ on

It's­ a­ world­ of­ wonder,­ still­ I­ feel­ so­ all­ alone
There's­ an­ open­ window,­ but­ I­ can't­ put­ down­ my­ phone
I­ know­ it's­ junk­ but­ I'm­ a­ junkie­ and­ the­ monkey­ on­ my­ back
Is­ in­ the­ pocket­ of­ the­ market­ that­ truly­ understands­ me

They've­ worked­ out­ all­ the­ angles,­ they've­ got­ their­ formulaic­ list
They've­ got­ our­ brains­ on­ speed-dial,­ it's­ pointless­ to­ resist
Take­ a­ seat­ and­ grab­ a­ magazine­ or­ catalog
The­ doctor­ will­ be­ with­ you­ in­ a­ moment­ to­ remove­ these­ feelings

Buddha­ said­ breathe
You­ can­ be­ free
Still­ I­ believe­ the­ lies­ I've­ been­ living­ on

7. Chasing the Leaves

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Drum Programming, Bass / Paul Benham: Harmonies, Electric Guitar, Keys)

Sharp­ as­ a­ shadow­ hard­ as­ a­ stone
Hopeless­ November­ endlessly­ blown
The­ wind­ off­ the­ river­ naked­ as­ bone
Hear­ my­ teeth­ chatter,­ feel­ the­ trees­ groan

Running­ in­ circles,­ chasing­ the­ leaves
A part­ of­ you­ dancing­ with­ some­ part­ of­ me
Full­ of­ the­ morning,­ empty­ of­ fear
Blind­ to­ the­ darkness,­ seeing­ so­ clear

8. Cutting Back

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar / Jagoda: Drums / Jason Rafalak: Bass / Paul Benham: Electric Guitar, Harmonies, Keys / Nat Hussey: Electric Guitar)

The­ knife­ blade­ falls
Better,­ she­ supposes
To­ be­ cutting­ back­ her­ roses
To­ give­ them­ room­ to­ grow
It­ shines­ and­ steals
Gentle­ as­ a­ lover
She­'s­ only­ just­ discovered
That­ something­'s­ gotta­ go

Can­ you­ hear­ your­ voice­ above­ the­ noises
Of­ all­ the­ little­ choices­ you­ made­ yesterday­?
Can­ you­ find­ the­ center­ of­ your­ life
Sharpen­ up­ your­ knife­ and­ cut­ the­ rest­ away­?

The­ cell­ phone­ call
She­ looks­ and­ leaves­ it­ ringing
Says­ that­ she­'s­ been­ thinking
She­ could­ use­ a­ little­ room
Says­ he­'s­ like­ this­ rose
Hardening­ and­ fading
She­'s­ been­ watering­ and­ waiting
He­'s­ never­ going­ to­ bloom

Can­ you­ hear­ your­ voice­ above­ the­ noises
Of­ all­ the­ little­ choices­ you­ made­ yesterday­?
Can­ you­ find­ the­ center­ of­ your­ life
Sharpen­ up­ your­ knife­ and­ cut­ the­ rest­ away­?

And­ when­ it­'s­ done,­ and­ it­ feels­ wrong
And­ you're­ scared­ that­ everything­ is­ gone
Don't­ give­ in,­ pour­ the­ wine
Close­ your­ mind­ till­ you­ find

You­ can­ hear­ your­ voice­ above­ the­ noises
Of­ all­ the­ little­ choices­ you­ made­ yesterday
You­ can­ find­ the­ center­ of­ your­ life
Sharpen­ up­ your­ knife­ and­ cut­ the­ rest­ away

9. So Far So Good

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar / Jagoda: Drums / Jason Rafalak: Bass / Pat Wictor: Harmonies)

Sown­ the­ rocks­ now­ watch­ your­ feet
It­'s­ easy­ to­ fall
And­ the­ waves­ would­ love­ to­ take­ you­ for­ their­ own
Take­ my­ hand­ and­ come­ with­ me
To­ welcome­ it­ all
Tell­ me­ why­ is­ coming­ here­ like­ going­ home­?
It's­ been­ forever­ since­ we've­ been­ away­ together
And­ it­'s­ always­ now­ or­ never,­
You­ can­'t­ wait­ for­ perfect­ weather­ so­ let­'s­ go

So­ far­ so­ good
This­ is­ better­ than­ it­ ever­ should­ have­ been
So­ far­ so­ good
I close­ my­ eyes,­ hold­ my­ breath­ and­ count­ to­ ten
Knock­ on­ wood,­ but­ not­ too­ hard
I­ say­ so­ far,­ so­ good

They­ dance­ like­ pipers­ in­ the­ sand
Those­ daughters­ of­ mine
And­ they­'re­ each­ the­ best­ of­ us­ rolled­ into­ one
They­ bring­ sea­ glass­ in­ their­ hands
See­ how­ they­ shine
There­'s­ magic­ in­ the­ way­ they­ catch­ the­ sun
There­'s­ no­ knowing,­ just­ hold­ on­ and­ watch­ 'em­ growing
And­ it­ seems­ to­ me­ they­'re­ showing­ us­
The­ way­ that­ we­'ve­ been­ going­ and­ it­'s


See­ our­ footprints­ in­ the­ sand
They­ wander­ and­ wind
From­ the­ dune­ grass­ right­ on­ down­ into­ the­ sea
There­'s­ no­ trace­ of­ any­ plan
No­ reason­ or­ rhyme
Just­ the­ story­ that­ you­ walked­ awhile­ with­ me
It­'s­ displaying­ that­ we­'ve­ come­ a­ good­ long­ way
And­ when­ we­'ve­ both­ gone­ old­ and­ gray­
We­'ll­ still­ be­ out­ here­ playing,­ saying:

chorus­ X2

10. Between the Lines

(Jud: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Cittern, Keys / Paul Benham: Electric Guitar, Harmonies, Glockenspiel, Keys)

Sunrise­ like­ a­ shiner­ on­ a­ boxer­'s­ face
Blue­ and­ red
Two­ thousand­ miles­ of­ broken­ yellow­ fading­ in­ the­ rearview
And­ a­ hundred­ miles­ ahead
Nothing­ on­ this­ highway­ from­ baltimore­ to­ boston
Is­ ever­ gonna­ feel­ like­ mine

Between­ the­ lines,­ between­ the­ lines
Here­ I­ am­ again­ between­ the­ lines
Between­ the­ lines,­ between­ the­ lines
Here­ I­ am­ again

Handcuffed­ to­ the­ dream­ that­ there­ was­ something­ more
New­ and­ far­ away
Everywhere­ i­ go­ i­ find­ my­ mind­ is­ always­ wandering
To­ what­ you­ didn­'t­ say
And­ all­ the­ ghosts­ of­ hope­ and­ fear­ you­ bottled­ up­ inside­ you
When­ you­ just­ said­ fine


I­'ve­ come­ home­ through­ the­ darkness­ and­ the­ pouring­ rain
Through­ the­ sleepness­ night
All­ lit­ up­ on­ gasoline­ and­ shaking­ from­ the­ coffee
And­ the­ need­ to­ get­ this­ right
Cuz­ it­'s­ more­ than­ miles­ of­ road­ that­ pave­ the­ distances­ between­ us
And­ i­ don­'t­ want­ to­ live­ my­ life


Blackberry Time

Jud Caswell: Vocals, Guitar
Andy Rice: Upright Bass
Craig Record: Drums
Pat Wictor: Slide Guitar
Karen Mal: Mandolin, Vocals
Amy Speace: Vocals
Marsey Caswell: Vocals

Photography by Edward Caswell

Original Artwork by Kat Logan

Lyrics: All songs (c)2007 Jud Caswell except "Peace and Quiet" (c)2007 Jud Caswell and Amy Speace

Produced by Jud Caswell

Recorded by Jud at Frog Hollow Studio, Brunswick, ME

Pat Wictor was recorded at the Augur Compound, Durham, CT

Amy Speace and Karen Mal were recorded at Folk Alliance in the downtown Marriott, Memphis, TN

Mixed by Jud with great help from Amy Speace and Alfred Lund

Mastered by Neale Eckstein, Fox Run Studio


1. For Sale (4:08)

He tore the gravel up as he parked his Cadillac
Said it was my lucky day, clapped me on the back,
Told me that his company had authorized a proposition
He figured that the cash would mean so much to a man in my position

I ain't much to look at, I don't have much to show
Just this junk shop where I'm selling bikes beside the road
Still I never had no use for these out-of-staters
Who come to buy our neighborhood and then decide we're not their kind of neighbors

They may say it's a price we have to pay
You gotta watch your home divvied up and sold away
­ But I can't stand to see that money waved around
As if everyone and everything's for sale in my home town

I heard he called his lawyers, I heard he called the town
I heard he figured if my bikes were gone I wouldn't hang around
So he bought 'em all from me, threw them on a truck
Paid his money on the nail and drove off laughing, wishing me good luck

The Wall Street Journal and the Prep School Education
Teach you nothing about the landfill and the transfer station
And where the good stuff goes when it gets thrown away
And where I went to pick up fifty old familiar bicycles today

2. Blackberry Time (4:05)

Lately I've been chasing after little things that always slip away
Living in my calendar and living in my car instead of living in the day
But a wind blew down from Canada this morning
Like a warning shot of cold across my bow
So now I'm out here in my sandals getting bloodied by these brambles
And eating all the berries I'm allowed

Because it's Blackberry Time, Blackberry Time
It's a secret of a season in its prime
When all the world is full and ripe and quickly going by
Then it's Blackberry Time

The air is full of cricket song and hayseed, honeybee and dragonfly
The last full day of summer, baked and cooling on the windowsill
Smells a lot like apple pie
And up beneath the poplar and the birches
At the border where the grass has gone to trees
I've got those stains upon my fingers and an aftertaste that lingers
One part sweet, one part fruit and two parts seed

Blackberry Time

I wish I had a cup to fill to take this harvest home and make it stay
I wish I had that recipe to press it into wine to seal the flavor of the day
Watching from a silver maple's branches there's a catbird, sings a hungry kind of song
He says œbe thankful for the sweet because you know that it don't keep
You just eat what you can eat and move along

When it's Blackberry Time

3. Peace and Quiet (4:05)
(by Jud Caswell & Amy Speace)

One by one the treaties were broken
Each time the lesson was the same
That every breath spent on negotiation
Would only serve to fan the flame
Side by side they had been neighbors
For centuries without dispute
And now there's a time bomb ticking
in each conversation
Welcome to Beirut.

Peace and Quiet smoldering tonight
Peace and Quiet
Marking time between the fights
You can pray for gentle weather
And the strength to live together
And cry yourself to sleep
In the Peace and Quiet, dark and deep.

In this graveyard of asphalt and ashes
Looking for a way to live
With no common ground and no hope
that anyone
Can forget it or forgive
So in quiet desperation
A kind of promise has been vowed
To stay on your own side,
always walk with hooded eyes
And never speak your differences out loud.

You read aloud from the paper this morning
Over scrambled eggs and tea
All I could think as you held forth on Lebanon
Is how much it sounds like you and me
The crooked borderlines and minefields
That make two countries of our home
The freezing detente of our cynical civility
Keeping us together and alone.

4. Down in the Crawlspace 3:50

Working in the crawlspace eating dirt,
dragging forty feet of hose
Spraying poison in the ground,
Dust and cobwebs all around
Filling up my nose
Gary hollers in to me the boss is on the phone
I pretend that I can't hear so they leave me alone

Eight hours a day they own my hands
My legs, my back at their command
They rule my body and my time
But down in the crawlspace
Down in the crawlspace it's all mine

All alone in darkness, taking back
a little time they took
Just an hour, maybe two
Where no one tells me what to do
And I can think about my book
But there's so much I've forgotten
I've got to figure out again
Like how to get an agent
and how my novel's going to end

Missouri sounds like œmisery
for a reason, one supposes
Waiting on the days of corn
and overtime and roses

Gary calls me out to give a hand
with all the piles in the garage
Broken toys and broken chairs,
Bags and boxes everywhere
There's hardly room to budge
Gary shakes his head,
œWhy not just throw it all away?
Why hang on to all of this?
How can people live this way?

5. Immune (3:55)

You push back your hair
Stir your coffee, taste the spoon
You say you're trying to be fair
And it's not that you don't care
But you're immune

Your extroverted eyes
Could lead someone to assume
But something in me dies
When you say you sympathize
But you're immune

For seven weeks you wrote the
history of you and me
Untangling tapestries of thorn and rose
All alone you made us simple once again
Reducing us to friends
You drew the curtain closed

You blow a kiss goodnight
I breathe the last of your perfume
I won't say that you're not right
Because I can't begin to fight
When you're composed as a symphony
Armored in apathy
So far away from me in your cocoon
You're immune

6. The Raven in the Apple Tree (3:53)

The raven in the apple tree is watching
His voice is like the rattle
of a rusty iron gate
Swinging on its hinges in the wind
Beckoning and welcoming us in

You and I have come from far away
Drawn by quiet murmurings
too steady to ignore
A siren song singing in our bones
Calls us to this place we've never known

You find a thing you somehow know you've
always missed
And then you feel so lost
Ask the raven how it comes to this
The raven says because, because, because
The raven says because, because, because

The wind across the millpond so familiar
As surely as the tolling
of the Baptist chapel bell
Ringing off of cedar tree and stone
Echoes of our history and home


Our little girl runs down the lanes
She skips among the rows and rows and rows
of family names

Apples on the ground beneath the raven
Windfalls of a passing storm
returning to the earth
Gathered on the roots where they were made
In the shadow of their cradle they make their grave

7. What Ever Happened to Rob (3:51)

Everyone wishes we had his new phone number
John did the math it's been more than a year
Since Rob graced our presence
And made an appearance
At this living-room soiree
It feels like he just disappeared

Nobody noticed the signs he was leaving
No one remembers who stopped calling who
Now it seems clear
After Rob cut his hair
He was just marking time
Till he worked up the courage to do what he had to

Maybe it's best,
maybe we all could use some change
A moment to rest,
the freedom to breathe and rearrange
Maybe he met someone, got a new girlfriend
A new place to live, a new job
Nobody here has any idea
What ever happened to Rob

Somebody read it or saw it on Oprah
That every five years we start over again
It seems like a shame
But there's no one to blame
So let's lift up a glass
To the further adventures of faraway friends

Karl whittled down almost two-hundred pounds
and he turned his attention to Jesus
Ken's back in school with Foucault and Camus
and he's writing his doctoral thesis
Kathy and Stew got a family brewing and Dave
took that high-powered job
But nobody here has any idea
What ever happened to Rob
We don't want to guilt him,
just want to get filled in
About what ever happened to Rob

8. Too Late (3:38)

My fault, my bad
I wish I hadn't done it but I have
That's my bad, that's my fault
Here's your opportunity to rub a little salt
I wish it was a thing I could reverse
But since it's not there's nothing to be done but make it worse

Too late, too late, too late to make it right
Too late to make it better with a kiss and say goodnight
No one can deny you've earned the right to blow off steam
So turn that kettle up and let it scream

Your turn, your go
Tell me all the things I should have known
It's your go, it's your turn
Let's make believe there's wisdom in this lesson I can learn
But we both know this one's all over but the shouting
And if you'd rather skip that part, I sure could do without

I used to think I knew the space between us
Come to find out I was wrong
I feel the ground give out beneath my feet
by the time I know I'm slipping I'm already halfway gone

OK, Fine
We've proven we can hold this bitter line
That's just fine, that's OK
Before you turn the light out there's one thing I've got to say
It's so hard for me to lower my defense
Can I say I'm sorry now or have I missed my chance?

9. Leave Him (3:37)

In the front seat of her Subaru
In the middle of the night
Talking through our histories
All our mysteries casting Rorschach shadows
In the sodium light

On a good day she would tell me
We should think about goodbye
But the bad days were the best days
When she held me close
Counting on my fingers all the reasons
she would try

To leave him, leave him
Leave him, leave Him for me

The press of skin between us
Never measured half as much
As the great unwinding intertwining
Where two lives really touch

Her solitary marriage
It is the saddest think I know
He was the strong and silent
not quite violent type
Who never gave a good enough
excuse for her to go

I never woke beside her
My heart beneath her head
I never spoke to chide her
And I never said to leave

10. The Men Behind the Bushes (4:15)

Do you see what I see?
Up there on the right
Smiling like a cat and sliding out of sight
They've got Reagan's Teflon
And Richard Nixon's soul
They're slippery as oil
Mean as gasoline
Black as Christmas coal
Go hopping down the money trail
You find it always leads
To the Men Behind the Bushes¦
Can't you smell the greed?

They've solved the problem
Of seeming too unkind
Use Jesus as a body shield
As you rob the country blind
Keep it simple, let's focus on the war
While the riptide of arrogance and influence
Drags the living wage offshore
You can close your eyes and tell yourself
They're looking out for you
But the Men Behind the Bushes¦
Know that that's not true

Look me in the eye, tell me it's all right
And what we see is what we get
Can't you see the cretin king?
Can't you see the master's strings?
Can you see the puppeteer yet?

It's a whirlpool, anyone could drown
When the paranoia sucks you in
And pulls you down
You feel the outrage fading into numb
When you realize it only makes more sense
The more cynical you become
You can close your eyes and tell yourself
There's really no one there
But the Men Behind the Bushes¦
Have got me scared

11. Let It Go (4:46)

It's stuck in your head
It's under your skin
And the more you rail
and the more you shout
To work it though and work it out
The more you work it in

I know, I know
It hurts you so
Just let it go

It's more than you can carry
When it's all that you can do
Just to bite your nails down to the fists
And rattle off your favorite lists
Of all the nastiness that's been done to you


You could spend your whole life
telling the story
Of how the world's been so unfair
But how's that going to change
your situation
And who's gonna care?

Holding on to anger
I sure do understand
But it's caught you there
in a monkey trap
And you'll never get your freedom back
Until you open up your hand

Lost and Found

Jud Caswell: Guitar, Vocals, Sax, Whistle, Bass, etc.
Bill Kelleher: Bass
Tom Corcoran: Drums
Robby Coffin: Lead guitar
Ed Howe: Fiddle
Marsey Caswell: Vocals
Steve Gerlach: Vocals
Josh Caron: Drums (8)
Alfred Lund: Percussion (8)
Paul Schaffner: Hammer Dulcimer

Produced by Jud Caswell

Mixed and Mastered by Jud Caswell and Alfred Lund

Recorded and Engineered at Frog Hollow Studio, Brunswick, ME

Photography by Edward Caswell

Graphic Design by Graham-Caswell Design

Lyrics: All songs (c)2004 Jud Caswell


1. Meeting Mairghread

It was coming up on quarter past two
On a night as black as stout
Walking down the Connemara road
A drop of whiskey on my lips to keep the cold out
When high on the hillside a flickering light
Led me off the highway and into the night
It was coming up on quarter past two
My head was thick with stout

Then as quick as you can whistle a tune
I had my feet atop that hill
There I found her in a circle of stone
A fire burning off the cool September chill
She was dressed all in garments of shimmering shear
Which much to my wondering eyes disappeared
Then as quick as you can whistle a tune
I had my feet in deeper still

I'm probably going to regret meeting Mairghread

Then as sure as I'm standing before you
She burst into song
And she danced about and tempted me sorely
But still I resisted, God-fearing and strong
˜til she settled herself there astride of my knee
And proceeded to Rum-Tiddle-Dum-Tiddle-Dee
Then as sure as I am standing before you
I did sing along

I'm probably going to regret meeting Mairghread

Well a sorrier gentleman waking
You never did see
With a headache and half a mile home
Stretching out like a gauntlet before me
I guess you can say that the bloom's off the rose
When your lady has left you and taken your clothes
With a half a mile of churchgoers waiting
Between home and me

I'm probably going to regret meeting Mairghread

2. Lost and Found

How did we get here?
Only God and Rand McNally know for sure
Still, the sunlight through the trees is kind
And the pull of what we've left behind
Is weaker than the tug of what's in store
So here we are
Hook the dog and park the car

We're lost and found
Sick to death of digging through
The same old worn-down tired-out ground
We're lost and found
So we hop in our escape pod
And we aim toward sunset
Until we run aground
Then you couldn't find our troubles with a hound
We're lost and found

You're my compass and sextant
And I'll follow you from now until the end
Because even when the road is strange
It feels like every coming change
Is welcome as a childhood friend
And they say that it's God's will
That nothing should be still

3. 451

451 -- it's bright and it's clean
451 is a shining machine
it's the color of smiles
an immortal old style

451 -- it's a happiness tree
451 is a conscience for free
it's a place in the sun
it's a terminal fun

when your ironclad pretenses rust
if you think you've been thinking too much
don't waste your time, get right in line
for a share of the american pie
cross your heart and cover your eyes
here's a sample free, pal, the drink's on me
raise your hand raise your flag raise a torch
and set us free

451 is dehydrated truth
451 is for the good of the youth
it's the closing of eyes
it's accepting the lies

451 is a tourniquet cure
451 -- so righteous and pure
it's a life under glass
it's a brave new past

it starts out so harmless, you know
when the school board says twain's got to go
it's for the kids, the trash is hid
but once that lesson itself has been learned
it gets easier and easier to burn
when you know you're right, you'll heat the night
to the temperature knowledge ignites: 451
Fahrenheit 451

4. This Winter Night

The wind's been building snowmen
They stand where they've been blown
This is the first old-fashioned winter
This love of ours has known

It's the kind our parents talked about
With their glasses full of wine
Exaggerations mingle, sentimental
For a simpler, colder time.

So leave me in the springtime when the crocus is in bloom
But stay with me this winter night and warm my lonely room

The weatherman's in heaven
It's the best he's ever seen
Record-setting Doppler weather radar
Spins like laundry on the screen

The snow stays on like family
When the invitation's cold
Coming back for second helpings
Telling stories that are getting old

When the winter drives you crazy
The snow might keep you sane
Cuz at least it's not December
And at least it isn't rain

So leave me in the springtime when the crocus is in bloom
But stay with me this winter night and warm my lonely room

5. Simple Fascination

A hundred and twenty paces past the signpost
Pick up the trail and follow to the east
Up to the old abandoned ring of houses
Standing in stony silence and in peace
Like the sleepless ghosts of dancing children
Misty fingers reaching toward the sea
Blanket the hills of heather, spilling whiteness
Over the blackened soil like breakfast tea

And you and I, in simple fascination
Stand side by side in the growing rain

A hundred and twenty paces past the signpost
Follow the sound of water to the west
Stopping to ask O'Malley his permission
He offers (in toothless Gaelic) his "God Bless"
Down a winding road of trash and treasure
Rusting red and dying, growing green
Soak in the water falling over heather
Drink in the pounding river, washing clean

And you and I, in simple fascination
Stand side by side in the growing rain.

6. Leather Shoes

Leather shoes, black and brown
Empty eyes, soles worn down
A thousand shoes spread across the floor
And the caption tells of a thousand thousand more
Fifty years since they were found
Empty eyes, soles worn down

So close your eyes, hold the rail
Stick your neck out and inhale
The smell of leather tongue and heel
So familiar, so real
At the smell of leather your defenses fail
So close your eyes and hold the rail

You've seen the pictures, you've read the words
Of the survivors, and you have heard
The fevered speeches of that famous man
With the little moustache and the master plan
Still it shakes you and you're unprepared
For the smell of leather in the air

Leather shoes, black and brown
Empty eyes, soles worn down
Empty eyes, soles worn down

7. Up Through the Snow

twelve months later she's had time to think
she's written it down on her body in ink
she carries it with her wherever she goes
a portrait of life coming up through the snow

at the tattoo parlor when they said it would hurt
she couldn't help laughing out loud
as she took off her shirt
she carries it with her wherever she goes
a portrait of life coming up through the snow

in the small of her back in the color of spring
on the first anniversary of this terrible thing
one small crocus reaches out for the sun
a promise that winter is ending and spring has begun
she carries it with her wherever she goes
a portrait of life coming up through the snow

8. Andy's Wedding

The rain came but the sunlight stayed
So we were hiding from the raindrops in the shade
And the string quartet still got paid
Though we made jokes about the sour notes they played
And the world was like a knock upon the door
So distant and insistent and so easy to ignore
And the best man's toast was made
And an orchard full of champagne glasses prayed
At Andy's wedding

Then the dance began and the bridesmaids grinned
And the groomsmen got ambitious in their gin
And the same requests kept pouring in
Til the DJ got the vinyl out and he began to spin
Tunes from 1954
And we hopped and bopped to the lemon drop and scuffled up the floor
From the dearest friends to the furthest kin
We were singing, we were soaking to the skin
At Andy's wedding

You said it didn't matter that it didn't match the pattern of your dreams
Noone could have planned it, cuz noone understands
It just comes rushing in and busting out the seams

Then the night was done and the guests were fried
The cummerbunds undone and the ties untied
The bride and groom disappeared inside
We were standing on the porch waiting for a ride
It was all the best of what's in store
A reunion and a union
Nothing less and something more
And we had to laugh with a kind of pride
That we'd been drinking drinks with the father of the bride
At Andy's wedding

9. Too Hot

It's too hot to work, too hot to think
Too hot for everything
Excepting just to lie around and stink
It would be fine, it would be nice
If we could slip into our swimsuits
Fill the cooler full of ice
Pack some kind of a picnic
With a blanket and a bottle of wine
Drive off into the country together
Find a shady tree for spending some time in one spot
Cuz it's hot

It's too hot to eat, too hot to stand
Too hot for packing up that picnic
In the way we might have planned
I'm getting nasty, getting mean
My head's been pounding
Since it got too hot for drinking my caffeine
So I'm looking for some kind of transfusion
To get the coffee level up in my blood
Until you find a suitable French Roast donor
I'll be chilling with the pigs in the mud
'til it's not quite so very hot

It's too hot to read, too hot to sleep
Too hot for counting scratchy woolen
Knitted-sweater wearing sheep
Too hot for sheets, too hot for clothes
Baby stop me when you see
How far this logically goes
Slide on over beside me
And we'll break this fever tonight
Fighting fire with fire
It might just work and it might just not
If it's too hot

10. Summer Doesn't Have a Reason

Got my coffee can of crawlers
How'd you like some yellow perch?
Got my tackle box and bobbers
We'll be home in time for church
So roll your dress up to your knees
Leave behind your Sunday shoes
Dance around this brook just as
graceful as you please
What's a city girl got to lose?

Summer doesn't have a reason
Summer doesn't tell you why
You can't analyze the season
It's a secret you can't buy
Summer doesn't tell you why

Somewhere the cars and trucks are fighting
Down that dark and lonesome freeway
But while the fish and flies are biting
That all seems so far away

How you wound up swimming, no one knows
Something must have happened to your feet
Check the trunk, you'll find a change of clothes
And there's a blanket on the seat
Kind of like a picnic on the seat

I guess this looks a bit suspicious
Kinda like I had it planned
Eating out and chasing fishes on a Sunday
I think the Lord would understand

11. Standing on Your Porch

Well I guess I should have called first
But it was easier to walk
And lately I can't trust the thing I might say
When I start to talk
I lost my mind on Monday
So it's been kind of a mindless week
And lately I can't trust the things I might say
Every time I start to speak

I don't really want to say the things I want to say to you
I've gotta take a minute more or so here now
Just to think this whole thing through
I want to find a way to say the things to make you think
You want to think you want me too
It's not really what I meant to say
But still it might be true

I guess I should have called first
I've got your number by the phone
I could have picked up the receiver
Could have listened for the tone
I could dial your number slowly
Count to five and say a prayer
But I was worried you might not be home
And I was terrified to think you might be there

I don't really want to say the things I want to say to you...

I'm glad you like the flowers that I brought, I thought you might
I thought you might have time for something
Well I know it's really nothing but I think you're really something
And there's something I should say
I think you're really something and I'd like to take you far away

I guess I should have called first
I could have written something down
I could have practiced through it slowly
So I could get the stupid message down
I'm so glad you're never going to hear this
I can't believe I almost rang the bell
But it's kinda like a dress rehearsal,
Standing on your porch talking to myself
And your neighbors haven't seemed to mind me
Standing on your porch.

12. Bittersweet

Your baby face
and your musical hands
Your love of life
And your steadfast aversion to plans
Had always seen you through
Until she called to tell you the news

Step back, slide into the bittersweet
It's a heavy fate but a precious weight
And it takes you completely inside
To the bittersweet

Now you're on the phone
Booking stage after stage
Gotta make it pay
To keep your hands out of minimum wage
To take that second job would be defeat
Nine months left to make ends meet

The old apartment
Is gonna have to make do
Put the bikes in the basement
To make way for Winnie-the-Pooh
Another wrinkle in your Kerouac style
Welcomed with a smile
With a smile

13. Golden Time

The sunset on the lake toward Wisconsin
Is heaven's kiss goodnight
And all the world is clear and bright and new
At the touch of the light

It's magic for a quarter hour
A hint of the divine
Take these moments gratefully, hold them dear
It's Golden Time

Everywhere she goes she can see him there
Everywhere he goes he can find her
Every word of love is a kind of prayer
And each breath of life together
Is Golden Time

He sees it in the grace of her motion
Such a bountiful surprise
She sees it in the laughter that always greets her
In the flash of his eyes

Sunsets fade away into memory
They dazzle and they're gone
But for those who light their own way
with faith and love The Golden Time goes on

14. Transistor Radio

Many years ago
Maybe a hundred, I wouldn't know
My Dad was a boy living by the sea
Sleeping in a room with no TV

Always planning plans
Sharp as a tack and good with his hands
He built it himself and when the lights were low
He'd play that old transistor radio

When the night falls turn the dial
A little baseball for awhile

Dialing in the Sox
Just like a safecracker tumbling locks
Takes a delicate touch shared by thieves and boys
Who need to tune in gold over background noise

The static of the stars
Whistle of Venus, the whisper of Mars
That crackle and hum never twice the same
Sliding in and stealing seconds out of every game

Fifty-seven stations
Stereo power amplification
It's louder than life, but it doesn't stand a show
Against my Dad's transistor radio
Against my Dad's transistor radio


Maine singer/songwriter Jud Caswell has got a keen eye for detail, a head full of far-away, and a heart full of home. In 2006 he burst on the national scene, winning the legendary Kerrville New Folk competition. His songs have been taught at Berklee, recorded by Judy Collins, and named “#4 Song of the Decade” by New York’s WFUV. Jud left the road to raise a family where his own roots go deep. He draws inspiration from the land like Mary Oliver, pushing gently into the specific until it unfolds into the universal. He paints his landscapes like Wyeth, with a reverence for humble beauty. And with a voice fresh as water over granite and soft as a pine needle bed, he wields his instruments with the matter-of fact deftness of an old woodsman with an axe.

Honors and Awards


" of the leading singer-songwriters on the current scene... highly original (and) wise beyond his years. Caswell sings with charming warmth. By the end of the CD you want to know this man." -Rich Warren - Sing Out!

“Jud Caswell is much more than a great singer and guitar player, Jud's songs take you into the storyteller's world with clear images and characters that come to life for the listener.” - David Wilcox

“Caswell's fluent, warm, honey-like melodies and his undoubted skill with his six-string both constitute aural delights... Jud Caswell is a rare and eloquent song poet who truly deserves your time and your God-given listening apparatus... 9 out of 10” - Arthur Wood - FolkWax

“Jud is a marvelous writer. He astonished me at Kerrville with a perfect song, 'Blackberry Time.' I use it as an example in my Berklee lyric writing classes.” - Pat Pattison

“Clever, well-groomed lyrics, percussive guitar playing and a powerful yet tender voice... reminded me of Ellis Paul in intensely personal songs that offer slices of life and lovely imagery…” - Dirty Linen

“Take a little bit of Paul Simon, mix it with James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Shawn Colvin, and you’ve got Jud Caswell…Caswell’s lyrics have soul… this is music you will listen to over and over again.” - Port City Life

“Jud Caswell captures the American experience through carefully crafted songs while instantly setting a tone of "we're all friends here" with his audiences. He is truly a new songwriter to be treasured.” - Scott Hayward - Tupelo Music Hall

“I sat there, warm cup of tea in hand, watching the flame on my candle flicker and listened to his soothing voice and guitar telling stories of life... Jud's stories are our stories. And sitting there, I was connected with this room full of humans who were moved by our common experience. Jud’s quiet, rich voice held us suspended. I filled up on chocolate desserts and listened to his 17 years of songwriting experience tell my life.” - Jackie Kelley - South Shore Express

“Jud Caswell is an enormously talented lyricist, composer, performer, and producer. It's only a matter of time before he's discovered by the rest of the world; you should discover him now.” -

Select Venues

In the past, Jud has performed at:

Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX

The Bluebird, Nashville, TN

Sisters Folk Festival, Sisters, OR

South Florida Folk Festival, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival, Richardson, TX

Suwannee Springfest, Live Oak, FL

New Bedford Summerfest, New Bedford, MA

Club Passim, Cambridge, MA

Tupelo Hall, Londonderry, NH

Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY

Suwannee Springfest, Live Oak, FL

Boston Folk Festival, Boston, MA