Black & White...and Shades of Grey

Black & White...and Shades of Grey

Black & White...and Shades of Grey

Produced by Marilyn Lerner

First released 1990 on CD and cassette by Aural Traditions Records (ATR303)

Executive producers: Richard L. Hess, Marie-Lynn Hammond, Mary Elizabeth Hess
Tape restoration and digital mastering: Richard L. Hess

1. Not Another Benefit 3:06

A jazzy lament about all those benefits musicans get asked to play. Includes a cameo appearance by Nancy White on the phone.


2. Mothers Teach Your Sons 3:40

Instructions, Appalachian-ballad style, to mothers about how to housebreak and “domesticate” those boy children so they learn the “ancient art of dusting,” etc.


3. Science Is Wonderful 3:27

A tongue-in-cheek look at birth control with a point to make. It mentions “safes,” which dates me, I realize. (They’re called condoms now.)


4. Why Do I Have This Thing for Jewish Men 5:11

A klezmer-inspired, serio-comic attempt to understand a culture clash—more specifically, between a French-Canadian Catholic girl and Jewish guys.


5. Eve Gave Adam the Apple 3:15  Related story

Patriarchy: it’s a wonderful thing, if you’re a guy. The humour in this feminist anthem isn’t subtle, but then, neither are its targets.


6. Temagami Round 2:30

Named for a vulnerable region in Northern Ontario, (and once attributed to an “anonymous Canadian woman” in a U.S. book of rounds!), this round has been sung all across Canada and the U.S.A. to support saving forests for future generations.


7. Sisters and Friends 2:58

An upbeat look at romantic vs. platonic love: lovers swing you high, but they come and go. Sisters and friends will always be there for you.


8. Pleine lune 3:23

Poet Paul Savoie wrote the lovely words to this Parisian-inspired, impressionistic ballad about love and the full moon. Sung in French, of course!


9. Shades of Grey (The Major’s Song) 5:19

A musical short story. A chance meeting between seeming opposites results in a personal examination of the shades of grey that permeate our lives.


10. Nobody Knows What’s Happening to Love 4:25

A meditation on the nature of love in the modern world.


11. Les deux amies 6:22

A song about idyllic summers, innocence lost and a belief in romantic love that has failed two childhood friends. Sung in French.


12. Still Not Over You Yet 3:34

The one that got away—except the memory never does. You know what I’m talking about…


All lyrics by Marie-Lynn Hammond except
Track 8; Lyrics by Paul Savoie

All music by Marie-Lynn Hammond except
Tracks 1, 7, 8, & 11; Music by Marilyn Lerner and Marie-Lynn Hammond

About the Album

I think of this recording as two short albums in one, with two very different moods. I’d have preferred the listener to choose which “side” to listen to first but the CD format has forced me to arbitrarily decide: first you laugh and then we’ll get serious.

Executive producers Richard L. Hess, Marie-Lynn Hammond, Mary Elizabeth Hess
Tape restoration and digital mastering Richard L. Hess
Producer Marilyn Lerner
Arrangements Marilyn Lerner and Marie-Lynn Hammond

Musicians include: Marie-Lynn Hammond, Marilyn Lerner, Don Benedictson, Greg Black, Greg Lowe, Kris Purdy, Daniel Koulack, Ben Mink, Myron Schultz, Ray Egan, Ilena Zaramba, Tony DesMarteaux, Nancy White, I.B.MacHine, Rodrigo Muñoz, Carol Hutchinson

Black & White…and shades of grey was released on Aural Traditions records (ATR303) in both CD and cassette formats in 1990. Thanks to Simon Garber for his support for this reissue. 

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