2 complete albums (Impromptu and Impromp2) plus 3 bonus tracks, all digitally remastered

Tracks 1–9 were released in 1985 on Impromptu (Black Tie 1003).

Tracks 1–3 and 7–14 were released in 1994 on Impromp2 (Black Tie 1004).

Tracks 15–17 are released here for the first time.

1. Girl Who Can’t Say Yes 2:36
A jazzy look at a gal who just can’t seem to commit. (Who, me??!)

2. Canadian Love 3: 54
A humorous look at love in a cold climate, written for a folk festival years ago.

3. Leave Room for the Holy Ghost 4:05 Related story
A true, rockin’ story about a prom at a Catholic convent school. Some of the names have been changed to protect the guilty. Some haven’t…and you know who you are!

4. Second Fiddle Rag 1:57
A swing tune about a woman who finds fulfillment with a fiddle after her man leaves. I recorded an earlier version with Stringband.

5. Radiation2:24
A bluesy/rock number about something nasty in the air…have you counted your toes today?

6. I Don’t Sleep with Strangers Anymore 3:25
An old Stringband “hit” from the album Thanks to the Following that I re-recorded in anticipation of that album going out of print.

7. La chanson de Corinne 2:58
A song about my Quebec-born maternal grandmother, who had ten kids and a hard life, but who lived to be ninety and danced whenever she had the chance. Most of the songs from my play about my grandmothers are on Vignettes. This one, the last to be written, snuck in here.

8. Down on the Station 4:05
A rather dark, mostly autobiographical song about life on an air force base during the Cold War. In those days we called the bases “stations.”

9. Japanese 3:02 Lyrics
An impressionistic ballad about love à la japonaise. Okay, I admit, in moments of great weakness I have written the odd love song.

10. I’m the Aunt 2:52
Probably the only song in the world—and surely the only one about kids, mothers, and aunties—that rhymes “Raffi” with “Muammar Qaddafi.” My finest rhyming hour.

11. Menopause Blues 3:13
A tongue-in-cheek look at The Change, commissioned by CBC Television’s Midday (with a two-day deadline!)

12. Two Wheel Tango 3:41
Yes, it sounds like a saucy homage to men on bicycles, but it’s actually an environmental song. Really.

13. Young Men 7:29
A mini-operetta about older women and younger men.

14. Period Piece (The Rag Song) 4:17
If Gilbert & Sullivan had been female environmentalists in the 21st century, they might have penned this.

15. La chanson française 3:01
The first song I wrote in French (1971), which is why it’s so simple. Richard Hess of Vignettes Media uncovered this version and really likes it.

16. Country Music 3:36
One of my early songs from Stringband, in a new, lively arrangement by good friend Allan Soberman. He also played bass and, with Bill Hughes, did most of the background vocals.

17. Christmas in Barbados 3:13

In the fall of 1995 I sold my Toronto house and headed south for a six-month sabbatical of Bajan bliss. I rested, I wrote, and—double bliss—I rode horses (see Impromptu cover). Recorded in his home studio by David Hines, who was playing the South Coast bars that winter.

All lyrics by Marie-Lynn Hammond
All music by Marie-Lynn Hammond except
1. Music by Aaron Davis
3. Music by MLH & Aaron Davis
4. Music by Doug Bowes
13. Music by Tom Leighton

About the Album

This CD is released here commercially for the first time. The two prior cassette releases were never widely distributed. They were mostly for Marie-Lynn to sell at her shows. The following, taken from the liner notes, explains the genesis of this release.

“Unlike my other albums, Marie-Lynn Hammond, Vignettes, and Black & White and shades of grey, Impromptu is a motley collection of demo recordings that were done over a long period of time, at different studios, with different musicians. The perfectionist in me had always intended to go back and polish them up, but since that would now require re-mortgaging my house, the accountant in me has vetoed that project. Some fans still want the tunes, though, so Richard Hess and I undertook detective work and these cuts were carefully re-mastered from the best copies we could find.”

Richard would like to add that the recordings cleaned up very well using the latest in digital restoration techniques. The original tapes we found were not to be ashamed of, either. Tracks 1-9 were on 15 i.p.s. reel tapes. Tracks 10-14 were on DATs. Tracks 15-16 were on 7.5 i.p.s reel tapes. Track 17 was on an ADAT.


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

Musicians include: Glenn Anderson, Jorn Anderson, Calvin Cairns, Evelyne Datl, Tony Desmarteaux, Mark Haines, David Hines, Bill Hughes, Tom Leighton, Marilyn Lerner, Eugene Martynec, Ben Mink, Lorne Raine, Miles Raine, Allan Soberman, and others whose names have been lost in the mists of time and fading middle-aged brain cells. Big kudos to keyboard whiz Tom Leighton and his generous work on tracks 10–14, especially that brilliant arrangement of “Period Piece”!

Tracks 1–9 were released in 1985 on Impromptu (Black Tie 1003).

Tracks 1–3 and 7–14 were released in 1994 on Impromp2 (Black Tie 1004).

Tracks 15–17 are released here for the first time.

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