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singer songwriter & guitarist

Of Moor and Mesa


Of Moor and Mesa (with Maggie Boyle) – 1992 ~ Run River Records (UK)

Run River Records RRA CD 0018 (CD, UK, 1992)
Green Linnet GLCD 3087 (CD, UK, 1993)


  1. Another Place to Hide (5.31)
  2. If I Were a Blackbird (4.30)
  3. Then You Remember (3.15)
  4. Silver Dagger (Roud 711; Laws G21) (4.32)
  5. Sprig of Thyme (2.50)
  6. The Slip Jigs and Reels (5.52)
  7. The Night Owl Homeward Turns (3.26)
  8. These Sea Dreams (4.09)
  9. The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds (Roud 2395) (5.08)
  10. Coronado and the Turk (9.19)
  11. Banks of the Sweet Primroses (3.56)
  12. The Naked Highwayman (4.06)
  13. The Banks of Claudy (4.45)
  14. Salvation Is Such a Long Way to Go (4.34)
All tracks written by Steve Tilston except
Tracks 2, 4-5, 9, 11, 13 trad. arr. Steve Tilston, Maggie Boyle


Steve Tilston, vocals [1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14], harmony vocals [5], guitar [1, 4, 11], acoustic guitar [2-3, 6, 8-10, 12], Spanish guitar [5, 14], arpeggione [5, 7, 13], mandolin [12];
Maggie Boyle, vocals [2, 4-5, 7, 9, 11, 13], harmony vocals [1, 3, 12, 14], backing vocals [8, 10], flute [5, 7-8, 11, 13], whistles [2, 4, 6, 9], bodhrán [12];
Richard Curran, violin [1-4, 9-12, 14];
Olly Blanchflower, double bass [8, 12];
Chris Newman, bass [1-2, 5, 10, 14]

Recorded at Old Bridge Music, Ilkley, West Yorkshire;
Head engineer Chris Newman;
Prodoced and arranged by Steve Tilston and Maggie Boyle;
Front cover painting by Binnie Underhill;
Photography and design by Alun Tipping

Steve Tilston composed The Slip Jig and Reels after seeing a photograph of a desperado who was killed by Mescalero Apaches ca. 1870. He commented in the liner notes:

[…] a kind of link song between the so-called “old world” and the “new”, a ballad of a 19th century immigrant who became a minor bad-man in the south-western parts of North America. He fell foul of the Mescalero Apaches. Let’s just say that those fellows refused to be bound by the Rousseauean mould of the “noble savage”. Who could blame them?


This video shows Steve Tilston and Maggie Boyle performing The Slip Jig and Reels at the Albert Hole Folk Club in Bedminster, Bristol, on September 7, 1990:


Slip Jigs and Reels

He was barely a man in his grandfather's coat
Sewn into the lining, a ten-shilling note
Goodbye to the family, goodbye to the shore
Till I taste good fortune, you'll see me no more

The boat on the ocean tossed like a cork
Then one fine morning they sighted New York
And he stood on the gangplank and breathed in the air
"Hello land of plenty, I've come for my share"

And he did like the ladies, the rise and the fall
Of their ankles and dresses, down on the dance floor
And rolling the dice and spinning the wheels
But he took most delight in the slip jigs and reels
There's talk a pistol and some say a knife
But all are agreed there was somebody's wife
Some kind of commotion, a terrible fight
He left a man dead and ran into the night

A train to St. Louis, just one jump ahead
He slept one eye open, a six-gun in bed
And he dreamt of the mountains and green fields of home
While crossing the plains where the buffalo roam


Oh, bad reputation's a hard thing to bear
Mothers pour scorn and young children they stare
But he found consolation in flash company
Your life ain't so bad with a girl on your knee

Oh, they called him the Kid, and by twenty-one
All that he knew was the power of the gun
And by twenty-three, he'd shot five men down
Who got in his way as he rambled around


There's bones in the desert and buzzards that fly
In the highest of circles, just wishing he'd die
But in matters of cruelty, it must be said
A landlord will pick your bones before you're dead

It was wild mescaleros, I heard people say
In the deadliest ambush near old Santa Fe
And a young buck was taken dressed in a coat
And inside the lining, a ten-shilling note

{Refrain twice}