The band on “By Request”:
(Ross Hamilton, vocals, banjo, guitar, mandolin), Emma Hamilton (vocals, accordion, piano), Ray Schloeffel (1957-2002) fiddle, Darryl Neve (vocals, double bass), Kirk Steel (piano accordion), Stuart French (lead guitar), John Knight (electric guitar, nylon string guitar) and Thomas Hamilton (vocals, piano, keyboards, electric bass, drums, percussion and programming).
Arranged and Produced By Thomas and Ross Hamilton.
1. The album jumps off to a flying start with the song made famous by Harry Belafonte “Jamaica Farewell” and features some delightfully atmospheric guitar parts by John Knight, who multi-tracked both acoustic, electric and nylon string guitars. His guitars are given lots of air with Thomas playing a simple yet enchanting glockenspiel part. Emma duets on choruses and piano.
2. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”, the 1957 Everly Brothers chart-topper, sees father and daughter Ross and Emma pay homage to these legendary musical icons. Mandolins and Emma’s grand piano feature in the solo break.
3. “The Dutchman”, Michael Peter Smith’s evocative ballad set in Holland about a crazy old man who watches tug boats on the canals all day and is cared for by his loving and understanding wife when he returns home at night, gives Thomas the opportunity to score a lush string part to augment the drama and passion in this moving song. Emma joins in on the uplifting choruses.
4. “Catch The Wind” written by Scottish writer and folk hero Donovan Leitch, has Kirk Steel featuring on his moody piano accordion and is ably supported by Thomas with a grand piano solo. “In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty……”
5. On track five Emma steps up to the microphone and slides effortlessly into the Willie Nelson song “Crazy”, the ultimate ballad about unrequited love. Accompanying herself on piano, the track also features an elegant guitar solo by Stuart French.
6. Ralph McTell’s folk ballad “The Streets of London”, which is full of his easy-to-imagine scenes of London street life, is woven together by Ray Schloeffel’s sublimely haunting fiddle and Emma’s chorus harmonies.
7. Kirk Steel transports us all to Austria with his evocative piano accordion part in “Wooden Heart”, a song translated into English and featured in the Elvis Presley film “G.I. Blues”. Emma on piano and John on guitar keep us all in strict ‘oomp-pa-pa-German- band time’ with this gentle ballad.
8. Don Schlitz’s song “The Gambler” features Kirk’s accordion opening as a steam train, rolling down the line, before it bursts into a pulsing train rhythm which propels the telling of this great song, full of wonderful life-advice. Jump on board and start rolling!
9. Emma charms again with her interpretation of the poignant Russian ballad “Those Were The Days”. Glued together by Stuart’s Chet Atkins-style guitar picking and featuring a multi-tracked Darryl Neve barbershop-quartet chorus, the song surges to a grand conclusion and we invite you to fill your Vodka glass and start singing!
10. The timeless Sam Cooke classic “Another Saturday Night” has always proven to be one of our most requested songs and Kirk leads the way with his marvellous Cajun-style accordion which lays down a strong pulse that the band dances around.
Emma joins in on the choruses while Thomas grooves on electric bass.
11. Leadbelly’s understated blues ballad “Irene Goodnight” includes double solos, first by Kirk on Cajun accordion then followed by Thomas with his own interpretation on grand piano. Emma duets on the choruses and this song concludes the vocal content of our album.
12. The final track is from our archives of delightful Ray Schloeffel recordings and is a solo fiddle piece that Ray often played at the end of loud and raucous pub nights. Appropriately titled “Sailaway” it is the very last recording Ray made before he passed away in September 2002.
We have much pride in presenting our “By Request” and hope you enjoy the album.