Crossroads liner notes

Produced by: Bill and Gretchen Roper

Recording Engineers:
Greg Gersabeck, Primeau Productions (Sep.- Oct. 1993)
Bill and Gretchen Roper, Dodeka Records (Apr. 1994, Jul.- Aug. 1995, Aug. and Dec. 2001)

Mixing Engineers:
Bill Roper, Steve Macdonald, and Gretchen Roper

Bill and Gretchen Roper

Cover art: Todd Cameron Hamilton ©2002

Dramatis Personae:

Steve Macdonald: Lead and harmony Vocals, Acoustic, Electric, 6 and 12-string Guitars; pucker whistle; Synthesizer Nate Bucklin: Lead Guitar on 'Movin' Along'
Andrea Dale: Vocals on 'Cold Butcher'
Julia Ecklar: Vocals on 'Touch A Star'
Kylea Fulton: Flute, Whistles
Greg Gersabeck: Electric Guitar on 'Crossroads'
Diana Huey: Vocals on 'Movin' Along'
Mike McGonagle: Drums
Kathy Mar: Vocals on 'Touch A Star'
Bill Roper: Vocals on 'Journey's Done'
Mary Ellen Wessels: Vocals, Recorder
Sarah Wilfong: Violin on 'Plain Valentine'

All songs Copyright © by Steve Macdonald except:

The Minstrel, Renaissance Melody, and I Wish I Didn't Have To Go, © by John and Steve Macdonald
Copyright © by John and Steve Macdonald

Many more liner notes (in much larger type!) available at

And maybe someday at

This is dedicated to my all my parents- both blood and found. Mom and Dad, thank you for the gift of music, and the freedom to explore. Bill and Gretchen, thank you for the opportunities to actually leverage that freedom, the advice, and your friendship. Dave; thank you for your heart, care, and love.

In addition- Thank you, John. An important chunk of this album would not exist if not for you.

Special thanks to: Alyse Middleton, Evan Middleton, Katy Dröge, Susan Moerdyk, Luke, Renee, and Joshua. Yer all still here, even though I've committed album again...

A special Thank You!! to Callie Hills for the title.

And from the Songspinner and Journey's Done thank you's: Greg Gersabeck, MEW, Thom Mattingly, Harry Smothers, Lee Billings, Alisa Cohen, Tom Smith, June Morley, Lisa Hunter, Spencer Love, Mom and Dad, Bill Roper, Kylea Fulton, Nate Bucklin, Andrea Dale, Kathy Mar, Julia Ecklar, Mike McGonagle, Diana Huey, Andy Anda, Gretchen Roper, Judith Hayman, the Journey's Done Chorus, and Tim Ryan.

Bill and Gretchen would like to thank the Supreme Court for their ruling on parodies, but have nothing more useful to say than Justice Souter did.

Gretchen would like to thank Steve for being a real sweetheart. Bill tends to agree, but would probably phrase it differently.

Journey's Done:
Dodeka Records would like to thank the following: Kylea Fulton, who flew in from Winnipeg to help us out; Bill Rintz, who may have been more worried about missing his recording session with us than his stroke- thanks, Bill, and get well; Andy Anda, who stepped in at the last minute; Nate Bucklin, whose talents we abused greatly at Confusion; Mary Ellen Wessels, who spends most of her life on I-94; our virtual army of vocalists; and Susan, who deserves the Medal of Honor for handling three kids while we borrowed her husband.


This album presents selections from the previously released tapes "Songspinner" (1994) and "Journey's Done" (1995). We have remastered the entire album, making some voices stronger here, removing things that made us cringe there, and in a couple of cases just throwing away the original recording and starting over from scratch. We like the results- and we hope that you do too.

Song Notes:

Gather Day (11/86)
The direct inspiration for this piece was the fairs, or 'gather days', held at the various Holds during the summer season. The lyric did end up much more fantasy oriented, but I could not leave Unicorns out of the song, just because they did not exist on Pern.

Carriage Ride (7/88)
This song attempts to capture a singe moment in time; in London, late 19th century. time is transitional; we are always moving from one moment to the next; and most time spans do not hold their own resolutions.

Cold Butcher (3/93)
This was written for the 1993 OVFF Songrwiting contest. I used the Great Lakes Cree Indian legends of a creature called a Wendigo to compose the lyrics. As the title suggests, a Wendigo is neither cuddly or nice. It won.

Long Winter (2/94)
Just listen.

When I Think of You (6/87)
This is a love song I wrote for Susan while she was testing for her Indiana Teacher's Certificate. Which is appropos of nothing; but helps remind me when I wrote the dang thing.

Renaissance Melody (6/83)
One of my standard 'opening' pieces; it pretty much speaks for itself.

Acceptance (9/93)
This is one of my initial reactions to fandom- disbelief that I was no longer alone. I was always used to being the strangest kid on the block with the most far-out books, and here I was normal, if not downright mundane!

Seducing the Unicorn (10/92)
I wrote this at my first OVFF in October, 1992. It was a very powerful experience for me. 'Nuff said.

Skating on the Strings (3/92)
I'm really proud of this. Total orchestration is two guitars (one capoed at the 5th fret, the other open) and two soprano recorders. The second recorder part is optional and only adds ornamentation at the end of the piece -- but it has definite impact. Just relax and enjoy!

The Minstrel (6/83)
John penned this one referring specifically to me. I am still trying to live up to it.

Plain Valentine (2/92, 11/93)
I wrote this for Susan when I didn't even have enough cash in my pocket to buy a card for Valentine's Day. She preferred the song to the potential card.

Joining (7/94)
What happens when you need something so much, you steal it rather than earning it?

I Just Love Those Old B Movies (7/93)
Don't you?

To Boldly Go (7/94)
This was written for TorontoTrek in 1994; where Mary Ellen Wessels and I were the Filk GoH's.

Journey's Done (5/94)
The push for space is not an individual or national goal- it's a racial one. Many have contributed to Mankind's push to go higher, faster, and farther. This is for all who share that dream.

To Touch A Star (4/95)
For Joshua- May he dream the dreams and plant the seeds that grow to where he wants to be. My daughter has since learned this song; and used it as an audition piece. Nope, I ain't proud!! :)

Tightrope (3/88)
To most people, discipline is a four letter word (myself included). On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for focusing in on accomplishing your dreams.

Crossroads (9/86)
I came up with this melody, and it felt like a good 'traveling' or 'driving' song. So, I had to figure out where I was driving from, or to...

I Wish I Didn't Have to Go (5/80)
In 1980 I toured Central Europe for 4 weeks with the Blue Lake International Choir. This was written for that trip, and sung to the host families I stayed with.

Movin' Along (5/83)
It took about as long to write this song as it takes to play it. Just keep movin' along.

Copyright ©2003 Steve Macdonald