The Barnyard Tapes -

Liner Notes


Steve Dreher and Friends is:

Steve – Writes and arranges the music.  Lead vocals, guitar, ukulele, six-string banjo, harmonica and mouth harp.  He also produced and engineered the CD.

Gavin  – Bass guitar, backing vocals and whistling on “Swinging.”

Chris – Drums, bongos, the kokoriko, the egg and backing vocals.

Dave - Drums, tambourine, the ‘rattle snake’ and backing vocals on “Counting.”  Also, he is the talented artist who created the cover art!

Josh - We were so lucky to catch this rising star on his way up!  Josh played lead guitar and banjo, he sang back-up on "Counting," and he helped with  recording and production.  He is very talented, we wish him all the best.


We’ve always wanted to record a CD that focuses on older, public domain music.  There’s a good chance that music in the public domain has been around long enough to be very familiar.  These are the songs our grandparents and great grandparents were singing – Songs like “Buffalo Girls” and “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” We were also inspired by more obscure, almost lost songs.  A couple of years before we began recording, I came across “Weaver John” in my great-grandmother’s first grade primer.  It was published in 1891, and it’s  a song that’s slipped away.  I started to look for others, and I found  “Steamboat Bill,” and  “Goodbye, Liza Jane.”  Finally, we found songs that are on the edge – vaguely familiar, but beginning to fade.  Those include songs like “Good Old Summertime,”  “Foolish Frog,” and “Cluck Old Hen.”  We did, of course, add some originals, “Sandbox,”“Swinging,” “Pumpkin,” and “Gus.” We had fun playing all of them and hope you enjoy them as well!


The recording at the beginning of “Cluck Old Hen,” is a 1925, public domain Recording by Fiddlin’ Powers and Family.  It can be accessed in it’s entirety here:


One final note – we recorded the first tracks for this CD in late 2006.  Then, we all got busy and the recordings collected dust in the barn for two years.  Early in 2009, we got together for a couple of days to finish.  We all love the energy and excitement of a live recording, so we tried to create ORGANIC music by recording the songs while playing together (we did track when someone plays more than one instrument on a song…)  We want you to hear just what you'll hear when you see us live!