Merry Xmas!

Merry Christmas! Here’s a present from us, a new recording of a couple of our favourite carols:

Christmas music’s weird. In a way, it’s just about the only remaining music in our culture that acts as that musical commons we drone on about. (Nobody really knows or cares who wrote or first recorded any carol or Xmas song, yet we all kind of know them and could probably sing along.) There’s loads of gorgeous and fun carols – and yet somehow Christmas is a season when we’re mostly likely to get subjected to aggressively schmaltz and annoying music. (It’s like commercialism ruins everything good, or something?) Anyways, making these recordings is our tiny “be the change” act, and we hope it brings a little more beauty and a little less schmaltz into your holiday season.

Just like its music, Christmas itself can be an annoying and/or bad time for some folk. If that’s you, we see you and care! However the holiday season goes for you, we wish you festive times in there too, with genuine warmth, peace, and things you love.

In this quiet season of long, cold nights we’re grateful for all you lovely people we’ve met through music and everyone who’s listened and played and sung with us. Here’s to lots more music making in the new year.

Chrissy & Tim ~Wychwood

Hallowe’en show!

We’re going to playing Libby & Cal’s album release this Hallowe’en weekend – October 29 – it’s gonna be great spooky fun. There will be candy, there will be prizes for best costumes… also: music.

All the fun details & tickets magically appear by going to

If you wander over to Libby Hortop on Faceborg, she’s been posting about creating an album of alternative, non-prescriptive love songs, the joys and challenges of recording an autoharp, and other genuinely interesting things.

Traditional folksongs and our set will do a good job warning of the dangers of conventional, possessive love – also, how to avoid being misled by a demon lover (look, forewarned is forearmed). Libby & Cal’s set and album will point to more open and diverse ways of loving.

Tunnelfest! October 1


Kick off spooky month in Ottawa with us this Saturday – and a host of musical friends! Once again, the tunnel supplies natural reverb and amplification, the fresh air provides pleasant safety, we’ll supply the songs, you can make it special.

Saturday, Oct 1, 6pm, at the tunnel to the Library & Archives parking lot (behind the library, towards the river – here’s the spot on google maps.)

We’ll be playing with Rubber Roses, Oddeline, Unsociably High, and Shawn Scissors/Myhill. (Follow those links for delicious music samples.)

If you came to previous tunnel shows, this tunnel is directly below the bike tunnel we played in before – the bike tunnel which is closed for construction. This tunnel is bigger, more reverberant, and spookier. There will be refreshments to share and we encourage you to bring your own light to pool with ours – and whatever you need to keep warm.

Also, it’s kind of a secret (sshhhh) but Chrissy’s going to play some songs from her solo project and Tim’s going to play a little bit with Haley from Rubber Roses. AND David from Day of Niagara and IMOO (the Improvising Musicians of Ottawa and Outaouais) will be adding ambient burbles and spooky drones to our folksongs.

TL;DR Tunnelfest = spooky fun, extra specialness

A snippet of ukelele thru wild FX

Here’s a snippet of “Kitty alone,” a traditional kid’s song from Appalachia with a haunting melody and slightly surreal lyrics, on the ukelele and through the Empress Reverb and Echosystem.

Featuring a totally normal bedroom with an ultranormal amount of pedals.

Shot by Sandy Zelazy (AKA Silver Reeds). We actually spent nearly the whole time singing and playing acoustically into a single mic, believe it or not, that’ll get a more official release down the road.

Two videos from Ottawa’s Hiroshima & Nagasaki Peace Memorial Lantern Ceremony

Earnest TV, Episode 1, guest starring Hayley and Kris.

After coming together to play some songs at Ottawa’s Hiroshima & Nagasaki Peace Memorial Lantern Ceremony a couple of days ago, we reconvened to the Quaker house basement to create a record some of what we’d played.

“Deadly Harvest” is known in Japanese as 原爆を許すまじ or “Genbaku o yurusumaji” – “No More Atomic Bombs” or “We must never forgive the atomic bomb.” It was written in 1955 by Koki Kinoshita (music) and Ishiji Asada (words ). The English translation is by Ewan MacColl, with a few touch-ups from Tim.

(The reverby echo is coming from an Empress Reverb pedal that’s well-hidden by Tim’s head, plus that Orange MicroDark that is only half-hidden, hurrah.)

The lyrics and chords we used:

[Introductory verse in Japanese]

Furusato no machi yakare
Mi yori no hone umeshi yaketsuchi ni
Iwa wa shiroi hana saku
Ah yurusumaji genbaku o
[Refrain] Mitabi yurusumaji genbaku o
Warera no machi ni

Verse 1
In the place where our city was destroyed
Where we buried the ashes of the ones that we loved
There the grass grows and the white waving weeds
Deadly the harvest of two atom bombs

Then brothers & sisters you must watch & take care
That the third atom bomb never falls

The sky hangs like a shroud overhead
And the sun’s in the cage of the black evening cloud
No birds fly in the leaden sky
Deadly the harvest of two atom bombs
Then brothers & sisters…

Gentle rain carries poison from the sky
And the fish carry death in the depths of the sea
Fishing boats are idle, their owners are blind
Deadly the harvest…

All that we have created with our hands
All that is, all the glory of the world we live in
Now it can be smashed, in a moment destroyed

Verse chords:
Am Dm E7 Am | Am E7 AmDm Am | – A7 Dm E7 | Am C E7 –
Chorus chords:
F Dm E7 Am / Dm E7 Am —

Slashes show line divisions, dashes mean repeat the previous chord, two chords squeezed together means play two chords in the time you normally play one.

“Step by Step” uses the melody of the traditional Irish song “The praties grow small,” a song about blight and starvation during the Potato Famine. The first verse was adapted by Waldemar Hills and Pete Seeger from the preamble of the constitution of the American Mineworkers Association (1963).

The last two verses are by Ottawa folk music stalwart Chris White.


Step by step the longest march can be won, can be won
Many stones can form an arch, singly none, singly none
And in union what we will can be accomplished still
Drops of water turn a mill, singly none, singly none

Note by note the sweetest song can be sung, can be sung
As our voices sing along, we are one, we are one
Different colours rising high form a rainbow in the sky
So together we will rise, singly none, singly none

Thread by thread each slender strand, can be spun, can be spun
And then woven hand to hand, one by one, one by one
Making fabrics that enfold weak and strong, young and old
Intertwined all lines shall hold, singly none, singly none

CHORDS: Am C Am — G Am G Am / ” / Am C – – – Dm – E / E7 Am G Am G Am E7 Am

(Slashes show line divisions, dashes mean repeat the previous chord, ditto/quotation mark means repeat the last line’s chords)

Tim playing with Alexis Castrogiovanni

If you’re in Toronto, you should probably come see Tim try to keep with Alexis Castrogiovanni at the Canadian Music Centre, this Thursday June 16. There’s a livestream too! If you can stand another screen event.

CMC Presents: Alexis Castrogiovanni // The George Crotty Trio

There will be cello, there will be banjo, there will be dreamy-noisy effects, many feelings, and strange beautiful music.

If you don’t know Alexis’ music, it’s stunning, and here’s proof:

Details on the event:…/cmc-presents-alexis…/

Ottawa Drone Day

We’re going to be playing 6-7 pm on May 28 at Art House Cafe as part of Ottawa Drone Day. If you want to hear the saw (and other admittedly less exciting instruments) played through a bunch of dreamy-spooky effects and blended into old folk songs, you’ll like this.

Ottawa Drone Day has activities all day too… there’s a youtube livestream and the adventure of performances start at 5pm at Art House and run through the evening.

It’s going to be a fun adventuresome time, and we’d love to connect with you!

Using a phone as a banjo pickup

Chrissy soldered a mic wire onto an old phone receiver – and it sounds great on vocals – but more recently Tim’s been experimenting with using it to pick up banjo and sent it through pedals.

Here’s how it sounds in action – running the banjo input an Empress Reverb and Echosystem in this video, then a little Rat and Tubescreamer distortion and (at the end) a Boss Slicer.

The banjo riff is the chords to the traditional folksong “Nottamun Town” as we do it, and which Bob Dylan used for his song “Masters of War.”

The saw!

The saw might just be the most musical tool out there and one of the most attention-grabbing folk instruments ever. Here’s Chrissy demonstrating at a rehearsal. Bowing the saw sets it vibrating, which makes a musical tone, a little like rubbing a wet finger over the edge of a glass. Then by bending the blade, it changes the resonating length of the saw, which smoothly shifts the pitch. To create vibrato, you shake or bounce your knee a little.

And yes, that’s a plain old saw that’s been used and still could be used to cut wood. We’ve also been experimenting with running the sound through effects and it sounds astonishingly creepy and beautiful.

There’s a full version of Cruel Mother with two saw solos here:

Which side are you on?

Here’s a half-silly video for May Day, more the International Worker’s Day, though the pagan nature festival stuff’s great too.

The song’s “Which Side Are You On?” which written by Florence Reece in 1931, after anti-union thugs terrorized her family during the Harlan County War. (Stick around to the end to see her sing it)

This recording’s from out upcoming album, which will go to in time.

Video from Plan 9 from Outer Space and Harlan County USA.

Audio from a Derek Jensen talk on Endgame, the Acolytes of Horror video on The Dead Don’t Die, The Dead Don’t Die, some forgotten podcast on a Buzzfeed reporter turned alt-right troll, Fear & Desire, Lain: Serial Experiments, Harlan County USA, Florence Reece, a VCR, and us.

Images from Curren Sheldon/Ohio Valley Resource, Scott Olson/Rolling Stone, Workers’ World, Kevin Ridder/Appalachian Voices, and Megan Roark-Halcomb/Labour Notes.

Check out Harlan County USA and “The Dead Don’t Die: How Deadpan Dooms Us,” you won’t regret it.