The Small Family Orchestra CD !


A Retrospective

© 2000 EMW 1001-1004
Double CD $25

To purchase online click

EMWorld Records is pleased to announce the re-issue of Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra recordings on a double CD retrospective. The collection includes all three of the studio recordings as well as selections from the farewell concert. If you were a fan of this quirky band, you'll want to replace your scratchy LPs or your disintegrating cassette tapes. If you're new to SFO, read on (band info, songlist, reviews, etc). This is a limited edition so order now!

Order on line:
Order by mail: EMWorld Records, PO Box 148, Pine Lake GA 30072
Send check for $25 per Double CD, plus $2 postage and handling for a TOTAL of $27.

Elise Witt - Vocals & Guitar
Mary Witt - French Horn & Vocals
Rick Ruggles - Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Mandolin, Mandola & Vocals
Steve Harris - Violin, Mandola, Cello & Vocals
Beth Heidelberg - Flute, Clarinet, Autoharp & Vocals
with: Tommy Goldsmith - Guitar
John Owen - Bass
Ed Snodderly - Guitar (on EMW-1002)

From the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in New York to the North Georgia Folk Festival in Athens, from the Folkway in New Hampshire to the Bluebird Café in Nashville and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change in our hometown of Atlanta, SFO was a miraculous, fun filled musical journey. "The Premiere Album," released in 1983, was written up in Southern Living magazine by Mark Childress and sold out its first pressing within six months. "Having A Great Time!!!" followed a year later and continued to reflect our interest in both international repertoire and songs by Southeastern songwriter friends like Walter Hyatt, Joyce Brookshire, Tommy Goldsmith, Margaret Martin, Steve Runkle, and John McCutcheon. In 1985 SFO went on a cultural exchange to Nicaragua and the album "Holding On" is a musical scrapbook of that epic journey to a country that, for a brief moment in time, lived the true meaning of democracy. Finally, to celebrate nine years of life as a band and as a family, "The Farewell Concert" was released, presenting many songs that had not been previously recorded. For those of you who supported us through the years, we hope this brings great memories. We thank you enormously! For new listeners, may this compilation give you a glimpse into our nine-year voyage. Happy listening!

Disc One

1. SEPARATE WAYS (Steve Runkle) 1:55
2. V'LA LE BON VENT Here Comes the Good Wind (Trad. French) 2:32
3. PALOMINO PAL (Kalmonoff-Schroeder) 3:04
4. WEISST DU NOCH Do you remember (Alexandra, German) 2:16
5. SMALL TIME PENNY ANTE (Chris Kayser) 2:30
6. SNOWING ME UNDER (Steve Runkle) 2:57
7. CIRCUS SONG (Tommy Goldsmith) 3:26
8. VURRIA ADDEVENTARE I Wish I Could Become (Trad. Neapolitan) 2:53
9. LA FENÊTRE The Window (Plessas-Gérald, French) 2:37
10. KEEP ON WORKING (Walter Hyatt) 2:44
11. LUA The Moon (Caeteno Velusa, Brazil) 2:39
12. HISTORY OF LOVE (Tommy Goldsmith) 1:37
13. TAKE ANOTHER GUESS (Sherman-Newman-Fletcher) 2:57
14. WHATEVER BECAME OF ME (Joyce Brookshire) 3:49
15. MY LAZY WAY (Ed Snodderly) 2:28
16. YO SOLO QUIERO I Only Wish (R. & E. Carlos, Brazil) 2:16
17. IT'S YOU I WANT TO SEE (Steve Runkle) 3:33
18. PAIDU VYIDU (Russian Folk Song) 1:20
19. YOU'VE BEEN A FRIEND TO ME (A.P. Carter) 3:04
20. ELEK VELED I Live With You (Hungarian Gypsy) 1:38
21. IN MY HEART (Tim Krekel) 3:18
22. TIN AVTO What Is This Thing Called Love (Trad. Greek) 2:52
23. GOING BACK TO NORTH CAROLINA (Tommy Goldsmith) 2:59

Disc Two
HOLDING ON ©1987 EMW-1003

1. CACKLING HEN CAFE (Margaret Martin) 2:50
2. GUARDABOSQUES Forest Keeper (Salvador Cardenal Barquero) 3:49
3. FISHING FOR AMOUR (Mike Craver) 2:50
4. YOU KEEP ME HOLDING ON (David Ball) 2:17
5. THE RED SHIRT (Rick Ruggles) 3:11
6. SING TO ME THE DREAM (Holly Near) 3:10
7. DEEPER THAN LOVE (Walter Hyatt) 2:26
8. DON'T LET ME COME HOME A STRANGER (Williams - Clark) 1:38
9. MODERN FOOD (Rick Ruggles) 3:39
10. A LOS SANTOS To The Saints (Edgar Rivas Choza) 2:58
11. NO MÁS, NO MORE (John McCutcheon) 4:02
12. SKELETON (Buddy Mondlock) 2:57
13. LADI (Hungarian) 3:15
14. POWER (John & Johanna Hall) 3:39
16. PICTURES FOR YOU (Bland Simpson) 5:36
17. BOYS AND THEIR TOYS (Rick Ruggles) 2:56
18. SEVEN DAFFODILS (Lee Hays) 3:32
19. IF I DON'T STOP CRYING (Walter Hyatt) 3:09
20. MANVI CHANTE PEYIM (Haiti) 4:47
21. SOMEWHERE OVER THE Rainbow (Arlen-Yarburg) 5:00

All arrangements by Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra w/Tommy Goldsmith
Transferred to digital 2000 by Benjamin Price, Southern Living at Its Finest, Atlanta GA

* Premiere Album recorded Dec. 1982 at Songbird Studio, Atlanta GA.
Engineer- Rich Head * Mastering- Glen Meadows * Cover Art- Wayne Sizemore
* Having a Great Time!!! recorded June 1984 at Songbird Studio, Atlanta GA.
Engineer- Rich Head * Mastering- Benny Quinn * Cover design- Jim Creech
* Holding On recorded March 1987 at JBS Studio, Atlanta GA, except "Holding On" Oliverio Music
Engineer- Brad Jones * Cover design- Kathie Klein * Photo- David Pascale
* Farewell Concert recorded Nov. 11, 1989 at Canon Chapel, Emory University, Atlanta GA.
Engineers- Gene & Johnnie Daniell * Photo- David Pascale * Design- Alice Teeter


Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra
EMW-1003 © 1987 EMWorld Records

"Inspired!...a welcome rarity in the music world."
- Nashville Banner May, 1989

"Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra always have presented one of the freshest and most interesting repertoires and collective sounds in folk. If you thought you might be able to put a tidy definition on them before, forget it. On this album they prove just how versatile they are.
Four of the songs - "Guardabosques," "A Los Santos," "Sing to Me the Dream," and John McCutcheon's "No Mas, No More" - have Nicaraguan roots, a result of the band's 1985 tour of that country. Mix those with two spoofs, "Cackling Hen Cafe" and "Modern Food," a couple of plaintive ballads like "Don't Let Me Come Home a Stranger" and Mike Craver's "Fishing for Amour," and a medley of German children's rounds, and you have an appetizing gallimaufry. But wait - there's more. Bluegrass(!): Rick Ruggles' "The Red Shirt" summons wistful, haunting memories of the Herb Pedersen-era Dillards. Rounding out a very full album are two songs borrowed from the Austin-based Uncle Walt's Band.
The Orchestra's unique blend of guitar, mandola, and fiddle with reed instruments (clarinets, flute, and French horn) has been a source of intrigue for many delighted listeners. It's truly a musical hodge-podge, but a...can't resist a pun...spendidly "well-orchestrated" one.
Jill Adams Lacey The Hornpipe Folk Music in the Southern Regions Autumn, 1989

Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra
EMW-1002 © 1984 EMWorld Records

"...amiable...homey...sweet...among the best."
- Jon Pareles New York Times November, 1986

"Despite little airplay, good records, loosely labeled 'folk,' keep coming out on small or independent labels. This second album by Elise Witt and Small Family Orchestra ranks with the best. Produced in Atlanta, it features an eclectic repertoire (international, early jazz and blues, contemporary folk), beautiful clear solos by Ms. Witt, tight vocal harmony and unique instrumentation (generally Ms. Witt on guitar; Mary Witt, French horn; Rick Ruggles, mandolin; Steve Harris, violin; and Beth Heidelberg, clarinet).
The lyrical "You I Want to See," written by SFO friend Steve Runkle is worth the album's price. "Whatever Became of Me," penned by Cabbagetown troubadour Joyce Brookshire, and The Carter Family's "You've Been A Friend to Me" stand out, too. If, as many claim, there's a folk revival in the works, the SFO deserves to be in the forefront."
- Keith Graham Atlanta Journal Constitution September, 1984

Premiere Album
Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra
EMW-1001 © 1983 EMWorld Records

"They give voice to a new generation of Southern songwriters..."
- Mark Childress Southern Living June, 1983

"...without a question the best album by a local band this year."
- Georgia State University Signal July, 1983

"Superb. That in twenty-five words or less, describes the new album by Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra. It is doubtful that even twenty-five superlatives could do justice to the beauty and artistry of this, well, superb album.
The appeal lies mainly in Witt's liquidly melodious voice and Tommy Goldsmith's savvy production. But there's more to it than that, of course... The balance of instruments (violin, mandolin, French horn, clarinets, flute, guitars, and sandpaper) with voices is almost magical, and makes the album only more entrancing with repeated listenings.
Therein lies the major attraction of the album. It sound great on first listening, and gets better with each playing. Here is a band - an "orchestra "- that will bear watching.
And listening, of course."
- Georgia Tech Technique April, 1983

"From the unlikely burg of Decatur, Georgia has come a local release of exceptional caliber, Elise Witt & Small Family Orchestra. The low budget black and white cover is deceptive...musically, it would be difficult to put together a more worldy mixture. Included are French, German, Neapolitan, and Spanish songs, in addition to two originals by producer Tommy Goldsmith and a batch of songs by lesser known but talented writers. Two songs by Steve Runkle stand with the best melancholy love odes.
The orchestra achieves a European feel through combinations of instruments such as clarinet, accordion, French horn, violin, and flute, a soft-toned rich latticework of bistro sound. This is excruciatingly romantic on the ethnic songs. Elise Witt has a beaurtiful voice, particularly suited to interpreting poetry in song."
- The Spectator Raleigh, NC May 1983

back to the recordings, videos & publications page

Ordering Information:

POSTAGE - $2 for first item / $1 for each additional item

PO Box 148, Pine Lake GA 30072