Fingerpicked guitar chords swirl into a chorus of yearning fiddle and steel runs, weaving a mournful tale of heartache and loss in Libby Weitnauer’s stunningly gorgeous take on this North Carolina Appalachian ballad. The song opens sparely, with Weitnauer’s vocals riding almost note-for-note along the guitar lines, but spirals into winnowing lonesomeness as Mark Robinson’s steel guitar flows over and around his guitar and Weitnauer’s fiddle and vocals. The song’s languorous rhythmic pace conveys longing and sorrow, while the lyrics “now he no longer thinks of me/little darlin’ think of me” capture the singer’s bittersweet regret.
Weitnaeur recalls: “I learned this song straight off Bruce Greene’s stunning album, River in Time. I heard his recording for the first time on my way home from a long week of playing music in the mountains of West Virginia and quite literally listened to it on repeat for the entire five hour drive. I do not know much about the song’s history other than the information in Greene’s liner notes, which say it was sung by Stella Mae Edwards Ledford of the Toe River area of North Carolina. When Mike Robinson (producer) and I started this track, we were packed into a tiny bedroom studio in Brooklyn, long before the pandemic hit. I’d been listening to a lot of Paul Brady, who underpins almost everything with these driving yet wistful guitar parts, so we tried to pull on that here, and everything else just kind of fell into place.”
“Fond True Lover” is available on 7/23 – pre-order/pre-save HERE.