When There's Good to Be Done

by Curtis & Loretta

Released 2015
Haymarket Music
Released 2015
Haymarket Music
Poignant story-songs of real-life people who have overcome great challenges in their lives, with tight harmony vocals, folk harp, mandocello and guitar.
  • 04:27 Story Lyrics When There's Good to Be Done

    In a bright sunny Florida home,

    Christy was on-line and she was there alone,

    A Minnesota girl caught her eye,

    Usually she'd scroll on by,

    Sick kids were too sad,

    Was it an angel, that said, "Don't pass?"

  • 04:08 Lyrics June On His Mind


    by Loretta Simonet © 2015


    1.  Len and June were sweethearts

    In school they were as one,

    They wanted so to marry,

    But they knew they were too young.

    So Leonard joined the Navy,

    He quit school to fight at sea,

    June waitressed after school, at the Cozy Tea.


    He shipped out on the USS Reid,


    In Philippines they guarded

    The supply ships off the shore

    He positioned a gun on portside

    In the fighting from the start,

    He kept his pocket Bible,

    Buttoned near his heart.                                           




    Kamikazes in the sky,

    Come to kill, come to die,

    Bible in his pocket,

    And June on his mind.


    2. The Reid was the flagship,

    Of the convoy on that day,

    They headed down to Ormoc,

    After they left Leyte Bay,

    Len was on deck when he heard 

    “To your battle stations men,”

    Then terrifying silence

    In skies overhead.


    Then a gunner’s mate said,

    “I see them, twelve are there,”

    Len pointed his gun at them,

    The machine guns opened fire,

    One roared so close off portside,

    Len could almost touch the wing,

    Bullets hailed down,

    The world was deafening.       




    3.  Len was almost knocked down,

    A plane crashed on starboard,

    One crashed the ammunition

    His bomb blew the ship apart,

    A great explosion, fire raged

    The Reid rolled to starboard side,

    She sank stern first,

    In two minutes time.


    Len reached for his life belt,

    And jumped into the sea,

    Bullets strafed the waters, 

    Of the warm Comotes Sea,

    Above the planes were firing,

    And then twenty feet away,

    A man called out for help and

    Sank beneath the waves.




    4. The sailor’s head came up,

    And Len swam right to him,

    He held him above water,

    And kept ahold of him,

    A sailor came to help then,

    And they treaded water for

    The man they saved three thousand feet

    Above the ocean floor.


    They were all rescued,

    In an hour maybe less,

    A hundred and three men died,

    Most all below the decks,

    A hundred fifty-five survived,

    And Len was one so blessed,

    He married his dear June

    In 1946.


  • 03:19 What Each One Needs
  • 05:54 On the Day They Said I Do
  • 03:46 Dragonfly
  • 06:42 Where the North Wind Blows
  • 03:00 Give Love a Chance
  • 05:37 Case 9164
  • 04:01 The Bridge
  • 06:07 Habibo
  • 05:53 Lyrics I Will Get Home


    by Loretta Simonet © 2015


    1.  Ball turret gunner in a B-17,

    Lester joined when he was nineteen.

    Headed back to England on his tenth mission,

    Germans hit their number four engine.


    The fuel tank trailed flames thirty feet long

    Great explosions rocked each man

    The pilot turned the plane around,

    Tryin’ to make it back to land.


    2. Lester strapped on his parachute,

    As the wintry North Sea they crossed,

    When they saw the Denmark coast below,

    They bailed out and the wing blew off.


    Dozens of guns pointed at him,

    As he landed hard in a field,

    The beatings were brutal but all he would utter,

    Was name, rank and serial number.



    Lester do you think that you will

    Live through World War Two,

    Will you see peace again,

    And Minnesota too?


    Oh what mother and father are going through,

    I will not lose hope,

    I have to get back for them,  

    I will get home.


    3. At Stalag Luft Six, Lester’s hunger pangs 

    Never went away.

    Once a day he got watery soup,

    A can of rotten fish some days.


    The Russian troops were closing in,

    So they jammed the men in boxcars,

    Then four days crowded so tight in a coal ship,

    They stood, no food, a sip of water.


    4. At the next camp, Stalag Luft Four,

    There was less food than before.

    When the Russians got close again, the Germans evacuated,

    Ten thousand men.


    Lester marched out with five hundred of them,

    So weak, that February day,

    In bitter cold, with ragged clothes,

    Bayonets pointed the way.




    5.  Week  after week they staggered on,

    They slept on frozen ground or in a barn, 

    Les had one thin blanket, holes in his shoes,

    Like walking dead, they herded them along.


    Some days they ate nothing, dysentery plagued them,

    And when a man could not go on,

    Lester heard the shot, it happened every day,

    And the German Death March moved on.


    6. The English Army freed them in May,

    They had walked for 86 days,

    Evading the Allies nearly 800

    Miles the experts now say.


    In 2012 Lester met the pilot    

    Of the plane that shot him down,

    He said thank you for sparing us,

    You let us bail out and make it to ground.




    I did get home !


  • 04:39 Willmar 8 (We Are All Equal You Know)
  • Story Lyrics Lyrics to this CD
These are songs of strength, courage, hope, kindness, and determination. Loretta wrote each one about real-life, ordinary people, who turned out to be extraordinary. Backed by an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, she sought out people who had overcome great challenges in their lives and come out stronger for the journey. She interviewed each one, and crafted their story into a song.

The stellar cast of characters includes a woman who donated a kidney to a toddler she didn’t know; a native American man who grew up at the state orphanage in Minnesota amid great discrimination and abuse; a woman who grew up in great hardship in the grasslands of Somalia and is now a nurse at Mayo Clinic; a long lost love story of a couple who met in their 20s, lost touch and married in their 60s; one of the worst injured of the 35W bridge collapse survivors in Minneapolis; plus many more. The recording features ace Prairie Home Companion fiddler Peter Ostroushko on five tracks, and outstanding bowed cello player Jacqueline Ultan on three tracks. Sandy Njoes plays bass on 9 tracks, Sherri Leyda plays penny whistle on one track and hand drum on one track, Chuck Leyda plays mandolin on one track, and Bobb Fantauzzo plays Native American style flute on one track.

Minnesota Bluegrass Magazine says, "These are amazing stories….and each one is more powerful than the last….it's the best, most poignant, most powerful album of the nine this duo has recorded over the last quarter century. Loretta's songwriting has improved steadily over the years and now, a hundred songs later, it sparkles."

Besides Curtis & Loretta's extraordinary vocal harmonies, they accompany themselves on this recording on folk harp, mandocello, folk harp, and claw hammer banjo.

In 1977, a theater graduate was sitting on a beach in Santa Cruz, California playing her guitar, practicing for a variety show. A young Texan who had just returned to the mainland from Hawaii stopped and said, “Hey, I play guitar!” And he did! They sat down together on a piece of driftwood and as they sang, they couldn’t help but notice how well their voices meshed. They played together at the variety show that night, and have been singing together ever since, as the duo Curtis & Loretta.

They received an Arts Tour Minnesota grant from the State Arts Board in 2010, and were named “Best Acoustic Performers of the Twin Cities” by City Pages in 2002. Their CDs have appeared on “Top Albums of the Year,” at folkradio.org, and they’ve received several nominations for Best Acoustic Folk Artist for the Minnesota Music Awards. They have released 8 CDs, and shared billings with such luminaries as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Holly Near, Vassar Clements, Claudia Schmidt, and many more! Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet were married (to each other!) in 1987, and live in Minneapolis.

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The Critics Say...

"Loretta's almost operatic alto and Curtis' rich tenor form a lush, polished and varied vocal blend. The pair's instrumental interplay is equally compelling, with Loretta's harp textures dancing in and around Curtis' deft guitar and mandolin lines." 

.....Dirty Linen

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