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Songs of the Snake River Country



Thunder Mountain Line

Queen of Diamonds

Jump Creek Ramble

My Mountain Home

Blue Eyed Girl

Sagebrush Annie

Yellow Pine


Our Sweet Jennie

Obediah Jump

Bracken's Reel

Uncle Dick

Teri's Waltz

Class Five


This CD is a collection of original songs about life in the Snake River region of Idaho written and performed by Gary Eller and Marv Quinton of the Bona Fide duo. While most of these songs are specific to Idaho, others cover universal themes. The songs are performed with the help of Bona Fide's musical friends who graciously lent their talent, advice and friendship.

Click Thunder Mountain Line to hear a full length version of this song from this CD.

Click Idaho Issues Online to read about Bona Fide in Idaho Issues Online and to hear short clips of Class Five and Jump Creek Ramble from the Snake River CD.

This CD is available for $15 from or directly from Bona Fide.

1. Thunder Mountain Line. Marv wrote this song - a rewrite of the bluegrass classic Glenville Train - about an old-time robbery of the Idaho shortline train that ran up the North Fork of the Payette River to McCall. The train now is operated as a popular tourist day trip between Horseshoe Bend and Cascade. (Marv-lead vocals, guitar and bass; Gary-harmony vocals and banjo; Rue-fiddle; Ron-banjo; Dominique-mandolin)

2. Yellow Pine. This song was inspired by short visit by Gary and his West Virginia nephew Casey Sutton in the summer of 2005 to Yellow Pine, Idaho - official population thirty five. They were so impressed by this town and its flow of life that a song resulted. (Gary-guitar and lead vocals; Marv-mandolin and harmony vocals; Jerry-low harmony; Dominique-high harmony )

3. Jump Creek Ramble. Gary wrote and named this swing-flavored instrumental after a creek emerging from a spectacular canyon near Marsing in Southwest Idaho. (Gary-lead guitar; Marv-rhythm guitar and bass; Rue-fiddle; Dominique-mandolin)

4. My Mountain Home. This song by Marv was inspired by those 23 hour long Alaska winter nights when he thought about the east Idaho mountains. The brown-eyed sweetheart in the song is his granddaughter Alyssa, but she represents all the Quinton grandchildren. (Marv-lead vocals and mandolin; Gary-harmony vocals and lead guitar; Ron-banjo)

5. Blue Eyed Girl. Gary composed this song about the wedding of his youngest daughter. He foolishly thought he could perform it at a wedding festivity but cratered totally and had to hand his daughter the lyrics instead. The song reflects the bittersweet feelings that many fathers everywhere feel at this emotional event. (Gary-lead vocals and lead guitar; Marv-harmony vocals and rhythm guitar; Les-resonator guitar)

6. Sagebrush Annie. This song was a written by Gary and John Taylor, past president of the Owyhee County Historical Society and a talented musician, songwriter and historian from Givens Hot Springs, Idaho. The song tells the story of the short line railroad that was to connect Nampa and Boise to the great silver mines in the Owyhee Mountains around the beginning of the 20th century. Due to mine failure and train wreck, the railroad only made it to the tiny county seat of Murphy. Ironically, there it became the biggest railroad stock loading point in the American Northwest. (Gary-lead vocals and guitar; Marv-bass; Ron-banjo; Rue-fiddle;Dominique-harmony vocals; John-harmonica)

7. Syringa. This is one of two original songs used by Gary to win the 1995 Horseshoe Bend, Idaho banjo contest. This "sweet" banjo instrumental is named after Idaho's beautiful state flower. (Gary-banjo; Marv-rhythm guitar and mandolin)

8. Our Sweet Jennie. Marv wrote this song shortly after his mother's death in 2004 but struggled to find words worthy of this saintly lady until a few weeks before this recording. This romantic version of her meeting future husband Ross Quinton tells of a 1941 summer night at the Wandemere Dance Hall and a highly likely appearance by then-touring Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. (Marv-lead vocals and mandolin; Gary-harmony vocals and guitar; Rue-fiddle; Les-resonator guitar)

9. Queen of Diamonds. This song was cowritten by Gary Eller and John Larson about the life of an amaing independent western woman. Kitty Wilkins ran the largest horse ranching operation in the United States for many years on the immense Diamond Ranch, which stretched about a hundred miles from Nevada north to the Snake River in Southwest Idaho. (Gary-lead vocals and guitar; Marv-harmony vocals and mandolin; John-harmonica)

10. Bracken's Reel. Marv's eleven year old grandson Bracken is a budding mandolin player. Marv wrote this song as a way for Bracken to practice scales in the key of C. It is done here in the old time way with just mandolin and banjo. (Marv-mandolin; Gary-banjo)

11. Obediah Jump. Gary wrote this song after a search into the origin of the name of Jump Creek. The song is based on oral history obtained by the Director of the Owyhee County Historical Society. Only later did the Director discover that the story was pure fabrication and that the old timer source had subjected him to a classic Idaho practical joke. We thought this only made the story better and decided to keep the song in Bona Fide's repertoire, thereby making the oral history source John Larsen an unintended fellow songwriter, good friend and frequent collaborator with Bona Fide. (Gary-vocals and guitar; Marv-mandolin)

12. Uncle Dick. This song by Marv tells his memories of growing up on Grandpa Dick Morgan's east Idaho farm working with draft horses Kit and Queen, binder, threshing machine, derrick, Jackson Fork and a wire-tie hay baler. (Marv-lead vocals, mandolin and guitar; Gary-harmony vocals and banjo)

13. Teri's Waltz. This sweet waltz was composed by Gary for his loving and understanding wife Teri, who has endured decades of cacophonous practices, late nights at gigs and unfinished hubby house chores because of his musical addiction. (Gary-guitar; Marv-bass; Dominique-mandolin; Rue-fiddle).

14. Class Five. Gary was inspired to write this song by the challenge of running whitewater, as is found throughout the "whitewater state" of Idaho. (Gary-banjo, Marv-rhythm guitar and bass; Rue-fiddle; Dominique -mandolin)

Last page was last revised on December 30, 2007.