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My Druthers

Round two, recorded 2014.

1. El Pueblo (listen | lyrics)

This song turns up rather frequently in the annals of Spanish revolutionary history (my sister does a lot of traveling through Central & South America and is nice enough to bring me back some of the local cultural tunes). Its chorus is often chanted in unison at protests & rallies & occasionally just before a riot breaks out. Literally it translates, "The people united can never be defeated." Rather than translate the entirety of the verses I chose to take some liberties and "interpret" the lyrics as they might seem to an American disenchanted with the social/political climate of the past few years.
*Recorded & mixed by Jason Michael Keeton in his apartment. He also gave me the clap. I mean the claps. I mean the clap tracks.

2. Caged Birds (listen | lyrics)

This song was written as a hard & heavy punk song about ten years ago after I had a few friends get sent to prison within a few months of one another. For whatever reason it was never recorded so I took it off the shelf recently to try and re-format it on the old acoustic. Added a bunch of percussion in the form of spoons, bones, claves, a woodblock, and a washtub.
*Backing vocals provided by a very bearded Capt. Matt Farrell

3. Slydell's Well (listen | lyrics)

All that needs to be said about this song is that it was written entirely from the driver's seat of a Kubota tractor while operating in the farmlands of eastern Connecticut. I was tending the vines at Jonathan Edward's Winery and loving every minute of it.
*Assistance with the clap provided by Jacob Jordisan

4. The Ghost of a Cowboy (listen | lyrics)

I was fortunate enough to see Ramblin' Jack Elliot live and in person during the year that would have been Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday (2012). This one is about that experience...sweet & sad.

5. Timber (listen | lyrics)

I came across this song not too long ago while doing some research into protest & labor songs of the early 1900's. A version I heard by Josh White & his Carolinians grabbed me immediately. This one is for the Timbers Football Club of Portland, Oregon. Do it fellas!
Additional vocals provided by a very belligerent Capt. Matt Farrell.

6. The Passing of a Cove Boy (listen | lyrics)

This song is dedicated to the memory of my cousin, Paul S. Fensom (1975-2011). Rest in peace, brother.




Here lies the first batch, recorded 2013.

1. Walkin Talkin Dead Man (listen)

*This song was written by a band from Huntsville, AL (my mom's hometown), called the Pine Hill Haints. They are a formidable "ghost country" band that has toured extensively this past decade and are still at large so go check 'em out. I was lucky enough to see them play 2 nights in a row last year for my buddy Dan's wedding. Dan is also in a truly awesome old-time band called the Can Kickers; they just recently played a handful of shows in Portland (OR) with Ghost Mice, where I danced myself sore and stomped myself silly. I decided not to include the lyrics to this song because, frankly, I couldn't understand all of the words so I made some of 'em up. *additional vocals on WTDM by Jon Logan

2. 57 Channels (listen)

*Bruce Springsteen wrote and first performed this song with an acoustic guitar in L.A. on November 16th, 1990. Two years later he put a strange, almost electronic, and not-so-awesome version of it on his album Human Touch. The original, stripped down version was far superior in my opinion, so I sped it up a little and laid 'er down. Most of the lyrics should be fairly intelligible but if not you can look 'em up on "the internet." I didn't include them here because, well, he's Bruce Springsteen and he probably has some pretty good lawyers.

3. Obama (listen | lyrics)

*These are lyrics that I wrote and sang at countless open-mic performances last year leading up to the monumental 2012 election. I tried to make it as non-partisan as possible, myself being vehemently ANTI-partisan. This song was originally written by Ritchie Valens in the 1950's and entitled "Oh Donna" after his high school girlfriend. For those of you unfamiliar with Valens, he was an incredibly talented and influencial Mexican/American singer/songwriter/guitarist who was on the plane with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper when it crashed on February 3rd, 1959. No one survived the accident and it became known as "The Day the Music Died." Ritchie Valens was 17 years old.

4. Silver & Gold (listen)

*This song was originally written by Bobby Charles and entitled "Before I Grow Too Old." I must confess, however, that I did not know this for several years. I fell in love with this song through my greatest personal hero, Joe Strummer, who released his version as the last song on the last album he recorded before his death on December 22nd, 2002. I remember his passing as an empty pit in my stomach, finding out about it in a newspaper article while riding with my folks to see my grandparents in Huntsville, AL for Christmas. I remember the deaths of Johnny Cash, Joey Ramone, and Kurt Cobain in much the same manner...vividly and sad.
*slide guitar work provided by Jason Michael Keeton

5. Consider Us Dead (listen | lyrics)

*What, i gotta explain all of 'em? it's an original.
*additional vocals, screams, whispers, and god knows what else by Jon Logan and Jason Michael Keeton

6. Nawlins (listen | lyrics)

*it's a love song (sigh). I was last in New Orleans in August 2011 with someone I was pretty keen on for the wedding of my close friend and your humble webmaster. Shit was awesome.
*additional vocals, rowdiness, and bloody mary consumption by Jon Logan and Jason Michael Keeton