Old Black Epiphone

                                                        The Liner Notes

 

        I have this oddball belief that being in the presence of greatness somehow has the ability to change you, if you let it. In the record breaking cold of that most brutal of Indiana Winters, January 2014, was one of the darkest times in our family as we watched our beautiful and highly accomplished sister in law, Roxanne Rochester slowly succumb to cancer, having never lived an irresponsible day in her life. She had asked for family to visit  while she could still receive company; so I had the solemn honor of spending three days with this unbelievable human being and her two sons in their Venice, Florida home. Conversing with Roxanne, who owned her own law firm,was like verbal cocaine to me. In addition to being this highly accomplished and respected family law practitioner, she was responsible for the creation and administration of twelve Catholic volunteer ministries that are still in existence today. One of them was a chain of women’s shelters in the Chicago area. Really. A chain. A fricking chain; yet talking to Roxanne was as easy as talking to an ol' truckin' buddy-except when she would suggest I finish college and become an English teacher, which is something you don't get a lot at the Flying J. 
I was once reprimanded by my brother Peter for not once watching a single play at a Colts game,for which he had purchased tickets, while seated next to 
her. This time the conversation lasted three days with no annoying whistles and crowd noise ,replete with a doozy of a quarrel, some tears, but mostly laughs, and one of  the most life changing discussions I have ever had. Always the trooper, Roxanne never shirked from her duties as the mother of her two sons, who were just entering their teens. As the cancer worsened, it was a painful thing to behold, because you just can't make a boy stop being a boy, let alone two, simply because their mother is terminal; and may God help you if you ever tried to convince Roxanne By God Rochester to slack up on being a mom and relax, maybe  just let the boys coast a bit on their homework, on account of a little thing like having two months to live. You'll just have to trust me on that.
      Somewhere in the midst of this pain, just months before her funeral at Old St. Pat's in Chicago, which was the largest outpouring of humanity I have ever witnessed in mourning, I made a vow to do just one cool thing before I die, and not wait until I had two months to live before getting to it-regardless of how 
utterly irresponsible and selfish it was. There was an urgency to this; maybe a desire to make a mark on the world in the way she had; or maybe it was a longing for some  final act of hedonistic defiance, commited after intuiting one's own pending demise; or maybe because it had been so damned dark and bitter cold in Indiana that January that I just needed one joyful thing to set my mind on. Short story long, I was on the phone with Ray Wylie Hubbard's agent, Lee Olsen ,of Keith Case Artists, pleading to send him to Hagerstown, Indiana, let me be his opener, and make everything alright.I'm not sure what credit service they subscribe to over there at Keith Case, but they said yes,somehow, and soon it would be Spring. It was May 31rst, 2014 when Ray Wylie Hubbard came to our town of twelve hundred souls.  Denise and I had mustered every dollar we had, borrowed against my 401k, graciously received matching funds from Cattleman and Frequent Co-Writer Stevie Glenn Shank, borrowed money from Band Mate And All Around Good Dude Tony "Antone" Flowers, and yes, may God forgive me, borrowed money from Our own Daughter, Anna,who was working her way through college working in a nursing home. We had convinced our friend Vern Roberts of Flatlander's Bar and Motorcycle to host the event, with the promise that all he had to do was just  show up and do what he does. We would take care of the rest.
          Nothing's ever as simple as it looks on paper. We know that now. Still, while the transition from trucker-songwriter-stay at home mom-free range egg lady to event planners was not an easy one,though, we somehow pulled it off with the help of  Denise's cousin,Lorri Markum. Everyone got paid. Cattleman and Frequent Co-Writer Stevie Glenn Shank and I paid a little in tuition to The College of Event Planning. Bandmate and All Around Good Dude Tony "Antone" Flowers refused repayment of his loan.Our Own Daughter Anna was repaid; and while setting up his closing song, "Loose", Ray Wylie Hubbard, for some reason, looked me straight in the eye, knowing nothing of the aforementioned loss, said,  "Grief is the hardest thing," sang his heart out, and made everything alright again.

        Worse thing about doing just one cool thing before you die is, once you get that 401k loan paid off,and you're still kickin', you get a hankering to do ,maybe, just maybe, one more cool thing before you die...........

                          **********************************************************************************************

 

                                                   All songs copyright 2016 Paul Marhoefer

                                                         All lead vocals: Paul Marhoefer

                                                           Looking for the Son of Man
                                                          
                                                                Dobro: Yours Truly

                                                                 Washboard: Yours Truly

 


             


  
                          Wrote this one after witnessing a quarrel in a restaurant. I'd been reading on Matthew twenty four and twenty five right around then.    
   

                                    They'll be two women grinding the mill; two women grinding at the mill;
                             one will be taken the other grinding still.They'll be two women grinding at the mill.   
                               They'll be two men working in the field; two men working in the field;
                               one will be taken, the other working still, they'll be two men working in the field.

                                               Chorus:  I been lookin' fot The Son of Man. I been lookin' for The Son of Man;
                                                             love growin' cold all across this crooked land 
                                                                     I been lookin' for The Son of Man.

                                                    You know nobody knows the hour ot the day.
                                                            Nobody knows the hour or the day.
                                                If they tell you otherwise, you let 'em be along their way,
                                                      'cause, nobody knows the hour or the day.
                                                  You got to keep your lamp burning and trimmed;
                                                      Keep your lamp burning and trimmed;

                                       When the bridegroom comes a callin' have the light to let 'em in;

                                                   You got to keep your lamp burning and trimmed.

 

                                                                             Chorus x 2

 

                            *******************************************************************************************

 

                                                              Little Grey House in Tuscumbia

                                                           Guitar and Harmonica: Yours Truly

                                                                 Harmonies: Rene' Stamps

 

                      Rene' is a singer songwriter from the Muscle Shoals area who writes these exquisitely
                       beautiful gospel songs which, stylistically, are the cross pollination of Iris Dement and 
                     Leonard Cohen. She has an album coming out soon which we are very anxious to hear.
 
                                          We almost didn't make this album. My dad had a stroke just three months before 
we were supposed to go to Muscle Shoals. We had considered spending all my two weeks vacation with 
him, just to savor what remaining time he had. When we got to Wisconsin, we learned,thankfully, there was 
no permanent damage. There was,still, though, that nagging self doubt as to whether this was just an empty
nester's vanity project. Then there was the fact that our house needed a lot of attention. It was the nadir of 
irresponsibity to have deferred floor coverings for our old farm house,to just go cut an album with some of 
the greatest session musicians in the world,wasn't it? When Denise heard the first two tracks we had cut  in 
Tuscumbia, while my log book was cooling off in February, she proclaimed this was no time to start being 
responsible, and wouldn't hear of postponing the project. So this became kind of an anthem of gratitude to 
my wife, Donnie Gullet, his beautiful and talented wife Jan,Travis Wammack and The Snakeman Band , for 
welcoming us into their beautiful home and town, and treating us like next of kin.

                     

                                               I gotta' woman like they don't make no more.
                                              She been livin five years on a bare subfloor.
                                                        She been savin' her nickles.
                                                         She been savin' her dimes.
                                           I been rollin' down the highway makin' these rhymes

                                                                      Chorus:

                                              I gotta hundred fifty songs stuck up in my head.
                                    She said, "You gonna cut a few before you're up and dead."
                                         'Cause we found us a band that flat tears 'em up;
                                                  and a little grey house in Tuscumbia.

                                                It's the good ones first, that they always take;
                                    then they leave you and me to learn from our mistakes.
                                         I can't give ya' one reason how I'm even still here;
                                      so I'm gonna sing it loud and I'm gonna make it clear

                                                                   repeat chorus

                                         I got my workin' man's wages in my bib overhalls;
                             now we're hammerin' through the hollers where the people say y'all.
                                                 You know we're makin' us a record.
                                                 You know we're makin' us a stand.
                                        Lord, it hurts everytime we gotta leave Alabam'.

 

                                                                   repeat chorus

               

                                ************************************************************************************

 

                                                         No Good Miscegenator

 

                                               Travis Wammack:Acoustic and Slide Guitar
                                                         Jan Gullet: Slide guitar
                                                       Jim Whitehead: Keyboard
                                                        Roger Clark: Percussion
                                                        Terry Richardson: Bass 

                                                              About the Band

 

                                          Travis Wammack was born in the humble Mississippi hamlet of Walnut,  the son of Zula and Palmer Wammack.Through some serendipitous convergence of geography  and destiny,the man who Rolling Stone Magazine would later call "The Fastest Guitar in the South"would come into this
 world in the veritible equidistance of Memphis  and Muscle Shoals, the two recording meccas where his career would unfold.   Of Native American descent, young Travis learned from his father how to hunt with the ancient sling, while calling quails,and harvesting them with ball bearings.  His accuracy with the lethal tool would rise to such Davidic acclaim,   that friends would later recall him frequently playing a form of William Tell with   legendary session man Junior Lowe in the parking lot of FAME  studios from a distance of seventy five feet.  (1)  Travis' parents moved to Memphis, in search of a better life, his father  frequently working three jobs to support the young family. Deemed a musical prodigy by aged eleven, "Little Travis" as he was then known,devised a means to earn his living by standing next to the jukebox at  LaRosa's,  asking the patrons if they would like for him to play their song selections live, harvesting nickels and dimes like so many bob whites. He was discovered by Rockabilly deejay and performer Eddie Bond, and things took off from there. Sixty million sold records and some fifty eight years later, we met Travis in the back of The Woodmont Avenue Service Center in Tuscumbia,Alabaama-Jerry Dairymple's place. 

                    There , the session players would meet weekly for some epic jams. We had gotten the 
                        lowdown on this "Garage Band Jam", from Bridgett  at The City Restaurant in
                        Tuscumbia, where we always eat ,now,everytime we record. Nothing will wake your 
                        voice up quite like their biscuits and gravy with a little Tabasco.Besides,it's good luck. It was for us, at least.
                                     Being allowed to sit in that circle was like playing pick up basketball on the planet
                          Krypton. Every little chord you played,when it came your turn, they would know just what 
to play. There we met the nucleus of  the Snakeman Band-Roger Clark, who hads performed with Steve 
Miller Band ,Hank Jr., Mac Davis, and several other big names.The Roger Clark touch is legendary, it's the 
drum lick you first hear on "Baby Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me." He seemed to understand just what the 
song needed. The count off you hear in "No Good Miscegenator" is Roger's.
                         Then there was Terry Richardson on bass, who came up playing bluegrass,and joined 
                          up with Travis a few years ago He had a great economy with the notes he played throughout
                         our sessions, a wonderful sense of humor, and an inimicable style of his own.
                            We would later meet The Tishomingo Kid, Jim Whitehead , who was Carl Perkins' 
keyboard man for many years. When Denise heard Jim's work for the first time on "I Likes Me A Big Girl",
  she declared,"I believe that boy done sold his soul." He has this thing they call "feel". Somehow he just 
understood the song the way you'd hope someone would. 
 Then there was the beautiful and talented Jan Gullet, the formidible guitar maven hailing 
 from South Carolina. Jan came to the Shoals back in the nineties as the lead guitarist of the band Private 
Stock, fell in love with the community,  fell in love with Donnie Gullet, the engineer and coproducer of these 
sessions, and never looked back.I believe she chose wisely. Donnie ,despite having worked with some very 
big people, is one of the kindest people I 've ever met. He has the patience of a special ed teacher, and dealt 
with my songs with a care and precision that really made them shine. Jan, for her part, would settle into the 
life of an in demand session talent,playing with the likes of Charlie Musselwhite,Funky Donnie Fritz,,Christine Ohlman,
Eddie Floyd, and even Paul Marhoefer.  Just kidding. Listening to Jan in this epic,yes I did say epic a while ago, but there's
just no better word,bottleneck slide shootout with Travis Wammack,is , 
to me, the crowning moment of those sessions, evocative of Duane Allman and Dicky Betts. 

(1) Phone interview, Brad Guin, Travis Wammack;(2)Steve Johnson "Travis Wammack's Rock and Roll 
Days" Coastal Cat Publishing 2011

 
            
                                                            About the Song

 We had just cut Bessemer to Birmingham and I Likes Me a Big Girl .Jan and Donnie dropped me off at
the truckstop and I called Denise to let her know how everything had gone. It had been a really good day. 
Denise asked, "Could you bring me back some boudain out of Louisiana ?"  I explained to her I wasn't really 
going through Louisiana on my way to Salt Lake out of Northwest Alabama."Betcha could bring me back 
some boudain if you really tried." There's something about being an English Major who becomes an over the 
road trucker which causes one to view metaphor and alliteration  in all their darkest potentialities; and if you 
have no idea what those words mean, don't worry, they probably won't make you any money either.It's just 
that she had handed me a sentence which functioned as both simultaneously. Let's just say it sounded dirty 
and cool all at the same time, and leave it at that.  

            Crossing into Mississippi out of Muscle Shoals, you see a large sign which reads,"Tishomingo County 
Line". Having viewed, " Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" , maybe , a dozen times, and having hung out all day 
with these highly creative cats from the South, I began channelling Homer Stokes.                                 

                               

                                           I got a light skinned woman outa' Alabaster.
                                                She got waves like a Stratacaster-
                                                     sun burst orange 1973;
                                        and when she lay down it look good to me...
                                                          look good to me.

 

                                      I got a dark skinned woman outa' Muscle Shoals,
                                            down where the Tennesse River ...rolls.
                                              She got a top, Lawd. and when it blow
                                         you can here her all the way to Tishomingo.
                                                  All the way.....to Tishomingo....
                                                  all the way.......to Tishomingo.

 
                                            Well I likes me a woman big and brown;
                                                  pick 'er on up, roll 'er on down.
                                                Roll 'er all around that cabin floor.
                                                Roll me mama, can't roll no mo'.
                                                Roll me mama, can't roll no mo'.

                                                                   Yeah!

 
                                     You know the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice;
                                         you squeeze it too hard, it ain't got no use.
                                                  She got no use for me no mo'.
                                    My light skinned woman's at my dark one's door!
                                    My light skinned woman's at my dark one's door!

                                                                  Chorus:

                                        "You're a no good, low down, lyin' miscegenator!
                                    Reckon' we gonna' find all aboutcha soonuh' o' latuh'.
                                            Couldn't just stay with your own kind!
                                          Mama done told ya' it'd make ya' go blind.
                                          Mama done told ya it'd make ya go blind.

                                                                       Yeah!"

                                      I got a mixed up woman down in Thibodeaux.
                                             She's half Chinese, half nobody know;
                                                 but she's so good. so good to me.
                                I'm gonna bring her back some boudain outta' Metairie.
                                         Bring her back some boudain outta' Metairie.

 

                                                             Repeat chorus.

 

                   *****************************************************************************************

 
                                                              Mother Maybelle

                                                           Guitar : Yours Truly 
                                                          Autoharp: Ric Dwenger

                                      Ric Dwenger is an old friend and folk afficionado. Back in the seventies we used to 
borrow John Prine albums from one another. He played for nearly thirty years with the acoustic band The 
Great Divide, who made it as far as A Prarie Home Companion. He has been regarded in past national 
competitions as one of the top three autoharpists in the US. Ric is a hero of mine with whom I have never 
been disillusioned. He helped me overcome my fear of public performance by constantly inviting me to sit 
in with his band while they had their weekly house gig at Wilson Wines. Once back in the early eighties he 
had me over to his house for a little guitar picking and he asked me to sing him every song I ever wrote. He 
listened intently to each of them and when I was finished he told me he believed I was as good as John Prine. 
For some reason I could barely speak to him the following day at work, I was so embarassed at having 
disclosed so much of my inner thoughts to another human being other than my wife. I'm certain I probably 
would make it into the spectrum of some syndrome that has initials; I just don't want to be tested. When I 
was a kid, we had Sister Mary Elizabeth. There was no testing for this and testing for that. She knew all the 
major pressure points of the eight year old body and knew them very well. She was an excellent 
grammarian. That's how I got the position I'm in today. 

 

                                                              About the Song

                           I chanced upon the PBS documentary about the Carter Family, which detailed, among 
other things, the tragic break up of Sarah and A.P. Carter's marriage . While I remember nary a Greek 
tragedy I was assigned to read at Ball State University back in 79, I do remember the wise old professor who 
told us,"It's only a tragedy if the character is noble." I.E., say a drunk decides to lay down on the railroad 
track and pass out. The next day he's just "a grease spot on the L and M", to quote the Warbly gals. That's 
not a tragedy in the truest sense. That's just a moron who somebody now has to scrape up and take to the 
morgue. But if you're A.P. Carter, and you've signed a record deal to churn out an album every six months, 
and you've run out of material, so now you're scouring Appalachia , looking for more public domain songs 
you can arrange, and your wife is running out of firewood , food and money, so your well meaning cousin 
slips in there and he's helping out, fixing this and fixing that, and you're a creative dude who is pretty much 
all thumbs so now isn't he just all of a sudden the fair haired boy,and your wife falls in love while you're out 
there trying to do the honorable thing. Now he's back home at your Poor Valley cabin ,rockin' on your 
porch swing and bringing in the wood. Every. Single. Night.That's some really tragic orgnanic matter. There's nothing 
that can hurt a family like a bad contractual obligation, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

                          

                                                

                                             Mother Maybelle can you hear me
                                                 from the dash of your Deville?
                                           'Cause the dark and the troubled side
                                                        is closing for the kill.
                                                 I just spoke with Sister Sarah.
                                            She was staring straight through me.
                                      She said," It used to be me , then the music.
                                                   You're all just like A.P."

                                                          (Chorus)

 
                                               And the mission band was playin',
                                              they were playin with all their might:
                                             but I'd sold my soul to be in the show
                                        and we were screaming through the night
                            
                                             Mother Maybelle, are you listening?
                                                Can you even hear one word?
                                                  Is there some celestial opry
                                             where the forgotten one's are heard?
                                                I can hear Poor Valley callin'.
                                              I guess I'll never leave that place.
                                   "Cause the Piper's here now for his pay
                                            and I can't seem to find my face.

                                                               Chorus

                                          And the Mission band was ringin'.
                                             Hear the cadence of the drum:
                                       "Your one true love met someone else
                                             while you were out trying to be
                                           Mother Maybelle, do you know me?
                                               I might just be meeting you.
                                         'Cause there's no one left to show me
                                               the way to make it through.
                                          As they dropped like flies around you
                                                   in the heat of Old Mexico
                                      you just loaded up Helen, Anita and June
                                                 and found another show.

                                            And the mission band was wailin';
                                             it was "Diamonds in the Rough",
                                          but the sheaves had all been gathered.

                                            Me, I just never made it home enough.

 

                       ************************************************************************************

 

                                                      Old Black Epiphone

                                    With Travis Wammack and The Snakeman Band
                                             Travis Wammack: Harmony Vocals

                                   A well meaning music friend asked whether I wouldn't rather record with his brand new Martin than use my "old junk Epiphone"; being of German desent, I instead wrote a song about it, made it the title track of the album,paid one of the most renowned session musicians in the world to play that very guitar on said track, all at a cost of four times the price of the well meaning friend's Martin.The Old Epi had been a gift from my old boss Kevin Glass, who  encouraged me to make something out of my  songs ;so there was sentimental value there. This song is dedicated to you, Kevin....

I'd rather play a poor man's Gibson in a hovel, rustic and mean, bow my head  each day at  noontime  for 
my cornbread, butter and beans,than to hold your gold inlaid Martin, making the sound of a thousand 
strings. Am I finished,hah! No, I'm just starting to know why a caged bird sings.

Chorus:

Indiana, I hear you calling, but there's no picking up the phone; 'cause I'm bound for Alabama with my old 
black Epiphone. 

Rich man owns his earthly treasure. Poor man owns only his pride.
Rich man courts by means and measures. Poor man sings to win his bride.
I don't know which way is better. I don't know who's right or wrong.
I'll just leave you to your golden fettters. Now go rewrite someone else's songs.

Repeat chorus

One last thing, little darlin' that one day you might understand.
There's just ain't room for two Judy Garlands, and I'm the Dorothy Gale , by God , of this here band.

 Repeat Chorus

 

          **********************************************************************************************************

 

                                  That's How You Burn Down a Band

                                      Well ,I'm wasted on that old self doubt again;
                                   talkin to my old lost friend down in my mind.
                                      Guess we hasted to have it out on the phone;
                                  couldn't wait 'til we all got home and I was unkind.

                                            Whatever happened to ol' Antone?
                                     'Bout as good of a hand as I'd ever known.
                               We had us a sound , could of burned the house down,
                                               but we wouldn't leave it alone.

                                                   Chorus:

                                    That's how you burn down a band.
                                  That's how you tear down a man.
                              I been comin' down,tryin' to work a song on in,
                                      down where this pain has been;
                                       sometimes the pain just wins.
                             So you carry it around like a course and jagged stone-
                              the kind you can't disown for the way its quartz still shines

                                  Whatever happened to brother Drew?
                               'Bout as fine of a man as I'd ever known.
                              We got sideways on the phone last May;
                                                man he had a hell of a PA.

                                                        Repeat chorus

                                         Now I'm back on my run-
                                that ol' Southbound I know so well,
                                    every roadhouse,each hotel,
                                the girls on seconds, the girls on thirds;
                                              but I'm still undone
                                        by these bells I can't unring.
                                      Each time I play and sing I hear those bitter words.

                                       Whatever happened to R.I.P.?
                                 That boy was nothing but good to me.
                                      Man what I wouldn't pay 
                             to hear those drums again someday.

                                                     Repeat Chorus

 
***********************************************************************************************************************
     


   Alabama Here I Am

In late 2014, upon the recommendation of a good friend, we watched The Documentary "Muscle Shoals", and like many people from all over the world, felt a longing to make a pilgrimage to this hallowed mecca. When our daughter Audrey heard of all this, she called FAME studios,  put a deposit down on a days recording time, booked a date, and within a matter of minutes, made it all happen. I have much better children than I deserve, and this song is dedicated to the Audster.
 
Alabama here I am. I heard you calling me. In a still small voice from your healing waters clear North of 
Tennessee.
I am the foundling son of your dark skinned daughter, learned to love you on her knee,
and every sacred song your red hills taught her she tendered in kind to me.
Been ten hard years all in a row since the morning that she died. I was snowbound out in Idahoe, couldn't 
make it home, Lord I tried.
When you're out on the road and you're under a load, and you learn that your mother'a passed on.
It puts a crease in you. Ain't much you can do , but try to make it right in a song.

Chorus:

Gonna take it on back to that dirt floor shack, that's where this whole thing all begins.
And find that old band, that never gave a damn about the color of your skin.
I ain't jokin, the circle's 'bout broken and there's trouble in the wind.
i'm going down to the water, ask the Nunasee's daughter to sing to me again.
Alabama, here I am. You got something that I need. I got the red raw truth of the workin' man;can you 
make it blister, burn and bleed?
Like the Bell Hop's . Like the field hand's. Like the hospital orderly's?
Like the sweet lovin' Mamie singin hush little baby to the baby child on her knee?

Repeat chorus

Bridge

It's been a long hard way that I have come. Been drivin all night , that I might see that old sawmiller's son..
Cause he' got him a shed by the ol riverbed and that's where I left my soul.
Gotta find my way back to the old red clay on the banks of Muscle Shoals.


Repeat Chorus

 ******************************************************************************************

                           George Corley Wallace.This is an autobiographical song....

                                                       
                                     George Corley Wallace weren't no railroad man;
                                           Forty-fifth governor, state of Alabam'.
                               See, they stiffed him on the freight outa' Birmingham steel;
                                   so he trucked it out the state on them eighteen wheels.
                                       He didn't want no scales. He didn't want no tolls.
                                 He said 'Keep the people workin',let them big trucks roll;'
                                  so yes, they loved that man, and they loved Miss Lurlene
                              'cause they brought in more jobs than them people'd ever seen.


                                              I took to pullin' me a reefer on the LTL
                                   from the highways and the hedges to the gates of hell;
                                   see they payed me by the pallet and the hundred weight;
                               so the more you could load , the more you got for your freight.
                                         Now I'm drillin' down on Dothan on that 23
                                      and I'm blessin' that governor fo what he'd done;
                              'cause I'm hell bound for Bainbridge and the Florida coast
                                          twenty seven thousand pounds over gross.

                                                 Pins and needles, needles and pins;
                                            does anybody even know the shape I'm in?
                                         Lucky Srike, chocolate, coffee mountain dew;
                                             haven't made it home in a month or two.
                                  Wait, my little girl's callin'." Dad, when ya' comin' home?
                                              I almost think you'd just rather be alone."
                                        I said, "I'll be there in the morning,honey,I swear ";
                               but then that ol' boy with my cheddar jacknifed in Eau Claire.

                                                                         Chorus

                                          Forgive me my daughters and forgive me my sons
                                          for chasing that dollar back when you were young;
                                          couldn't make it home when you needed me most,
                                       'cause I was twenty seven thousand pounds over gross.

                                                Once I was I was as ruddy as a buck moon stag-
                                                    Free Bird just a blastin' and my rebel flag;
                                                 now I'm wore down and dirty as an ol' shop rag.
                                           I do my business in a bottle ; I do my business in a bag.

                                                                            Chorus

                                            George Corley Wallace weren't no railroad man;
                                                  Fourty Fifth governor, state of Alabam'.


  Bessemer to Birmingham

This song came to me in a dream in a grocery warehouse in Michigan

 

Lighten up, you're too hard core.
You know, I've seen your kind before;
fightin' your own private war with God and the Queen.
Blaming everything on your folks;
they ain't the wheel they just the spokes;
but you can't roll 'cause you're bitter and broke.
I think I know what I mean.

Chorus:

But if you wait too long before you mess around and give a damn
you'll be stuck on the short haul from Bessemer to Birmingham.
Children lemme' tell ya about life's greatest sin-
it's going down the road thinkin' whatcha coulda been
with your shoebox of songs justa pushin' that tin
so you can eat, sleep , and die.

So I'm talkin' to ya Pedro like I shoulda talked to me
somewhere in the year of nineteen eighty three, 
'cause I think you're twice the writer that I'm ever gonna be 
and what breaks ya is just gettin' by.
Get out! Get out! Get out of this town!
There's just hte right people here to hold ya down.
Ya got boards on the windows and graffeti on the boards.
There ain't nothin' left here but the needle or the Lord.

Get back your dreams. Get back your goals.
Get your bony butt back on down to Muscle Shoals.
Find that old band and get your songs tight .
Lay down them tracks and lay 'em down right.

Repeat Chorus

interlude

Repeat chorus

 ****************************************************************************************************

God and God Alone

I wrote this after the last of our four children, Anna and Audrey, graduated from college.

 

I was thinking 'bout a Christmas after the wreck
when all you kids got that morning were post dated checks
and a Kenworth with a bullrack in one thirty second scale
(to share).

It was three months just learning how to walk again,
so we learned to eat beans and I learned to drink gin
while the rest went to Household Finance through the courthouse mail.

Chorus:

I've seen you in your caps and gowns,
watched you get up every time you fall down,
know you're doin' right by the children that you bear.
All I can say it was God and God alone
who took us here from there.

Oh my daddy told me back in seventy three,
"Paul you gotta quit wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Sleep on your grievance;in the morning say whay you need to say."

 But there's just some things I can't contain;
you're my heart ,you're my flesh , you're my blood , you're my name;
and that ship has long ago sailed out the bay.

Repeat chorus

*****************************************************************************************

I Likes Me A Big Girl

Back in the nineties , while a produce hauler, a rubenesque woman of Hispanic decent smiled at me at a traffic light. Having been up two days straight and about
half crazy from sleep deprivation, I was smitten. Then the light turned green and I never saw her again;but i wrote her this here song.

 

Well I likes me a big girl
and i guess i always will.
It's the wiggle in jiggle that gives a man a thrill;
the bouncy in the flouncy makes that unbeliever kneel and pray.

But the biggest, finest woman,Lawd, I ever did see,
(you know her skin was copper brown and her eyes were green)
she was a bus stop baby deep down in Hialeah way.

Chorus:

Hay mamacita! Do you need you a man?
Let me introduce you to my naturalization plan.
Them boys from La migra gotta nuthin' on me.
I'm gonna stamp your visa, child:

Si! Si! Si!

Sweet Nicaraguensa! Heaven musta sentcha!
Just a switchin' down that ocho calle!
Absaluamente! Rosa Linda's gotta plenty
dulce amor a comin' my way! Si!

 
I'm gonna sing ya' La cucarache like it never has been sang
while we make sweet Mariachi with a little bit of twang.
We're gonna heal the Americas a little bit more each day.
You're the biggest, finest woman that I ever have seen;
but what grieves me the most, child, my light has long turned green.
Everybody's honkin', so I really must be on my way.

Repeat chorus

 *********************************************************************************************

The Anniversary Song

I wrote this song after Denise invited me back into her life after a prolonged estrangement.

Every year, 'round July, up comes a moon they call the Buck;
they tell me it's the brightest moon of the year by far.
I was leavin' out for work in my rusted out Ranger truck.
You were kissin me through the window slow and hard.

 

And I was feelin' 'bout as busted down as that old truck and our place,
just wanting to do one thing right before I die;
but your bangs were down in your eyes and that buck moon was in your face.
You said, " Why don't you just come on back inside."

chorus:


Saphire blue eyed darlin' of Harry "Bud" and Rosemary!
You still own me you still stone me like 1973.
Thirty three years ago, you know, I took and changed your name.
That Bloomington Normal Holiday Inn was never the same.


 Somewhere between children born and the children that we lost,
and passin' up the point where it even pays to count the cost,
once or twice, we both tried to cash in all our sweeps.
Well the house just laughed in our face and said,
"You're both way in to deep."

 Repeat chorus

 
Jewell of West Jackson Street, 2104
Blessed be the day that I darkened your daddy's door.
The odds were long, morale got low, a thousand deaths we did defy.
Why don't you just come on back inside.
Why don't you just come on back inside.

 Repeat chorus                                                      Old Black Epiphone

                                                        The Liner Notes

 

        I have this oddball belief that being in the presence of greatness somehow has the ability to change you, if you let it. In the record breaking cold of that most brutal of Indiana Winters, January 2014, was one of the darkest times in our family as we watched our beautiful and highly accomplished sister in law, Roxanne Rochester slowly succumb to cancer, having never lived an irresponsible day in her life. She had asked for family to visit  while she could still receive company; so I had the solemn honor of spending three days with this unbelievable human being and her two sons in their Venice, Florida home. Conversing with Roxanne, who owned her own law firm,was like verbal cocaine to me. In addition to being this highly accomplished and respected family law practitioner, she was responsible for the creation and administration of twelve Catholic volunteer ministries that are still in existence today. One of them was a chain of women’s shelters in the Chicago area. Really. A chain. A fricking chain; yet talking to Roxanne was as easy as talking to an ol' truckin' buddy-except when she would suggest I finish college and become an English teacher, which is something you don't get a lot at the Flying J. 
I was once reprimanded by my brother Peter for not once watching a single play at a Colts game,for which he had purchased tickets, while seated next to 
her. This time the conversation lasted three days with no annoying whistles and crowd noise ,replete with a doozy of a quarrel, some tears, but mostly laughs, and one of  the most life changing discussions I have ever had. Always the trooper, Roxanne never shirked from her duties as the mother of her two sons, who were just entering their teens. As the cancer worsened, it was a painful thing to behold, because you just can't make a boy stop being a boy, let alone two, simply because their mother is terminal; and may God help you if you ever tried to convince Roxanne By God Rochester to slack up on being a mom and relax, maybe  just let the boys coast a bit on their homework, on account of a little thing like having two months to live. You'll just have to trust me on that.
      Somewhere in the midst of this pain, just months before her funeral at Old St. Pat's in Chicago, which was the largest outpouring of humanity I have ever witnessed in mourning, I made a vow to do just one cool thing before I die, and not wait until I had two months to live before getting to it-regardless of how 
utterly irresponsible and selfish it was. There was an urgency to this; maybe a desire to make a mark on the world in the way she had; or maybe it was a longing for some  final act of hedonistic defiance, commited after intuiting one's own pending demise; or maybe because it had been so damned dark and bitter cold in Indiana that January that I just needed one joyful thing to set my mind on. Short story long, I was on the phone with Ray Wylie Hubbard's agent, Lee Olsen ,of Keith Case Artists, pleading to send him to Hagerstown, Indiana, let me be his opener, and make everything alright.I'm not sure what credit service they subscribe to over there at Keith Case, but they said yes,somehow, and soon it would be Spring. It was May 31rst, 2014 when Ray Wylie Hubbard came to our town of twelve hundred souls.  Denise and I had mustered every dollar we had, borrowed against my 401k, graciously received matching funds from Cattleman and Frequent Co-Writer Stevie Glenn Shank, borrowed money from Band Mate And All Around Good Dude Tony "Antone" Flowers, and yes, may God forgive me, borrowed money from Our own Daughter, Anna,who was working her way through college working in a nursing home. We had convinced our friend Vern Roberts of Flatlander's Bar and Motorcycle to host the event, with the promise that all he had to do was just  show up and do what he does. We would take care of the rest.
          Nothing's ever as simple as it looks on paper. We know that now. Still, while the transition from trucker-songwriter-stay at home mom-free range egg lady to event planners was not an easy one,though, we somehow pulled it off with the help of  Denise's cousin,Lorri Markum. Everyone got paid. Cattleman and Frequent Co-Writer Stevie Glenn Shank and I paid a little in tuition to The College of Event Planning. Bandmate and All Around Good Dude Tony "Antone" Flowers refused repayment of his loan.Our Own Daughter Anna was repaid; and while setting up his closing song, "Loose", Ray Wylie Hubbard, for some reason, looked me straight in the eye, knowing nothing of the aforementioned loss, said,  "Grief is the hardest thing," sang his heart out, and made everything alright again.

        Worse thing about doing just one cool thing before you die is, once you get that 401k loan paid off,and you're still kickin', you get a hankering to do ,maybe, just maybe, one more cool thing before you die...........

                          **********************************************************************************************

 

                                                   All songs copyright 2016 Paul Marhoefer

                                                         All lead vocals: Paul Marhoefer

                                                           Looking for the Son of Man
                                                                
                                                                Dobro: Yours Truly

                                                               Washboard: Yours Truly
  
                          Wrote this one after witnessing a quarrel in a restaurant. I'd been reading on Matthew twenty four and twenty five right around then.    
   

                                    They'll be two women grinding the mill; two women grinding at the mill;
                             one will be taken the other grinding still.They'll be two women grinding at the mill.   
                               They'll be two men working in the field; two men working in the field;
                               one will be taken, the other working still, they'll be two men working in the field.

                                               Chorus:  I been lookin' fot The Son of Man. I been lookin' for The Son of Man;
                                                             love growin' cold all across this crooked land 
                                                                     I been lookin' for The Son of Man.

                                                    You know nobody knows the hour ot the day.
                                                            Nobody knows the hour or the day.
                                                If they tell you otherwise, you let 'em be along their way,
                                                      'cause, nobody knows the hour or the day.
                                                  You got to keep your lamp burning and trimmed;
                                                      Keep your lamp burning and trimmed;

                                       When the bridegroom comes a callin' have the light to let 'em in;

                                                   You got to keep your lamp burning and trimmed.

 

                                                                             Chorus x 2

 

                            *********************************************************************************************************

 

                                                              Little Grey House in Tuscumbia

                                                           Guitar and Harmonica: Yours Truly

                                                                 Harmonies: Rene' Stamps

 

                      Rene' is a singer songwriter from the Muscle Shoals area who writes these exquisitely
                       beautiful gospel songs which, stylistically, are the cross pollination of Iris Dement and 
                     Leonard Cohen. She has an album coming out soon which we are very anxious to hear.
 
                                          We almost didn't make this album. My dad had a stroke just three months before 
we were supposed to go to Muscle Shoals. We had considered spending all my two weeks vacation with 
him, just to savor what remaining time he had. When we got to Wisconsin, we learned,thankfully, there was 
no permanent damage. There was,still, though, that nagging self doubt as to whether this was just an empty
nester's vanity project. Then there was the fact that our house needed a lot of attention. It was the nadir of 
irresponsibity to have deferred floor coverings for our old farm house,to just go cut an album with some of 
the greatest session musicians in the world,wasn't it? When Denise heard the first two tracks we had cut  in 
Tuscumbia, while my log book was cooling off in February, she proclaimed this was no time to start being 
responsible, and wouldn't hear of postponing the project. So this became kind of an anthem of gratitude to 
my wife, Donnie Gullet, his beautiful and talented wife Jan,Travis Wammack and The Snakeman Band , for 
welcoming us into their beautiful home and town, and treating us like next of kin.

                     

                                               I gotta' woman like they don't make no more.
                                              She been livin five years on a bare subfloor.
                                                        She been savin' her nickles.
                                                         She been savin' her dimes.
                                           I been rollin' down the highway makin' these rhymes

                                                                      Chorus:

                                              I gotta hundred fifty songs stuck up in my head.
                                    She said, "You gonna cut a few before you're up and dead."
                                         'Cause we found us a band that flat tears 'em up;
                                                  and a little grey house in Tuscumbia.

                                                It's the good ones first, that they always take;
                                    then they leave you and me to learn from our mistakes.
                                         I can't give ya' one reason how I'm even still here;
                                      so I'm gonna sing it loud and I'm gonna make it clear

                                                                   repeat chorus

                                         I got my workin' man's wages in my bib overhalls;
                             now we're hammerin' through the hollers where the people say y'all.
                                                 You know we're makin' us a record.
                                                 You know we're makin' us a stand.
                                        Lord, it hurts everytime we gotta leave Alabam'.

 

                                                                   repeat chorus

               

                                ************************************************************************************

 

                                                         No Good Miscegenator

 

                                               Travis Wammack:Acoustic and Slide Guitar
                                                         Jan Gullet: Slide guitar
                                                       Jim Whitehead: Keyboard
                                                        Roger Clark: Percussion
                                                        Terry Richardson: Bass 
                                                          Donny Carpenter: Fiddle


                                                              About the Band

 

                                          Travis Wammack was born in the humble Mississippi hamlet of Walnut,  the son of Zula and Palmer Wammack.Through some serendipitous convergence of geography  and destiny,the man who Rolling Stone Magazine would later call "The Fastest Guitar in the South"would come into this
 world in the veritible equidistance of Memphis  and Muscle Shoals, the two recording meccas where his career would unfold.   Of Native American descent, young Travis learned from his father how to hunt with the ancient sling, while calling quails,and harvesting them with ball bearings.  His accuracy with the lethal tool would rise to such Davidic acclaim,   that friends would later recall him frequently playing a form of William Tell with   legendary session man Junior Lowe in the parking lot of FAME  studios from a distance of seventy five feet.  (1)  Travis' parents moved to Memphis, in search of a better life, his father  frequently working three jobs to support the young family. Deemed a musical prodigy by aged eleven, "Little Travis" as he was then known,devised a means to earn his living by standing next to the jukebox at  LaRosa's,  asking the patrons if they would like for him to play their song selections live, harvesting nickels and dimes like so many bob whites. He was discovered by Rockabilly deejay and performer Eddie Bond, and things took off from there. Sixty million sold records and some fifty eight years later, we met Travis in the back of The Woodmont Avenue Service Center in Tuscumbia,Alabaama-Jerry Dairymple's place. 

                    There , the session players would meet weekly for some epic jams. We had gotten the 
                        lowdown on this "Garage Band Jam", from Bridgett  at The City Restaurant in
                        Tuscumbia, where we always eat ,now,everytime we record. Nothing will wake your 
                        voice up quite like their biscuits and gravy with a little Tabasco.Besides,it's good luck. It was for us, at least.
                                     Being allowed to sit in that circle was like playing pick up basketball on the planet
                          Krypton. Every little chord you played,when it came your turn, they would know just what 
to play. There we met the nucleus of  the Snakeman Band-Roger Clark, who hads performed with Steve 
Miller Band ,Hank Jr., Mac Davis, and several other big names.The Roger Clark touch is legendary, it's the 
drum lick you first hear on "Baby Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me." He seemed to understand just what the 
song needed. The count off you hear in "No Good Miscegenator" is Roger's.
                         Then there was Terry Richardson on bass, who came up playing bluegrass,and joined 
                          up with Travis a few years ago He had a great economy with the notes he played throughout
                         our sessions, a wonderful sense of humor, and an inimicable style of his own.
                            We would later meet The Tishomingo Kid, Jim Whitehead , who was Carl Perkins' 
keyboard man for many years. When Denise heard Jim's work for the first time on "I Likes Me A Big Girl",
  she declared,"I believe that boy done sold his soul." He has this thing they call "feel". Somehow he just 
understood the song the way you'd hope someone would. 
 Then there was the beautiful and talented Jan Gullet, the formidible guitar maven hailing 
 from South Carolina. Jan came to the Shoals back in the nineties as the lead guitarist of the band Private 
Stock, fell in love with the community,  fell in love with Donnie Gullet, the engineer and coproducer of these 
sessions, and never looked back.I believe she chose wisely. Donnie ,despite having worked with some very 
big people, is one of the kindest people I 've ever met. He has the patience of a special ed teacher, and dealt 
with my songs with a care and precision that really made them shine. Jan, for her part, would settle into the 
life of an in demand session talent,playing with the likes of Charlie Musselwhite,Funky Donnie Fritz,,Christine Ohlman,
Eddie Floyd, and even Paul Marhoefer.  Just kidding. Listening to Jan in this epic,yes I did say epic a while ago, but there's
just no better word,bottleneck slide shootout with Travis Wammack,is , 
to me, the crowning moment of those sessions, evocative of Duane Allman and Dicky Betts. 
Donny Carpenter is an indmand seeion fiddler from the Muscle Shoals area who can play any genre. 
(1) Phone interview, Brad Guin, Travis Wammack;(2)Steve Johnson "Travis Wammack's Rock and Roll 
Days" Coastal Cat Publishing 2011

 
            
                                                            About the Song

 We had just cut Bessemer to Birmingham and I Likes Me a Big Girl .Jan and Donnie dropped me off at
the truckstop and I called Denise to let her know how everything had gone. It had been a really good day. 
Denise asked, "Could you bring me back some boudain out of Louisiana ?"  I explained to her I wasn't really 
going through Louisiana on my way to Salt Lake out of Northwest Alabama."Betcha could bring me back 
some boudain if you really tried." There's something about being an English Major who becomes an over the 
road trucker which causes one to view metaphor and alliteration  in all their darkest potentialities; and if you 
have no idea what those words mean, don't worry, they probably won't make you any money either.It's just 
that she had handed me a sentence which functioned as both simultaneously. Let's just say it sounded dirty 
and cool all at the same time, and leave it at that.  

            Crossing into Mississippi out of Muscle Shoals, you see a large sign which reads,"Tishomingo County 
Line". Having viewed, " Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" , maybe , a dozen times, and having hung out all day 
with these highly creative cats from the South, I began channelling Homer Stokes.                                 

                               

                                           I got a light skinned woman outa' Alabaster.
                                                She got waves like a Stratacaster-
                                                     sun burst orange 1973;
                                        and when she lay down it look good to me...
                                                          look good to me.

 

                                      I got a dark skinned woman outa' Muscle Shoals,
                                            down where the Tennesse River ...rolls.
                                              She got a top, Lawd. and when it blow
                                         you can here her all the way to Tishomingo.
                                                  All the way.....to Tishomingo....
                                                  all the way.......to Tishomingo.

 
                                            Well I likes me a woman big and brown;
                                                  pick 'er on up, roll 'er on down.
                                                Roll 'er all around that cabin floor.
                                                Roll me mama, can't roll no mo'.
                                                Roll me mama, can't roll no mo'.

                                                                   Yeah!

 
                                     You know the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice;
                                         you squeeze it too hard, it ain't got no use.
                                                  She got no use for me no mo'.
                                    My light skinned woman's at my dark one's door!
                                    My light skinned woman's at my dark one's door!

                                                                  Chorus:

                                        "You're a no good, low down, lyin' miscegenator!
                                    Reckon' we gonna' find all aboutcha soonuh' o' latuh'.
                                            Couldn't just stay with your own kind!
                                          Mama done told ya' it'd make ya' go blind.
                                          Mama done told ya it'd make ya go blind.

                                                                       Yeah!"

                                      I got a mixed up woman down in Thibodeaux.
                                             She's half Chinese, half nobody know;
                                                 but she's so good. so good to me.
                                I'm gonna bring her back some boudain outta' Metairie.
                                         Bring her back some boudain outta' Metairie.

 

                                                             Repeat chorus.

 

                   ******************************************************************************************************

 
                                                              Mother Maybelle

                                                           Guitar : Yours Truly 
                                                          Autoharp: Ric Dwenger

                                      Ric Dwenger is an old friend and folk afficionado. Back in the seventies we used to 
borrow John Prine albums from one another. He played for nearly thirty years with the acoustic band The 
Great Divide, who made it as far as A Prarie Home Companion. He has been regarded in past national 
competitions as one of the top three autoharpists in the US. Ric is a hero of mine with whom I have never 
been disillusioned. He helped me overcome my fear of public performance by constantly inviting me to sit 
in with his band while they had their weekly house gig at Wilson Wines. Once back in the early eighties he 
had me over to his house for a little guitar picking and he asked me to sing him every song I ever wrote. He 
listened intently to each of them and when I was finished he told me he believed I was as good as John Prine. 
For some reason I could barely speak to him the following day at work, I was so embarassed at having 
disclosed so much of my inner thoughts to another human being other than my wife. I'm certain I probably 
would make it into the spectrum of some syndrome that has initials; I just don't want to be tested. When I 
was a kid, we had Sister Mary Elizabeth. There was no testing for this and testing for that. She knew all the 
major pressure points of the eight year old body and knew them very well. She was an excellent 
grammarian. That's how I got the position I'm in today. 

 

                                                              About the Song

                           I chanced upon the PBS documentary about the Carter Family, which detailed, among 
other things, the trajic break up of Sarah and A.P. Carter's marriage . While I remember nary a Greek 
tragedy I was assigned to read at Ball State University back in 79, I do remember the wise old professor who 
told us,"It's only a tragedy if the character is noble." I.E., say a drunk decides to lay down on the railroad 
track and pass out. The next day he's just "a grease spot on the L and M", to quote the Warbly gals. That's 
not a tragedy in the truest sense. That's just a moron who somebody now has to scrape up and take to the 
morgue. But if you're A.P. Carter, and you've signed a record deal to churn out an album every six months, 
and you've run out of material, so now you're scouring Appalachia , looking for more public domain songs 
you can arrange, and your wife is running out of firewood , food and money, so your well meaning cousin 
slips in there and he's helping out, fixing this and fixing that, and you're a creative dude who is pretty much 
all thumbs so now isn't he just all of a sudden the fair haired boy,and your wife falls in love while you're out 
there trying to do the honorable thing. Now he's back home at your Poor Valley cabin ,rockin' on your 
porch swing and bringing in the wood. Every. Single. Night.That's some really tragic orgnanic matter. There's nothing 
that can hurt a family like a bad contractual obligation, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

                          

                                                

                                             Mother Maybelle can you hear me
                                                 from the dash of your Deville?
                                           'Cause the dark and the troubled side
                                                        is closing for the kill.
                                                 I just spoke with Sister Sarah.
                                            She was staring straight through me.
                                      She said," It used to be me , then the music.
                                                   You're all just like A.P."

                                                          (Chorus)

 
                                               And the mission band was playin',
                                              they were playin with all their might:
                                             but I'd sold my soul to be in the show
                                        and we were screaming through the night
                            
                                             Mother Maybelle, are you listening?
                                                Can you even hear one word?
                                                  Is there some celestial oprey
                                             where the forgotten one's are heard?
                                                I can hear Poor Valley callin'.
                                              I guess I'll never leave that place.
                                   "Cause the Piper's here now for his pay
                                            and I can't seem to find my face.

                                                               Chorus

                                          And the Mission band was ringin'.
                                             Hear the cadence of the drum:
                                       "Your one true love met someone else
                                             while you were out trying to be
                                           Mother Maybelle, do you know me?
                                               I might just be meeting you.
                                         'Cause there's no one left to show me
                                               the way to make it through.
                                          As they dropped like flies around you
                                                   in the heat of Old Mexico
                                      you just loaded up Helen, Anita and June
                                                 and found another show.

                                            And the mission band was wailin';
                                             it was "Diamonds in the Rough",
                                          but the sheaves had all been gathered.

                                            Me, I just never made it home enough.

 

                       ************************************************************************************

 

                                                      Old Black Epiphone

                                    With Travis Wammack and The Snakeman Band
                                             Travis Wammack: Harmony Vocals

                                   A well meaning music friend asked whether I wouldn't rather record with his brand new Martin than use my "old junk Epiphone"; being of German decent, I instead wrote a song about it, made it the title track of the album,paid one of the most renowned session musicians in the world to play that very guitar on said track, all at a cost of four times the price of the well meaning friend's Martin.The Old Epi had been a gift from my old boss Kevin Glass, who  encouraged me to make something out of my  songs ;so there was sentimental value there. This song is dedicated to you, Kevin....

I'd rather play a poor man's Gibson in a hovel, rustic and mean, bow my head  each day at  noontime  for 
my cornbread, butter and beans,than to hold your gold inlaid Martin, making the sound of a thousand 
strings. Am I finished,hah! No, I'm just starting to know why a caged bird sings.

Chorus:

Indiana, I hear you calling, but there's no picking up the phone; 'cause I'm bound for Alabama with my old 
black Epiphone. 

Rich man owns his earthly treasure. Poor man owns only his pride.
Rich man courts by means and measures. Poor man sings to win his bride.
I don't know which way is better. I don't know who's right or wrong.
I'll just leave you to your golden fettters. Now go rewrite someone else's songs.

Repeat chorus

One last thing, little darlin' that one day you might understand.
There's just ain't room for two Judy Garlands, and I'm the Dorothy Gale , by God , of this here band.

 Repeat Chorus

 

          ******************************************************************************************


Ken Waugh and Holli Jones.

Ken Shoestring Waugh made his living as a troubadour until falling in love with a beautiful

woman and settling into the straight life.

Holli Jones, the Fiddlin physicist has played with symphonies early in her life but has settle into the life

of an in demand filler for tolk acts like me.

 

                                  That's How You Burn Down a Band

                                      Well ,I'm wasted on that old self doubt again;
                                   talkin to my old lost friend down in my mind.
                                      Guess we hasted to have it out on the phone;
                                  couldn't wait 'til we all got home and I was unkind.

                                            Whatever happened to ol' Antone?
                                     'Bout as good of a hand as I'd ever known.
                               We had us a sound , could of burned the house down,
                                               but we wouldn't leave it alone.

                                                   Chorus:

                                    That's how you burn down a band.
                                  That's how you tear down a man.
                              I been comin' down,tryin' to work a song on in,
                                      down where this pain has been;
                                       sometimes the pain just wins.
                             So you carry it around like a course and jagged stone-
                              the kind you can't disown for the way its quartz still shines

                                  Whatever happened to brother Drew?
                               'Bout as fine of a man as I'd ever known.
                              We got sideways on the phone last May;
                                                man he had a hell of a PA.

                                                        Repeat chorus

                                         Now I'm back on my run-
                                that ol' Southbound I know so well,
                                    every roadhouse,each hotel,
                                the girls on seconds, the girls on thirds;
                                              but I'm still undone
                                        by these bells I can't unring.
                                      Each time I play and sing I hear those bitter words.

                                       Whatever happened to R.I.P.?
                                 That boy was nothing but good to me.
                                      Man what I wouldn't pay 
                             to hear those drums again someday.

                                                     Repeat Chorus

 
*****************************************************************************
     


   Alabama Here I Am

In late 2014, upon the recommendation of a good friend, we watched The Documentary "Muscle Shoals", and like many people from all over the world, felt a longing to make a pilgrimage to this hallowed mecca. When our daughter Audrey heard of all this, she called FAME studios,  put a deposit down on a days recording time, booked a date, and within a matter of minutes, made it all happen. I have much better children than I deserve, and this song is dedicated to the Audster.
 
Alabama here I am. I heard you calling me. In a still small voice from your healing waters clear North of 
Tennessee.
I am the foundling son of your dark skinned daughter, learned to love you on her knee,
and every sacred song your red hills taught her she tendered in kind to me.
Been ten hard years all in a row since the morning that she died. I was snowbound out in Idahoe, couldn't 
make it home, Lord I tried.
When you're out on the road and you're under a load, and you learn that your mother'a passed on.
It puts a crease in you. Ain't much you can do , but try to make it right in a song.

Chorus:

Gonna take it on back to that dirt floor shack, that's where this whole thing all begins.
And find that old band, that never gave a damn about the color of your skin.
I ain't jokin, the circle's 'bout broken and there's trouble in the wind.
i'm going down to the water, ask the Nunasee's daughter to sing to me again.
Alabama, here I am. You got something that I need. I got the red raw truth of the workin' man;can you 
make it blister, burn and bleed?
Like the Bell Hop's . Like the field hand's. Like the hospital orderly's?
Like the sweet lovin' Mamie singin hush little baby to the baby child on her knee?

Repeat chorus

Bridge

It's been a long hard way that I have come. Been drivin all night , that I might see that old sawmiller's son..
Cause he' got him a shed by the ol riverbed and that's where I left my soul.
Gotta find my way back to the old red clay on the banks of Muscle Shoals.


Repeat Chorus

 ******************************************************************************************

                           George Corley Wallace.This is an autobiographical song....

                                                       
                                     George Corley Wallace weren't no railroad man;
                                           Forty-fifth governor, state of Alabam'.
                               See, they stiffed him on the freight outa' Birmingham steel;
                                   so he trucked it out the state on them eighteen wheels.
                                       He didn't want no scales. He didn't want no tolls.
                                 He said 'Keep the people workin',let them big trucks roll;'
                                  so yes, they loved that man, and they loved Miss Lurlene
                              'cause they brought in more jobs than them people'd ever seen.


                                              I took to pullin' me a reefer on the LTL
                                   from the highways and the hedges to the gates of hell;
                                   see they payed me by the pallet and the hundred weight;
                               so the more you could load , the more you got for your freight.
                                         Now I'm drillin' down on Dothan on that 23
                                      and I'm blessin' that governor fo what he'd done;
                              'cause I'm hell bound for Bainbridge and the Florida coast
                                          twenty seven thousand pounds over gross.

                                                 Pins and needles, needles and pins;
                                            does anybody even know the shape I'm in?
                                         Lucky Srike, chocolate, coffee mountain dew;
                                             haven't made it home in a month or two.
                                  Wait, my little girl's callin'." Dad, when ya' comin' home?
                                              I almost think you'd just rather be alone."
                                        I said, "I'll be there in the morning,honey,I swear ";
                               but then that ol' boy with my cheddar jacknifed in Eau Claire.

                                                                         Chorus

                                          Forgive me my daughters and forgive me my sons
                                          for chasing that dollar back when you were young;
                                          couldn't make it home when you needed me most,
                                       'cause I was twenty seven thousand pounds over gross.

                                                Once I was I was as ruddy as a buck moon stag-
                                                    Free Bird just a blastin' and my rebel flag;
                                                 now I'm wore down and dirty as an ol' shop rag.
                                           I do my business in a bottle ; I do my business in a bag.

                                                                            Chorus

                                            George Corley Wallace weren't no railroad man;
                                                  Fourty Fifth governor, state of Alabam'.

*******************************************************************************************
  Bessemer to Birmingham

This song came to me in a dream in a grocery warehouse in Michigan

 

Lighten up, you're too hard core.
You know, I've seen your kind before;
fightin' your own private war with God and the Queen.
Blaming everything on your folks;
they ain't the wheel they just the spokes;
but you can't roll 'cause you're bitter and broke.
I think I know what I mean.

Chorus:

But if you wait too long before you mess around and give a damn
you'll be stuck on the short haul from Bessemer to Birmingham.
Children lemme' tell ya about life's greatest sin-
it's going down the road thinkin' whatcha coulda been
with your shoebox of songs justa pushin' that tin
so you can eat, sleep , and die.

So I'm talkin' to ya Pedro like I shoulda talked to me
somewhere in the year of nineteen eighty three, 
'cause I think you're twice the writer that I'm ever gonna be 
and what breaks ya is just gettin' by.
Get out! Get out! Get out of this town!
There's just hte right people here to hold ya down.
Ya got boards on the windows and graffeti on the boards.
There ain't nothin' left here but the needle or the Lord.

Get back your dreams. Get back your goals.
Get your bony butt back on down to Muscle Shoals.
Find that old band and get your songs tight .
Lay down them tracks and lay 'em down right.

Repeat Chorus

interlude

Repeat chorus

 *******************************************************************************************

God and God Alone

I wrote this after the last of our four children, Anna and Audrey, graduated from college.

 

I was thinking 'bout a Christmas after the wreck
when all you kids got that morning were post dated checks
and a Kenworth with a bullrack in one thirty second scale
(to share).

It was three months just learning how to walk again,
so we learned to eat beans and I learned to drink gin
while the rest went to Household Finance through the courthouse mail.

Chorus:

I've seen you in your caps and gowns,
watched you get up every time you fall down,
know you're doin' right by the children that you bear.
All I can say it was God and God alone
who took us here from there.

Oh my daddy told me back in seventy three,
"Paul you gotta quit wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Sleep on your grievance;in the morning say whay you need to say."

 But there's just some things I can't contain;
you're my heart ,you're my flesh , you're my blood , you're my name;
and that ship has long ago sailed out the bay.

Repeat chorus

*****************************************************************************************

I Likes Me A Big Girl

Back in the nineties , while a produce hauler, a rubenesque woman of Hispanic decent smiled at me at a traffic light. Having been up two days straight and about
half crazy from sleep deprivation, I was smitten. Then the light turned green and I never saw her again;but i wrote her this here song.

 

Well I likes me a big girl
and i guess i always will.
It's the wiggle in jiggle that gives a man a thrill;
the bouncy in the flouncy makes that unbeliever kneel and pray.

But the biggest, finest woman,Lawd, I ever did see,
(you know her skin was copper brown and her eyes were green)
she was a bus stop baby deep down in Hialeah way.

Chorus:

Hay mamacita! Do you need you a man?
Let me introduce you to my naturalization plan.
Them boys from La migra gotta nuthin' on me.
I'm gonna stamp your visa, child:

Si! Si! Si!

Sweet Nicaraguensa! Heaven musta sentcha!
Just a switchin' down that ocho calle!
Absaluamente! Rosa Linda's gotta plenty
dulce amor a comin' my way! Si!

 
I'm gonna sing ya' La cucarache like it never has been sang
while we make sweet Mariachi with a little bit of twang.
We're gonna heal the Americas a little bit more each day.
You're the biggest, finest woman that I ever have seen;
but what grieves me the most, child, my light has long turned green.
Everybody's honkin', so I really must be on my way.

Repeat chorus

 *******************************************************************************************

The Anniversary Song

I wrote this song after Denise invited me back into her life after a prolonged estrangement.

Every year, 'round July, up comes a moon they call the Buck;
they tell me it's the brightest moon of the year by far.
I was leavin' out for work in my rusted out Ranger truck.
You were kissin me through the window slow and hard.

 

And I was feelin' 'bout as busted down as that old truck and our place,
just wanting to do one thing right before I die;
but your bangs were down in your eyes and that buck moon was in your face.
You said, " Why don't you just come on back inside."

chorus:


Saphire blue eyed darlin' of Harry "Bud" and Rosemary!
You still own me you still stone me like 1973.
Thirty three years ago, you know, I took and changed your name.
That Bloomington Normal Holiday Inn was never the same.


 Somewhere between children born and the children that we lost,
and passin' up the point where it even pays to count the cost,
once or twice, we both tried to cash in all our sweeps.
Well the house just laughed in our face and said,
"You're both way in to deep."

 Repeat chorus

 
Jewell of West Jackson Street, 2104
Blessed be the day that I darkened your daddy's door.
The odds were long, morale got low, a thousand deaths we did defy.
Why don't you just come on back inside.
Why don't you just come on back inside.

 Repeat chorus

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Lyrics and Liner Notes


 Copyright © Paul Marhoefer Music