1. An organism, organ, or part consisting of two or more tissues of different genetic composition
2. A mythical creature compounded of incongruous parts

This record is a collection of songs that span a wide period of time and come from many different experiences. There are three live tracks, recorded at three different shows from the last couple of years. There are two new original tracks that I recorded myself in my apartment in Northampton, MA. There is a cover song, first recorded in the studio with a full band in 2005 and finished in 2006. And there is a new version of an old song. The timeframe in which these songs were written spans from 1999 to 2008 (or 1973 to 2008, if you count when Bob Dylan wrote the chorus for Wagon Wheel). These disparate pieces are now united into a single work. In short, this record is something of a chimera.

Thanks to the Dorit Lab for planting the chimera seed, and thanks to Sebastian Renfield for making the visual come to life.


All Songs by Chris Pureka © 2008 Sad Rabbit Music (ASCAP) except “Wagon Wheel” by Dylan/Secor (Special Rider Music (SESAC)/Blood Donor Music (BMI) administered by Bug music).
Mastered by Dan Richardson up in the basement.
Original chimera drawing by Sebastian Renfield
Design/layout: Chris Pureka with Meghan Dewar (Sketchiedesign)

Special thanks to:
Christen Greene, Adriana Papaleo, my family, Merrill Garbus, Sebastian Renfield, Mark Alan Miller, Jesse Freidin, Doris Muramatsu, Nate Borofsky, Gregory Alan Isakov, Peter Mulvey, Julia Read, Jazer Giles, Shana Agid, Sam Nye, The Dorit Lab, Gillian Reynolds, José Ayerve, Dan Richardson, Justin LeFurjah, Anand Nyak, and the folks at The Iron Horse, Swallow Hill and The Cherry Tree.
And, of course, many thanks to everyone that comes out to the live shows and supports independent music.

Christen Greene, Faux Pas Productions.

1. California (Prelude)
2. California

Recorded and Produced by Chris Pureka, Northampton, MA, Fall 2008.
Mixed by Mark Alan Miller and Chris Pureka.

All vocals and instruments (guitar, bass, lap steel, porch board, banjo): Chris Pureka
Special thanks to Christen Greene for the m-box and software that made this song possible.

I started writing this song in 2005, and, until recently, it just never felt finished. There was a verse missing: it turns out, an important verse. In October of 2008, I had a breakthrough and finally finished the song. I especially enjoyed recording this track because I engineered it myself and played all of the instruments; something that I don’t often do anymore. I wanted to include at least one previously unreleased track on this record, and this song seemed like the right choice because it has both old and new elements.


The sun comes through the shade,
Lands on the ceiling
Meanders down the wall to where you’re sleeping
And I’m trying to memorize
Your every morning movements
The roll and rise of you

Cause it’s too late to run
When you’re caught in the snare
And I’m tangled in the barbed wire
You hung around your bed
But honey I’ll never learn
It takes me so long
And when I finally fall
You know, they’re always gone,
It’s hard…

Early morning haze
Packing the car
What to bring and what to leave behind love
You’ve got a car full of clothes
You’ve got your Steinbeck novels
You’ve got your wine glasses
You’ve got your summer sandals
You’ve got your sunglasses
You’re ready to go
To the gold state…
The gold coast…
And oh…

The sun comes through the shade
Lands on the ceiling
Came 93 million miles
Just to be here
Maybe its not so far
Maybe its not so far
Maybe its not so far
To California….

3: Hold It Together (studio version)

Recorded at Slaughterhouse Studio, Westhampton, MA, 2005, 2006. Engineered and mixed by Mark Alan Miller. Produced by Chris Pureka.

Featuring Jesse Freidin (drums), Sebastian Renfield (bass), and Merrill Garbus (vocals).

This is one of my favorite songs from the 2001 (self-titled) EP. Since that recording is so old and lo-fi, I wanted to breathe new life into it with a higher quality studio recording. Additionally, this version features a full band and much more mature vocals by yours truly.

4. 31 and Falling (live)
Recorded LIVE at the esteemed Swallow Hill Music Association, Denver, CO – June 27th, 2008

Featuring Doris Muramatsu (vocals, banjo) and Nate Borofsky (vocals, electric baritone guitar) of Girlyman.

I have had the great pleasure of touring with Girlyman on several occasions over the last few years. Over time we were able to work out a few songs to play together. I want to thank my friends, Doris and Nate, for lending their voices and music to this track. (Thanks also to Ty Greenstein for sharing the stage and backing me up on Burning Bridges). As with the other live tracks on this record, I did not record this show with the intention of releasing it, a fact which is noticeable in the quality of the recording. In my opinion, however, that aspect is outweighed by the positive elements of the performances themselves. I hope that you agree.

Want to hear more of Girlyman’s amazing harmonies? Visit

5. Come Back Home (live)
Recorded LIVE at the Cherry Tree, Dublin, Ireland – November 18th 2007.

Featuring: Peter Mulvey (guitar, vocals)

It was something of a dream come true for me to tour with Peter Mulvey in Ireland. This song is a snapshot of that experience. Many thanks, as always, to Peter for lighting the way… and for lending his music to this tune…and for driving the whole time on the left side of the road, even while playing travel scrabble.

Peter Mulvey is one of my favorite songwriters.
You can find out more about him and his music here:

6. Swann Song (live)
Recorded LIVE at the esteemed Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA – October 19th, 2008.
Special thanks to Eric Suher, Brendan Leith, and John Sanders.

Featuring: Jazer Giles (piano) and Julia Read (fiddle, vocals).

Swann Song began as a portrait of my Grandmothers’ life. As this is the year of her 95th birthday, I am especially happy to release this new version. This song has evolved somewhat since I recorded it in 2006, and I like the ways in which this live recording differs from the original. Thanks to Julia and Jazer for helping me out on this one. I also like that this recording comes from a hometown, Northampton gig.

7. Wagon Wheel (written by Dylan/Secor)
Recorded at Slaughterhouse Studio, Westhampton, MA, 2005, 2006. Engineered and mixed by Mark Alan Miller. Produced by Chris Pureka with Sebastian Renfield.

Featuring Jesse Freidin (drums), Merrill Garbus (fiddle, vocals), and Sebastian Renfield (electric guitar, vocals).

This has been my favorite cover to play at live shows for the last few years. It is just so much damn fun to play, especially with my oldest friend, Merrill Garbus, backing me up on fiddle. I have played it from Boston, to San Francisco, to Flagstaff. I have mostly retired it now, but I wanted to release my version of it. As I try to close out my shows with a happy tune, I think that this seemed like a perfect way to end the record.