1. Wrecking Ball

I pushed it hard, that goddamn wrecking ball, and I waited for the weight to swing around but it never did. And the crows they fell around my eyes and still no sign of that ball and chain. I pushed it hard, that goddamn wrecking ball. What kind of pendulum never comes back home? You start to miss it some. The way you miss the rain, the way you miss the fighting when the war is won… But what I miss the most is knowing just exactly where it hurts, is knowing just exactly what is wrong. And what I want, and what I want… I miss the ghost trees, the weary midnight drives, the taste of loneliness in the air beyond the towns. I miss the resonance of those trigger words, that crazy one track mind. Sometimes I miss the cold… But what I miss the most, is knowing just exactly where it hurts, is knowing just exactly what is wrong. And what I want, and what I want… I’m remembering the sunlight, coming down in shades of blue, the sorrow of the aftermath tightening the noose. I’m thinking of the night that all the lights went out, and how I learned to see in the dark, in the dark, in the dark… I pushed it hard, that goddamn wrecking ball. What kind of pendulum never comes back home?

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, feedback, vocals, porch board
Merrill Garbus – fiddle, percussion, vocals
Andy Rice – upright bass
Sturgis Cunningham – drums
Erin McKeown – electric guitar


2. Hangman

Bottoms up, looks like a mess we’ve got. You want to come along for the ride? It’s not a joke, no, it’s some kind of bad idea. We made the rope, we grew the tree… Are you going to let this, let this, are you going to let this come undone? Or are you going to make this right... Listen up, this is no kind of Mardi-Gras. We’re chained to the truck, we’re along for the ride. We’re paying the hangman, we’re paying the hangman. We made the rope, we grew the tree… Are you going to let this, let this, are you going to let this come undone? Or are you going to make this right?… Bones keeping, bones keeping time, march us, march us back through mistakes gone by, not a lesson learned, but you’ll remember this, something’s gotta give… Bottoms up, looks like a mess we’ve got
You want to run, and just keep running. We’re paying the hangman, we’re paying the hangman. We made the rope, we grew the tree… Are you going to let this, let this
Are you going to let this come undone? Or are you going to make this, right? Right, right, right….

Chris Pureka – electric guitar, vocals, porch board, banjo
Merrill Garbus – bass, vocals
Julia Read – fiddle, vocals
Lyndell Montgomery – fiddle
Andy Rice – upright bass, ambient noise
Erik Kang – lap steel, ambient noise
Zak Trojano – drums
Mark Alan Miller – vocals
Chris, Julia, Merrill, Mark – stomping percussion


3. Shipwreck

Remind me, I forgot how to be brave. I forgot where the blood goes, when it’s tired and spent. ‘Cause after that shipwreck, the coward‘n me, rowed straight back to shore and with my feet on solid ground, I wrote a love song for the sea… Walk, walk, walk. Bye, bye, bye. Sometimes I wish that the tide would take me… It was blind intuition, that drew me to you. You were a miracle of sadness, like a thousand widowed doves, just singing to the moon... Walk, walk, walk . Bye, bye, bye. Sometimes I wish that the tide would take me… Remind me, I forgot how to be brave. I wish I was drunk in the back of that car that was speeding away.

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals, porch board
Julia Read – fiddle, vocals
Anand Nayak – bass
Zak Trojano – drums
David Goodrich – electric guitar
Kris Delmhorst – cello


4. Barn Song

This is a barn and I know it’s haunted. The corn rattles and the shadows move. It’s just the way, it’s just the way I’m feeling. I want to lie down in a field of rain. This is a river and I pray for the bottom, some kind of measure of the way things change. I’ve been stuck in the middle of a slow storm, counting the days, love… I know we’re in the dark, and the cold comes, through the very cracks that let the light through. Bring me something back from that sunny coast, and keep us, moving, on…. These are the shadowlands, I’ve known them. And I think it’s going to be the long way down, but I’ll be the tiny flame, that you carry around, around, around… I know we’re in the dark
and the cold comes, through the very cracks that let the light through. Bring me something back from that sunny coast, and keep us, moving, on… This is a blessing and I don’t dare doubt it. We built a boat out of willow trees. We caught the moonlight, like a mirror, shine right through to the best of me… We’ve been living in abandoned houses. Sometimes we’re tending to abandoned fields. It’s just the way it’s just the way I’m feeling. I want to wake up with the sun in my head.

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals, porch board, lap steel
Zak Trojano - drums
Anand Nayak – bass, electric guitar
Ken Maiuri - keys
Sebastian Renfield – vocals


5. Broken Clock

You thought it’d be, you thought it’d be, a rose-ride did you? With a carousel and a ticker-tape parade. You can try your luck, but everything’s a long shot honey. You better love what you’ve got before someone cuts the wire… Well I wandered off ‘til there were no more telephone lines. Just a tourniquet, and a whole lot of time to myself. Well I gave it up, I gave it up, nothing but me for miles and miles. And it was never enough, never enough to drag me back… Just let it rest. Looking for a rope to keep me still, holding to the best of this and you, holding to the best of all this time… I’m hoping there’s a diamond knife, somewhere, somewhere, somewhere. Because it’s never enough, never enough to cut me down. But what if the damage is done, if the damage is done, where do we go from here? What if the damage is done, and no one’s ever gonna drag you back… Just let it rest. Looking for a rope to keep me still, holding to the best of this and you, holding to the best of all this time… It’ll come around, yeah but you’re going to have to wait for this. Oh yeah you’re going to have to wait for this heart like a broken clock, clock, clock, heart like a broken clock…. It’ll come around, yeah but you’re going to have to wait for this. Oh yeah you’re going to have to wait for this heart like a broken clock clock clock. Heart like a broken clock….

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals, porch board, electric guitar
Andy Rice – upright bass
Strurgis Cunningham – drums
Julia Read – fiddle, vocals
Lyndell Montgomery – fiddle
Ken Maiuri - keys


6. Land Locked

It’s about that time, we start unwinding, any hope we wrapped around, the distant light in the silent conversation, that never blossomed into sound. ‘Cause we were hard weather, we were broken hearted, we were always forget-me-nots. We were flash-bulbs, we were constellations, and we tried to connect the dots…. But all this and all that and everything in between, never did amount to a damn thing. I wish we could call this low-tide, pretend we’ll come back rising, but darling we’re done for good… Well if you want to know, all that time felt like calling and calling down the bottom of a well. And if you want to know I never could let it go, let it go, let it go, until now… But all this and all that and everything else, never did amount to much. I wish we could call this low tide, pretend we’ll come back rising, but we’re land locked. All this and all that and everything else, never did amount to much. I wish we could call this low tide pretend we’ll come back rising, but we’re land locked… Nothing, nothing, nothing left. Some sand in your shoe, a stone in your chest. Some sand in your shoe, a song in your mind. We ran out of time, time, time…

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, porch board, vocals
Andy Rice – upright bass
Sturgis Cunningham – drums
Lyndell Montgomery – fiddle


7. Song For November

Dry the flowers, file the sheet-music, save me for the fire. I spent the day forgetting the dream that woke me up. The garden is empty and I still remember why I’m so reluctant to start it again. Eternal November shines through the marrow of me… I never was a very good fighter they started me young. You always were the very best lover that I couldn’t love. The years they will make you a pretty good runner, yeah I’ve been running around all of this time. Shot in the dark, down in the shadows, waiting for when, yeah just waiting for when the coast is clear… You were running around so you’d never remember this, fear lights a fire under you. And all you leave behind are the smoke and the ashes, a trail of grey and blue…. Blame me dear for any disaster, oh how the kerosene ran dry, and we made our bed in that familiar graveyard between the sternum and the spine. Oh darling, I think that all of the answers went south on the backs of those grey winged birds, or slipped through our fingers while we were sleeping, waiting for when, yeah just waiting for when the coast is clear… Along the way the light is the medicine. Along the way we search for the sun, to call us down the dark corridor back into the world….

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals, porch board
Julia Read – fiddle, vocals
Lyndell Montgomery – bass
Sturgis Cunningham – drums
David Goodrich – electric guitar


8. Lowlands

We were crawling through valleys, yeah we were swimmin’ in mud. You in your rusty chains, me in my lead coat. Weary and tired of always running around, chasing the taproot of sorrow down the rabbit hole. We were standing on the ledge, just trying not to look down. You with your feather in your hand, me with my parasol. I want to feel the air, I want to fly like a bird, I want to get the hell out of here. Somebody catch me, catch me… The endless story of how we survived the lowlands. And this unlikely road, unraveling like thread…. Slouching in the shadows, hanging off of barstools, we traded tales, of our little wars. I knew I could trust you, so I let you listen, singing in my glass, along with the jukebox. It was the maiden voyage of that little leaky boat, me with my storm cloud, you with your albatross. It’s starting to get cold. Do you remember which way is east? Do you remember which way is home? How’d we get here?… The endless story of, how we survived the lowlands. And this unlikely road unraveling… Watching the years fly past the car windows, making us dizzy, like a barrel of moonshine. And all of these highways, running around, you had a dream we were traveling soldiers, dragging our burden, over the Rockies, the battle of Ann Arbor, the battle of 6th street…. It was all figured out, our flawless getaway plan, you in your flashy clothes, me in my broke-down car….

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals, electric guitar, banjo, porch board
Zak Trojano – drums, percussion
Anand Nayak – bass
Sebastian Renfield – vocals


9. Time Is the Anchor

Run if you want to. Yeah, run if you want to. Yeah, run if you want to, time is the anchor, change is a constant, love is a trigger. The cards have been dealt, the call from the belfry, the raking of leaves, it only reminds me… I remember you asked, could I picture you older, no, I can’t see the laugh-lines receding. The grey doesn’t suit you, the green, light in your eyes it only reminds me of springtime… Oh and already, the time it has changed us, we question the kindness, test every trust, and we hang from the rafters, and spit out such cruel things… Oh just like “You just don’t know me, you don’t know me at all.” “Yeah, you just don’t know me, you don’t know me at all.” If the light’s turning red, keep your hand on the door, because you know that it might be a lesson in letting go, it might be a lesson in losing the best things, it might be a lesson in never, never again… Oh and already, the time it has changed me. I fear that I won’t even cry when it’s over. It’ll just be some shadow that sneaks out at sunset, only to wind up drunk on your doorstep. “You just don’t know me, you don’t know me at all.” “Yeah, you just don’t know me, you don’t know me at all.”… If the light’s turning red, keep your hand on the door, because you know that it might be a lesson in letting go, it might be a lesson in losing the best things, it might be a lesson in never, never again… Run if you want to. Yeah, run if you want to…

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals
Sturgis Cunningham – drums
Lyndell Montgomery – bass
Julia Read – fiddle
Merrill Garbus – vocals
Erin McKeown – electric guitar
Erik Kang – lap steel


10. Damage Control (Prelude)

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar
Ken Maiuri – keys


11. Damage Control

We’re covered in fingerprints from thumbing the pages, looking for some escape. But all the bold letters they just say the same thing: There’s no way out of this… We never believed you. We never believed in you. Just look what you’ve done. And how, how could you go there, wearing your white gloves? Can’t you see what you’ve done… Where’s the safety net now, where’s the damage control? We were promised a whole set of balances. You took the crookedest line to our door and you left us with one million eyes closed… Back at the homestead we’re fighting our instinct to run, run, run, run for the hills. But with everyone leaning I think that it’s tipping, I just see over the edge… So when you fall out of this chance, there’s no one to buy you back, from all that you’ve done. So go, get the fuck out of this house. Just hurry along now, ‘cause there’s work to be done… Where’s the safety net now, where’s the damage control? We were promised a whole set of balances. You took the crookedest line to our door and you left us with one million backs turned. Where’s the safety net now, where’s the light at the end? It was never enough to have everything. You took the crookedest line to our door
And you left us with one million eyes closed…

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals, porch board
Andy Rice – upright bass
Ken Maiuri – keys
Erik Kang – lap steel, electric guitar
Merrill Garbus – percussion
David Goodrich – acoustic guitar


12. August 28th

August 28th and the rain slid in like a brooding lullaby. The barn behind the school burned down and the cat got the bird. The whole town watched a man jump from the fifth story roof, I think the whole world needs a shoe shine, I think we’re all living proof (so the story goes). Some days it’s a present that you open. Some days it’s a box full of nails. Sometimes you think you spend your whole life just counting grains of sand. With some blood on your cuff and some dust in your eye and some train station love, we’ve been, we’ve been out there fighting the good fight. Where have you been? …Saddle up for the carnival ride, bring the celebration home. I’ve got a coffee cup full of whiskey, you’ve got a broken violin… Marie knit a scarf for the dogwood tree that looked cold all winter long, and the old man smiled at the pigeon that stole his last piece of bread. Hallelujah we’re all flying home on the backs of leaving swans. We’ve got our hats tipped to Camelot we’ve got a long, long way to go, yeah, we’ve got a long, long way to go… Saddle up for the carnival ride, bring the celebration home, I’ve got a coffee cup full of whiskey, you’ve got a broken violin. Saddle up for the carnival ride, bring the celebration home, we’ve been out there, fighting the good fight, where have you been, lord, where have you been?

Chris Pureka – acoustic guitar, vocals, porch board
Anand Nayak – upright bass, harmonium
Julia Read – fiddle, vocals
Kris Delmhorst – cello, vocals
Sebastian Renfield – vocals



Tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 produced by Chris Pureka and Merrill Garbus.
Tracks 3, 4, 8, 12 produced by Chris Pureka.
Additional production by Mark Alan Miller.
Engineered and mixed by Mark Alan Miller at Slaughterhouse Recording, Westhampton, MA.
Additional engineering by Anand Nyack.
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA.
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice
All Songs written by Chris Pureka © 2010 (Sad Rabbit Music, ASCAP)

Portrait photos: Adriana Papaleo
All other photos: Chris Pureka
Design/photo concept and layout: Chris Pureka
Additional graphic layout and formatting: Meghan Dewar (Sketchiedesign).


Special Thanks To:

- Merrill Garbus: We’ve come a long way, yellow submarine.
- Adriana, Sam, Andrea, and my family.
- Mark Alan Miller
- Christen Greene and Faux Pas Productions
- All the contributing artists for their time, talent and support: Merrill Garbus, Lyndell Montgomery, Julia Read, Andy Rice, Anand Nayak, Erin McKeown, Sturgis Cunningham, Erik Kang, Zak Trojano, David Goodrich, Kris Delmhorst, Ken Maiuri, Sebastian Renfield.
- My various partners in crime: Andrea Gibson, Gregory Alan Isakov, Nicole Reynolds, Girlyman, Katie Sawicki, Judith Avers, Peter Mulvey…
-Marion Cunningham, Cara Woodnicki, Meghan Dewar, Jeff Lipton, Bunty Bergin, Harry Becker, and the folks at CD Baby and Goldenrod.

To all you supporters of independent music: Thanks for listening.

www.chrispureka.com




 
© chris pureka 2016