Little Vigils

by Mark Erelli

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about

Recorded in a 1700's era farmhouse in rural Maine, these 11 new originals explore love, family and finely wrought natural imagery against the rustic sweep of fiddle, pedal steel, mandolin and banjo.

"(Erelli's) singing on 11 songs here is always as classy as the songs themselves...It all adds up to a warm, highly rewarding album." --Sing Out!

credits

released March 16, 2010

Produced by Zack Hickman

Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic, tenor, high-strung, baritone & electric guitars
Jake Armerding - mandolin, fiddle, vocals
Neil Cleary - drums, percussion, vocals
Zack Hickman - upright & electric bass, pump organ, Hammond organ, piano, mandolin, vibes, percussion, vocals
Charlie Rose - banjo, pedal steel, cello, acoustic guitar

With additional musicians:
Rose Cousins - vocals
Liam Hurley - drums
Sam Kassirer - piano, vibes, organ
Austin Nevins - baritone & electric guitar, lap steel
Aoife O'Donovan - vocals
Rose Polenzani - vocals

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about

Mark Erelli Boston, Massachusetts

Mark Erelli completed a masters in evolutionary biology just after his self-titled debut was released in 1999. He has won several prestigious awards, and has 7 records to his name, including collections of western swing, lullabies and songs of stirring social conscience. In recent years, he has gained notoriety as a mulit-instrumentalist sideman with artists such as Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter. ... more

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Track Name: August
Katydid fiddling on a summer's eve
Brown bats circle 'round the old house eaves
I can taste the ocean on a cool salt breeze
Blowing through a torn screen door

Can't believe I let the summer slip away again
Like watermelon juice dripping down my chin
There might be light enough for one last swim
If we hurry on down to the shore

A fool would ask for more

Bullfrog thrumming like a banjo string
Thought I heard a whippoorwill starting to sing
As the moon spilled silver over everything
But ain't that what the moon is for

Back porch drunk on a jug a red wine
Picking on a tune with some friends of mine
The music floating up into the bottlebrush pines
Ain't nobody keeping score

A fool would ask for more

I ain't restless tonight
I got you and the moon so bright
Hey, I'm alright
I'm alright

The laughter's still lingering in the evening air
We'll clean the bottles up tomorrow they'll still be there
Turn off the lights, let's go upstairs
Careful of the creaking floor

Such a beautiful boy, he's a picture of peace
Let's stand here a minute just watching him sleep
God bless this little vigil we keep

A fool would ask for more

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Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Jake Armerding – fiddle
Neil Cleary – drums, percussion
Zack Hickman – upright bass, vocals
Charlie Rose – banjo, pedal steel
Track Name: Everything In Ruin
There's a junked out truck stuck in the mud
Down in the valley where the low fields flood
Every spring when the river jumps its banks

A few stubborn leaves clinging to the bough
By the wing or wheel the whole deal's gone south
Only ones left got no place else to go

Everything in ruin now
Ruin now, ruin now
Everything in ruin now
Soon to be renewed

All is still in the chilly night
Save one lone cricket fiddling for his life
Sawing off a shivery waltz before the frost

It's all gone to seed, brown and spent
And I'm a-wonderin' where all of the innocence went
Will it come back like a redwing blackbird's song

(Chorus)

Frost on windows filigreed
And I could use a little wildcard up my sleeve
Just in case Old Man Winter calls my bluff

It smells like snow, the sky's hearse black
Full moon cloudy as a cataract
But all I got to do is make it through these next few months

(Chorus)

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Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Jake Armerding – fiddle, vocals
Neil Cleary – drums, percussion
Zack Hickman – electric bass
Charlie Rose – banjo, pedal steel
Track Name: Kingdom Come
The wasp she lays an egg
'Neath a caterpillar's skin
It hatches and the larva grows
Feasting from within
It kills the host then off it goes
To sting another one
Seems to me there's too much misery to believe in Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Seems to me there's too much misery to believe in Kingdom Come

I've a secret guaranteed
To make the theologians squirm
All it takes is time to make a man
From the lowliest of worms
We are not the pinnacle
Nobody's chosen ones
Can the minds of men be trusted with such things as Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Can the minds of men be trusted with such things as Kingdom Come

Once I had a daughter
She died before her time
I sponged her fevered brow
And cursed her bilious decline
I feel her like a phantom limb
Pins and needles numb
Friend I cannot comprehend what makes you cling to Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Friend I cannot comprehend what makes you cling to Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Seems to me there's too much misery
Can the minds of men be trusted
I cannot comprehend what makes you cling to Kingdom Come

I've known communion in conviction
And the loneliness of doubt
Does the master mark the sparrow's fall
Or just let it all play out
If only for your sake my love
I wish I could succumb
Bridge the void and join for eternity in your Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Bridge the void and join for eternity in your Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Bridge the void and join for eternity in your Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Seems to me there's too much misery to believe in Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come
Can the minds of men be trusted with such things as Kingdom Come

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Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Jake Armerding – fiddle
Neil Cleary – drums, percussion
Rose Cousins - vocals
Zack Hickman – upright bass, Hammond organ, piano
Rose Polenzani - vocals
Charlie Rose – pedal steel, cello
Track Name: Columbus Ohio
Stranded on the outskirts
Of Columbus Ohio
Some motel next to a strip mall church
With the neon burning cold

It's raining soft and steady
Like it always does in movies
Now I'm good and drunk and ready
So let the credits roll

When I was a young man
I never dreamed it wouldn't last
All I wanted was tomorrow
Now I'm haunted by the past
Don't know where I'm going
All I know is I ain't coming back
I've had enough
Of Columbus Ohio

If I'd a ticket I would gladly
Take the bus up to Eau Claire
I'd hitch south to Cincinnati
If I knew a soul down there

There's no currency in Kerouac
At least not since the sixties
Lord, take pity on a vagabond
Whose sails have all gone slack

(Chorus)

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Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Zack Hickman – upright bass, pump organ
Track Name: Basement Days
Timmy played bass and his brother had a Mexican Strat
I was on drums and couldn't find the one but I only sang a little flat
Fake wood paneling, linoleum floor
Pillow stuffed under the upstairs door
Trying to learn a few chords and start a band

(Chorus)
Take me back to those basement days
"Stairway To Heaven" and "Purple Haze"
"Pinball Wizard" and "Born To Run"
"I Can't Get No Satisfaction"

We were lost in the music down in that room
It might as well have been the dark side of the moon
You can burn out or fade away
But you can't go back to those basement days

We learned enough songs and we thought that it sounded alright
So we rented out a local church basement on a Saturday night
All our friends were there we were living the dream
'Til the fire marshal arrived on scene
And pulled the plug 'cause we set off the alarm with our dry ice machine

(Chorus)
Take me back to those basement days
"Stairway To Heaven" and "Purple Haze"
"Whipping Post" and "Aqualung"
"I Can't Get No Satisfaction"

We were lost in the music down in that room
It might as well have been the dark side of the moon
You can burn out or fade away
But you can't go back to those basement days

Give me one more shot at 16 years old
Back when I still believed that rock n' roll
Could save my soul

Now Timmy's in computers and his brother is a lawyer I hear
Who'd have guessed I'd be the one still crazy after all these years
But it only comes in flashes every now and again
I get a little taste of how it was back then
And it keeps me going every time I feel like packing it in

(Chorus)
Take me back to those basement days
"Stairway To Heaven" and "Purple Haze"
"Sugar Magnolia," "Here Comes The Sun"
I still know every word to "Comfortably Numb"

We were lost in the music down in that room
It might as well have been the dark side of the moon
You can burn out or fade away
But you can't go back to those basement days

----------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, cowbell
Jake Armerding – vocals
Neil Cleary – drums, percussion, vocals
Zack Hickman – electric bass, Hammond organ
Charlie Rose – acoustic guitar
Track Name: Hemlock Grove
Your heart is dark as a hemlock grove
Where the sun never shines and nothing grows
Black as each feather in a murder of crows
Your heart is dark
as a hemlock grove

Your heart is empty as winter in a tourist town
The boardwalk deserted, all shuttered down
And every bird has flown--southbound
Your heart is empty
as winter in a tourist town

There is no resolution
Try as I might
I shun the darkness
But I shy away from the light
There's a hole inside
I try to fill
But you dig it
Deeper still

Love is crooked as the teeth in an old man's smile
As the stones in the graveyard, as a country mile
But I'll drive all night to get there if you let me stay awhile
Love is crooked
as the teeth in an old man's smile

Your heart is empty
as winter in a tourist town
Your heart is dark
as a hemlock grove

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Mark Erelli - vocals, baritone electric guitar
Neil Cleary – drums, percussion
Zack Hickman – electric bass, vibes
Charlie Rose – banjo, pedal steel
Track Name: Mother Of Mysteries
Oh I wish I believed if only for you
In a Sweet Ever After beyond the blue
In an Eternal Father who after the fall
Cast us all out of the garden

Now I've found an Eden I can believe in
Leavened with nothing but time

There is grandeur in this view of life
Where one becomes many through struggle and strife
But the mother of mysteries is another man's call
Why is there something instead of nothing at all
Why is there something instead of nothing at all

If the devil's own chaplain is leading the prayer
From a book that's been written with sorrow and care
Then his hand is indifferent but it isn't unkind
There's no evil design in his sermon

For I hear a chorus of those gone before us
Scored upon pages of stone

(Chorus)

Oh what an utter desert is a life without love
Would that you blessings alone were enough
To banish my doubt in the veil of your tears
Oh my dear how the fabric has fallen

For I've found an Eden I can believe in
Free from the master's design

(Chorus)

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Mark Erelli - vocals, tenor guitar
Jake Armerding – mandolin, fiddle, vocals
Neil Cleary – drums, percussion
Rose Cousins - vocals
Zack Hickman – electric bass
Rose Polenzani - vocals
Charlie Rose – banjo
Track Name: I Took The Moon For A Walk
I took the moon for a walk last night
It followed behind like a still summer kite
Though there wasn't a string or a tail in site
When I took the moon for a walk

I carried my flashlight just in case
The got scared and hid its face
But it peeked through the clouds fragile as lace
When I took the moon for a walk

I warned the moon
To rise a bit higher
So it wouldn't get hooked
On a church's tall spire
While the neighborhood dogs
Made a train whistle choir
When I took the moon for a walk

We tiptoed through grass where the nightcrawlers creep
When the rust bellied robins have fallen asleep
And the moon called the dew so the grass seemed to week
When I took the moon for a walk

We raced for the swings
Where I kicked my feet high
And imagined the moon
Had just asked me to fly
Hand holding hand
Through the starry night sky
When I took the moon for a walk

Then as we went back the moon kept me in sight
It followed me home and it stayed there all night
And it thanked me by sharing its sweet sleepy light
When I took the moon for a walk

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Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Jake Armerding – fiddle
Neil Cleary – drums, percussion, vocals
Zack Hickman – upright bass, pump organ, piano, mandolin
Charlie Rose – cello
Track Name: Same For Someone
How can I look you in the eye
Tell you everything will be alright
When I know everything could change tomorrow
How can I promise you right now
That I'm never gonna let you down
I know you won't remain a stranger to sorrow

Oh it's a hard world
My child
Oh, it's such a hard world
My child
So I'll let go and let you run
And love who you become
Someday you'll learn to do the same for someone

Hearts will break, one will be yours
Don't bother keeping score
Learn instead how to forgive and be forgiven
Lift up your voice while you still can
For the measure of a man
Is how he sings when he thinks no one is listening

(Chorus)

Some will claim to know the truth
But none can give you proof
It's up to you to decide who to confide in
And though it may not seem enough
All you'll ever need is love
Anyone who tells you differently is lying

(Chorus)

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Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Zack Hickman – electric bass
Liam Hurley - drums
Sam Kassirer – piano, vibes, organ
Austin Nevins - baritone & electric guitar, lap steel
Aoife O’Donovan – vocals
Track Name: Coming Home
Sailing
Far away from here
In a magic boat
On a silver sea

Cresting
Over gentle waves
Til I see the land
Nestled in my dreams

Flying
With the pillow clouds
Under winking stars
In a silent sky

Gliding
With my broken wing
Toward a hidden strip
Where it's safe to land

Driving down a lonesome road in a thunderstorm
Without a map in hand
Turning on familiar street where a handsome house
Waits with a knowing smile

Running
Through a golden field
In the neighborhood
Where the foxes play

Hoping
That the bed is warm
And the girl I love
Takes me in her arms

I'm coming home
I'm coming home
I'm coming home

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Mark Erelli – vocals, acoustic guitar
Jake Armerding – fiddle
Zack Hickman – mandolin
Charlie Rose – banjo
Track Name: Pauline
Found me a river
So I followed it down
Til I felt the spray on my face
Where the waves kneel down
Like pilgrims lost in prayers of devotion
Came the vast and roiling green
Pauline

Built me a campfire
On the high desert plain
Fed manzanita and juniper
To a hungry flame
And the smoke of supplication
Rose to meet the constellations so pristine
Pauline

In a world so scientific
You are a mystery no man can ever learn
There are frontiers within your heart
Still uncharted
Northwest Passages
Points of no return

Climbed me a mountain
Through the deep and drifting snows
I was an avalanche
And babe you were my angle of repose
Now that I've stopped tumbling
I've stopped wondering if this is but a dream
Pauline

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Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic guitar