Milltowns

by Mark Erelli

/
  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Milltowns via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $12.99 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9.99 USD  or more

     

1.
Birches 03:37 video
They sat at each end of the couch and watched as the fire burned down So quiet on this winter's night not a house-light on for miles around Then he said, "I think I'll fill the stove It's getting time for bed" She looked up, "I think I'll have some wine How 'bout you?" she asked, and he declined. "Warren," she said, "maybe just for tonight let's fill the stove with birches and watch as the fire burns bright. How long has it been? I know it's quite a while Pour yourself half a glass and stay with me a little while." And Warren, he shook his head as if she'd made some kind of joke "Birches on a winter night? No, we'll fill the stove with oak. Oak will burn as long and hot as a July afternoon. Birch will burn itself out by the rising of the moon. And you hate a cold house same as me. Am I right or not?" "All right, all right that's true," she said "It was just a thought." Then she said, "Warren, you do look tired. Maybe you should go up to bed. I'll take care of the wood tonight." "Oak," he told her. "Oak," she said. She listened to his footsteps as he climbed up the stairs Then she pulled a sweater on her and set her wine glass on a chair She walked down cellar to the woodbox. It was cold as an ice chest Then climbed back up with four logs, each as white as a wedding dress And she filled the stove and poured the wine Then she sat down on the floor She curled her legs beneath her as the fire sprang to life once more And it filled the room with its hungry light And it cracked as it drew air And the shadows danced a jittery waltz like no one else was there She stood up in the heat and she twirled around the room And the shadows, they saw nothing but a young girl on her honeymoon And she knew the time, it would be short Soon the fire would start to fade She thought of heat, she thought of time and she called it an even trade ----------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic guitar Sam Kassirer - piano
2.
Night Train 05:02
I've been hanging around this station Long enough to know where the brakeman disappears when the whistle blows And who's gonna make it out all right when the final night train shows Ah, babe, it's true, I've seen a lot of women here waiting just like you Hear the fireman start singing the same time every day The same song about his life and his well planned getaway And it's a shame to hear such a pretty voice with not one thing to say Ah, babe, it's true, you would have loved him back in time if he'd only sung for you Moonlight on the water tower always shines so cold In the shadow of the pay phone where the saints are getting bold And it don't matter to them now if it's real or just fool's gold Ah, babe, it's true, I heard all the saints tonight talking only of you Listen deep into the night, girl Can you hear the whistle blow? Looks like you're gonna make it out all right but there's one thing you must know: The only ones who can help you now are the ones who must stay here when you go Ah babe, it's true, I've seen a lot of women here smiling just like you And there are some saints still in hiding by the river in the reeds And they're turning down every train that don't feel the right speed Sing them this song when you pass by; it'll be your last good deed Ah babe, it's true, the saints are down every line waiting just for you ----------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic & baritone guitars, bass, drums, percussion Charlie Rose - pedal steel, banjo
3.
23rd Street 03:54
This moonlight in New York will not go away I sit in this hotel and tonight I'm just too drunk to pray She said that she'd always love me but that she might not always stay Have a seat Have a seat And we can look at the world through this window on 23rd Street I came a long way to see her one more time There was a subway to take me uptown There was an address she gave me last Christmas where she said she could always be found I listened as she said she loved me I'll always remember that sound Have a seat Have a seat And we can look at the world through this window on 23rd Street If you look closely down to the sidewalk you can see yourself as a ghost We would walk 'round the block with no reason to talk Back then we were younger than most It's a love that you never will see Hey, buddy, I don't mean to boast Have a seat Have a seat And we can look at the world through this window on 23rd Street Well, there's some folks bring love to a hotel and some just bring their own quiet end My story is not one hard to tell and I just want to tell it again She said that she'd always love me All I need is to find her again Have a seat Have a seat And we can look at the world through this window on 23rd Street --------------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic, tenor & baritone guitars, mandolin, bass, drums, percussion Sam Kassirer - organ, piano Anais Mitchell - vocal Charlie Rose - pedal steel
4.
The house burned down on a rainy night and they never did find out why I just stood alone beneath the silver maple trying to keep my cigarettes dry Waiting for the firemen I couldn't save a thing And deep inside my home, above the roar of the flame I swore I heard the telephone ring The rain let up and we worked till dawn just me and the firemen And when they cut the power and the lines went dead I never got called again The house was gone by the break of dawn, the air was cold and grey I just set off down the road alone but it's always gone that way So young, so long ago I thought I heard that train Calling out my name at least it sounded like my name Just a boy with no direction I left my home behind And the sky changed color once I crossed that town line My good friends did the best they could to hold me down with them But I took one look and I packed my bags and I slipped around the bend The lessons came from left and right the first night out I found The laws were not meant to protect the man from out of town There was a cold street on the sea coast I once tried to call home Where the church steeples rose up above the town like broken bones Drinking whiskey with the Catholic priest one night in the rectory hall He just shook his head and said, "You never know when Jesus call." Then his eyes got wide and he looked around but he just could not explain It was like he heard the sound of Jesus' laugh the way I heard that train Now the years and the faces blur Still I can remember some There were women washing windows There were salesgirls chewing gum There were curses in the shapes of old men kneeling in the pews There are things in this life a man just does not get to choose So, finally I found a home in a tiny mountain town Just a simple place to keep me dry when the rain came pouring down A place to sleep, the rent was cheap brick walls and a new slate roof The landlord said, "You'll be safe here, this house is fireproof." ------------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic guitar, mandolin, shruti box, bass, percussion Charlie Rose - banjo, pedal steel
5.
Mama Cass has dropped some weight and Charlie Parker’s clean Django’s fingers have both gone straight And they’ve got driving lessons for James Dean Jimi’s playing faster and sometimes we jam all day And old Abe Lincoln is a happy boy ’cause he finally got to see the end of the play It’s a great life here in heaven It’s better than the Bible said It’s a great life here in heaven It’s a great life when you’re dead There ain’t no egos anywhere and no one talks show biz And Gabriel, he’s got a great big smile He’s taking lessons from Miles and Diz Bing Crosby’s on the green in one and he’s singing when he putts And Elvis really likes to visit earth just to drive you people nuts It’s a great life here in heaven It’s better than the Bible said It’s a great life here in heaven It’s a great life when you’re dead And me, I couldn’t be happier The service here is fine They’ve got dinner ready at half-past nine And I’m going steady with Patsy Cline And just last night in a bar room I bought Robert Johnson a beer Yeah, I know, everybody’s always surprised to find him here It’s a great life here in heaven It’s better than the Bible said It’s a great life here in heaven It’s a great life when you’re dead ------------------------ Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic guitar, percussion
6.
I park my cab on Water Street I'm waiting for a fare Watching young girls in their first heels Step like colts across the square Fire on the ocean, thunder on the sea I think of Handsome Molly wherever she may be Now I'm either in this cab or bar And never in the choir Sometimes howling and amazed Like the wind hung up on barbed wire Fire on the ocean, thunder on the sea I think of Handsome Molly and what she promised me Iit's pretty, doe-eyed Molly Could see so well at night It was a hard trade she made Just to see in black and white Well the word's gone down this north coast And it's boy you best take care Cut yourself with a knife Fiind all the salt that's in the air Fire on the ocean, thunder on the sea I think of Handsome Molly who cried so easily Now the soldiers down on Water Street They eye the little girls And the little girls of Water Street Will take them 'round the world Fire on the ocean, thunder on the sea I think of Handsome Molly wherever she may be ------------------------ Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic & tenor guitar, bass Kris Delmhorst - vocal Sam Kassirer - organ
7.
Ice Fishing 03:21
The snow lay up against the curb Finally beaten by the sun Across the street the noon whistle blows Calling back everyone They came out from the luncheonettes Taverns and pharmacies Crossed the wet street back to work Coats unbuttoned, talking easily Ice is cracked on the river Rolling out to the bay On one floe rides a bobhouse There's always one who stays out too long they say And there ain't much to millwork The days just go on and on And there ain't much to leavin' home Till you finally cut the cord and know that you're gone And there ain't much to ice fishing Till you're gone a day or more And the hole you've cut freezes over And it's like you've never been there before ---------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, harmonica, acoustic guitar, bass, drums Charlie Rose - banjo, pedal steel
8.
Well, she looked so small She looked so frail It was like the world forgot her as she stood outside the jail They sit and stare They rarely speak She comes to see him the same time every week And never wants to leave but she knows she must Then the yellow cab comes right on time and scoops her up like a speck of dust When it’s time to go home It’s time to go home where the night stay too long in a world that’s just gone wrong It’s time to go home How did one summer become nineteen years? The Alaskan winters took their toll and then they made it clear The gillnets and seiners The salmon and crab The dull-eyed girls of Ketchikan that took all that I had I could sell the boat Cash the whole thing down Move back to the 48 just tell stories back in that small town When it’s time to go home It’s time to go home where the night stay too long in a world that’s just gone wrong It’s time to go home Well, your t-shirt’s clean like your dungarees And in two days you will be on your way overseas Sit on the bed with a warm six-pack Ah, it’s not like how they said but it’s too late now to take it back So you make some calls but no one’s home You nurse your beers and spend the long night by the telephone When it’s time to go home It’s time to go home where the night stay too long in a world that’s just gone wrong It’s time to go home ------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic guitar, dobro, bass Peter Mulvey - vocal
9.
Well, my heart skipped a beat when you walked into the room and in five seconds I was thinking bride and groom I was thinking bride and groom thinking man and wife Never fell in love so fast in all of my life I know you’ll like my friends and you’ve got to meet my parents My dad is pretty funny and my mom looks like Betty White I’ve got to have another drink to figure out a way to introduce myself to you tonight I’m lousy on the first night, better by the third I was raised Catholic, in case you hadn’t heard But I ain’t the type of man who lives on dreams and wishes or walks around the house breaking bread and blessing fishes If I sent a dozen roses just out of habit would you press those flowers in a copy of Babbitt? I need another drink, I need a cigarette I ain’t giving up I’m gonna get you yet I’ll give you the rights to my ten best songs If you want to talk, I can talk till dawn Right there I need a word that rhymes with urn I guess your name is the first thing I ought to learn I hope you’re a Democrat, I hope you like the Red Sox Hope you like bourbon with a splash of water on the rocks Bourbon with a splash is the only drink I make but baby I can learn There’s a course I can take You might as well give up I’m gonna make my move We can honeymoon in Paris hang out at the Louvre We can winter in the city, summer up in Maine And all of this will happen just as soon as I learn your name ------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic guitar, drums
10.
Gina left town with the first snow of the year He drove her to the airport in his Ford And he tried to propose as he ordered one more beer But the P.A. drowned his words and it was time for her to board So he walked her to the gate he took his hat off as he kissed her He needed one more drink To take the chill out of his soul He said a quick good-bye Then spent two hours in the bar Finally paid his tab And kept a dollar for the toll Everything slips through these cold fingers Like trying to hold water Trying to hold sand Close your eyes and make a wish And listen to the singer One more round bartender Pour a double if you can It's four o’clock And the sun's gone down the drain It's still late winter But they say it's early spring Louis reads the gas-pumps Rossi counts the oils But me I'm done, so punch the clock And see you in the morning There's nothing back at home That ain’t gone greasy from the stove I never laughed so hard As when that old typewriter broke Think I'll stop along the river road For a half-pint and some beer Well, everything would be okay If those old dreams would disappear Everything slips through these cold fingers Like trying to hold water Trying to hold sand Close your eyes and make a wish And listen to the singer One more round bartender Pour a double if you can The dog can't move no more Surprised he made it till the spring His pain won't go away And the pills don't do a thing You've known that old hound longer Than you've known any of your friends And no matter how you let him down He'll always take you back again So it's one tall glass of whiskey One last drink for old times' sake The dog just lays in bed And watches every move you make Wrap him in his blanket Hold him once more close to you Lead him out behind the barn With a borrowed .22 Everything slips through these cold fingers Like trying to hold water Trying to hold sand Close your eyes and make a wish And listen to the singer One more round bartender Pour a double if you can ------------------------ Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic guitar Jeffrey Foucault - vocal Zack Hickman - upright bass Sam Kassirer - piano
11.
You can look into her eyes and live forever She's as restless as the sea She's as calm as a summer dawn She's that kind of mystery And you can write the song to win her heart A song will take you half the way For you've known from the start You'll never write the song to make her stay Love comes in the sound of a dream In the whisper of a prayer And the promise in a sigh And love calls from the corner of a smile But it isn't meant for you She'll only stay awhile She will fall asleep within your arms And you will know the fear all love endures For in the night she'll pledge her heart But she cannot give what is not hers Love comes in the sound of a dream In the whisper of a prayer And the promise in a sigh And love calls from the corner of a smile But it isn't meant for you She'll only stay awhile You can look into her eyes and live forever She's as restless as the sea She's as calm as a summer dawn She's that kind of mystery -------------------------- Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic & baritone guitars, lap steel, bass, drums, percussion Sam Kassirer - organ, piano Rose Polenzani - vocal
12.
Long Gone 03:54
I’ve been long gone From the stage to the highway to the night grille and everywhere I went time just stood still and in every town it all went down the same I’ve been long gone And in every dream was the dream that you’d still want me In every motel room your brown eyes would just haunt me And in every town I called out your name I’ve been long gone Set loose again to chase another payday Knowing if I could just hold you I’d be okay Tell me once again that you’re still mine There was nothing on the highway there was nothing but the wind And I couldn’t look ahead I could just see where I’ve been From Hartford down to Tampa Duluth to Malibu I ran every trick, I told any lie just to get on home to you I’ve been long gone Now I’m standing in the doorway of your front hall Ain’t this better than a letter or a phone call Tell me once again that you’re still mine I’ve been long gone Unpack my bags and throw away the suitcase Let me know it’s true, let me just touch your face Tell me you still love me one more time I’ve been long gone And true love always comes as a surprise Can you see your reflection in my eyes Tell me you still love me one more time There was nothing on the highway there was nothing but the wind And I couldn’t look ahead I could just see where I’ve been From Hartford down to Tampa Duluth to Malibu I ran every trick, I told any lie just to get on home to you I’ve been long gone And those nights alone were almost too much to bear Throw your arms around me and just keep them there Tell me you still love me one more time ------------------------ Mark Erelli - vocal, guitar, mandolin, bass, drums, percussion Anais Mitchell - vocal Charlie Rose - banjo, pedal steel
13.
Milltowns 03:52
You were a legend when I met you Introduced by a mutual friend I laughed when you called me “Grasshopper” Though I didn’t know what it meant We stayed up all night drinking Most of it is still a blur But I remember picking along while you sang every song By Mississippi John Hurt And the way you got so serious When you told me you invented the blues Then you smiled in that way I could never tell If you didn’t really think it was true Now I’m driving through these milltowns Down empty moonlit streets Where the vacant storefront windows look like missing teeth They disappear into my rearview All along the rural route I pray for all that can’t be rescued After everything goes south On a split bill up in Portland I was getting ready to go on You said “Grasshopper, you sing ‘Birches’ I’ve been singing it for too long” So I sang it like I’d written it Though I wished you hadn’t asked I couldn’t shake that feeling Like something had been passed You watched from behind the curtain And I never will forget How your pulling on that bourbon Looked like Russian Roulette Now I’m driving through these milltowns Down empty moonlit streets Where the vacant storefront windows look like missing teeth They disappear into my rearview All along the rural route I pray for all that can’t be rescued After everything goes south ------------------------ Mark Erelli - vocal, acoustic, baritone & tenor guitars, mandolin, bass, drums, percussion Rose Cousins - vocal Sam Kassirer - accordion

credits

released September 9, 2014

Mark Erelli – vocals, acoustic, baritone & tenor guitars, dobro, mandolin, harmonica, shruti box, bass, drums & percussion

with
Sam Kassirer (piano, organ), Charlie Rose (pedal steel, banjo), Zack Hickman (upright bass) and special guest vocalists Rose Cousins (13), Kris Delmhorst (6), Jeffrey Foucault (10), Anais Mitchell (3,12), Peter Mulvey (8) & Rose Polenzani (11)

Recorded at home by Mark Erelli (with assistance by Owen Erelli)
Additional recording at Great North Sound Society (Parsonsfield ME), The Echo Chamber (Halifax NS), New Haven VT & Buckland MA
Mixed by Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios
Mastered by Erick Jaskowiak

Design by Meghan Dewar, Sketchie Design
Cover image from “Robertson Paper,” a painting by Charlie Hunter

All songs written by Bill Morrissey (Dry Fly Music/BMI, administered by Bug Music), except “Milltowns,” written by Mark Erelli (Hillbilly Pilgrim Music/ASCAP)

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Mark Erelli Boston, Massachusetts

"You know those artists who release a great first record and then have enormous trouble following it up with anything as interesting? Yeah, that’s not Mark Erelli." -Red Line Roots

shows

contact / help

Contact Mark Erelli

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Mark Erelli, you may also like: