1. Hellbound

If love once passed this way, all the trails are cold
All the colors gone grey, all that’s left is old
All that’s left is old pale traces of tears
And the baying of the hounds in our ears
‘Neath an angry moon they’ll run us aground
 Yeah, this love was always hellbound

All the flint and the fire, all those days are gone
All the dreams and desire, all those times are torn
All those times are torn like ribbon from your hair
And I still recall the way you looked up there
Tall and tremblin', runnin’ from the sound
Yeah, this love was always hellbound

All the sulfur and sand, all the magic’s gone
All the smooth sleight of hand, all the spells gone wrong
All the spells gone wrong, but sit a spell and weep
For there’s nothin’ in this world you get to keep
Only fools think they get to own the crown
Yeah, this love was always
This love was always
This love was always hellbound

Ernest Troost: vocals, resonator, tambourine, claps, foot stomps
Rick Smith: harmonica



2. Dark Days

There are pieces of me in here
There are bits I left back there
There’s a home I cannot embrace
From beneath this shroud

There’s a scrap of chest laid still
Decorated against my will
How did things ever get this far?
How could I not see?

chorus

These are dark days
Revealed in dark ways
Dark lies and darker truths
When did darkness fall?
When did darkness fall?

Is that a movement I can feel?
Is that a crack the light reveals?
If I could only touch you once
With these shards of bone

There’s a crushed and gruesome grin
A swollen eye, a stubborn chin
But there remains the weight of grief
Above this soil

chorus

There’s no hill I cannot take
There’s no man I cannot break
There’s no thing I will not do
Just say the word

chorus

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar, bass, mandolin, shaker
Nicole Gordon: vocals
Richard Greene: fiddle

3. Resurrection Blues

Sittin’ in the dark, watchin' for a sign
My thoughts can hardly keep up with my restless mind
I’ve seen my future and my world has come undone
My gears are broken and my springs have sprung
I’ve slipped between the cracks of night and day
Into the twilight where the flickering pictures play
                  
chorus       
I got sand in my pockets and stones in my shoes
Play me some of those
Play me some of those old resurrection blues

Well, I wonder how it all came to pass
How it all slipped through my fingers so fast
I could have been somebody if I was somebody else
Instead I’m nobody but myself
                
I got criminal blood coursin’ through my veins
I got addictive tendencies circlin’ my brain
Waitin’ like a pack of wolves till I let down my guard
I’m doing my best, but I’m breathin’ hard
                 
chorus       

bridge      
Well, playin’ these blues will steal your health
But if God made anything better, well, he kept it for himself
There is no redemption, there is no sin
I’m just prayin’ for a way out of this hole I’m in
                  
I rise up from the ashes of this noonday matinee
Blinkin’ hard in the bright flat sun of the day
I leave the easy money in the basket by the door
I can’t ever remember feelin’ so clean before
                 
chorus      
I got the past in my pockets and the future's in my shoes
Playin' some of those
Playin' some of those old resurrection blues

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar, bass, mandolin, shaker


4. Real Music

Father, Father, I must confess
I been runnin’ with a crowd that thinks they know best
I seen ‘em beat a song till it could not stand
It finally gave in and put some money in their hands

chorus    
He said, real music got a mind of its own
Real music is blood and bone
Real music make a strong man weak
And burn the fingers of the infidel

Father, Father, I must confess
I been runnin’ with a crowd that thinks they know best
I seen ‘em shoot a song up and leave it to bleed
It was lyin’ in the street, another victim of greed

chorus    

Father, Father, I must confess
I been runnin’ with a crowd that thinks they know best
I seen ‘em dress a song up in the latest style
It set the dogs a-howlin’ for a quarter of a mile

chorus

It burns the fingers of the infidel
It burns the fingers

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitars, bass
Nicole Gordon: vocals     
James Cruce: drum kit, shaker

5. Sad Dog Blues

The last thing he saw from his second-story window
Was the green of the fairway sparklin’ in the sun
And the last thing he tasted was the metal of the barrel
Of his twelve-gauge Parker shotgun

chorus       
With his black Armani jacket and his alligator shoes
He’d picked himself up by his bootstraps
But he'd never shook them sad dog blues

Well, back in West Virginia, when he was just a pup
He and Billy had a hound dog, Whiskey, they were bringin’ up
And one day they cut across old McGuire’s slag-strewn lot
Well, he exploded off his back porch in a cloud of smoke and shot
And when the boys were safely in the trees
They realized little Whiskey was not

Well, never had they seen such evil manifest
Never had their young hearts been put to such a test
And in the fury of the moment
McGuire’s soul was placed into their hands
He cried, boys, have mercy on one who has fallen from the fold
But they buried him in a mine shaft
Under two tons of black Virginia gold

bridge       
And every day since then it’s been botherin' him
And it crawls into his dreams like a sin
Where the old man’s eyes see clearly what lies
In the coal dust underneath his skin

The last thing he heard was the laughter of his children
Playin' in the yard down below
And the last thing he felt was the sadness of knowin’
That he’d planted this seed long ago

chorus          
With his black Armani jacket and his alligator shoes
He’d picked himself up by his bootstraps
But he’d never shook them sad dog blues
No, he'd never shook them sad dog blues

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar, bass
Ed Tree: resonator
Scott Higgins: brushes, hi-hat


6. By and By

Thin man standin’ on the side of the road
Says rain gonna fall and the wind gonna blow
I been livin’ on roots, I been sleepin’ in a field
A man’ll break your heart for one square meal

If you’re headed up north that’s where I’ll go
I hear they’re servin’ champagne with escargot
Well, I was light on my feet till the young-uns came along
Yeah, they were bringin’ me down like a hard-luck song

chorus
Well, we all go to heaven by and by
That’s what the good book say
So polish your shoes, straighten up your tie
Get ready for the judgment day

I drowned two at the bend in the Santa Rosa creek
‘Cause they don’t leave nothin’ in this world for the meek
Well, the missus was a-screamin’ and a-scratchin’ my eyes
Better livin’ on truths than starvin’ on lies
Yeah, we all go to heaven by and by

chorus

Well, I left ‘em in Nipomo with a brokedown car
I sold off the tires to get me this far
And I ain’t goin’ back to no death row cell
Say, mister, can you drop me at the gates of hell

chorus two times

Thin man standin’ on the side of the road
Says rain gonna fall and the wind gonna blow

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar, bass, brushes, shaker, tambourine
Nicole Gordon: vocals
Shaun Cromwell: banjo

7. My Baby Loves Me

My baby love me like no other lover do
And when she squeezes me, the sky blushes blue
Nobody’s arms never ever felt so right
She makes the moon forget to turn out its light

chorus
And when the band starts playin'
We hit the floor
And when the joint starts jumpin’
We yell for more
I’m under her spell, but this ain’t no voodoo
My baby love me like no other lover do

My baby’s touch is as gentle as a breeze
And when she's kissing me, I go weak at the knees
Nobody never ever treated me this way
She whispers sweet things in my ear throughout the day

chorus

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar, bass
Scott Higgins: brushes, tambourine
Don Markese: clarinet                

8. Switchblade Heart

Frankie was a killer with a switchblade heart
He kept his enemies close and his edges sharp
It was the steel in his eyes kept the boys in line
He kept his suits clean and his watch on time

Then he met a sweet girl from Tennessee
She’d come to work at the wartime factory
And she’d take his arm and they’d promenade
Down by the water near the old arcade

Well, it took him by surprise when he felt that spark
It was the first time she kissed him on the lips in the dark
And while he struggled to find the right words to say
She leaned close and she whispered in his ear this way

chorus    
Come on, baby, let’s dance
At the end of the old wood pier
No one would ever see us way out there
And I could show you how to move
Yeah, I could show you how to move

It was the boys down the joint who called him out
She jumped in between before Frankie could shout
And it all unraveled in the blink of an eye
There was the cough of a pistol and her mournful cry

Frankie put the boys in the ground that night
But ever since that day Frankie ain’t been right
He sits in a booth tucked away from the sun
And his suit is dirty and his watch don’t run

Some nights after the town turns in
Frankie wanders down to where the story begins
And with a sliver of a smile and a far-off stare
He starts swayin’ to the music only he can hear

chorus two times

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitars, bass
Lisa O'Kane: vocals
Richard Greene: fiddle
Rick Smith: harmonica


9. Big-time Blues

Walter ran scams every day of his life
He saved up his money and he gave it to his wife
Now she split town and he just learned the news
It’s a little thing but it feels like big-time blues

Slick Jim Brady had some gamblin’ debts
They’re drawin’ pictures on his chest with a cigarette
They’re sketchin’ him a deal he can’t refuse
It’s a little thing but it feels like big-time blues

bridge
So mind your manners and trim your hair
Stand up straight and don’t lean back in your chair
Clean your ears and don’t sleep late
Count your blessings and choose your fate

Harry cooked the books and kept a little for himself
So his boss sent him fishin’ off the continental shelf
He’s sinking fast in his brand-new overshoes
It’s a little thing but it feels like big-time blues
It's a little thing but it feels like big-time blues

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitars, bass, brushes
Nicole Gordon: vocals
Scott Higgins: thermos, temple blocks, shaker, gong, gourd scraper, sandpaper blocks

10. Blackwater River

Everybody knows about the Blackwater River
Everybody’s heard what they say
Nobody ever tryin' to cross that water
Lived to see another day

Earl's the kind of boy who just don’t listen
They say he’s always been that way
Earl’s got a head as hard as timber
But he weren’t born yesterday

chorus     
I’m gonna leave this dirt-poor valley
If it’s the last thing I do
I know there’s something better out there for me
And I’m gonna prove it to you

Well, Earl stood up to his chin in the current
With the fear clutchin’ at his heart
His momma was cryin’ when they kissed goodbye
He said tonight it’s time for us to part

Why you gotta try when it’s black as a kettle
And the moon is howlin’ for a toll
A cottonmouth breeze is a-windin’ through the thicket
And it’s lookin’ ‘round for a soul

chorus

The townfolks watched from the bank of the river
As the poor boy struggled and strained
Somebody whispered, it don’t matter
He ain’t never gonna catch that train

Just then a rumble of a thunder in the distance
And a great white lightnin’ crack
On the far side Earl pulled himself from the water
And they say that he never looked back

chorus two times

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar, tambourine, claps, foot stomps         


11. It Don’t Hurt

Shut all the windows
Pull all the shades
Daddy’s in a mood tonight
Daddy’s in a rage
His clothes smell of kerosene
His fists are caked with dirt
Yeah, but after a while, it don’t hurt

I spent my life a-runnin’
Since I was just sixteen
Blew from town to town
And I seen my share of mean
Yeah, I seen my share of meanness
Though I’m no expert
I know after a while, it don’t hurt
               
bridge    
I met a girl in Richmond, so tender and true
She searched my eyes for answers
But I would not share a clue
I packed my bags to leave her
‘Cause that’s what I do
 And I thought that it might save us
 An awkward moment or two

She spoke to me then
In her quiet, steady tone
You don’t have to carry
This burden all alone
She unpacked my suitcase
My pants and clean shirt
She said, after a while, it don’t hurt
She said, after a while, it don’t hurt

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar

12. Doubtin’ Blues

When blue skies turn to gray
And my mind begins to block my way
Darlin', all because of you
I can put aside these doubtin’ blues
 
When the black dog is on the prowl
And I’m sure it’s time to throw in the towel
Darlin', all because of you
I can put aside these doubtin' blues
 
bridge      
And when the stars fall from the sky
And crash into the sea
That’s when I know that I’m
Lucky to have you here with me
 
When black’s the only color I see
And my mind keeps playing tricks on me
Darlin', all because of you
I can put aside these doubtin’ blues
Darlin', all because of you
I can put aside these doubtin’ blues

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitars, bass, brushes, shaker
Nicole Gordon: vocals

13. Lonesome Gospel Blues

Goin’ down to the river
Goin’ down to the river
I’m gonna wash these lonesome blues away
Goin’ down to the river
Goin’ down to the river
I’m gonna wash these lonesome blues away
Sing out like a choir of angels
We're gonna wash these blues away

Gonna run through the valley
Gonna run through the valley
I’m gonna chase these lonesome blues away
Gonna run through the valley
Gonna run through the valley
I’m gonna chase these lonesome blues away
Sing out like a choir of angels
We're gonna chase these blues away

Gonna join in the choir
Gonna join in the choir
I’m gonna sing these lonesome blues away
Gonna join in the choir
Gonna join in the choir
I’m gonna sing these lonesome blues away
Sing out like a choir of angels
We're gonna sing these blues away
We're gonna sing these blues away

Ernest Troost: vocals, guitar, bass, mandolin, brushes, shaker, claps, knee slaps
Nicole Gordon: vocals
Lorie Doswell: vocals
Lauren Adams: vocals
Scott Higgins: spoons, tambourine