Robin Dale Ford in fireweed season
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RailroadMe.jpg

Railroad Me--Alex Clarke on lap steel. A song recorded for the upcoming CD but didn't make the cut. It'll be on the next one.
TerritoryMan.jpg Territory Man--Concerning a dying breed of Alaskans who lived in the territory and regret it becoming a state. Some, like the late Joe Vogler, think we should have become an independent country. 'Course they're reasons are, shall we say, varied. Given the administrations of George W. Bush and Frank Murkowski I'd say we're between a rock and a dumb place. Mostly though "Territory Man" is about the encroachment of civilization and time. I've come to realize how valuable it is to be able to get away to somewhere where there is nothing but you and the rest of the world. Without other people. Nobody else. If we walk out of our front door and head North we would hit nothing but land and trees until the Yukon River. If we could make it across that, it's the Brooks Range next. . Yeah, we're just lucky I guess. Imagine living back when you earned the right to live in a place like this because you had survived...so far. And then slowly, slyly, things change. I'm talking in the song about blacktop roads "Rolling in waves across the night". In Alaska that's the outcome of paving roads in permafrost areas like the Denali Highway. Sometimes somethings should just stay dirt.
BlastOff.jpg Blast Off--This is the way it felt to me on a Friday night when I was in high school. I played nearly every weekend at either the Upper Limits (the 3rd Avenue teen club run by Dave & Dot Resch) or the teen clubs at Ft. Wainwright and Eielson or the Carpenters Hall or some party somewhere. It's about the feeling of exhilaration. Here comes the weekend... !
PassingThrough.jpg Passing Through--A love song with a twist. The "warm booth by a window" came from a trip Robin & I took across Canada on the Yellowhead Highway (see below). We stopped at a truckstop and a storm blew through, rained like hell and was gone, all while we got a bite to eat.
LastBirdOut.jpg Last Bird Out--One night Robin & I were out a little before dusk in the Sonoran desert near Tucson. That's when I first notice how birds do a last "flyby" before bedding down for the night. "Will the last bird out kindly shut off the light" could have been a funny line but the metaphor of the eroding environment hit like a 10 ton bell. My brother Kevin played the drum track in one take with the tambourine sitting on his hihat.
TrueRhythm.jpg True Rhythm--Rccorded quickly in two short sessions with Robin engineering. An original version was recorded for the new CD but had to be serapped because the rhythm was somehow off. That'd never do for a song called "True Rhythm" even though the rhythm in the song has to do with finding a path that feels right and that groove you feel when you hit on it.
BigEyedCat.jpg Big Eyed Cat--A kid's song inspired by seeing a black velvet painting in some cheesy room we were put up in somewhere. Recorded for Dang's forthcoming CD but included on Kliff Hopson's benefit CD for the Alaska Children's Trust. By the way, the only kid's song on the C D.
Elvis'Ghost.jpg Elvis' Ghost--I saw a page from the National Enquirer on the ground and the headline read "Cabbie sez,"I drove Elvis' Ghost". A gift from the Enquirer. I filled in the particulars. This is live at the Howling Dog Saloon with the Flyers. Curtis Cunningham on the chicken pickin' guitar.
WickedTruth.jpg Wicked Truth--From the CD "Wild Harvest". Another love song with a twist. "There's no one else for you...but me." Not a stalker song folks. The singer is just trying to convince.
LineDrive.jpg Line Drive--Truth be told, we used to live on Ester Dome. Every drive into town we passed Line Drive. Plus I'm a baseball fan. But it couldn't just be a baseball song, now could it?
JunkyardDog.jpg Junkyard Dog--A few years ago we dropped by a junkyard on Badger Road and ran into it's owner, Dirty Pete. I found out he owned the junkyard on South Cushman that I grew up next to and played in. He looked to be in pretty good shape for his age and said, "Well, I watch my grub." This song was written before we met Pete but I'll dedicate it to junkyard dogs like him.
YellowheadHighwayMap See the red line. Follow it from Prince Rupert to Winnipeg. Deposit self in car. Enjoy what's left of that Route 66 feeling.
 Horse race Concerning the old days in Fairbanks when they'd bet on anything. A horse race was nothing. In the Pioneers Home there's a big photo on the wall of a bunch a men huddled around two little boys with boxing gloves duking it out. You know there's whiskey, boredom and money involved. By the way, a "Ball Hornet" is a sort of race horse with a white face. It just sounded fast to me.
Action Tonight A little rockabilly number done with my old 4 track cassette recorder, with a theme as old as the thought itself. "Man, these cobwebs are gettin' thick. I need to find me some action."
Hooverville Unfortunately, a song that does not go out of style. Recorded in the 1980's (Curtis Cunningham on guitar) during Reagan's reign when the shantytowns were once again on the rise. Now (as the economy threatens complete collapse just before the election) they're back in force. The song has it's origins in a surprising episode from Studs Terkel's book "Hard Times". Seems WWI veterans were promised a bonus to help them re-enter life back home. They never got it and the Great Depression hit. They organized a march on Washington to demand the government make good on it's promise.. Sent off from small towns all across the U.S. with parades, they set up a "Hooverville" in Washington, D.C. Hoover sent in soldiers led by General MacArthur and a young Dwight D. Eisenhower to drive them out. They burned down the shantytown and sent these "war heroes" home empty handed.
Lean Times An all-too-true song written in that good old timey style, Dang! live at the UAF Pub on a Thursday night that we began playing when no one else wanted Thursday nights. These days we're lucky to get one a semester. Glad to help out, friend!
Fender Stratocaster

A kinetic sounding summer night from the early 90's at the Howling Dog Saloon. This Nick Lowe song was a popular dance tune & Brian Dickerson lends some growl on tenor sax along with my harmonica. It's hard to explain what nights like this looked like from the stage except to say it was a classic rock & roll night in a classic rock & roll bar.

   
   
   
   

 

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