music

Mother Ditch

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All songs © Boris McCutcheon/Cactusman Records (ASCAP) except “Surfball”, traditional.

  1. Standin’ So Still
  2. Lonely Boy/Greener
  3. Eden’s Brow
  4. Handyman
  5. Acequia
  6. Choppin’ Wood
  7. Red Bone Pond
  8. Surfball
  9. Heart of the Grove/Charles River Song
  10. Fastened

album credits

Musicians

Special Guests

Standin’ So Still listen to a sample

Standin’ so still everything’s a blur, I’m drunk and defunct
but mostly I’m ashamed of these questions.
Who’s in control who’s at the wheel
who is the captain of this dream what is my world comin’ to?

Won’t you help me step down from this derailed train?
I’m usin’ one percent of my heart and thirteen percent of my brain.

I wasted your time, you wasted mine
when a man tells a lie does a part of his heart fall into the wine?

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar, harmonica
Rory McLeod: upright bass
David Rizzuti: pedal steel, acoustic guitar
Amelia White: backing vocals

Lonely Boy/Greener listen to a sample

A lonely boy, no doubt about that
my friends are makin’ babies, I’m here skinnin’ cats.
Gets lonely out here anyone can see
but her eyes are much greener than I remember them being.

It’s a beautiful place I hope her heart will be mine
if she trades it in for my huckleberry wine.
Gets lonely out here, I’m lookin’ for a sign
she’s looking much finer than I remember her.

Oh, finer, finer than I remember her!
Finer, finer than I remember her
finer, finer than I remember her.

My chariot is soft and red
it’s a luxury that won’t go to my head.
All the colors of the desert in an 8-foot bed
and her voice is much sweeter than I remember it.

Oh, sweeter, sweeter than I remember it!
Sweeter, sweeter than I remember it
sweeter, sweeter than I remember it.

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar
Rory McLeod: upright bass
Aaron Goff: mandolin, electric 5-string mandolin

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Eden’s Brow listen to a sample

There’s no dirt on your shoes, no dirt anymore.
You live in a penthouse on the 35th floor
on a misty northern shore, northern shore.

You and I go way back
to the time when the flowers attacked
the blistered remains of your wounded eyes
crazy in the fields of posies.

But I remember you well on Eden’s Brow
tryin’ to hang on to the plow
strawberry bells and pretending to sell
your soul on Eden’s brow.

Your neck is long and pale as a swan
and all your cowboys have gone
but you have a collection of Japanese gowns
on the decent side of town, side of town.

But I remember you well on Eden’s Brow
tryin’ to hang on to the plow
Baja sunburn and your Russian perfume
and pretending to live on the Brow.

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar
Aaron Goff: mandolin
Mark Lever: tuba
Jeff Berlin: drums
Geoffrey Cutcheon: backing vocals

Handyman listen to a sample

How can I explain to Mama the lilacs just won’t bloom?
She really loves their heart-shaped leaves
and the roses just won’t do
no they just won’t do.

How can I explain to Papa the wolves are at the gate?
They’re here to eat his TV brains
can’t fish in an acid lake
poke bass in an acid lake.

Guess I’ll go on down state my case to the handyman
he lives in a well by the Sentinel tree he can fix about anything.
He can fix you and me with his own bare hands
with his own bare hands.

How can I explain to the good Lord my passion’s lukewarm?
My life is steered by a million fears
and I’m frightened by the stone
led the wolf right to my door.

Guess I’ll go on down state my case to the handyman
he lives in a well by the Sentinel tree he can fix about anything.
He can fix you and me with his own bare hands
with his own bare hands.

Met a girl she loved to twirl
oh yeah, she loved to twirl
round and round again.
She said, “Man you like havin’ me around,
but do you love me man?
Do you love me man?”

Guess I’ll go on down state my case to the handyman
he lives in a well by the Sentinel tree he can fix about anything.
He can fix you and me with his own bare hands
with his own bare hands.

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar
David Rizzuti: pedal steel, acoustic guitar
Amelia White: backing vocals

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Acequia listen to a sample

It took me too long to get to this place, Lord, too long to get to this place.
The wall of steel made me feel like a demon without a face.

I’d rather take a stick in the eye than die behind the desk.
Come out here, we’ll watch the magpie fly and live with the best.

Acequia, waterfall… leave me be man I’m havin’ a ball.
A dirty dog’s life for me
man, I don’t think I ever wanna leave!

Bat cave, waterwheel if you’re strong enough you can turn those gears.
Grind the grain into flour watch the river soak up every hour.

Pottery chards in my backyard, a smile on a dog’s face
wild tribal drums seeping through the fields, in this land dog is king!

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar, harmonica
Rory McLeod: upright bass
Aaron Goff: mandolin
Jeff Berlin: drums

Choppin’ Wood listen to a sample

I’m going home, yes I am
to that good old land that I love
that good old land that I love, Lord above
yes I am!

Choppin’ wood, choppin’ wood with my father.
He can chop that wood just like butter
almost as quick as my mother.
Choppin’ wood with my father.

Hear the voice of Spring, the shepherd and the lamb
hear the wild bells ring across this island.
The whole flock is playing king of the stones
can’t blame a grown man for crying when he comes back home.
Choppin’ wood with my father.

Flip her over and read the grain
don’t use your muscle man, use your brain.
The smell of cedar and rain
choppin’ wood with my father.

This land courses through my veins
and I will never be the same.
The owl he knows my name.
Choppin’ wood with my father.

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar
Rusty Strange: handmade 10-string lap steel
Aaron Goff: mandolin
Jeff Berlin: drums

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Red Bone Pond listen to a sample

Me and my dog went to Red Bone Pond
across the salty graves of five sailors
through the turnstyle and the apparitions
through the deep beech virgin woods.

We launched ourselves from the old steppin’ planks into the dark body of the lake.
The fat cattanine tails explode their wool
and the ferns sing that old song of decay all along the way
such a magical, magical place!

Me and my dog went chasin’ coyotes
across the great dunes through the witches confetti.
We caught a glimpse of the hatchet-faced hermit
carving a woman from a log.

We launched ourselves from the old steppin’ planks into the dark body of the lake.
The fat cattanine tails explode their wool
and the ferns sing that old song of decay all along the way
such a magical, magical place!

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar
Aaron Goff: mandolin
Rory McLeod: upright bass
Geoffrey Cutcheon: backing vocals
David Rizzuti: pedal steel
Jeff Berlin: drums

Surfball listen to a sample

traditional

Take me out to the ball game
take me out to the crowd
buy me some peanuts and cracker-jack
I don’t care if we ever get back
‘cause it’s root-toot-toot for the home team
if they don’t win it’s a shame
‘cause it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out
at the old ball game!

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar, harmonica
Aaron Goff: mandolin
Rory McLeod: upright bass

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Heart of the Grove/Charles River Song listen to a sample

The moon emerged her elbows rising from dirt
swans shining like ghosts so brightly that it hurts
singing in echo delight in the hands of the moat
‘til you realize you’re not alone, there’s a hole in your boat.

She lies on the lawn staring at heaven
she has forgotten since she was seven
she hopes to find what she already knows
deep in the heart of the grove, heart of the grove.

Labyrinth of barbed wire squeezing the lense of the lake
fattening itself on stars ‘til perception is at stake.
The Charles is a great street of murder
the nuns sit like statues in its mud
my live cigarette stolen by the wind
a sign says this is too much like blood.

The Charles is a rawness in canter, it moves like antimatter
the pine cones explode like a fever in your spine
as she tells you to hit the road.
It’s been so long it’s been so long
it’s been so long, Lord I wish I’d understood…

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar
Mark Lever: tuba
Geoffrey Cutcheon: backing vocals
Jeff Berlin: drums
Peter Linnane: piano

Fastened listen to a sample

Fastened to the forelock of a fantastic mare
trying to describe the glycerine air
led me to believe was already there.
Fastened to the forelock of a fantastic mare.

The wind was in the meadow, birds were in the trees
please take care of her, take care of her if you please.
The next thing that I knew, she was taking care of me
the wind was in the meadow, birds were in the trees.

Damned if I know anything, but I know that I tried.
Damned if I know anything, but I know that I tried.

Many drizzly hours, hills became too steep
to hold their fertile towers silence failed to speak.
We’re lost inside a raincoat
our lips pressed against a conch shell.
Many drizzly hours, hills became too steep.

McCutcheon: vocals, guitar, harmonica

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