This is an EP I recorded over two days in March of 2014 with Henry Nagle, Jolie Holland and Nick Delffs. Two of the songs I wrote a while back, and two are very new. Informing the sessions was the recent loss of a close friend whose presence permeates this music. The title track was written in reaction to his death and, on "Fish In the River," we used an old vocal track of his in the background of the last two verses. I dedicate this EP to my beloved friend and musical compatriot Jubal Stedman, who was the backbeat to my life for many years.
released 25 April 2014
Will Stenberg: acoustic guitar, baritone ukulele, vocals
Henry Nagle: electric guitar, bass
Jolie Holland: violin, vocals
Nick Delffs: drums and percussion
Jubal Stedman: harmony vocals
Engineered by Jeanot Lewis at The Magic Closet, Portland, OR.
Mixed by Ephriam Nagler.
Cover painting by Sven Sandberg.
All songs written by Will Stenberg. All rights reserved.
Will Stenberg is searching for the perfect marriage of text and tune, mediated by himself with maximum honesty. He spends a
lot of time writings songs and has a vague, persistent hope that there is an audience for them. He is from a small town, has lived in various parts of the US, and is full of love and unease....more
I pull shadows around me to see that my cover's not blown.
So no one can find the crossroads where I bury my bones.
And if they found them and they dug them up
what would they say if they saw all that stuff?
All my shame.
The song that I'm singing has one note that hangs in the air.
It comes out of my throat, that one note, and then soon it's not there.
But I will sing it for all that it's worth,
for better or worse, for the blessing or curse
of my shame.
Shame. You surround my face and name.
You give birth to bitter blame.
And now you're killing me.
Oh Lord, set me free
Track Name: Fish In The River
Walking, not running,
talking, not gunning
for no one, at least not tonight.
I don’t know what love is
but you said it’s just show biz -
I’m thinking you may have been right.
Turn-about’s fair play,
at least on a Tuesday
and every day’s Tuesday ‘round here.
I’m making a mockery
of your astrology
and you still let me sip from your beer.
But you dance like the water.
Like fish in the river.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Heavy-handed and heart-sick,
you know what makes me tick:
It’s not all that hard to explain.
But I broke all your windows
with a steel-top dobro:
now your living room’s flooded with rain.
Jaded and jaundiced,
I put you on the guest-list
even though you don’t like my band.
You stayed through the first set
then lit up a cigarette
and left with a middle-aged man.
Now lost like a quarter,
the days getting shorter,
I play my guitar like a kid.
And everything crumbles.
I drink and I tumble.
I do just what I always did.
So let’s make a movie,
me, you and Suzy.
We’ll sell it on the street for a buck.
I’m all out of money.
It would almost be funny
except that I’m shit out of luck.
My guitar keeps ringing.
I can hear myself singing.
I’m picturing you in my head.
With God as my witness,
love’s just show business:
it’s just like you always said.
So pack up your negligees.
Say all your hip-hoorays.
I’m taking you out for a spin.
We’ll make all the night spots,
show ‘em what we’ve got,
hiding the shape that we’re in.
Track Name: Alice, Ingrid, Meghan and Betty
You’re on a white staircase when I see you in my dreams,
smiling like a cheerleader whose boyfriend just made the team.
I don’t know how you got from there to advanced psychic ballet
but if we leave the house by noon we might catch the matinee.
I’m gonna be someone someday.
Ingrid, I can see you with your telescope on the roof,
searching for unknown asteroids and wasting away your youth.
Lots of stars are falling. Some fall in the sea.
Some just fall forever. Those are the ones like you and me.
don’t give up so easily.
Meghan, you’re so maudlin but you have a right to be.
Your mother loved you sometimes; your dad, intermittently.
But you don’t need those people, although they gave you birth.
The stars will be your family, girl – your home is the whole earth.
the world is your church.
Betty, you’re a beauty such as I have never seen.
You shame the fairest sunset. You collapse the silver screen.
Your nightly elaborate ritual causes the moon to rise.
And the morning sun would never come if you didn’t open your eyes.
this much I’ve surmised.
Track Name: Resurrection Coast
You're naked as a shipwreck and I don't know what to do.
I don't know how to love you, or how to make it through
all these twists and turns that carry me to meet your ghost,
spreading like a fire on the Resurrection Coast.
My dreams don't fit within me. There's no room inside my head.
My head just swims within them, and within them all my dead
line up, somehow, to greet me, yeah - to beg or brag or boast.
You just smile softly on the Resurrection Coast.
We walked through all the shallows. We sailed on the deep.
We sewed ourselves new shadows when the old ones took the leap
down into the bottom or up to the Lord of Hosts.
My words are lost in sea-foam on the Resurrection Coast.
The lost, the lame, the lingering are waiting at my door.
I prepare to welcome them - them and just one more:
no lost soul, no weeping shade, a well-traveled friend at most
waiting somewhere for me on the Resurrection Coast.