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Melodic Roots Rock

11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Roots Rock, ROCK: Americana



Details:
The Washington Post
June 27, 2003

CRAVIN' DOGS - "Roadtrip" (Preash Records)

About halfway through "Roadtrip," Virginia's Cravin' Dogs shamelessly pander to folks who prefer their music made in America. And they do so with almost Zappa-like zeal and humor, decrying world beat one moment and breaking into a Croatian folk song the next. As roots-rock road trips go, this one clearly has a lot more surprises than most, including the rap-laced soul ballad "Macy's Tune" and the brief but sprightly Celtic guitar-and-bass interlude "Miss Clare Mulligan."

The songs that get lodged in your head, though, tend to be more straightforward, whether it's the album's evocative, Bruce Hornsby-ish title track, the subdued but searing battlefield portrait "Civil War" or the rueful blues of "Resign." Lead singer Caldwell Gray has never sounded more soulful or convincing than he does here, and his bandmates, especially guitarist John Penovich and drummer Sven Bridstrup, help color and enliven the well-crafted songs composed by Stewart Gray, Caldwell's brother. Now and then, though, the wordsmith presents himself as the author of inscrutable riddles, leaving you to ponder the meaning of, say, the following verse from "Sheltering Sky": "Trace of red in the sky / Never stopped to wonder why / Figs and meat and buttered rum / In the auditorium." Well, at least it rhymes.

Rounding out the lineup is a lot of fine local talent, including members of Eddie From Ohio and powerhouse vocalist Mary Ann Redmond.

-- Mike Joyce

*************************************************************
Cravin' Dogs seventh full-length album, "Roadtrip," was produced by Caldwell Gray and Dogs' lead guitarist John Penovich, and features stellar performances by bassist Barry Warsaw, drummer Sven Bridstrup and electric violinist Todd Baker.

"Roadtrip" was mixed by Doug Derryberry. His studio production and performance credits include projects with Dave Matthews Band, Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, John Mayer and dozens of other national and regional acts.

"Roadtrip" features guest performances by several veteran musicians including John "JT" Thomas (Bruce Hornsby Band, Captain Beefheart, Tracy Chapman); Bobby Read (Bruce Hornsby Band, Modereko); Greg Readling (Tift Merritt and the Carbines); Michael Clem, Eddie Hartness and Robbie Schaefer (Eddie From Ohio); Mary Ann Redmond; Chris Watling (The Grandsons); George Hazelrigg; Helen Hausmann (American Song), Dave "Iceman" Bartlett (Some Kid Screaming), and others.

For more information about "Roadtrip," please visit, https://www.tradebit.com

Roadtrip by Cravin' Dogs - Credits and Lyrics

1. Roadtrip
2. Resign
3. Macy's Tune
4. Civil War
5. Dismal Swamp Trail
6. You Know I'm Here
7. World Music
8. Driving Free
9. Daylight Savings
10. Miss Clare Mulligan
11. Sheltering Sky

Cravin' Dogs:
Caldwell Gray - Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Piano, Wurlitzer
John Penovich - Guitars
Barry Warsaw - Bass
Sven Bridstrup - Drums
Todd Baker - Electric Violin

Produced by Caldwell Gray and John Penovich
Mixed by Doug Derryberry at The Crabtrap, Easton, MD and 'Chiller Sound, NY, NY.
Mastered by Bill Wolf at Wolf Productions, Arlington, VA.
Basic tracks recorded by Doug Derryberry at Krogh Studio and Roadhouse, Kensington, MD.
Additional recording by: John Penovich, Caldwell Gray, Yuri Terleckyj and Rich Krents at Apartment Zero, Capitol View, MD, EOP Recording, Bethesda, MD and Verndon Studios, Verndon, VA; Geoff Hazelrigg at Hacienda Hazelrigg, Vienna, VA; Bobby Read at Eleven-Eleven Studios, North Garden, VA; JT Thomas at: The Brain Factory, Resceda, CA, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, PA, and The Sheraton University, Syracuse, NY; Doug Derryberry at The Crabtrap, Easton, MD and 'Chiller Sound, New York, NY.

https://www.tradebit.comdtrip (3:54)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Stewart Gray)

(North Carolina)
People live in North Carolina
People live in North Carolina
People say, "It couldn't be finer"
People live in North Carolina

Staring at a hog lagoon
Underneath the silver moon
I won't eat no pork again
And I pray it doesn't rain

People live in North Carolina
Underneath the longleaf pine
People say, "It couldn't be finer"
People live in North Carolina

Looking down my street at night
I see a thousand colored lights
They just said the mill's shut down
And they say it's gonna rain
Amen

Amen

(Canada)
I remember when I was a boy
Riding down a frozen street
A thousand colored lights
Sparkling in the sleet

You can find me in the snow
Please don't go away
Please don't go

We packed up the bags and gifts
She wrapped in my sweater sleeves
Not old enough to know a lot
I wondered if my ears would freeze

Please let me apologize
We just came for the holidays
Please let me apologize
Just the holidays

It always seemed to take more time
On the ride home from Canada
From the white and frozen fields
To the wet and soggy world
That seemed so empty five hundred miles down the road

Happy Christmas
A very happy Christmas

Piano, Wurtlizer Electric Piano, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric and Acoustic Guitars - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Sven
Electric Violin - Todd
Harmony Vocals - Doug Derryberry
Background Vocals - Mary Ann Redmond, Michael Clem, Eddie Hartness, Robbie Schaefer

2. Resign (2:57)
(Music - Caldwell Gray; Lyrics - Caldwell Gray and Stewart Gray)

Standing there, fine and fair
Sky blue satin and bows
That grassy aisle looked like a mile
Remember those dreams long ago

I don't know if you can still see
All your love once meant to me
In that time you knew my mind
And where I wanted to be

The lines of your face, tears and disgrace
Made the most of our goodbyes
But your little girl, perfect as pearl
That could've been you and I

I'm trying to embrace the past

We can't know the reasons why
But I can see the troubled sky
Guess I'll just say goodbye

Resign

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Sven
Harmonica - Michael Clem
Harmony vocals - Doug Derryberry

3. Macy's Tune (7:13)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Caldwell Gray and Stewart Gray, Rhyme by Dave Bartlett)

I don't want to know why
I don't want to do anything that you try
I can't live in your life
I can't see that it's any business of mine

I can't see in your mind today
Even if I know what you will say.

I don't live in your love
I can't see that you live your life on a line
Any time that you like
Any place I'll try to be there on time

Any place that you'd like to meet today
I don't want to go home this way

I can see what you like
But I don't know that I buy your simple point of view
Try to see it my way
I know more than I can say.

I don't want my life this way
I don't want to go home today

(The Iceman's Rhyme)
I don't know what it is about today
But you just can't seem to see things my way
And you're stressin' and we're just not connectin'
You got more beef than the Delicatessen
Messin' up my whole point of view
And when you repeat my words you misconstrue
And it's true when I'm blue I thought you knew
I think back to all the little things you do
And it's the little things that always seem to get to me
You need to realize that I not the enemy
I think back to when you were first befriending me
Thought you were a gift that heaven had sent to me, meant to be
Hey, it might be hard to swallow
Just like the CDs, a tough act to follow
So let's put an end to the trials and sorrow
And we can try to set things right tomorrow

Acoustic Guitars, Vocals -Caldwell
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Sven
Electric Violin - Todd
Congas - Eddie Hartness
Organ - JT Thomas
Rhyme - Dave "Iceman" Bartlett

4. Civil War (4:17)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Stewart Gray)

I thought of my brothers
I thought of my sisters
I thought of the Sundays at my church on the lawn

I had no strong leanings
I just worked in my fields
When along came a major
On a fine bay mare

He said "You're in the army.
Gonna stop the invasion.
Go tell your family.
We'll wait for you here."

We went to Virginia
Where battle were raging
There I saw dead men
By the side of the road

We fought until darkness
Stopped all of the fighting
But they crept up and killed us
Under the cover of night

I looked at my sergeant
Dead at my feet
I reached for a rifle
That was just out of my reach

I thought of my brothers
I thought of my sisters
I thought of the Sundays at my church on the lawn

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Sven
Harmony Vocals- Lisa Gray
Dobro - Greg Readling
Fiddle - Sara Read

5. Dismal Swamp Trail (4:37)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Stewart Gray and Caldwell Gray except Verse 2 from the traditional folk ballad "Little Maggie.")

Train shakes the shack at the edge of town
Tarpaper walls tumble to the ground
Bags of plastic bottles lying in the yard
Bent over man looking mighty tired

Coal and coke and the daily mail
One hundred thousand tons grind the rail
Through the piedmont to the Dismal Swamp Trail

Wake up little Maggie, why do you sleep so sound
Highway robbers comin' to tear your playhouse down
Got drunk in the city and stumbled to her door
She throwed her arms around me but begged me come no more

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Sven
Organ - John "JT" Thomas
Harmony Vocals - Doug Derryberry

6. You Know I'm Here (4:30)
(Music and Lyrics by Kevin Jones)

Heat began to hustle in my head
As I lay in my basement room
Sweat ran off my body to the bed
Adding to the musty air perfume
Thought I'd take a walk, smell some air
See what the evening had to offer me
Grabbed the trousers hanging on my chair
Set myself to sailing seas

The phone was on the dresser sitting still
As I turned to make my way upstairs
Can't afford to pay the average bill
Much less to call the woman there

And you know I'm here
You know I'll always be

Send a letter to my mom each week
Letter to my sister too
Always like to hear my mama speak
I'd really like to hear from you
This morning I was walking to my door
Mailman came up to my step
Letter passed the slot, hit the floor
Guess the one from you he kept

Go on out the door to go to work
And the morning hits me in the face
I'd really like to smile and feel the world
But a smile keeps up my worried pace

Sun is going down, it's all right,
I play my guitar on the porch
The air's a little cooler in the night
Streetlight is my evening torch
Cars are going by to back me up
Playing with my lonesome sound
Playing when I stop to lift my cup
Playing when I put it down

I think about the time we sang that song
And time had lots to do with us
At least you now I got that song
'Cause you wouldn't take me serious

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Tom Helf
Harmony Vocals - Lisa Gray
Organ - JT Thomas

7. World Music (3:01)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Stewart Gray except "Verndoncani Smo Mi" adapted from the traditional Croatian folk song "Veseljaci Smo Mi," sometimes also referred to as "Zegrebcani Smo Mi.")

I don't like world music
Sounds like a bunch of crap to me
I'm not trying to be ethnocentric
It just sounds like crap to me

But when I hear American music
My blood starts pumpin', Yeah!
Gravel roads and tall Budweisers
Conway Twitty on the radio
Dirty poor children and fried potatoes

I love American music

(Verndoncani Smo Mi)

Ako oces vesel bit,
Moras rujno vince pit,
Vodu cuvaj pak za noge prat.

Haj haj, Verndoncani smo mi,
I takve klape, klape jos na svetu ni.
Kud idemo svud pjevamo, i celi svet zabavljamo.

English Translation:
If you want to be happy, you have to drink red wine, save the water for washing your feet.

Hey, hey, we're the Verndon boys, and the world has never seen such as group of singers. Wherever we go, we sing and make the world happy/entertain the world.

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums-Tom Helf
Harmony Vocals - Doug Derryberry
Croatian Vocals - Caldwell and Doug
Saxophone and Accordion - Chris Watling
Pedal Steel Guitar- Greg Readling
Croatian Translation and language consultant - Walt Mahlovich of "Tamburland"

8. Driving Free (9:02)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Stewart Gray and Caldwell Gray)

Once upon a time on the banks of the Euphrates
People stopped their flight
Here we are sitting in our cars
Waiting at the light

I don't know who tilled that fertile plain
If they were brown or white
All I know is it's begun to rain
And we're headin' for a fight

(Chorus)
Rewind to those better days
Back home where I knew my way
I guess I thought I was the golden one
It was so clear, driving free in the summer sun

If I'd known it might make a difference
In the starless night
We've come so far down the road to kandahar
With no end in sight

(Chorus)

Is it truth at the cost of beauty?
Standing here in line
Other mothers think you can click your heels and blink
Cause we're running out of time

Rewind to those better days
Back home where I knew my way
Looks like we our fathers missed the mark
We won't get far when we're always stumblin' in the dark

Rewind to those better days
Back home where I knew my way
Look at me I'm the golden one
It was so clear, driving free in the summer sun

Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Piano, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Sven
Harmony Vocals - Doug Derryberry, Caldwell
Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Flute - Bobby Read
Congas - Eddie Hartness
Roy Chorus - Jay Brown, Greg Readling, Bryan Readling, Caldwell

9. Daylight Savings (6:38)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Stewart Gray and Caldwell Gray)

Dress yourself against the cold
It's a long way home, and the sun is going down
In a dream I had, we slowly float away
Daylight saving starts today

Just to see you smiling sitting on the old stone wall
Sometimes a great adventure behind the waterfall
Creeping shadows outside
Wrapped around our weary minds
Blood pounding through brings us back in time

Dressed in shades of blue
Yeah to see you smiling, see you float away
Feel the light, through the shade

And the cold still pond where sunshine gleams
Is blinding me when I look at you
You seem so secure
But the water is far from pure
You pull your glasses down and turn away

Walking into town
Streetlights coming up, sun is going down
Leaves are falling to the ground

Now the old stone wall fades into the dark
I take your hand as we leave the park
Creeping shadows outside
Wrapped around our weary minds
The leaves are falling

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Piano coda - Caldwell Gray
Electric Guitar - John
Bass - Barry
Drums - Sven
Electric Violin - Todd
Piano, Fender Rhodes Electric Piano - George Hazelrigg
Harmony Vocals - Doug Derryberry

10. Miss Clare Mulligan (1:02)
(Music by Caldwell Gray)
Acoustic Guitar - Caldwell Gray
Bass - Barry

11. Sheltering Sky (4:38)
(Music by Caldwell Gray, Lyrics by Caldwell Gray and Stewart Gray)

She walks into the old corral
Through leaves, dead and brown
Her dreams creep through the day
'Til the sun burns them away

Her hair full of dandelions
the fields are covered with briars and vines
There she stood in a trance
Having wandered away from the dance

You and I walk in the sand
Alone in sunset holding hands
The lighthouse will wash out to sea
The light on the shore is shining for me

Listening to the shell you found
Lost in the tide going out

Speak to me softly in slow even measure
Saint of the window these guilty pleasures
Highway flares against the winter sky
Burn so bright and then they die

I know I will be seen
Committing crimes in the mezzanine
Outside or in between

Trace of red in the sky
Never stopped to wonder why
Figs and meat and buttered rum
In the auditorium

She walks into the old corral
Through leaves, dead and brown
She dreams into the morning
Until the sun burns them down

Piano, Vocals - Caldwell
Electric Guitars - John
Bass- Barry
Drums - Sven
Violin - Helen Hausmann

All music and lyrics by William Caldwell Gray and Earnest Stewart Gray, copyright 2003 (Preash Publishing/ASCAP), except: "You Know I'm Here" by Kevin Jones (Brandy Station/BMI); "Macy's Tune" Rhyme by Dave Bartlett; "Dismal Swamp Trail" second verse based on the traditional American folk song, "Little Maggie"; and "Verdoncani Smo Mi" from "World Music" based on the traditional Croatian folk song "Veseljaci Smo Mi," also called "Zegrebcani Smo Mi" . All rights reserved.

For more information on the making of "Roadtrip," project demos, and notes regarding the writing and evolution of these songs, visit https://www.tradebit.com.


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