SongLines


Producer Alan Freedman
Other recording by Justin Weis
Other direction by James Ward
Illustrated by William Cleveland
Cover design by Carla Cleveland

A lyrical journey of alternative eclectic songs ranging from afro-celtic, alt-country, and rock to R&B with many surprising stops along the way.

Artist's Notes
You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension, not only of melody and rhythm, but also, of mind --- a journey into a curious land of musical imagination. There's the signpost up ahead – it says:

"Next Exit—Songlines, Prepare To Be Surprised."

You awake up half slumped, half sitting at the end of a 20-foot long mahogany bench at in the center of the station. You look up into the underside of a massive iron chandelier suspended from a whale's belly of a ceiling some 40 feet above you. The cavernous space is nearly empty. Arrayed in front of you are the thirteen gates leading to tracks where the trains await. The clock at the end of the hall ticks off another minute. It's 6:10 AM. As you shake your head free of fog, you wonder, "Where am I and how do I know all this?"

You reach for the inside pocket of your jacket, grasping the envelope you somehow knew was there. You feel the thickness of the tickets. There are 13 in all, each with a different track number and destination: strange places, like "Kossi" on track 9, "Green Plastic" on 2 and "Refried Beans" at number 5. The first, in the stack, "Art & Upheaval" says it leaves at 7:00 AM from track number 1.

By 6:45, the place is crawling with people milling like pigeons chasing breadcrumbs in Central Park. Peering towards the gates, you notice a small cluster of people forming around a little stage in front of the gate with a big red one above it. A man in a blue and white striped top hat and white tails steps up and begins to shout.

"Listen up, everybody. Ladies and gents, friends and neighbors, auditory adventurers all, come on up or come on down, but, most importantly, gather around, because no matter your musical tastes, predilections, or proclivities, you must prepare yourselves for a magical melodious journey of sonorous stories, tempoed tales and rhythmic yarns that are guaranteed to beguile, and bemuse, entrance and entertain, seduce, and, most assuredly, amaze."

The voice in your head says "Poppycock," but you find yourself moving toward the strangely magnetic voice with the others who are following suit. It's a strange lot—more like a Mardi gras parade than a typical rush hour mob. There are cowboys, choirboys, soldiers, and shamans. There's a kid on a big wheel and a man waving a bible and a poet on fire. And there are musicians everywhere --- drummers drumming, guitarists strumming and horn players blowing till they are blue in the face. There's a fiddler, a cellist, and a tabla player at the foot of the stage keeping a hypnotic beat for the man in the top as he continues his harangue.

"Look folks, no matter your cares or concerns, your circumstances or station, there is a song and a story that is right for you beckoning from one of these many melodious gates. Look around if you will, sirs and madams, at the incomparable coterie of characters and cranks, troubadours and tunesters who will accompany you on this astonishing Odyssey of the opus eclectic. I ask you my friends, how can you resist, how can you restrain yourselves from joining one of these enticing Songlines? Each track is distinct, each saga is different, and if, by chance, you find yourself unmoved or uninspired, all you have to do, ladies and gents, is close your eyes and the slides will change. Yes folks, that is because you are about to embark on the New Zealand of musical journeys—every time you blink there is a new landscape, a new ensemble, a new story." You can’t miss, you can’t lose and you mustn’t wait!”

You know its crazy, but you join the queue for track number 1. It’s quite a crowd, Serb and Australian soldiers, women in leotards, the smoldering poet, and dozens of the musicians. As you stagger down the aisle you notice portraits of fellow travelers hanging above the train car windows. There’s Bruce, Salif, Lucinda, Otis, Hank, that young guy Sam with the big beard, Bobby, and many more. A tattered broadside with the title “The Altclectic Manifesto.” covers the door at the end of the car. The moment after you find your seat, the train lurches forward. In no time, you and your fellow passengers have visited Belgrade, Watts, Phnom Penh, and the Great Victorian Desert of Australia. You wonder, “Was this the right thing? Will I ever return from this SongLines railroad rabbit hole?” You sit back, watching the dancer and the poet turn cartwheels down the aisle —“Maybe not.”

Details

Title SongLines
Producer Alan Freedman
Other recording by Justin Weis
Other direction by James Ward
Illustrated by William Cleveland
Cover design by Carla Cleveland
Publisher New Village Press
Co-publisher Cleveland Plainsong
Audience 01 General / trade
Credit William Cleveland
Format Audio CD
Nb of pages
Reference no. 884502261158
Publication Date 25 December 2009
Dimensions 5.5 x 5 x 0.3 in.
Weight 2 oz.
Duration min
List Price $12.95
 

Summary

1. Art and Upheaval 5:26
2. Green Plastic 3:18
3. The Hangin' On 4:44
4. Crayons in a Coffee Can 4:03
5. Refried Beans 3:29
6. Sweet Dream 4:32
7. Fowlers' Love Song 4:15
8. Cotton Pillows 3:48
9. Restless Wind 3:48
10. Kossi 4:39
11. Write Me For a Day 4:24
12. The River 4:57
13. Colors 7:03

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