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REDEMPTION ON MAIN ST.

REDEMPTION ON MAIN ST.

While deeply rooted in Americana music, the Whiskey Basterds are open to exploring wherever the Muses lead them, giving rise to new expressions of their sonic heritage ⎯ from folk to funk to blues, rock and beyond.

With tracks such as “Sweet Kathleen”, “Love Ray”, “Old Crow”, “Last Shot” and “Here to Stay”, the Whiskey Basterds’ debut album Redemption on Main St. presents songs wrought from blood, sweat, tears and the occasional wee dram of brown liquor.

Pour yourself a glass, sit back and let the music wash over you.


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Caxton Gibbet

(Shonafelt/Wilder)

Father was a freeman
Sheriff struck him down
Father was a freeman
Sheriff struck him down

Strung him from a rafter
Cuz he wouldn’t pay the Crown

Father weren’t no poacher
No King’s hares crossed his hands
Father weren’t no poacher
No King’s hares crossed his hands

Sixpence says he never
Raised a pistol in these lands

Blow out all your lanterns
Mind the silver’s stowed
Blow out all your lanterns
Mind the silver’s stowed

I swear I saw Dick Turpin
Wave his cutlass in the road

A brigand stole their horses
Black Harry is his name
A brigand stole their horses
Black Harry is his name

And robbed them of their shillings
Whilst standing in the lane

Don’t you hoist me on that gibbet
You caught no highwayman
Don’t you hoist me on that gibbet
You caught no highwayman

I’m just a half-starved higler
No guineas in my hand

Six riders on six horses
Cast a draegnet wide
Six riders on six horses
Cast a draegnet wide

And gathered at the gallows
For a hanging, eventide

Eventide
For a hanging, eventide
Eventide

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Last Shot

(Shonafelt/Eros)

Streetlights after nightfall
Barflies on the move
Swingin’ for the fences
Nothing left for me to prove

Pushing through the sidewalks
Vapors in my brain
Gonna take that last shot
Gotta slay those demons again

Last shot

High on empty hopes
And low on sorrows said
Not much time for goodbyes
Not much blood left to be bled

Winkin’ at the strangers
Wagering at games
Cards already told me
This night would end
In some kind of shame

Last shot

Three jacks, four beerbacks
Nothing left to show
Gonna have that last shot
Gonna serve that headache to go

Last shot

Diggin’ through my pockets
Dredgin’ up some pain
Gonna take that last shot
Gonna slay those demons again—yeah
Last shot

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Love Ray

(Shonafelt/Wilder/Eros)

Are you walkin’ my way
Do ya feel my love ray
I can reach you right there
One block away with my blue-eye
Blue-eye stare

Caught you lookin’ wide eyed
Why don’t you get in my ride
All my systems approve
Can’t help but notice how you move
You move

Gonna give you all my money
Get a taste of your honey
Gonna take ya somewhere
Knock your chakras downstairs

Love ray

Top is down
Drivin ‘round
Nothin but time to burn
There she is
Mindin’ her biz
‘til I made that turn

Love ray

Are you walkin’ my way
What was that baby, did you say
‘neath your breath as you went by
Don’t be nervous—I’m your guy

See you walkin’ my way
Do ya feel my love ray
I can reach you right there
One block away with my blue-eye
Blue-eye stare

Love ray
Love ray
Love

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Sweet Kathleen

(Shonafelt/Wilder/Eros)

Another weekday afternoon
Bell never rings too soon
Mom won’t be home ‘til eight
Put the key outside the gate

And on and on the AM radio plays
Sweet Kathleen

Nighttime’s for family fights
Can’t see the stars for lights
She got ways to let you see
Beyond the You and Me

And on and on the AM radio plays
Faded dreams on lost airwaves
Time will melt our traces away

Sweet Kathleen
Who carried the water
Sweet Kathleen

Ahead a field of light
Teach me to see the white
Turn away from the glitter show
Got all you need to know

And on and on the AM radio plays
Fading songs and yesterdays
Time will melt all traces away

Sweet Kathleen
And on and on the AM radio plays

Who carried the water
Who shouldered the beam
Who moored the boats on the battering sea

Who carried the water
Shouldered the beam
Who moored the boats
Sweet Kathleen

Carry the water
Sweet Kathleen

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Hold On

(Shonafelt/Wilder/Eros)

You keep moving
I keep falling behind
Dark cloud I see, is that mine
Got to wait through this ebbing tide
Will you join me on the other side

Don’t turn away, show me a sign

Hold on—It will get brighter
It’s just a dark cloud in my sky
Hold on—I am a fighter
And there’s no answer that I won’t try

You keep saying we’re running out of time
But if our hearts are true, well that’s no crime
Close your eyes, dream of somewhere high
You can wish us there, won’t you try

But awaken again and all that you see
The wreckage that lies around you and me

Hold on—It will get brighter
It’s just a dark cloud in my sky
Hold on—I am a fighter
And there’s no answer
I won’t try

The ride I’m takin’, I take alone
Mask I’m wearing; face can’t be shown
Who will stand beside
‘til this boat of mine reaches land

Was that a glimpse
The gleam of your hair by the front door
No one there

A quarter to three, can’t still my mind

Hold on—It will get brighter
It’s just a dark cloud in my sky
Hold on—I am a fighter
And there’s no answer that I won’t try

Hold on
It will get brighter
Hold on

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Old Crow

(Shonafelt/Wilder/Eros)

Old Crow, you look low
Hopping in the field where the buzzards go
Old Crow, you look worn
Even on the brink of a brimming morn
Old Crow, where you go
Where you hide from the coming storm

First time, the last time
Ever heard her say to me “Goodbye”
I don’t know, but I’ve been told
Gotta live your life before you start to die

Old Crow, so forlorn
Pecking through the grit for the grain of corn
Old Crow you look low
Pecking through the fields where the buzzards go

First time, the last time
I ever heard her say to me “Goodbye”
You’ve been through some ragged days
Gotta keep your powder dry

The first time, the last time
Ever heard her say to me “Goodbye”
I don’t know, I’ve been told
Live your life before you start to die
You’ve been through some ragged days
Trust your God, and keep your powder dry

Keep your powder dry
Old Crow

Old Crow knows the cost
Hopping on the ground in a world that’s lost
Old Crow knows the cost
Hopping on the ground in a world that’s lost
Old Crow knows the cost
Old Crow

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Road That I Am On

(Shonafelt/Wilder)

I was born on a winter’s morn in a hard and beating rain
Mother said my father’s dread just added to her pain
The goat was caught in the Waterman’s knot
A scorpion in the sky
A priest was there to bring his wares, in case one of us died

War waged in the jungle raged
A leader had been killed
That young pup would tap his cup until his cup was filled
Filled with dreams, noble schemes
That boy would make his way
‘til manhood took his dreamy book, and pushed him in the fray

I can’t see ahead of me, this road that I am on
Each time I look behind, see the cracks of the road that’s gone
Hold my ground, come back ’round, trust my stars are true
You can’t shun the wayward son who keeps coming back to you

Passions brewed, the rumors grew
Message getting lost
Banks went bust, the dreams were dust
He finally felt the cost

Dazed and dunned, his mount was stunned
That donkey would not move
A Cross ahead would strike him dead
If he stayed inside that groove

I can’t see ahead of me, this road that I am on
Each time I look behind, I see the cracks of the road that’s gone
Hold my ground, come back ’round, trust my stars are true
You can’t shun the wayward son who keeps coming back to you
To you

I can’t see ahead of me, this road that I am on
Each time I look behind, see the cracks of the road that’s gone
Hold my ground, come back ’round, trust my stars are true
You can’t shun the wayward son who keeps coming back

Alone he stood, lost in the wood
Middle of his years
Two angels came, called his name
And took away his fears

Fallen, flawed, he looked for God
God, He was nowhere
Myths forsook, he stopped to look
God was standing there

I can’t see ahead of me, this road that I am on
Each time I look behind, see the cracks of the road that’s gone
Gave up the fight; I saw the Light
My stars they are now true
You can’t shun the wayward son who keeps coming back
To you

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It’s Gonna Happen

(Shonafelt/Wilder)

Headin’ north on the highway
Chase that ribbon of road
Gotta stay ahead of that ill wind
Blowin’ through town

Cranked some feedback in Carson
Time to loosen the load
And you know, we aint hangin’ around

Ridin’ my tail
Boot poised on the brakes
Keep the crisis in my rearview
Whatever it takes

It’s gonna happen this time

Windin’ the bend at the Rincon
Deep blue sea winkin’ west
And the radio keeps on weepin’ the blues

Mussel Shoals by the seaside
Aint no place to rest
And I’m so done with your back-breakin’ news

Crashed a party on the Mesa
Champagne, quiche and crepes
Spilt a whiskey on the hostess
Now the carpet don’t match the drapes

Movin’ on
It’s gonna happen this time
It’s gonna happen
It’s gonna happen this time

Rollin’ up on the avenue
We aint lookin’ our best
But the footloose vamps (and double mash)
Are comin’ on strong

Troubles in the rearview
We’re dodging the fakes
Findin’ the slipstream
Refusin’ the brakes

Unguard our hearts with diligence
The Wellspring of it all

It’s gonna happen this time
(Who’s to say)
It’s gonna happen this time
(Maybe today)
Yeah, it’s gonna happen this time

It’s gonna happen
It’s gonna happen this time

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Swan Dive

(Shonafelt/Wilder)

Car’s stuck in neutral
Land’s in a drought
Mojo bleeding, bleeding all out

Steel I’m shining, turning to rust
Money I’m making, turning to dust

You can’t win the game when they got loaded dice
Can’t clear the debt if you can’t pay the price
No room left on top of the ledge
Take a blind step off the edge

Taking on water, got to bail out the boat
Don’t like the letter my baby just wrote

Girl I was kissing won’t kiss me no more
Losing my way in a house with no doors

You can’t pull the cart if the cart got no wheels
Can’t walk freely with the dogs at your heels
No room left on top of the ledge
Take a blind step off the edge

Into your blue sky

There’s a rueful river, waters of red
Winding through jungles inside my head
Carries the dross, each cutting loss
The pain of sins that don’t die
Wash these stains
Sins that won’t die

Airless hallways
Doors are shut
Sheets are flaggin’
My knife don’t cut

House is sinking, I’m on the brink
Harder I try, the deeper I sink

You can’t win the game when they got loaded dice
Can’t clear the debt if you can’t pay the price
No room left on the top of the ledge
Take a swan dive
Take a swan dive off the edge

Into your blue sky

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Here to Stay

(Shonafelt/Wilder/Eros)

You keep me in-waiting just to answer your calls
To patch up your holes and prop up your walls

Paint me all black or your shade of gray
The more you do that the more I’ll say…

You think that I’m going down
(No, I’m feeling fine)
Smoking gun that you found
(Well, it ain’t mine)
Think I’m fooling around
(Well, it’s not that way)
Say I’m losing my ground
(No, I’m here to stay)

You got charms in your pockets that I got to see
You know how to use them to get back at me

Sit at your feet, follow your lines
Parrot your verses, copy your rhymes
Don’t ever think I’ll confess to your crimes

You think that I’m going down
(No, I’m feeling fine)
Smoking gun that you found
(Well, it ain’t mine)
Think I’m fooling around
(Well, it’s not that way)
Say I’m losing my ground
(No, I’m here to stay)

Here to stay

You got that look on your face, now baby
You got me all figured out
I got a head full of secrets you know nothin’ about

You think that I’m going down
(No, I’m feeling fine)
Smoking gun that you found
(Well, it ain’t mine)
Think I’m fooling around
(Well, it’s not that way)
Say I’m losing my ground
(No, I’m here to stay)

Here to stay

I aint goin’ nowhere, baby
That’s right

Stay, baby
Swing me like a bauble you’ll pawn Tuesday

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Talk to Me

(Shonafelt/Wilder/Eros)

I’ve been sitting in this pouring rain
All day waiting for you to call my name
Are you looking for me to make a try

Grass is growing ‘neath this wheel we made
Gonna bide here watch our colors fade
Are you looking for me to make a try
Chessboard’s waiting—c’mon, make your move

Are we rising or is this army in retreat
Did we top the hill where all good soldiers die
Did we call the hand
Did we hit the dead-end street
Did we decide which flag we gonna fly

Talk to me

Are we rising or is this army in retreat
Did we top the hill where all good soldiers die

Wrote a letter I may never send
Got a fiver, five’ll get you ten
Are you looking for me to make a try
Or just to hang me out to dry, dry

Are we rising or is this army in defeat
Did we top the hill where all good soldiers die
Did we call the hand
Did we hit the dead-end street
Decide which flag we gonna fly

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Hangover Blues

(Shonafelt/Wilder)

I’ve been waitin’ here so long
Wonderin’ where it all went wrong
I’ve been left out here alone
Can’t find my way back home

I find no peace of mind
The bottle knows the lengths I go to unwind

Fixin’ for to numb the pain
Gonna feel this way again
Pick my head up off the floor
Coming back for more

I find strange sights when I am blind
The bottle knows the lengths I go to unwind

Can’t remember what I said
Not sure if you punched my head
Can’t believe the state I’m in
Jumping from my skin

Amazed, can’t change wanton ways
Had my share of dog hair in my days

Walking through the waste I made
Yankin’ down the windowshade
Kicked an empty ‘cross the floor
Whence it came, many more

I find I lost my sense of time
The bottle knows the lengths I go to unwind

EPK

Biography

Songwriters Michael Shonafelt and Jon B. Wilder never planned to make music.  Sitting down one night five years ago with two guitars and a bottle of whiskey, they stumbled over a kind of musical alchemy.

They have never looked back.

After years of friendship, and having already traversed their separate passages in life, love and loss, Shonafelt and Wilder realized their wildly disparate musical influences were not incompatible.  Shonafelt, a bluegrass banjo-playing and newly-minted folk guitarist, took up vocal and rhythm guitar duties, while Wilder darted in-and-out of the tunes with British Invasion influenced melody stabs and blues-rock stings that sounded organic, sweet… complete!

The Whiskey Basterds were born.

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‘Whiskey Basterds remind us that it is the tree’s abiding roots
that bring the season’s new fruit.’
– Egbert Snicklepod IV

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