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by Bill Mallonee

FACE OF THE CLOCK (Word On The Street) w&m: bill mallonee I heard the slamming of the door Love? She is weeping over there in the corner There's a chill in people's gaze that could make you stop Shadows move 'cross the face of the clock from the "king" right on down to his minions Contention & Greed and Strife driven by opinions I saw the serpent grinning; grinning at his flock Shadows move 'cross the face of the clock I heard the word on the street I saw the Spirit moving o'er the face of the deep echoing down alleyway & every human heart Shadows move 'cross the face of the clock Shadows move 'cross the face of the clock
IN THE NEW DARK AGE (THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS FALL IN LOVE) words & music: bill mallonee c. BMI 2017 Bring all the things....that you bought Bring all those things...that you lost Bring her that gold ring...bring her the dross chorus: In the new dark age when you're waiting for a light from above in the new dark age....best thing you can do is fall in love Bring all of your poems bring all of your passion all those discarded notes and the melodies just not happen-ing Bring everything you'd like to forget & those parts of you not even born yet Bring all of those ghosts from your empty home Kill all of your fears; crash all of your drones beat your swords into plowshares...and she'll take you for her own
LOVE IS ALWAYS RISKY CURRENCY w&m: bill mallonee Baby, how'd we get this far? Not a snowball's chance in hell Love is always risky currency and hearts are always the hardest sell Promises lay ribbons on the cutting room floor and as far as i can tell bright & beautiful just fades to black and hearts are always the hardest sell Could be the air; could be the drink and the prophets they see nothing, w/ even less to tell the undertaker, well, he hardly has time to think and hearts are always the hardest sell Time to wake. Time to rise. You can hear the foreman's bell Try to sing a psalm, but you're gonna hum the blues 'cause hearts are always the hard sell Baby, how'd we get this far? Not a snowball's chance in hell Love is always heavy currency and hearts are always the hard sell
CHANGING OF THE GUARD words & music: bill mallonee c.BMI 2017 There's a mid-night cannonball outta Bakersfield ther'll be some boxcars to slumber on the fire in soul ought to be enough to stare down the cold But, maybe not this changing of the guard I guess it's been a few months now since Goodness took it pretty hard since greed & fear gained the upper hand what with all this changing of the guard You fought for freedom under the flag had some good friends die in your arms you came home and did yourself some thinking about all this changing of the guard... now the devil plays for your allegiance hiding behind stars & stripes he speaks his piece through the lips of the elite appears as an angel of light me? i grabbed a guitar & a notebook or two; there's was too much talk about Law & God and i became a phantom w/ some conjuring 'neath the moon what with all this changing of the guard There were voices on the streets last night Commotion out in the front yard there's fresh chalk lines on the pavement at dawn comes with all this changing of the guard changing of the guard what with all of this changing of the guard
VOODOO INK words & music Bill Mallonee c.BMI 2017 It came in broad daylight....from hell's deepest reach It came dressed up in flags....lying through it's teeth It asked for your allegiance; i could not count the raised hands Chorus: And what I wanna know.... do you ever even the score? with the blood that gets shed, counting the dead? in the endless war? Do the math in the battlefields; count the coffins they load bloodshed begets bloodshed...thus saith the Lord Revenge is always just a scratch below everybody's skin. now every bullet was spent....knives back in their sheaths widows grieving, dressed in black wandering the streets it's all voodoo ink...stained by a mother's tears
I KNOW, I KNOW w&m: bill mallonee BMI 2017 You'll need a few disguises and a number number of faces steal you a good horse and it's off to the races i know...i know I showed up in these parts where the rattlesnake crawls just inside the circle and just outside the law I know, I know chorus: you can lie with some paper you can lie with a pen words are like honey ah, but them again...it's all good if you know how to spin Now, when it came to a safe they opened easily and if they had any secrets they never kept them from me I know, I know You lie out under the stars or hide out in the woods Sure it gets lonely but the pay is good I know, I know Now, I know a good joke let me share it with thee "what's a 100 politicians at the bottom of the sea?" ....I know You may know the hangman on a first name basis but if you steal a good horse it's off to the races I know, I know
LEWIS & CLARK words/music: bill mallonee Felt like Lewis & Clark...crossing through a gateway into a poem...there were no words to as of yet you rub your eyes in wonder...and your heart is torn asunder like a woman...who you never will forget Felt like the Great Wallenda in the wind but never blinking that lonely sinking feeling when you're wonderin' if lady luck is gonna show the light? she throws in sharp relief...the real nature of your belief and all the things you could never really keep It's all caught in the freeze frame for awhile and you're hoping she will turn to you & smile What did you feel Chief Joseph? bending bravely but not broken the fear you never spoke of that your people were not safe from the rifles & the cannons & words as useless as rust of men bearing flags and sermons with spirits you could never trust. It's all caught in the freeze frame for awhile and you're hoping she will turn to you & smile ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TRIMMED & BURNING words & music: bill mallonee BMI 2018 Some days it seems like hell on earth and that's only the half-of it it's like bringing a knife to a gun fight, no matter how you cut it pull on your boots and roll up your sleeves this is gonna take for cussed-ness Chorus; Who cares if anyone's looking? who cares if everyone misses that beautiful sight You're trimmed & burning...you're burning bright There's a whole lotta bad news.......making the rounds on the streets and it seems like........Love is losing ground This is one of those cases where You gotta get down on your knees Who cares if anyone's looking? Who cares if everyone misses that beautiful sight You're trimmed & burning...you're burning bright. I hate to end on a sober note but ther are spirits who won't survive in a world of mean-ness & cruelty they won'y make it out alive. So, hand the world an olive branch and hand yourself one too. Who cares if anyone's looking? Who cares if everyone misses that beautiful sight You're trimmed & burning...you're burning bright. (x2)
BEFORE THE DARKNESS SETTLES IN w&m: bill mallonee You can tell by the way...the light behaves Winter? She'll come early this year Start chopping that wood before the snows descend Before the darkness settles in It's all a slippery handsake deal at best when you try to stake a claim upon this land If the Rio keeps her promise there could be a gathering in before the darkness settles in there'll be trials & tribulations you gotta reckon with but most of those are usually within You try not to think of what got lost & all that might have been before the darkness settles in... Now, the milk of human kindness is curdled to the bone And the Autumn light is paler than I've ever known pull on your heavy coat before the storms descend before the darkness settles in
FOREST FULL OF WOLVES words & music: bill mallonee Well, the roads are frozen mud & the world has come a part it all hangs in the balance of a single spark I don't know if she'll crank...they say it's 10 below and that's a lot to ask...from an old beat up Ford Was it all just a fool errand...This dream about the land? a small farm and a few kids & a wife to hold hands first the drought & then the dust, till there's really nothing left the the banker-man w/ a gold watch & a gold cross on his vest And I'm sorry but everything keeps turning I'm sorry I couldn't keep the home fires burning Fled the heartland for California in this beat-up truck we had Jesus on the dashboard; but it may not be enough Roads are frozen mud & God, this is a different kind of cold and that's a whole lot to ask my friend from an old beat up Ford And I'm sorry but everything keeps turning I'm sorry I couldn't keep the home fires burning



Forest Full of Wolves/Liner Notes by bill mallonee c.2018
Gold from silver, Wheat from chaff,
Truth that nurtures vs. falsehoods that destroy us from within....

Some call it an age of Confusion.
Social commentators, journalists and politicians race to place blame, spotlight the "villains," name & punish the guilty.

Me? I think it's bigger than that. Something closer a sickness;
Something more like death.
At the end of the day, we're all complicit.

Whatever "it" is, we all set the thing in motion, whether we're inclined to acknowledge or role in that or not

The Confusion? The Malaise?
It's playing out on many levels.
All the templates for "getting ahead" are broken. That "north star" of the heart (that one comprised of time-honored convictions, virtues and courageous action) seems to have vanished, as well. Even worse, it seems that a deep and sad spiritual malaise has made it's way into our bones. We pass emptiness on to our kids, to our loved ones.
We bury ourselves in virtual realities that can neither diagnose or heal us.

Here's the thing:
It doesn't even have to be nomen-clatured in the verbosities of "religious language" or elucidated in the warring compartments of "schools of thought" or "political leaning."

With all due respect, modern academia has had little "luck" in providing leadership that sees very far ahead of the darker trajectories our daily choices are falling towards.

This malaise is in and around and among us all.
It's written across the faces of listless kids glued to devices, looking, surfing, searching;
Your children. My children.
Children who are forgetting how to dream. forgetting how to play, how to laugh; Children losing their souls.

FFoW 10 new songs. Album #78

A world of many voices competing for our attention, our affections and our allegiances. A forest full of wolves.

Me? I think it makes for rock & roll of the best kind.
Forest Full of Wolves/Bill Mallonee & The Big Sky Ramblers
Anthem spirits, Big guitars, Melodic solos, tender dust bowl ballad love songs.
...and the big themes I've always tried to elevate in my work

You'll hear big guitars stretch out; noble, melodic, overdriven with small tweed amps from the 50's, taxed, eloquent, shaking off dust of the age they were born in.

There is a danger in over-thinking good rock & roll. Often the spirit and the immediacy gets lost when "trying too hard;" when fine-tooth combing a song or it's mixes. I try and avoid that even though i do somewhere between 15-25 mixes of every song.

My work will likely always have that rough, garage-y, unvarnished edge to it. I tend to think it makes the impact more powerful than something over-thought, over polished.

So, this is where I fall, where I play my cards:
As an artist, i am always trying to engage my spirit first.
It's my "bounded duty."
I have no "right" to speak anything to you unless i have first done something of the hard work of brutal self-scrutiny.
Real artists (as opposed to poseurs, hacks & entertainers) "owe it" to their listeners/viewers to at least attempt to "know themselves" before they open their yap-traps, take up pen, pick up paint brush, snap the photo or make the film.
That's the preliminary I try to engage in on every set of songs I write.
I think this album succeeds.

I hope I have offended no one nor insulted anyone's intelligence. The issues delved into here?
It's NOT even remotely about Right or Left.

I'll have no truck with a compassion-less, ill-informed conservatism, nor should you.
One slowly destroys his/her own humanity when they shun their neighbor, close their heart to the cries pf the poor, blame and build walls around their hearts; They die inside when they place their faith in violence, war and the power of Mammon.
It is un-biblical...and it's a lie.

This is more about a pushing back against the darkness of the devil.
And the devil? Well, he's a master of disguise.
He's been know to show up in high places; wearing a power tie, gold cross in lapel.
How to steel oneself against the darkness:
Faith? Hope? Charity?
I'm a big fan of those "girls."
I think a better world is ours for the asking;
but not without work on our part.
We need to listen; we need do the "homework" of making sure the sad and deplorable atrocities of the past don't repeat themselves; we ought to take stock of the dark similarities that have beleaguered humanity in the past.

Alarms are going off and have been going off for years; I think we have been deaf to heed those alarms for just as long.

The power to make, mold and shape the world you want?
It's always been there. Still is.
It'll help us to know what kind of world we want and what we'd like it to look like; If we don't build the foundations, then (just like Jesus' parable of the man who built on sandy ground) our best efforts are a stumbling in the dark, a desperate grasping, a collapse.

We can do better. We can imagine, frame and sustain a better world; One in which our fledgling steps become the blessings to bequeath to our children...

Grace & Courage on the journey.
bill mallonee


released January 27, 2018

Bill Mallonee & The Big Sky Ramblers


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Bill Mallonee

Bill Mallonee is an Americana artist w/ 80 plus albums over a 30 year career. Voted by Paste Music Magazine #65 in their "Top 100 Living Songwriters" poll. He was the
founding member of Vigilantes of Love. He has worked with Mark Heard, Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, & Peter Buck from REM.
His most recent work, "Lead On, Kindly Light" is a 23song double Cd released Feb 2020.
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