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by Bill Mallonee

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Richard Sloan
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Richard Sloan Love Bill's lyrics and the stories he paints with his lyrics Favorite track: SANGRE DE CRISTOS.
Craigory Bacon
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Craigory Bacon Musically and thematically, Lands & Peoples continues in the same direction as Dolorosa and Winnowing before it. Here, mid-tempo, shuffling confessions and introspections weave between folkier tales of the ghosts of America(s), past and present. The High Desert reprises her starring role as the whispering, mysterious spirit who just might reveal a longed-for America of the future, as well. Lands & Peoples longs for better things, even if they all turn to dust in the end. Favorite track: SANGRE DE CRISTOS.
Warren Postma
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Warren Postma What a great album. I am gonna put this one in my car and listen the hell out of it. Favorite track: STEERING WHEEL IS A PRAYER WHEEL.
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Kent The whole thing is just brilliant, Bill is a sojourner physically and lyrically. From the southeast to the dessert you couldn't pick a better bag of songs to put on a mix and travel Favorite track: LANDS & PEOPLES.
Bruce Miller
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Bruce Miller Continued genius lyricist Favorite track: IT ALL TURNS TO DUST.
AT LEAST FOR A LITTLE WHILE words & music: bill mallonee (admin BMI 2015) Somewhere between a border town & outside Santa Fe Where the moonlight casts her heavy sigh & sent me on my way You learn to trust the compass stars woven in her hair And you learn to read the poetry hanging in the thin air Should you become a drifter, the Good Earth is your friend And your learn to read her language till the bitter end There was a Rosary on the rearview; this time it went unsaid But, if Love gets the last word; Maybe, i'll be "ok." Chorus: No more dark clouds. Oh, baby that's not your style No more dark clouds,at least for a little while At least for a little while So, if you're walking wounded; bedeviled and all honey, if you're walking wounded; Darling, I won't let you fall
 One more thing about that drifting: Every place becomes your home And yes, you may be lonely...but you never are alone
HIDE ME IN THE DARKNESS words/music: bill mallonee (admin. BMI 2015) look at all of the diamonds...all of the rust look at all of the boom...all of the bust all of the vistas...of golden eternities... it's just pullin' on boots...and rollin' up your sleeves chorus: hide me in the darkness.....of all that's lost & found hide me in the darkness....there's sure plenty to go around all of the hopeless cases...traced from here back to the start Love's got a million faces....but only one heart there's a few plaintive voices...'cross the pages of time all the powers that be...hardly pay 'em any mind all this searching the heavens...for an answer inside all the words of the Lord...in an audible sigh just look on the bright side...just tend to your homestead just look on the dark side...plow's broke & the horses are dead
FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS words/music: bill mallonee (admin BMI 2015) I heard it in the gilded voices of the past a record spinning 'round on a phonograph From a basement full of dust to the treading of the path Fallin' through the cracks Take another swallow; take another breath one life poured out in a million little deaths You can saturate magnetic tape & bleed through the playback Fallin' through the cracks Ya' oughta gather up that soul of yours or whatever is left numbness holds a clarity all unto itself Somewhere 'tween the top shelf & that monkey on your back Fallin' through the cracks Well, the image starts to break-up but it first came as a gift The chemicals? They wash out what'er they come in contact with I heard a record spinning 'round on a phonograph Fallin' through the cracks
STEERING WHEEL IS A PRAYER WHEEL words/music: bill mallonee (admin. BMI 2015) There ain't nothing like the past to remind you of who you are There ain't nothing like the present to tell you who you aren't String band song coming in strong on the AM radio And the steering wheel is a prayer wheel on the open road So, I gathered up my winnings & I girded up my loins Sold my soul in Reno; I bought it back this morn There's only so much you can freight on your heart's shaky scaffold And the steering wheel is a prayer wheel on the open road Now, there's many a man whose crossed himself & then crossed his finger tips Cast his soul out on the table like it was his last poker chip Up ahead there is a bridge & it won't bear the load And the steering wheel is a prayer wheel on the open road There is only inventory left to take & some history to invent For a nation forged with guns & lies, flags & rhetoric There ain't nothing like the past to remind you of who you are There ain't nothing like the present to tell you who you aren't After everyone's been bought & everyone's been sold The steering wheel is a prayer wheel on the open road
STRING OF DAYS words/music: bill mallonee (admin BMI 2015) I was hoping to turn in one good day 'cause you know it's been a while. Losing streaks take no pity on the meek and they've got a way of going on for miles And ghosts of the past? Well, they got nothing on all these devils of the here & now And if God has a ledger sheet that He keeps well, what's the use anyhow? chorus: Things get hard & things get rough No one here's made of such stern stuff Stumblin' through the haze Right on through the string of days No anodyne; just anesthesia that's all from hearing your own footsteps down an empty hall Distillations never filled any wounds but, you never asked it to conjure what they couldn't do Pacing incessant or on your knees; No cessation of hostilities Your seat is empty at the watering hole And everyone's asking: "Do you think he'll show?" I was hoping to turn in one good day 'Cause you know it's been a while. There's a pulse beneath the things unseen Hard as stone...and fragile...as butterfly wings
THE SANGRE DE CRISTOS words/music by Bill Mallonee (admin. BMI 2014) these sun~drenched towns shine like Diego's Roses the ones God's Mother asked him to hold mothers are always giving roses to their children under the blue skies of the Sangre de Cristos blood...is ink where i come from rising up from sweat drenched earth ringing like the lonely bell of a church tower under the blue skies of the Sangre de Cristos The sunlight never fails to win the heart's allegiance & a good woman is better than fine gold her kisses sweeter than agua fria covering you under the blue skies of the Sangre de Cristos This guitar was stumblin' drunk & full of stories orphan children waiting in the cold they poured out just like Diego's Roses under the blue skies of the Sangre De Cristos
NORTHERN LIGHTS & SOUTHERN CROSS words/music: bill mallonee (admin BMI 2015) This town has a way of choosing it's words with a sonorous tone in it's voice This town has a way of taking you down making it look like your own choice So, I hitched a few rides from Georgia out west spent a week in New Orleans Sometimes distractions are what serve you best when you're coming a part at the seams Chorus: Where the veil gets thin is where the veil gets real So touching the heavens is no big deal A glance at the stars is all it'll cost Northern Lights & Southern Cross Northern Lights & Southern Cross Now, there are ghosts from the past making the rounds There are ghosts at the table of the here and now And these walls have ears when ya' walk in the room So, it's good to know to who did what to whom Now you can dig in the desert; you can dig in the sea You can dig on the mountains on high I know this much: It's where no shovel can touch that's where the real gold lies This town has a way of changing it's skin This town is a killer but no blame is ever pinned Time hides herself at the scene of the crime The rain washes away...every chalk line
LANDS & PEOPLES words/music: bill mallonee (admin. BMI 2015) All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide Plantin' dreams in the soil before the Great Divide It certainly helps to have friend travelin' by your side All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide The sweat with every step to build a life that's true Tethered to some prayers and maybe a hymn or two Some things you count as treasure and some you just let lie All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide Some of them strode proudly & some they barely crawled Some managed to to stay just outside the long arm of the law On those who were here first? We worked violence & they died All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide Now kingdoms they will rise & kingdoms they will crash History writes her deeds with ink made of blood & ash It's running through our veins & it rarely does subside All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide Bridge: We make promises with fingers crossed; deals brokered with a wink Every bet is firmly hedged with flags & rhetoric And it goes like this... Now, closing songs from sad bandstands can bring you some relief 'Cross a parking lot that's littered with our grandeur & our griefs Tonight moonlight plays her hand beneath a field of pure star-shine All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide All the lands & peoples stretching far & wide
I'LL SWING WITH EVERYTHING THAT I'VE GOT words & music: bill mallonee (admin BMI 2014) With a suitcase full of blues and a notebook full of secrets most of 'em I'd say are pretty dark And that plot of dusty earth? that one over-grown with weeds? Well, that dirt lot is a lonely heart chorus When it comes to fates & furies? It's hard to get on base when yer playing every game in their park Ah, but ever since my eyes beheld your beauty & your grace I'll swing with everything that' I've got There was a hall I'd frequent on New York Friday nights to buy a beer & dance away the blues To laugh out loud with friends and wink at all the ladies and maybe even steal a kiss or two Now, they say life's a game and most are bound to lose because the deck has been stacked from the start But lately, i've been wondering if life is what you give away and what could more precious than your heart? There's a story that I'm writing Would you help me hold the pen? On every page you will shine just like a star And if that deck is stacked? We'll just laugh & leave the table And leave the dealer all alone there in the dark
SWING IT, JOE music/words: bill mallonee Drove the last few miles in the dark Hit the foothills & then we slowed You said: "Everything has changed; Now you know." The first thing that caught my eye: Vacant hills & black-coal sky Where once forest & the stars were my home When the temples of your youth Their last stones are shaken loose Ya' learn beauty has no useful-ness for some chorus: Swing it, Joe; Yeah, swing it, Joe When we go down? No one'll know Breath a sigh & then ya' go Swing it, Joe. Yeah, swing it, Joe It's a *hardpan world from a hardpan start You try to make some sense of it with a hardpan heart But, you were like a hero walking straight outta the past Just like Jesus...built to last. chorus: Swing it, Joe; Swing it, Joe When we go down; No one'll know Take a bow & then ya' blow Swing it, Joe. Yeah, swing it, Joe Kingdoms rise & kingdoms fall 'tween happy hour & last call On this slow, sad crawl to God only knows Hit the foothills then we slowed It's all bathed in halogen glow You said: "Everything has changed." "now you know..." chorus: Swing it, Joe; Swing it, Joe When we go down; No one'll know Take a bow & then ya' blow Swing it, Joe. Yeah, swing it, Joe... *hard·pan (noun) 1. A layer of hard subsoil or clay. Also called caliche. It is impervious to water 2. Hard, unbroken ground. 3. A foundation; bedrock.
I HOPE THE KIDS MAKE IT OUT words/music: bill mallonee (admin. BMI 2015) It all dried up here years ago they moved it all over-seas; let us go no back up plan and baby, it's all gone south i just hope the kids make it out had some small town dreams with some small town hopes always starting over again at the end of the same rope sweating bullets in your sleep till you bolt upright with a shout i just hope the kids make it out Now, all the gold in the world won't buy off your regrets and all the whiskey at the bar? well, there's n'er enough to make you forget You'll cast your pearls before swine, brother there's no doubt i just hope the kids make it out i just hope the kids make it out
IT ALL TURNS TO DUST words & music: bill mallonee (admin BMI 2015) Well, the banker man he stood up and adjusted his fine coat and he showed me where to sign on that promissory note everything that we had, well, it all went on the line plant the seed an roll the dice just this one last time well, you know how this one goes...a tale of woe & loss should have seen it coming from a thousand miles off I was pleading with the banker man; "just give me one more month..." wife and kids were starving...beneath a Kansas sun he just smiled and looked away; our eyes they never ever locked reached inside his vest pocket and opened his gold watch Well, there's not much you can count on but here's one thing you can trust everything & everyone it all turns to dust... she left me in September....to the East she headed back she told me not to write her...i've tried to make good on that



Lands & Peoples/The Task Is Ever Endless... by: Bill Mallonee

Lands & Peoples was recorded in the high desert of New Mexico between Jan & March of 2015.
Thematically, it is both a very personal & “outward” looking record, as well.

I’ve spent most of my adult life on the road. I joke with people, when on tour, that I had to join a band to get out of the South. Now, 60 plus albums and a million miles of road, it’s in the blood.
The road. The lands. The people. You can’t help but “take notes.”
Directions are crucial. It’s always good to know where one is.
Call it signs of the times:
Hearts fail for fear & grow cold. A certain malaise & confusion reigns.
Yep, from every quarter, leadership has failed us.
And Money has spoken all too arrogantly.
No matter where one chooses to lay the blame; whether you bet on the Left or the Right, we are a now a nation that
is wounded, burdened, even haunted.
The task that lies before us of healing (and redirection) seems impossible, endless.

I am well aware that folks (especially artists?) who make these sorts of assertions lay themselves open to the charge of being grandiose;
of possessing an inflated sense of self-importance.
Forecasters, prognosticators, doomsayers?
(How does the old joke go? What’s 5000 critics at the bottom of the sea…?)

If that sentiment is your inclination well, all I can offer is a “you’ll just have to trust me on this one.” In a day and age where everything from politics & religion has been reduced to bumper-sticker or facebook meme phras-ology, we tend to be not so much knowledgeably informed as conduits of simplistic notions. But that’s another post.

SO: Let me own it; make it personal from the “git-go.”
My vantage point is more like that of a concerned traveler; one with an ear to the ground, and an eye to the skyline.
One with a guitar & notebook in hand.

I’ve explored similar themes on past recordings.
But, the songs on Lands & Peoples (at least for myself) were a new starting point for me.
The writing & recording of these songs (some 40 written in all) provided me with something of a space. Something like a tract of land or a harbor…in the end, a sanctuary.
You drop anchor & look at the coastline of the past.

The Past. Modern man is usually busy charging beyond the past. Somewhat blindly, I think, he presses on to a future that, at best, is shadowy, suspect and charged with nuances of the apocalyptic.

The Past. These songs were a harbor where one could lament what could have been but was left undone in our history;
~ a place to acknowledge the sad chapters of our past;
~ a space to weep over the silencing of voices of Goodness & Truth when they appeared on the scene;
~ a small parcel on which to mourn the lives that were lost in this mad, uncritical rush to the altar of modernity.

What did we lose? What did we fail to keep? And are such things lost forever?
I think about these things. I think about them a lot.
What I think is that it’s important to let the Past interrogate us.

What to say?
Our own Greed & Fear dictates our path far too often.
The grim alibi of pragmatism (“It was for convenience’s sake”) is tragically employed.
(And God knows, old habits die hard.)

Maybe there’s a bright side in these songs as well.
Me? I’m always looking for a skeleton key to let a few of the better angels of my nature (if such things exist) to show forth.
Healing is often found closer to home, and maybe after such a finding, it never leaves.
Maybe, after we let the Past interrogate us, there something like a cleansing; one with a more sober vision that is birthed inside of us.

Perhaps, it’s like making a good confession.
“Go…and do better next time. We need you out there,” saith the Lord.

Where to go from here?
If our country is wounded, burdened and haunted then educating ourselves can’t hurt.
Nor can employing the lost virtue of listening compassionately to one another.
Of actually “seeing” one another.
The jury may be out but perhaps Love, Compassion, Prayer & Diligence may still carry the day.
And I betcha a little Courage will go a long way.
“Grace…and dirty fingernails,” my friend Dwight Ozard always use to say.

But, first there’s the field of one’s own heart to tend to.
Personal & social sins to “call out,” confess & repent of.
It’ll keep us busy. After all: We’re correcting our mistakes on an exam we’ve all failed.
After that, there are our own spirits to refresh, re-focus & nurture.
Hope to be refreshed and then hands to be placed upon plows.
Oh, yes, and dreams to dream again
If good things start in dreams, let the dreaming begin.

Perhaps, these songs were a way of doing that for myself.
Perhaps that’s their only value.

Because after listening, you may still find yourself to be more of the calculated, “realist” temperament.
And sure, you may easily dismiss these songs & renderings as simply those expressions of yet one more grandiose songwriter;
(“Clearly one with an inflated sense of self-importance,” you may say.)
Ah, well, to thyself be true then.

The Good Lord knows, I’m not the first to voice such observations.
There are still running around, those who dream of better days in a new & better world;
one birthed, brought to life after much travail, and finally sustained by changed hearts.
Hearts, in their own stumbling ways, attempting to pursue those “weightier matters of the law.”
You know ’em: Justice, Mercy, Faithfulness;
It’ll take a whole lot of Grace. “Grace & dirty fingernails.”

So, “ring them bells.” Light the prayer candles...
In every dark age there have always been a few dreamers.
Why, the task is ever endless. ~ Bill Mallonee


released May 1, 2015

All songs by Bill Mallonee (Admin BMI 2015)

Bill Mallonee: vocals, acoustic, electric, resonator, high-string, & Spanish guitars, basses, drums, keyboards, harmonicas, dulcimers, accordion, harmony vocals, string arrangements.

Muriah Rose: acoustic piano, electric piano, organ, harmony vocals.


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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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