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about

MULE.
Dive into these songs, friends. I don't think you'll be disappointed. "MULE" is one of the most poignant and self-disclosing collection of songs I've written. Pretty much the years of "processing" life, the road and what I try to do as an artist. The upshot of long & deep conversations with wife, musical partner & co-conspirator, Muriah Rose.

A few of these songs had to wait. And they waited very politely.
They were Fully realized, well-recorded and eager to get in the game,
It's all here: heartland rockers, high & lonesome numbers, vulnerable stories with a touch of surrealism, "homilies."
A lovely Autumnal album. (What IS it about the change of seasons here that so inspires?)

But these songs had to wait...until now. Let me explain...

I'm a believer in the short & sweet ride; it's a ride that should be and full of nurturing conversation, instrumentally and lyrically.
I think, when it comes to the listener, an artist should endeavor to keep albums to a "digestible" portion is absolutely THE way to go.

Almost ALL of the truly great records of the 60's and 70's were 35-40minutes. The LP may have had it's limitations, but it also "imposed" a certain boundary on it's time length. It made for, I believe, sets of great songs. No filler, no "repeating oneself."

A pox upon the Cd format.
Just because the thing will hold 65minutes of music does not mean an artist should try & fill it up. Personally? I think long records water down concepts & contribute to mediocrity, but that's another essay. (And this is coming from an artist who use to almost always fill his early releases to the brim.)

Write your songs.
Say your piece.
Try to make it an interesting ride.
Get in. Get out.

No. The albums I've made o'er the last 10 years (some 40, I think) are theme focused; I want them to be conceptually integrated.;
Meticulously edited and sequenced so the ride will be short & sweet & (above all) nurturing & memorable.

A few of these songs are garnered from different sessions, but thematically & musically, they all roll to a basic point.
Together, they feel quite like a concept record to me.
Songs that are Good brothers & sisters, each looking out for the other, each enjoying one anothers company.

So, this "MULE" ride?
It's a healthy 48 or so minutes of new songs...
And yes, they're pretty introspective (but not bleak)
And yes, mules are known for be a bit slow...
But, they're always Sure...
....and they are always Tried & True....

Bill Mallonee
November/2016

credits

released November 18, 2016

Bill Mallonee: vocals, harmonies, electric & acoustic guitars, resonator guitar, hi-string guitar, bass, drums, lap steep, organ, harmonica
Muriah Rose: organ, piano, vocals

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about

Bill Mallonee

Bill Mallonee is an Americana artist w/ 75 plus albums over a 25 year career. Voted by Paste Music Magazine #65 in their "Top 100 Living Songwriters" poll. He was the
founding member of Athens, Ga. 90's radio rockers, Vigilantes of Love. He has worked with great artists such as Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, & Peter Buck from REM.
His most recent work,
"The Rags of Absence" released in Jan. 2017.
... more

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Track Name: YOU'RE STILL CRYIN' HARD (ON THE INSIDE)
YOU'RE STILL CRYIN' HARD (ON THE INSIDE)
words & music: bill mallonee c. 2016 BMI

There's only so much you can do
to pretend it doesn't hurt
gone from bad to worse
and then invisible
Ya' wear your frown upside down
& tell your pretty little lie
you're still crying hard on the inside
you're still crying hard on the inside

Now, it's written in the stars & sung each night
in every honky tonk
from Tucumcari clear to Tennessee.
Take the whole thing a part for the 1000th time
you're still crying hard on the inside
you're still crying hard on the inside

there is no anesthesia that'll get you free
no debauchery that isn't really slavery
you can hold what little does remain to the kindly light
you're still crying hard on the inside
you're still crying hard on the inside

if fools blurt out what angels fear to whisper
every time i'm with her it's as bright as the sun
given to the tremolo and a lap steel's lonesome swell
we make our beds in hell...a stone's throw to redemption
Ya' wear your crown upside down
& tell your pretty little lie
you're still crying hard on the inside
you're still crying hard on the inside
Track Name: DOESN'T TAKE TOO MANY FRIENDS (Really, Only One)
DOESN'T TAKE TOO MANY FRIENDS, REALLY, ONLY ONE words & music: bill mallonee/BMI 2016

1. soundchecks & rendezvous; always charged deja vu.
then again there are thin places that will call
there are symbols veiling secrets;
too much light and they vanish
words soaked in heartache?
we're always my downfall

Chorus: No, it doesn't take too many friends
most of mine are gone
doesn't take too many friends
really, only one...really only one

2. tweed amps breaking up too loud;
"devil-may-care" college crowd
the melody of here & now with a 6-string drag
pawn shop guitar with the finish worn off;
you ureally ought see to that cough
It's hard to get found...and easy to get lost

it doesn't take too many friends
to get the job done
doesn't take too many friends
really, only one

3. Now, there's some thing youi can rejoice in
and there's so much to grieve
things you hold too tight, til the life just leves
bring it all out in the open; bring it all into the light
whatever it is you're showing...it'll be alright

No, it doesn't take too many friends
most of mine are gone
doesn't take too many friends
really, only one
Track Name: KISSING BOOTH
KISSING BOOTH (electric version)
words/music: bill mallonee c. 2014 BMI

there's a kissing booth and so these folks
they come from miles around
when'er that kissing booth and carney
they pull into town...pull into town
they say it only costs a nickel; to close your eyes and feel
something far beyond this world; now i call that a deal
& you're hoping she might be the one to melt your heart of steel

they say it all goes by so quick
and it'll all go by so fast
nothing you can do but leap
and hold onto your hat...hold onto to your hat
Love is always a gamble, but you want it to be real
in a world of kisses & hard sell; a spinning of the wheel
& you're hoping she might be the one to melt your heart of steel

she smiled pretty as a picture
and me? I swallowed my fear
it wasn't for my looks for sure
but she drew me oh-so-near...drew me oh-so-near
sometimes the jailer & the prisoner they hold each other dear
anyway, something opened up and the skies they became clear
she whispered something softly to me
but i can't repeat that here

now, there's a few things to be thankful for
if you know what i mean
i've never been a pauper
i'll never be a king...i'll never be a king
but it only costs a nickel to close your eyes and feel
something far beyond all words, now i call that a deal
and ever once so often, she melts your heart of steel
Track Name: LOSIN' STREAK
Losin' Streak words & music bill mallonee
c. BMI 2016

Your coach is bound for New York; should take about 2weeks
If that Indian summer holds...back her tears of grief hear there's new beginnings after everythings gone dead
life's unfinished sentences...from a chapter never read

Losin' streak...Losin' streak

Now, Autumn speaks in whispers if she speaks at all
But, I swear she spoke in tongues to me beside the waterfall
spoke to me of true love; at least that what she preached
Me, well, it always seemed to be one prayer outta reach

Losing streak...Losing streak

Now, Winter speaks in silence so I never heard the call
a boarding house in Durango is where i chose to fall
with a mind full of confusion; clouds gathering for the storm
they tell you 'bout the rose; but don't mention the thorns

Losin' streak...Losin' streak

Now, one must pay the piper in heartache or in gold
but one thing you should never do is ante-up your soul
Lady Luck's departed. Her exit is n'er too discreet
time to turn & shake hands with your losing streak
Track Name: STAR~LIGHT
STAR~LIGHT
words & music: bill mallonee c. BMI 2016

You know i wonder how you got there
'Cause it's more than a mystery
For all those pages that we turned
there's still so little that we see

i tried to watch your every gesture
to see if they'd reveal a plot
I tried to see if that smile you smiled
was the real one or not

it's a world just like a house of cards
and our fault lines are hard to detect
in a world full of simple, wide-eyed souls
there is so much to protect

Chorus:
so, if starlight is your gift
let it shine all through the night
for the storm-tossed
who have no land in sight

so, if starlight is your special gift
let it be special night
for the drowning
who have no land in sight
Track Name: AND I'M GOING UNDER
AND I'M GOING UNDER
words & music: bill mallonee c. 20016 BMI

I was watching from the wings
too young to put together much of anything
every encore is a going through the motions
till you collapse into that deeper ocean

ether bound
and i'm going under
lost & found
is it any wonder?
does your soul make a sound
when it's torn asunder?
ether bound
and i'm going under

broken words to broken songs
made it hard to sing along
and every town starts to look the same
and your heart is caught in the freeze frame

ether bound
and i'm going under
lost & found
is it any wonder?
does your soul make a sound
when it's torn asunder?
ether bound
and i'm going under
and i'm going under, etc...
Track Name: FOREVER & FOR ALL
FOREVER & FOR ALL
words & music: bill mallonee (BMI 2016)

A crack in the new dawn
crossing the Rubicon
and it all comes with a cost
row towards the lighthouse, you storm-tossed

it's the same breath we all breathe
it's the same blood we all bleed
when will we start to know?
let it all go
let it all go
let it all go

Chorus:
there is moonlight like a blade
there are stones that must be rolled away
Love has the last say
forever & for all
forever & for all
forever & for all

The window pane reflects
a soul in silhouette
in this room where we learn to wait
too near the static and the ticker tape

the flotsam and the jetsam
the shame and the sham
and a face you could never show
let it all go
let it all go
let it all go

there is moonlight like a blade
there are stones that must be rolled away
Love will have the last say
forever & for all
forever & for all
forever & for all
Track Name: RENO IS A HELL OF A PLACE (TO HAVE YOUR LUCK RUN DRY)
RENO IS A HELL OF A PLACE (To Have Your Luck Run Dry)
words/music: bill mallonee c. 2014 BMI

Well, Reno is a hell of a place to have your luck run dry
all the things you bank on vanish...in the wink of an eye
slipping through your fingers leaving you to opine
Reno is a hell of a place to have your luck run dry

Cracklin of a CB has always brought a smile
breaking up the engine drone o'er many a mile
And it's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" under wide open skies
ah, but Reno is a hell of a place to have your luck run dry

It's the stories that you learned back home. Their the ones that last
but the stories that you're writing now, well, they all go nowhere fast
and yes, there are some that you'd erase with a deep & heavy sigh
and Reno is a hell of a place to have your luck run dry

now life, she is the perfect thief committing perfect crimes
takes it from you slowly, the nickel & the dime
With a log book full of questions, and answers in short supply
Reno is a hell of a place to have your luck run dry
Track Name: GHOST WALTZ (new studio version)
~ GHOST WALTZ ~
WORDS/MUSIC: BILL MALLONEE c. 2012 BMI

WELL, THE LAMPS BURN LOW IN THE ROADHOUSE
& THE DANCERS THEY DRIFT OFF TWO AT A TIME
THERE'S A BLUE MOON ON THE SNOW & THE WIND IS MOANING LOW
YOU’D SWEAR YOU THINK SHE’S CRYIN’

I MAY HAVE COME HERE, COME HERE BY ACCIDENT
I MAY HAVE COME HERE, COME HERE BY DESIGN
COULD I TROUBLE YOU GIRL FOR ONE MORE TWIRL ON THAT DANCE FLOOR?
IF YOU’D BE SO KIND
CHORUS:
I WILL RAISE A GLASS TO YOU SWEETHEART
AND TO EVERYTHING WE EVER WON OR LOST
I WILL HOLD YOU CLOSE & STAMMER A TOAST
AND STEP TO THIS GHOST WALTZ

I HAVE SEEN MANY A GHOST ON THIS DANCE FLOOR
THEY'RE ALWAYS LOCKED IN EACH OTHERS EYES
& THEY WALTZ TO A TUNE...IN A STAR-LIT ROOM
TO HOLD BACK THE NIGHT
Track Name: THE KINGDOM'S FIRST NEW MORN (I Won't Bore You With The Details)
THEY'RE NOT IMPORTANT ANYWAY words/music: bill mallonee
I won't bore you with the details
they're not important anyway
no judge or jury ever bet the farm
when the truth got in the way

Now, the prophets, they all died by the hands of profiteers
but it all happen more or less out of sight
compromise is a drug measured out, to everyone involved
so most folks slept well enough at night


Chorus:
when it all gets shaken
when it all gets torn
when we see what's real and what's been faking
on the Kingdom's first new morn

Me? i took it to the road when the cities weren't safe
after man's heart took this devilish turn
there's far worse things than being alone
so homelessness became the better home

I dunno how every tear will be wiped away
God's got a lot on His plate
i won't bore you with the details
they're not important anyway
they're not important anyway
Track Name: LOSIN' STREAK (Bonus track/alt. mix/vocal up a nudge)
Losin' Streak words & music bill mallonee

Your coach is bound for New York; should take about 2weeks
If that Indian summer holds...back her tears of grief hear there's new beginnings after everythings gone dead
life's unfinished sentences...from a chapter never read

losin' streak...losin' streak

Now, Autumn speaks in whispers if she speaks at all
But, I swear she spoke in tongues to me beside the waterfall
spoke to me of true love; at least that what she preached
Me, well, it always seemed to be one prayer outta reach

losing streak...losin streak

Now, Winter speaks in silence so I never heard the call
a boarding house in Durango is where i chose to fall
with a mind full of confusion; clouds gathering for the storm
they tell you 'bout the rose; but don't mention the thorns

losin' streak...losin streak

Now, one must pay the piper in heartache or in gold
but one thing you should n'er do is ante-up your soul
Lady Luck departed. Her exit is n'er too discreet
time to turn & shake hands with your losing streak...