Famous Anonymous Wilderness

by Graham Lindsey

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Debut full-length album from Graham Lindsey


released September 2, 2003

Graham Lindsey - vocals, acoustic guitars, resonator guitar, harmonicas
Matt Cartsonis - bottleneck guitar, accordion, mandola
Doug Livingston - pedal steel
Joel Hamilton - upright bass
M.B. Gordy - drums, percussion

This album is dedicated in memory of
Jason Lonewolf Hatfield
-Let there be light

Produced, engineered, and mixed by Steve Deutsch
Assisted by George Landress
Recorded at Mars Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Photo - Christine Hromadka
Painting, layout and design - Joe Perreze

All words and music written by Graham Lindsey
(Graham Lindsey Music/ASCAP). All rights reserved. Copyright 2003 Graham Lindsey.


all rights reserved



Graham Lindsey montana

Known for the dark, raw, stripped-down approach he takes to American roots and folk, Graham Lindsey's music has been said to fall somewhere in the middle of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and 'if Gillian Welch had a male counterpart,' while following in the traditions of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. But, it does so with plenty of his own punk rock sensibilities in tact.

Photo Credit: Nicole Wickens
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Track Name: Hutch Jack Flats Rag

I set out for Hutch Jack Flats to be alone in peace
It had been twenty-one years since the first time I could leave
From anywhere that gave me life or slowly killed me quietly
And still I heard the urgent voices although no one followed me
They begged drive on, drive on
I rounded a hilltop and started down the other side
My mortality began to doubt the view that struck my eyes
Twenty men all tied together digging twenty graves on the roadside
And each man called beyond his chains without compromise
Carry on, carry on
Now passed the brooks and creeks and streams and rivers I did go
Each one flowing madly into something I'd never know
I contemplated ever-afters as my stride began to slow
And when I reached the Hutch Jack Flats I heard a song I did not know
Singing hold on, hold on
Everywhere was here and there no matter where I went
The wind blew bones across the road but my ghosts were already dead
And suddenly I longed for all the places I'd already been
And for the people and the things that I ignored when they all said
Hey boy slow down, slow down
Track Name: My Museum Blues

I can't articulate the shame the vain and unrelenting blame
I place to man and beast the same
I guess to aim the water in the drain is only human
My fingers unfold without restraint
To cling and claw the veil from the face
That drapes the windows from the rain
And brace them together in some sort of union
I must address the obvious
The mess of this and that and this
That famous anonymous wilderness
This bliss undressed by wisps of dim confusion
And tethered to the floors
I hear a scream that leaves the boards that creak
To free itself beyond mere fleeting speech
That breathlessly breeds these delusions
Dear lady please answer me
I beg of you your new and naked attitude
The exact truths which you conclude
In lucid soaring interludes
That move your soul to some relief
I see the things that anybody sees
The dreams the sermons, elegies
These cheap cryptic formalities
To clean and eat the humbled spirit
An empty hand lays down the prize
The prayers turn to a soft disguise
The dead and living both decry
But amplify the reasons why they still fear it
The marksman nears a clearing where
The message ain't no clearer
But it mirrors here and Heaven there
And why creatures revere the weirdness of their maker
Tonight my love she lays in bed
While forms of dread swim through my head
Instead she said she won't contend
with things she doesn't hate yet and I won't wake her
Sweet lady that I look to
Along this nameless ancient chain I yank
This insane circus train track takes
It's aim without it's brakes
I can't see through the smoke it makes
And so I look for you
Track Name: Emma Rumble

Emma Rumble Emma Rumble
Your black hair's hanging low
Your naked arms are glistening
And frozen from the snow
Emma Rumble Emma tell me
For if you don't let me know
My heart's already taken
So tomorrow I will go
Emma gladly I'll stay with thee
Only if just for tonight
I will read the lines between your palms
Just move into the light
And let it bathe you let me know you
You who have been so confined
By the beauty that you suffer's
Why your hair is growing white
Your hair is growing white

Emma Rumble Emma Rumble
Why do you stir in such distress?
Late in the evening you were sleeping
You were dreaming I should guess
Do not touch me do not hold me
You cried it was useless
And implied to me through wild eyes
Those things you can't confess
Emma sadly I must leave thee
As my true love waits alone
On the porch step in the moonlight
She looks out and through the cold
If I kiss you I must kill you
You told me in gentle tones
Emma Rumble do not wait for me
I'll see you down the road

In my hometown the sheriff found
My true love in the snow
Her body lay beaten there
And covered in your clothes
Emma Rumble Emma Rumble
I cry as my shotgun loads
The night is hot and heavy now
And I'm walking down the road
I'm walking down the road
Track Name: Hey Hey

I've been taught and I've been told
And I've been turned and pushed and pulled
I've been played hey hey hey hey
The sun goes up the sun goes down
This big wide world keeps spinning round
It's all the same hey hey hey hey

And all along the winding way
Beauty ain't an act of faith
All in all it's not the same

I've been bought and I've been sold
And I've been crooked and cockeyed and cold
I've been swept and swayed hey hey
The tide comes in and the tide goes out
The whole wide world starts to shake and shout
Say what you will say hey hey

But all along there are the waves
The rays of daylight faraway
They live they die but nothing's changed
All along the winding way
I came I saw I did not stay
I lived I died I did not change
Track Name: I Won't Let You Down

The mirror of your bureau leans as it had before
Reflecting on a bed where now lays an empty floor
Your doorway is lamp-lit and aching with some kind of invitation
But you stand there with the curtains pulled down around your body like some final decision
But I won't let you down I won't let you down
I'll never let you drop to your knees for me
Just put your ear to the ground
'Cause I won't let you down I won't let you down

Whatever keeps you warm and lets you sleep tonight
I must guess it's the dress the windows wrap you in with moonlight
I'll lay on this naked floor and wait for you
And watch your eyes close slowly sadly from across the room
And I won't let you down I won't let you down
And if by midnight I'm gone I swear I'll be back by dawn
'Cause I won't let you down I won't let you down
Track Name: Everybody Sings A Lonesome Song

Where have all the singers gone
Gone to churches one by one
The street's been quiet for so long
Where has all the music gone
The radio keeps everyone at home
Slow dancing through the telephone
And then we die and no one knows
And there's just the sound of the radios
While the counterfeits who hate our dreams
Moan joyful tones through the tv screen
But I can't believe what I have seen
Now everybody hums the same damn melody
And the pushers know the junkies will come back
If no one ever understands the trap

And for those young without their mouths
Echoes break the windows in an empty house
And no one wants to hang around
Not long ago I was just a babe
When targets chased the armed parades
They ran in rhythm with the notes that played
And we'd sing along with the falling rain
But that ain't how it feels today
'Cause the butchers with those electric bones
Fired hearts like empty bombs explode
Now everyone's back on their own
Dying fast I am not growing old
Yes the lonely know the only way is down
And not everybody comes back around

Whose song has stopped for the voice of God
Angels or fools call them what you want
We all make do with what we've got
You are hard-wired for eternity
Eyes roll back so the heart can sleep
Conversations bite the ankles of infancy
You and I are a stupid symphony
Reborn and dying constantly
Like the jukebox wind on the ocean blows
Take this change and make the silence gold
It's deafening out here on my own
I suppose that's just the way it goes
But the solitude proves everybody wrong
'Cause everybody sings a lonesome song
Track Name: Viola

Viola Viola violets turn brown
Who was the poor outlaw that has dragged you down
He held you and dealt you and then he was gone
Viola Viola you were done wrong

Viola Viola violins won't sing
Your paintings are fading in stacks on the street
The tones and the colors are puddles at my feet
But lady sad lady who sleeps with the hounds
Viola Viola you will be done wrong

Viola I know the passed year has been hard
I've sung at your temples I've slept in your bars
I've seen the Jack dance with the Queen in your cards
I gave you my hand and you dropped to the ground
Viola Viola I did nothing wrong

Viola Viola please don't make a sound
For that poor outlaw is back in your town
He walks with a swagger and whistles this song
Viola Viola it was me all along
Track Name: Dead Man's Waltz

When you're weary and worn out
And no arms can seem to hold you
When you're heavy and strung out
And tired with no place to go to
And the times feel for certain
That nobody's hurtin' like you do
Bring your heartache and smile
And we'll walk as many miles as we have to
When the people you've known
Wave like armfuls of smoke through the air
And the rain on your shoulders
Doesn't pass like the wind through your hair
And your eyes begin to fool you
And fail you from the face that you wear
Don't trust any mirrors you will need something clearer
To find what you're looking for there

If the streets don't respect you
Yet constantly rap at your door
Well you know what neglect means
Now you know what deceit can afford
But to stand there like that with your heart in your hands
Dealing for more
The streets will break in again and again
And take only what you're living for
Since your body betrayed you
You've been so afraid of the cold
But what storm has pursued you
That makes you do everything that you're told
It must be the ice that drains
Down from your eyes through your clothes
That first taught you your voice
But now haunts you with it from the side of the road
To look at your face is to lose myself in those eyes
How softly they open and swiftly they close from the light
Like the curtains in your room bending shadows over you tonight
As you snake through your skin from the shape you've been in
That you still somehow seem to fit inside
Like the shadows on your face
Can't help falling into place line by line
As the strangers that pass
Leave their fingerprints on the glass
Just so they can say they at least tried
Well if the whole world looks vain
Through this tainted window frame
You're probably right
Track Name: You Will Be Alright

All night in our wintry rooms
Through liquid light we limp along
With saviors there
Our bodies know no compromise
So hold onto to the first thing
That decides to care
And hunted as an insect by the perfect defect
We will both just sit and stare
This could be anywhere

There is sun and there is rain
I'll never swim that stream again
It is a gutter now
And life-like I begin to move
And spin what is this drain I'm in
I am not proud
I climb back on my rotting bed
Where every joke aims for my head
Where are the clowns?
They're in the tavern now

I rode in on a hungry horse
I plundered open range
And came by way of spite
Now sitting beside you your naked needing
Wants releasing
And stay I might
But lady don't mistake me
For another medication
I'm not that strong to night
You will be alright
Track Name: If I Was A Horse

If I was a horse I'd want to be a bucking horse
And if I was a mule
I'd kick and spit and scream and roar
And I would never work no more
If I was a mule

If I was a hound
I'd want to be a mean old hound
I'd chase and hunt my master down
If I was a hound

If I was a horse
I'd want to be a bucking horse
And if I was a bull
I'd stomp the ground and steam and snort
Like you ain't ever seen before
If I was a bull

If I was a horse
I'd want to be a bucking horse
I'd kick and spit and scream and roar
If I was a horse
Track Name: Song To New York

I went to every city where I met no one
And I stood in every barroom where nothing had begun
There were fights in every alley way
And protests panting until dawn
Pleading someone listen to them
Belch their empty songs
And the pirates dressed in new blue jeans
Sold tickets in the square I heard that
Somewhere something happened once
But never quite occurred
Stagecoaches sent limp lovers passed
I watched the lure sink then raise
And dangle like a lullaby
But the children ran away
I saw twenty flowers baring
Twenty colors in a line
Each dancing to a cadence
Keeping them there 'til they die
As lonely dreamers peddled their schemes
To loners looking for anything
Take me where you want to
Just don't let me see the strings
The waterfront reeked of new perfume
Where strangers strangely drifted by
For morning would be coming soon
While unwilling goes the night
And I in my fading raincoat wondered
Mothered by a million fears
How ancient are these memories
That have always left me here
I remember serpent skylines rising
Swimming in infinity
And all the poisoned people
Submerged in obscurity
As if to reach up was enough
To beg eternity for more
I can't remember waking up
Or what my dreams were for
I am useless to the wild earth
So sings the bowels of every place
I used to map the laughter
Though I could never find its face
And anywhere that I may go
My judgment roars its restless bells
I never knew and shall never know
A worse place than myself

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