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TOMBSTONE BOYS, GRAVEYARD GIRLS 2003

Song List

Before I’m Dead

Blues 4 Lenny

It’s Hard

Great Big Lie

Revolution

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls

Walking Back To Tupelo

Standing In The Rain

South To Alabam

Maria

Racine

Credits

Tombstone Boys, Grave Yard Girls
Album Credits and Info

 

Before I’m Dead  3:13

Blues For Lenny  2:56

It’s Hard  6:02

Great Big Lie  4:17

Revolution  5:48

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls  4:54

Walking Back To Tupelo  4:16

Standing In The Rain   3:48

South To Alabam   3:58

Maria   3:44

Racine   5:24

 

Details:

 Before I’m Dead

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Drums, maracas, backing vocal

Lou Ann Bardash – Backing vocal

 

Blues 4 Lenny

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic and electric guitar

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar, piano

Mark Andes - Bass

Mark Hallman – Maracas, bongos

Lou Ann Bardash – Vocal

 

It’s Hard

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar

Bass – Mark Andes

Mark Hallman – Drums

Lou Ann Bardash – Backing vocal

 

Great Big Lie

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar, mandolin

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar, backing vocal

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Drums, tambourine, B3 

Lou Ann Bardash – Backing vocal

 

Revolution

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar, harmonica

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Drums, bongos, maracas, backing vocal

Lou Ann Bardash – Backing vocal

 

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar, harmonica

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Drums, tambourine

 

Walking Back to Tupelo

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar

Robert McEntee – Electric Guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Tambo drums, B3

 

Standing In The Rain

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar, harmonica

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Tambo drums

 

South To Alabam

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar, harmonica

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Drums

 

Maria

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic guitar, harmonica

Robert McEntee – Electric Guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Bongos, accordion

 

Racine

Tom Ovans – Vocal, acoustic & electric guitar, harmonica

Robert McEntee – Electric guitar

Mark Andes – Bass

Mark Hallman – Percussion, tambourine

 

Produced by Tom Ovans & Mark Hallman

Executive Producer: Lou Ann Bardash

Recorded at The Congress House

Engineers – Mark Hallman, Ned Stewart

Assistant Engineer – Jean LeJeune

Mixed & Mastered by Mark Hallman

R.I.P. Henry and Llittle Walter

Words & Music by Tom Ovans © & Ⓟ 2003 (BMI)

Lyrics

 

Before I’m Dead

 

Packaging the heat, flashing the flash

Nothing is real nothing going to last

Even the winners are looking pretty grim

I tell you brother it’s you or him

 

I’ve been at rest I’ve been at work

I’ve torn my pants and I’ve ripped my shirt

I’ve seen enough to know the score

I’ve seen enough to know there’s more

 

Too many people over here

Too many people over there

Too many people I hear the news

Too many people like me and you

 

I’m going to take me a ride somewhere

Where the stars shine and the night is clear

Unload my trunk empty out my head

And try to remember before I’m dead

 

 

 

 

Blues 4 Lenny

 

I picked up the pieces

I hitched a ride

Watch the taillights disappear

Into the swollen mystic night

I tuned my guitar

To the lightening to the thunder

I pitched my voice

To the depths where men plunder

I cast my eyes upon the wilderness

Generations grew up around me

I let my thoughts prey

Imagination all most found me

Think not of you or me

Said the space within a space

But remember the rolling herds

The tears upon Geronimo’s face

I watched a truck and then another truck

Like a midnight blue shot of heroin

Roll like craps like dice

Crash on through the horizon

So what now my love?

Where does this insanity end?

I grab my clothes, my bags

I kick the doors of pity open

Let the city in let the city scream

Trains going uptown trains going downtown

I got to see the man now

Before I start to drown

What’s left is already gone

I know you would help me if you could

But now on this corner alone

I see others stand where I once stood

So this is it, this is how it ends

It was just the times nobody could see

Used cars, smiles, show biz

It all got the best of me

Well you can just tell ole Lenny

It all came down to this

I was just another cowboy

Blown away by a kiss

 

 

 

 

It’s Hard

 

Dreary mornings, tombstone heads

Water falls on frustrations bed

Dimes and nickels, vigilantes

Deepest well at times prove empty

I know

It’s hard

Kid I know 

It’s hard

Honey I know

It’s hard

But tell me what isn’t

 

Curbstone coffins and social balls

Rubies and diamonds, smiles and all

Famous tease, cameras flash

Boneheads pray for this life to last

I know

It’s hard

Kid I know

It’s hard

Honey I know

It’s hard

But tell me what isn’t

 

I come across a bridge to meet a lover, I stopped half way, I waited until the sun went down, until the stars became familiar, then I watched the sun rise again above old peeling houses surrounded by ancient maple trees, day after day, week after week, until now years have passed and still I stand looking out at the abandoned railroad tracks, muddy waters of a river gone bad, new storefronts singing hymns written by cynics in LA and Nashville, angry men screaming obscenities in traffic, a twelve year old giving her parents the finger behind their backs, cats ripping apart plastic trash bags, and old man sitting alone on the steps of a local union hall…

 

Laws and justice divided they stand

You see blood dripping in the sand

Follow the money back to the root

You see the horror you see the truth

I know

It’s hard

Kid I know 

It’s hard

Honey I know

It’s hard

But tell me what isn’t

I’ve seen a thousand saviors go by, a hundred times as many followers raving about some new kind of inner peace, I’ve seen drunks sleeping in cheap hotel beds waiting to die, young kids in the suburbs smashing their Christmas toys, college girls spending daddy’s money on some local loser, I’ve read books seen movies turned my back on capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, militarism, religion, society, laws, coke commercials, knowledge, wisdom, and freedom and still I stand having sweated inside factories, bang my head against the walls of paradise, driven my car around the parking lots of a Dairy Queen…

 

So the lines are drawn, doors are closed

Crusaders stalk with a hound dog’s nose

Young girls scream, critics rant

While all the fuckers zip up their pants

I know

It’s hard

Kid I know

It’s hard

Honey I know

It’s hard

But tell me what isn’t

 

 

 

 

 

Great Big Lie

 

Hitchhiking the coast on the Pacific Highway

From San Luis Obispo to San Francisco Bay

Never knew what we were doing just Cisco and me

Singing in some hippie joints trying to make a buck to eat

 

Hey baby don’t you be so sad

Sometimes the truth is all we have

Hey baby don’t you break down and cry

I know everything is just a great big lie

 

New York City on a winter’s day

Temperature going down people busy on their way

Walking these streets looking for a warm place to hide

Easy to see Captain it’s so easy to die

 

Hey baby don’t you be so sad

Sometimes the truth is all we have

Hey baby don’t you break down and cry 

I know everything is just a great big lie

 

Back in the hills of Tennessee

Everybody’s smoking hooch and drinking whiskey

Down through the hollers you can hear the deals go down

Another politician selling out his town

 

Hey baby don’t you be so sad

Sometimes the truth is all we have

Hey baby don’t you break down and cry

I know everything is just a great big lie

 

Driving this car down to New Orleans

Through the land of misery through the land of dreams

Gambling boats and churches by the river

Everybody’s praying for sweet Jesus to deliver

 

Hey baby don’t you be so sad

Sometimes the truth is all we have

Hey baby don’t you break down and cry

I know everything is just a great big lie

 

Now here we are after all these years

We’ve come so far babe we’ve come so near

Now the hood is up and our truck’s broken down

Looks like we’re stuck honey in another one horse town

Hey baby don’t you be so sad

Sometimes the truth is all we have

Hey baby don’t you break down and cry

I know everything is just a great big lie

 

 

 

 

 

Revolution

 

Gypsy morning

Sunday afternoon

Time without warning

Has gone by too soon

I’m a million miles

From anywhere

I’m a million smiles

From when I use to care

 

Revolution

I said, I said, I said, I said

Revolution

I said, I said, I said, I said

 

Oh Sister Mary

Please open up your heart

I’m tired and I’m weary

Been traveling in the dark

For everywhere I go

Everywhere I see

With every bomb that explodes

Man’s inhumanity

 

Revolution

I said, I said, I said, I said

Revolution

I said, I said, I said, I said

 

I’m headed north

I’m going home

For my days grow short

I’ve been too long gone

I don’t want to be a man

Who has nothing to say

I don’t want to be a man

Who looked the other way

 

Revolution

I said, I said, I said, I said

Revolution

I said, I said, I said, I said

 

 

 

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls

 

Man on the run, man on the bus

Man eating dirt, man eating dust

Too much hail, too much rain

Too many nights on this ghost bound train

 

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls

So much trouble in this world

 

My bags are packed I’m on the line

I can’t go back I’m out of time

I’ve heard the prayers, I’ve heard the curse

He died of love she died of hurt

 

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls

So much trouble in this world

 

I’ve seen the fires, I’ve heard the roar

Of a million deaths of a million wars

How does it start, where does it end

Deep in the heart of women and men

 

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls

So much trouble in this world

 

Now the night is dark it’s her disguise

But the moon shines bright it’s in her eyes

I’m standing poor, I’m at the gate

I believe in love, I believe in fate

 

Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls

So much trouble in this world

 

 

 

 

Walking Back to Tupelo

 

Been traveling both night and day

You know I’ve come a long, long way

I’m standing ‘neath these southern skies

Tears of sweat in my eyes

I got no place left to go

I’m walking back to Tupelo

 

My momma was dance hall queen

From Memphis down to New Orleans

My daddy was a rambling man

Was born with a losing hand

I grew up where those red lights glow

I’m walking back to Tupelo

 

I learned to play this guitar

Until one day I became a star

It took me all around this world

I made some money had my girls

But now pockets are filled with holes

I’m walking back to Tupelo

 

So mister don’t you pass me by

You know I sure could use a ride

I know my story’s nothing new

I ain’t the first to sing these blues

I’m just trying to find my soul

I’m walking back to Tupelo

 

 

 

Standing In The Rain

 

Downtown tonight the bars are crowded

Everybody’s looking for that drinking power

I’m sitting on a stool drunk and stoned

Trying to remember a way back home

 

Feels like standing in the rain

Standing in the rain

Standing in the rain

In the rain

 

Everybody wants something they can’t have

I just wanted you and the want was bad

But fate has twisted all around the night

Instead of love I’m just looking for a fight

 

Feels like standing in the rain

Standing in the rain

Standing in the rain

In the rain

 

Outside the streets are dark and cold

People passing by with no place to go

In a strangers arms I close my eyes

And let another night slowly die

 

Feels like standing in the rain

Standing in the rain

Standing in the rain

In the rain

 

 

 

 

South To Alabam

 

Going back south to Alabam

Going to see my baby yes I am

She’s going to give me what I need

She’s going to give me a great big feed

Chess pie, cherry pie

She’s the apple of my eye

 

Been too long away from home

A man gets screwy from being alone

Working hard, traveling far

Too many whiskeys, too many bars

Oh my I need a break

Only so much a boy can take

 

Been driving a truck for the carnival

Always more towns waiting over the hill

More young girls with their flirting eyes

More young boys trying to be tough guys

I take their money I watch them lose

It’s so easy it just gives me the blues

 

Momma she died many years ago

I lost my daddy on tobacco road

Billy’s in prison for shooting his boss

‘Sis went to Hollywood and turned up lost

Guess I’m lucky I don’t think too much

Don’t waste my time on things I can’t touch

 

Meet lots of women along this road

Some say stay and some says go

But I don’t take it personal

We all got troubles we all got ills

Yes sir that’s the way it goes

What folks are thinking ain’t nobody knows

 

Going back south to Alabam

Going to see my baby yes I am

She’s going to give me what I need

She’s going to give me a great big feed

Chess pie, cherry pie

She’s the apple of my eye

 

 

 

Maria

 

The moon is shining like a silver star

It shines down on me

But I can’t see I’ve traveled far

I can barely believe

That I’m standing after all these years

Outside your door

Oh Maria, don’t turn away

You know what I’ve come here for

 

Once there was a rolling river

Once there was a rainbow

Once there stood two young lovers

Who promised never to go

But the times and the winds of change

Blew our dreams apart

Oh Maria, please hear my words

The beating of my heart

 

I can still see your face that night

As I fought my way through the square

I waited for you until the bells stopped ringing

Until there was no one there

Oh Maria

 

I know it’s getting late

I don’t have the right

Call it luck baby call it fate

How I found you tonight

What they did to us all those years ago

Could never change what’s true

Oh Maria, dry your eyes

You know I’ll always love you 

 

 

 

Racine

 

It’s no use anymore

To undo all I’ve done before

I’ve tried and I’ve tried so many times, but baby you know

I could just never make up my mind

The hardest way always the easiest to find

No matter what I say no matter what I do, no matter where I go

Now I’m sitting here watching the gloriest sun go down

Another stranger in somebody else’s bosses town

And I got nothing left to say

I’m just letting it all kind of drift away

 

Memories come hurtling back

Windblown faces on a beaten track

They haunt me they move me like they did so many times before

But so much has gone so much has changed

You’re left with what you are and all that remains

Until you just can’t deny the truth anymore

Now I’m taking a drink in some rock and roll bar

Where the boys are already wasted even the local stars

And you know I understand

I know about those odds they’re up against

 

Now the night is closing in

Last call on all those things that might have been

As I find myself back out on the street one more time

And I can still see you standing babe

In the shadows beside that bed we made

I can still hear your voice calling to me on down the line

Now I’m staring at the bottom of some old coffee cup

Waiting for a waitress who’s an angel to come and fill it back up

I guess there’s nothing left to do

But just keep on singing these blues

NOTES:

On a weathered Texas afternoon, Tom Ovans slipped into The Congress House Studios in South Austin with fellow musicians Mark Hallman, Robert McEntee, Mark Andes and Lou Ann Bardash to begin work on what would become his new album, "Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls". 

With no rehearsals, working live and most often going with the first or second take, some great performances were captured over the next two nights. With a minimum of overdubs, the album was completed, mixed and mastered in four more sessions stretching over a two-week period.

Sung in a voice that is both weary and urgent, the album kicks open with "Before I’m Dead," a song about a vague memory of something real. "Packaging the heat, flashing the flash, nothing is real, nothing going to last," quickly summarizes the sublime ridiculousness of our pop culture.

The album closes with "Racine," a day-into-night-into-dawn artist’s tale of hard fought dignity in the face of broken dreams and failed desires. In between, "Blues 4 Lenny," a rambling jazz poem, takes a roller coaster ride through the guts of experience. "It’s Hard," a song that has its seeds in NYC, is an eerie needle-to-the-bone piece that juxtaposes surreal imagery and free-flow prose against a heroin groove, exposing a culture that survives by feeding upon itself.

The following track, "Great Big Lie," is a sprawling, travelling epic through the underbelly of the great American dreamscape that explodes both its myths and truths. In "Revolution", Tom’s harmonica comes in like a Spanish trumpet as it bends around a descending guitar line, announcing a song about conscience and destiny that couldn’t be more poignant for these times. 

The title song, "Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls," is a track that has the spook written all over it, a gothic midnight ramble in pursuit of beauty through a troubled world that reaches deep into the soul of the poet. "Walking Back To Tupelo," with its swelling B3, foreboding guitar riff, and tribal voodoo feel, is, on the surface, a pilgrimage of salvation back to the rambling, gambling spirit and soul of the blues. "Standing In The Rain", with its simmering guitar driven beat, takes you down those lonely streets of late-night bars, desperate lovers and one-night stands. 

Down in a deep southern groove, "South To Alabam," is the tale of a carnie looking to get back home to his girl. His straight ahead, yet somehow profound road weary insights of people and the world at hand are in sharp contrast to the endless babble and neuroses that seems to plague most of modern society. From his time in Texas, you can hear the dusty winds of Mexico starting to blow through Tom’s blood in songs such as "Maria," a deeply romantic, tender song of lovers torn apart by forces beyond control. 

"Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls," is Tom Ovans’ ninth album and third for Floating World records. His strongest and most thought-provoking work to date, the album has a tenacious grip on the good and the bad of the world and a poet’s view of its beauty and destruction. Musically the album finds an artist working on instinct and digging deep into the soul of each song. The album is filled with performances that are at once immediate and timeless. 

While still in his teens, itinerant musician Tom Ovans left his home just outside of Boston. He has since travelled and lived in various cities throughout the states including stints in New York City and Nashville, Tennessee. Besides playing music, to survive he has worked at various jobs: factories, warehouses, construction, painting, roofing, woodworking, etc. A self-taught musician, Ovans has managed to make nine albums over the years defining not only his art, but also the times he has lived through. He currently lives in Austin, TX.

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