The Great Divide

by Trailside Rangers

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released March 2, 1994

Duane Larson - Minister of Attitude
Rowan Bishop - The Sound and the Fury
Jason Byrne - Guinness "Jazzy" McGillicuddy
Joe Wilford - Raconteur de Force

Recorded October-December 1994 at Coyote Studios, Brooklyn NY.
Sequenced at Lillypad Recording, Union, NJ
All Selections BMI
Producer: Rowan Bishop
Engineer: Michael Caiati
Hammond on 'Aimless Charlie:' The Amazing Jeremy Jacobson
Cover & Layout: East Fourth Graphics
Photography: Dave Bergeland, John Ricard, Stefan Stawash
Rehearsal: Jeff & Mike at Ultrasound
Clubs: Tom at Nitengales, Wayne at Broadway Central, Andrew Ellis at Continental, Eric at Court Tavern
Radio: Matt Fisher at WDCE, Brian Bruden at WRSU, Eddie at Radio Latvia
Press: Carol Schutzbank at B-Side, Jim Caligiuri at CMJ New Music Report, Jeff Griffin at Creative Loafing, Steve Holtje at New Review of Records, Scott Miller at The Village Noize.
Very Special Thanks: Brian O'Neill


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Trailside Rangers New York, New York

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Track Name: Winton Flyer
I saw her in the square today
so beautiful was she I could not turn away
I longed to touch and smell and feel her chrome plating
glittering in the sun she is shining with waiting

So Luster, Jewel and I, we planned
we’d steal that car somehow and drive across the land
take a trip to New Orleans the maybe down to Texas
we’d be three vagabonds, the law would never catch us

We’d sing: Oh, oh, oh, oh-oh

And so we put our plan to test
waited till the owner took his weekly train out west
he left the car in trust to old Edwin McDowne
Jewel got him drunk, I took the keys and we drove out of town

Sun on our faces and the wind blows through our hair
Luster forgot the map but we’ll end up somewhere
these are the cards of chance we thought we’d never hold
three roguish thieves at just eleven years old

We’re singing: Oh, oh, oh, oh-oh

Winton Flyer won’t you take me away
I’ve been too young for too long
although I realize I may have hell to pay
it’s worth this feeling ringin’ through me like a song

Like a song now singing: Oh, oh, oh, oh-oh
Track Name: Lady Moonshine
Silver-haired lady can you see
what does the future hold for me
and will I rise up from this gloom
you see I prayed to the Lord above
it didn’t work I fell in love
she left me just this afternoon

Now I’ll give you all my money-I just hope you understand
I have no place left to turn- my life’s a wreck, it’s in your hands

Young man just sit right down
I’ll turn your life around
Lady May deals in cures
hold out your hand and it’s yours

Incense smoke is burning thick
crystal balls and candlesticks
what is the cure you have in mind
will you recite an ancient spell
and call a demon straight from hell
or will the stars give you a sign

Now I’ve put my trust in you-oh lady please don’t let me down
give me the cure to change my life- what is the secret you have found

Young man just sit right down
this is the cure that I have found
your cards were easy to read
moonshine is all that you need
Track Name: Casy
Casy was a lean young man, maybe seventeen, no more
and with his father worked the land
some ninety acres ‘round junction four
When the bank foreclosed on them it was a sad, sad time indeed
they lost their home, they lost their land
and there were hungry mouths to feed

You search your heart to find the answer
some people just don’t understand I guess, but
it’s a shame that we could treat each other
so unkind

Casy headed out one day with a .410 at his side
he held a bank up at high noon
and even killed one man inside
His father stood there right beside him after they caught Casy on the run
said to the judge, “You took my home, you took my land
and now you take my son

You search your heart to find the answer
some people just don’t understand I guess, but
it’s a shame that we could treat each other
so unkind

We’ve got to figure some way to stop this
it’s not like lightning or hurricanes
we’ve got a bad thing made by men
and by God that’s something we can change
Track Name: Buffalo Hurricane
I took a last sip of my smooth Kentucky bourbon
It was deep in the dead of night out by the firelight
I got to thinkin’ of all the hell that I’d been through
Family and friends all gone, mine’s such a lonely song

All my dreams ended up being shattered
And all my accomplishments just don’t seem to matter
I don’t know why but I just keep on trying
This life is just so harsh sometimes I feel like dying

They filled me full of buckshot in one of those silly wars
The land was painted red, by all the countless dead
I returned home only to find my house consumed in flames
It burnt right to the ground, my wife was never found

Into the starlight I stare and I wonder
If this life is drowning me why don’t I stay under?
Everything important to me has been taken
I’m just a leaf-less tree that’s still being shaken

And now I feel the earth splitting asunder
Could Satan have unleashed his demons of thunder?
The plains all around me don’t provide the escape I need
Angel of death in a buffalo stampede

And now I face the onslaught of around ten thousand head
My fate is sealed for good I’d change it if I could
My heart pounding in my chest I’ve never felt so alive
I can’t believe it’s true; the herd has split in two

Buffalo hurricane, you gave me strength at last
Live for today and forget about your past
My life has taken a whole new direction
It feels as though there’s been some sort of strange resurrection
Track Name: Will to Win
Minutes seem like hours and days seem like weeks
but I finally pick up the phone ringing there and she speaks
in a calm voice like an angel she says she ain’t coming back
and I stare into a broken mirror and try to face that fact

Now I’m standin’ in this desert heat just waiting for the end
Cause nothings gonna save me now I’ve lost my will to win

I’ve burnt a lot of rubber tryin’ to get out of this town
I’ve never looked for trouble but that’s all that I’ve ever found
in the pool halls and the bar rooms that’s where I spend my night
till the locals come to lock me up for jumpin’ in a fight

My dad will come on down to bail me out again
but nothing’s gonna save me now I’ve lost my will to win

She was standin’ on the corner with a diamond in her eye
she had lost all her money but she was never one to cry
when he offered her a job turning tricks for a spell
her life all but unraveled as she spun a path to hell

Now she’s vanished down that road into the dust, into the wind
and nothin’ could’ve saved her since she lost her will to win
Track Name: Flamingo Johnny
Johnny ran a parlor down Flamingo Road
About a half mile down from the strip
My sister loved Johnny and I never knew why
I guess she figured he’d be a father to their kids

Well Johnny was a crazy one that’s for sure
Always hanging around the dealers and the clowns
And I told myself if my sister ever got hurt
That I would be there with a bat to bring ‘ol Johnny down

Johnny used to gamble and he had a big debt
It was due on the fourteenth of May
When the date came and went the mob sent in some men
And in the Flamingo Road parlor eight dead bodies lay

The mob kidnapped my sister at the grocery store
‘Cause they knew that she was Johnny’s wife
And the boss called Johnny up and said “Now let’s make a deal
You either come up with the money or we take her sweet life”

Well I guess you could call Johnny a lot of bad things
But he still had the guts to go down there that day
And they let my sister go but they shot Johnny dead
I guess I’ll never think of him in quite the same way

It just goes to show you how we judge someone
Before we really know what they’re like inside
Not everyone has a face that’s so easily read
And more often than not it’s the good things we hide
Track Name: Aimless Charlie
I hitch-hiked from the west coast
my friends said New York was so gorgeous in the spring
it feels so good to be here, in the streets I’m here to sing
I started out this journey
with a friend of mine who said “Let’s go out for a drive”
he was running from his troubles
I felt great just to be alive

So we drove on till the sunrise
two-hundred miles outside of Santa Fe we stopped
to gaze upon the mesas and climb up on the rocks

This has always been my dream
aimless - travel so serene
sun burns out the darkest fears
drying all the falling tears
don’t know where I’ll be tonight
but I’ll be gone before daylight
I have blossomed from a seed
and now into the wind I’m freed
drawn into the moonlit sky
born to live and never die

Left my friend in New Orleans
the car broke down and I just couldn’t stay around
so I found myself a highway and a trucker northward bound
left my wife and kid in Oakland
I love my baby and I miss my Kaity - Ann
I guess maybe I should call her
but she wouldn’t understand…

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