Goldun Stair, Meet You There

by El Campo

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about

This record album was written by Jerid Reed Morris.

It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Erik Wofford at Cacophony Recorders in Austin, Tex., in July 2018.
Except “The Prettier of Two Sisters,” which was recorded by Justin Morris in a parlor room in San Antonio, Tex., in August 2018.

Stacey Sinclair sings on “In Indian Blankets” and “In Absolute Superlative.”

The illustration of the band is by Whitney Badillo.

Copyright 2019, all rights reserved, etc. etc.


"Beautiful songs... nothing like a brush with death to bring out the best in an artist." - Thor Harris
"They’ve got something special here" - The Family Reviews
"Grippingly lonesome-sounding" - Obscure Sound
"There’s an honesty in staring at death that... comes across" - Austin Town Hall
"Painfully beautiful, powerful...[an] openhearted dance with the light of the beyond... It's hard to imagine anyone with a pulse not being moved by this album. " - San Antonio Current

credits

released February 21, 2019

Charlie Cruz - bass, guitar, piano, vocals
Jerid Morris - vocals, guitar
Nick Richman - pedal steel
Rudy Villarreal - drums, vocals

license

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about

El Campo Austin, Texas

TX folk rock: Charlie, Jerid, Nick & Rudy.

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Track Name: In Wisteria
Right on Live Oak
I grew up with streets
Where you were raised with roads
Swept frame, ‘Old Paint
With Mother Grackles in
The New-Cut Sudan Hay’
In chorus, cicadas sang

Close to Muleshoe
In wisteria,
The family plot will bloom
Buried grandee
Close your eyes and call
The name of what you see
It ain't what it used to be
Track Name: Goldun Stair
Here I am, at the foot of the Golden Stair, due a reckoning. The lotto’s up and I got a buck in dimes, but luck that’s thin. When your scan is brighter, later, we’ll know options, then. No one cares how steep your stairs unless you climb them. As long as I’m still living, and meet my deductible, if I still need forgiving, insurance covers it. If the wind plays murder on my hairdo, that’s no worse than I’d rate. Endings left me: one hell of a hot pink sunset; feral dreams of straying free--the same for dogs as men. And should the dog outlive me, and I spent all my life hiding my fear of living making a night of it, hiding my fear of dying making light of it--if I don’t reach you, or don’t pull through, it’s been going all right.
Track Name: Red on Yellow, Kill a Fellow
It is a bottle passed around, it’s a feeble faith in outcomes wrassled to the ground. Nursed and drained and cast away, source of the pink in the pisser lately. Within reason, such abounds. Fat belly up, all his glory died--so them stories go. My stars an' garters, me-oh-my! Raised as I was by a Christian woman, have no taste for wine. And though I meant well at the time, as a boisterous inauthentic I'd an axe to grind. I’ll call her name only one last time--so that story goes. Fifteen cents in a Darktown dive, dime and a half or so. Throw out your lotto, throw out your smokes. As the word was told. Left hand of god till the gospel come, though I ain’t heard word one.
Track Name: The Prettier of Two Sisters
Won’t someone buy a round for past good rounds, “Let kinship color all we’ve done.” Won’t I be sorry someday, my last always my very next one. Don’t fear for whether I come worthy, I don’t worry as a rule of thumb. I don’t expect a rapture, don’t require one. Still, sing ‘The King Is Coming’ for my eulogy, carve crosses for my epitaph. Bury me in my daddy’s suit, cry in my behalf. Say florid words if you believe them true, and let my children have a turn. It’s no kind of hill to die on, to die no one’s concern. But since the rain ain’t comin’ anyhow, I won’t fret where the rain will fall. Plenty wise or plumb foolish, I recognize ‘em all. In poison hemlock, die your father’s son. Though you likely don’t deserve the crown, if you can’t charm the truer sister and can’t trust the prettier one. There’s Jinks Taylor astride Old Nickel, as ever with his head toward eternity: “Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me.” He’ll lead the way from Flomot out to Grey Mule. Friend, tell me, once the sermon’s done: won’t I be sorry someday, and won’t I carry on.
Track Name: The New Criticism
I seen you in the swerving headlights that passed the gun shop flag at half mast, as one of four beasts singing, Come and see, come and see! Come set down next to me. Black as the Midnight Special, bright as a hymnal’s page, sharp as a razor blade, truer than a dog’s heart, grim as a judge’s writ--you can see I’ve grown sick with it. Hadn’t I seen you both, Estilo Jalisco #2? That was years ago. High, wide and handsome, I thought I’d hung a neon light blinking wrong and right. A decade goes, and with it a hundred memories do. On the other hand, it’s true--the way it all was ended, it worked my head a while. Works the body, now. Peace like a river tends my way; sorrows like sea billows roll away; whatever my lot, taught to say--at least we’re well away. Seen her in the swerving headlights that passed the gun shop flag at half mast. She to some obscure future, as viewed from the parking lot. Same night that cop was shot. She’s leaving with her winnings--and we both know hearts can change--for the cold Reynosa rain. You hum a song, unthinking, of a restless girl bold as a baroque pearl. You’ll pen one anthem and your hero’s not a man--your hero’s some old train. Ain’t lost his heart and can’t find of it anyplace. Ain’t got a hero’s name.
Track Name: Old Paint
Mister Flood hath a bottle’s been broken,
Knows most things are broke over time.
Russell Lowell saith, in writing his verses,
The hard thing’s the starting to write.

American Literature, blue high school textbook
Bound nineteen-and-seventy-eight;
Somewhere, could be, I still own a bible that’s
Covered in dust and old paint.

Healing chemistry, red on black ribbons,
Make bunting and bows of blood cells.
Though he drove a new Hyundai, in my mind
He rode an old paint, and quite well.
Track Name: Two Bulleits and a Beam
Again I pay the price, having taken two Bulleits and a Beam. Pulled that trigger twice. Precious Jesus, I had two Bulleits and a Beam. Second time around, she’d had plenty. Christ, she was as perfect as a dream. Still, low as I get down I know that dream will drown in two Bulleits and a Beam. Come Monday night, if I spend my money on strip club extras and a rail, and have to bum a nail, I know my last twenty still buys two Bulleits and a Beam.
Track Name: In Indian Blankets
There’s one I hope I never do forget--Daddy kneeling in the Indian blankets. Hair and shirttail done commended to the wind, the friendly eyes, the sinner’s smile--by then, bone thin. There were cars, behind, my memory would keep. I can name the make and model of each. I could talk about his manner of dress--he’d say he’s smooth, you’d call him slick, I guess. There were times I hated him. There was plenty it was easy to condemn. Even now, there’s notions in my eyes he might never recognize. There’s little else I carry with me from those years. I long ago decided that’s the way I feel. To say nothing of the fellow in the mirror--a forehead scored by defeat, same as his. There’s much of him in me, as yet, my own son may have occasion to regret. Well, he died young, so that’s his fate--he hadn’t time to make mistakes.
Track Name: In Absolute Superlative
Notwithstanding hypocrisies my own, or known in others, baby, is that conscience on your tongue? Every last accomplishment, like any failure, only stands to take you down a rung. I can make with truisms I’ve known, only in light of any past embarrassment of feelings I have caused: Everyone you know eventually moves to Seattle; everyone you love returns. Everyone whose name I can’t recall, who still remembers mine at all, I love you dearly. In absolute superlative, I have the greatest, the largest aching heart, the very best bad feelings.
Track Name: Paint Rock
Ma was a Welfare queen, alone on the hard right. Born to the patch of green between Eden and Paint Rock. If I cast aspersions, I’m not hurting for reasons. It’s only my version--I can’t win for trying, now. Don’t kiss that coral snake and wait for the fatal strike. I can warn you a thousand times, but I can’t make you. Though I’m no longer God’s child, I still fear dying and some version of hellfire. Though I’m not patriotic, I’m American as a Cocker Spaniel—I made on the stairway, and died on the parlor rug.
Track Name: Meet You There
Cousin, I hit thirty-five, found I hadn’t much to offer, had wasted life gambling at cards. Been a prick for laughs for friends that wasn’t much to talk of, had airs that were a kind of art. By my wits I would live and die in your round of Miller Lites, talk some shit to hide deficiencies of self-esteem and pride, call it a night. Found some peace in a coffee ring on the front page of the paper, and paperbacks of Graham Greene. Cut my nails with a pocketknife, took to crossing lines for cause ‘case I get lonesome just to make the scene. I been hanged on a comma, I been wrong and sometimes right. Found it best to bathe my features in some glowing neon lights found right nearby. And we all look alike. Brother, I hit 35-South toward Floodlit Golgotha, in a fever like a sinner’s plea. Nothing but the blood for blue-eyed honky gangs of Austin. Thanks anyhow, nothing for me. And, in the evening, came upon a land where it was always evening.

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