Down to the Well: Solo Demos Unearthed

by Kevin Gordon

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1.
Down to the Well (solo demo version) 
(Kevin Gordon/Colin Linden) It’s mud-covered dogs guarding shotgun shacks
 A red door on a green Cadillac
 Hot wind blowing smoke through graveyard streets A face I recognize looking right through me Ain’t goin’ down to the well no more Believe I’ve done my time
 I lost something that I had before Something I don’t want to find You must’ve played that dive twenty some-odd years Took a couple hundred shots just to kill your fear
 I remember the night you broke down to the core
 Threw that black Stratocaster through a plate-glass door Ain’t goin’ down to the well no more Believe I’ve had my fill
 Save my soul from the bottom, Lord Or send me someone who will See that woman in the corner, brother, she knows Every inch of my body, every mile of my soul
 We used to shake ‘em on down til the blazin’ day What’s she doin here tonight watching me that way Ain’t goin’ down to the well no more Believe I’ve done my time
 I lost something that I had before Something I don’t want to find Ain’t goin’ down to the well no more Think I had my fill
 Save my soul from the bottom, Lord Or send me someone who will To the well no more . . . Ain’t goin’ down to the well no more
2.
Burning the Church House Down (Kevin Gordon/Gwil Owen) I didn’t mean no harm
 I was just a shit-faced kid
 Police called my mama 
Told her what I did
 She says your body is a temple built by the Lord Keep on drinking, you’ll be damned for sure Hey Mama,
 I’m burnin’ the church house down I’m in the James Hotel Up on the fifteenth floor Down on my knees Chain on the door It’s four in the morning, no one around TV on but there ain’t no sound Hey Lordy, 
I’m burnin’ the church house down Gone too far, can’t get back
 Too much smoke, chokin’ black 
Give me a little water, can’t get clean Burns like fire on gasoline I dreamed I was walking Out between the pines Seen a red dog running Looked a lot like mine I called her name, she kept runnin'
 Guess she must’ve known what she had comin’ Hey lordy 
I’m burnin’ the church house down I’m in the James Hotel, up on the fifteenth floor Down on my knees, chain on the door Four in the morning, no one around TV on but there ain’t no sound
 Burnin’ . . .
3.
Marina Takes Her Aim (Kevin Gordon/Gwil Owen) There was a girl
 From my high school
 Shot dead on the highway late one night I used to drive
 Down that same highway
 Just to hold my Marina tight Marina's daddy Bought her a pistol
 A shining silver .22 We took some cans and a box of bullets Out to the pond 
to teach her to shoot Marina takes her aim
 so slow and careful Marina seventeen Squinting down the barrel What does she see What does she see There was a boy Down by the river Went for a walk
 and never came home I used to walk there with Marina
 Holding her hand
 Across the slippery stones Marina takes her aim 
so slow and careful Marina seventeen Squinting down the barrel What does she see What does she see Marina's daddy Bought her a pistol
 A shining silver .22 We took some cans and a box of bullets Out to the pond 
to teach her to shoot
4.
04:53
Promise Road 
(Kevin Gordon/Colin Linden) He tamped those ties for the boss man’s train
 Thirty years on the line, he got a watch and chain He’s smiling in the picture, but you can bet he knows The bad end of the bargain out on the promise road Every blushing bride walking down the aisle Thinks she knows the guy hiding behind the smile You can raise a glass, you can ring those bells Out on the promise road, only time will tell On the promise road, you can’t read the signs There’s no destinations, no arrival times
 You can do what you want
 You can do like you’re told But you keep on walking up the promise road There’s a drifter scuffling into your town
 Needs a hand of kindness when the sun goes down
 But the police bust him on some civil code
 They leave him tired and hungry back out on the promise road (chorus) They strung up a good man out on Calvary’s hill
 With their nails and brambles they thought they had him killed Three days gone, the stone was rolled away
 Out on the promise road, you know he made his getaway (chorus)
5.
Deuce & A Quarter 
(Kevin Gordon/Gwil Owen) Buy a bottle, get to feelin’ good
 The world’s looking like you think it should Happy hour, everyone’s your friend Closing time, sugar, and you’re down again Up in the morning and you face this town You walk the same streets up and down Fire burning in your worn-out shoes Every day you got something to prove Curb feelers and the fender skirts
 Scrub the chrome until your elbow hurts Pinstripes and cherry-packs
 Grass stains on your second-hand slacks Keep on bettin’, think you’re gonna win You can dress it up and try to pretend Car’s a car and that’s a fact, But a 
Deuce and a quarter ain’t no Cadillac Uncle Johnny Hypochondriac
 Thinks his headache is a heart attack Honey, bring me down a couple more pills Call that lawyer up and change my will Ham sandwich and a glass of tea 
Lunch is cheap but never free
 Shakin’ hands and scratchin’ backs Grass stains on your second-hand slacks Keep on bettin’ think you’re gonna win You can dress it up and try to pretend Car’s a car and that’s a fact But a deuce and a quarter ain’t no Cadillac I got a date, gotta dress with care
 Wash the gray right outta my hair
 Clean the car out, and when I’m through Wax it up until it looks brand new Curb feelers and the fender skirts
 Scrub the chrome until my elbow hurts Pinstripes and cherry-packs
 Grass stains on your second-hand slacks Keep on bettin’, think you’re gonna win You can dress it up and try to pretend Car’s a car and that’s a fact But a 
Deuce and a quarter ain’t no Cadillac
6.
Jimmy Reed is the King of Rock n’Roll (Kevin Gordon) Dark sunglasses, sharkskin suit, standing in the Broken glass of East Dubuque
 On a Sunday morning
 On a Sunday morning You ramble and you tamble, it’s a rotgut town Lose your mind til it can’t be found Now
 your head is burning 
 And your heart is yearning Jimmy Reed is the king of rock n’roll Jimmy Reed is the king of rock n’roll You might get sick, and you might get well— Might get lucky, Jim, you never can tell Down in Ottumwa, up in your room One light bulb flicks its tongue at you
 And the hours passing
 And the hours passing Jimmy Reed is the king of rock n’roll Jimmy Reed is the king of rock n’roll Black sunglasses , sharkskin suit, standing in the Broken glass of East Dubuque
 On a Sunday morning 
On a Sunday morning
7.
Flashflood (Water or Gasoline) 
(Kevin Gordon/Colin Linden) It's a pencil-lead-gray afternoon
 Rain makes the stray dog shine 
I got a feeling stingin’ like a new tattoo Black across my mind
 You said something while I was dreaming Some far off world away
 If i don’t catch it the first time
 You just turn and walk away Oh baby, pull me through the mud Oh baby, can't see you through the flashflood I could park my car at the Church of Christ Hold hands with the preacher and pray Or hunker down with a hundred-dollar whore Dolled up in orange lingerie
 But they don’t know me baby They don’t know what i’m lookin' for
 All my sin and my salvation Lead me straight back to your trap door (chorus) She looks good in a cheap straw hat With her long hair hangin' down
 She used to smile a lot more at me Before I drug her down to this town (chorus)
8.
Great Southern
 (©Kevin Gordon/Gwil Owen) Walking along the switchback Old boxcars on broken track Busted glass in the ballast Blazing in the August sun Fire ants crawl on creosote
 Grackle squawks a single note Rusted rails like the ribs of a skeleton Where you gonna go
 On that Great Southern Road Where you been down before Where you gonna go
 On that Great Southern Road When you can’t go home no more It's a black crow pecking at a road-kill coon Out on the Trace Sunday afternoon Steam-ghosts float from the road After the rain Tires hiss on the asphalt wet Windows down don’t stop the sweat Station out of Jackson
 Starting to fade Where you gonna go 
On that Great Southern Road You already been down before Where you gonna go 
On that Great Southern Road When you can’t go home no more Diamond flash in the junkyard glass-- Not so fast you too shall pass (chorus)
9.
03:07
Pueblo Dog
 (©Kevin Gordon/Gwil Owen) Up with the sun and west I go Walkin’ New Mexico
 Ain’t got a dollar, ain’t got no plan Pueblo dog sleeping in the sand There’s a ring of fire nobody sees 
But it blacks the branches of the cottonwood tree A thousand years, maybe more
 Pueblo dog’s seen it all before Gilbert goes into the garden Brings us back a winter melon Slice it up so green and sweet Pueblo dog sittin’ at my feet Up with the sun and west I go Walkin’ New Mexico
 Ain’t got a dollar, ain’t got no plan Pueblo dog sleeps in the sand
10.
Oil City Girl
 (Kevin Gordon/Colin Linden) She was born in east Oklahoma, spittin’ distance from the Arkansas line Way up on Willamina Mountain, higher than a vine can climb
 Her daddy found work, down in Louisiana
 Pretty soon they were boomtown bound Threw a big old trunk on top of that beater full of hope and hand-me-downs
hope and hand-me-downs
 Staring out from the backseat, dreaming of diamonds and pearls She was an Okie baby, now she’s an Oil City girl All week long from dawn to dark
 They were drilling those wells on the water
 Nothing looked so fine come quittin’ time
 As the foreman’s green-eyed daughter
 Kool Point was a roughneck joint, Tables nailed down to the floor
 You hear the steel guitar, tip a Mason jar, hear ‘em hollerin’ out for more-- With a sheriff standing at the door
 Spit-shine Saturday night in a neon world 
And the brightest light that shines is an Oil City girl When the boom went bust and gold turned to dust And the people left town in a wave 
Before too long there wasn’t much left to save Now me and my shadow, fishing on a jon boat, fifty years gone by
 I’m casting my line around them creosote posts and all them wells run dry Not much remains but the rattling chains of a ghost town memory
 When the wind blows wild it still makes me smile
 Thinking about my old used-to-be, the only true love for me
 Wait up, Willie Mae, I’ll see you in another world
 ‘cause my spirit's gonna rise and I’ll find my Oil City girl
11.
Red Door on a Green Cadillac (Kevin Gordon) Stopped at a store in a country town Seen a rusty Eldorado with the windows down Pack of kids bouncin' round the backseat One bare foot hangin out in the July heat Guy behind the wheel looked about my age Defeat in his eye like a dog in a cage Radiator pissin' hot water on the ground Hood raised up, let the motor cool down Ridin on retreads, trying to keep the kids fed Pull another cigarette out of the pack Tailpipe draggin, all your hope saggin And a red door on green Cadillac Red door on a green Cadillac
12.
Mississippi River Burning Down (Down to the Well draft version) 
(Kevin Gordon/Colin Linden) Mud-covered dogs guarding shotgun shacks
 A red door on a green Cadillac
 Hot wind blowing smoke through graveyard streets A face I recognize looking right through me Mississippi river burning down I'm blinded by the smoke Mule driver don't let me drown Save me before I choke You must’ve played that dive twenty some-odd years Took a couple thousand shots just to kill your fear
 I remember the night you broke down to the core
 Threw that black Stratocaster through a plate-glass door Mississippi river burning down I'm blinded by the smoke Mule driver don't let me drown Save me before I choke See that woman in the corner, brother, she knows Every inch of my body, every mile of my soul
 We used to shake ‘em on down til the blazin’ day What’s she doin' here tonight watching me that way Mississippi river burning down I'm blinded by the smoke Mule driver don't let me drown Save me before I choke
13.
03:51
Simple Life (Kevin Gordon) Big straw hats and cane poles Take your bucket to the fishing hole Bait that hook, try to get a bite Gonna eat all we catch tonight My grandmaw's sittin down in the shade WPA bridge her brother made Hands tremble on a tin of snuff This side of heaven, she's seen enough She's black spit and a whittlin' knife She lived and died a simple life Down in Oil City in a dirt floor shack Snakes of sweat runnin down your back Old newspaper and a rugged cross Kept the wind and the devil outside the walls You work another man's land from sun to sun Lord a simple life is the only one Push that blade, keep your babies in the shade Another day down, another dollar made She got her chicken from a pen out back Wring it around til the neckbone crack Goat on a rope, potato on a vine The life I'm living's sure a different kind I see her sitting there in her rockin chair Staring me down across the years And I ain't got no good answer to give For her hard times or the life I live Can't forget the scufflin', forget the strife How she lived and died a simple life

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released August 6, 2020

©Kevin Gordon, dba Crowville Media

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Kevin Gordon Nashville, Tennessee

Kevin Gordon is a Louisiana native whose latest releases, Tilt & Shine, Long Gone Time, & 2012's Gloryland, earned raves from the NY Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, and others. His songs have been recorded by Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Hard Working Americans, Irma Thomas, & others. "Down to the Well", a duet w/Lucinda Williams, was featured on the Oxford American Southern Music Sampler. ... more

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