Where Will We Go

by Nature & Madness

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about

This record is near and dear to me. It represents a collage of people and places across this vast planet. Friends and family who have added their voices, their talents, their devotion to help make this project what it is. Cities like Waco, TX and Fayetteville, AR for the electricity and energy to keep moving forward. And more natural places like that waterfall outside of Hendersonville, NC or the back pasture at the World Hunger Relief Farm in Waco for keeping me grounded in this strangely disconnected world.

It was recorded over two years in various cities with various friends. It has seen many iterations both physically and spiritually. Songs that were written almost five years ago are telling me new stories about how to live and exist in this world.

I thank you sincerely for being a part of this with me.

credits

released September 9, 2016

Ryan Pickop - vox, acoustic, electric, drums
Jared Himstedt - electric guitar, bgv, drums, trumpet
Tommy Read - 12 string guitar, bass, bgv
Tim Jenkins - pedal steel
Hannah Read - bass

Engineered and mixed by Tommy Read at Lazy Bones Audio in various TX cities.
Mastered by Tim Jenkins at Silver Shoes Studios, Waco, TX.

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Nature & Madness Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Track Name: Canadian Geese
at the water's edge where we both still believed
and it was easy to see who we are
and these hands never stop, you were a dreamer by trade
overtime and underpaid, a machine that we've wrought

and you can hear in the street in the shape of a 'v'
Canadian geese fly
and when you whispered the secret i knew what you'd mean
that you were destined to be alive

isn't it strange that we can live our whole life
inside a dream trying to fly without wings
trying to die to be free
isn't it strange

and life has a way of slipping far out of reach
and we keep falling asleep
and the money won't keep us afloat for too long
so we can only go on
but i can pray we've been wrong

isn't it strange that we can live our whole life
inside a dream trying to fly without wings
trying to die to be free

isn't it strange that we can live our life
inside
trying to love our machines
loving to leave our instincts behind
isn't it strange
Track Name: Where Will We Go
red doors line the avenue like little kids line tin cans on a log
and i know what i'm supposed to do
breathe it in "boy, aim where you belong"
months of pain and moving make it slow
when liars and lawyers claim to know it all
with wisdom they say that it's time enough to close
look at that painting we hung up on the wall
where would we go

fennel in the soil and the scent keeps me allured
rose bushes in the weeds splitting shins like tiny swords
digging at the roots crusted mud on little toes
where would we go
appalachain mountain or a blue ridge fireside
i couldn't trade my yellow rose for what i've named a better life
time is the only balance and the weight is what it shows
and i don't fucking know
where would we go

i don't know if it will end and i don't think i care to see
but i pray it won't depend on what i do or don't believe

the fire ring is cold and the moon is dying out
and i have buried my dreams along with all my doubts
where would we go
Track Name: Like a Vapor
away
away, in a manger
awake in a bedroom
your breast shows you cry out
your breath shows it's a cold night
the dog lies the midwife brings in orange juice
and your bringing in something too

the angels sing and the shepherds quake
grandma and grandpa pray for what may
be going wrong

away, in a manger
no place for your head
no crib or a baby bed
you're the first born
you're the future laid out for all to see
you're the prophecy
but now you just gotta eat

the angels sing and the shepherds quake
mom and dad are worried about bills to pay

some day you're gonna die

away, like a vapor

away, in a manger
Track Name: Lady Laugh
lady laugh
cause ours is a comedy but you took on the misery
and we've been swimming for years
mourning the sunshine and fearing the rain drying
but we'll save it for old times
and for the sake of your tears

lady laugh
cause i asked you for both hands
in case i go off the deep end
could you keep me afloat
cause your lungs are stronger
than mine that are failing
you keep laughing and sailing
by the wind in your throat

cause when we're on the road
we'll never be lonely
we'll never be broke
we'll never go hungry
drive off into the sunset
give all that we get
count the wildflowers we drive by
pray to never forget

pray to cover our innocence
pray to cover our souls
we'll scatter our seeds there
out by the wildflowers of old
lady keep your eyes open
lady keep your chin high
and we'll keep our hearts broken for the day when we come alive

cause when we're on the road
we'll never be lonely
we'll never be broke
we'll never go hungry
drive off into the sunset
give all that we get
count the wildflowers we drive by
pray to never forget
Track Name: Tiny Fist
when i was young i heard you yell
a crashing like a breaking drum
and stretching skin across the bones
i wasn't there the day you fell

a light haired boy in mama's curls
and daddy's toxins in his veins
a tiny man with iron fists
might be too late to call it quits

and doors keep slamming in his head
you took him down and marked his grave
he hides his face in god's big bed
and covered up his tracks in shame

when he went east they told the truth
he found his peace crossing his legs
when he came home they crossed his head
and left him dead in a cold room

when the black crowds fly the sinners fight
a bloody war over heretics
and the saints with crooked backs arise
and spread their roots out like cavalry

the mighty trumpet is our guide
we marched around them seven times
and one by one the bodies fell
to break the silence of the night

he raised his tiny fists on high
the victor wheres the golden crown
and it came as no surprise
when he laid his body down

and left us in a quiet town

the name is etched across the tongues
but no one knows where it came from
the river tells us where to go
amazing grace we're on our own
amazing grace i'm not alone

i'm not alone
Track Name: Hung Up
you hung up on me
and i'm hung up on you
it's hard to believe
what you say is the truth
and i'm in a bad way
i'm so goddamned afraid
cause you hung up on me
and i'm hung up on you
and i mean what i say
i don't need your proof
i heard your excuse
and i hung up on you
Track Name: Who Am I
who am i?
who am i to say?
who am i to say that you're wrong?

i am the meth head
i am the clinic
i am the one true way
i am the cynic
i am the sex slave
i am your wedding day
i am the terrorist
i am the drone raid
i am the vagrant
i am the shop keep
i am the wildfire
i am the dead tree
i am the dead man
i live to medicate
i am the unborn
i am the choices made
i am the husband
i am the liar
i am that man's wife
i am desire
i am his brother
i am his keeper
i am his lover and in some states it's easier
i am the activist
i am the pacifist
i am the scorched earth and you're goddamned right i'm pissed
i am the fortress
i am the battleground
i am the architect
i tried to burn it down
i am a godly man
i sleep in the lion's den
i am the empire's fall
and i built it back

who am i?
who am i to say?
who am i to say that you're wrong?
but you're wrong
Track Name: Border Crossing
heart of hearts and king of kings
shuffled out and cut
like winnings

honey, you're my best shot
the stakes are high
but the payout's not

a penny for your slot cause you thought it was safe
you've been saving up for a rainy day
but then you gambled on the rain
tequila is sweet but the truth sustains
you've been banking on having a lucky day

border crossing and don't make noise
but keep your quarters out
for the boys in blue

heavy heart and no excuse
making a life
but selling one too

a penny for your slot cause you thought it was safe
you've been saving up for a rainy day
but then you gambled on the rain
tequila is sweet but the truth sustains
you've been banking on having a lucky day

heart of hearts and king of kings
shuffled out
shuffled out and cut
like winnings
Track Name: Townes
the summer we all tried to cover townes
columbine, nothing, my mother the mount
you came in the silence and slipped through the sound
of our crooning hot afternoon

the firebox empty the ashes stood still
the screen door wide open mosquitos to kill
you crossed a great ocean to wide to fill
with the water you pulled by the moon

i heard your laughter with ears that i learned
i heard my beat quicken the years i have yearned
to make this connection language to discern
the kindness that follows your trail

when, you meet the maker and he brings down his heat
to tear open the skin with the grass underneath
you will feel the pulse of this new home so sweet
to carry your heart when you fail

and i know that you got away
you got out
and you made the biggest escape
and they'll say
if you make the biggest mistake
they'll never find out why you came
was it to save?
or to make us afraid?

the summer we all tried to cover townes
columbine, nothing, my mother the mount
you came in the silence and slipped through the sound
of our crooning hot afternoon
Track Name: Better in Spring
billy sang as we split
a ripe avocado
and parents taught us how to cry
cilantro in jars with basil
you cried in the aisle
we salted to taste
and tailored my waist to size

and we shed our underneath
and we found the clarity
it was as hard as they said
we simmered our bones and pruned back the dead

and the water ran every night
it felt like a burden
taking turns with my limbs
toes the color of heat
time overlapped and you needed
arguments we had made
love in the water
let love be the father of dreams we create

and we shed our underneath
and we found the clarity
it was as hard as they said
we simmered our bones and pruned back the dead

everyone said we would fall if we don't make our move
but everyone knows we are carefully planning our
future moods

and we shed our underneath
and we found the clarity
it was as hard as they said
we simmered our bones and pruned back the dead
Track Name: You Found Me
have you ever seen a face you could tell was fever red
a virus carried by the hands that go around to count the days
i try to hide it underneath toothy grins from cheek to cheek
but now i live in somber tones minor grays are all i know

but you found me
was it easy
i tried to make it hard
i tried to make it hard
easier said than done

have you ever fallen in love with the idea of a man
his shoulders back and double chin
you try to hide the mess you're in
and they all said you should slow down
you wait till morning comes around
cause you ain't got nothing to lose
you cannot lose what was not found

but you found me
was it easy
i tried to make it hard
i tried to make it hard
easier said than done

it was easy to pretend
it was easy to give in
it was hard to let it go
and even harder to let it end

have you ever thought out loud
the clever words come flying out
and not a moment to forgive
is this the way i want to live

but you found me
was it easy
i tried to make it hard
i tried to make it hard
i tried to make it hard
easier said than done
Track Name: I Wrote This For the Rain
i wrote this for the rain
to sing
bottomless cup
you keep filling me up
dripping
from your coffee canteen

i wrote this for the rain
to sing
because it makes me seem normal
and it makes me feel whole
even
when i'm in a hole

and the water is raging down the street
and my life has been caged inside defeat
someday i hope to feel better
but for now i only feel gone
so i'll lean on the weather
to sing me a song

it doesn't matter if i get wet
or how many inches we get
i know that i'll never forget
the way that it sang
it doesn't matter if it spits or it pours
just as long as cleanses these sores
and i'll remember forever more
the day that it rained

and the water is raging down the street
and my life has been caged inside defeat
someday i hope to feel better
but for now i only feel gone
so i'll lean on the weather
to sing me
Track Name: Two Dollar Movies
i've lost my longing in crystal cathedrals
i've heard my name called in the wind
i've given money to door to door salesmen
but i've never asked where they've been
my momma raised me on two dollar movies
dug out like gold in the dirt
i asked her to shoot straight
she told me "you're crazy son,
singing ain't all that you're worth."

don't worry about saving these songs
we'll be long gone before they ring true
but hold your heart heavy
and sing your lungs strong
just in case i turn out to be wrong

clear window panes on crystal cathedrals
lead into inspired views
fingers on ivory send sad songbirds o'er me
and aged me crying in pews
now i still believe in two dollar movies
i patiently wait at your door
i am peddling for mercy
lord, please forgive
pennies for a young troubadour

don't worry about saving these songs
we'll be long gone before they ring true
but hold your heart heavy
and sing your lungs strong
just in case i turn out to be wrong

the silence that fell was too precious to leave
old arkansas, cathedrals serene
selling your heart is a slow misery
it's the freedom that makes you believe

don't worry about saving these songs
we'll be long gone before they ring true
but hold your heart heavy
and sing your lungs strong
just in case i turn out to be wrong