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Playing With Fire

by the Redwood Highway Band

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Just in Time 04:22
Stormy skies above And inside me too Stumbled and mumbled Afraid we were through When you climbed into the limo That took you away You laughed at my tears There was no more to say I turned my watery eyes From your good-bye wave Alone that rainy week I carved a tombstone for my grave Chorus: Then the sun broke through Just in time You came back to me Just in time Made everything all right Like you do Even spent the night When I asked you to Now I don’t feel so mean Don’t feel so blue Chorus Repeat You took off like You would never return Tough-money mama With attitude to burn Got so sick of lonesome Almost gave up on life Almost shaved my whiskers With a butcher knife Howled my pain To the dark sky in rhyme I’d be there in a heartbeat If I knew how to climb Chorus
Numerology 03:57
14 nights, I’ve tangled awake For a two-faced lover On a two-week break I walked 27 miles since ya stole our car For a road trip to Vegas With a wannabe star Took 47 moons for our love to fade All in one night, behind the arcade You said you need two weeks Maybe three or four Well, don’t come home I don’t live there anymore Chorus: Numbers tumble outa my head Countin’ every time I roll over in my bed Numberin’ the minutes till dawn Countin’ all the reasons you’re gone 43 months To learn you weren’t what you seemed After seven things happened Just as I dreamed It took three blue jays screechin’ At the morning light To celebrate my survival of one more night (Chorus) Soon my life will take a different turn of fate Then you’ll realize what was at stake Golden dawn pushes back the restless night I’m beat up, I’m alive I’m gonna make it all right (Chorus)
Headin’ west on I-80 I saw them standin’ there On a road outside a truckstop Summer wind in their hair Her thumb stuck out like a rifle Aimed to plug the heart of an ace He held a battered guitar case There was sadness in his face As we rolled along in my rattlin’ van He told me the cause of his blues He’d bought a bag of Iowa road weed Too desperate to choose The kid was gone when they figured out It wasn’t gonna do a thing Then he took his guitar He played it hard, and he began to sing: It was the worst bag of weed I ever did buy All of the cough but none of the high Just the worst bag of weed I had the bad luck to try All of the headache None of the high It was all of the headache And none of the high The woman spoke up both quiet and pissed And took off some of his power Why dontcha tell him It was my money ya lost When your big-time deal went sour? His nostrils flared and his lips turned red As he tightened up a string Then he strummed his guitar Played it real hard, and he began to sing: You’re like the worst bag of weed I ever did buy All the confusion and none of the high Just like the worst bag of weed I had the bad luck to try All of the headache And none of the high You are all of the headache, baby None of the high When we stopped She slung her bag and walked And he froze up and slumped Let’s get back on the road, he said I know when I been dumped It’s happened so many times to me I do not feel the sting Then he took his guitar He played it hard, and he began to sing: It was the worst bag of weed I ever did buy All the paranoia, and none of the high Just the worst bag of weed I had the bad luck to try All of the headache, none of the high One wicked headache, dude None of the high All of the headache And none of the high
Rolly Eyes 03:24
Chorus: Rolly eyes, oh, those rolly eyes What did I do to give you rolly eyes? Tell me how I’m wrong, my lady I’ll put it in a song, my lady Surely that will fix your rolly eyes Was it just the other night I was feelin’ nearly right Till your daddy said some things That hurt me so I did not mean to start a fight Now I see the light Oh, Rolly Eyes Don’t treat me cold Chorus It was not very bright I did not try with all my might To remember you were born The first of May No, I don’t think you’re uptight Bring your eyes down from the heights Rolly Eyes Turn off your deadly ray Chorus
Change Me 03:23
Let’s hook up later If it feels all right We’ll walk down to the river In the blue moonlight Let’s hook up later When the day is done Last night I was not ready To be the one But you can change me With your love tonight I woke up this mornin’ Sad and contrite I could offer up excuses But they’d all sound trite Believe me when I tell you That tonight I’ll change Take me to the river For a midnight exchange And you can change me With your love tonight Chorus: Yeah, change me, rearrange me Unchain me, then derange me Oh, baby, change me With your love tonight I won’t distract you with the reason For my complicated teasin’ I did not sabotage on purpose I just got a little nervous Chorus and Repeat
Little Sadie 04:10
Chorus: Hold your head up, little Sadie As you walk on down the line You’ll heal your broken heart When you put your hand in mine Pick your feet up, little Sadie As you march on down the line You’re gonna miss that horror show But you’re leavin’ right on time Your brother, he got busted For having sex with kids Your mama slapped you ‘cross the face When you told her what he did Now they’re all drunk and angry Hear them scream and cry Your bags are packed I’m down the road Don’t even say goodbye Chorus Your ex’s mom thinks it’s your job To keep him out of jail You’re sick of suckin’ up to fools Determined to fail They’ll try to hold you down As you head out on your own At 23, it’s plain to see You’re ripe for leavin’ home Chorus
I showed you I could be a man Who was not like your dad But you mistook me for a kid Oh, you mistook me bad You just want a little child To comfort when he’s sad Oh, I don’t want your mutha love Just let me be The man you’ll never know ‘Cause he’s a man you cannot see Chorus: Oh, I don’t want your sympathy Don’t want you to comfort me Don’t need no mutha love I’m lookin’ for a friend Help me find a friend Oh, I need a friend I get wracked with demon armies Tearin’ at my mind You come snakin’ ‘round my soul Eyes all black and blind I reach out, you laugh at me Pretendin’ to be kind Don’t waste your phony kindness On someone like me I got a life I’m gonna live When the demons set me free (Chorus) I could not go to town with you I had those evil blues Playin’ chess with suicide Hopin’ I would lose You just want to hug me 'Cause you love me when I’m blue Please don’t waste a hug on me Just let me be If I become your little boy It’ll be the end of me (Chorus)
You sang me songs About a love that never ends You said you’d stick with me Through thick and thin It was nearly springtime When you changed again Into a whisper in the wind I walk the beach I’m alone and cold I think I hear your voice I fear I’m growin’ old But it’s not you talkin’ It’s the breeze I feel within You’re just a whisper in the wind Chorus: Just a whisper in the wind Your voice, it spoke to me so strong Now just a whisper in the wind Tryin’ to tell me what went wrong I wander like some lost dog No one will befriend I’d do anything To help your heart to mend Then perhaps you’ll tell me What I did that turned you into A whisper in the wind Chorus Maybe there’s some lonesome beach Where the bitter breezes blow Maybe you go walkin’ there When the clouds hang dark and low Maybe if I shout loud enough, I can send A message to you in the wind Chorus
O my Dark Rosaleen Do not sigh, do not weep Your ships of bliss above the deep They plow the ocean stream With Sonoma wine And Humboldt bud Upon the ocean green And North Coast ale I’ll bring some hope To Dark Rosaleen Dark Rosaleen, O my own Rosaleen Make glad your heart to give you hope To give you health and help and hope To Dark Rosaleen Over hills and through dales I have traveled for your sake Just yesterday I sailed with sails On rivers and on lakes I crossed the bay at highest flood A ghost on Halloween O there was lightnin’ in my blood For Dark Rosaleen Dark Rosaleen, O my fine Rosaleen, Yeah there was lightnin’ in my blood Red lightnin’ lighting up my blood For Dark Rosaleen Over wetlands and grasslands, I flew on fiery wheels Your holy delicate hands Make me strong as steel In your emerald bower We’ll lie awake unseen Upon your bed of magic flowers Dark Rosaleen Dark Rosaleen, O my fond Rosaleen We’ll lie awake through daylight hours Be made whole by holy flowers Dark Rosaleen I would scale the blue air, I would plow the highest hills O I would kneel all night in prayer, To heal your many ills ‘Cause one electric smile from you Would spark a light between My work and me, my own, my true My Dark Rosaleen Dark Rosaleen, O my sweet Rosaleen Would spark a light of love anew Would make my self and soul renewed By Dark Rosaleen Without your love, get so depressed Abandoned from above The very soul within my breast Goes sick without your love My achin’ heart faints To think of you, my queen Life of life, O saint of saints My Dark Rosaleen Dark Rosaleen, O my own Rosaleen To hear again your sad complaints My life, my love, my saint of saints My Dark Rosaleen
El Dorado 05:22
One mornin’ I rode west Toward cool El Dorado To the back country mountains Their meadows of green I was lookin’ for somethin’ The old ones had spoke of The hard-scrabble farmers Never wanted to see At dusk near the foothills And weary from ridin’ I lay down to sleep off The hard travelin’ day When a stranger rode up On a horse he called Midnight From the hood of his cloak These words he did say: Don’t stay out in the storm tonight Don’t stay out in the storm She sent me here for to warn Don’t stay out in the storm I rode in the night With the moonlight to guide me To the porch of a stone house Where a young woman spun In a moonlit shawl With a yellow-eyed tomcat Her honey-sweet voice Said my ridin’ was done I followed her in As the storm clouds broke open Rain poured down And the moon disappeared My horse stomped and whinnied To give me a warnin’ But her soul-meltin’ voice Was all that I heard: Don’t ride out in the storm tonight Don’t ride out in the storm Chop my wood and keep me warm Don’t ride out in the storm Held in the spell Of this comely young vision Blue-eyed beauty With the raven black hair She led me downstairs To a lantern lit room Where six tired cowboys Dozed in their chairs Join them, won’t you They’ll show you your room Come back and sit down and dine to your fill Then come to my bed I’ll be waitin’ there for you I need your warm body to take off my chill Six sleepin’ cowboys Had nothin’ to tell me That her sweet voice was evil I knew I could prove I so hated that I loved it I ran up the stairs But she sang again And I could not move I ate and I drank Till my head hit the table Soft as upon a pillow we lie When I awoke We were nothin’ but skeletons But I could still move As if I were alive I jumped up and jangled And I liked the sound Of the hollow tunes played By my body in flight I flew up and danced And I clattered and clittered Freed from the flesh And my fear of the night Soon the noise woke up The other six cowboys Turned into bones By the beautiful bride We’re dead, they all said But I showed they were wrong If you’re dead ya can’t say so - Let’s saddle up and ride They knew I was right and We rose up as one And galloped away From our fresh-made graves Seven ghost riders Went up through the night sky On seven bone steeds O’er the ocean’s gray waves We follow the west wind That blows to the coast Where we ride ev‘ry day And we’ll ride ever more In the wind and the rain And the maddest of weather El Dorado cowboys In the mist on the shore We’ll ride out in the storm tonight We’ll ride out in the storm Ridin’ hard will keep us warm We’ll ride out in the storm One mornin’ I rode west to cool El Dorado...


What you're hearing on these tracks is the studio version of a band called Redwood Highway, an assemblage of local pro players from San Francisco's North Bay region. They are:

Cole Tate (The Cole Tate Band, www.facebook.com/coletateband )

Gailene Grillo Elliott (myspace.com/gailenegrilloband)

Jerry Hannan (jerryhannan.com)

Bill DeKuiper (hothouseswingband.com)

Rahman D'Amato (myspace.com/rahmansongs)

Robert Powell (www.robertpowellmusic.com/music)

Bruce Kurnow (www.brucekurnow.com/music.html)

(Chip) Roland Condon (Zero, volkerstrifler.com )

Gus Garelick (KRCB Radio, www.mandolincafe.com/news/publish/mandolins_001639.shtml)

Michael L. Bolivar (myspace.com/michaelbolivar)

Blair Hardman (The Rhythm Rangers, blairhardman.com )

Josh Needleman (The Pine Needles, joshneedleman.net )

Marc Smith (mcarmi.com/music/index.aspx)

The album's sound might best be described as "progressive roots." You can find rock, blues, Irish, folk, alt country, and jazz.

Each song is a story told in music best suited to the tale.

Look to the individual tracks for lyrics and credits


released November 1, 2009

Shanty Music:
T.E. Higgins, songwriter & composer
D.H. Higgins, co-conspirator

Production Allies:
Gailene Elliott, producer
Rahman D'Amato, producer & engineer
Blair Hardman / Zone Recording, engineer

Licensing and inquiries: email dena(at)shantymusic(dotcom), or call 415-267-1813


all rights reserved



Redwood Highway Band Berkeley, California

This version of Redwood Highway is a studio band. Look to the lower left for the names of the players and links to their sites to learn more about them and the great music they make. The next incarnation of Redwood Highway is likely to be a smaller crew. The focus would be live music, both performing and studio work. Stay tuned, see what evolves. ... more

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