Bruce Piephoff Live at the dotmatrix project

by Bruce Piephoff

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about

On February 26th, 2009 Bruce Piephoff and a local All Star cast of performers (Renee Mendoza Haran of Filthybird, Landon & Scott Walker of The Walker Brothers, David "Driveway" Moore of ETI and The Goodbye House and Jennie Walker Brunner) performed for a packed house in the back bar of The Green Burro. DMP was honored to capture their performance

credits

released August 26, 2009

Bruce Piephoff: vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Renee Mendoza Haran: vocals
David "Driveway" Moore - harmonica
Scott Walker: cello
Jennie Brunner: fiddle
Landon Walker: bass, accordion

All songs written by Bruce Piephoff, Piephoff Music

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Bruce Piephoff Greensboro, North Carolina

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Track Name: Rufus Kane (live @ DMP)
The splendor of the sun lights a lonely path
As a stranger walks once more as a child
Nothing he calls his own save his suffering
But the demons round his bed have all died

(Chorus)
O mother of the cosmos please protect him
O wind and moon and waters clear the way
For a calm upon the seas shall come
For a calm upon the seas shall come

Rufus Kane had quite his job for wandering
A voice inside his skull that never lied
Intransigent amid the sound and fury
And the awful forms that tried to steal inside

Chorus

The spectre and his stallions close behind him
The madness of the world is all around
But he knows blue nights and tranquil lighted waters
And pearls strung on silken silver threads

Chorus

Well eyes of old they can turn so kind and gentle
But people move like shadows through the night
And the drama of our loneliness continues
With the empty hearts and souls without sight

Chorus
Track Name: Rosalita (live @ DMP)
Rosalita, when that cold wind blows
That's when I always dream of you
Rosalita, when that train comes through
I'll be on my way home to you

(Chorus)
And I'll be tying on my highway shoes
I'll be flying on home to you
So don't be blue

Rosalita, do you remember me girl
Walking along Tobacco Road
Going fishing in that Carolina moon
Lord, mama she cooked us up a meal

CHORUS

Rosalita, my little baby girl
Tell mama that daddy's coming home
Rosalita, my little baby girl
I ain't never more going to roam

CHORUS
Track Name: Wind From Newport News (live @ DMP)
Like the wings that the wind brings
Like the brightness after rain
Like the thunder rolling over you
While you're riding on a train

(Chorus)
You been out there fighting lions
Where the lions ain't been
Time to come on back in, my friend
From the rain and the wind

And the streets are filled with cell phones
Dark suits and shades
Three days till the millenium
And the amateur parade

Chorus

You know alcohol and wrestling
They never do mix
And the priests and politicians
Are playing pick up sticks

Chorus

There's a fire out on the interstate
It's burning through the night
There's laughter in your poetry
Turning darkness into light

Chorus

Woke up with a Woody
Guthrie song in my head
And the wind from Newport News
At the window by my bed

I been out there fighting lions
Where the lions ain't been
Time to come on back in my friend
From the rain and the wind
Track Name: Riding The Stream (live @ DMP)
We pick the oranges in early Florida spring
In April head north riding the east coast stream
Up to North Carolina, down east on the plains
Cropping tobacco and singing of the pain

The pain of the lonely so far from Mexico
Lonely cause no one speaks the language we know
We work for the coastal farmer and he hides us away
Cause with illegal status they won't let you stay

(Chorus)
Sing me a lullabye sweet on the strings
Sitting on the front porch in the tenant house swing
Play me a melody, a soft spanish breeze
While I ride on the rows on the east coast stream

Well my brother plays accordion, I play guitar and sing
About the dreams migrants dream on the east coast stream
Riding the stream all the way up to Maine
To pick apples before winter and then head south again

We dream of a better life for our kids
We dream of the fields and all the work we did
Dream of success, the American dream
But meanwhile we're treading water on the east coast stream

Chorus
Track Name: 20 Miles To Baghdad (live @ DMP)
Bradley fire a burning on a bloody spring day
Mama, there's shrapnel in my leg
A distant line of palm trees is calling me home
But it's 20 miles to Baghdad today

Burning vehicles exploding, black smoke hangs in the air
The Euphrates rolls lazily along
Lying in this marsh grass, trying to stay strong
But it's 20 miles to Baghdad today

Now the B-52s are leading in the sky
Rockets blaze like 4th of July
A flock of white doves and a dog passing by
But it's 20 miles to Baghdad today

Got your picture in my pocket, St. Christopher's with me
And I dream of you all when the darkness falls
When we break camp tomorrow the angels may call
20 Miles to Baghdad today
Track Name: Big Foot In The Door (live @ DMP)
Big Tom Alston swung a baseball bat
Broke in with the Cardinals
First black man to do that
1954, a big foot in the door

Augustus Busch, the beer tycoon
Made a big production, beer and silver spoons
Just one black man was standing in the room

(Chorus)
I'll give you 2 Stan Musials, one Steve Bilko
Throw in Country Slaughter, if you'll let Alston go
Big Tom Alston, Cardinals '54
I seen him yesterday down at the Woolworth's Store

Big Tom Alston went to Dudley High
Played ball for the Aggies, learned to catch high flies
But big Tom was a slugger, kissed Greensboro goodbye

San Diego Padres, 23 home runs
And RBIs, big Tom got 101
Headed for St. Louis and segregation

Chorus

Eating meals alone, big Tom Alston
In a third class coach, the whole season long
Just like Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson

Voices in the wind, down in Mexico
Our big forgotten friend
Back in Greensboro
Eating apple pie at the Woolworth's Store

Chorus
Track Name: Wanna Be A Tree (live @ DMP)
I wanna be a tree
A big white oak tree
With big strong limbs
You could climb on me
Bright leaves in the Fall
I'd stand tall
With deep roots to keep me from the howling wind
A tree is a friend
I wanna be a tree
I'm tired of being me

I wanna be a guitar
An ole Martin guitar
With new steel strings
I could sing to the stars
I'd play real good
With my rosewood
A sweet melody for your heart to win
A guitar is a friend
I wanna be a guitar
I'm tired of being me

I wanna be a car
A '57 Chevrolet
A few scratches and scars
Could be buffed away
You could rev me up
When you turn my key
Lord, my wheels would spin from here to eternity
An ole car is a friend
I wanna be a car
I'm tired of being me

I wanna be a beer
Golden and light
Cold and delicious
On a hot summer's night
You could sip on me
Or you could drink me down
Or you could kick my can when it's empty all over town
A cold beer is a friend
I wanna be a beer
I'm tired of being me
I wanna be free
Track Name: Nobody (live @ DMP)
Well, I dreamed I dropped out in '71
From careers I'd just begun
To go for success and look out for number one
I hopped a freight train with a railroad bum

He said he'd ridden the Dog, he'd ridden the Steam
Through the hobo jungles on the American dream
He'd run for President as king of the 'bos
They called him Nobody, Nobody knows

(CHORUS)
Nobody knows, Nobody heeds us
How we get our smokes, beers or who feeds us
Nobody knows, Nobody knows

He said that being is important, you know
But being important ain't important at all
There's Salmon fishing on the Feather River
And tarpaper shacks and stories to deliver

There's mulligan stew and a bedroll on your back
Matches for a fire by the railroad tracks
Clappin' and stompin' and raisin' the dust
Coffee and smokes and faces you can trust

CHORUS

But the times are changing, there'll be no more riding
We're the last of the breed, in you I'm confiding
Watch out for the booze when you're crossing the Hump
Keep something warm inside you and learn how to jump

Respect the desert, don't be careless with the dicks
The open road can be a life but you must learn a few tricks
Remember Meally Shorty and Kansas City Dick
And Steam Train Maury and all the bos up in Britt

CHORUS

So remember the Hardrock and the Freedom Train
Lord Open Road and Blackie and Virginia Slim the same
Remember ole Frypan and remember Mountain Dew
And Sparky and Rattlesnake and Nobody too

Then the cool night air and the whiskey voice
And the winter sleet hair and the freedom of choice
Disappeared like the smoke from a cheap cigar
As I awoke from my dream in the alley by the bar

This is about a real hobo named Nobody who ran for President on the hobo ticket.
Track Name: Old Crow (live @ DMP)
The old crow was scratching and screaming
Around 3 am
Like a bandanaed boxer
He was wailing a hymn
We was pumpin aluminum
We was feelin no pain
I was pinchin myself in hometown rain

The sun hung like a red balloon out on ole 85
Through the hailstones I hurried to the cafe feelin alive
It was warm, loose and high, I was surrounded by friends
I knew damn well we would meet once again

There was music from the Rootboy and the Sentinel Boys too
And some jazzgrass and some jazz and some plankton and some brew
And a lady dressed in white, wearing a shell
With a rose in her hat and some stories to tell

So we walked on the street by the Belstone crowd
And swam like fish when things got too proud
Wild memories returned over coffee and shrimp
Till time came to leave with more memories to scrimp

Now the lady's in France, I'm back at work
There's another one I love when shadows don't lurk
And a ways down the road, couple of hours away
There's an old crow calling, come on now and play
Track Name: Her Habit Was Strong (live @ DMP)
Her habit was strong
The habit of freedom and change
Living with wings, flying high
Above the land of stone

She was more fire than light
A trapeze artist piquant
A tigress in the night
A dancer, a trap of delight

She could act out any role
Charm the hobo or the prince
She could heighten and sustain
Her value with resistance

Her skin sea shell white
Her eyes of violet
Her dresses of red velvet
Enslaved the poets

She was prodded by sailors
With slow ritual and incense
With opium and cocaine
They offered chains at her expense

But her habit was too strong
The habit of freedom and change
Living with wings, flying high
Above the land of stone
Track Name: I Remember Asheville (live @ DMP)
Young men proud to wear suicide bombs
Blowing up buildings, children and moms
Politicians want billions more
To fight their next dirty little war
Big corporations sucking the blood
Of the masses for the privileged good
Reality shows, American idols
Cattle calls to win the titles

(Chorus)
What's this world coming to?
I remember Asheville, skies so blue
You could see about a hundred miles
How's my child to wear a smile?

And everybody's taking some kind of drugs
Over the counter, prescriptions or thugs
Bring it to your neighborhood
This will make you feel so good
Athletes hooked on steroid juice
Hit so hard, loose as a goose
Crackheads crying in the street
Others so much more discreet

Chorus

Where's the one to lead us now
To the Promised Land, past the sacred cows
Martin Luther, JFK turning over in their graves
Abraham, he's dead and gone
Only new gods to carry on
New gods of greed, higher education
Massive wealth and exploitation

Chorus

The Prince is king, he rules the world
Over all the little boys and girls
Supersized, a junk food nation
Send them all to some space station
Scripts for every ache and pain
Pounding on your weary brain
Get out your notebook, write a poem
Sing a song, create a storm

Chorus

Living a dirge, time to rock n roll
Achilles brain got a hold of your soul
Fools Folly Bridge crossing over to Hell
Time to dip down deep into the cool clear well
The well of longing, the well of hope
The well of the 8 count, coming off the ropes
Fill up your car with good gasoline
Still you're behind the wheel
If you know what I mean

Chorus

Ride out across the U.S.A.
In your daddy's ole Chevrolet
Put on some jeans and a pair of boots
Try to get back to your roots
Listen to Bird, Coltrane and Dylan
Pretty soon you'll be chillin'
Find a way to some cleaner air
Cleaner water, where the people care
Lovingkindness that don't stare
Somewhere with some atmosphere
Ride out across the U.S.A.
In your daddy's ole Chevrolet

Chorus