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The Lonestar Companion - Vol 2

by Don DiLego

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about

The album…

The “Companion” idea was something I had even before recording “The Lonestar Hitchhiker”. I knew that a debut double-cd was perhaps overly ambitious and a wee bit unwise considering my record label scenario at the time, but it always remained a thorn in my side to complete. For three years, I found myself writing nothing other than songs about “The Lonestar Hitchhiker” character. Songs on the road, songs about being on the road, songs about wanting to be on a road, and finally, songs about not knowing exactly what road I was on. It got so that I became unable to broach another subject and wound up with several “extra” songs on the same theme but that didn’t quite fit onto the manically thought out “Hitchhiker” LP.

Hence “The Lonestar Companion-Vol. 2”. I had been worshipfully listening to “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake over and over and was fully convinced that would be my role model for the “Companion”. As an artist, it’s extremely hard to not emulate what inspires you. I was convinced that the record should be short, sweet, and acoustic with only my voice as an accompaniment. It took me about a year or so after I finished recording the first record to realize that I was, in fact, not Nick Drake. I failed miserably in my attempt to be him. Discouraged in my foray into recording “Pink Moon 2”, I decided to follow the footsteps of whom I know best…me. Mind you, this was no easy decision.

There’s a lot of my father’s spirit in both records, but especially this one. “The Last Desperado”, which is specifically about him, reminds me a great deal of what I heard him listening to before I cared what he was listening too. Of course now, I can’t tell him, “Oh, I get it now dad!”. But I feel a song like that validates his unwitting contibution to my musical wanderings. He wanted me to be a baseball player after all.

“August 18, 1805” was a song I wrote while reading “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen Ambrose. Recounting the incredible journey of Lewis & Clark, it includes the wonderfully poetic journal entries of Meriwether Lewis. I found myself very drawn to this person and realized that he truly was the original “Lonestar Hitchhiker of the US of A”. There was a particular entry written on his 31st birthday that was compelling and that I related to heavily in my own little world. I tried putting these thoughts to words with a chorus I had that went “I guess it’s all a part of something bigger than one”. I failed miserably to say what Lewis had already so eloquently stated. So I just used his words. Almost exactly, I put his journal entry of August 18, 1805 to melody and chord. Though at points awkward to sing, his words are powerful and timeless.

“Ms Louisa’s Dafodils” was just simply the result of this reoccurring line “Runaway, runaway, runaway miss Louise” that refused to stop driving me nutso. I can’t imagine I spent more time than the songs’ actual length writing it.

One of the earliest tracks written here, and probably the one that most inspired the direction and idea of doing this album was “Swimming in Trees”. I don’t know what really to say about it other than it’s one of my songs that I’m most proud of both musically and lyrically. I feel lucky to have had this one come my way.

Listening to the late-great Hank Williams is a right of passage for any self-respecting musician interested in anything twang. His music more than speaks for itself. “Ol’ Hank Williams” is simply my humble tribute to his grand musical contributions.

“Blue Avenue”, I think, was written as a closing number. At least that’s how I want to remember it. This is one of my absolute favorite songs to play live because the outro is so raucous and unpredictable. The non-artist side of me should have faded the song well before it does, but I just love listening to the cacophony of out-of-tune instruments and voices that create a kind of mardi-gras at song’s end.

Finally, there’s this piece called “Election”. This is the result of Erik and I experimenting with any instrument we could get our hands on. Hence the ending of this one. Definitely sparked my fondness to alternatives uses of banjo as well as a new appreciation for the Casiotone monotone keyboard.

So there you have it. Perhaps more information than you needed. Ultimately, this album just ended up being the me of the “here-n-now”, and that’s what I get most out of it. It closes a long chapter for me personally and clears the way for a new train of thought. It is also a small personal victory in just completing it. From the cardboard packaging that I desperately searched for, to the hand stamped icons and text. I hope you enjoy this bookend EP. And thus concludes the saga of “The Lonestar Hitchhiker”. At least through my eyes.

Harry, wherever you are these days, enjoy your continuing journey. And thanks for the last three years of my life.

credits

released April 1, 2003

The Artists & Musicians…

Paul Garisto: drums
Erik Olsen: bass, harmonies
Eladia Hayman: cello
Daniel Palmer: harmonica
Imani Coppola: violin
Stephen Hamilton: spaghetti electric
Gregg Williams: drums, percussion
Michael Aranella: trombone
Bree Sharp: vocals
Don: acoustic, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, piano, wurlitzer, dijembe, casio,
electric guitar, casio, harmonica

The Songs…
Ms. Louisa’s Dafodils
The Last Desperado*
August 18, 1805
Swimming in Trees
Blue Avenue
Ol’ Hank Williams
Election

All songs written by Don except *by D. DiLego/E. Olsen.
Published by 23Willow/SESAC ©2002

Produced by Don DiLego
Recorded all over the damn place, 1999-2002.
Additional engineering by Gregg Williams (Blue Avenue,
Election) and Vassos (Swimming in Trees).
Mixed byDon.
Mastered by Ken Heitmeuller for Independence, NYC.
Legal: Josh Grier (Pryor, Cashman & Flynn, NYC)

For info…
info@dondilego.com
www.dondilego.com
Velvet Elk Records

Thank Yous…
An unrepayable thanks to everyone who contributed to this work in every way imaginable, from moral support, to a musical hook, to a nickel in the album fund. I was not in this alone thank goodness.
A special nod to Hal Isaacson & Michael at Underscore, Jennifer Silver at Hear Music, Trevor Gale et al at SESAC, CB’s Gallery in NYC, Bono, the city of St. Louis, and especially my band for always supporting the cause. Thank You.

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about

Don DiLego New York, New York

NYC based singer-songwriter and sometimes producer who's new album Magnificent Ram A will be out May 2016 on Velvet Elk / One Little Indian.

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Track Name: Miss Louisa's Daffodils
Runaway, runaway, runaway Miss Louise
From everything you please
It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok Miss Louise
We understand why you must leave

I hope to be around
When you decide to find yourself another towne
But if you please, could you leave me your keys?

MISS LOUISA’S DAFODILS ARE GONE
FAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING SHE’S DONE
COME ON LOUISE, WHERE YOU GONNA RUN?
YEAH, MISS LOUISA’S DAFODILS ARE GONE

Runaway, runaway, runaway Miss Louise
From everything you see
It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok Miss Louise
Cause we have always known why you must leave

But I hope to be around
When what you’ve done comes up from your broken ground
But if you please, would you sell me your trees?

MISS LOUISA’S DAFODILS ARE GONE
FAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING SHE’S DONE
COME ON LOUISE, WHERE YOU GONNA RUN?
YEAH, MISS LOUISA’S DAFODILS ARE GONE

She’s gone away, so far away
To spend some time alone with her new sins
For me, and for you

Runaway, runaway, runaway Miss Louise
From everything you please
It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok Miss Louise
We’ll all be here when you get your release

MISS LOUISA’S DAFODILS ARE GONE
FAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING SHE’S DONE
COME ON LOUISE, YOUR FLOWER’S WILTING IN THE SUN
YEAH, MISS LOUISA’S DAFODILS ARE GONE
Track Name: The Last Desperado
Desperado, you’re my hero
Riding horses made of clay
The river widens for the fortunate few
Like you, so tragic and true

Deperado, where have you gone to?
Now that I need someone like you
Walked a million lonely miles
Past a million lonely smiles
But it’s the heart that grows alone
That leaves us cold

Now this is me here, biding my time
Walking my line, straight and free
Singing my songs, hoping that you’ll sing along
Desperado, there’s no one left but you

It’s the Last Desperado Song.
Track Name: August 18, 1805
This day I completed my 31st year
I reflected I had done very little indeed
To further the happiness of the human race
Or to advance the information of the succeeding generation

I viewed with regret the many hours I’ve spent
In indolence, and now soarly feel the want
Of that information which those hours would have given me
Had they been judiciously expended
Hey, have you been judiciously expended?

Guess it’s all a part of something Bigger than One
Guess it’s all a part of something Bigger than One

I dash from me the gloomy thought
And resolve, in future, to redouble my exertions
Nature and fortune, they have shown on me
And I will shine on them
And I will shine on them
Yeah I will shine on them
And I will shine on them

Cause in the future I will live
Cause in the future I will live
Cause in the future I will live for mankind
As I, have heretofore lived for myself.
Track Name: Swimming in Trees
Eleven-eighteen and I'm still in bed
It's all I can do to wait for the day to begin
My trash paper map is covered in oil
My favorite escape is lying awake
Silently under the sun

Where we’re swimming in trees
Riding the breeze beneath our wings
And we’re swimming in trees
Holding the wind beneath our wings

I followed my thumb to places I know, know, know
The lightning ahead
Is playing a game with me
And I know that today, I'll end up inside
The rain washed my map, as I watched the road
Oh, it's wasted away

Well we’re swimming in trees
Riding the breeze beneath our wings
And we’re swimming in trees
Holding the wind beneath our wings

I found this place where I could wind down, down, down
Got a ride in a plane, from someone who claimed he knew me
And I thought about your name hoping to see
You staring up, and me in the trees
Silently under the sun
And we're riding out under the sun

Where we’re swimming in trees
Riding the breeze beneath our wings
And we’re swimming in trees
Holding the wind beneath our wings
And we’re swimming in trees
Track Name: Blue Avenue
Far away, where the angels all stay
Who do you want to be
And what do you want to find out?
Hey, don’t you know,
There’s a lot of things you don’t know
S get me on my way
Forget about myself and pray

Get my car
And I’m leaving for the day
Drive away, until I find a better oasis
Get my feet back on Blue Avenue
So what’s with you?
Where you going to?

Far way, you thought that you’d always stay the same
Do you remember where you left yourself behind?
Hey, don’t you know,
There’s a long way left to go?
But I’m the King of the New Road

Get my car
And I’m leaving for the day
Drive away, until I find a better oasis
Get my feet back on Blue Avenue
So what’s with you?
Where you going to?

Get my car
And I’m leaving for the day
Drive away, until I find a better oasis
Get my feet back on Blue Avenue
So what’s with you?
Where you going to?
Where you going to?
Track Name: Ol' Hank Williams
Well Ol' Hank Williams, found his voice again
Beneath the whiskey and rye
But he couldn't find me, cause I couldn't find myself
I was stuck up on the shelf
With books I haven't read

"Well Ol' Hank Williams", I called his name and ran
on a red-ant highway in the sand
But he didn't wonder where the road was gonna go
He was looking for the gold
But he just found himself a friend

The last thing I remember was forgetting my name
And the first thing to return
Was the color of the sun
And the beauty of someone
Trying to see what you see

Well Ol' Hank Williams, found a phonograph and fame
In the dusty grooves of a crooked age
But hallelujah there's a voice to hide the pain
Cause I've been feeling so ashamed
I think I've found myself a friend
I think I've found myself a friend
Track Name: Election
All we are is all we are
Something in the way that we were made
Of chromosomes and crooked bones
Happiness is all that remains
But sometimes it seems,
I’m hopelessly just pushing for the world to elect me

I believe in Novacane
The numbing of the senseless and the vain
And if I held a loaded gun
Would you reveal to me your compassion?
Fashionably, I wearing down the inches of Mercury, in me

Won’t somebody please
Please choose me

And if I found the way to purge
I’m confident I’d forget the words
I’m thinking again
The truth is never all that it seems, seems to be

Won’t somebody please
Please elect me
Please choose me