Dry River Redemption

by Mark Anthony Febbo

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1.
Penitent 04:08 video
I saw you walking on the street You were looking a little cold A chill was about in the winter wind You were feeling a little old You built a fire in the downtown alley To warm you for a while I couldn’t help but speak A little tongue in cheek It was sensitive, yet bold Then you walked on by the Greyhound station Heading for Pacific yard You were mesmerized by those engines And the sound of steel on steel Stumbling past the barbed wire fences Watching those big wheels roll I could guess you needed just a little bleeding To help you feel whole And I said, hey, hey, hey You gonna change tomorrow It’s a brand new day To let go of your sorrows You ain’t got no competition You’re a penitent man at last She’ll have you back if you walk the track You best do it boy and do it fast In the morning I woke to find you Tangled up in dirty sheets You’d talked religion the night before Over bacanora shots The rest you don’t remember Cause Mr. Hyde he came around You were in a daze stumbling through the haze So I left you to your thoughts And I said, hey, hey, hey You gonna change tomorrow It’s a brand new day To let go of your sorrows You ain’t got no competition You’re a penitent man at last She’ll have you back if you walk the track You best do it boy and do it fast In the night I saw you in that darkened corner all alone And I resolved for once and all I’d look you in the eyes And as I threw the whisky back I stumbled towards the mirror I toked a toke and then I spoke Thought I’d crack a little wise And I said, hey, hey, hey You gonna change tomorrow It’s a brand new day To let go of your sorrows You ain’t got no competition You’re a penitent man at last She’ll have you back if you walk the track You best do it boy and do it fast
2.
Agave Nectar 06:21
I’m singing the blues for the mariachis Cause they sing about life, I sing about how it’s not fair 56 miles down that wide-open highway There’s a small liquor store by the side of the road It’s a haven of peace for the broken-hearted Redemption for the evils we’ve sown Forty ounces of beer and a couple smokes All you need to sort out your mind But sooner or later you’re left without reason And it’s back to the highway to hitch a ride Where do you go when all the creosote has died? No more agave nectar you ain’t got another dime And Maria says she’s leaving on the next train Jesus says God might forgive you just one more time I found myself a guitar down in Tucson Play for change or whatever you can spare ‘Cause I’m singin’ the blues for the mariachis They sing about life I sing about how it’s not fair Gave my hat to some cutie down on sixth street She said she’d dance with me if I bought her a beer Well, I never really been too keen on dancin' So I settled for a smile and a slap in the face Where do you go when all the creosote has died? No more agave nectar you ain’t got another dime And Maria says she’s leaving on the next train Jesus says God might forgive you just one more time 15 miles down that dried up old river There’s a cottonwood grove by the road It’s a haven of peace for the broken hearted Redemption for the evils we’ve sown Six pack of cans and a long-cut pouch All you need to sort out your mind But sooner or later you’re left without comfort And it’s back to the highway to hitch a ride Where do you go when all the creosote has died? No more agave nectar you ain’t got another dime And Maria says she’s leaving on the next train Jesus says God might forgive you just one more time Yeah, Jesus says God might forgive you just one more time I’m singing the blues for the mariachis Cause they sing about life, I sing about how it’s not fair
3.
Blue Monsoon 03:27
I go out walking in a blue monsoon Walking past the ladies with those eyes of ruin Past the old soup kitchen and their rusty spoons Past the hungry hovels by the light of the moon I walk past it all just to pass the time Well, old Don Chapo he’s a pretty spry guy He got creases on his face like a map of denial He got a pacha for breakfast, a pacha for noon A pint for a little later cause it comes so soon We both say “salud!” just to bless our ticking time Doña Panchita that ain’t really her name Her real name is Francis, but she likes to claim A little more culture, that’s why she smokes Braves She likes those cigarettes, but she likes to save She rides a Rascal Scooter, just to save her some time Dirty Jack Kirkland smells like gasoline He shows up shaking like a leaf on the breeze You know he pleads the fifth until his second sip By the fourth and fifth he ‘bout has a grip And I meet with him just to pass him a dime And Rambo Reyes lives outside on Sixth and Stone Big old German Shepard tried to gnaw him to the bone But he was not the man who the popo sought So when that dog attacked him, well, you better bet he fought Well Rambo killed that dog and he served his time I go out walking in a blue monsoon Walking past the ladies with those eyes of gloom Past the old dried up river and datura in bloom Past the hungry hovels by the light of the moon I walk past it all just to pass the time
4.
Urban Hollow 04:58
Driving down that road and you know that I don’t know Where I’m going or where I’ve been I look into her eyes and something inside her dies She says I should pay her a little less attention Hey, you got that right This urban hollow is bringing me down I wanna go back, back to Tucson Back to some place I’ve never been That old Tucson is a place I’ve never been Abuelo used to show me where the river used to flow He’d place me upon the saddle of Seven Leagues He’d say, “son there was a time when this land wasn’t worth a dime Cause there were no walls and no border lines” Hey, you got that right This urban hollow is bringing me down I wanna go back, back to Tucson Back to some place I’ve never been That old Tucson is a place I’ve never been Walkin’ down a muddy road through a cottonwood grove Smell the morning dew on the ground If you close your eyes you just might see paradise Out where the blue sky meets the broken earth Hey, you got that right This urban hollow is bringing me down I wanna go back, back to Tucson Back to some place I’ve never been That old Tucson is a place I’ve never been Hey, you got that right This urban hollow is bringing me down I wanna go back, back to Tucson Back to some place I’ve never been That old Tucson is a place I’ve never been
5.
Started out on a long, black road Eight days on a river is close to alone As you can get without going insane And it’s a good thing, baby To have friends along Just to listen to me as I’m pickin’ On these songs for eighty miles ‘Cause they ain’t goin’ nowhere And is there any other thing you really need Is there any other place you would rather be right now Than just going down the river feeling good Cottonwood on the banks Ancients on the walls Banjo and guitar amid the coyote calls Shooting stars, oh Lord, we’re feeling fine And is there any other thing you really need Is there any other place you would rather be right now Than just going down the river feeling good I ain’t crazy ‘bout the government But her rapids are fine So hold up for a while till you see the line it’s a fast line That will take you somewhere And is there any other thing you really need Is there any other place you would rather be right now Than just going down the river feeling good
6.
Alfie's Song 05:25
Alfie walked along the bank holding his brother’s hand Except for when he slipped on out of sight And the muddy water rushed, in a monsoon mood And Alfie sat and cried by riverside Alfie joined the big old war in ‘42 He was still around in ‘45 Touched down in the Pacific right after Little Boy And Alfie saw those ghosts by riverside By riverside La Llorrona is calling By riverside she wails in the night She says it’ll be alright Baby just close your eyes Alfie came back to Tucson by Pacific train Carmela swore that she would never leave his side And they were in and out of love with babies on the way And they picnicked on down by riverside But Alfie took his picnic from a paper sack He found some sort of comfort in the wine He found himself more lonely when he wasn’t so alone Cause Alfie talked to ghosts by riverside By riverside La Llorrona is calling By riverside she wails in the night She says it’ll be alright Baby just close your eyes Many moons had passed since Alfie felt some love Carmela swore that she would leave his side And that felt like muddy water in a monsoon mood But Alfie dried his eyes by riverside 'Cause Alfie yearned to hold grandchildren on his knee To tell them stories and see them play with dirt To walk them on down to the rodeo grounds To feed the horses down by riverside By riverside La Llorrona is calling By riverside she wails in the night She says it’ll be alright Baby just close your eyes
7.
He’s stuck in a sorry dream Always choking on his honesty All those little black truths And all the righteous lies Wondering where it all went wrong And how it could have took so long To see the trees for the leaves Who, what, where and why? And he said, “falling don’t feel like it did when I was a boy, before my bones turned into glass. And living don’t feel like a hopeful joy Now that I’m racing to the end so fast It’s easier done than seen It’s easier done than seen” She’s with him but she’s alone Bitter love is a lonely moan A sweet glass of acid rain Crawling up her throat She’s thinking back on summer time Living in the White Mountain pines Fishing on the Black River bank guttin’ cutthroat And she said, “fighting don’t feel like it did when I was a girl, when I would disagree just to disagree. And loving don’t feel like a Queen of Conch pearl Now that I’m old and nothing’s free. It’s easier done than seen It’s easier done than seen” They rock back and forth in time Ignoring pain in each other’s eyes They rock back and forth in time They may be old, but they’re still green And it’s easier done than seen It’s easier done than seen Oh, so easier done than seen
8.
Bankrupt 03:44
I got a loan for my vacations A loan for my car Alone with my drink at the bar Got a loan for the ring A loan for my love Borrowed my forgiveness from above Got a loan for the wedding A loan for my home And now alone is how I roam A loan is how we’re born Alone is how we die And a loan is a good thing ‘Cause a loan will get you by And you can’t bankrupt a bankrupt man Well I checked my bank account I checked my wallet too I checked my pockets just for you ‘Cause I know I owe the money I know I owe the Lord All for things I can’t afford I bought myself some happy I bought myself some sad I bought some stuff I already had And change is in the river Change is in the air Change is careless giver And I’ve got no change to spare And you can’t bankrupt a bankrupt man No you can’t bankrupt a bankrupt man Well, she don’t know my mind She don’t know my heart And she don’t know what she tore apart I pushed her to the limit But I couldn’t take one more shove We still got nothing left but love And this story is amoral It ain’t quite ethically sound ‘Cause you can’t buy rightness by the pound And right isn’t how it sounds Right is meant to share Righteous is a shiny crown I got no right to wear And you can’t bankrupt a bankrupt man No you can’t bankrupt a bankrupt man You can’t bankrupt a bankrupt man
9.
Dulcinea 06:11
My spur is worn out on the horse’s ass again These boots ain’t been away from my feet in days You know these cowboys are bitter and the women ain’t sweet, And I ain’t got a clue where I’ll wake up in the morning So take me back to days of old You know I’m longing to be free Take me back to the long-gone earth Before machines were Gods in my reality Dulcinea, Dulcinea Do you cry for rescue or defense? I’m here to live for you, you know I’d die for you El valiente fights again Cause be it windmill or war machine I’ll be your Don Quixote I’ll be your Don Quixote My horse is tired of walking on dust and stone My lips are cracked and my mind winds wild This dried up river is my bed tonight At least I know where I’ll wake up in the morning So take me back to those days of old Tilting forward toward the past Take me back to those uncharted waters Don’t want your cell phones and your telecasts Dulcinea, Dulcinea Do you cry for rescue or defense? I’m here to live for you, I’d die a little death for you El valiente fights again Cause be it windmill or war machine I’ll be your Don Quixote I’ll be your Don Quixote And Saturday’s a fine day for basking in the sun Ain’t nothing better to do now the west is won So I tip my hat, and shotgun a beer Dulcinea won’t you please take me home? Dulcinea, Dulcinea Do you cry for rescue or defense? I’m here to live for you, die a little death for you El valiente fights again Cause be it windmill or war machine I’ll be your Don Quixote I’ll be your Don Quixote
10.
Driving down that blacktop away from the sunrise The sun she wants to consume you with her stylish fire If you drive a little faster you can outrun her Just put the pedal down and smoke them wide tires Cause you still ain’t seen it all You’ve had some close calls You’re just wasting time when you cry Get busy living before you die You’re looking back to see where you went wrong Going 90 miles an hour down a dead-end road These highway signs never did fit your song And you know you’re only weeping what you owe And you’re tired of living here Living in your rear-view mirror Driving somewhere out of sight Get busy living before you die Papa always told you to be better But you could never ever walk so straight and narrow Mamma said she’d always send you letters But she don’t know your address in Hermosillo And you can’t go back cause You’re dodging extradition laws Lying on the floor just getting high Get busy living before you die You best be living before you die
11.
Desert Rose 06:26
Will I be remembered when I’m gone? I’m a bit confused ‘cause I just don’t know Will anyone stop and sing a song Will the wind still blow through my ghostly soul? And Solomon says I’m a goner That I can’t stick around, not even to haunt her Cause I was nothing new under the sun Though I might have had fun And drag my ashes out to the wasteland Spice this ground with my burned up bones Plant an agave out on the dry land Out with the coyotes and my desert rose Who will drink my leftover tequila? Who will take care of my mescal? I ain’t been nothing like Mother Teresa And will she stand, or will she fall Someone once said Solomon’s dead So should it really matter what some dead man said Cause he was nothing new under the sun Though he might have had fun So drag my ashes out to the wasteland Spice this ground with my burned up bones Plant an agave out on the dry land Out with the coyotes and my desert rose Desert rose burns with desire Desert rose kindled this fire Now I’ve gone to hell To be sanctified, cleaned Wash away all the bad things I might have seen In my desert rose And drag my ashes out to the wasteland Spice this ground with my burned up bones Plant an agave out on the dry land Out with the coyotes and my desert rose So when will I stop to sing my last song I’m a bit amused ‘cause I just don’t know Will anyone stop to sing along And Solomon says I’m a goner I can’t stick around, not even to haunt her
12.
Sleepy Eyes 02:41
Sleepy eyes must find their way Close and rest from a busy day See the fragments of yesteryear Dreams in color and dragons rear See flights of angels feathered wings Silent prayers and what they bring Beneath the sand a river sleeps Through rocks and earth the water creeps Rest now your weary eyes Busy day tomorrow tries But now the quiet beckons me Dreams impossible I will see Goodnight, goodnight I say to you Tomorrow comes we start anew Sleepy eyes must find their way Close and rest from a busy day

about

Dry River Redemption is a journey through urban hollows, dusty rural streets, darkened alleys, untamed rivers, and unknown dried up tributaries--through the minds of characters both imagined and real: a travel through time and across generations in the southwestern United States.

The album was recorded at Oscar Fuentes’ TucSound Recording Studio. This collection of 12 songs features Bruce Halper (Sand Rubies/Sidewinders) on drums, Thøger Lund (Giant Sand) on bass, and Oscar Fuentes on a variety of instrumentation.

Other accompaniment includes Alvin Blaine, Heather Hardy, Rich Hopkins (Sidewinders/Sandrubies/Luminarios), Damon Barnaby (Luminarios/Loveland), Tom Walbank and Billy Sedlmayr (who also co-wrote one of the tracks).

It’s a departure from the sound and style of Febbo's previous project, Clam Tostada, as a more mature endeavor, but retains his strengths as a colorful storyteller, with considerable growth in musicianship.

credits

released February 4, 2020

Produced by Oscar Fuentes and Mark Anthony Febbo

Recorded at TucSound Recording Studio, Tucson, AZ

Mixed by Andrés Huerta at Sound Tube, Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX

Mastered by Jim Blackwood at Arizona Public Media, Tucson, AZ

Mark Anthony Febbo: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica

Oscar Fuentes: Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Harmony Vocals

Thøger Tetens Lund: Electric Bass and Acoustic Upright Bass

Bruce Halper: Drums, Percussion, Harmony vocals

Heather Hardy: Acoustic and Electric Fiddle

Alvin Blaine: Electric Guitar, Lap Steel, Pedal Steel, Dobro, Weissenborn Hawaiian Guitar, Banjo and Mandolin

Damon Barnaby: Electric Guitar (Living Before You Die; Penitent; Dulcinea)

Tom Walbank: Harmonica (Penitent)

Rich Hopkins: Electric Guitar (Dulcinea)

Lisa Novak: Harmony Vocals (Agave Nectar; Bankrupt; Dulcinea; Living Before You Die; Desert Rose)

Misti Nowak: Harmony Vocals (River Song; Agave Nectar)

Billy Sedlmayr: Background Vocals (Easier Done Than Seen)

Photos by Jimi Giannatti and Cassandra Tomei
Graphic design by Mark Anthony Febbo and conceptual art by Lester Tomei

All sound recordings Mark Anthony Febbo, copyright 2020

All songs written by Mark Anthony Febbo except "Blue Monsoon" (M.A. Febbo/B. Sedlmayr), and "Sleepy Eyes" (Buck Burns/M.A. Febbo)

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about

Mark Anthony Febbo Tucson, Arizona

Mark Anthony Febbo is a third-generation Tucsonan and former songwriter/singer/guitarist for the now defunct band, Clam Tostada.

Many of Mark’s previously written songs can be found on the 2013 Clam Tostada release--Amusing Neanderthals: Since One Million Years B.C.--available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and streaming through Spotify.
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