Dry River Redemption

by Mark Anthony Febbo

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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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all rights reserved

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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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Track Name: Penitent
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
Track Name: Agave Nectar
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
Track Name: Blue Monsoon
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
Track Name: Urban Hollow
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
Track Name: Going Down the River
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
Track Name: Alfie's Song
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
Track Name: Easier Done Than Seen
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
Track Name: Bankrupt
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
Track Name: Dulcinea
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
Track Name: Living Before You Die
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
Track Name: Desert Rose
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
Track Name: Sleepy Eyes
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

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