California Widow

by The Porter Draw

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released December 13, 2011

Cover by: Jessia Billey
Band photo: Wes Naman

Recorded at Frogville Studios Santa Fe NM
Produced by The Porter Draw
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Bill Palmer

The Porter Draw is:
Ben Wood - Banjo
Russell James Pyle - Guitar, Voice
Joshua Gingerich - Guitars, Harmonica, Voice
Dandee Fleming - Bass
Joey Gonzales - Drums, Percussion


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The Porter Draw Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Track Name: Dirty Trade
Born on a mountain top
Back in 1945
Never had no ma or pa to speak of
It was hard just to stay alive
Raised by a moonshinin', shit-kickin' son of a bitch
Taught me how to fight and he taught me how to drink

Born under the worst of bad signs
Born under a starless sky
Never knew no love or lover
It was hard just to get me by
Never no learnin', no schoolin', no readin' of books
I never had brains and I sure as hell never had looks

Never had no chance at nothin' just a running my own still
Thousand gallons a week turns into a whole lot of bills
Never wanted to hurt no body and I never turned nobody blind
All I ever wanted was to cook me up my sweet Virginia moonshine

I found life in a dusty old still
I found meaning in a dirty trade
I found heaven in a heated coil
I found Jesus in that blue flame
Busthead, popskull, white lightening, mason jar
Cook it up, ship it in a racing car
Track Name: La Pine
Guitar made in Kalamazoo
and my mind wanders to you
wondering when the next shoe will
Mama please
I’m on my knees
catching rats to kill the fleas
knowing when, not knot knowing how to stop

I’ll tell you just what I’ve done
if you tell me we’ll see the sun
chase the moon, sleep here on the
Wake up in the woods to find
a perfect place at a perfect time
in a stitch we could ditch this town

I rolled into Tucumcar’
nothing doing, my pockets bare
see what I could shake down at the
One man took the way I look
to be the stage for acts of rage
knocked me down and he busted my guitar

Now I’m not one to raise my fist
but I struck next and I don’t miss
stranger must just have drawn his
For he’s face down in a pool of blood
I knew my name had become mud
hightailed it out just to save my very life

Depending on just where I am
I may be a wanted man
that don’t change just what I said to
‘Cause it smells fine here in La Pine
and no one knows my rabbit holes
let’s relax and do just like we do

Guitar made in Kalamazoo
and my mind wanders to you
wondering when the next shoe will
Mama please
I’m on my knees
catching rats to kill the fleas
knowing when, not knot knowing how to stop
Track Name: Athens
You told everything would be better out of Athens, so I quit my job and hitch hiked half the way.
We met up in Seattle but our dreams turned in to ashes, sorry things ended up that way.
Now the rolling hills and badlands, and golden plains of Kansas seem to ease my mind cause I'd have
liked to stayed
But the sun sinks down behind me and with the city lights that I see, now I understand that there was no
other way.

And I'm leaving you this number, and it's seven fifty, Mountain Standard Time.
Cause I just pulled into Denver on a train they call the Zephyr.
I'll be here four an hour the bus loads up at nine.

The memories and music that we made inside our bedroom keep playin like a rerun after dark.
And words you whispered softly on our downtown rooftop balcony send a shiver when think of what it
And after seventeen long months of drinking our self-loathing, seemed the best thing left to do was run

And the dream of sewing patches on our faded denim courtship has left me tattered and feeling rather

Cause I'm leaving you this number, and its 6 p.m. here central standard time Cause I just pulled in from
Tulsa on a greyhound bound for Georgia
I'll be here for an hour, This is my last dime.

The Mississippi's wide and the Chattahoochee's muddy, and I'm starting to believe that I am home.
But I still miss you desperately and want you to be next to me but I still can't seem to reach you on the

With the road out in the distance and the painful hour of patience gets me wishin I was lying in your bed

But the chirping of the crickets and the smell of Diesel engines keeps me focused on going home instead

And I can't leave you any number and it's one A.M. there Pacific Standard time
Cause I just hitchhiked to Athens and all the way from east Atlanta
I think now I am over- you this is my last time.
Track Name: Davey
My sister’s first born, he was a cowboy
a horseman, he was quick at the draw
He insisted that he come with me
could be dangerous on so long a haul

It was June, we left Pueblo
headed down Odessa way
Robbed a store in Alamosa
both happy to make a payday

Hightailed it down the Rio Grande
in Santa Fe we stopped for the night
Out came the cards, out came the whiskey
for gamblers and rounders alike

You know Davey, he’s a lucky one
and round and round the aces came
Another man, he got saltly
and my deal may have been to blame

Man across, he pulled a pistol
I shot him down with his cards in his hands
Shot two more, he grabbed the money
and out the backdoor we ran

As time goes on we hope our offspring
prove better men than the men that come before
As a man, as an outlaw
Davey was better than I could ignore

He thought first to grab the money
shot me dead by the side of the road
Made it down to Mexicali
He’s living now with that lot of bloody gold
Track Name: One Day
One day when we're all gone, I am gonna find out
Mama and papa, glory in eternity
I believe I don't think he died for me

God knows I tried my best, I just couldn't be tamed
No harm was meant, I guess; I'll shoulder all the blame
Brother and sister never grew up to see me
I believe in Jesus, I don't think he died for me

Fever has taken hold, I don't have long for this world
Oh Lord please take my soul, I'm ring and I can't be cured
Standing on the threshold I know what it means to believe
Staring at my Jesus I know what it means to be free
Track Name: White Lines
When my memory fades to her sad weary face it takes all my strength to keep myself from crying
But somehow she'll understand that I had to be a man, that's why I took a job and started driving.
But the factory closed down, and so did half the town and the bill collectors called me every payday
And the housing market sucks and I'm stuck here in this truck, watching as the world passes by me

And it keeps me away from my home, Someday I know I'll settle down, never more to roam
And she keeps calling out my name, she says I'll never find it here on the lost highway

Now the nights are so long and the miles pass along as I think about the home that I am missing
On the radio I hear a voice singing clear, bout the woman left behind he should be kissing
But the truck stops up ahead, and the speed traps further yet, and the diesel prices just keep getting
So I'll pull off to the side, cus I'm going out my mind, trying not to die of my desire
And it keeps me away from my home, Someday I know I'll settle down, never more to roam
And she keeps calling out my name, she says I'll never find it here on the lost highway

All the time that I once had, that I'm sure I took for granted, run together like the highways double
And the last words that she said, they echo through my head like the distant vision of an exit sign
Through the desert and the rain, through the heartbreak and the pain, this road gets longer every day.
Hitching up in El Paso, Driving through New Mexico, let the river guide me up to Santa Fe.

And it keeps me away from my home, Someday I know I'll settle down, never more to roam
And she keeps calling out my name, she says I'll never find it here on the lost highway

And it keeps me away from my home I know this time I'll settle down never more to roam
And she keeps begging me to stay, this time I may just find myself on the lost highway.
Track Name: Myra Joyce
They did dress you up in ribbons and bows
carried you in swaddling clothes
along the rug outside your home
there, the Salmon river

Point me out the tea, the kettle
right along the rose, the nettle
very fine never been better,
here the Salmon river

They did dress you up in ribbons and bows
ferried you in your mother’s clothes
counting fingers, counting toes
out along the water

We all woke up to find you there
brandy eyes, corn husk hair
a picture of a woman so fair

They did dress you up in ribbons and bows
married you in fancy clothes
like a female calico
you blended in the nighttime

There we sat, cloth on the table
talking ‘bout no one was able
to imagine death a child’s fable
glaring in the moonlight

They did dress you up in ribbons and bows
buried you in Sunday clothes
no on knowing where to go
along the Salmon river
Track Name: Goin' Home
See me walking quickly down the side of the road
Thumb in the air, I'm going home
Home is always where I want to be
Hopped a train in Tulsa bound for Oklahoma city
The girls in Texarkana sure as hell were pretty
I stayed for one dance then I was on my way

Going home, going home
To the only place I know
And I can feel the years between us sting
Going home, going home
Where I'll never be alone
Theres something here that makes me want to sing

So many dusty roads that I can't count
The dirt on my face and the sweat on my brow
You can tell another by that look on their face
Lost myself in bottles upwards of seven of years
Lost myself in middle-America's tears
She ain't coming back and neither am I

No, I'm going home, going home
To the only place I know
Blackened by the years I've been away
Going home, going home
Will I always ride alone?
There's nothing here that makes me want to stay

Philadelphia's cold and New York's full of shit
You can't catch a ride there, you're gonna get hit
I hate that game and the southwest is calling my name
I want to see the mountains and where I belong
I want to see the trees and step out of the smog
Don't want to be alone but I want to be my own man

So I'm going home, going home
To the only place I know
I know this is where I belong
Going home
It was you that I needed all along
Track Name: Six by Nine
It's been seventeen months since I got here today.
But it feels like forever do you feel the same way. Oh ma , it's so bad, I hurt so deep inside. The pain in my heart, so bad I could die.

Well I heard bout your cancer, how it came back last June wish I see you, and take care of you too But the guards and the bars , they just won't let me free I have to pray for your health , like you pray for me

And I said Mama please don't cry, Since they've sentenced me to die. You know, it feels like hell
When I touch both the walls of my six my nine cell.

Well Susie stopped written me seven months back
Heard she was sober and quit smoking crack
She got tired of waitin on appeals and parole
And got her a job at the grocery store

Well she used to send letters of perfume and remorse
Now her lawyer sends papers for a jailhouse divorce
But I still keep her picture one the cinder block wall
It keeps me from crying and loosing it all
And please tell Susie dear goodbye
Since they sentenced me to die
You know I wish her well
When I touch both the walls in my six by nine cell

Well the pills from the doctor, they don't do a thing
And the phone from the governor still doesn't ring
Well you know that I'm sorry for the things I've done wrong
Now it's heaven or hell, to one I'll belong

And they'll strap me down tight to the table with care
And they'll shove in the needle where they shaved off my hair
And they'll wait till the clock shows twelve o'clock and one
And they'll throw all the switches that get the job done.

And I say mother please don't cry
I've been sentenced and have died
I'm free so, for now farewell
Cause I won't be caged up in a six by nine cell
Till you come or to greet me, In heaven I'll dwell
When I spread out my wings and fly from this hell
Track Name: Before You Go
Baby please don't leave there's something I gotta ask
Before you walk right out that door, are you ever coming
If you leave for a little while my heart will surely break
If you're gone forever then that's more than I could take

Before you go, I want to see your eyes again
Before you go, I have to know
Before you go, I want to hear those words be said
Before you go, I have to know

I remember how we danced on the night that we first met
I remember waking to your kiss and your breath upon my
If all your love is lost don't leave me hanging on
If it's over and it's my fault please let me move on

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