"By Blood and Marriage" was recorded at OBT studios over a long stretch from 1997-1999. The album features a 6-piece line-up of: Quillan Roe, Mike Brady, Jeff Tranberry, Matt Marohl, Kevin Riach, and Quillan's brother Rufus. The album is a reflection of the fun we were having at the time and the energy of the larger ensemble. Tons of guests join us for the ride: Steve Clarke, Buck Nelson and Jay Mote of the Hot-Head Swing Band; Eric Christopher of Minor Planets; David Zollo; Jim LaRocque; and several of Rufus's kin. The album was recorded and co-produced by Jeff's brother Jon Tranberry.
The album features some interesting instrumentation including Theremin on "Cannibal Man," recorded on location at the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting; coconuts on several tracks; train whistle on "Train Song;" jug, spoons and washtub bass on "Griddle Cake Joey."
The song "If I Said You Were A Nurse..." also features the latin vocal stylings of Rufus Moon who woke up one day and said, "I know how to speak Spanish." It was very Matrix-esque.
The album cover was done by Jeff & Quillan, and is almost as epic as the album itself. The illustrations were drawn by Quillan, most of the layout and production by Jeff, file pre-flight by Friberg Design, and the band photos were taken by our friend Derek Till.
The album is dedicated to the memory of Simon, the studio cat at OBT that helped mix this, and many other, albums.
In Heaven There Is No Beer Dedicated to the memory of Bill Kralick / Well, they say it will be great / when we see those Pearly Gates / But, brother, have I got news for you / There ain't no beer around / up in Heaven Town / Don't want to but I know that it's true / And that is why I'm sittin' here drinkin' all this beer / I'll drink and drink and drink and drink some more / And that is why I'm sippin' nine, sometimes two at a time / cuz in Heaven there is no beer / Well, even at my age / I've got friends in the grave / and them no stranger to the glass / So each one I put down / is for one in the ground / My friends that are pushin' up grass / And when I get to Heaven with my belly full / I'll do what I can to change the rule / But while I'm on this plane / I'll drink my liquid grain / Until my dieing gasp / Well, Gospel Truth is what I tell / and it sounds to me like Hell / but, brother, it is just that plain / For my friends up in the sky / I have a tear to cry / cuz, brother, I feel their pain Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Slap Bass, Vocal K: Drums R: Washboard, Vocal RMM: Pedal-steel Guitar David Zollo: 88 Keys Eric Christopher: Fiddle
H-E-L-L Bound When I walk down the street, I spit on the tar / My fists start a'swingin' when I walk in that bar / I drive too fast with a bottle 'tween my knees / If you fall off a cliff I'm gonna laugh into the breeze / I'm going down, down, down (down, down, down) / I'm going down, down, down / I'm H-E-L-L bound / When I make you a promise, gonna keep my fingers crossed / When I walk into work, I don't listen to my boss / I act like a monkey when I make sweet love / If I see you on crutches gonna give you a shove / When I meet Ol' Scratch, I'm gonna shake him by the hand / He'll say, "Welcome home, boy, welcome to your promised land" / I'm gonna kick him in the teeth and a'sock him in the eye / He'll say, "Boy, what you're doin' gonna make me cry, cry, cry!" / I'm going down, down, down / I'm H-E-L-L bound Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Electric Guitar, Vocal J: Bass Fiddle, Vocal K: Drums R: Washboard, Vocal
In A Whisper That's as far as it'll go / No eye could ever take control / And silence makes the heart grow cold / Believe in what you're sayin' / Don't die with the mark of a man / And as far as you know / you'll always be a perfect soul / Believing what you're doin' is bold / but well within the boundries, I'm told / In a whisper / Born nice and innocent / Lives without a sin / Don't die with the mark of a man / No, leave here as fast as you can / Don't say your prayers / for just anyone to hear / Because anyone includes / the ones you hold dear / Half a tank'll get you home / They're waitin' by the telephone / And someone's lookin' out the front door / if you should happen to return M: Electric Guitar, Vocal Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal J: Bull Fiddle K: Drums R: Washboard, Marracas David Zollo: 88 Keys
Lonely, Broken-Hearted Fools You're all about the broken heart / and guys who cry alone / sittin' alone in an empty bar / with a bottle they can call home / They are your lonely, broken-hearted fools / Playing a part that was wrote by you / You're all about that second chance / and things that can go wrong / Never one to step to bat / you struck-out all along / In life there are no losers / only games / You're all about the dead-boltdoor / and stayin' locked inside / Always the first one to give up / so you can run and cry / You're all about stayin' locked inside / with walls that can talk back / Write it all down in a song / but always lose the track Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Electric Guitar, Vocal J: Acoustic Bass K: Drums R: Washboard, Vocal RMM: Pedal-steel Guitar
Wichita Trail Down the Wichita Trail I say, "Hallelujah" / a long and winding road / The Wichita Trail I say, "Hallelujah" / cuz it brought me to my Lord / I ran into the county Sheriff on that stormy night / The Sheriff he done wrongly accuse me so we got into a fight / But the Sheriff did not see my black-jack and I slapped his fool little head / But I didn't see the deputy and he shot me in the leg / The boys in blue they knocked me down / and threw me in the jail / They kicked me around all night long / and left me bleedin' without bail / When I came to the very next morning, the Judge standin' over me / He said, "Son, for what you've done, you're gonna hang from yonder tree" / But I knew then from where he pointed that my soul would prevail / For the hangin' tree that he showed to me was at the end of the Wichita Trail / Wichita, Wichita, Wichita Trail / It's the road for me / Wichita, Wichita, Wichita jail / Waitin' for the hangin' tree Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Upright Bass R: Coconuts, Vocal RMM: Pedal-steel Guitar Smilin' Hoss Moon: Washboard Eric Christopher: Fiddle
I Wasn't Ready I saw this car: I want to ride it / I looked inside; keys were inside it / I pulled away; no one behind me now / Cruisin' along in a hot Mercedes / passin' by a real classy lady / I said to myself, "She looks like... maybe... Wow!" / In my younger days I fooled around / hittin' on every girl in this whole little town / I guess you could say I wasn't ready for you / She came to the door; she lift up on it / Her hair was tied up in a blue bonnet / I pulled the string: it came a'tumblin' down / Cruisin' along in a hot Mercedes / sitting next to a real classy lady / I said to myself, "I think I might stick around" / I guess you could say I wasn't ready for you Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Guitar, Vocal J: Wood-pile Bass, Vocal K: Drums, Vocal R: Washboard, Vocal
Do You Like The Hula? Well, over in Hawaii / where they eat sweet papaya / they do a little dance that's kind of lazy / They wiggle at the waist-band / they move as if in quick-sand / and the Hula drives all the natives crazy / Do you like the Hula? (Yes, we like the Hula) / Do you like the Hula, my friends? / Do you like the Hula? (Yes, we like the Hula) / Let's Hula 'till "Aloha" time again / Well, over in Waikiki / where they have tall palm trees / they do a little dance that I think is just dandy / With coconut brassieres on top / and nothing really else to stop / all the native boys from getting randy / Hey, Jeff, do you like the Hula? (Yes, I like the Hula) / Hey, Mike, do you like the Hula? (Yes, I like the Hula) / Hey, boys, do you like the Hula? (Yes, we like the Hula) / Do you like the Hula? (Yes, we like the Hula) / Let's Hula 'till "Aloha" time again Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Electric Guitar, Vocal J: Bull-dog Bass, Vocal K: Drums, Vocal R: Washboard, Vocal Cletus Moon: Lap Steel Steve Clarke: Saxophone Buck Nelson: Trombone Jay Mote: Trumpet
General Washington The sense with the organ never seems to say it speaks for me / It's drinkin' the water scooped from the drowning boat / And I never can watch it grow up / So take out the order that was left out for taking back / Turn on your megaphone; climb to the cannon's hole / General Washington M: Electric Guitar, Vocal Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal J: Swamp Bass K: Drums, Percussion R: Washboard, Marracas
Train Song Train, train / steamin' right up to my door / Train, train / gonna take away the only one that I adore / You are a moving violation / destroying my expectations / Car, car / speedin' down that long hi-way / Car, car / gonna catch the one that tried to get away / You are the truest of my disciples / dealing with all of my trifles / If you love something then let it go / If it don't come back track it down and let it know / Well, I am that obsessed / 'specially when I'm depressed, like today / Train, train / chuggin' down that iron road / Train, train / won't get away from me 'till your boiler explodes / You are a moving violation / but I'm obsessed with apprehension Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Big Bass, Vocal K: Drums R: Washboard, Train Whistle, Vocal RMM: Pedal-steel Guitar David Zollo: Piano
If I said You Were A Nurse If I said you were a nurse / could I look into your purse / Would you say, "Go look around / See what you've found / inside my purse" / If I said you were a nurse / and I looked into your purse / A new level of intimacy / that's between you and me / inside your purse / Cuz in this modern day there's no better way / to say, "I love you / Oh, and, darling, I trust you / cuz you're my Valentine" / Cuz in this modern day there's no better way / to say, "I love you / Oh, and, darling, I want you / forever to be mine" / Si fuera medica, puedo ver su bolsa / puedo bucear, dentro su bolsa / que puedo encontrar / Si fuera medica, puedo ver su bolsa / un nivel nuevo... entre tu y yo / Áno estamos en control! / Y en este dia moderna, no hay un mejor manera / decir "te quiero" / Oh mi amor te quiero / con todo mi corazon / Y en ste dia moderna, no hay un mejor manera / decir "te quiero"\ / Oh mi amor te quiero / Ácon todo mi corazon! Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Electric Guitar J: String Bass K: Drums, Clave, Guiro R: Washboard, Vocal Bob Barnes: Accordian Jay Mote: Trumpet Cletus Moon: Spanish Guitar
Wonderin' Wonderin' / where it is that you've been / Leavin' me here just a'wonderin' / if you'll soon be leavin' / Believin' / in the promise of blue skies / Won't even stop to wonder why / you want to make me cry / Cuz I've cried so many tear-drops over you / Please come back, oh, sweet mama / Please come back to your daddy / Please come back, oh, sweet mama / come back home / Believin' / in the promise of clear nights / Moon and stars shinin' oh so bright / so let's just say, "Good night" Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Electric Guitar J: Dog-house Bass K: Drums R: Coconuts
Cannibal Man Cannibal, Cannibal Man / He looks just like your neighbor / but he is not the same / For the things he does to his neighbors / are cruelly inhumane / He'll invite them over for dinner / invite them kind of late / But instead of servin' them dinner / he is servin' them on a plate / Cannibal, Cannibal Man / He'll eat your liver with some fava beans / and a fine chianti / But if he's servin' finer guests / you know it's chardonay / Cannibal, Cannibal, Cannibal Man / he'll eat your leg like a leg of lamb / Cannibal, Cannibal, Cannibal Guy / he looks just like you or I / Cannibal, Cannibal Man / He likes to go out hunting / but not for normal game / For the things that he is hunting / have kind of different names / Like Billy, Jack, or Karen / Kim, or Steven, too / So watch out when you're huntin' / cuz he might be hunting you / Cannibal, Cannibal Man / He likes the taste of human flesh / melting on his tongue / Especially the skin of little kids / and the innocence they've done / He'll eat your brain and eye-balls / large intestines, too / He'll dress you like a turkey / or he'll serve you in a stew / Cannibal, Cannibal Man Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Electric Guitar, Vocal J: Upright Bass, Vocal K: Drums R: Washboard, Vocal Cletus Moon: Vocal Jim LaRocque: Theremin Steve Clarke: Saxophone Buck Nelson: Trombone
Griddle-Cake Joey Now I went down 'long Chickasaw way / I found my Granny sittin' in the hay / She was sittin' there and sittin' there and sittin' there all day / She says, "I'm waitin' for Griddle-Cake Joey" / Griddle-Cake / He's Griddle-Cake Joey / Now Griddle-Cake Joey, the flap-jack eatin' king / from Tupelo to Kentucky and everywheres in between / When I first met him he was on stack six / Maple syrup a'flowin' and of course a side of grits / So I asked him his secret, how does he pack 'em down? / He says, "I butter my finger and then I go to town" / And my Granny was a'slappin' on her knee / just a'rootin' and a'tootin' for Griddle-Cake Joey Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Dog-house Bass, Vocal R: Washboard, Vocal Rayfus Moon: Jug Smilin' Hoss Moon: Spoons Emil Moon: Wash-tub Bass Eric Christopher: Fiddle
Bring Me Some Water Bring to me some ice-tea, heavy on the ice / Please don't forget me cuz that ice would feel so nice / Bring to me some water and pour it on my head / Make sure it's cold enough to cool the burning dead / Who are stuck in this Hell, stuck in this Hell / stuck in this Hell on Earth / Stuck in this Hell, stuck in this Hell / stuck in this Hell on Earth / Bring to me a cold beer; make sure it isn't flat / They say a drunken man can trick Ol' Scratch / Bring to me some whiskey; bring me some sloe gin / I want to forget and wash away my sins Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Slap Bass R: Washboard Eric Christopher: Fiddle
Ain't Got No Sweet Baby Now Ain't Got No Sweet Baby Now / Ain't got no sweet baby now / Can you hear her in the woods / beggin' me, "Be good"? / Ain't got no sweet baby now / I am a bad, bad man / I took her all alone / oh so far from home / I am a bad, bad man / I've got a cold, dead, black heart / I'm drinkin' in her fear / The only one that's near / I've got a cold, dead, black heart / I took a shovel in my hand / There's no one else for miles / to hear that poor child / I took a shovel in my hand / Ain't got no sweet baby now / She done nothin' wrong / and now I'm cursed by God / Ain't got no sweet baby now Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Bull Fiddle K: Drums R: Washboard, Vocal RMM: Pedal-steel Guitar
In The Woods Stamp the last ember out / Leave me in the woods to die / And as your foot-prints fill up / with December snow, I'll lie / Tryin' to live with myself / Start all over again / Make my way out to the hi-way and I'll / start all over again / Hitch a ride to your house / Kiss you and apologize / Tell you that it's all right / and then more that makes you cry / Victim of my silly words, you / start all over again / Don't believe my silly words; it'll / start all over again / and again / And if I can't make you happy / and I don't want to try / maybe it's time you left me / out in the woods to die M: Electric Guitar, Vocal Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal J: Stand-up Bass K: Drums R: Washboard
On The Nature Of Things Every time I wish it's for the same thing / Not riches, not fame, not girls / Cuz fame only lasts you fifteen minutes / and there's enough rich folks in the world / All I really long for is contentment / Not happiness, not love, nor inner-peace / Cuz happiness can be found in a bottle / and tranquility is learned in the Far East / Every time I blow out a candle / Every time I wish on a shooting star / Every time the numbers on my clock line up / I wish for contentment in my heart / So one fine morning when I wake up / I hope it's waiting for me just outside my door / My friends they all told me to be careful / I've been careful what I've been wishing for Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Big Bass K: Drums R: Washboard, Vocal RMM: Pedal-steel Guitar David Zollo: Piano Steve Clarke: Saxophone Buck Nelson: Trombone Jay Mote: Trumpet
Mr. Fever There's something in my head and I don't like it / It keeps me up late at night / I'm swimmin' in an ocean of my bed-clothes / and my baby says it hurts to hold me tight / Because of Fever (I'm burnin' up) / Fever (I can't get enough) / Fever / Burn at One-Oh-Nine / Fever / Oh Fever / and trust me, babe, I'm feelin' fine / My eyes are red-hot pokers / thrust in the belly of the fire / and where once I had my pearly-whites / coal-black has replaced my smile / But, oh, I feel sorry / for my sweaty brain / It's boiling in my skull-bone / and it burns and burns and burns like a flame / There's something in my head and I don't like it / but without it I would not be the same / I feel the hot breath of madness / and it's driving me insane Q: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal M: Banjo, Vocal J: Bass Viol, Vocal K: Drums, Vocal R: Washboard, Vocal David Zollo: IvoriesSteve Clarke: Saxophone Buck Nelson: Trombone Jay Mote: Trumpet