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"Saginaw Sweetheart" was recorded at OBT studios 1995 through winter 1996. Dan Gerber was playing washboard, spoons and Tide bottle. Scott Berndt, who would join the group for "Absolute Collision," was guest drummer on "Flamin' Hair."
We had tried to get an album together during college, recording and re-recording the songs endlessly, but we were never happy with the results. We basically abandoned recording in favor or writing, actually learning to play our instruments, and refining our sound. We had all recently graduated from CoVA in St. Paul, and had plenty of time on our hands to get down to business.
We worked up about 40 or so songs, at which point we toyed with the idea of putting out a double-CD. Ultimately we decided for economic reasons to do two separate volumes in case "Saginaw Sweetheart" was a flop. Thankfully, the album did extremely well, selling out two separate printings.
The final album clocks in at over 60 minutes in length and is one of our more somber and personal projects. The instrumentation includes lots of banjo and mandolin.
Dan left the group shortly after the release to do other stuff, most notably getting married and becoming a master of software at Adobe.
The album was recorded and co-produced by Jeff's brother Jon Tranberry.
The album cover was done by Jeff. Quillan did the illustrations. The logo and art was touched up by Friberg Design, and the band photos were taken by our friend Dave "Capital D" Molnar.
Calendar Year And he's waiting there on that island / and those are tears he's crying / for a wife he can't reach / cause salvation is half concentration / and three-fourths perspiration / and her name is Penelope / He knows there's no hoping to reach through the air / and to find that his hand / has landed on something bare / So now he's singing somewhat untimely / "Hook, line, and tie me to the counter of the bar" / But while he's sinking into his drinking / he's dreaming and thinking about riding in his car / He's driving and driving / to find the end of the road / even though he's not sure / that's somewhere he wants to go / There's no use in complaining / he knows the reasons why / Fate is a fickle mistress / and now she's passing him by / They say Jesus looks after drunks and babies / so he's thinking maybe He'll come and find me here / But while he's sinking into his drinking / the Savior is thinking "Buy that man a beer" Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Banjo Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Washboard
First Dance Sitting in the sun I want to / smell you, want to smell you / but it's cold outside / and I don't have gasoline / You are far away / in a place where it's warm / Sure we've never met / but I know our love is real / Don't lead me on / because I get hurt easy / Panties 'round your knees is how / I see you, how I see you / I've got no clothes / to call my own so with you I'm always bare / is that a physical condition / or just a state of mind? / I don't know, I'm not sure / and with you I don't care / I trust in you / please trust in me / I can see the future / please take that first dance with me / I'm scared / please take my hand / give me a chance / give me that first dance Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Mandolin Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Washboard
The Road Is Rocky Leaving behind the bright city lights / the country's where I go / I've got to find some peace of mind / so I turn down a lonesome dirt road / And when the moon is full / and the whiskey runs dry / a man can tell a lot by / the road that he drives / they say to him / "Son, this is the path you will fly / until you choose to choose / or until you choose to die" / Trying to find an answer to my pain / I know what I have to do / got to close the door / and look inside / got to find something / called the truth / And I know the road is rocky / I know cause my feet are bare / I wish that I didn't have to hurt / but sometimes you got to hurt / to find that you're there / And I know the light is shining / I know cause my chest is bare / It reflects off of my pale skin / bounces around in the dark / to find the answers there Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Banjo Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Washboard
Drive Away If it's just your heart talking to me / I think you'd better spit that muffle free / cause everything you say / comes out way too strong / and I think I'm getting it all wrong / If it's just your tongue trying to explain / I think you'd better quit / cause its causing us more pain / Time came along and drove us apart / and now there's nothing we can do / about this change of heart / But I could drive my problems away / and not live to see another day / so why don't you just let me be / in this bottle I picked out just for me< / br> If it's just your brain licking your wounds / I know how you feel / cause I've got them too / But I know how to deal / with all the pain and fear / I just anesthetize it all with beer / If it's just your heart trying to speak / it's hard to hear / cause we're feeling so weak / We gave our hearts to each other / and now I ask for what / so we could throw them in the dust Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Mandolin Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Tide Bottle
Count Me Out Sitting in my room / watching the TV / Waiting in my room / for something to grab me / La-dee-da-dee-da / La-dee-da-dee-da / Sitting in my room / with the covers pulled up o'er me / I got my bottle close / cause my baby done left me / If this is what love's all about / Count me out / Sitting in my room / with the covers pulled up o'er me / There are monsters in my room / and they're waiting to grab me / If this is what life's all about / Count me out Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Arch-top Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Spoons
High Mileage Green eyes, red hair / don't you, don't you dare / go break my heart again, not again / But if you shoot up / I swear that would be enough / to crack the crank-case / on my personal engine / Small life, big dreams / living beyond your means / it's enough to break you, / especially after all / the shit you been through / But if you give up / I swear that would be enough / to make me hate you / because life isn't win or lose / Jeff plays Farrar on the stereo / I wonder how far I would go / It's a sad song and I think of you / these feelings after date number two / Green eyes, red hair / don't you, don't you dare / go break my heart again, not again / And this has been / the strangest week of my life / One girl leaves me then I meet you / Life's done a number all over you / and your years they are high mileage / but I think I have some answers for you Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Bass Jeff Tranberry: Mandolin Dan Gerber: Tide Bottle
What Was Your Name In The States? What was your name in the states? / Was it Johnson or Thompson or Bates? / Did you murder your wife / then fly for your life? / Say what was your name in the states? / What did you do to her? / Was it something like bloody murder? / Was it something you can bet / you'll always regret? / Say what did you do to her? / What did you do with her corpse? / Did you feed it to your horse? / Was it on hallowed ground / or an alley in town? / Say what did you do with her corpse? / Can you hear the sirens growing near? / Can you hear them / with your murderous ear? / I think you'd better run / in your three-quarter ton / Say can you hear the sirens growing near? / Can you hear the sirens growing near? / I think you'd better run from here / before I hand them your life / for my sister your wife / Say can you hear the sirens growing near? Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Banjo Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Washboard
4AM In January She went to the bathroom / and I crawled out the door / I left a note on her pillow / "Thank you / but I can't take any more" / Now sometimes / when we meet on the street / we pretend to be friends / I don't know / maybe she still means it / but it makes me / nauseous just the same / because that night that she / went into the bathroom / I didn't want a fuck / but when she offered / my confused head her body / I forgot all about love Quillan: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Bass Jeff Tranberry: Mandolin Dan Gerber: Tide Bottle
Different Life Now you come from / a different life than I / but I know how to deal / without getting high / cause chemicals will smile / and offer up their hand / they'll take away your pain / and take you to the Promised Land / But Love ain't something / you can run from / there's nowhere / you can ever hope to hide / It's not a game for winners / it's not a game for losers / it's not a game / Now I am running with the Devil / we're in a foot-race / to see who claims your soul / now I want to offer you all of my love / but the Devil wants to put you / in his Hell-hole / But Love ain't something / you can count on / in the sense that / it's a concept you can't pin down / You can't rope it in with a promise / cause it lives all around every town Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Arch-top Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Washboard
I Got Friends It's a hard life but I drink... / I'd feel all right / if I could just learn to play solos / and I got friends / who say that we'll be rock-stars / if we can just wait awhile / And I know it'll be a long time / And Jeff was there / the day that Dave's dad died / and he was with me / when Christina dumped me / And I know that it's just bad luck / I've got friends / who say life's not picturesque / if you're not dressed for it / And I got friends / who say that they'll stick by me / and they're still here / watching my color TV / and that sweater / is still in the corner / from that party / two months ago Q: Guitar, Vocal M: Bass, Vocal J: Banjo D: Washboard
Never To Rise If you want to go down / in the North Woods the waves do pound / And if you don't want to be found / the waves will swallow you like the ground / And never to rise / the world will never see your eyes / and never to be seen / the world will never know / the strength of dreams / What can't be seen / the world will oft times label it obscene / But what is in your heart / don't worry child / because that is not a part / But never to be heard / now "silence" becomes the only word / and never to be known / there's a part of you you've got to show / Trying to be understood / ain't oft as easy as it should / But if you persevere / there are one or two maybe who can hear / So never be afraid / and your reward will be duly paid / and never to run / you've got to face, dear, the rising sun Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Arch-top Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Tide Bottle
I Gotta Forget Woke up this morning / to a brand new life / and I was surprised, I was surprised / So I choked down some cereal / and I missed your light / but I won't cry, cause I can't cry / So pass the bong: I need a hit / I gotta forget shit / I got no one to play for / except my boys / and that's not OK, that's not OK / I got nothing to look forward to / not even divorce / oh, what a rotten day / what a rotten day / So don't bogart the joint: / I need a hit / I gotta forget shit / I stuffed all our memories / in a cardboard box / and my glass is tall, my glass is tall / I found all these things / that I forgot / and I want them all / Lord, I want them all / So pass the pipe: I need a hit / I gotta forget shit Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Banjo Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Tide Bottle
The Night That Daddy Got His Gun The night that my sister got raped Daddy got his gun / there were three boys to kill but he only got one / The police man came and took my dad away / said, "Sir, from the gallows you will sway" / So Daddy went to court said, "What about my girl?" / The judge said, "Sir, that don't justify murder / Besides, she was drunk and in my opinion / probably asked for what was done" / So I pray and I pray and I pray and I pray / that the Devil takes those boys away / So the Judge went ahead / and sentenced my Dad to death / while those two living boys just got a slap on the wrist / And my sister cried because they'd go free / while Daddy died and her life was scarred / by those boys three / When Daddy hung the dead boys Pa he came up to me / said, "Son, do you still love your murdering pappy?" / I looked him in the eye and I said, / "Sir, do you still love your boys what raped my sister?" / And I pray and I pray and I pray and I pray / that Jesus takes my Dad away / Their crimes are unpunished, those boys are still loose / while it should have been their necks / what broke in that noose / And my sister was only fourteen years young / the night that daddy got his gun Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Banjo, Vocal Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Washboard
Mike's Country Song You can't have all my time / cause it's not mine to give / gotta work eight hours every day / Then I'll sleep seven more / fifteen out of twenty-four / doesn't leave much time for love Quillan Roe: Banjo, Vocal Mike Brady: Guitar, Vocal Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Spoons
OK, My Love You say there is no reason / for what passes through my brain / I say it's just the season / and something to do with rain / Then I say, "Just ignore me / cause I'm a little messed up" / and you say, "OK, my love" / You say life's not exciting / but I say I disagree / cause I did a little experiment / and I let life happen to me / And you know: nothing happened / responsibility fell on me / And you say, "OK, well, we'll see" / You say there's no right season / to get married in / I say for some strange reason / I've always kind of liked the Spring / So you say we should wait / until we're married before we screw / I say OK, darling, it's all up to you / Then you say, "Just ignore me / cause I'm a little messed up" / And I say, "OK, my love" Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Arch-top Jeff Tranberry: Bass Dan Gerber: Washboard
I Wanna Forget That You Were Mine And now it seems that in my room / the walls have faded / to a shade of gloom / I don't know how / this could be true / I thought that time had made / a ghost of you / And I have grieved now / for two months time / the last time this happened / it was more like nine / I don't want to hurt again for that / long length of time / I just want to forget / that you were mine / I thought that dreams / would mean escape / but they hurt just as bad / as wide awake / Because you are there / holding him / and while I die / you just sit there and grin Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Bass Jeff Tranberry: Arch-Top Dan Gerber: Tide Bottle
Flamin' Hair The first night of my life / I got drunk and you're there / with your flamin' hair / You're puking in the john / and you're falling apart / so I take your hand / and you take my drunken heart / And I was a sucker for your locks of red / they got in my eyes / and started messing with my head / We're falling off of the couch / and we're falling in love / and so I pray to God above / that in the morning it will all be all right / and this won't last just for one night / But you speak of drugs that I can't believe / I want to make you stop / but then, who's life do I lead? / And yet, my concern / you greeted it with dignity / I cared for you and you respected me / Our relationship grew with the heat of a rash / and you still have got my pants / And of all the things that I know are wrong / I'm still afraid that the attraction is still strong / And to add to the list / we were both on the rebound / but that never stopped us from going to town Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal Mike Brady: Arch-top Jeff Tranberry: Bass Scott Berndt: Traps
(You Got Me) Rolled Up Your Sleeve There's a part of me / that burns for you / it's a flaming heart heating a stew / it's a bloody hatchet / to cleave you in two / So why don't you set me free? / You've got me rolled up your sleeve / There's a part of me / that yearns for you / it's a bad actor missing his cue / it's a Guston painting / of a big pinkish shoe / So why don't you set me free? / You've got me rolled up your sleeve / If there were only two roads / to walk down / I would gladly choose yours / and if there were only two rooms to enter / I would gladly choose your door / and if there were only / two bottles to drink from / I would gladly / take a pull off of yours / So why don't you set me free? / You've got me rolled up your sleeve Quillan Roe: Guitar, Vocal