The Blue Dirt of Paradise

by ____________

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Nautilus Bradley
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Nautilus Bradley WHO THE F ARE YOU GUYS AND WHY IS THIS ALBUM SO GOOD? Heard the song "Now You Know" on Montana Public Radio while waking up from a strange dream. Identified with the weird lyrics right away. Thank God MTPR has a playlist because Soundhound and Google didn't recognize the song. I proceeded to put on the first song, "Not Let It Show" and loved the Leon Redbone-ish vibe on that one and was like "dang" and ordered an LP immediately. I continued, of course, to listen to the rest of the album, which only confirmed my suspicions that this is some impeccable stuff. Every song is chock-full of dank poetry and music and smooth, robust vocals. Album of the daggum year. Favorite track: Now You Know.
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released September 16, 2018


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Hullabaloo Records Austin, Texas

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Track Name: Not Let It Show
Thought I turned a brand new corner
To find you waiting there for more
Thought I could give you all the good things
That I could never give before
Thought I needed your forgiveness
From which love would finally grow
But all I needed was some good old-fashioned heartbreak
And the nerve not to let it show

Now when I see you in the dance hall
I bury all my sorrows low
And watch those other boys astound you
Talking fast and twirling slow
Thought I needed your affection
To stand worthy in your glow
But all I needed was some good old-fashioned heartbreak
And the nerve not to let it show

Not let it show
Oh, not let it show
If my spirit seems high
It’s ‘cause I let my spirit go
Not let it show
Oh, not let it show
This ain’t my first time, darlin’
On the dark side of The Road
Track Name: For This World To Begin
There’s a philistine joint far from Route 66
With a classic bouquet of cheap liquor and piss
Man, she looks like a coffin, smells like the 5th of July
You’ve been waiting so long for this world to begin
Blowing three years of saving on one night of sin
Spread below us: The Future
Above us: The Wind
And it feels like the floor’s caving in

The jukebox is spewing love hollowed by slick
So you drop 16 bits upon Feelin’ Good Again
Just one glance cross the room
There ain’t no one else singing along
All the big talk tonight’s ‘bout that new girl in town
But you’ve learned best to sit out those first couple rounds
Playing cutthroat for kicks, got an 8 ball to split
And it feels like the floor’s caving in

Old Samson, he’s wielding that jawbone of ass
Edging ever so close to linguistic collapse
Once his riddles of honey
Would threaten to bring down the house
Quarter past empty that girl’s on my hip
Like some Goddess of Gab, she’s all fiction and lip
Feeds a 10 to the juke
Judgement, spare me the truth
‘Cause it feels like the floor’s caving in
Track Name: Drunk On The Inside
Woke up in a hospital
Lawman creeping on my door
Said I bled a .34
Then he told me what his point was for
The next month I stumbled down to court
After throwing back a couple of quarts
The walk home made me plenty sore
They strapped a bracelet round my ankle bone

I’m still drunk on the inside
Still up for the late night
Bonfire at the county line
Sour Diesel in my best friend’s ride
I know you’re thinking that I’ll lose my stride
I move slower when I’m high and dry
But if your lady’s got a wandering eye
I’m still drunk on the inside

It’s been hard to replace the booze
But I’m finding other things to do
Lie about with the Assassin blues
Some Henry Miller and some British news
But when The Moon kicks a hole in The Sky
I’m like a moth to the neon lights
Pint glass of ginger ale on ice
And I’ll be dancing ‘til it’s closing time
Track Name: Rich Girl Runaway Blues
Had enough empty cans for another liter bottle of rouge
She looked a shy 17, but her clip said .22
Been from Buffalo to Omaha to Hebo, dying to lose
With her daddy’s lucky numbers and the rich girl runaway blues

Hopping freight and bumming smoke
Plucking banjo for your dough
She makes bets with her devil
And she lives like it’s all on loan

She’s a ¼ Puerto Rican; she’s a ¼ always over the line
Some call her Pill-box Hattie, others call her Clementine
I got the ’65, blue and white, hell, it drives ½ of the time
And if she purrs real nice, I suppose I should let it ride

With an ass like Lorca’s throat
Game to shatter Verlaine’s nose
She wants to drink from The River
While she kills from The Drunken Boat

She says:
You’re walking awful steady
For a limp-dick livin’ on wine
You got a song for me, daddy
I could feed you for the rest of my life
Make it an old one, a new one
The Blue Dirt of Paradise…

Oh, honey, save it for The Crossroads
The boys are comin’ over tonight

A little blade pulled from the heart
Set it up, tear ‘em apart
I might speak in daggers
But I love like a steel guitar
Track Name: Motel Cathedrals
Rode in on the daylight
Hair of a million horns
Been 35 hours since proof that I’d ever been born
Never knew what time was
Until her clock rung out
Left the note on the floor
Headed south for invisible towns

I’ll find The Girl from Ft. Worth
A voice of driven snow
Back working at the diner she left so long ago
Never owned a saddle
Never bucked for 8
But now I’ve seen Amarillo by morning
From the interstate

Motel Cathedrals
A little heaven just to be alone
Nobody calling me home
I send my love to The Road

Rode out on the daylight
Eyes of Christmas coal
Been 59 hours since proof that I’ll ever get born
Never knew what joy was
Until my heart broke down
Gave a cut to the devil
Had enough left to spread it around
Track Name: Yellow Rose of Borges
Cross Rio Grande by grace of morning
Words to break and time to pass
Showing 2666 like a pistol placed upon the dash
Find a cheap room with a shower
Lace the mattress with some cash
Step on out into The Darkness
While the daylight has your back

Oh, Mother Mountain
There’s a gold mine up on Housing Project Hill
There are visions of redemption, visions of the kill
You may choose one or the other
But will you ever get your fill?
It’s that Yellow Rose of Borges
On the Juarez window sill

Every girl of corner garden
Forks the pathways of your mind
Gilded mirror of Argentina
Pray it would not multiply
Never to see that Cordillera
Or feel the warm San Telmo night
She may lie butchered in a dumpster
By the grace of morning light

All the words are broken horses
All the time is not enough
Every story you have stolen
Slides back down into the dust
With an eye for mausoleums
And a mouth for keeping shut
Put all your faith in breaking even
And drop some coin on the harder stuff
Track Name: Now You Know
Wilted laurels of The Family Tree
Ferry me down upon The River of Dream
Where all that comes before
Rides The Serpent from The Shore
Shed the time, take it all for true
The Sky is under and The Moment is new
Yet old in some strange way
Go the spoils to The Grave

It’s just a taste, only flesh and doubt
It’s nice to float until the bottom falls out
And all that might have been
Rolls away to start again
So, down the hatch to The Rabbit’s Trail
Breath of dirt, blood of cradling well
The End is always now, but The Coin is ever round

You’ve done it before
You’ve done it before
You’ve done it before
Now you know
And you cannot stop

This brief while in The Time of Three
All the weight that we ever may need
Ropes coiled near The Door
Hard to say what comes with Four
Feel the pull of the surface light
A inch given to the specter of night
Grey toll of rusted chimes
Fly them now, our weary rhymes
Track Name: Stack O'Lee
Deep Morgan on Christmas Eve
Was it ’32 or back in ‘93
Let ‘em roll
Another long time coming, Stack O’Lee

Yellow Moon on The Tulip Tree
You heard them 400 Boys, they always play for keeps
Call it known
Another long time coming, Stack O’Lee

Now hear that beast bark
Under guiding star
Before The Pistol ushers one more to The Dark

Apologue of St. Louis
A tale a riverboat gamblers and corner queens
Let it ring
Another long time coming, Stack O’Lee

Crooked waltz of the velvet clown
We find Fat Boy Billy sporting his new crown
Feel the turn
Another long time coming, Stack O’Lee

Sleight of hand, or count of dice
A man’s $5 Stetson is a heavy prize
Be it learned
Another long time coming, Stack O’Lee

Now hear those bells toll
For somebody been born
A darling wife and helpless babe asleep and warm

Little squeeze on the .44
Sends Fat Boy Billy through eternal floor
So it goes
Another long time coming, Stack O’Lee
Track Name: Look Homeward, Angel
Look homeward, angel
Upon the one you might have been
Had you listened to the others
Tried to warn you ‘bout the ways The River bends
They say you should have known better
Oh, but you knew enough to know
You had to dive on in
Look homeward, angel
You may never go back again

Your mama said to find a good man
And build a life behind a wall of bricks
You used to stack ‘em up with one hand
Done some living, girl, since 1996
You still remember all the slow boys
Gave their best for the fast times they were in
With the morning sun, your Davy did come
On a whistling wind

We met when we were almost older
Than we ever thought we’d live to be
And how we laughed about the hard times
About the things when, as children, we believed
So, let’s forget about years lost
To low-heeled shoes and beds of leaf
We come from a line of leaving behind
Loving more than we keep
Track Name: Saint Benzedrine
Another girl moved on, another deal gone down
Another big black cloud pulled too low over this town
I need a week or two of driving round
At a truck stop in Ontario
I meet an old hitchhiker, says he’s going wherever I go
The destination don’t matter so

Says they call him Saint Benzedrine
Though his stash ran dry in the 1970’s
Still a nickname tends to cling to you
Like a broke barfly spun out on stolen glue

Heading southbound along the Oregon line
Through Jordan Valley just hunting down a helluva time
At least a pretty voice to ease my mind
But it’s the same song in a different town
A couple Dolled-up Daisies
Come to spread their troubles around
Enough to make you want to settle down

And my new friend, Saint Benzedrine
Says these girls come easy, but The Love ain’t ever free
And them Old Boys in the corner booth
Got a lifetime of shit left to scrape right off of their shoes

On a half tank with a heart of clay
I hear Sweet Virginia spilling out upon the AM waves
Overthrown by The End of Days
Now we’re wondering what killed The Radio
I say it’s too much talk and not enough rock ‘n' roll
Turn it back to The Stones

‘Cause on a long drive with Saint Benzedrine
Don’t want to hear that Thin Man preach his fear to me
Give me some Richard Hell and a little Kinks
Give me some Irma Thomas with a hot back beat

Pale mama, long-neck bottle
(Words only dangle the soul)
Sick mama, can’t stop a coffin

From Muscle Shoals to the Malheur County line

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