The Long Haul

by The Wynntown Marshals

/
1.
05:10
We had just broken into our twenties Booked a return flight to New Jersey You said 6 weeks should be plenty Made up an address on entry The first part of the mission Was for an uptight upstate New York physician Take his Saab 95 to his daughter down in New Orleans You fell into the pool with the keys in the pocket of your jeans Rucksacks, guitars and cars The road ahead was ours The road ahead was ours Stopped at the Hoover Dam for a while On our way to the city of sin ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ was playing on the radio As we descended in It looked just like a sea of neon From the back seat of the rental car Spent that first night sleeping in the car park Of some Country & Western bar So if you give us $200 You just pay for the gas Go check out the monuments Then bring us back the documents We’ll see you in three days’ time We’ll stumble over the finish line Your glass is half empty mine’s half full all the time There’s over 3000 miles to go Will we make it I just don’t know If you see Kay tell her that everything is fine Rucksacks, guitars and cars The open road was ours x 2 So if you give us $200 You just pay for the gas Go check out the canyon Remember the deadline We can look back on this when we’re older When we’ve pulled over to the hard shoulder (Better if we drive away)
2.
04:05
It's a big world out there There are mountains and there are seas And it's the North Atlantic That separates you from me I would get there if I could But I admit I find it hard I feel stuck in this corner Like a stamp on a postcard And while I'm on the subject of correspondence I've missed your voice and your easy way with words If you could find the time it'd make my week You don't even have to speak Just pick up a pen and write me a letter from Canada This mighty river this town sits upon Was the source that led you here But like my heart it freezes over At this time of year And when the melt water starts rising Remember I was once your friend I promise you won't be found wanting Upon me you can depend Our family bonds they are unspoken We’ll get there although the outboard is clearly broken If you can reach out and offer your hand to me I'll help you climb this family tree And with a little help we can both make it back from Canada The halls of this museum That we walked through years ago Showed us images of our past A kind of sepia slide show We've chosen our sides so let's enter the fray We can't affect the past so let's concentrate on today So steel yourself for what lies ahead Fix bayonets and go back to bed And for the next 10 years we can dream about life in Canada
3.
The cobbled streets we walked upon The canals were lined with trees They evoked a simpler time and place You found me on my knees The whisky that you bought me Tasted good but tasted strong The dim light in that bar room Told me we'd been away too long This is a low country comedown Now I'm back in the arms of the ones I love This is a low country comedown 5 days away from you is sometimes too much It's been so good to see you this time As we turned the van homeward I swore This time there'd be no ifs or buts The road marked on the sat nav Looked like a mess of twisted guts The hotel rooms merge into one The ceiling always looks the same You can help me out when I'm passing out But someone else can take the blame This is a low country comedown Now I'm back in the arms of the land I love This is a low country comedown 5 days with you is never enough It's been so good to see you This time out 800 miles is a long way from home I can see you growing up in the pictures on my phone And if my eyes they fill up And spill over like a coffee cup Just know that I can't make it on my own
4.
You missed the last bus home the other day I think it's safe to say that you were miles away Were you too caught up in that paperback you were reading? Are you convinced you know where the next chapter is leading? The plot was tight, the main characters believable To lose you now would be inconceivable It feels like we're just turning over another page You should mark it with an old bus ticket and come back to it another day Now I can see the storm clouds gathering overhead The thought of you leaving just fills my heart with dread I'm gonna do whatever it takes to make you stay here instead I'm gonna do whatever it takes, whatever it takes Duly noted is what you said Was your diary entry written down, or was it only in your head? You tend to record almost every word for posterity But from time to time I question your sincerity And now the rain is coming down in sheets The pavements look like glass on these city streets I'm gonna do whatever it takes to make you admit defeat I'm gonna do whatever it takes, whatever it takes I'm gonna do whatever it takes, whatever it takes
5.
05:30
Sailed through And you caught me in your tide Came to You’re the only thing for miles Lay back And I’m soaking up your sky Gets dark But I’m safe in your starlight Warm wind On my shoulders eases pain Cool rain I love to stand in your cool rain Drinking it all in Fill myself up with you Seeing you all around me I can’t see another soul Because you’re my island You’re my island You’re my island
6.
She stands at the kitchen window Staring out past the fields to the blue It finally becomes one with the horizon She wonders what became of you Years ago you hired a lock up Where you whiled away the hours with your plans With this love of the ocean We could never quite understand We could never understand… You measured out distance in fathoms And followed phosphorescent trails into the gloom It’s there that you stayed, in that diving bell you made Now little more than a handmade tomb When you left they found the diary you’d written It read just like a suicide note We knew then that you might not make it back And we’d be haunted by the words that you wrote Late one night I found her talking to your visor Looking in at where your eyes had once been They clouded over many years ago I still think of all the things that they’ve seen The things that they’ve seen… You measured out distance in fathoms And disappeared from sight amidst the spume Never to come back, your wreath a mess of bladder wrack The inky depths the place you met your doom I still fear the day that you’ll return To steal her away from me I hope you found what you were looking for At the bottom of the sea You measured out distance in fathoms And followed phosphorescent trails into the gloom It’s there that you stayed, in that diving bell you made Now little more than a handmade tomb Now little more than a handmade tomb Now little more than a handmade tomb
7.
Ask me what difference twenty years makes And I’ll simply put it like this When something you admire seems to conspire to expire It’s disastrous Now it’s written in the local newspaper And it’s talked about from the hills to the sea The farmers, the teachers, oil men and the preachers Try to believe And so we fall, crashing like the Reds We have lost our general in battle Our sabres no longer rattle We just await the day that we will rise again This is part of our history and our make up It’s engrained in our hearts and in our minds Now part of the national psyche, a testament To failure and to our demise And so we fall, crashing like the Reds We have fallen from the saddle Now we’ve been rounded up like cattle The demarcation lines drawn out in barbed wire These demarcation lines are drawn out in barbed wire Are we out of our league? What have we done for this town? Now I don’t know if the fall is worse Or the knowledge that we’re staying down So try to think of our rescue Our saviour will arrive again one day To drag us out of obscurity And allow us to rightfully say That we are back, this time to stay
8.
04:44
Here I sit in this dingy room Alone with needle, tourniquet and spoon Just me and a bed and the poppy haze Here I’ll stay until they take me to the grave It hasn’t always been the same The audience used to call my name You should’ve seen me in my finery Let me tell you how it used to be At the curtain call, show time again I’d take to the stage with my cape and my cane At the curtain call, show time again I must have seen and done it all Played to sell out crowds at the Egyptian Hall Held the court with high society Thought this was how they would remember me I knew every trick in the book Shared a bill with Maskelyne & Cooke And every night I’d act out thrilling scenes But your face it still haunts my dreams At the curtain call, show time again I’d take to the stage with my cape and my cane At the curtain call, show time again It’s over, it’s over, it’s over now… And I don’t know how it all went wrong We’d performed the bullet trick for oh so long Keller told Houdini it was cursed Should’ve listened to their cautionary words The palm, the ditch, the steal went down My sleight of hand techniques I thought were sound The load and simulation seemed to go OK But the misdirection and the switch took you away At the curtain call, show time again I’d take to the stage with my cape and my cane At the curtain call, show time again Here’s my curtain call, show time again Never thought I’d pick up this revolver again Maybe soon I can be with you again It’s over, it’s over, it’s over now… It’s over, it’s over, it’s over now…
9.
Will you come with me when the wind pulls me away from here? Or will you stay behind that door? And will the slate-grey rain drive you away Or keep you near? Well, they’re inside me, too. As much a part of me as you are I’ve got a North Atlantic Soul I’ve got a little bit of rock and roll I feel fine when the weather turns cold. And when the sunshine’s bright, hard cold still bites, Day’s never far from night, Will you be walking by my side? And when a fearsome sky reflects dark greys behind my eyes Will you be inside me too? As much a part of me as they are? I’ve got a North Atlantic Soul I’ve got a little bit of rock and roll I feel fine when the weather turns cold. I’ve got a North Atlantic Soul I’ve got a little bit of rock and roll I feel fine when the weather turns cold. The wind’s a devil and the sea’s deep blues Are always pulling at my shore-bound shoes And I’ve always got a moment to lose Myself.
10.
Spring is still a long way off it seems There's frost forming on my broken dreams If I can win your heart the engine might start And I'll take you out tonight when it gets dark We're at our best when we're not together But we can't bear to be apart I didn't come here looking for a get out clause Just looking for a change of heart Life's a journey and this is the long haul Our destination hasn't been confirmed I'll send a postcard from the places that I visit With notes on the weather and the lessons I've learned We're at our best when we're not together But we can't bear to be apart I didn't come here looking for an easy way out Just looking for a change of heart A change of heart Now I'm sat in my car outside our home The hazard lights keep time just like a metronome What I'm going to say is written on my sleeve This is hell but we cannot leave Change of heart

about

‘The Long Haul’, the new album by The Wynntown Marshals, was recorded in three short months in the band’s Edinburgh loft space. Recorded and mixed on a Tascam portastudio by Andrew Taylor, a good friend of the band, the album sees the band stretch out a little from the purer Americana sound of ‘Westerner’.

Organ and piano are more prominent this time round and there are pop hooks aplenty, sitting comfortably alongside more guitar-heavy tracks and subtler, more intimate moments.

On two tracks, simple strings are employed to beautiful effect and there is also a sparkling cameo from Diane Christiansen of Chicago-based outfit Dolly Varden on the album closer ‘Change of Heart’.

The trademarks of the Marshals’ sound – honest and heartfelt lead vocals, the driving guitars, chiming Rickenbacker 12-string, and sweet pedal steel – are still present.

The story songs of old are also in attendance; ‘Curtain Call’ is a stripped-down hymn to a ruined Victorian illusionist, while the country-shuffle/sea- shanty of ‘The Submariner’ tells the tale of a modern-day Captain Nemo.

However, line-up changes have brought a new dynamic and a more collaborative approach to songwriting and arrangements, while adding new flavours to the sound too. Listen closely and you’ll hear multi-layered backing vocals, mellotron, banjos and mandolins, echoes of 60s beat-pop, and simpler, more contemporary guitar lines.

Highlights include the hook-laden, radio-friendly ‘Canada’ and the country-rock groove of ‘Low Country Comedown’ - a track inspired by the band’s regular trips to the continent. ‘Whatever It Takes’ shows the band’s more sensitive side, ‘The Submariner’ rolls up-country then dives deep into the ocean.

‘Tide’ is a windblown, Crazy Horse-esque workout, and the aforementioned ‘Change of Heart’ brings the album to a close in epic style (think Neil Young or Tom Petty jamming with a string quartet).

‘The Long Haul’ speaks of so much more than the path the band have travelled to get to this point. It’s a treatise on journeys past, present and future, an ode to relationships, friendships and family and, ultimately, it’s a soundtrack to our endless search for identity and the road home.

credits

released July 15, 2013

Keith Benzie: lead & backing vocals, guitar, harmonica, handclaps
Iain Sloan: guitars, pedal steel, resonator, handclaps, backing vocals
Murdoch MacLeod: bass guitar, vocals, additional rhythm guitar on 5
Kenny McCabe: drums, backing vocals, piano on 8

with:

Andrew Taylor: keyboards, banjo, mandolin, percussion
Diane Christiansen: harmony vocals on 10
Christine Munday: violin on 8 & 10
Julia Munday: cello on 8 & 10
Owen Nicholson: additional rhythm guitar on 3, 4 & 7

Produced by Andrew Taylor at Wynntown HQ & Inch House,Edinburgh

Diane's vocal on 10 recorded by Steve Dawson at Kernel Sound Emporium, Chicago, Illinois

Mastered at Swanfield Studios, Edinburgh

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

The Wynntown Marshals Edinburgh, UK

Formed in Edinburgh in 2007, The Marshals tip their hat to The Jayhawks, Wilco, Drive-By Truckers, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams & Neil Young.

Their sound can loosely be described as ‘country rock' with powerpop hooks, but they love layered guitars, catchy choruses and have an unabashed belief in the power of rock music as a storytelling medium.

The new album "The Long Haul" is out now!
... more

contact / help

Contact The Wynntown Marshals

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like The Wynntown Marshals, you may also like: