to peninsula

by winter/sessions

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ssucaet0717 Miss your music. Need some new tunes!!! Favorite track: michigan (take me home).
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to peninsula
(/to͞o/ /pəˈninsələ/)
verb: abandoning a collection of connected lands for an isolated parcel projecting out into water; the process of almost becoming an island


released January 7, 2016

Russell Brakefield: banjo and vocals
Matthew Sucaet: guitar and vocals
James Dake: recording and mixing

Recorded one July evening in Elk Rapids, MI



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winter/sessions are the moments of intense companionship fleeting.

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Track Name: whiskey train
whiskey train

Pass me the whiskey I've got to save my soul
Dry bottles for wet eyes and prayer on the floor
I watched my lover sneak out the back door
Damn that woman to heaven 'cause hell is where I roam

I'm hopping on a train and sleeping till she blows
When I wake again I'll stumble my way back home
'Cause you sure fell back in love real soon
That's fine with me 'cause I've had enough of you

Pass me the bourbon I'm feeling down today
Gonna lift my spirits up the hard and sweet way
I listened to my lover, I had nothing to say
Damn that woman to heaven 'cause hell is where I stay

Pass me the moonshine I'm ready to forget
Let my eyes glaze over behind a full eclipse
I felt my lover's weight as we lowered the casket
Damn that woman to heaven 'cause hell is where I live
Track Name: mid-june

I'm walking with street lamps tonight
My path is a sway filled serpentine
I can't say I'm worse off than yesterday
'Cause I like the feel of the world this way

Curses are fables for the lonely
But cursing at the night is lovely
I'm screaming my voice dry lately
'Cause this world's for deaf ears, baby

Don't sing me a love song, save it for someone who can sing along with you
I've been drinking for twelve days all on my own, I figured I'd let it ride till June
This world ain't for living so I'll get busy dying, humming a drunkard's tune
Don't sing me a love song, it's lost on this one.

This dim lit place seems a good spot
For tracing the wood on the bar top
Just the barman and a trusty old juke box
They're playin' the faces of the ones I lost

So pour me another 'fore I go
I'm pushing on doors that begged to be pulled
I ain't reading the signs right so I 'm told
But my mind is fixed on which one's the right road
Track Name: michigan (take me home)
michigan (take me home)

Michigan greeted me in gridded lights from 10,000 feet
I forget the water home, the right hand pulling at something I know
Peninsula, you lonely land, I'll seek you out just as fast as I can

Saginaw, your killing fields, the darkness across the bay seems real
But I'm headed south, so fare thee well, to my home in time for the dinner bell
And now you know, just where I'm from, sad to leave Detroit 'fore the work is done

Winter in my bones, balance the greed of the sun I have stolen
Fall leaves, in my breath, burning their colors back to my senses
Summer in my face, sweet sweaty mornings of buzzing landscapes
Oh, take me home

West bound now, black ice dance, misleading comfort devastating romance
Lovely spin, white blanket crash, hitchhike to Lansing trying to make it back
To my home, where love was found, Lake Michigan baptismal country ground

Northern roads and painted sky, traversing in darkness so turn off the lights
Mackinac, won't you bridge the gap, between my heart and where I now am at
Superior, won't you let me hide, with the stones you've smoothed to decorate your lines

Michigan is calling, my ears how they perk at the sound of her singing
Michigan, I'm sighing, ghost of the lips I remember kissing
Michigan, I'm trying, to slip back to the home I've been missing

Take me home ...
Track Name: mid-july

Staring through them trees, that cottonwood
Snow in mid-july, it's misunderstood and
The greenest of the greens and blanket wet
This used to feel like home not of regret

But you don't know nothing about this love

Tables all turned down and then set again
Voices down the street and it's 3 am
But I've known darker skies and cigarettes
Still I breathe them in remembrance that

You don't know nothing about this love

Float that river east, a caravan
Through the shallows and all of the deep ends
'Cause ever changing banks are sweetness
Unless you're the only one left to jump

'Cause you don't know nothing about this love

I think back, ten years ago, when she cried, oh how she cried
And my hands, oh how they shook, at my side, at my side
Now I hear them words they throw at me, and I sigh, oh I sigh

'Cause you don't know nothing about this love
No, you don't know nothing about this love
You don't know nothing about this love
Track Name: mississippi radio
mississippi radio

I'm always off how far to push, before I'm losing control
Of a past I cannot seem to let go, oh I'm breaking down
But my folly-filled roads are rear-view bound, leavin' em behind
Sweep you up thumb out Highway 55, and them Delta skies

'Cause if you're gonna go then go, else listen to the waves off this Mississippi radio
Hear them play those blues, restin' 'tween these rivers a rushin' 'round you
'Cause I've been flooded with full-blood beating, a broken levee rhythm for my burnt love singing
About you

I used to find comfort in feigning truth, but now I run
Toward the confluence of all that I've done, and I'm reaching out
My hands are scorned from fighting doubt, so come with me
Let's head down that river to New Orleans, let's see what we see

Southern style, daffodil, resting on the river like a window sill
Burnt skies, paddle steam, pushing on toward something more serene
And I'll get high, 'fore sinking low, singing along to this three-day blow
So let's dance ...

But if you're gonna stay then stay, let's wear those masks that take us away
And we can dance till flight to the jazz that makes such light of the night

'Cause I've been flooded with full-blood beating, a broken levee rhythm for my burnt love singing
About you
Track Name: linear

Call me what you want but don't call me friend
This river don't flow for you away it bends
'Cause you always loved them damn stream trains
Rushing straight lines like a woman to fame

Ash, maple, oak, they all burn the same
Just a fire light dance and smoke in the rain
But I know you the way I know a flame
As long as the wick can bear its name

See-saw and the valley road
Burn up my engine then let it roll
Cause you are all lightning heat
You burn up the sky then a damp cold sheet

Saginaw you know me best
River thaw, spring in my chest
I'm drowning in you

Slam the door and cut the line
Hear what you want and live that lie
Oh go believe what you want it's the easiest way
The way the crow flies it never strays ...
Just straight lines

Beat my bones and rattle my song
You know I sing with wounded lungs
But I'll sing for you a bird in May
Listen to my words or fly away
Track Name: blood and blues
blood and blues

Coyote walks past, glances freezes, leaves me believing I'm not such a simple prey
Desert quiet and lam lonely silence, a cactus fire, flaming horizon and a blood foot print parade
Run and hiding, tiresome and binding, but I'd kill him again if it meant another wake
Awake with one foot in my grave ...

'Cause I'm all strung out, dangling shoes
There's only so many hangings from the rope and the noose
Till then I'm kicking and screaming, trying to break loose
Before the gallows tear down release me true
I'm just a dead man breathing for enough air to take away these blues

Horse, reins, and saddle, tall dark as shadows, eyes deep embattled, sometimes god is funny as hell
Fast approaching, posses and poachers, they're waiting like soldiers, my eyes scream what they want me to yell
Metal clanking, darkness sinking, it's time for the reaping, to a wooden trap door dirt well
Well enough to see past the fill ...

'Cause I'm dying now, dark has no hue
But my mind's streaming visions of that riverbed and you
And the fire burning ashes, smoking and ruins
Your tears leaving trails that cut me straight through
The man's last words as my bullet flew

I'm just a dead man breathing for enough air to take away these blues
Track Name: mary-lou is a circus
mary-lou is a circus

If you ain't gonna wear no red on those lips then you better wear nothing at all
What more mad searching still stirs and whips the burning ramblings I call paradise
The burning ramblings I call ...

For if it be you then lead me away past thirty dollar trains that lurch as they sway
And we too have a rhythm but I guess not today, cause I've get little left to say this time
Oh I've got little left to say ...

So buy me a locket and a pocket watch too, I'll weld them together like I'm welded to you
My sea-faring young life that rocked me so cruel, still better than a sleeping fool, Mad To Die!
Better than a sleeping fool ...

A better man told me to love with your hands, your eyes are damn fools 'cause they can't understand
What cherishing means the visuals reprimand, the dirt it takes form the land just to try
The dirt it takes from the land ...

We've never been closer, no we have not, a step toward something that never can rot
Like the skin that I wear under the fabrics I've bought, this traveling wire stays taut, by and by
This traveling wire stays taut ...

Back to cliches of the passable road, let the grooves in my tires gather each lonely stone
That wants to join me on this traveling show, looking for love I can tow on my ride
Back to paradise ...
Track Name: dream, son!
dream, son!

Poet without a pen or page, dream-like and yearning
Built the pyramids in a drunken rage but your love has my back a burnin'
Hand me my handkerchief dear, and I'll paint you my sorrows
Let me listen to a balladeer and I'll dance colors into flowers

Enemy of husbandry, let the wind bring in the crows
I was borne to a great city but I set fire to the newly sowed
My hands are scarred and torn, tearing up the Tudor roses
Let the redness hide my scorn of all that the whiteness imposes

But I fire a round into the sun
All I know of love is staring down the barrel of a gun

Musician of dreams from the old world, bells toll and war drums ring
I fought hard to keep my soul and sometimes I get to hear it sing

Oh, oh! All my lovers, all my lovers
My steady hands, they come together
But I dream of oceans as I step into the river
Bathing in the moon a tiny sliver of waning silver
Track Name: half-dreamed brooklyn
half-dreamed brooklyn

Subways rattle all in my chest
Moments coming quickly as they pass
O! But what a ride, a dream to last
Turnstiles lock me out from my past now

City streets a gray toned theme
Eyes to see ambitious building reach
O! Fleeting glance through pavement steam
But blue is blue in a Brooklyn gleam

Call me on a payphone so I know you mean it
I'll hop on a train in a New York minute
Manhattan's dreary to me so I'll just skip it
Meet me in Brooklyn, meet me in Brooklyn

Tangled up in the curls of your hair
Forgetting the Midwest with each hungry stare
Now, I wake in Coney Island, a dream for train fare
You're foggier to me than the boardwalk air

See you walking about two blocks away
The red lips matching the path that you stay on
You pass right by me, we've each had our say
I'll see you when I'm dreaming on a west-bound train
Track Name: mid-august

I'll remember the day I met you like the day I'll die
A moment clear as rain then erased into the sky
But you don't, you don't know a thing about me

Now standing in the sage brush, sky was crisp and dark
We passed through each other, bare feet and bared hearts
But you don't, you don't know a thing about me

I crushed some lavender in my pocket and listened to the tress
Your silhouette in the moonlight almost brought me to my knees
But you don't, you don't know a thing about me

Traveling ain't hard when I'm running away form you
There ain't nowhere else to go and the morning is awfully blue
When you call me back I can't tell if your lies were always true
'Cause you don't, no you don't know a thing about me

Well, I spoke of truth too soon and straightened out my hat
It was just three days before I kissed you on the tracks
But you don't, you don't know a thing about me

And I found a home looking straight into your eyes
But you called out his name, oh, much to my surprise
But you don't, you don't know a thing about me

And it's hard to get it right and I've never been enough
But I think I'm getting better at falling out of love
But you don't, you don't know a thing about me
Track Name: take your pick
take your pick

"Take your pick, bullets or knives
My hands will bring you down, ten seconds gone, you best take flight"
I hear, I run, or die

Ghost of a trail, these prints I leave
Every time I look behind I'm haunted by the scenery
Who's there? I'm hearing things
You play this game too dangerously

Don't write me off yet, I know I still have a few tricks up my sleeve
Let me remind you, let me unwind you before my heart is through beating
Haunt me, hunt me, I'll play the game just so I can see
If I'm worth it, your stolen trophy, just hang me while I'm still bleeding

Another trap, caught within
Frantic flailing suffocating through the sand again
I calm myself to breathe the wind

Jump the river, bank to bank
I know I've seen this before these circles I run are to thank
Same mistake, insane, and shame
Too dangerously you play this game

Shelter to the sea, see the line
I can hear you storming me but I feel the silence on the rise
You're playin' with my mind

Rough and ragged, broken down
There's a light ahead and the water is a welcome sound
As my knees they fall to the ground
And this river red is all around ...