The Song Clearance 2004
Official Pit Bull Blues VideoLast Updated: 07/16/2009
A collection of acoustic relics from the Shipe attic. Tunes from the first batch of folk, blues & country when I was just learning. Family-friendly whimsies that don't fit the Shipeshifters or the Blue Rebekahs. Plus a couple of songs from The Renegade Saints that never got the studio treatment they deserved.
Song Clearance on iTunesLast Updated: 01/24/2009 Last Updated: 01/24/2009
Zoe shilling for the Song Clearance
Zoe shilling for the Song Clearance
PersonnelLast Updated: 01/24/2009
Produced by Bryan Nelson @ The Epicenter
Rhythm Section help from:
Scott Headrick - drums, shaker & conga
Chris Beveridge - bass
Mixed by Mike Davis
Photos by Amy Wray
Cover Design by Shipe
Pit Bull BluesLast Updated: 01/24/2009
This album contains the unlikely international hit "Pit Bull Blues" & its B-side "Sun Dog Ranch Road." Written just for fun, about our beloved Zoe (R.I.P.) These songs got legs on the internet when I offered them for use by Pit Bull rescue and awareness organizations. John & Amy have thanks to give to all the Pit Bull lovers out there.
The Songs:Last Updated: 02/24/2009
1) "Come Around" (circa '91) Originally titled "Roll Down Your Answer." The Renegade Saints played a fast & furious version. This swampy groove was influenced by Lucinda Williams in '02.
2) "Treadmill" (circa '90) Folk anthem to non-conformity. Ironic how soon after I wrote this, I was borrowing money from dear old Dad. The Saints played a Gospel-like version. I added minor chords and went all Ben Harper-ish about it.
3) "Like Some Folks Do" (circa '90) Written for the voice of Dave Coey back when he was in Nine Days Wonder. They broke up, so we formed The Renegade Saints. This song highlighted our country-ish side.
4) "Letter Home" (circa '90) Penned by cohort Alan Toribio while he roadied for Nine Days. Best (and most accurate) song of its kind. A Saints live favorite complete with Allman-esque twin guitar leads and Hammond Organ. This acoustic version ain't definitive.
5) "Faith in the Man" (circa '90) In the years since I wrote this folk lament, my friend Avery Kaufman, with whom I had a duo called Just Avery, kept this one alive. She added the final verse and took it on the road.
6) "Sun Dog Ranch Road" ('02) The imagined chronicles of our dog's brief stint in Arizona.
7) "3 a.m." (circa '89) Written for Avery's voice. Another one she kept alive all these years.
8) "Columbus Day" ('92) Written for the 500th anniversary of a lost sailor named Christopher stumbling onto a continent. Meant to sound like a beer commercial. Subversively patriotic/patriotically subversive. The Saints rocked it like a Stones tune.
9) "Pedestal" ('02) My wife Amy wrote the lyrics. We had Patty Griffin's voice in mind.
10) "Pit Bull Blues" ('02) Two songs about our dog Zoe? I must be losing my edge.
11) "Shadow" (circa '89) My first, and probably only, real folk song. A lyrical breakthrough for me, exploring the undercurrents of darkness within happy childhoods. Strains of Michelle Shocked's "Memories of East Texas."
12) "Saladhead" (circa '89) A nickname derived from a friend's misheard last name. I was trying to learn fingerstyles and alternate tunings, listening to Allman's "Little Martha" and Leo Kotke.
13) "Point the Way" (circa '87) Fellow Saint Mike Walker wrote this, back in our college band, Mission District. It was swampy and Little Feat-like. In '93, I changed it, while studying Delta Blues under the Walker T. Ryan. I added the last two lines.
14) "Road Story Prequel" ('91) This saw brief action with the Saints, unsuccessfully simulating Jackson Browne. It remained untitled until I linked its chronology with a personal story re-enacted in "Road Story"(off the Cassandra album).