O Bronder, Donder Yonder?

by An American Forrest

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about

The Oregon sun burns a red line across the horizon, throwing pink and scarlet paint across the face of Powatke ridge. Coyotes holler from Tick Hill to Whiskey Creek and the forms of elk pass in and out of the far dusk beneath evening’s first constellations.
Bootheels knock hollow on the front porch, scattering half-feral cats and well-bred cowdogs.
The door opens to the smell of elk meat and tortillas. A hat is hung on a peg, an old guitar comes off the wall. Ian Tyson melodies are chased down and passed around the table.
Stories are told.
Stories are sung.

credits

released May 10, 2019

Ben Walden - Lead Guitar

Barry Alan Walker, Jr. - Pedal Steel
Joseph Hein - Piano, Bass on Timberbind
Cooper Trail - Drums, Producer

Mike Coykendall - Electric Bass, Engineer
Jonny Wade - Upright and Electric Bass
Forrest VanTuyl - Guitar, Vocals, Producer
Maria Maita-Keppeler - Vocals on “Lady Godiva”

Matthew Zeltzer - Vocals on “Ain’t Been Tamed,” “Lady Godiva,” and “Sam’s House” Jeremy Ferrara - Vocals on “Yonder, My Love”

Silje Solskinn’s work adorns the lyric sheets.
The cover painting is “Thunderbird” by Roark Griffin of Rowe, NM


All songs by Forrest VanTuyl, except...

Mike Midlo wrote the song “Timberbind”

Recorded by Mike Coykendall, Dec. 28-30, 2017, at Blue Room Studios, Portland, Oregon.

Mastered by Adam at Telegraph Mastering.

This album brought to you by OK Records, Enterprise, Oregon; a division of the OK Artists’ Group.

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all rights reserved

tags

about

An American Forrest Oregon

Western Music from Eastern Oregon.
Ragged-voiced tales and wild, hybrid style, finger-picked and strummed guitar. Poetic incantations that conjure images: a lone rider silhouetted against a sunset, the days fading light, the unspoken bond between horses and people. Songs as detailed as tooled leather about old love, and new frontiers. ... more

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Track Name: Sam's House
Sam’s House was empty, except for Sam & the whiskey
and we talked about horses we’d rode & we waited for the dawn
I’d run a few times before and she’d always come to get me
Sam’s house is just down the road, but she don’t know how far

Winter was over. We got by but we had to scrape & those
Lilacs were bloomin in the canyon & I was afraid.
When good horses die, we hang up their hides to scrape1
and someday I will sing your name...

Constance. Is there justice on this earth? Is the country of my birth
still a burden?
If the love that I was given was more than I was worth
Will I ever be forgiven - did I get what I deserved? Constance.

We were warm once- when it was 20 below
and we burned each other’s brands in our backs and we rode as high as those
Sonorans
I was standin’ by the round pen gate, where I’d stood before
where I stood when I heard your voice and the whole damn world was darkenin’
This whole wicked world gets darker yet

Constance. Is there justice on this earth? Is the country of my birth
still a burden?
If the love that I was given was more than I was worth
Will I ever be forgiven - did I get what I deserved? Constance.

Track Name: Rawhide
Say you want a man who was made like rawhide Honey, I was soakin’ ass wet for the first 18 years of my life
but I found a country far from the rain, I stretched out my soul to dry,
turned my face to the far-flung sun,
didn’t learn to coil rope til I was nearly hung, smelled every rose til my nose got stung
I made my share of mistakes & darlin’ you weren’t one

I was as green as April down in the canyon
but the finest of the fadin’ light don’t come til just before night
90 percent of love is reckless abandon
the other half is learnin’ not to run
keepin’ enough air to say “I love you” in our lungs findin’ forgiveness for the wrongs we ain’t yet done & I made my share of mistakes and darlin’ you weren’t one

So call me anything your tongue could ever think to twist towards
Houlihan me in that hip shot honey and drag me to your fire
burn yr brand on my 12th rib, it was yours for the taking & the least I could give
and Love is as wild as it felt when we were young it’s twice as dangerous as mama bears and guns but we need it more than the mornin’ needs the sun

I made my share of mistakes and darlin’ you weren’t one
Track Name: Yonder, My Love
Are you off ridin’ some unfenced horizon? Are your stars yet unsung?
Are your days of exile over,
Is your love yet to come?
Yonder my love comes on country untrammelled, conjured from blood and from dust
barefoot and halfbroke,
we rode before we wrote
we’re wild as our own wilderness
Is this not where she had known she would find me,
Weathered & forever unkown?
Worn down on rawhide and fresh off a good ride and singin’ praise to a country called home
God is a mountain & I am a falcon
& I am a storm & a song
& Hannah meant nothin’ & I was not runnin & it wasn’t the first I been wrong.
Are you off ridin’ some unfenced horizon? Are your stars yet unsung?
Are your days of exile over,
Is your love yet to come?
Track Name: Pretty Good Divide
I wasn’t sure I’d adore you
but I stayed all night to find out
I stole your daydreams and workboots before the mornin’ came to town
Winter came & I was young again Winter comes to make me young
This is a love song
it ain’t meant to be a riddle
show me a middle I can meet you in. & Honey I know not
if I deserve to be forgiven
show me a river I can learn to swim This is a love song.
Maybe I got a couple years on ya Maybe it ain’t the years that count
Maybe I was mishearin’ ya
Maybe I never shoulda opened my mouth
This is a pretty good divide
Love is a horse I still can’t ride
Love was the last thing on my mind
Love... Love; may your orchard stay forever wyld
This is a love song
it ain’t meant to be a riddle
show me a middle I can meet you in. & Honey I know not
if I deserve to be forgiven
show me a river I can learn to swim This is a love song.
Track Name: Ain't Been Tamed, Yet
It never rains in Oregon & I never feared the dark and I never found no better place than here to hang my heart
I come confessin’, outta love & outta questions heavy on transgression, hungry for the light

In the darkness, there’s a golden band of sunset My horse is shod & showerin’ sparks across the granite
I’m too young to forget that I’ve yet to work my damndest
Gimme a land a lord a love that ain’t been tamed yet

I belong to yonder mountain
as a falcon to its wing
but do I know yet where I wander
do I know yet what I sing?

Sinner, save your blessin’ where’s those prayers I keep forgettin?

did I burn my best possession? I was hungry for the light.

And all that balm in gilead & all that soldier’s joy Annie Oakley, Ezra Brooks & Helen Of Troy
All that’s gold & gorgeous I spent years tryin’ to avoid
apples fall in autumn I’ll be raisin’ up my voice

In the darkness, there’s a golden band of sunset My horse is shod & showerin’ sparks across the granite
I’m too young too forget that I’ve yet to work my damndest
Gimme a land a lord a love that ain’t been tamed yet
Track Name: Pendleton Overcoat
I been dreamin' of a lakeshore & a Pendleton overcoat,
snow settlin' on Douglas Fir while I follow you up the road,
I been thinkin' bout a fireplace and a chimbley whistlin' smoke & the way you curl up next to me when you read the stories I wrote

I been ponderin' the Ponderosas in the evenin monochrome
with her hazy grays & lazy days of eatin' what we've grown
& I've had the luck of a larkspur whose seeds have just been sown
by the well-worn hand of a half-broke man and the only love that he's known

If I could see the evergreen shine in your Inland Empire eyes each night & spend my mornin’s alongside you with a loaf of bread & a sunrise, there's no dollar I'd need again, no fortune could buy,
the feelin' of your freewheelin' fingers intertwined in mine.
Track Name: Burnin' Starlight
It’s a quarter til tomorrow, boys we’re burnin’ starlight
that nighthawk breakfast special
we got milky way coffee & moon pie
I’m dreamin’ of my bedroll with my cigarette pointed north I’m a short tailed bear a-spinnin’ round a short-lived pole

If there’s bison in the Minam, we ain’t seein’ em tonight This ol’ Canyon’s blacker than cast iron
It’s dark as a cow’s insides
I’m dreamin’ of Alberta
with her apron full of gold
I’m a lonely sage in winter with nothin’ for my roots to hold

I’m young enough to think I’m tough I ain’t old to die
I’ve seen the sun run westward from the terrors of the night
Now the finest of the fadin’ light
the dawn has swallowed whole
but if it’s darkness that we shine from is there darkness in these souls?

It’s a quarter til tomorrow
my pony knows the way back home
my faith in God & Mules is strong
& my horse is almost broke
I will go where I am pointed
where I’m paid what I am owed
where my remuda’s fit for workin’ & my saddle’s never cold
Track Name: Yonder Mountain
Yonder Mountain - Yonder Mountain - Yonder Mountain I will be
In the mornin’ - River Yawnin’ - Long time dawnin’
I will be

Ya work a horse in that mornin’ light like it’s a form of prayer and God is the country & I have been there

Yonder Mountain

Communion is Copenhagen & lukewarm beer & yr body gets lean and your mind gets clear

Yonder Mountain - Yonder Mountain - Yonder Mountain
I will be
In the mornin’ - River Yawnin’ - Long time dawnin’
I will be

My savior was a carpenter but he quit buildin’ walls
I got a hammer, lord, but I’m just keepin’ my pony shod

Yonder Mountain

All of my sorrows are here for the taking I’m broke as mornin’ and forever awakenin’

Yonder Mountain - Yonder Mountain - Yonder Mountain I will be
In the mornin’ - River Yawnin’ - Long time dawnin’

I will be

YONDER MOUNTAIN
Track Name: Timberbind
Timberbind
In a tree
is an evil, hard thing for me
to understand

I take a walk
in the woods wonderin’ if I could be
a better man

Ride a rainbow into town, make a wish on a cloud O, my achin’ back!
You walk into the room
& I come unglued
I want to thank you for bein’ my friend

Ride a rainbow into town, make a wish on a cloud O, my achin’ back!
You walk into the room
I jump over the moon
I want to thank you for bein’ my friend

Timberbind
In a tree
is an evil, hard thing for me
to understand


*A timberbind is a 19th-century term for getting one’s crosscut saw or “misery whip” bound in the tree it’s cutting. An evil thing indeed.

Track Name: Lady Godiva
Lady Godiva, your horses are hungry
I will be there in the mornin’, those hills are sweet as honey
Flowers are fallin’, my faith’s in a tangle
our horses call to one another & they get a little harder to handle

Lady Godiva, ride me higher, I’m as steady as steady can be
slick in the hide I spent my whole life free
the past comes creepin’ in - was I born just to be born again
when will I cease repeating this cycle I was a wheel within a wheel on fire

Lady Godiva, your head’s on fire
I will meet you at the river I will be there for your baptizin’
I promised a plain song, I sang you a river
I won’t be wearin’ this fear for too long I stand at the bank ‘neath the moon & I shiver & I

Holler Hallelujah - Whisper my amen
claim I never knew ya
& only raise my voice to scream Goddamn. Well, Good goddamn.

Lady Godiva, this ain’t where I come from
but I been here for a while, I could turn my dust to your dust
Ponderosas & Hemlocks, Wildflowers and fetlocks
the trail twists like a sheep’s guts
I lose your sign in the rimrock

I holler Hallelujah, whisper my amen
claim I never knew ya & only raise my voice to scream goddamn
well Good God Damn
Track Name: Dark To Dark
I hung coyote’s tail from my front cinch for good fortune
I stitched my boots with rawhide, blew my smoke rings around the stars
That Barb-y Mustang did her best to buck her packs this mornin
ain’t she just as green as I was, bed & board, dark to dark

Yonder come my love upon a horse as light as mornin
the silver swirlin’ shallows splash her spurs so cold and sharp
we turn our backs on the Tamaracks a-heeding winter’s warnin
aint they just as green as I was, bed and board dark to dark

they turn
golden & gorgeous
all unfolded before us
we left our hoofprints from the Imnaha to the East Fork,
Love was just as green as I was, bed & board, dark to dark

Then a different kind of darkness came,
as dark as the storm we’re born in
I could not hold it all alone, I was hollow, hard at heart
The Imnaha was half frozen
I was half alone then
love was just as broke as I was bed & board, dark to dark

I could claim I never knew ya
too much dust in my throat to sing those hallelujahs
I was wayfared, I held my witness mark
love was just as broke as I was bed n board, dark to dark

I hung coyote’s tail from my front cinch for good fortune
I stitched my boots with rawhide, blew my smoke rings around the stars
That Barb-y Mustang did her best to buck her packs this mornin
ain’t she just as green as I was, bed & board, dark to dark

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