THE COMPANY I KEEP

What's left in my cup is so black

I know I can't go back

I'm playing host

grieving the ghost

of days come and gone

 

I fell in love so deep 

it shook my soul to sleep

broke me in two

dreaming of you 

now that you're gone

 

all of these roads done lead me to hell and back

the company I keep would make a lesser man weep

and all that know

 

this plaintive heart still beats

and I'll mill these dead end streets

upend the night

and search for the light

that leads me to you

 

all of these roads stretch on for eternity 

with nowhere to hide from the devils inside 

and all that know

 

I fell in love so deep

it shook my soul to sleep

broke me in two

dreaming of you

now that you're gone

 

broke me in two 

dreaming of you

now that you're gone

 

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

 

 

GLENRIO

Twenty Seven souls to the right

beyond the Jericho Gap that I abandoned tonight

I've got the engine slowing down to a crawl

border town religion and a prayer for them all

but desolation is the law of the land

yeah, the dead held the deed but the deed turned to sand

on the road they left forsaken reaching out from the coast

marked as the moter of death my god I'm chasing a ghost

 

Pray tell? 

Are we on the Glory Road or the highway to hell? 

 

Great gods that decorated the skies

reduced to old derelicts for the rare passer-by

transfixed out on the edges of town

with the broke curios and the joints crumbling down

near the relics of a Hudson sedan

slouch hats overalls and all the dust in their hands

on a road that led our spirits to the edge of the pier

marked as the mother of death my god she stranded us here

 

they said

"If we're on the highway to hell then we're already dead."

 

Twenty Seven souls to the right 

beyond the Jericho Gap that I abandoned tonight

 

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group  (ASCAP)

THAT JULY FLOOD

 

I want to make my secrets known

out on a lost highway alone

longing to wake the sleeping dead

all of the spirits in my head

 

nothing but hard luck tales to tell

stacked at the golden gates of hell

I left a trail of tears and blood

wild as a raging July flood

 

a trail of tears and blood

that July Flood

 

Died in a land that rusted red

carry my bones to the river bed

longing to set my spirit free

all of the ghosts inside of me

 

nothing but hard luck tales to tell 

stacked at the golden gates of hell 

I left a trail of tears and blood 

wild as a raging July flood

 

a trail of tears and blood

that July Flood

 

 (c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

 

 

 

PHANTOM LOCOMOTIVE

Lyrics from the album "Phantom Locomotive"  released in May 2021.  All words copyright Mathew deRiso SMC Records (ASCAP)

FLATLANDER

Coming off old foggy top 
southbound hauler on another drop 
I got a sack of tall freight about a pony high 
I'm built as mean as a mule good Lord I’m fixing to die 
You know that broken road never saved a soul 
it only leads to the fire of ruination below. 

A little rocky on the slow down 
southbound hauler on the edge of town 
Another full cup on a dark night 
I’m bound to carry it out hell, I’ll be shining a light 
You know that old line never had name 
but neither did the devil boy they’re one and the same - they've got me 

Burning up a flatland gap 
suffering a dead route dry 
burning up a flatland gap 
gonna’ roll until I die 
Oh, until I die… 

Burning up a flatland gap 
suffering a dead route dry 
burning up a flatland gap gonna’ roll until I die 

Out of the way old Baby Blue 
won’t be troubled with the sight of you 
Another cold start with the hammer down 
hell, I’ll be revving it up before I roll out of town 
you know that broken road will only lead you astray 
and you won’t rise up to ride another day 

Burning up a flatland gap 
suffering a dead route dry 
burning up a flatland gap 
gonna roll until I die 
Oh, until I die...

 

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

RED BALL

I sleep on a box car floor 
dirge of heaven at my door 
bindle stiff and a scab of bread 
waiting for the morning that I wake up dead 

Grows so cold you can see your breath 
somewhere between life and death 
Gray ghost humming in a minor key 
My God, it sounds just like the whistle of the Milwaukee 

Where the listless tramps still wail and sing 
A spirit haunts the cabin of a hobo king 
Skin flint tinder and a nation sack 
On the Red Ball tearing down a one way track 

Been so long since I’ve seen my home 
I'm bound to ride and cursed to roam 
Trepidation’s only son stranded on that twilight run 

I Fear the end is drawing near 
Old Satan is the engineer 
heard him whisper soft and still 
If I don’t get you boy, the Red Ball will 

Where the listless tramps still wail and sing 
A spirit haunts the cabin of a hobo king 
Skin flint tinder and a nation sack 
On a Red Ball tearing down a one way track 

Heard him whisper soft and still 
If I don’t get you boy the Red Ball Will 
Heard him whisper soft and still 
If I don’t get you boy the Red Ball Will 
Heard him whisper soft and still 
If I don’t get you boy the Red Ball Will 
Heard him whisper soft and still 
If I don’t get you boy the Red Ball Will

 

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group  (ASCAP)

QUEEN OF THE DEAD

God moved on the water built an altar for the bitch on the bed
I left a half a pack of Lucky's and tequila for the Queen of the Dead
an old memento for the faithful keep the decor Mexicali
sporting fashion resurrected from the San Fernando Valley
rocking  Tijuana twang on demolition train to the roots  

Majesty for free she wants to boogie with you all night long
a sinner's prayer left at the edge of her crown equipped to do you wrong
they got a rattle in the motor and a spirit in the bottle
putting one hand on the body and the other on the throttle
little something for your nerves?  
As you navigate the curves of the sacred 

We're gonna float it on down the river
shake it till you start to shiver  
We're gonna float it on down the river
shake it till you're tumbling back
bow to the Queen of the Dead 

We're gonna float it on down the river
shake it till you start to shiver
We're gonna float it on down the river
shake it till you're tumbling back 
yeah yeah yeah  

God moved on the water build an altar for the bitch on the bed
I left a half a pack of Lucky's and  tequila for the Queen of the Dead
an old memento for the faithful keep the decor Mexicali
sporting fashion  resurrected from the San Fernando Valley
just another devotee here to set the captives free

Bow to the Queen of the Dead
Bow to the Queen of the Dead
yeah, Bow to the Queen of the Dead 
yeah, yeah, yeah alright

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

DEVIL YOU KNOW

I am the needle and thread
the dress on the floor and the girl in your bed
I’m the night rolling in like a flood
the sharp taste of bourbon brewed thicker than blood
I’m the bottle that always runs dry
the thrill of that sweet empty look in your eyes
The cries of the first bastard son
the ache in the heart of the man on the run  

I'm a dark and decrepit motel
the guilt and regret that burn hotter than hell
I’m an orphan with nowhere to go  
the ghost in your room the damned dirty devil you know

  
I am the red neon light
resurrecting desire on a cold autumn night
all the reckless abandon you'll own
sanctified in the throes of my presence alone
I’m the thrill of a passionate lie
you can hold in your heart till day that you die
the lover that lead you to stray
every dark deed you’ve done that you can’t wash away  

I'm a dark and decrepit motel
the guilt and regret that burn hotter than hell
I’m an orphan with nowhere to go
the ghost in your room the damned dirty devil you know 

The devil you know 

I am the glare of the sun
a renegade priest and his wild ravaged nun
I'm the thunder that rattles the sky
the lightning that strikes in the blink of an eye
I’m the poison you're destined to crave
the feeling you'll chase till you lay in your grave
I’m the silence that comes like friend
all the darkness you'll learn to embrace in the end  

I'm a dark and decrepit motel
the guilt and regret that burn hotter than hell
I'm an orphan with nowhere to go
the ghost in your room every damned dirty devil you know 

The devil you know 

The devil you know

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

OLD SPIRITS

Old spirits bore the scars 
a veil of endless stars 
a lonely cosmic river wrought with sand 
they reek of blood and rage 
a sordid sacred page that flutters in the twilight from our view 
they offer up their broken hearts to you 

Old spirits suffered long a sad and lonesome song 
its melody left scattered on the shore 
they fill that painted sky with neon lullabies 
that fade into the darkness evermore 
reborn as paltry shadows at our door 

Old Spirits made of dust 
a coat of heavy rust 
their wild and restless hearts still carry on 
they’re drawn back to the light though they stumble through the night 
to ramble through the dreams of you and I 
they waste away but they will never die 

Old spirits bore the scars 
a veil of endless stars 
a lonely cosmic river wrought with sand 
they reek of blood and rage 
a sordid sacred page that flutters in the twilight from our view 
they offer up their broken hearts to you

 

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

 

 

CARRY ME TO CANAAN

Chipped blue plates 
falling off the stack 
I should’ve never built the commons by the mainline track 
most folks left when the town turned dry 
nothing left to salvage but the place won’t die 
I met a hell hole girl with the sunburned skin 
she made me a believer once the lights went dim 
down at the old depot I didn’t need a reservation 
Lord it, doubles as a brothel and a railroad station 

I never bought a ticket 
call me cavalier 
but I’ve been running with the devil since I wound up here 
I didn’t see it coming Lord, I heard that whistle blow 
it left me yearning for the freedom only dead men know 

On a long black train 
raising up a howl 
carry me to Canaan if I turn back now 
free my soul been straining from the load 
of a life turned wicked down that old... 
down that old...
lonely pitchfork road 

Yeah I got a sunburned girl 
now she's sprawled out on the floor 
and I heard a cold wind rattling on that old screen door 
I'll pray the night train come 
if it’s blacker than the sky 
so I can hitch a ride to glory on the day I die 
yeah, but the myth’s no good 
God the lies stay stuck 
and now it's rattling like the motor in her old man’s truck 
down at the old depot with that brothel round the back 
Lord, a phantom locomotive took possession of the track 

never bought a ticket 
call me cavalier 
but I’ve been running with the devil since I wound up here 
I didn’t see it coming 
No, I heard that whistle blow 
it left me yearning for the freedom only dead men know 

On a long black train 
raising up a howl 
carry me to Canaan if I turn back now 
free my soul been straining from the load 
of a life turned wicked down a pitchfork road 
Lord, Long Black train now it's coming down the track and it’ll 
carry me to Canaan and I won’t come back, No 
Free my soul been straining from the load 
of a life turned wicked down that old... 
down that old ... lonely pitchfork road

 

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

BATON ROUGE EXORCISM

I keep it all in that room 
the sweet smell of ashes and drugstore perfume 
river of smoke in the air 
a broken prayer 

Jolee pinned up on the mirror 
pale skin washed white Lord, I wish she were here 
clothed in a blue melody 
inside of me 

When I left Baton Rogue I had nothing to lose but my name 
just an old sacred heart left to splinter apart in the flame 
grifters and ghosts shrouded in rags and rope 
laid to rest in a watery grave 
When I left Baton Rogue there was nothing the good Lord could save 

I hear the voice of of the dead 
their whispers creep in through the holes in my head 
drowning in all that I've done 
thy kingdom come 

slave to to these visions within 
all spirit and bone till the darkness creeps in 
destined to die on the run 
thy will be done 

When I left Baton Rogue I had nothing to lose but my name 
just an old sacred heart left to splinter apart in the flame 
grifters and ghosts shrouded in rags and rope 
laid to rest in a watery grave 
When I left Baton Rogue there was nothing the good Lord 

angel swing down from a wire heaven high 
wings shining bright as the stars in the sky 
come bearing light to the lost every wayfaring soul that done fell 
When I left Baton Rogue Lord that spirit done led me to hell 

I keep it all in that room 
the sweet smell of ashes and drugstore perfume

 

(c) 2022 SMC Music Group (ASCAP)

TRUCK STOP AT THE END OF THE WORLD

THE SOUTHSIDE

ROADHOUSE SHRINE

NEON TOMBSTONES

ROADSIDE REVIVAL

EMPTY BOTTLES

RATTLE ON