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Hamilton County

Hamilton County

  • By Alex Smith
  • Release 15/04/2014
  • Music Genre Folk
  • Media Format CD
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CD 
Price: €21.54

Product Notes

Right in the middle of New York State's Adirondacks is a county full of rivers, lakes and mountains; villages and wilderness side by side, sparsely populated with folks who have tales to tell. How different is that from other upstate areas? Maybe not so different, except that Hamilton County has a songwriter with a good ear, a singer with a strong voice to match the rugged territory, and now, a namesake album that is at once personal, regional and universal. These songs of Alex Smith stretch the expectation of what fresh, new music can say about ancient hills, the communities they hold, and their stories. They ring true because Alex has been studying nature's soundscape, absorbing the seasonal sharps and flats, and listening to the rhythm of mountain folk all his life. Hamilton County is the place, and this is it's voice. - Dan Berggren, Adirondack Folksinger Credits Alex Smith, lead vocals and guitar Dylan Rice, backup vocals, electric guitar and mandolin Jake Brillhart, violin Don Barry, bass Recorded at Sounds Interesting Studios, Middleborough, MA Recording Engineer: Corey Sherman Mastering: SoundMirror Graphics design: Eric Higgins Cover and back photos: Noelle Short Inside photos courtesy of Noelle Short & Bill Zullo Executive producer: Jack Radcliffe Lyrics This Town (Alex Smith) There's a town You can drive dirt roads with no one around There's a town Where the mountains are standing and looking down There's a road It carried lumber in another life Now it's cracked and heaved The frost cuts through it like a knife Chorus: Oh my town Are the times all gone that we've been singing about Oh my town Don't want to see the day we don't make each other proud I read the news today They say in twenty years This county will be gone away When the jobs they go, please tell me how we'll stay Chorus: Oh my town Are the times all gone that we've been singing about Oh my town Don't want to see the day we don't make each other proud What I Need To Do (Alex Smith) My name is Tommy and I got a house outside of town Down a little dirt road before the county line It ain't much to look at, just a little double-wide But there's plenty of room for the two of us inside Life's hard on a single dad when you're working nine to five But I don't complain, my mother did just fine Wake up every morning, drag Junior out of bed Getting the kid on the bus, you'd think I was pulling teeth out of his head Chorus: Don't tell me I'm not strong enough to do what I need to do You can call me Laurie, and I love my man He signed up back in high school, when we were seventeen Then they shipped him overseas to fight the Taliban I'm proud as his folks but I just want him back Chorus: Don't tell me I'm not strong enough to do what I need to do This bed feels like a football field without him next to me Sometimes when I wake up I forget for a moment that he's gone You'll know my driveway, it's got a yellow ribbon tied round a tree When he comes home it'll be the first thing he sees Chorus: Don't tell me I'm not strong enough to do what I need to do I go by Ricky, I'm sixteen years old My mom's a drunk and my dad walked out six years ago My brother Tommy hadn't even been born, Dad didn't stick around to say hello Just slammed the screen door and told my mom he wasn't coming home Chorus: Don't tell me I'm not strong enough to do what I need to do North Country Girl (Alex Smith) There's a little river running behind my house Got a big rock in the middle where we can stand When I was young I used to fish here till the sun went down Girl sit here and tell me what you smile about Chorus: I'm looking for a North Country Girl A North Country Girl looking for the world Put your toes in the water girl hold my hand Watch the sun go down over our homeland Tomorrow we're driving to Californ' We're gonna see what we see and then we'll come on home Bridge: I don't know if I ever want to settle down But I want a girl, who knows what we're leaving The songs I sing they mean the world to me I want a girl who knows what the hell they mean Who looks at me and says you've got it wrong When I write something and she don't agree Long Lake (Alex Smith) Where do you go when you don't know what your going for Where do you run when you can't run no more And your legs are sore I go home Who do you know when you can't remember who you are And you can't even remember why it matters anymore Oh she knows Your hometown knows Chorus: Oh I look out from the bridge as I'm driving back again to Long Lake And I see the white-capped waves, and I see the Seward Range Oh, Oh Long Lake I love the road that brings me out and I love the road that brings me back again as well They'll try to tell you there's no future here in the mountains The school it will shut down they'll say and when that happens who will come? But they don't know you like I know you if they think that's all it takes To move us all out of our home and make our people fade away Chorus: (repeat as above) Bridge: This town will always be your home, take it with you when you go Because you've never seen such beautiful hills as the ones you come home to Hard Hands (Alex Smith) It was dark outside when I left this morning It's gonna be dark outside when I come home The boys will be in bed but you'll be waiting Waiting on yesterday though we both know it won't come My knuckles are swollen and they tend to stiffen My hands are greasy and stained with motor oil Crawl into bed and you rub my fingers Don't do much good girl, but I don't tell you that Prechorus: Because I know, you know, you're all I have girl My hard hands and knowing that they got that way for you Chorus: Mary Anne We're not twenty-five anymore We're not alive anymore Not like we were back then. But Mary Anne You keep me going, you and the boys Just knowing that I work each day for you And with these hard hands I'll hold you until I go on It's hard to tell that the days are passing When so little changes but the light But when I see my reflection in your eyes, that's how I know That's how I know that I'm alive Prechorus: And I know, you know, it's all I have girl My hard hands and knowing that they got that way for you Maybe The Next Place We Land There's cardboard boxes on the front porch Address is painted on the wall There's plastic wrap in the window A tarp keeps out the snow that falls The letters fell out of the mailbox And they got plowed into the snow But even if they'd been read it wouldn't change a thing The mill's closed down again and we're headed down the road Chorus: Maybe the next place we land We'll find some solid ground on which to stand I'll find work for my two hands And a place to raise my son into a man It's a long and lonesome road But I won't ever lose my hope We'll get on by just like we've done before We've gotten mighty good at moving Don't own a thing we can't fit in the truck My brother tells me there's a job up in Malone We can stay with him while I try my luck Chorus (repeat) Tommy had time to make some new friends And Anna found work at the dollar store As soon as they'e done this we head back on the road Tommy he don't get it when I tell what the hell we're moving for Bridge: And the snow is falling down and we're still ten miles from town Tommy fell asleep in back to the tires' sound Anna hold my hand and I'll be a better man I know this ain't the life you planned but it will be Oh it will be, it will be North Point Road (Alex Smith) This road don't really go to nowhere But that's just fine with me I could drive with you for hours in the dark here darling Listen to the radio There's a wall of trees around this road All the crazy people in the world Your highway signs and city lights They're a world apart from here Chorus: Oh, darlin', won't you ride with me Down where our fathers rode, a long long time ago, down North Point Road Anywhere we could pull over Find a mossy spot to rest and lay our heads The ever ticking clock's still tickin' but we can't hear it from this bed And tonight we'll go to an old lean-to Sit and have another blue, and another brother have no fear were with ya Bad company ain't a thing to me I hope I never live to see the day the world eats this place alive Tahawus (Alex Smith) My dad was eighteen when I was born And my son can say the same I' gonna give him the best start I can For if not, who's to blame? Chorus: We moved out north to the Adirondack hills That's where we heard our fortunes lay Settled my family and mined them hills for ore That's where they said the riches lay But then the mine closed down 1867, when the axe it fell They said it was the ore that was to blame The iron we came for was tainted white After six months, back on a train Chorus: (Repeat as above) Bridge: They said there was money to be made They said there was blue in the skies I didn't expect the streets would be paved in gold But I thought if I worked hard we'd get by We never had much but now we got nothing And Annie can only take so much running There ain't another like her to be found Oh Annie, won't you stick around The Raquette River (Alex Smith) I was born along the Raquette River And like me she's moving North St. Lawrence Seaway calls her homewards But it'll be a while till she sees the sea One Hundred Forty Six miles of water Rollin' through these wooded hills From Raquette Lake to Akwesasne From the Mountains to the farms and fields Chorus: She flows by rich; she flows by poor Under tracks and over ore And when we're dead and in the ground She'll roll along, northward bound In years before, they floated timber Down towards the lumber mills And nowadays, turbines are spinning Hydro dams they keep the lights here burning bright Bridge: The river saw the times When we worked the woods and mines But what's she thinking now When we're being told to forget how Chorus: (Repeat as above) And once the guide boats floated down Long Lake Now the seaplanes tip the buoys with their wake But the river keeps on running; the river rolls along Changing with the times like an old folk song This Town (Alex Smith) There's a town You can drive dirt roads with no one around There's a town Where the mountains are standing and looking down There's a road It carried lumber in another life Now it's cracked and heaved The frost cuts through it like a knife Chorus: Oh my town Are the times all gone that we've been singing about Oh my town Don't want to see the day we don't make each other proud I read the news today They say in twenty years This county will be gone away When the jobs they go, please tell me how we'll stay Chorus: (Repeat as above) What I need To Do (Alex Smith) My name is Tommy and I got a house outside of town Down a little dirt road before the county line It ain't much to look at, just a little double-wide But there's plenty of room for the two of us inside Life's hard on a single dad when you're working nine to five But I don't complain, my mother did just fine Wake up every morning, drag Junior out of bed Getting the kid on the bus, you'd think I was pulling teeth out of his head Chorus: Don't tell me I'm not strong enough to do what I need to do You can call me Laurie, and I love my man He signed up back in high school, when we were seventeen Then they shipped him overseas to fight the Taliban I'm proud as his folks but I just want him back This bed feels like a football field without him next to me Sometimes when I wake up I forget for a moment that he's gone You'll know my driveway, it's got a yellow ribbon tied round a tree When he comes home it'll be the first thing he sees I go by Ricky, I'm sixteen years old My mom's a drunk and my dad walked out six years ago My brother Tommy hadn't even been born, Dad didn't stick around to say hello Just slammed the screen door and told my mom he wasn't coming home.

Details

Artist: Alex Smith
Title: Hamilton County
Genre: Folk
Release Date: 15/04/2014
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 888174616629

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