WHERE THE WILDEST SPIRITS FLY

by The Pinkerton Raid

supported by
Mark S. Nielsen
Mark S. Nielsen thumbnail
Mark S. Nielsen Plaintive voices. Good with the ol' metaphor.... and with plenty of gutsy things to SAY, too. The perfect blend of Boston headiness and hillbilly heart. If this be the sound of hope, PLAY ON! Favorite track: The Boys from Lowell.
sylvainvichot
sylvainvichot thumbnail
sylvainvichot I like this song. It reminds me of Uncle Tupelo. Favorite track: These Colors Don't Run.
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about

Near the start of The Pinkerton Raid’s fourth full-length album, WHERE THE WILDEST SPIRITS FLY, songwriter Jesse James DeConto asks, “Where’s the star to lead us home?” Amid landscapes pigmented with pain, the question is a quest for meaning, in resistance to Camus’ absurdity and the Will-to-Power in the White House. And the answer, over and over again, in a repeating cycle of realistic truth-telling and undeterred hope, is simply this: We sing together.

For nearly three years, Jesse and other band members have been leading barroom sing-alongs back home in North Carolina, gravitating toward the songs that have soundtracked social movements since the 1940s: Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” “What the World Needs Now,” made famous by Dionne Warwick, and countless songs by Dylan, Guthrie and Seeger.

Rather than chasing a particular sound, Jesse worked with producer David Wimbish (The Collection) and engineer Jeff Crawford (Skylar Gudasz) at Arbor Ridge Studios to serve the melodies and invite the listener to sing along. Drummer/trumpeter Scott McFarlane, bassist Jon DePue, saxophonist Tony Sali and guitarist/percussionist Steven DeConto form the core of the band, and the new recordings capture the sing-along vibe with a choir joining in on the catchy choruses.

The Pinkerton Raid has shared stages with The Ballroom Thieves, Annabelle's Curse, Forlorn Strangers, Lowland Hum, Noah Gundersen and Denison Witmer. The release of TOLERANCE ENDS, LOVE BEGINS in 2017 brought the band from Durham to Chicago to Washington DC, with slots at the Festival for the Eno and Shakori Hills, a session at DAYTROTTER and critical acclaim from PASTE, NO DEPRESSION, POPDOSE, AQUARIAN WEEKLY and more.

credits

released May 1, 2018

All songs (C) 2018 Jesse James DeConto

Produced by David Wimbish,
with Jesse James DeConto & Jeff Crawford

Engineered & mixed by Jeff Crawford
at Arbor Ridge Studios, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Mastered by Morgan Sizer at Mozu Mastering, Atlanta, Ga.

vocals, acoustic and electric guitars - Jesse James DeConto
drums, background vocals - Scott McFarlane
bass - Jonathan DePue
electric guitar, ukulele, background vocals - Steven DeConto
saxophone - Tony Sali
trumpet, trombone - Graham Dickey
Rhodes, piano, percussion, vibraphone, guitars - David Wimbish
organ, percussion - Jeff Crawford
background vocals - Alex Hill, Caroline Schuman, Katie DeConto
background vocals on "The House of Green" - Brett Harris

Band/booking contact: jesse@pinkertonraid.com

Press contact:
August Forte
NoVo Management and Publicity
4245 N Knox Ave.
Chicago, IL 60641
Tel. 773-278-6686
august@novo.net
www.novo.net

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The Pinkerton Raid Durham, North Carolina

"Glowing ... exquisite"
- Impose Magazine

"My favorite find of 2016 ... they echo tones of ... Ra Ra Riot and The National ... bright and bold ... The Pinkerton Raid is going to be a household name."
Louise Parker - Paste

"Glorious ... intricate and playful ... stunning elements of current indie-rock that recalls ... Sufjan Stevens, The National and Fleet Foxes." -- Emily Hinde, No Depression
... more

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Track Name: Meteors
Once on a time, the white spire climbed
where only the angels can fly
A morningstar high, the seaside city’s guide
Her light shone bright in the sky

We were the moons, our centrifuge, we shook loose
Asteroids, colliding, Bull Moose Records in a china shop,
Whirling, turning right off the turntable
December donuts slipping down Congress corridor

We’re free, but we don’t know who we are
We lost our orbits, now we’re meteors

In the old North Church they drank their tea
Some they sent to Halifax, dodging George’s taxes
The kettle cooled down, then it simmered again
When the party began, only the greycoats were there
Track Name: Stella Maris
(The sky is the sea, the sky is the sea,
the sky is an ocean, the sky is the sea)

Saint Placid slips beneath, the boy is drowning, the boy is drowning
The spirit moves Old Ben, go and save him, go and save him
Saint Maurus races down, walks on water, walks on water
Placid’s placid, Placid’s placid

Stella Maris, you kept him home

A sailor clings to a rock, it’s spinning blue, spinning green,
Floating deep in the sea, it’s spinning blue, spinning green,
The water fills his lungs, he’s sinking deeper, sinking deeper,
He’s slipping out of reach, floating deep in the sea

Stella Maris, take him home

The children splash in the waves, riptide warning, riptide warning
The moon reached down, it grabbed their mother, dragged her under
Shadow darkens the moon, the lights are out, the lights are out
Who can light the lighthouse fire? Where’s the star to lead us home?

Stella Maris, lead us home
Track Name: The Boys from Lowell
On the third deck of a triple-decker
little Danny lifts his little bones
Workin seven days, daybreak to nightfall,
like the Chinese did in California
He spins innocent cotton at the Massachusetts Mill
And he ain’t even 12 years old
His pa got hurt from a flying shuttle
Like his granddad did before

He’s gonna fly down to the river
The dam’s holding back the water
Gonna follow them rocks wherever they lead
To where the ocean meets the sky
On the river, he’s gonna fly

On the third deck of a triple-decker
little Johnny’s stories are autumn leaves
His ma holds his hand through the streets of the city
Where the saints are buried they go
French social club, St. Louis de France,
There’s Chinese cooking downtown
He skips class when the nuns ain’t lookin’
‘Cause the bookshelves take him somewhere

On the third deck of a triple-decker
little Jamie zooms his x-wing fighter
Got it down at the Zayre at the Central Plaza
with the Aquaman underwear
He wears them proud outside his pants,
There’s Chinese cooking downstairs
Never seen little Johnny’s stations of the cross
Out back the Franco-American School
Track Name: Thin Places
The air is thick with death, my friends, a fire from below
It started green but it turned to red, ripe and rotting from long ago
We burn it long to fuel our lives, though the smoke, it fills our lungs
The air is thin, too thin to breathe, can we put the fire out?

Meet me in the thin places where the air and fire collide
Meet me in the thin places where the wildest spirits fly

Your skin is dark like armor, no sticks or stones can break
Your body language bears the scars of punches you did take
Your skin is thin beneath the calloused, calloused thoughts can wound
I need to bare my own thin skin, to feel like you do, feel like you do

Meet me in the thin places where the skin and the fire collide
Meet me in the thin places where the wildest spirits fly

The water’s thick with oil and blood that soil the native lands
Its people drinking, choking, drowning, on this rock today they stand
The water’s thin, the poison spreads to poison every drop
The water makes us, water makes us, can we turn the poison off?

Meet me in the thin places where the water and the fire collide
Meet me in the thin places where the wildest spirits fly
Track Name: The House of Green
The House of Green was granted land in the reign of George the Sixth
Hence four-score years the Greens had grown
to threaten good Duchess Lynn
The Duchess called her mighty men to stall the Green’s advance
They drew their swords and marched in strength
through Greens’ unguarded lands

They cut out the heart of the House of Green
They left but a shell of the House of Green
They cut out the heart of the House of Green
There’s naught but a shell of the House of Green

The Greens survived on conquered land, the Duchess on her throne
The more they grow, the more she cuts, their land no more their own

The air was clean in the lands of green, the Duchess mars the skies
The air was clean in the lands of green, the air was yours and mine
Track Name: Windmills in the Fog
Soft blows the breeze ‘cross an Indiana field
Spins us round and round and round
Cold blows the breeze ‘cross an Indiana field
People going places, economic engines racin’

We are windmills in the fog, windmills in the fog
Windmills in the fog, windmills in the fog

Soft blows the breeze ‘cross an Indiana field
Spins us round and round and round
Breeze blows the flame where a garden did lay
Smoke whispers high, says the forest has died

Hey, ho, we go, we go, we go, go, go
We go, we go, we go, go, go
We can’t see where we go, go, go
But we go, we go, we go, go, go
We don’t know where we’re going, we are standing still

The light breaks free on an Indiana field
The clouds float high in a pale blue sky
The blades gleam white, reflect the light
We need not spin, the wind is still

We’re windmills in the sun, windmills in the sun
windmills in the sun, windmills in the sun
Track Name: These Colors Don't Run
In a house that needs a washing, in a white-washed washingtown
Them rains of gold are falling on Lady Freedom’s crown
Her green light says to come on home, ‘cross skies and seas of blue
Her light won’t shine forever, with walls it can’t go through

You said these colors don’t run, these colors don’t run
Then why are you so afraid?

The purple mountains, majesties, rise up from red and blue
Vecinos de bronces, precious bronze, bring wealth to me and you
If we build it, they won’t come, the lady’s torch will flicker
We’ll turn gray and crumble in the cruel desert winds

Your god’s engraved in the grayest of steel
With power to take life, never give
She wields it with whimsy, ‘gainst old, against young
If you’d let her go, they could live

Red, white & blue, red, white & blue
Red, yellow, brown, black & white
Track Name: Jefferson Davis Highway
Bless-your-hearted people, they’re afraid of the dark
Peace officers are making war, and they don’t wanna talk about it
Bless-your-hearted people, they silence the word
Of the prophets who tell them the truth
that they should have learned by now

We ride the Jefferson Davis Highway, we sing in God’s own country

Main Street’s named for the president
who commanded the Confederates
To defend them Dixie Pharaohs against the armies of the Lord
Main Street’s got a monument for the fighters for the cause
Gotta tear it down like that battle flag cause the war is over now

We ride the Jefferson Davis Highway, to sing in God’s own country

They say it’s just our history, don’t tread on who we are
But the father’s sins keep visitin’,
ghosts are hauntin’, ghosts are on the…

Jefferson Davis Highway, we sing in God’s own country
Jefferson Davis Highway, we sing in God’s own country, no more
Jefferson Davis Highway, we’ll sing in God’s own country, get off that
Jefferson Davis Highway, let's sing in God’s own country
Track Name: The King's Last Stand
The king, his hips turned the blues to suede
Made black Okeh for the blue-eyed gaze
I love you, the girl shouts
I can’t help, the king sings
Oh, no, no, the people cry
Oh, no, no

By then those hips, they were bloated and slow
He’d be gone in six weeks, they’d cry oh, no, no
It was the king’s last stand, it was the king’s last stand
It was the king’s last stand, it was the king’s last stand

Good Robert, the prince of Camelot
The sad news he did proclaim
Oh, no, no, the people cry
Oh, no, no, the people wail
Oh, no, no, the people shout
Oh, no, no. And the prince he said,

Brothers, my brothers, they shot our brothers
Can this awful grace make us love one another?
Brothers, my brothers, they shot our brothers

Is this the king’s last stand? Is this the king’s last stand?
Is this the king’s last stand? Is this the king’s last stand?
Oh, no, no
Track Name: Sweet Pitchers of Mercy
What gift can you give to he who has everything?
You can give him your laughter, your fear
You can dig out a lake for he who has everything
You can fill it with blood, sweat and tears
He’ll scoop out a pint and inspect it for clarity
The water will turn into beer

Sweet pitchers of mercy, we’ll find at the shore
Sweet pitchers of mercy, our tears cry no more

What gift can you give to she who has everything?
Raise a glass to our mother who bore
This family, been feuding and fighting and bickering
Since the oldest of old days of yore
So give her the gift of us drinking togetherly
And the sum of our parts become more
Track Name: Home
We went south to the Old North State
But friend, you didn’t stay long
A seabird, you were sailing free
The Puget Sound’s a siren song
Back east, friend, we were making home

Home, where they love you
Home, where they hurt you
Home, where your heart stops

So many times you’ve talked of home
Of coming back, of settling down
It’s a job, it's a girl or the ghost of girl
If it’s not one thing, it’s another
I’ve stopped believing that you're coming home

We’re here, when you’re ready
It’s now, or it’s ever
And, friend, if it’s never
Maybe you’re already home

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