Bruce Piephoff & Scott Sawyer Live at the dotmatrix project

by Bruce Piephoff & Scott Sawyer

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Robert Williams grew up in the south He was not known for having too much mouth When he killed a man in a barroom brawl It was self defense but it was his fall They sent him down to Angola State Put him to work making license plates For self defense they give him life Thought the man had come at him with a knife (CHORUS) Some got six months, some got a year Me and my buddy got a lifetime here Everybody got to die for himself If I don't get well, it's just as well I died If I don't get well, it's just as well I died In a laundry room with an old guitar He'd sit and play to heal the scars There he wrote Angola Prison Blues Won work release and a pardon too He traveled Europe and the States His playing proved there'd been a mistake He sang his songs, people laughed and cried They could tell this man, he had not lied CHORUS Williams' hands were worth their weight in gold But he died poor, 66 years old Collecting and selling scrap iron at home Singing the blues when he died alone CHORUS
Her habit was strong The habit of freedom and change Living with wings, flying high Above the land of stone She was more fire than light A trapeze artist piquant A tigress in the night A dancer, a trap of delight She could act out any role Charm the hobo or the prince She could heighten and sustain Her value with resistance Her skin sea shell white Her eyes of violet Her dresses of red velvet Enslaved the poets She was prodded by sailors With slow ritual and incense With opium and cocaine They offered chains at her expense But her habit was too strong The habit of freedom and change Living with wings, flying high Above the land of stone
Empty streets at the break of dawn Watching my feet as they walk along Ain't seen you babe, now it's been so long I just couldn't get to sleep last night I sent you a letter but got no reply If I could just recall all the reasons why Feel like my fingers just might touch the sky Said I'll love you babe till the day I die Genevers in the bar all night Or drinking wine in the pale moonlight The organ grinder, he played a happy song But I just couldn't get to sleep last night Van Gogh paintings dance inside my head Am I sleeping or am I really dead? I do not recall everything we said But I'll love you babe(3 times) Till the day I die
Too much to twist, I'm just a symphony of bones But Missy Vile, she won't leave me alone Down in this Carolina clay, I keep on dreaming large Yea, I'm down in a ditch but I'm still lookin up at the stars I got a biscuit eatin dog, I got a Harley that's a hog Got a woman home all day sleeping like a log Got new tires on my car, new strings on my guitar Yea, I'm down in a ditch, but I'm still lookin up at the stars Now it must be jelly, jam don't shake like that That woman's jelly homemade Man, she moves like a cat That jelly so good make your tongue slap your brains out Yea, I'm down in a ditch but I'm still lookin up at the stars Now you learn how to whisper in a helicopter Learn how to drink with a bottle of Fat Bastard Learn how to think with a brain like a sieve Learn how to love when you learn how to forgive And I'm down in a ditch but I'm still lookin up at the stars
Here I have lived where the mountains tower up close to God in the western sky Here I have lived in the steaming city where the hungry cry Here I have lived where the thunder rumbles in the streets and underground Where the poor boy seeks some solace in the poetry he's found Here I have lived Here I have lived with the criminal, the pauper and the hunted too Here I have run to the sound of lightning down a dead end highway turning blue Here I've slept with silent angels, here I've wrestled with the dark Here I've come of age as a young man, here I've returned when I lost the spark Here there are friends as old as I am Here there are enemies older still Here there are ghosts on every corner Here there are many holes to fill Here there are souls lost in the silence Of an Indian summer's sky Here there are old folks busy being born, young folks who have died Here there are stories rich for telling in the diners and the bars Here there's a cleansing of the conscience in a walk beneath the stars Here I have lived in the steaming city with the beauty of the little lives Here I have howled and cried to laughter, here I have lived Here I will die
You got a way Now don't you babe To chase away these days Of thunder and rage In the willows Swells the joyful As voices from below Scatter bones on the newly fallen snow In chains of darkness Fired in factories Lie worlds of lonely Wandering with hard necessity But how we dance away the hours Among the flowers Stars and streams And dreams of morning light
These streets are just a cop opera But Caruso, he ain't here And it's cold as a coal miner's ass It's chilly winds that bring these tears Over on the other side of town everybody's safe and warm Getting scrubbed with soap therapy All the good mouths guard the norm And this strip's a lemonstration Here in this neighborhood And I fall right in there with em Is that a slant six under the hood? I'm a stranger on this snake A biodegradable clown Strolling by the newstand With Delta of Venus Erotica unbound As the ghosts of disco mania In their downsized foreign cars And the granny squad from the donut shop Are all circling the bar And midnite's just a falling star Cause I'm still in love with you And the moon just makes me crazy Cause there's too much crime to do I'll drop a quarter in the pay phone And I hope you're home tonight Cause I'm over feeling wounded And too lonesome to pick a fight I admit that I am selfish A lot of times I'm wrong But I need a few uptempo Vibes to move me on And midnite's.....
The trains are whistling through the combat zone For old Milwaukee, blind men stumble on stones Lost in the city's love that's never known But still has grown and grown And crawling from the caverns of her mind Sweet Gina smiles like a steam dream in overdrive For the mood master, the sitting duck Taking roots to give his wings time to grow (CHORUS) But ringmaker, let me love you My dream takers, I still love you And Catherine of Arrogance gives you the key Sayin' "Meet me at midnight on the corner of McGee" Giggles in turnstyles with innocent smiles Sayin' "Momma's having an affair with a priest" So the least you can do is turn black and blue Then come down to little Esther's for some angel stew There's little black sheep baby boys and girls Leave the Lord's reward on the drawing board CHORUS So we sat up all night drinking cheap red wine Talkin about Charleston and the CIA And star witnesses for the prosecution And the confused and watchful novocaine solution Mutually serving each other doubts and digressions Heavies building armaments woven in words Till the morning came patiently, slowly as a virgin Trampled by madmen racing about CHORUS And side by side in the cement and salt Poets and peasants leave footprints at starting blocks Some frowning judgments on the sick and insane Relaxed as icebergs and praying for rain While others stare from sockets of fire Or skate in bubbles still higher and higher From dizzy cubicles with two left hands Hermits open all night making plans CHORUS Balanced in constant confusion and smoke The Queen City's high heeled liberation spoke To the steamy jungle village and kid he shuffles Rolling with the punches and going with the hunches And breaking backs in between snacks Like pigeons on my roof the darkness attacks In barrels and blues and cemented sacks Billy clubs, handcuffs, blue lights in packs CHORUS
Angel leans on blades of grass Roses in one hand in a glass We walk the halls where the cuckoo flies West into our dreams On magic moonbeams God bless out loved ones, each and every one It's a pall mall for a freeman's song On the borderline where we sing along Escape clause to paradise Hanging on with a smile Another year in exile And God bless our loved ones, each and every one (REFRAIN) Sooner or later they'll give up on us We'll walk where we want or take the bus From the streetlight be back before dawn Before the boys break your back, please be gone Paradise is free, ground yourself like a tree Please be waiting there for me And God bless our loved ones, each and every one You gave me just what I needed You arrived just in time To open my eyes when I was so blind We'll leave this poverty behind And God bless our loved ones, each and every one REFRAIN From Brightwood to Boston, San Diego to Tennessee Say a prayer if you please, say a prayer for me I'll fly to you across the sea And God bless our loved ones, each and every one And I'm dizzy with changes, tired of rearranging Little brother Alvin's face, his memory has been erased They steal his olives and cheese He'll bite the sheets but not on his knees REFRAIN
Before us the owls, so loudly they sleep In silken avalanche and circumspection They twist and they turn, full circle with the churn Of masquerading saints in introspection Queen Anne's lace, Promethean grace In the shadowed sideshows Pyramid's pace in painted face To the twilight temptress' doze And the dying giving breath to pale visions they have left Their buildings float in mist, eclipsed by your kiss Injury from without and welfare from within O subterranean prince of discontentment Still your eyes they shine through the tears and the wine To the drops of dancing rain upon the river Your Parisian subway songs and looks that look at nothing at all The golden clocks that coldly stair from shelves of miasmal cares Devoured by the wolves, one heart has gone to rest Friends betraying friends, the lies have done their best So safely within the bounds of tradition he will seek Revenge upon your body and your soul And that restless wanting that no language can explain Finds him trying on old Sunday clothes For the goddess of reason exterminating rum with social disease In the name of modern man the general welfare is deceased And the dying giving breath to pale visions they have left Their buildings float in mist, eclipsed by your kiss
The old crow was scratching and screaming Around 3 am Like a bandanaed boxer He was wailing a hymn We was pumpin aluminum We was feelin no pain I was pinchin myself in hometown rain The sun hung like a red balloon out on ole 85 Through the hailstones I hurried to the cafe feelin alive It was warm, loose and high, I was surrounded by friends I knew damn well we would meet once again There was music from the Rootboy and the Sentinel Boys too And some jazzgrass and some jazz and some plankton and some brew And a lady dressed in white, wearing a shell With a rose in her hat and some stories to tell So we walked on the street by the Belstone crowd And swam like fish when things got too proud Wild memories returned over coffee and shrimp Till time came to leave with more memories to scrimp Now the lady's in France, I'm back at work There's another one I love when shadows don't lurk And a ways down the road, couple of hours away There's an old crow calling, come on now and play


On April 24th, 2010, Bruce Piephoff and Scott Sawyer, two old friends and veterans of the jazz blues and folk worlds, played together for only the second time in 30 years. the dotmatrix project was lucky enough to capture their performance at Studio B downtown Greensboro, NC.

Don Ravon & Jerrod Smith captured the multi-track recording of their set, and Don Ravon mixed down the final album.

DMP is proud to release Bruce Piephoff & Scott Sawyer Live at the dotmatrix project.


released August 24, 2010

Recording Engineers: Dan Bayer & Jerrod Smith
Mixing Engineer: Don Ravon




Bruce Piephoff & Scott Sawyer Greensboro, North Carolina

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