the museum of americana

a literary review

Goin’ Back Home—Music by Poor Player

What was funny about “Goin’ Back Home” was that we had played it live many times before we took it to the studio, and our lead guitarist Brian had this cool solo that to me really evoked the peaks and valleys of the song–the verdant, craggy Cascades of the Pacific Northwest where I’d escaped for some impressionable years once upon a time. There was also some distinct notion I had about a drum part that we’d rehearsed, but Stu, our drummer, had been up late grading papers or on another gig the night before the recording session, and when I mentioned it, he looked at me with complete innocence. “What?” Luckily our bass player Mark worked out a way to signal it to him.

So, I was preoccupied with the drama of the drums as we got into the first take, so when we hit the outro guitar solo I was taken completely by surprise because Brian had absolutely reworked the whole solo, taken it an entirely different direction. It was a great first take, but I was completely shocked, just stood there somewhat mind-blown, said something like, “You changed your guitar part?” half statement, half question, half accusation. He just nodded. And that was the take we used, and the solo became perhaps my favorite part of the album, because there’s this suddenness, this element of discovery, akin to that feeling that sometimes catches one out in nature. I’m prone to concocting narrative scenarios even beyond the lyrics, and when the solo hits, I always imagine a montage of animals– bounding deer, paddling beaver, a wobbly butterfly, a peeping marmot, a wheeling eagle, a cackling raven, a zigzagging jackrabbit…

It was this song perhaps that made our drummer Stu suggest that the album should just be called, “Poor Player Gets Back to Nature.”  In an album full of rather rambling verbose songs, my favorite part is when I keep my mouth shut.

 

-Matthew Fredericks

Goin’ Back Home

The crickets and the creatures my only company
A lone high hawk circling keeps his eye on me
In a silver mountain lake I swim till high noon
The creaking of the pines crying a mournful tune
The only road I know is goin back home
The only road I know is goin back home

On a treacherous trail along a spiny rocky ridge
My boot heels a-slipping across wet waterfall bridge
Atop a crazy crag I gaze cross all creation
The wind in my ear whispers an ancient radio station
The only road I know is goin back home
The only road I know is goin back home

 

 

 

 

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Motor City folk rock Americana, Poor Player is a six piece band that hits the stage with a hopped up grab bag of American riddles and laments. Saluting the guy flying a sign beside the highway exit, zigzagging through the post-industrial prairie, Poor Player is all about finding the roots beneath the rubble, the green beneath the ruin, the country blues in the pothole concrete, the folk in the f***ed up, and the beauty in the city gone to seed. In January 2015, they self-released their debut full length album, High Holy Hills. In April 2019 they released their second album, Where the Wasteland Ends.