Dangling From A Rope

by Big Monti Amundson

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1.
Can’t Take It Anymore My springs are sprung, I’m on overload Got more in my head than a man can hold I’ve reached the limit, I can’t take anymore I’ve hit rock bottom, I’m down on the floor I can’t take it anymore My stomach hurts, my skin’s too tight My eyes won’t focus, I can’t sleep at night Never stop paying for my mistakes Come on baby won’t you give me a break I’m melting down, I can’t take the heat My pockets got holes, I’m out on the street My ozone layer got a gigantic hole You burnin’ me down inside my soul
2.
Dangling From A Rope The Sun’s gone black An’ you aint coming back This time forever So open up the skies No lows and no more highs This time you’re gone forever They said you’d lost your way When they found you yesterday Dangling from a rope It always was your style To go the extra mile You always were so clever Like your mother before You chose the easy door Now you’re gone forever They said you’d lost your way When they found you yesterday Dangling from a rope Dangling from a rope The sun’s gone black An’ you aint coming back You’re gone forever It came as no surprise Never were good at goodbyes Goodbye forever They said you’d lost all hope Didn’t even leave a note I know you lost your way ‘cause they found you yesterday Dangling from a rope
3.
High Noon 04:06
High Noon Sun beats down without remorse Town’s people scatter as a matter of course My only friend is my trusted horse An’ I aint even sure about that Train rolls in at 10:49 You can almost hear those poor widows cryin’ It may be true that I don’t mind dyin’ But what would be the point in that High noon, in the blink of an eye High noon, that’s when real men die High noon, baby that’s the facts Don’t tell me that you love me and then turn your back My Ten High whisky is too hot to pull The ‘leven 49 has started to roll Life aint nothin’ but a leisurely stroll Down the path of matter of fact High noon, sure is a shame High noon, didn’t even know his name High noon, baby that’s the facts Tears from the living don’t bring your lover back Tears from the living don’t bring your lover back I heard the trouble boys done made parole That’s okay cause I’m on a roll An’ it may be true that I sold my soul But that’s another story that Whisky, wine and women along the way Might make this job better than okay Two hours work for two weeks pay Don’t even have to think about that High noon, in the blink of an eye High noon, that’s when real men die High noon, baby that’s the facts Don’t tell me that you love me and then turn your back High noon, sure is a shame High noon, didn’t even know his name High noon, baby that’s the facts Tears from the living don’t bring your lover back Tears from the living don’t bring your lover back
4.
Depths Of Blue Swore off love a long time ago Sweet lord above how she hurt me so Hurt me in the morning And in the afternoon ‘cause when she gets to drinking She goes down to the depths of blue Until she comes home to you She goes down to the depths of blue Until she comes home to you She goes down to the depths of blue Swore off hope a long time ago Sweet lord above how she hurt me so Know that she don’t mean The nasty things she say Just get me through the night She won’t remember anyway Until she comes home to you She goes down to the depths of blue Until she comes home to you She goes down to the depths of blue Every night is a Saturday night It don’t matter that she treat me right Don’t matter that she holds all the cards My baby takes it too hard Swore of redemption a long time ago Lord knows I should let her go know that she don’t mean The nasty things she do Who goin’ to be there ‘til she comes comes home to you Until she comes home to you She goes down to the depths of blue Until she comes home to you She goes down to the depths of blue Until she comes home to you I’d do anything you ask me to Until she comes home to you She goes down to the depths of blue
5.
Motivation 03:21
Motivation This party’s boring Why do I linger There’s more excitement in my Little finger If I’m the punch line to the joke Of everything I do What keeps me in the ring What keeps me true One thousand times I’ve cried What is my motivation This party’s boring Why do I linger There’s more commitment in my Little finger Every single day I must endure the same refrain Here comes somebody now dying to explain Don’t need someone to tell me What is my motivation What is my motivation One Thousand times I’ve cried What is my motivation What is my motivation This party’s boring I cannot mingle Cannot open up my mouth without Being evil If I’m the punch line to the joke Of everything I say What keeps me in the ring Why not walk away One thousand times I’ve cried What is my motivation What is my motivation Don’t need someone to tell me What is my motivation What is my motivation What is my motivation What is my motivation
6.
Leave Me Lonely I’ve aimed high, I’ve aimed low Close my eyes, baby I don’t know Aint no science, aint no rules If they think I’m nice, then I think they’re cool Before you turned my world upside down I was content baby justa being a clown No more, no more Might be petite or long and tall Talk too much or not at all Middle age or still in school If they think I’m fine, everything is cool Before you turned my world upside down I was content baby just being a clown No more, no more You just had to have your way Just to drive this boy insane And you know in the end you’re just going to leave me lonely Night be rich, might be poor Might be the girl at the candy store Out on the street or finishing school If they think I’m nice everything is cool Before you turned my world upside down I was content baby just being a clown No more, no more You just had to have your way Just to drive this boy insane And you know in the end you’re just going to leave me lonely I’ve aimed high, I’ve aimed low Close my eyes, baby I don’t know Aint no good loving you You know I’d do anything you ask me to Before you turned my world upside down I was content baby just being a clown No more, no more You just had to have your way Just to drive this boy insane And you know in the end you’re just going to leave me lonely You just had to have your fun Just to see me come undone And you know in the end you’re just going to leave me lonely
7.
Parchman Farm I’m sittin’ down here on Parchman Farm I’m sittin’ down here on Parchman Farm I’m sittin’ down here on Parchman Farm Lord I aint never done nobody no harm I’m loadin’ that cotton in eleven foot sacks I’m loadin’ that cotton in eleven foot sacks I’m loadin’ that cotton is eleven foot sacks Got a twelve gauge shotgun at my back I’m sittin’ down here on number nine I’m sittin’ down here on number nine I’m sittin’ down here on number nine All I did was drink a little wine I’m going to be here for the rest of my life I’m going to be here for my natural life I’m going to be here for the rest of my life All I did was shoot my wife I’m goin’ to be here on Parchman Farm I’m goin’ to be here on Parchman Farm
8.
I Saw It Coming I saw it coming Wasn’t no surprise Closed down Old Taylor’s baby Right before my eyes Brought to mind some good friends Dyin’ slow Sittin’ ‘round the table baby With their heads hung low With their heads hung low With their heads hung low I saw it coming A blind man could Losing more than time Down in Hollywood Thinkin’ ‘bout my good friends Livin’ in the past Used to be so easy Living life so fast Living life so fast Living life so fast I saw it coming Wasn’t no big deal Time just keep on rollin’ Like a wagon wheel Brought to mind some old friends Dyin” slow Sittin’ ‘round the table With their heads hung low With their heads hung low With their heads hung low Ah, that’s the way it is down in Hollywood
9.
Straight Up Rockin’ I went downtown last Saturday night I had the weekend off an’ I was feelin’ alright I was ready to rock, I was ready to roll Thought I’d check out a different watering hole The band came recommended, a real must see Got their picture on the cover of the A & E I paid the cover charge and I made my way Past all the super cool people that never wanna pay Up onstage was some impressive gear I was getting’ all excited as the time drew near About the time I couldn’t take it no more Bandleader shout 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 Straight up rockin’ Baby don’t you know Straight up rockin’ Really stop the show Straight up rockin’ Gonna lose my mind I’m gonna rock n roll until I die ‘til I die They was a 3-piece band with an upright bass The guitar man was all over the place He had his hair greased back an’ it was comin’ undone Man, I can’t remember having this much fun A six-foot woman whispered in my ear Come on baby let’s get outta here She bought me a beer and a double shot I knew right then we was gonna be hot They turned the house lights on baby don’t you know It was half past two and it was time to go The band was gone, man they was out the door But we called for an encore and they played one more
10.
She’s Stupid Trouble She’s trouble, the kind that come along Weren’t doing nothing, just watering the lawn She’ll latch onto your leg and never let go She’ll bring you trouble baby don’t you know She’s stupid trouble, I can’t take much more Am I capable of murder, I can’t say for sure She’s stupid trouble everywhere she goes She’s got rings on her fingers and bells on her toes She wears designer trouble and she wears it well She looks good from a distance but up close you can tell She’s stupid trouble, I can’t take much more Am I capable of murder I can’t say for sure I was minding my own business everything was cool I been all around the world, man, I aint nobody’s fool I’ve seen it all before, yeah I’m smarter than I look But she walked right up to me and she read me like a book She’s trouble, the kind that comes along Weren’t doing nothing, just watering the lawn She’ll latch onto your leg and she’ll never let go She goin’ break up your happy home She’s stupid trouble I can’t take much more Am I capable of murder, I don’t know for sure She’s stupid trouble She’s stupid trouble

about

For A Preview of the Record -> ow.ly/rucG6

Over the years I’ve written a lot of songs. Some of those songs make their way onto albums while others, for any number of reasons, end up in a notebook, filed away for future reference. Then one day you’re playing guitar, working on something new and a song just seems to fall out of the sky. Like you had nothing to do with it at all. You realize that this song is special. It requires a place to exist. For me that place is on an album. That song is “Dangling From A Rope” and it signaled the beginning of an intensely creative period.

So I started digging around in the tape vaults and file folders. Once I’ve decided to make an album, this is where I always start. As I go through my immense cassette collection I am amazed at the number of ideas and half written songs. Riff’s and progressions left for future interpretation. The central ideas are there, so like a novelist, it becomes a process of revision. It’s simple enough: you write, compose and revise. Repeat as necessary. For weeks I don’t answer emails or return calls. Days go by where I don’t see the sun. It can be an exhausting but ultimately rewarding time.

As the songs start taking shape I record them on my old cassette 4-trac. I know, really? I have Cubase and GarageBand on my computer but I am at home on my trusty 4-trac. I manipulate the controls as easily as I slam through the gears of my old ’67 Chevelle! No wasted motion! Zero to sixty in seconds! I rarely need to bounce tracks. Drum machine on 1, bass on 2, guitar on 3 and vocals on 4. I demo up fifteen or sixteen songs and I’m ready for the studio.

I record an album in stages. The basic tracks I recorded at Jeff Tunnell's Furrer Farm Studios in Creswell, Oregon with musician and business partner, Kelly Asay at the board. For drums, I called on old friend and band mate, Cory Burden, and on bass, one of my favorite studio musicians, Johnny Wilmont. At the end of three days I leave the studio with rough mixes. I purposely don’t listen to these tracks for a week or so. When I finally give them a listen, my ears are fresh and I immediately know what needs to be done. Some parts could be better executed. Some vocals could be better phrased. Inevitably, some songs just don’t work. It might be that they don’t fit with the rest of the album or that it just isn’t a very good performance. Fifteen songs shrink to twelve on the first cut. Three more days in the studio for fixes and overdubs and then it’s home again with new rough mixes.

Again, I don’t listen to the songs for a week and when I do, twelve songs shrink to ten. Now it’s time to mix. For this part of the project I booked Gung Ho Studios in Eugene, Oregon. I’ve worked with engineer Billy Barnett on several albums, including “Lightning Strikes” by The Sultans of Slide and “Straight Out!” by the Blubinos. While mixing the song “Dangling From A Rope,” the albums strongest track, it’s apparent that the rhythm track could be better. I call up an old band mate, John Mazzocco to redo the bass part and he suggests drummer Reinhardt Melz. Sometimes you need a fresh take on a song when it isn’t working and John suggested a slightly different approach. John And Reinhardt listen to the track a couple of times and nail it on the first take. Everyone in the control room is blown away! Now we’re ready to mix!

Mixing is hard work and you have to know when to quit for the day. At some point everything starts to sound the same and anything you do after that will almost certainly be a mistake. Whereas I can record for ten to twelve hours straight, I can only mix for seven or eight hours before I’m toast. After a week of mixing, I have heard these ten songs so many times that I couldn’t tell you if it was my best work or if it was crap. I’m exhausted! I do not want to hear these songs again for as long as I live - or at least a couple of weeks! When I finally do give the album a listen I am pleased with the results. Even so, there’s always a song or two that needs to be remixed. In fact, there are three songs that need tweaking. So I schedule another couple of days in the studio and after said tweaking, I’m pretty sure the album is finished. Two days later I listen again to the album in its entirety. I like it a lot!

Mastering is the last step in the recording process. A lot of people skip this step because it’s expensive. Some songs need more bass. Some songs seem a little muddy. Mastering is the process where everything is brought into balance. Mastering is why, when you listen to an album, you don’t have to change the EQ from song to song. You might have a mastering app on your computer and be tempted to do it yourself. But you’d be making a mistake. Spend the money. At the very least you need a new set of ears. My guy for mastering is Ryan Foster from Portland, Oregon. He’s got incredible ears and has given a sonic quality to every album he’s mastered.

With finished album in hand I set about to listen to it on every stereo that I can find. I have three at home: the living room stereo, the home studio stereo and the blaster. I listen to it on a friend’s car stereo and the house stereo at a club I play. I’m satisfied that the album sounds great on everything I play it on. I pronounce the album finished!

The further away I get from the process of recording the more I like the albums I’ve made. In the process of recording I’ve heard this album, “Dangling From A Rope” so many times it’s hard to have any kind of perspective. That’s where you come in. These songs are new to you. You have fresh ears. I hope you enjoy listening to this album as much as we enjoyed making it. Here it is, warts and all. Rock n roll!

- Big Monti

credits

released February 1, 2014

Recorded at Furrer Farm Studios in Creswell, OR by Kelly Asay and Gung Ho Studios in Eugene, OR by Billy Barnett
Mixed at Gung Ho Studios by Billy Barnett
Mastered at Ryan Foster Mastering in Portland, OR

Produced by Monti Amundson, Kelly Asay, Billy Barnett and Christian Selleron
Executive Producers, Heather Killough and Christian Selleron

Photos and promotional videos by Jim Dorothy www.imagesjdphotography.com
Promotional videos produced and edited by Kelly Asay
Video shot by Jim Dorothy on location at The Lehrer Pub in Portland, OR

Musicians:

Monti Amundson, guitars and vocals
Cory Burden, drums
Johnny Wilmont, bass
Reinhardt Meltz, drums on “Dangling From A Rope”
John Mazzocco, bass on “Dangling From A Rope”
Amy Danziger, cello on “Dangling From A Rope”
Henry Cooper and Franck Goldwasser, guitars on “Stupid Trouble”
Percussion, Billy Barnett
Hand claps by Kelly Asay, Billy Barnett and Christian Selleron

Special thanks to Yvonne Richardson for her support above and beyond the call of duty, Heather Killough, Christian Selleron, Jeff Tunnell from Furrer Farm Studios, Brad Lehrer and Tom Thorsen from The Lehrer Pub, and the Asay clan: Cindy, Sam and Henry.

For appearance, interview or media information contact Silverback Artists silverartman@gmail.com

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