Straight Out!

by Big Monti Amundson

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about

STRAIGHT OUT! is part of a 4-CD set called "The Songwriter" but is available separately as well.

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I moved to Portland, Oregon in 1987 and got a job working security At The Palace, a 25-room rehearsal warehouse. For my services I was given the use of one of the upper-floor practice spaces where I could live as well as rehearse. Chris Stucky, also a resident security guard and aspiring guitarist and I pooled our money after a weekend of busking and bought a 50 lbs bag of brown rice. Thereafter, whenever one of us made a little money we would buy some carrots and broccoli and eat like kings. Rock-star-thin? No problem.

The Blubinos (Cory Burden and Debbie Smith) rehearsed 3 or 4 times a week. It was a very productive time for me. I would write a song in the morning (my favorite time for writing) and rehearse it with the band in the evening. If the song worked, it was in the set at the next gig.

When The Blubinos started making a little money performing, we spent it all on recording. In those days recording was very expensive. Not like today. Just for starters, a roll of 2" tape was $150 and had only 15 minutes of recording time. The studio was, for that time, quite reasonably priced at $50 an hour. Before the Blubinos I had sent many a demo-tape to the record companies with no luck at all. If we hadn't of made that first album ourselves, it would never have been made. Hell, I might have gone back to being an electrician.

"Straight Out!" (by The Blubinos) was originally released on Cassette and sold extremely well in the Northwest. In 1991 The Blubinos were invited to perform in Belgium at The Handzame Blues Festival. We took several boxes of cassettes with us for promotion and to sell. Much to our chagrin, we could barely give them away and sold, I think, 12 cassettes. Europe was headlong into the CD thing by then and no one even owned a cassette player.

-Big Monti

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Monti Amundson - "Straight Out!"

Drop it in and turn it up. First thing you'll notice is that it's way ahead of you - Instantly in the slot, already cranked to where it feels good.

This is the debut release from Monti Amundson and the Blubinos, appropriately titled, "Straight Out!" because it comes straight out of the hearts, souls, and hands of these three musicians, and straight at you like the heat that roars off a roadhouse stage. Drums that punch like a heavyweight. Bass as solid as freeway blacktop. Guitar that could barbecue steaks right through your speakers. As warm and honest as dancing up a sweat on a Saturday night.

The twelve tunes here came from the searing pen of Monti Amundson, a veteran of the same Eugene to Portland I-5 axis that spun off such groups as the Robert Cray Band, Johnny and the Distractions and the Jackals. But what's expressed here might come from any red-blooded, clear-eyed guy ( provided he can write well ).

Often that's about fielding whatever gets pitched by some red-blooded gal, whether that's rejection ( "Take A Walk" ), accusation ( "I'm Wrong" ), possessiveness ( "Purple Heart" ), suspiciousness ( "Female Dictionary" ), chronic tardiness ( "Shake A Leg Meg" ), and even outright meanness and mayhem ( "Cruel Is Your Name" ). Monti puts it all across with razor-sharp vocal phrasing and humorous, shrugging asides.

But he deals with other kinds of joys and pains, too, like in "Sin No More Blues," a steely confrontation with the ghost of bad habits: "Spuds Mckenzie don't you twist my arm / every time I start I can't stop". All through, Monti sounds like a rough-and-ready ( and not entirely unromantic ) rock'n'roll Everyman.

Except that not everyman can play like this. "I'm a blues guitar player in a band that plays rock'n'roll," is how Amundson explains it, but he doesn't so much as straddle the line between the genres as bend it, ignore it, or race back and forth across it until both sides go up in flames. And the rhythm team of bassist Debbie Smith and drummer Cory Burden struts, shuffles and slams with the best of them.

Together, Monti and the band take the smoky soul of barn-burning Texas blues and turn it into a revved-up restatement of the essential message of rock'n'roll: turn it up and tear it up!

-Marty Hughley

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credits

released April 1, 1990

Produced by Monti Amundson and Bill Barnett
Photos by David Wilds
Graphic Layout & Design by Cory Burden

Recorded and mixed by Bill Barnett at Gung Ho Studios in Eugene, Oregon.

Monti Amundson - Guitar/Vocals
Debbie Smith - Bass/Vocals
Cory Burden - Drums/Vocals

All songs written by Monti Amundson Copyright 1990,2009

www.montiamundson.com

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all rights reserved
Track Name: Cruel Is Your Name
Cruel is Your Name

Bad don't mean nothing girl
Bad don't mean nothing
Standing next to you
Because cruel is your name

I must have been a bad man
In one of my past lives
Had my neighbor’s daughter
And ran off with his wife
I was a gangster or a lawyer
Any one of these will do
How else can I explain
How I ended up with you

Bad don’t mean nothin’
Standing next to you
‘cause cruel is your name
And hurtin’ me is what you do

I could have come back a politician
Or a crooked judge
A cop on the take
An ex-con with a grudge
A junkie or a murderer
Any one of these are fine
Instead I curse the day baby
That I made you mine

I hope that when I die
My payment plan is through
‘cause I can’t imagine playin’
Another lifetime with you
I don’t care if the devil himself
Take me for his own
Better that than the greatest heartache
The world has ever known
Track Name: 99 Below
99 Below

Standing at the payphone
My whole life is on hold
My baby’s voice can comfort me
When this old world gets cold

It’s 99 below
I just got to get through
I got to hear my baby’s voice
If it’s the last thing I do

The sky is falling
I can barely see
Somewhere the sun does shine
But it don’t shine on me

The phone just keeps on ringing
It’s driving me insane
I got to talk to my baby
And hear her call my name

Standing at the payphone
She got my love on hold
I don’t blame my baby
But man it sure is cold
Track Name: Shake A Leg Meg
Shake A Leg Meg

I got a girl she’s never on time
She’s putting on her makeup talking on the line
And every Friday night at nine
You can hear me say

Shake a leg Meg
Baby please don’t make me beg
I got a bad, bad feeling
My baby aint never going to change

I got a girl she’s always late
Her mohawk just won’t stand up straight
It’s not uncommon baby while I wait
You can hear me say

I got a girl she’s oh so sweet
Prettiest thing that you ever did meet
And all the way down the street
You can hear me say
Track Name: Lesson Or Two
Lesson Or Two

Everyday I got the blues
Put on some coffee and tie my shoes
Read the paper and make my bed
Then I go straight out of my head

I’m a rock n roller baby don’t you know
People come to see me I really stop the show
When it comes to loving you
Baby maybe I could use a lesson or two

Out the door and down the street
Moving to the big rock beat
There’s no work that I want to do
Baby maybe I got a bad attitude

I’m a rock n roller baby can’t you see
Everybody wanna party with me
When it comes to loving you
Baby maybe I could use a lesson or two

Come on baby I’m trying to explain
Rock n roll just drive me insane
There’s no work that I wanna do
Baby maybe I got a bad attitude

I love you baby and that aint no lie
I never mean to make you cry
But I won’t lay down my guitar
‘till my name;s in lights baby I’m a star

I’m a rock n roller baby don’t you know
People come to see me I really stop the show
When it comes to loving you
Baby maybe I could use a lesson or two
Track Name: I'm Wrong
I’m Wrong

Every night when I come home
I look at my baby see if anything’s wrong
Most of the time she’s sweet as she can be
But my oh my when she looks daggers at me

That’s when I’m wrong
Whatever I did I’m wrong
Won’t be no song and dance
‘cause I won’t take the chance
That’s when I’m wrong

Every day I’m at work by eight
She throws out my dinner if I’m two minutes late
Who knows why she aint talking again
When she finally speaks up all she can say is men!

There’s no in between she’s either hot or cold
That’s the way womens is or so I been told
Yesterday she loved me but today no more
She’s packed my bags and they’re out by the door

I want so bad to love my baby tonight
If she’d give me the chance I would treat her right
But if I get home and she seems deranged
In my mind I know nothing has changed
Track Name: Sin No More Blues
Sin No More Blues

When it’s miller time
This bud’s for you
‘cause when I go for the gold
It split’s my mind in two
Spuds McKenzie don’t you twist my arm
Every time I start I can’t stop
So come on babe why don’t you spread the news
I already paid my dues

Speaking of sin
What’s a man to do
If he can’t have his neighbors wife
Without a rubber suit
If I could ride a spaceship take it back in time
I’d rob a bank and put down every last dime
Invest it all in prophylactic stock
‘cause when it comes to bonin’ baby I can’t stop

I gotta bad case of the sin no more blues
I gotta bad case of the sin no more blues

I got a mirror in my house
And in my automobile
I got a razor-blade view
It ain't no big deal
Tell me it’s a good time and you’re pulling my leg
I’ve had my share of powdered steak and eggs
So come on babe why don’t you spread the news
I already paid my dues

I gotta bad case of the sin no more blues
I gotta bad case of the sin no more blues

Some of my friends
They don’t come around
They barely nod their heads baby
When I see ‘em ‘round town
Wanna be my friend man don’t you twist my arm
Every time I start I can’t stop
So come on babe why don’t you spread the news
I already paid my dues

I gotta bad case of the sin no more blues
I gotta bad case of the sin no more blues
Track Name: Female Dictionary
Female Dictionary

If I tell you that I love you
You call that a lie
And out comes the bible
Make me testify
All I said was I love you girl
Well you’re scary
Keeps me wary
Of the female dictionary

If I say you’re looking good
You call that an evil mind
If I’m nice to you honey
You call that something to hide
Well I’ll just be damned girl
‘cause you’re scary
Keeps me wary
Of the female dictionary

If I leave you baby
You call that running away
But if you call this love
Than I’m crazy to stay
Well I may be crazy
‘cause you’re scary
Keeps me wary
Of the female dictionary
Track Name: Purple Heart
Purple Heart

I’m not on contestants row
I make the guest list don’t you know
I’m the local boy
You want my head up on your wall
Just a rock n roll wind up doll
Better watch it girl

What can I do to make you see
All you get when you get me
Is a purple heart

Everybody gotta have a dream
Bleak sometimes as it may seem
Mine gets me out of bed
I may dream in black and white
Black and blue baby that’s all right
It’s just a standing count

What can I do to make you see
All you get when you get me
Is a purple heart
Spend all your time acting tough
‘cause you aint never going to get enough
With a purple heart

I’m not like those other guys
So put away those starry eyes
And get out of here
What part of no don’t you understand
You got the cards right in your hand
And you aint got a pair
Track Name: In Over My Head
In Over My Head

Hey now baby don’t you know
I could never let you go
I hope you feel the same way too
Without your love what would I do
Baby say that you’ll be mine
Say you’re not the hurtin’ kind

I’m in love
In over my head
I’m in love
Over my head
Without your love
Well I'm better off dead
I’m in over my head

Hey now baby can’t you see
We could live so happily
Rock n rollin’ all night long
Together we cannot go wrong
Please say that you’ll be mine
You’ll be mine ‘till the end of time

Baby you know you got the edge
And you’re going to kill me with it
Before I die I got a last request
You got to put my love right to the test
Baby say that you’ll be mine
Say you’re not the hurtin’ kind
Track Name: Big Block Rock
Big Block Rock

I got a Chevy El Camino with oversize tires
I got a 4-speed tranny secured by bailing wire
It’s got a rough spot here and a ding or two
Well come on pretty baby let’s see what she can do

Got a big block motor baby
Got a big block motor girl
Come on baby do you want to go

My big block Chevy got bucket seats
I got a 120 watts dig that big rock beat
It’s got a blueprint baby ‘cause it aint stock
Man come on let’s take a spin around the block

Got a big block motor baby
Got a big block motor girl
Come on baby don’t you want to go

Big block I’m ready to rock
Big block I’m ready to rock
Big block I’m ready to rock
Big block I’m ready to rock

Big block

Hey! Big block big block rock

I got the back jacked up ‘cause it looks so cool
I’m gonna slam the gears past my old high school
There’ a ’69 GTO and he’s ready to duel
I said hang on to that pink slip man don’t you be no fool
Track Name: Broke Down Car
Broke Down Car

Out on the highway in a broke down car
Feel like a bug in someones killing jar
Aint nothin’ for miles it’s too far to walk
Stuck between a hard place and a rock

Bye-bye
I told my baby Bye-bye
Bye-bye pretty baby
It’s my time to die

Out on the highway a broke down man
Feel like an egg in a frying pan
Took the road for granted was my only crime
Now old nine lives aint got no time

Bye-bye
I told my baby bye-bye
Bye-bye pretty baby
It’s my time to die

Out on the highway a broke down soul
Fool throwin’ dice lost it all in a roll
I can think of places I would rather be
I hope my baby comes looking for me

Drive by
I hope my baby drives by
Drive by pretty baby
It’s my time to die

Drive by
Baby please drive by
Drive by
Drive by pretty baby
It’s my time to die
Track Name: Take A Walk
Take A Walk

Mary Eileen don’t be mean
Give me a ride in your machine
Come on baby don’t say no
This is what she said and then she let me go

Take a walk
Baby take a walk
She said I thought you were cool why did you have to talk
Baby take a walk

Mary Eileen don’t be coy
Can’t you see I want to be your boy
Come on babe don’t be shy
This is what she said and then she left me high and dry

Mary Eileen don’t be a fool
I’d walk the plank to swim in your pool
Come on baby don’t say no
This is what she said and then she let me go