Big Car Town

by Chris Buhalis

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03:43
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04:23
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04:56
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04:56
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03:23
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credits

released February 23, 2016

Musicians:

Chris Buhalis- Acoustic guitar, vocals
Jeff Plankenhorn- “The Plank” electric slide guitar, Beard squareneck resonator guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, Weissenborn, Hammond organ, background vocals
Joshua Davis- Electric guitar, Hammond organ
Dominic John Davis-Upright bass, electric bass
Michael Shimmin- drums and percussion
Jim Roll-electric guitar on Finish Line

Additional Background Vocals:
Betty Soo
Jaimee Harris


Recorded Between March 2013 and January 2016

Recorded and Mixed by Geoff Michael
Big Sky Recording - Ann Arbor MI

Background Vocals Recorded by Yayo Sanchez at Space Austin, TX

Mastered by: Jim Kissling Ferndale, MI

Produced by: Geoff Michael, Joshua Davis, Dominic John Davis, Michael Shimmin and Chris Buhalis

Additional Production: Jeff Plankenhorn


All songs written by Chris Buhalis except “Finish Line” written by Chris Buhalis and Jeff Plankenhorn

chrisbuhalis.com

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Track Name: Weird Old World
Side of the road rain keeps a coming
Everything works she just ain’t a running
Begging and pleading never seems to work over time

I’ve been mistook, I’ve been mistaken
Laid on the gas when I should have been braking
You’d think that I’d know this old road, but I can’t read the signs

And the weird old world just keep spinning around

On the TV news at the end of the day
I watch them throw loaded dice in these games that they play
They’re saying that 5 and 2 somehow add up to 9

Cheating to win, showing no mercy
I watch it roll down their chins while others go thirsty
Thinking Lord if you can hear me, I hope that you wake up in time

And the weird old world just keeps spinning around

You say that you’re scared and you’re tired of hiding
Getting drowned out by this wave we’ve been riding
You’re running for cover, but the trees just get further away

Sleep with the dogs, sing to the stars
When you get there you’ll find out it wasn’t too far
Memories linger tomorrow turns into today

And the weird old world just keeps spinning around
Track Name: Big Car Town
I come from a big car town
We shine ‘em up and drive ‘em all around
Believe what goes out comes back around
And that Jesus saves but Gordie Howe puts in the rebound

Everybody told me since I was just a kid
You’d better get it straight, boy, get it through your head
This life ain’t roses, there’ll be trouble up ahead
So keep your eyes wide, that’s the way it is

We’d walk to school sometimes we’d even run
Teacher told me how the west was won
They shot ‘em dead before they knew that it’d begun
It seemed to me, that Custer had it coming

Still, all my textbooks talked about destiny
And civilizing savages to set their souls free
Meanwhile stealing everything that they can see
That’s the way it is, ain’t ancient history

I put in a little factory time
I saw the rolling never-ending down the line
I watched the faces when the whistle whined
and I told myself, “it don’t whine for me”

But it did and it does, that much became plain
When I saw my people they’re standing in the rain
For bread or the punch clock it’s all about the same
The way it is doesn’t feel no shame

Man on the TV wants my vote
If truth were singing, bet he couldn’t hold a note
He’s got a smile like there’s a gun beneath his coat
He belches lies, and doesn’t say excuse me

I wonder how he stand there deaf to all the cries
He’s mugging for the cameras dollar signs in both his eyes
I see through him and his cheap disguise
The way it is, don’t take alibis

I come from a big car town
We shine ‘em up and drive ‘em all around
Believe what goes out comes back around
And that Jesus saves, but Gordie Howe puts in the rebound
Track Name: Wishful Thinking
I’m driving the midnight run
On past the Gunflint Trail out on Highway 61
The sun’s scowled off, the moon smiles down
Reflecting like a pinwheel tonight
Spinning ‘round and ‘round

My dear wife left, said I’ve got no style
She’s a black haired Madonna with a machine gun smile
She’s a magician of great skill
She can make a mountain out of a mole hill

The stone bridge sleeps, the lighthouse beams
Blue thoughts weaving in and out of my red-eyed dreams
Sometimes I see hear in the cloud-line seams
But I know, it’s only wishful thinking

Night after day, I drive this road
Try to steer around the deer and pick up another load
Stories change as pages fly
Red Riding Hood has just run off with a sheep in wolf’s disguise

The stone bridge sleeps, the lighthouse beams
Blue thoughts weaving in and out of my red-eyed dreams
Tonight I don’t know just exactly what it means
But I know, it’s only wishful thinking

So I’m driving the midnight run
On past the Gunflint Trail out on Highway 61
It’s 4am, I’m near the end of my line
Drop the mail at the station, I hit it right on time

The stone bridge sleeps, the lighthouse beams
Blue thoughts still weaving in and out of my red-eyed dreams
Sometimes I see her in the cloud-line seams
But I know it’s only wishful thinking
Track Name: Whiskey Six
I’ve got the doors pulled off, bored her out for speed
Four inches of ice and starless night are all I need
Three lights flash on the other side
That’s my cue to ride

I light a smoke and put her into gear
Braving death and cold ‘cause friends there ain’t no work ‘round here
I met Ray at the Lantern late one night
We decides to set things right

If you see me tonight in my Whiskey Six
You’d best steer clear I’m coming throttle wide
It’s four below with forty cases in tow
And I can’t stop ’til I reach the other side

I said, “Joe sent me” to the eyes behind the door
We walked inside, Ray laid out the score
“You get to Walkerville, you load it up and then,
You bring it back again”

Our first wet run we ended up near Leamington
He said “watch for Purples and black ice means you’re starting to swim”
The wind she howled, that ice cracked and moaned
And that engine drone

If you see me tonight in my Whiskey Six
You’d best steer clear I’m coming throttle wide
It’s four below with forty cases in tow
And I can’t stop ’til I reach the other side

Four miles down and three long years behind
The padlocked doors of Old Man Ford’s assembly line
Across frozen waves my Whiskey Six and I
Make sure your town ain’t dry

If you see me tonight in my Whiskey Six
You’d best steer clear I’m coming throttle wide
It’s four below with forty cases in tow
And I can’t stop ’til I reach the other side
Track Name: The Virgins
The whole world’s gone green
Guess I stared at the fire too long
But these things I’ve seen
Make me wish that I was blind
But I see
you can’t ever right some wrongs
But that don’t mean there ain’t no use in trying

I left Calumet
All scarred by the Copper King
I kept having of dreams
Of being buried in the mines
I took a job felling trees
with the Johnston Company
And hopped a train on that Copper River Line

Tonight I’m running
With the Virgins on my mind
They built Chicago
And all that you can see

The company gains
And all that remains
Is two old Virgins
This river and me

It took four days
Just riding through the north woods rain
They said there’s green gold
For all eternity

In four short years
All them Johnston boys and me
We cut ‘em down
Leaving nothing for the breeze

Tonight I’m running
With the Virgins on my mind
They come from Ludington and Manistee

The company gains
And all that remains
Is two old Virgins
This river and me

One summer day
It was the year Charlie Williams died
The foreman called down
Said “tomorrow, boys we ride”

I looked up at the last two trees
And just between you and me
I fell to my knees
and for my sins I cried

Tonight I ‘m running
With the Virgins on my mind
They fueled the flames
That forged the Model T

The company gains
And all that remains
Is two old Virgins
This river and me

Now the embers glow
Smoke’s on the rise
They say in Detroit
I could get five bucks a day

I guess it’s factories and cars
Or the Virgins and the stars
As those pine cones fall
I know I’m gonna stay

Tonight I’m lying
With Virgins on my mind
They come from Grand Marais and Menominee

The company gains
But all that remains
Is two old Virgins
This river and me
Track Name: Daddy Worked the High Steel
My daddy worked the high steel
With the wind and the weld and the climb
Red Wing boots with his jeans tucked in
At work or on a picket line

When that work bell rang
He answered every time
Daddy worked the high steel
His daddy worked the line

Said he was a greaser
Jamming Jerry Lee in his ’55
The war’d been won he was an only son
The town felt so alive

Met the girl he’d marry
At the grill by the dime and five
Got a union card
Had a car to drive

I learned from him
Working ain’t no sin
It was working folks who built your town
Whatever town you’re in

Lost their hearing to clanging beams
Or the shrieking shop floor whine
Daddy worked the high steel
His daddy worked the line

When times get tough
As times will do
Like a MIckey Lolich fastball riding up and in
To make the count 2 and 2

He always digs back in
That’s all there is to do
He’ll stand for me
And he’d do the same for you

So you can quote Ayn Rand
Promise that you’ll take us back in time
You can open up a factory
Turning bible quotes into campaign lines

But mister if you’re wondering
Why I don’t believe you when you’re lying
My daddy worked the high steel
His daddy worked the line
On it goes
And everybody knows
It was working folks who built this land
It didn’t sprout from a pot of gold

So forgive me, Mr. Banker
If I don’t hear you when you’re crying
My daddy worked the high steel
His daddy worked the line


I ain’t smart
But I’ll tell you what I know
You ever try and tell my old man what to do
He’s gonna tell you where to go

He’s got love in his heart
And steel in his spine
Daddy worked the high steel
His daddy worked the line
Track Name: Full Circle
Hey girl
It’s been a long while
Years have flown by, your fears have grown to the sky
Since I first felt your smile

You drive life
No stop and all go
But through your try-too-hard smiles I can see all the miles
Beginning to show

You never tried to make it alone
Ain’t it hard to learn to walk
When you’re full grown

I’ve seen your friend Annie
That boy you say you love, too
They’re running around all over town
Looking for you

But you cry like the sun
A splash and then a flame
But it all stays the same
Another heart on the run

Round and round
Full circle you’ve flown
Ain’t it hard to find that you’re all alone

I’ve heard you’re strong
In fact, I heard it from you
You might be strong for your size but can you carry your lies
And keep your head above too

Maybe time for just one more song
You’re pulling away
There’s nothing to say
Until the truth sings along

You never tried to make it alone
Ain’t it hard to learn to walk
When you’re full grown

Round and round
Full circle you’ve flown
Ain’t it hard now to turn and leave you alone
Track Name: Finish Line
They said walk I started running
When they said slow down I was already gone
Too much talk and red light running
Too many tries singing the same damn song

I’ve tried trying and playing with fire
Baby up ’til now, I’ve mostly been wasting time
It’s a white knuckle ride, it’s a windy high wire
But I’ll be there at the finish line

You said talk, I started mumbling
I raised my voice but couldn’t even carry the tune
My hear won’t balk, though it might be bumbling
My kick is strong, and I’m running straight back to you

I’ve tried trying and playing with fire
Baby up ’til now, I’ve mostly been wasting time
It’s a white knuckle ride, it’s a windy high wire
But I’ll be there at the finish line

Well this love, will grab you by the onions
Knock you down, sock you square in the dreams
But I won’t stop, no I’m gonna keep a coming
No matter who or what ever tries to get between

I’ve tried trying and playing with fire
Baby up ’til now, I’ve mostly been wasting time
It’s a white knuckle ride, it’s a windy high wire
But I’ll be there at the finish line
Track Name: Never Gets Old
I’m standing tall with my guitar and all
Feeling like a lucky man
I’m yours your mine and it blows my mind
Your capacity to understand

The way I am part heart part ham
But you always did see through me
I love your smile and crave your smile
When there’s someplace you’ve got to be

I’ll take you down where the river runs so cold
You look around worrying about the way things might unfold
I can’t promise I won’t tell you a story that I’ve already told
But loving you never gets old

There’s a guy in town says “I like your sound
You want to make it boy you’ve gotta leave
Face it you ain’t going nowhere with that crazy long hair
And a woman tugging on your sleeve”

If you can hear me, man, you can kiss my can
‘Cause living ain’t wasting time
Time don’t lie and the truth’s that I
Will be with you ’til the end of mine

I took you down where the river she runs so cold
You wore a frown, had a worried mind and a heavy load
Sometimes it seems like my American dream has all but been bought and sold
But loving you never gets old

Patagonia, Macedonia, Rangoon or even Waikiki
If I can see your face
Time or place
Don’t matter too much to me

We went down where the river she runs so cold
I looked around and the whole world turned into a pot of gold
If I’ve gotta listen to another politician, I think my head might explode
But loving you never gets old
Track Name: Long Time Running
My memories tell me stories
Partly lies mostly true
In case that matters much to you.

Tales of failure and of glory.
Songs and sighs
Rocks in shoes
and the paying of the dues

I was standing on the roadside
The world went spinning round
Chasing all the shadows
Going from town to town

Never wore a halo
Or got fitted for a gown
and the time just flew

Spent a long time running
Away from you.



I ain’t much for dreaming.
But you know I had one a time or two
May not look it
But it’s true

Things aren’t always like they’re seeming
Like fortune cookies and tattoos
Freedom and the blues

Well I went up on the mountain
Strolled across the sands
Walked a thousand miles
With a guitar in my hand

As alone I wandered
I’ve found my fellow man
would see me through

Spent a long time running
Looking for you


I never run from trouble
Ask me why I’ll tell you true
Most times walking fast will do

This world is just a bubble
Flying around the cosmic stew
Until our time here’s through

You can drop me in the ocean
hurt me from afar
tell me that my notions
are all floating in the stars

But I know that I’ve found salvation
In an old beat up guitar
And the love of two

Been a long time running
and I ain’t through