Track By Tracks: PINTO GRAHAM - Dos (2019)


1. FURTHER:

Further is the name of the multicolored bus that Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters drove across the US from La Hondo, CA to NYC for the 1964 World’s Fair. If you are not familiar with the story, you can watch the actual footage from that road trip in the movie Magic Trip. I read Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test before seeing the movie and it made the experience so enjoyable. To put faces to the names and see the actual events described in the book certainly is a Magic Trip.

Our tale of the Further bus is a little more focused on the emotions behind the trip. The notion of being free and able to reach new heights of consciousness and inclusiveness and a better state of being. I insert lines from the era such as the term “kreamo” which means, essentially, “primo” only trippy. On the Ken Kesey trip, they stop in to meet Timothy Leary and his line, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” stands out in both verses. While a nod is given to the driver of the Further bus, Neal Cassady, by the tag of each chorus, “On The Road.” Which is a book by Jack Kerouac that disguised Neal under the name Dean Moriarty. As such, we invite all listeners to take the trip with us as we all “Go Go Further, On The Road” to greener pastures and higher flying.

2. SLEEPING GIANT:

Just north of New Haven, where we live, there is a natural hill formation named, Sleeping Giant. It is so named due to its resemblance to a man lying on his back. There is a head, torso, and legs all in view when traveling North on I91 toward Wallingford, CT. I, myself, pass by the Giant to and from work 5 times a week. It is beautiful and mysterious and is a perfect subject matter for a song. 

The lore expressed in our song is fictional and came to me rather easily. Some lyrics come seemingly pre-formed and ready to be written down. Others are much laborious.

Sleeping Giant was a tale that wanted to be told. The first verse establishes the locale and the 2nd conveys the local lore, again it is entirely fictional. But the music called for a dark subject matter and it all just came together really. Sometimes you get lucky.

3. SOUTHERN SUPERSTITIONS:

I had been wanting to write a tune about Appalachian Hoodoo practices for a while. I have life experience with New Orlean’s and Haitian Vodoun but wanted to explore a more everyday down-home approach to the feel of the song. For practitioners of magical arts, it is your intention that is powerful not necessarily the fetish or ritual. Fetishes are used and rituals are performed to bolster intention. You can apply this philosophy to any action in anyone’s life. A businessman wears a suit and tie (fetish) and walks the walk/talks the talk of the business world to convey his intention for success and power and whatever else. This is a universal practice whether you believe it is magical in nature or otherwise. After all, “IT” is in the blood of EVERYONE. It’s up to you to put forth the intention.

4. DREAMCATCHER:

I have a few songs that are fictionalized accounts of real people; The James Gang, Billy The Kid, Emily D West, etc. This song, however, is my first about a fictional character: Rust Cole from the 1st season of HBO’s True Detective. The lyrics reflect Rust’s existential nihilism affectionately and faithfully. Along with some of the mystical elements of the show’s story arc strewn throughout the season. The music starts and ends with the declaration, “Time is a flat circle,” to signify how endings naturally become beginnings.

5. OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN:

Old Man of the Mountain is a fictional tale of a seeker of life and love addressing the natural form found in New Hampshire (of the same name as the song) as an oracle. The verses are the pleading questions of the seeker and the chorus is the answers he seeks. Unfortunately, natural formation was lost some years back. However, the area still has a mystery about it. It was there that Barney and Betty Hill experienced the first ever-recorded account of alien abduction back in 1961. Most of my lyrics have a blend of location aesthetics and mystery about them.

6. THE WEIGHT:

For the record, I did not know “Take a load off Annie” was also named The Weight. Haha. I love that song but it did not even cross my mind in the naming of this tune. Not many of the lyrics I write have bits of my own life in them. High Flyer from UNO does and The Weight from DOS does as well. Particularly, the line about “In the desert, I can feel the hum.”

My wife and I had just driven down the switch-backed mountain of Oatman, AZ on Old Route 66 and I stopped at what appeared to be an old general store. There was nothing else in sight. And no sound. I listened. No wind. No birds. No cars. No animals. Complete silence. I’d never experienced that in my life and wanted to absorb it as much as possible. The more I listened to complete silence, the more I felt an internal hum.

So, that experience really leads the way for the lyrics. Shedding the weight of the world and your job or social responsibilities and finding that internal hum. Increasing the hum. Trusting the hum. Loving the hum. And, ultimately, surrendering to the hum, “rising up to light the way, as the shadow self is eclipsed by the silver moon.”

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