Naked Earth and Umber, Skull and Rumble

by The Dream & Shadow Huntsman Group

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about

A collection of earthy tracks based in American roots music -- not as emulation, but as a vocabulary, raw materials to bend and hammer into Dream & Shadow shapes. Because I can't just do "folk music" and leave it at that, so you get groovy bass and syncopated percussion in a song about a backwoods occult ritual, a banjo-based murder ballad with distorted hand drumming, a Bluegrass-like breakdown but in a minor key and full of tritones to make it Blackgrass, and a traditional from 1865 given a polyphonic arrangement with drone-style open-tuned acoustic guitar.

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released February 1, 2017

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The Dream & Shadow Huntsman Group Oklahoma

I'm Marshall. I make music as the Dream & Shadow Huntsman Group. Adventurous music for fearless ears. Music with magic spells in it, that can seem strange in some ways but familiar in others.

I'm basically a solo artist; the "group" was almost always fictional characters that I drew sketches of and intended to animate. Never got around to that.
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Track Name: Witch Trails
Bison, crow, a stone's throw
Let it come down, yeah, let it blow
Loose the steam from the sheath and let it breathe
It's time that we go a-prowling.

Lantern and a shadow down,
following witch trails 'til the morning
Nutmeg trance and coffee brown
It ain't raining, boy, you're drowning
Crooked tree says let it be,
so we'll leave it there 'til morning
dropping acorns touched with sorcery
to set all the leaves a-browning.

While Joshua cries like clouds in the skies,
there's a dust storm brewing that'll choke him dry
gonna call his bluff, he'll learn soon enough,
and the young ones always gotta have it rough

Hatchet and a maple down,
following witch trails 'til the morning
Strangle-vine and blood gone brown
It ain't raining, boy, you're drowning
Don't you wail and don't you weep
or get left here 'til the morning
writing secret names in bullet grease
to keep all your bones from growling.

Shed an eye, no room to cry,
smoke and ash and dust to die
Whisper a prayer to impossible gods
You've got the full attention of the firing squad
Take the wheel, take these pills,
they say it takes a year to heal
Take a stand, fill your hand,
let the powder and the spark demand.

Throw another circle down,
following witch trails 'til the morning
Ma Deuce sings the blues then goes to town
It ain't raining, boy, you're drowning
The casings and the sigils will all
be left here 'til the morning
The burning and the blade runs deep
to set all the clouds a-scowling

Bison, crow, a stone's throw
Let it come down, yeah, let it blow
Loose the steam from the sheath and let it breathe
It's time that we go a-prowling.
Track Name: Black Hat Leather Boot Zombi Jamboree
Moss and mold and lashing crows
running through the Neverwood
Took up with a shovel head,
Gonna call a spade a spade, she said.
Gonna build a new tree, gonna sink him in the sea
Black hat leather boot zombi jamboree

A spade, a spade, gonna dig a grave
Gonna find a way, gonna light the hay
Fall and eat the living soil
Break on through that mortal coil
Well, Bones on fiddle, bone and fiddle,
jackbone cross and life's old riddle,
fall in the middle they're a-calling for me,
at the black hat leather boot zombi jamboree

Break a string and sing it loud
Jim called thunder down from the clouds
The sky is blasting shaded rhapsodies,
ebon, ebon, bold and bloom,
fire trumpet, wall this room
Gate the steam into your brain
shadow blooms in ghostly rain
dancing in the cornfield, calling up some shadow thing
at the black hat leather boot zombi jamboree

Baby won't you come on down with me
to the black hat leather boot zombi jamboree
Track Name: Neverwood Breakdown
[instrumental]
Track Name: Faded Coat of Blue
My brave lad sleeps in his faded coat of blue
In a lonely grave unknown lies the heart that beat so true
He sank faint and hungry among the famished brave
And they laid him sad and lonely within his nameless grave

He cried, Give me water, and just one little crumb
and my mother she will bless you through the many years to come
Go tell my dear sister, so gentle and so true
That I'll meet her up in the heaven in my faded coat of blue

No dear one was nigh him to close his mild, blue eyes
No gentle voice was by him to give him sweet replies
No stone marks the shallow grave of my lad so brave and true
Where beneath the sod he's sleeping in his faded coat of blue

Though many long years have passed, and though he comes no more
My heart will start beating with each footfall at my door
I gaze o'er the hillside where he waved his last adieu
But no gallant lad I see in his faded coat of blue

No more the bugle calls the weary one
Rest, noble spirit, in thy grave unknown
For I'll find you and know you among the good and true
When the robe of white is given for the faded coat of blue
Track Name: The Ballad of Joshua Brogham and Hatchet Jim
Hatchet Jim got a pistol
when his eyes were full of moon
and his tongue was tied to itself three times
and went prowling away in the gloom, the gloom,
prowling away in the gloom

Well Hatchet Jim made a violet sin
with his hand and a bullet and a bottle of gin
and he ducked out of town when the rain come down
Steaming in his Packard through the wind, the wind,
Steaming and throttling the wind

Poor little Susie Lee didn't have it coming
when she heard that shot ringing out
then it rained all of the sudden, oh Lord it rained,
and it washed out the road, and it washed out the plains
but it couldn't wash out the stains, the stains,
Lord, it couldn't wash out the stains.

Joshua Brogham took up the sword
strapped his boots and swore his word
Because he knew, just like everyone did,
and Joshua missed his girl, his girl,
Joshua loved that girl.

Through all the mud he followed Jim's crooked trail
and he was on it like a skull on a spine
Cutting through the backwoods, bootblack and machete
with a cloak and a hat and a staff of pine
Running through the brambles in the dawn, the dawn,
bleeding on the brambles in the dawn.

And Lord, it was the darkest of dawns on Joshua's face
as he broke from the woods at Hatchet's place
And Jim had it coming, bullet through his heart,
and his eyes never opened and never heard the rain start
when it rained all of the sudden, oh Lord it rained,
and it washed out the road, and it washed out the plains,
but it couldn't wash out the stains, the stains,
just couldn't wash out the stains.
Track Name: The Lame Horse Dirge
Lay my bones by the road when I die
Let the wind blow my dust up to the sky
And our setting sun will fold when all the shining moon is gold
when my hand paints it then when I die.

Let the wolves have my bones when I die
Let them bury me then a-howl up to the sky
And I'll catch a falling star with a lariat and my heart
as I float upon the wind when I die.

Get my sword and get my gun,
hand them both down to my son
for I fear the battle's won,
but not by me
And I'll not linger here,
the dark side's got an extra spear
Don't you shed a tear
over me.

Put my name upon a stone
Put it in a field alone
Where the weeds are overgrown,
fed by me
And the worms will eat my skin
And the flesh will never win
Sing songs to the wind
over me.

Free my soul from my bones when I die
Break my skin and let me fly up to the sky
And I'll blow you down a kiss, and I swear I'll never miss
I promise you this when I die.
Track Name: Crooked Tree Says Let It Be
[instrumental]