Tyre Tracks & Broken Hearts

by Donna Dean

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about

Working on “Tyre Tracks & Broken Hearts”

It’s not often you get the chance to work with an artist like Donna Dean. She’s every producer’s dream, with singing and songwriting chops, a keen sense of performance, and an undeniable ability to touch people. Add in a strong work ethic, and the fact that she’s a lovely person, and your job as producer is mostly done for you.

We recorded without high tech gimmicks; Donna simply sat down in the studio with Marcel Rodeka, John Dodd, and me (a few pickers) (rhythm section) and played the songs, one by one. For you engineer wireheads, the tracks were recorded with only 7 or 8 microphones, total; drums and all. Her reference vocals are what you hear. No overdubs there; she just sang the songs and played her guitar, and we kept those takes.

Add to these tracks the brilliant work of musicians from around the world, such as Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, Redd Volkaert, Gurf Morlix, Jane Clark, Rob Bird-Robinson; combine them with a bunch of excellent New Zealand musicians, and you really can’t go wrong. Your job as producer becomes one of facilitator, instead.

Donna Dean is a true New Zealand hidden treasure, a bounty that’s about to be discovered by the rest of the world. Her songs are little pictures that live in between the cracks, in those small places we all recognize as part of ourselves. They take us down the backroads of our lives, away from the crowded highways of mainstream music.

This is Kiwiana at its best.

John Egenes
December, 2012

credits

released 10 December 2012

Donna Dean Song Credits:
AG: Acoustic Guitar
EG: Electric Guitar
Man: Mandolin
Dob: Dobro
PS: Pedal Steel
HV: Harmony Vocal

Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass

Banjo Mac:
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: AG, Man, Dob
Gunther Flutney: HV
Rob Bird-Robinson: EG
Mike Moroney: HV

Crossroads
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: AG, Man, Dob
Gurf Morlix: EG, Voc

Don’t Go Fallin’
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: Fingerpick Guit, Man, Dob
Jane Clark: Fiddle
Lynn Vare: HV
Dave Coleclough: HV

Long Time Gone
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean Voc
John Egenes: AG, Man, PS
Gunther Flutney: Banjo
Jane Clark: Violins
Amos Garrett: EG

Pretty Buttons
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: AG, Man, Weissenborn, HV
Gunther Flutney: Accordion
Jane Clark: Fiddle
Lynn Vare: HV



Shelter
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: AG, Man, PS
Gunther Flutney: HV
Jane Clark: Fiddle
Rob Bird-Robinson: EG
Dave Coleclough: HV

Sing A Lullaby
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: Voc
John Egenes: AG
Gunther Flutney: HV
Jane Clark: Fiddle
Amos Garrett: EG
Lynn Vare: HV

Long Long Time
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: Man, PS
Jane Clark: Fiddle
Albert Lee: EG

Twister
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: AG, Man, PS, HV
Gunther Flutney: Banjo
Lynn Vare: HV

When It’s Time To Leave
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: Voc
John Egenes: AG, PS
Gunther Flutney: Accordion
Anna Bowen: Fiddles
Redd Volkaert: EG
Dave Coleclough: HV
Read Hudson: HV

Tyre Tracks
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: Voc
John Egenes: PS, Man,
Gunther Flutney: Hi Strung AG
Jane Clark: Fiddle
Albert Lee: EG
Read Hudson: HV
Dave Coleclough: HV

How About Texas
Marcel Rodeka: drums
John Dodd: bass
Donna Dean: AG, Voc
John Egenes: 12 Str AG, PS, HV
Gunther Flutney: Accordion
Jane Clark: Fiddle
Redd Volkaert: EG
Lynn Vare: HV
Read Hudson: HV


Recorded by Mike Holland and Danny Buchanan
at Albany St. Studios, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ between 18th and 22nd June 2012.

Additional Recording:
Albert Lee was recorded by JT Thomas at Johnny’s Room, Reseda, California USA
Rob Bird-Robinson was recorded by Jerry Pike at Pikefish Studio, Santa Barbara, California USA
Redd Volkaert was recorded by Joe Carroll at TreeHouse Productions, Austin, Texas USA
Jane Clark was recorded by Jane Clark at Honey Badger Studio, Copenhagen, Denmark
Gurf Morlix was recorded by Gurf Morlix at Rootball Studio, Austin, Texas USA
Amos Garret was recorded by Keith Smith, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Produced by John Egenes in association with New Zealand Music Industry Centre (NZMiC)

Mixed by John Egenes at Albany St. Studios, Dunedin. Additional editing done at Red Planet Studio, Port Chalmers, NZ
Mastering by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering, Boulder, Colorado USA

All songs written by Donna Dean JAYMAC Publishing/APRA/AMCOS except -
Sing A Lullaby by John Egenes, Delta Vee Music, BMI
Crossroads by Gurf Morlix. Crankbait Music/SESAC/Administered by Bug Music
Banjo Mac by Bill Chambers & Donna Dean Mushroom Music Publishing

Photography and cover art by Alberto Ovalle @ Luna Park & Valley Lake, Melbourne. Vic. Australia.
www.albertoovalle.com

Thanks:
I’m continually grateful for the amazing opportunities in my life. I’ve been fortunate to have had support from some wonderful people during the making of this album. It was made with the generosity of good friends who believed in the songs and me.
John Egenes’ faith in me, his guidance and direction made it easy to give my best to each track. He set up the former radio broadcasting studio with just a few mics, comfy sofas, rugs and lighting, creating the perfect atmosphere for recording the rhythm tracks live, and there we introduced the songs to John Dodd and Marcel Rodeka. This was by far the most satisfying and fun recording experience I’ve had yet.

Special thanks to Gurf Morlix, Albert Lee, Redd Volkaert and Amos Garrett for bringing your unique styles and signature to the songs.

Thanks to John Egenes for giving your all to this album, educating me on how well ambience and art can complement one another, for your unwavering enthusiasm and, to my great joy, bringing Gurf Morlix to the mix.
Special thanks also to Reinhard Potschinski for introducing me to Albert Lee, Redd Volkaert and Amos Garrett. I’m honoured to have these musical heroes of mine on this album together with outstanding performances from John Egenes, John Dodd, Marcel Rodeka, Jane Clark, Rob Bird-Robinson, Mike Moroney, Read Hudson, Gunther Flutney, Lynn Vare and Anna Bowen.
Thanks to Mike Holland and Danny Buchanan for capturing it all with true sincerity.

And a big thank you to those who gave their support in other ways. Brett Osborn, Kathryn Olcott, Erika Pearson, Alberto Ovalle, Les Thomas, Lena Days, Graham Downes, Simon Burt and Glenda & Phil Rogers. Your friendship and kindness sustain me the way only true generosity can.

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about

Donna Dean Melbourne, Australia

Donna wrote the title track of 2010 Grammy nominated Bluegrass album 'Destination Life' recorded by America's Rhonda Vincent. Her last 2 albums won N.Z 'Best Of'' industry awards. She has worked alongside America's song writing and music legends Don McLean, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Albert Lee, Willie Nelson, Burt Jansch, Amos Garrett, Gurf Morlix & Redd Volkaert. ... more

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Track Name: Tyre Tracks & Broken Hearts
Verse
Born in a circus tent
mother held me to her breast
tried to keep me warm
fighting for a chance
to survive circumstance
never letting go

Chorus
Oh deep inside the bones
Oh circus is the only life I know

Verse
Eighteen seen the world
no keeps a circus girl distracted for long
tyre tracks and broken hearts
nothing but an empty park
when the tent is gone

Chorus
Oh deep inside the bones
Oh circus is the only life I know

Verse
Ticket stand at fifty five
don’t complain done my time
on swings and tightropes
have a daughter and a son
work the big top neither one
I can tell has high hopes

Chorus
Oh deep inside the bones
Oh circus is the only life I know
Track Name: Twister
he looked up from her body
put his hand to his head
saw the blood on his fingers
I knew that she was dead
she was lying on a pillow
of butter yellow lace
her golden hair all crimson
crushed across her face

why’d you do it John
take her life like that
she was all I had you knew that
why’d you do it John
take her life like that
she was all I had
I want my mother back

she was kind and simple
he was cold and sad
he’d rage like a twister
when me and my mother laughed
when he started drinking
he’d call my mother names
then when he got fired
he said she was to blame
Track Name: Banjo Mac
life was simple
when I was a kid
I played in a big back yard
I’d wake up in the morning to my mama’s smile
got to sleep to the sound of her guitar

You could almost hit a home run to my grand-daddy’s house
we’d all gather there our little family band
grand-daddy played the banjo and an old lap steel
that he made out of wood with his hands

time keeps moving
nothing stays the same
and I know there’s no going back
but I still miss the sound of my mama’s guitar
and the songs of Banjo Mac
they called him Banjo Mac

I heard all the stories
‘bout when he was a sailor
he’d bring all the boys back home
they’d drink a lot rum
pick late into the night
fill the kitchen with old sailing songs
Track Name: Crossroads
I was rollin'
I was flyin' high
cards were fallin' from out of the sky
I was way up
on top of the game
I could see like an eagle
hold my hand in the flame

I knew I had it
the moment was mine
it was all so clear
so frozen in time
I was about to lay it down
was about to let it fly
when from across the room
somebody caught my eye

now you can find a crossroads
make you a deal
take a chance
spin the wheel
strike a bargain
for what you think you need
but you’re gonna get cut
and you’re gonna bleed

I got a little nervous
I hedged my bet
I started thinkin' bout things that hadn't happened yet
I saw the instant
I lost my edge
tryin' to balance out on the ledge

he slid on in
slipped me a name
it didn't mean nothin'
but I knew just the same
he had what I wanted
he made it sound right
said I knew where to meet him
just before midnight

now I know some people
who sold their souls to the devil
and they don't sound nothin'
like Robert Johnson
Track Name: How About Texas
I still wanna go down to Texas
do you still wanna go
said lack of money wouldn't affect us
but it's really taken its toll
got this ring my sister gave me
I could get a little cash
when we make some money down in Houston
we could come buy it back

put on your boots we're goin' to Texas
you know it's hot down there
put out your thumb we're goin' to Texas
things didn't work out here
but how about Texas

we could drive around in a Chevy pick-up
listen to the radio
sing-a-long to Bob and the Texas playboys
Rose of San Antone
let's not wait another minute
there's nothin' here for us
I'll trade this little diamond
while you pack things up
Track Name: Long Time Gone
his eyesight is fading
his hearing is short
his knees give him trouble whenever he walks
the one that he lived for
has been gone a year
he hopes every morning soon he’ll follow there

It isn’t a trophy or win he remembers
but the hand that he held
one sweet, warm September
his heart was lost with the very first kiss
he never imagined the ending like this

long time gone

all that worked for
the years that he spent
a crumbling body is all there is left
except for a longing so deep and strong
to be with the one
made his life a song
Track Name: Pretty Buttons
heard Robeeta was leavin'
I heard it all before
I never thought she would ever be free
from under the spell of that boy

he took her there at 16 years old
out where rattle snakes slide
to a lonely hilltop cabin
where he buried two other brides

oh Robeeta keep runnin'
don't look back as you go
one little hesitation
you'll be laid down low

he took his gun and his shovel
drove along the back road
certain that he would find her
nobody, nowhere would know

she heard his wheels turnin'
saw the dust rising high
tightly her hands held together
Robeeta looked up towards the sky

Robeeta's heart was a big bass drum
pounding in her chest
as she struggled to break free
pretty buttons flew from her dress

he caught sight of her green eyes
raised his pistol to fire
out of nowhere a rattler
took him down in his stride
Track Name: Don't Go Fallin'
If there’s a hole you’ll find me in it
I have always been a sinner
don’t go fallin’ at my feet
If there’s a rule that can be broke
find me swingin’ on that rope
don’t go fallin’ at my feet

I am broken but not bad
a little crazy a little sad
don’t go fallin’ at my feet
coz I’ll do all kinds of things
you will never comprehend
don’t go fallin’ at my feet

find somebody else to give your lovin’ to
you’ll be disappointed in the things I do

If there’s a hole you’ll find me in it
I take advice and bend it
don’t go fallin’ at my feet
you know a fire starts
where friction makes a spark
don’t go fallin’ at my feet

If there’s a hole you’ll find me in it
I have always been a sinner
don’t go fallin’ at my feet
If there’s a rule that can be broke
find me swingin’ on that rope
don’t go fallin’

don’t go fallin’
please don’t go fallin’
don’t go fallin’ at my feet
Track Name: Sing A Lullaby
there’s a breeze in the air
and a bird on the wing
and she carries your heart in her song
the years have rolled by
like the clouds in the sky
now it looks like the rain’s comin’ on

puppy love
shines from above
and it waits for you when you get old
stays by your side
just along for the ride
when all you want is a friend’s hand to hold

so sing a lullaby
don’t let your poor heart break down and cry
no matter how you try
it’s so hard to say goodbye

So close your sad eyes
and think about good things
and don’t be too hard on your heart.
‘cause when hard times surround you
there’ll be love all around you
and we’ll never be too far apart
Track Name: Shelter
he was drinking tequila
and talkin' bout God
I was trying to forget someone I left behind
the music was playin'
we danced for a while
there on the dance floor
got lost in his eyes

I knew what he meant
when he said that he
stumbled through life
sounds a lot like me
I let go to the longing in his smile
we all need shelter on a dark night

I woke in the morning
he wasn't there
I guess there was something
someone waiting somewhere
he never told me
I never asked
we knew it was one night
it wouldn't last
Track Name: Long, Long Time
down the hall
staring at an old magazine
Henry waits for the shower nurse
to get him clean
it's been a long, long time
since he ran along the beach
or through a girls’ hair with his hand

on the wall pictures of his children and grandchildren
they say they come visit when they're not busy
it's been a long, long time
since he ran the printing press
out at the old abandoned factory

who will come by today
who will go away

Henry sees the hands on the clock moving round
little yellow pills help to drown it out
it's been a long, long time since he ran
his check account
now it's all in attorney's hands

down the hall
flippin’ through an old magazine
Mary waits, waits
Track Name: When It's Time To Leave
It'd be easy to get stoned
while my baby's waiting at home
take your hand swing a little more
get real close on the dance floor

now hard would it be looking my baby in the eye
it already feels like I got somethin' to hide
you're as sweet as Krispy Kreme
but I know when it's time to leave

don't get out much like before
I got kids, I barely sleep at all
when I get a little time out
it's easy to forget myself