Swampjuice: Yankee With a Southern Peasant Soul

by Annie Lanzillotto & Washbucket Blues

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about

Annie Lanzillotto & Washbucket Blues

credits

released June 10, 2016

Annie Lanzillotto and Washbucket Blues

“Swampjuice: Yankee with a southern peasant soul”

June 11, 2016

songwriting credits:
Music & Lyrics © 2016 Annie Lanzillotto

recording credits:
Vocals by Annie Lanzillott
Music, Music Direction, Guitars, Bass, Recorded & Engineered by Al Hemberger
Recorded at The Loft Recording Studios, Bronxville, New York 10708
Drums by JT Lewis
Tenor Sax, Flute, by Rose Imperato
Tenor Sax, Harp, by Bobby LaSardo a.k.a Dr. 88
Arrangements and Backup Vocals by Washbucket Blues
Backup Hand-Clapping: Rosette Capotorto, Al Hemberger, Annie Lanzillotto, on Al's count!
Album Cover Art by Annie Lanzillotto

Producer: Street Cry Inc.

Executive Producers: Ron Raider, Ellyne Skove, Audrey Kindred

SWAMPJUICE: Yankee with a southern peasant soul
1. “Get Me Goin”
2. “Seatbelt”
3. “Two Pound Jude”
4. “My Soul’s Gonna Go”
5. “Mother Cabrini Throwdown”
6. “North Too Long”
7. “Red Lights & Schoolbuses”
8. “Out Lookin In”
9. “Losin Ground”
10. “Swampjuice”

BIOS:

AL HEMBERGER (music, music direction, guitars, bass, back-up vocals, recording & engineering) has recorded and engineered hundreds of artists over the past forty years worldwide. Including: Kelly Clarkson, Rhianna, Alsou, Britney Spears, Revelation, Donny Osmond. You can hear Al gig with his band The Renovators.

ROSE IMPERATO (tenor sax, flute) Music is a thread through everything, been a radio broadcaster and labor activist, hoping to throw down with spirit of Mother Cabrini at the record release. Rose played tenor sax on Annie Lanzillotto Band’s “Blue Pill” and Annie’s song “Mr. Butterfly" recorded live at Smalls Jazz. She toured and recorded with the boogaloo band Spanglish Fly.

ANNIE LANZILLOTTO (songwriting, vocals, band leader) is the author of the books: “L is for Lion: an italian bronx butch freedom memoir” SUNY Press, (LAMBDA Lit Award Finalist) and “Schistsong” Bordighera Press. Lanzillotto narrated the audiobook “L is for Lion” available on Audible.com. Songwriter/vocalist of the albums: “Blue Pill” by Annie Lanzillotto Band, a collaboration with guitarist Adeel Salman, produced by Street Cry Inc, her label; and the live album “Carry My Coffee” featuring cello improvisations by Lori Goldston, and a solo poetry album “Eleven Recitations” with bonus track of her song “Mr. Butterfly” live at Smalls Jazz, featuring Rose Imperato (sax) Sylvie Diegez (piano) and Lori Goldston (cello). Lanzillotto is a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Multi-Disciplinary Performance, and also Non-Fiction Writing. www.annielanzillotto.com

BOBBY LASARDO, A.K.A. DR. 88 (sax, harp) hails from Brooklyn, comes from blues, R&B, and gospel. He studied with Pete Yellen on sax Pete Yellen Quartet and Robert Bonfiglio on harmonica. Bobby’s played for over thirty years in over a dozen bands in the tri-state area, fronting some bands on vocals. He’s recorded two albums as part of the blues duo Barebones, with reviews in Blues Access, Blues Revue, and Living Blues. Bobby’s recorded with many artists over the years including Italian musicians Apple Pirates. He’s composed music for Laura Powel Dance Company over the last twenty years.

JT LEWIS (drums) has performed/recorded with over 200 artists from all genres, from the jazz greats such as Stanley Turrentine, Roy Ayers, Herbie Hancock, Lena Horne, and Dave Sanborn, to the pop icons such as Tina Turner, Sting, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithful, Elvis Costello, Whitney Houston, Debbie Harry, Garland Jeffries, and Vanessa Williams; also the jazz revolutionaries such as Don Pullen, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Mark Ribot, Sonny Sharrock, Pete Cosey, Bill Laswell, Kip Hanrahan, and many more... He is also one of the original members of Vernon Reid’s Living Color, and is currently co-leader of the avant metal jazz band “Harriet Tubman” featuring Melvin Gibbs (bass) and Brandon Ross (guitars.)


ANNIE'S SONGWRITER’S NOTES:

I’ve lived each of these songs. When a song comes to me, I remember the certain shaft of light of that moment. Sometimes the moon, other times through a car window, -- always specific. These are songs birthed in light.

This album is the work of several hands. It came about serendipitously and through the deep listening of one man – Al Hemberger, who looked me in the eye and told me, “You should record the songs next.” We were at the release party for my “L is for Lion” audiobook, at City Lore, Saturday February 13, 2016, the coldest night of the year, in the ‘polar vortex.’ There was a travel advisory on, and I told friends to stay home. A lot showed up anyway. Some brought instruments; to jam. I premiered two songs that night. Jamming and improvising that night was: Al Hemberger –guitar, Phyliss Capello –uke, Rose Imperato –sax. I slammed two bags of chick peas together to keep a beat, and handed them off to Sophia Capotorto, once the mic stand got in my way. I sang “Two Pound Jude” and “My Soul’s Gonna Go.” The musicians jumped in -- I broke off into monologues and riffs and talking blues and they kept the rhythm goin' and flowin'. Al found great guitar riffs that night... where are they now? In the ether? Did any make it onto the album? I don’t know. What happened that night was its own thing. Bobby LaSardo was in the house. This is how albums happen. Bobby told me he wanted to join in and play sax duets with Rose. Detto Fatto! -- said and done!

I picked a bunch of my blues songs that went together – an album I’d been wanting to do, about being born in the north, (New York), but being from southern heritage (Bari, Italia) – and expressing the different attitudes of north v. south and south v. north. It’s weird when you’re born a Yankee but you’re a southern peasant at heart -- when you’re born in New York and you visit New Orleans. “I know I’m a Yankee” is one of the lyric lines you’ll hear. In Italy the north colonized the south and caused much destruction. There’s still a lot of prejudice against southern agricultural workers. I’ve written about this in “L is for Lion” and some of it comes through here. I don't know anyplace on earth where the south colonized the north. The album subtitle "Yankee with a Southern Peasant Soul" brings up the question - that Audrey asked me, "What' does Yankee mean? Like Yankee Doodle Dandie? That's the most I've ever heard you claim 'whiteness' or 'waspness' " -- and it's a great and deep and vast question. I'm a Yank only when I go down south. Then I'm a Yank, a white Yank -- (the word goes back to American Revolution, when Americans were Yanks) and is derogatory in all senses of use. But in history, I'm not a Yank, I come from southern heel of the boot Italian peasant stock; peasants for centuries; day laborers.

In February 2016, I sent Al two of my iPhone voice recordings. That’s how I capture songs. In the moment a song comes to me, the lyric and melodic line always come whole; locked. It might be a chorus or a verse line, the music is locked in to the lyric, the lyrical phrase is whole. When a song comes to me, I feel like a bird has landed on a branch. It’s a visitation; always a divine surprise.

Al surprised me by stopping by my Mom's apartment a couple of days after I sent him the files, saying he worked on the two songs! He had guitar rhythms in mind and chord progressions. I was stunned. It was a dream come real. I couldn't believe it; my songs had gotten inside him. Al was stoked. His guitar rhythms worked with the fact that I sang out of "time" -- or in some other "time" -- and he went with it. He wanted to play on the album. This was a gift from the heavens. I actually never dreamed I'd get to work with Al Hemberger musically. I call him Jupiter because he sits at the control boards, engineers, listens with the golden ear, il orrecchio d'oro, which is his heart. Al is laid back, open and beautiful. Working with Al has shifted my template that had been set since I was a child. He's a patient man. At The Loft, I found a home, a world full of wires, instruments, and listening. We went with his chords and rhythms and riffs, and the amazing thing to me was – that he worked within my out of timeness. He didn’t push me into a 4/4 rhythm. I was so happy. What a man!

I reached out to friend who backs my art work - Ron Raider, to produce the album and boom, he put a check in the mail with a note that read "Sounds like a great project." Now I had my start; in the spanse of a couple of days --Al on guitar rhythms, Ron on backing.

I reached out to drummer par excellence JT Lewis, and he and Tiziana Rinaldi came up for a magic day to visit my Mom and then to The Loft for a five hours boom, bang, done recording session: vocals, drums and guitar --me, JT, and Al. No rehearsal, no nothin. Al and JT spoke musician sign language with fingers in the air and yelling “1 to the 4 to the 5” -- I ranted about the meaning behind the songs, yelled the melody, handed the guys some lyric sheets, and we recorded. One take. Maybe two. That’s it. The rough cut was in the can. I loved what we netted. A boatload of blues.

Al and I stayed at the studio and he created bass lines for each track. I drove around and listened to that rough cut for a couple of weeks. I could have released it like that. It made me happy. My mother said I shouted too much on the vocals. We had a great talk about how she grew up with Sinatra and me with Joan Jett. What a great talk!

I heard more. I heard the melodies in my head, that could be played by sax. I’m very purist about my melodies. Very Henry Mancini or Irving Berlin -- those guys and their melodies are my heroes. I pick my melodies out on the keyboard and score them as best as I can on sheet music. Rose Imperato is wonderful at listening to what I hum and transposing it onto sax or flute. She is the best at that. Great ear. And patience. The melodies exist clear as a bell in my mind.

I called in Rose Imperato and Bobby LaSardo. We got together and their inspirations led the charge. Bobby heard harmonies, and taught me about the “flat fifth” note he said I sang on “North Too Long” and how you could be arrested for that note back in the day. Rose loved “Mother Cabrini Throwdown” and was inspired to create a flute intro and leitmotif that became Mother Cabrini’s soul in the song. That flute solo is now my favorite thing to listen to, you can even hear Rose's breath between the clear pure melody she invokes. Bobby’s harp took on Mother Cabrini’s footsteps, you can hear her leather soles touch cobblestones. And in “Losin Ground” Bobby’s harp becomes the souls of the ghosts. His harp work brought the blues right to the front door! Bobby writes that my song "Losin Ground" is - "Jack Kerouac meets Patti Smith -- with emotional depth."

I ran out of money and reached out to backer Ellyne Skove, who kept us in the studio, and supported the horn section. Audrey Kindred put my Kickstarter Campaign over the top. Now we could mix and master and release! It’s a combination of all these energies and inspiration that made this album, become. And of course, Al puts in more hours at The Loft than I could ever pay him for.

Thanks to all! And to the “Soul Pirates” whose energies left behind in The Loft Recording Studio, surely effect the arrangements of all the songs that bounce off those cushioned walls, as the trains pull in and out of Bronxville Station, the sun sets on Al’s back through the control room windows, and the church bells ring from St. Joseph’s Church bell tower! Blessed all around.

GRAZIEMILLE TO PRODUCERS:
Ron Raider, Audrey Kindred, and Ellyne Skove who wrote Annie this note:
"COUNT ME IN.... I love you for all you are and do, and HOW you do it and BE it."

GRAZIEMILLE TO BACKERS:
Shayan Shojaee who wrote: "Annie... I would like to send you some support for your upcoming projects or just anything that might help you fulfill your 10 years of artistry."
Suzy Wahmann who supports all Annie’s work,
Roy Camplongo
and all the hardcore fans who came out in subzero weather on Saturday February 13th, 2016 for my “L is for Lion” audiobook launch party at City Lore. You showed up in the polar vortex, kicked money in the hat passed around, bid on my rainbow crowns auctioned off, brought presents, set up, cleaned up, hung out! Thank you for backing all my work: Audrey Kindred, Steve Zeitlin, City Lore staff, Al Hemberger, Emily Kunkel, Lexi Hartmann, Kitty Loving, Phyliss Capello, Ralph Lewis, Sean Meehan, Rose Imperato, Rosette Capotorto, Sophia Capotorto, Lisa Martiny Festa, Brynn Rosen, Will Macadams, Paola Corso, and her son Mario Corso, Joel Van Liew, Barry VanSteenbergen, Simba Yangala, Wayne Lopes, Sylvie Diegez, Genevieve Laurent, Elaine Vine Fogar and her husband Tio, Stephanie Nilva and her boyfriend Rich and his Mom who grew up playing with Spaldeens. Christina Knight, Stephanie Adler Yuan, Elise Bernhardt and Tony Giovanetti. Nancy Carnevale, Gabriela Belfiglio and Marg Suarez, Clare Ultimo and Bobby LaSardo, Mary Ciuffitelli, Adele Starienzer, Hope Clark, Trisha Gorman and Maevie B (in utero) and Andrew Holmes. Tamra Plotnick and Yariv and their daughter Tazha. Neil Goldberg, Patsy Zumhagen, Davidson Garret, Andy Benevidas, Ellen Garvey and Joyce Ravitz, Carrie Ann Tocci, Sarah Li, and Steve Zeitlin's neighbor the shrink who won the "rainbow crown" auction and his blonde friend.... grazie all!

GRAZIEMILLE TO “ANNIE’S NEW BLUES ALBUM” 2016 KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN BACKERS: Yuko Takeda, Ruth Sergel, Mikki del Monico, Joseph McElroy, Mary Ciuffitelli, Gabriella Belfiglio, Hope Clark, Janice Kovar, Cornelius Eady, Dianna Mauer, Lisa Dring, Karen Tintori, Nick Balaban, Nick Slie, Sandor Katz, T-Claw, Emily Jordan Agnes Kunkel, Brynn Rosen, Mary Abrams, Ellen Garvey, Christina Knight, Margie Duffield, Jessie Kindred, Audrey Kindred.


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track 1: “GET ME GOIN”
Music & Lyrics © 2016 Annie Lanzillotto

• songwriting backstory:
for my neighbor Elizabeth Mirra. This song came to me sitting on a bench in the sun. Elizabeth was a bit stranded as her boyfriend John stored his muscle car “out of the snow” -- all winter and into the late spring -- a souped up red Charger. It drove me crazy thinking of this car locked away. This car was built for the road, not a garage! Elizabeth needed to go places. She could barely walk, she needed to be driven. She wore a leopard skin gown and hung around the neighborhood. I was taking care of my mother, and feeling very cooped up. The story of this fast car being locked away into mid-June, drove me crazy. I related to it. I sang the first version of this song into my iPhone February 28, 2016, sitting on a bench outside my Mom’s apt, with Mom, Elizabeth and John. Tulip stalks were just coming up in Yonkers. The lyrics and melodic line came whole.

VERSE 1
Get me out Daddy—On the road today
Put that key in my ignition—It’s no good bein’ locked away
Get me out Daddy—On that road tonight
My tires gotta roll—For my air pressure to git right

VERSE 2
O take me out Daddy—Gotta feel my motor roar
Let’s pick up that fancy lady—and take her to the diner once more!
That leopard skin lady—Sure opens my door
I don’t wanna wait til payday—When you can do it while your poor

VERSE 3
Daddy get me goin—Put my wheels back on the ground
Gotta feel my engine flowin—That’s where I’m safe and sound--
is—Movin forward—Gotta find a new gear
I heard about a road—that goes a long way from here

BRIDGE
There’s nothin good ‘bout stayin’ still—Nothin good at all
I wasn’t born a rock or tree—fifty two foot tall!
My wheels are meant for rovin—on dusty roads through towns
Skiddin’ round corners—that’s where my soul is to be found

VERSE 4
You know Springtime is comin—Tulip shoots up through the ground
Sparkplugs sure to fire—Pistons jumpin up and down
Carburetors breathin—Gonna find that road tonight
I hear all the roads are goin—Through the tunnels into light
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track 2: “SEATBELT”
Music & Lyrics © 2006 Annie Lanzillotto

• songwriting birth and backstory:
for Kathie DeNobriga, Timah Ruth Elisheva Howard, Cara Page, Pam McMichael, Liz Canner. This song came to me in the back hills of Kentucky in 2005. The sun was hot and blinding when I got out of the white van, I needed sunglasses. We were headed to Whitesburg to visit Appalshop. We made a few pit-stops and kept getting into and out of the van. This one time I stooped and stepping into the van and buckled up once again for the mountain roads, and I was giddy from the heat and the traveling. I started belting out a blues melody: “I’m yo seatbelt baby – gonna hold onto you!” And the song was born!

There was a bunch of us, all women artists: Kathie DeNobriga, Timah Ruth Elisheva Howard, Cara Page, Pam McMichael, Liz Canner. We were fellows in the Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Program, and we formed a one-year, five-city “Cooperative Inquiry” group on “Arts and Social Activism.” Our “Cooperative Inquiry” facilitators were Elizabeth Kasl and Doug Paxton. I started singing the song in the van, and I remember the others joining in the chorus, singing “click click” after I sang “I’m your seatbelt baby, gonna hold onto you—”

*As a butch dyke, I’ve done a lot of driving, with a woman passenger. In recent years, I am my mother’s full time chauffeur. The act of swinging my strong forearm to the right to protect the passenger when I have to stop short – is a thing – probably many drivers can relate to. That act made it into the song in the lyric "my arm's across you –- better than a steel bar" and you can hear Bobby respond to that line with his harp.

*The last line “sempre dritta!” means “always forward/direct/straight” – it’s what Italians tell you when you ask for directions, and even though the way forward is circular and circuitous, they’ll tell you “sempre dritta” always straight ahead. It’s crazy really, but something I’m super fond of.

VERSE 1
In this car with you — z’where i'm s'posedta be
This old car with you — is a world to me
Wher'eva this roads goin's good — long as you're wit me
Let me hold a tight — ‘n keep us both a’right

CHORUS
I'm yo' seatbelt baby ¬— Gonna hold onta you
'M yo' seatbelt na' mamma — Ain't nuttin' you gotta do

VERSE 2
Took a turn too fast or two — That’s all behind
Don't need no rear view mirror Ma — Promise to keep on my tryin’
Tight and closer now honey ¬¬– Breathe into me
No matter the road b'fo us –- I hold you through

CHORUS I'm yo' seatbelt baby ¬— Gonna hold onta you
I’m yo' seatbelt na' mamma — Ain't nuttin' you gotta do

VERSE 3
Mah breaks slam –- when we’re too close--
--but my arm's across you –- better than a steel bar
And when this road is over — I guarantee - we still won't be through!

BRIDGE
Through through through – We still won’t be through
You hear me? Through through
We still won’t be through

CHORUS I'm yo' seatbelt baby ¬— Gonna hold onta you
I’m yo' seatbelt na' mamma — Ain't nuttin' you gotta do
Sempre Dritta!
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track 2: “RED LIGHTS AND SCHOOLBUSES”
Music & Lyrics 2016 © Annie Lanzillotto

• songwriting birth and backstory:
for Rosie Grapes Imperato. This song was born on Park Avenue and 97th Street, Friday February 26th, 2016, 2:40pm in the afternoon, driving southbound, NYC. The sun was glaring in my windshield and driver's side window. Rose was holding a shirtwaist up in the air, waving for me. We knew each other since we were 14. Shirtwaists were our commemorative art project with “Remember The Triangle Fire Coalitin” to honor the workers who perished in the infamous factory fire of 1911. The last ten blocks were taking me forever... and took on heightened meaning when I looked out the window and wondered where my life went... and so, in impenetrable traffic, I busted out this tune... In a strange way my life is like a musical. You go through life, you hit hard times, you bust into song. You go through life you hit ecstatic times, you bust into song.
We were on our way to present at the “Sagra del Libro” book festival hosted by i.a.w.a. - Italian American Writers Association and The Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge (OSIA - Order Sons of Italy in America), at the Church of the Most Precious Blood, 109 Mulberry Street, NYC.

VERSE 1
Red lights and schoolbuses -- in my way
Tryin’ to get to my lady -- hope it don’t take all day
Red lights and schoolbuses -- streets a’ goin’ slow
Like that ole’ Mississippi -- don’t you know

CHORUS
Slow slow slow so slow

VERSE 2
Red lights and schoolbuses -- ‘far as I can see
Headin’ south to meet my lady -- outside the church she waits for me
Red lights and schoolbuses -- brakes, exhaust, tobacco
Two fourty-three pm, O -- where’d my mornin’ go?

CHORUS
Slow slow slow so slow

VERSE 3
Time you can’t lasso -- ‘matter how hard you try.
Get up on that bronco -- for ya’ three second ride.
Time goes on living -- pulsing through everything
When I die I’ll shout to the clouds
Thank you Time – for giving me the chance to stand up and sing!

CHORUS
Slow slow slow so slow
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track 4: “TWO POUND JUDE”
Music & Lyrics 2013 © Annie Lanzillotto

for Jude, a.k.a Robin Cole Henderson

• songwriting birth and backstory:
This song came to me in New Orleans, October, 2013, in the living room of artists Robin Cole Henderson and Anthony Henderson on South Murat. The light was cool, afternoon, their house has good comfort shade. Light coming in through the windows on front and side of the house.

Robin told me her life story and this song immediately flew to me. Blues dirge style, with hard slap rhythm. Hanging out with Robin and Anthony, I blossomed improvising blues beat lyrics while relaxed and inspired in their company. I found I could make a song about anything. Thankfully I recorded this one in my pocket recorder on my iPhone.

CHORUS
Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine clean –in her house!

Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine clean –in her house!

VERSE 1
Born a coupla months - too soon,
Arrived on the scene - like a Brigadoon
Momma tripped and fell - over the cat
Baby Jude was comin’ and - that was that.

Way down Houma – (the) bayou town,
Werden’t no hospital - that far down.
Doctor’s office - would have to do,
The great Alan Ellender - to Jude’s rescue!

CHORUS
Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine clean –in her house!

Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude (so she’s)
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine clean –in her house!

VERSE 2
Daddy ’n Aunt Rosalie - the nurse
wrapped Jude in a shoebox - hell it coulda been worse!
and ran her up - Highway Ninety
to the city hospital – (called) Charity

Y’all remember Highway 90 dontchya? Yeah remember the folks trapped on the ramp after the levees broke? Yeah, that’s Highway 90!

The second oldest hospital in The - United States
Just after Bellevue – Could they save Jude’s fates?
Momma knew - just what to do
poured milk into an eyedropper - for baby Jude!

Mario! Remember! Your mother always knows what to do!
Any time you have a question or you’re confused about something, you ask your Mamma! What are you gonna do?
Right! That’s right Mario. Ask your Mamma!

They named her Robin - but someone said,
“You need a Saint’s name - to bless that baby girl’s head!”
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude,
And that’s how she became .....

CHORUS
Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine clean –in her house!

Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude (so she’s)
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine clean –in her house!

VERSE 3
Daddy’s little girl – O! he did adore!
Gave her pencils, crayons, chalk – so she could draw.
She made her first mark – ‘fore she could walk,
Daddy showed her just how – to grip the chalk.

Up in the crib – (you know) Jude stood tall,
Made her drawings (up) – on the wall.
Life came to her – drop by drop from birth
Jude drew her pictures – for all life was worth!

CHORUS
Two Pound Jude! – Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no – Saint but Jude (so she’s)
Two Pound Jude – from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine clean in her house!

Two Pound Jude! – Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no – Saint but Jude
Two Pound Jude – from New Orleans
Where she mixed Terracotta – and Capri Green –in her house!

VERSE 4
Twas a fine day – she wed the sculptor Antony!
Then the great storm came ‘n – swept out to sea
Her bridal dress – and all their things
Yes the storm picked the lock – took away everything!
So imagine you come home,
you open your door,
and every single thing is gone
except your collection of blessed rocks
Rocks you picked up in your travels,
Rocks people brought to you from all over the world
Rocks!
That’s the only thing the tide couldn’t take on the ebb
back to sea.

Now in the wake – of that fateful day
The hospital (called) Charity – was washed away!
And (re)mains abandoned – to this day!
O!

CHORUS
Two Pound Jude! – Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no – Saint but Jude (so she’s)
Two Pound Jude – from New Orleans
Where she mixed Terracotta & Capri Green –in her house!

MONOLOGUE
I first met Robin and Anthony at an artists residency in New Mexico,
and the way we bonded was that everybody at the artist residency
coudn’t talk with anybody that lived in Santa Fe.
Except the people from New Orleans could talk to the New Yorkers
and the New Yorkers could talk to the people from New Orleans.
And we complained about you couldn’t talk to anybody in Santa Fe.
So we made a bet.
Try to go out and start a conversation. Ga head.
And ya couldn’t do it!
We tried at traffic lights, cafes, on line for good bread.
You couldn’t talk to these people.
What I’m talkin about is that the people from New Orleans
and New York knew how to interact.
But the rest of the world,
especially those who think they’re healthy and wealthy,
and they go and they turn a spiritual place into a SOHO marketplace
fagetabout, they don’t know how to have a conversation.
Why do you think I’m still livin here?
I could breathe there
but there’s nobody to talk to, nobody to play with,
right thank you Audrey.
But I could talk to Jude, you see,
she’s a Sicilian New Orleanian painter
who works with Fibonacci rhythms!

Yeah O!

CHORUS
Two Pound Jude! – Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no – Saint but Jude (so she’s)
Two Pound Jude – from New Orleans
Where she mixed Terracotta & Capri Green –in her house!

BRIDGE
Fibonnacci guides Jude’s dreams
Zero, one, one, two, three, five, eight, thirteen!
Paint on canvas – Jude’s blues ‘n greens
creation of a world – peace, serene

CHORUS
O! Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
Daddy didn’t know no - Saint but Jude
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where she was O so pristine clean –in her house!

Two Pound Jude! - Two Pound Jude!
O! Daddy didn’t know any saints!
And that’s how she became...
Two Pound Jude - from New Orleans
Where everything was pristine! – in her house!
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track 5: “LOSIN GROUND”
Music & Lyrics 2013 © Annie Lanzillotto

for the suicides of 1899, the girls who toasted their misery with carbolic acid, at 295 Bowery, McGurk’s “Suicide Hall,” NYC. And for all suicides. For all who can’t get back up one more time.

• songwriting birth and backstory:
This song came to me at night. Dark. Quarter Moon. I was out walkin. And it's all about night, deep night in all senses of night, when spirits amble...and the past comes right up in your face. This song came through my own dystopia – walking around in a gentrified NY, losing my housing, walking around the Bowery, listening to ghosts, reading about the past, and listening to artists in New Orleans. We were all “losing ground” – to different forces; tides of gentrification swept artists out of Manhattan, while the literal waters ate Louisiana ground day by day.

VERSE 1
Waters arisin — Cajun Coast slippin away.
Oil wells havin their way — with the bay.
Nouveau riche asleep — on Bowery and Vine.
With my songlines erased – I can’t navigate time.

The bridal dress – swept out to sea
When the waters rise it’s a – larceny
Venezia will be a – scuba tourism
N’awlins a Disney – exhibition
Mannahatta’s already a mall –without distinction
Neighborhoods – extinction
Civilizations come – civilizations go -- Ask Pompei – Hell! Ask Plato!

CHORUS
Losin Ground – Losin Ground
Turn around baby – Losin Ground

VERSE 2
John McGurk stopped me and — asked for directions.
I waited a while to listen to – his reflections
I’d never seen a ghost before – lost in New York
Slow and limpin, one eye closed – I wanted to hear him talk!

I lost my scent, said he - It all smells so damn flowery
Whatever happened to 295 Bowery!
I’m lookin for my old haunt known as Suicide Hall
but all I see is this shiny green glass and steel mall!

CHORUS
Losin’ Ground — Losin’ Ground
Turn around baby — Losin’ Ground

VERSE 3
O! Mortar and bricks – held our stories and tricks
So soon the past they erase – this could be any old place!
A hun years ago - there wasn’t a sailor on either side of the equator
that didn’t hold 295 Bowery as his destination – sooner or later.
But surely there’s a sign somewhere to honor all who don’t last?
Why does New York City obliterate her street life past?

Yo! Can you do me a favor – kind walker of the night?
Remember our backroom girls, the suicides of 1899 – c’mon honor their plight.

By the times these girls had found me – you unnerstand
Far too low she had sunk
A shot of acid in her cup she swallowed easy
when she was drunk.
I never gave a girl a hand up –
but never knocked one down
Each made her own fate workin her youth and looks
with sailors in town.

Harbor towns got power you know –
you never know who washes up ashore
These ladies at least for the night –
the sailors did adore

Blond Madge Davenport! Big Mame! Jenny Kellar! Tina Gordon! Deaf Lilly!

CHORUS
Losin’ Ground — Losin’ Ground
Turn around baby — Losin’ Ground

VERSE 4
Ghosts don’t have — no where to rest.
We’re birds on wires — without no nest.
Takes supernatural endurance — to endure this plight (like)
Paolo e Francesca — endless flight.

It all goes down river — your rotten dreams,
Above ground bones — your stillborn pleas.
I can’t help thinkin —what a we gonna do
We’re so rooted in place — but the places move!

CHORUS X2
Losin’ Ground — Losin’ Ground
Turn around baby — Losin’ Ground
Losin’ Ground — Losin’ Ground
Turn around— Losin’ Ground

VERSE 5
From Ramses Two and Trump — we built obelisks and towers.
So all could read our names and see the size of our powers.
While riches we are — rakin,
The poor live in jails— not of their own makin!

I wasn’t much better – I took my cash and ran
All the way to California – to cure who I am!
But I died anyway with the brokenest of hearts
Two thousand miles wasn’t nearly enough – for a fresh start.

CHORUS
Losin’ Ground — Losin’ Ground
Turn around baby — Losin’ Ground

VERSE 6
Hey! Mamma Earth will shake us — off her back
Til there’s nuttin to hold onto and No turnin back.
As the ice melts all waters rise
Remember all truths — forget all lies”

Accept destruction. Accept decay.
Remember the names of those who’ve gone astray.
Take care of each single one
And while you breathe in this town – have you’re say.

Remember the past – It don’t last.
Live for today – Have your say
You can’t guess tomorrow – what horrid things will
replace your sorrow!

VERSE 7
I walked away from my meeting with McGurk.
I got no where to live. I got no where to work.
I thought about the things McGurk had said.
How tired he was -- in his haunted head.

I walked through the night til morning came
and shook the city bright. I wasn’t the same.
I thought about the scent dogs need like ghosts
to find their way home – aromatic signposts.

CHORUS
Losin’ Ground — Losin’ Ground
Turn around baby — Losin’ Ground

VERSE 8
I wondered where I was – to what century I belonged
Where I might go – to who I might sing this song.
What to do with the names he told me – ‘cept pass them along to every listener’s memory.

Blond Madge Davenport! Big Mame! Jenny Kellar! Tina Gordon! Deaf Lilly!

All the suicides of this town
Through all the centuries
They say if you make it in New York you’ll make it anywhere
but what if you can’t -- what if you die without a name!

and I heard the Devil say:
Turn around, baby, Turn around.
Turn turn
Around around
Turn around baby
Turn
Round Round
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

track 6: “MOTHER CABRINI THROWDOWN”
Music & Lyrics © 2013 Annie Lanzillotto

for Mother Cabrini, aka Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, aka Francesca Saverio Cabrini, July 15th, 1850 – December 22, 1917.

and for my mother Rachele Petruzzelli Lanzillotto


• songwriting birth and backstory:
This song was born in New Orleans, walking in the afternoon dappled light of October 2013. The lyric came to me whole with melody and got stuck in my head. "Mother Cabrini Walked Here" I built the song out from the litany of that one line.

My grandmother Rosa, died in the Saint Cabrini Nursing Home, in Hastings-on-the-Hudson, NY, March, 2000. There were plaques and statues to Mother Cabrini, and most impressively, a retired nun who zoomed through the hallways backwards in her wheelchair by kicking at the floor. She shouted, “Mother! Mother!” and when I probed who she was looking for she shouted, “Mother of us All!” which I took to mean Mother Cabrini’s spirit. And so I learned about Mother Cabrini, who was a pro at manifesting her faith into good works and organizations.

A decade after Grandma Rose died, I walked around New Orleans,and became aware that “Mother Cabrini walked here” and here and here. On marble steps, at marble gravestones, on cobblestone streets, I thought – these were the same then, she stepped here, here, here, where I step now. Her footsteps became palpable to me, and this image of her opening her hand and making things happen – to me, a “throwdown.” You believe, you say it, you make it. “Detto Fatto” = said done.

*The last word of this song “Chemanine” is a local phrase to my home town, Acquaviva delle Fonte, which means “let’s walk.”


My Mom told me I should dedicate this song to her. So, it is, also, for my Mom, Rachel Petruzzelli Lanzillotto. This was the first work of art in a long time that she was proud of, even to share with her neighbors. As a memoirist, my writings have caused pain and suffering and rage and embarrassment for family members. This song is a departure. It’s celebratory. My mother loves it. That’s a brand new experience for me, to see the pride on her face, as she shares it with her beloved neighbors. “The music is great and you don’t yell, your voice sounds great...”

• First acapella performance:
At the Italian American Studies Association conference in New Orleans, 2013, on a shared program with artist LuLu LoLo. I invited the audience to walk in a ritualistic circle while chanting the lines. I see an incantatory walk as the dance to this song.

CHORUS
Mother Cabrini walked here
Mother Cabrini walked here
Mother Cabrini walked here
and threw down -- and threw down -- and threw down

Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Throwdown – Throwdown -- Throwdown

Everywhere she walked
Everywhere she walked
Everywhere she walked
Mother Cabrini threw down

VERSE 1
She wanted to go to China to serve the poor,
But the Pope said, “I’ll send you where they need you more.
Go to the U.S. of A.,
Help those Italian-American immigrants and all the wretched strays.

Twas 1889 when she landed in New York
English, the Italians could barely talk.
She got street smart and rolled up her sleeves
Her secret power was she did believe

VERSE 2
il cuore sacro di Jesu
gave her the power to create and do.
She founded her own religious order,
1000’s of sisters to work across all borders

She founded organizations.
--How many!?
Sixty-Seven!
Her deep devotion made earth a Cabrini brand Heaven

CHORUS
Everywhere she walked -- Everywhere she walked -- Everywhere she walked
Mother Cabrini threwdown.

SHOUT
Schools! Homes! Hospitals! Orphanages!
Schools! Homes! Hospitals! Orphanages!
Settlement Houses!
Classes! Programs!
Training Centers! Nurseries! Micro-business in embroidery!
Schools! Homes! Hospitals! Orphanages!
Schools! Homes! Hospitals! Orphanages!
Le Sorrelle di Sacro Cuore di Jesu!

VERSE 3
Think a’ the trend nowadays
They’re tearing down hospitals –
all for – what the landlord craves
--puttin hotels in their place!

They turn cathedrals into condominiums,
The priority? – Private wealth
Instead of community spiritual health!

BRIDGE
Church bells ring no more!
Tuning the souls of the rich and poor!
Church bells ring no more!
Church bells ring no more!
Church bells don’t ring in condominiums,

CHORUS
Mother to all -- Mother to all -- Mother to all
Be a Mother to all

Everywhere you walk -- Everywhere you walk -- Everywhere you walk
Be a Mother to All!

VERSE 4
Give ‘em somethin’ to eat -- Give ‘em somewhere to rest,
Give the poor and the sick and the lonely and the disinherited
and the jailed and the orphaned and the ones with no where to be!
Mother them! Be a Mother to all!

Everywhere you walk!

And she walked! -- And she walked ! -- And she walked!
Everywhere she walked - Mother Cabrini threw down!

CHORUS
Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Spirit throwdown
Spirit throwdown
Spirit throwdown
Throwdown

Do the Mother Cabrini Throwdown – for goodness sake,
Everywhere you walk – Leave good in your wake!

TRANCE MEDITATION
Be a Mother to all
Be a Mother to all
Be a Mother to all
as you walk
as you walk
as you walk
as you walk

You walk
and you walk
yeah You walk
you walk
as you walk
and walk
and walk
and walk
and walk
and walk

CHORUS
Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Mother Cabrini Throwdown
Mother Cabrini Throwdown

TRANCE MEDITATION
and walk -- and walk
and walk -- and walk

Camina Camina
a Camina
a Camina Mahatma mamma Cabrini
Camina Mahatma mamma Cabrini
Camina Camina
Mahatma mamma Mammama!
Mahatma mammama
Cabrini!
a Camina Camina oo Camina
Mammamamma Cabrini
Camina
Camina

oo Chemanine!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

track 5: “MY SOUL’S GONNA GO”
Music & Lyrics © 2016 Annie Lanzillotto

• songwriting birth and backstory:
This song came to me while I was driving fast. Afternoon light in through the tinted car windows.

The reason for this song, is I’m tired of people telling me that I’m too much, too big, too loud, too inappropriate, too without boundaries... You know, I’m the kind of person that wants my dogs to bark and howl, and my garlic to stink. I love life messy. This ones for me.

• first performance:
The first time I sang this in public was at my “L is for Lion” audiobook release party at City Lore, Saturday February 13, 2016, the coldest night of the year, in the ‘polar vortex.’ Jamming and improvising that night was: Al Hemberger –guitar, Phyliss Capello –uke, Rose Imperato –sax.

VERSE 1
If you see me out late -- You know that I know
One of these nights -- My soul’s gonna go
Gonna take my soul -- One day when I don’t know
My body and me – My soul’s gotta be free

VERSE 2
If you see me dancing wild -- With a big smile
You know it’s cause I know -- One of these spirals
Gonna take my soul -- One day when I don’t know
My body and me – My soul’s gotta be free

CHORUS
Tonight might be the night that I die - Let’s keep it real
Tonight might be the night that I die - But it’s alright

VERSE 3
If you see me drive fast -- You know it won’t last
One of these days -- My life will be past
Gonna take my soul -- One day when I don’t know
My body and me – My soul’s gotta be free

VERSE 4
If you see me jump high – Up to the sky
You know it’s my soul – Just waving hello
With the wind in my hair -- You know I feel free
My soul’s gonna fly -- Away from me

CHORUS
Tonight might be the night that I die - Let’s keep it real
Tonight might be the night that I die - But it’s alright

VERSE 5
If I kiss you too many -- Times or too deep
Don’t you know one day I won’t -- Wake from my sleep
If I hug you too hard – Or hug you too much
Don’t you know one day -- I won’t be able to touch

BRIDGE
Return to the sea - My soul away from me
Return to the sky - My soul must fly
Return to the earth - Place of birth
I know one of these days -- My soul’s worth

CHORUS
Tonight might be the night that I die - Let’s keep it real
Tonight might be the night that I die - But it’s alright

BRIDGE 2
One of these days my -- Heart will stop its beating
One of these days my -- Mind will stop its cheating
One of these days my -- Bones will break
One of these days -- One of these nights
One of these minutes -- I can bet my life
My body and me – My soul’s gotta be free

CHORUS
Tonight might be the night that I die - Let’s keep it real
Tonight might be the night that I die - But it’s alright

Tonight might be the night that I die - Let’s keep it real
Tonight might be the night that I die - But it’s alright

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

track 6: “NORTH TOO LONG”
Music & Lyrics © 2009 Annie Lanzillotto

• songwriting birth and backstory
for Joanna Clapps Herman. This song came to me in the Louis Armstrong airport October 29th, 2009 while I was pacing, waiting for Joanna who was flying in from New York. Indoor light, fluorescent and neon sign lighting. Bright day.

We were going to the American Italian Studies Association conference in Baton Rouge. I got to New Orleans a coupla days early, to empty out my brain, and open my heart to the city, so I could create something new to perform at the conference. This song was it. I performed it acapella, working the audience, standing in a circle, into a chorus. Someone video’d the performance and put it on their YouTube channel, “Mary Plaza” youtu.be/Bp_F-oGnKmk under the title “Annie Rachele Lanzillotto” -- The next time I performed it acapella was at a cafe that made fresh taffy in New Orleans. I sung it loud and the cafe go-ers were appreciative, especially when they heard the word “estuary.”


CHORUS
I been north too long
I been north too long
I been north so long I forgot how to sing my song

VERSE 1
I forgot how to throw down
Forgot how to do good things two or three times
I can’t stay up through the night now baby
Mamma come take me home

Tryin to do things right - Tryin to get things done
Tryin to be efficient - Expecting trains to run on time
Taking a number - waiting on line
I wanna be welcomed home

CHORUS
I been north too long
I been north too long
I been north so long I forgot how to sing my song

VERSE 2
Came down south one day
A redhead said, “Are you gonna stay?
I live below sea level, my swamps are estuary
Come to the Mississippi bank with me where ships are in the sky you’ll see.”

I’m talking Sanguinaccio - I’m talking Halelujah
Comeh chem paisana - Mangia Muffaletta Siciliana
Dove sono i tuoi soldi? - Mother Cabrini walked here
Mother Cabrini’s devotion to Il Cuore Sacro gave her coraggio
I’m talkin bout a town under water
I’ll take you on The Misery Tour
Baby if you’ll show me the way to doppio Cittadinanza

There’s no way up but down. - No way right but wrong
Baby I been in my brain too long. - Mamma, come take me home.
I gotta remember where I come from
In the Misery Mystery and Joy. Sorrow and Glory

CHORUS
I been north too long
I been north too long
I been north so long I forgot how to sing my song

VERSE 3
Lord knows I know how to suffer
I died Friday and twice on Saturday – I was gone.
When I release my soul
Then you’ll know where I been all along.

My people came from the south in a place called Acquaviva
They moved to the north to a place called The Bronx
We lost our Tarantism, flirted with Sufism, Santeria, Voodoo Mamma Mia
Its’s time to take me home
I wanna be welcomed home!

I been blamed for Columbus, blamed for Scalia
blamed for devastation, torture, creation, white man salvation,
Taint no plantations staining my bloodstream,
just Larvata SchiavitÚ - peons right next to you,
Hey! I throw a shoe at the same man as you!
I am butterfly shark and white tiger in one!
Frutta Strana!

I lit three candles on Saint Jude’s Altar,
green yellow blue
For health sanity and Lord survival
and Saint Jude answered calmly,
“Annie, Life is suffering, pain and misery
And you know you got to keep on going on.”
OUTRO
I been north so long! I been north so long!
I been north I been north - but I gotta I gotta I gotta
sing my song!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

track 7: “OUT LOOKIN IN”
Music & Lyrics © 2010 Annie Lanzillotto

• songwriting backstory:
This song came to me in 2010 - the earthquake in Haiti and the Oscars in Hollywood – were the interspersed news “stories.” I was in Yonkers with my Mom and niece Nicole. I had the guitar out and started riffing around the table. They joined in. We all felt the disparity of that moment. As usual the repeating lyric and melodic line “I’m on the outside – lookin on the inside, I’m outside, lookin in” came to me first, and I built the verses around it.

CHORUS
I’m on the outside — lookin on the inside
I’m outside — looking in
I’m on the outside — lookin on the inside
I’m out — looking in

VERSE 1
They’re wearin diamonds — long flowy dresses
Rain is coming — right on in
People are starvin — others are glittering
I’m wonderin — who’s goin in
They’re buried in rubble
The handsome journalist — sticks his microphone right on in
to a hole in the collapsed building. He reaches down to a woman buried alive in under concrete chunks.
“Hand her a bottle of water, you Jackass!” that’s what Mom shouts at the TV.
“Yeah ask her how she is – you Jackass! Do something!”

CHORUS
I’m outside — looking on the inside
I’m out — lookin in
I’m on the outside — lookin on the inside
I’m out — looking in

VERSE 2
They sure look pretty — diamonds and raindrops
on the red carpet! If I was a raindrop — I’d go on in.
There’s no drinkin’ water — for poor daughters
Close to the equator — far from champagne and binge
If I was the earth — I too would split open—til everybody! — was listenin’

CHORUS
I’m outside — looking on the inside --- I’m out — lookin in
I’m on the outside — lookin on the inside --- I’m out — looking in
If I was a raindrop I’d go on in!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

track 10: “SWAMPJUICE”
Music & Lyrics © 2009 Annie Lanzillotto

• songwriting birth and backstory:
This song was born in New York, at night, in 2009, walking around my mother's apt courtyard, reflecting on all I'd absorbed in New Orleans. Night. Full moonlight.

for Nick Slie who took me out for the best breakfasts in New Orleans and told me all things river and bayou and Cajun dancing.

And for Sue Prevost and Anne from “Save Our Lake” who showed me around the batcher and levees. Sue let me drive her car out to Bayou Coquille where I saw where Jean LaFitte paddled around.

Thanks to the Park Rangers of the “Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve” who are phenomenal to talk with and teach you everything.

• production backstory:
I have one working vocal chord, the left vocal chord was paralyzed from Thyroidectomy and Radiation Therapy. So, I brought a portable vaporizer into the recording booth and in between takes would breathe in the steam. In a moment of distraction, the vaporizer tilted and ---long story short: second degree burns on my left hand. Good news: And that’s how I found my howl. After my hand was scalded I said "Let's record the next track." We kept recording. I got the most howling crying vocal I ever made in my life. I put all the pain into it. Here it is, at the end of “Swampjuice.”


VERSE 1
The River is high baby — whaddya see?
I ain’t leavin town.
Cause when I leave town baby — follow me.
It ain’t no time. To stick around.

N’Orleans mornings — z’waitin for me.
Tilapia Eggs over easy — z’only way to eat.
Whereyat darlin? — Our time ain’t complete.
She’ll build her own levees — if we let her be.

CHORUS
The River is high baby — whaddya see?
I ain’t leavin town.
Cause when I leave town baby — follow me.
It ain’t no time — to stick around.

VERSE 2
N’Orleans evenings — Parade of centuries.
Spirits ambling — down cobblestone streets.
Hold your best pahtnah tightly — Alligator arms close in.
Come under my chapeau love — for Swamp Cajun kissin.

Step into my pirogue — we’ll head to grandpa’s camp.
Where Mamma Gator pirouettes — when I get close to her nest.
She looks me in the eye — bites the beard off my chin.
Leaps over my pirogue — “Stay away from my youngin!”

CHORUS
The River is high baby — whaddya see?
I ain’t leavin town.
Cause when I leave town baby — follow me.
It ain’t no time — to stick around.

VERSE 3
Jean Lafitte said, “I got a quadroon darlin — z’name a Madeleine
Bayou D’Coqueville — we kept a paddlin’
Sendin’ ripples to this day that ring the Superdome
Which’ll lift you to the sky and be your home “
The River is neck high — But not too high for me. No No.
I ain’t leaving town. — No. No. No.
When I leave town baby — that’s the time, follow, follow me.
Cause then there won’t be no time, no time at all! — to stick around.

BRIDGE
Swampjuice.
Swampjuice.
Swampjuice.

When the temperatures risin’ — you gotta shed your own skin.
---the temperatures risin’ — you gotta shed your own skin.
When the temperatures risin’ — you gotta shed your own skin.
Life’s name is Easy — We all live it the same.
Life’s name is Easy — We all live it the same.

OUTRO
Swampjuice.
Swampjuice.
Swampjuice.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Annie Lanzillotto Yonkers, New York

Annie Lanzillotto is an author, songwriter, performance artist, orator and poet.

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