Dead Rock West | Honey And Salt

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Honey And Salt

by Dead Rock West

Dead Rock West debut album is rock, folk, country, punk, and pop thrown in a jar and shaken, not stirred.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Highway One
3:15 $0.99
2. On The Outside
2:39 $0.99
3. Rocket from The Crypt
2:29 $0.99
4. Pretty Disaster
3:38 $0.99
5. Desert Rose
3:25 $0.99
6. Don't Worry About Me
3:10 $0.99
7. Boredom (How did I get Here)
3:39 $0.99
8. Going Home
4:18 $0.99
9. Telephone
2:22 $0.99
10. I Really Wanted You
3:46 $0.99
11. Burning House of Love
4:01 $0.99
12. All I know
5:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This Limited Edition debut CD comes in a beautiful digipack package with a 20-page full color booklet of photographs and artwork from the eye of Frank Lee Drennen himself. When you buy two CD's, you get a 20% discount so you can get an extra CD for a friend.

Check out Dead Rock West tour dates at

“Dead Rock West have packed a career’s worth of potential hit songs onto a single disc….Honey and Salt spans the history of rock, from Elvis to post-grunge…” – Amplifier

As heard on ABC's "Men In Trees"...

- - - - - -

Dead Rock West’s debut album "Honey and Salt" was mixed to tape by Grammy winner Richard Dodd (Dixie Chicks, Wilco, Johnny Cash). The album received great reviews with Amplifier Magazine writing that they "packed a career's worth of potential hit songs onto a single disc”, and the Houston Chronicle applauding “…the jagged edge of country rock that brought such acclaim to Los Angeles legends X in the '80s".

They have toured the US and Europe with X, Mike Ness (Social Distortion), John Doe (X), The Knitters, Mark Olson, Bob Schneider and more and have released two more full length albums, ‘Bright Morning Stars’ (2011) and ‘It’s Everly Time!’ (2015).

The best music tends to hit a listener from seemingly out of nowhere, fully formed and ready to infiltrate the psyche. Of course even the newest discovery has paid their dues somewhere, which means there are often real treasures often right under our very noses. So it is with Dead Rock West.

Flying just under the radar, this quintet featuring Cindy Wasserman (vocals, starbourine,) Frank Lee Drennen (vocals, guitar, harmonica,) Phil Parlapiano (mandolin, octave mandolin, Hammond organ, Vox Continental,) Bryan Head (drums) and David J. Carpenter (Bass) has honed their sound in California clubs, building a rep and an audience while road testing the material found on their debut disc Honey & Salt. Now with word of mouth building and an armful of new recordings the group is ready to hit the next plateau.

With a name like Dead Rock West, you'd be correct in assuming there are occasional country and folk influences, but really that's just touching on the bands capabilities. Dashes of garage, power pop jangle, and rock n roll populate the set list, played with passion to match the song craft. The secret weapon here? Its the vocal harmonies. Don't misunderstand. This is one tight band all around. But Wasserman and Drennen's voices are a seamless blend that add melody to already impressive hooks. Icing on an already pretty tasty cake.

While Dead Rock West has been together since 2002, the group is really a culmination of years of work in Southern California nightspots. Drennen spent time playing the acoustic clubs in San Diego, teaming up in the early 90's with former Alarm guitarist Dave Sharp and forming pop group Loam shortly thereafter. They would go on to release two albums in the U.S. and Spain, and win a San Diego Music Award in the process, with their song Telephone later recast by Dead Rock West as an amphetamine fueled Byrds flavored rocker. Drennen also spent time with The Hatchet Brothers, teaming up with troubadour Gregory Page for two albums and a barroom sing-a-long that kept San Diego clubs packed for years. He also joined Page and Carpenter in The Troubled Sleepers. In fact it was with the latter that the seeds of Dead Rock West were sown.

I met Cindy through Gregory, remembers Drennen. She and I recorded two songs at Dave's house just for fun with the Troubled Sleepers as the backing band. It was then that we realized we had something special in the sound of our two voices together. Describing the inspired vocal interplay, Drennen is effusive. He notes the soulfulness of Wassermans voice, but also points out their varied vocal approach. Cindy thinks of the mic stand as an antenna to the spirits and that they use the stand to speak through her. I'm more visceral, prowling. Looking to hunt that connection down and kill it.

For her part, Wasserman is no stranger to either stage or studio. Most recently she has toured and recorded with Grant Lee Phillips. In fact all the members have extensive touring backgrounds. Carpenter has toured and recorded with Toni Childs as well as Doe and Phillips. Head does double duty with his band Abandoned Pools, and has toured with Shelby Lynne. Most impressively, Parlapiano was previously in Geffen Records act The Brothers Figaro and has performed with Grant Lee Buffalo, Tracy Chapman, Lucinda Williams, Rod Stewart, Social Distortion, amongst many others

All that experience is used to great effect on Honey & Salt. Recorded at Grandmas Warehouse in Echo Park, the disc was recorded the way they used to; 2" tape, 24 tracks, no click tracks or pitch correction machines. In addition to the members of Dead Rock West, the genesis of the album involves a few other key players. The Section Quartet (Sam Phillips, etc.) provide strings and pedal steel player Greg Leisz also contributes, with the album mixed by Grammy winner Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, George Harrison, Steve Earle, Traveling Wilburys etc.)

Basically I contacted him via his web site, Drennen recalls. I told him about ourselves, that we were recording to tape and I asked if he ever mixed any one who was not rich or famous. To his surprise Dodd replied. He responded saying he was interested in hearing the works in progress. Nervously, I sent him the songs. We weren't even finished overdubbing at this point. After a couple of long phone converstions I was convinced this man loves music and wants to be a part of projects he can be proud to put his name on. Needless to say we ended up in Nashville and spent six wonderful days hearing our songs come alive and listening to his stories.

The trips end result are the Honey & Salt tracks, as catchy and varied a collection of songs as you're likely to come across. Whether Wasserman or Drennen take the lead, the groups way with a melody cant be denied. Our premise from the beginning was two great voices singing great songs, simple as that, states Drennen. And it's still our goal. Despite those impressive credentials, Dead Rock West is more than the sum of its parts, and its easy to hear why. Its just good songs, he continues good naturedly. Those tunes will pull you in;, their live performances will cement the deal. There is no doubt Dead Rock West is just getting started. We want songs that are wrapped in real human emotion, god and sex, says Drennen. Songs that will still be useful to the ear in 20/30 years.

- Bart Mendoza


ALL I KNOW [5:26] | [ clip ]

The desert skies are filled with stars
As far as you can dream
A parachute of lights that bloom
Across the sky's tree

Down here on the ground
How free am I?
Like a crow, I wish my soul
To rise and fly

(Chorus) Here's a promise/ There's a lie
God knows heaven's in disguise
The desert wind is blowing strong
Over hills and far beyond
All I know is all that's gone

With poisoned toungues the demons come
To live inside your brain
Like neon lights/ The stars shine bright
To make me feel again

Down here on the ground
How free am I?
Like a crow I wish my soul
To rise and fly


I make a wish
I count to three
I don't believe in what I can't see
So Jesus come back and die again
For me

Here's a promise/ There's a lie
God knows heaven's in disguise
Because it ain't on the ground
And it ain't in the sky

The desert wind is blowing strong
Over hills and far beyond
All I know is all that's gone
All I know
All I know .....

- - - - - - -

I REALLY WANTED YOU [3:46] | [ clip ]

You say you don't like me
Well, I don't like you too
I don't like what you stand for
I don't like what you do

You stand out like a weapon
Pistols on your heels
You don't get what I care for
You don't care how I feel

But I really wanted it
I really wanted you

You don't like me
I don't like you
You don't want me
But I wanted you

You say you don't like me
So what can I say?
I gave you what I had to give
You pushed it all away

You act like you're better than me
You talk like you're smarter than me
I wish that you'd let me be
but you don't even think of me

And I really wanted it
I really wanted you
I really wanted you
I really wanted you

TELEPHONE [2:22] | [ clip ]

It's getting clearer as we speak
Bits and pieces on the telephone
I knew you in another time
There was nothing you were afraid of

And I'm so far away from that now
I'm so far away from you now

Thirty minutes away
But the drive would take days
Find a marker on the road
Look behind
See how far I've come

And I'm so far away from you now
You were less my love
And more my lesson
And I'm so far away from you now

You were less my love
And more my lesson

- - - - - - -

GOING HOME [4:16] | [ clip ]

Thirty thousand feet below
The people move around
And so they go
To the places where they belong
The holidays have come and gone

Flying back to where I live and work
Above the clouds
I swear I still feel under earth
So much has to do with not quite "being there"
I would gladly go;
I can't afford the fare

It's a long way to being known
It's a long way to the unknown
It's a long way
But I swear I'm going home

Landed on the ground at 7:01
Played the mandolin
Waited for my ride to come
Thought of Akron, a girl I used to love
And how the clouds are fields
When You're flying so high above


- - - - - - -

BOREDOM (HOW DID I GET HERE?) [3:39] | [ clip ]

Boredom is driving me to drink
The bottle gets emptied
faster than I can sink
Ignore the phone/ lock the door
Move at speeds/ I have never known
Boredom is driving me to drink

Boredom is driving me to drink
My body's getting numb
While my heart aches
I say I'm gonna get out
Move to another place
boredom don't you follow me

How did I get here?
When can I leave?
Did I choose this life?
Did it choose me?

Boredom is driving me to drink
The bottle gets empty
Faster than I can sink
They say you pick your poisons
Well, I agree

This life I have chosen
is killing me

- - - - - - -

DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME [3:08] | [ clip ]

There was a time
When you would heal my wounds
You were the Queen
Over the sun and moon

Yeah, baby
Don't you worry about me
Yeah, baby
I'm standing on my own two feet

You came along
I was the luckiest one
Now you're gone
I'm standing in the sun

Yeah, baby
don't you worry about me
Yeah, baby
'cause you're not looking out for me

I'm not hear at all
I'm not waiting for your call
I waiting for something new


- - - - - - -

DESERT ROSE [3:26] | [ clip ]
Desert Rose ()

God bless all my promises
that have been said not done
God bless all the things I lack
And what I have become
At 4:15 my mind is clean
A flowing stream of twighlight dreams
Through the cold narcotic steam
I realize what's gone wrong
My desert rose/ living where nothing grows
My dried up soul/ is just enough
to let your colors show

God bless who you are for me
He knows I fail for you
God bless how you let me be
Just when I need you to
I know that you're so good to me
Still I am too blind to see
I'm afraid I'll never be
Much more than just a fool


- - - - - - -
PRETTY DISASTER [3:39] | [ clip ]

Throw me a lifeline, baby
before I drown
I need a rescue, baby
before I go down
Sober as a cop on sunday
Thinking like a drunk
Shooting rounds at a battle ship
Until it's sunk

Pretty disaster
Going all the way
Pretty disaster
is only one step away

Every silver lining, baby
Has a cloud
There's a whisper inside my head
Screaming loud
I scare myself,
Stepping over the line
Afraid I'm gonna let you down
I tell you everything's fine


You're the one who loves me, baby
You're the one I want
You're the one who keeps me
hanging on

Throw me a lifeline, baby
Before I drown
I need a rescue, baby
Before I go down
You gotta know your weakness
If you wanna be strong
You never know what you have
'Till it's almost gone


- - - - - - -

ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT [2:29] | [ clip ]
Is there a place we can stay
For a while
Is there a place away from it all
Where we can go
For a while

Is this a hunger or a plea
Or just a call to up and leave
As our tempers race to ask
What is real
And while the opositon stands
With thier feet stuck in the sand
We are planning out our flight
Cutting down the homeward path

Is there a place we can stay
For a while

Rocket from the crypt
Living with the dead
Our heads are burning fire
And our feet are made of lead
Liken to scar
And bent all out of shape
The sky is burning down
Onto a frozen landscape


I've been down so long
I don't even know my name
I been looking for a way
to get out of this place
Contradiction and lies
Burn the best of tries
We're going NOWHERE


- - - - - - -

HIGHWAY ONE [3:15] | [ clip ]
It's been a little while
Since you flashed that California smile
It's been some time
Since you touched that telephone dial

I got your letter
It would've been better to call
But I know it's not your style

Do you still drive up Highway One
Going way too fast / Racing with the sun
Do you still sing that same old song
Forget the past/ just move on

It's been too much time/ to be without
You're still on my mind
Last night I dreamed/ that you came back
I couldn't speak

I sent your letter
It might've been better to call
But you know I just a child

Do you still drive up Highway One
Going way too fast/ Racing with the sun
Do you still sing that same old song
Forget the past/ just move on
just move on
just move on

Do you still drive up Highway One
Going way too fast/ Racing with the sun

ON THE OUTSIDE [2:59] | [ clip ]

Talking and trying
Except when you're crying
I'm weak when it comes to you

You're open and honest
I know there's no contest
I'm one of the chosen few
On the outside

Some people are laughing
My head's sorta half in
You're pouring out things you think

I'm pulling my hair out
To figure it all out
Come on be with me
On the outside

Out of our minds
Stabbing with rubber knives
I don't like how it feels
On the outside

I want what I want
Right when I want it
I grab it and say "good luck"

I don't wanna hurt you
I consider your virtues
I don't want to find you stuck

On the outside
On the outside
I'm stuck on the outside
On the outside
Stuck on the outside
On the outside

- - - - - - - -

Cindy Wasserman - vocal
Frank Lee Drennen - vocal, guitar, electric mandolin
David J. Carpenter - bass
Bryan Head - drums

with: Duane Jarvis - lead guitar
Kevin Jarvis - tambourines

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

Burning House of Love Lyrics

(Cervenka, Doe)

Drive by my house late at night,
you can see it from the freeway above,
No silhouette, but a light left on,
burnin' there for love, burnin' there for love.

Smoke is risin' from the black,
comin' out my back door.
I'm inside, sound asleep, a cigarette on the floor,
burnin' there for love, burnin' there for love.

Well, I can still remember a couple of years ago,
when the smoke and flame from our name,
was a burnin' house of love, burnin' house of love.
a burnin' house of love...
Burnin' house of love, burnin' house of love.

The rusty nail over our front door,
is where I hung our tears in the rain.
I threw that horseshoe into the weeds,
I seen what love can bring, I seen what love can

Now you're in your bed and I'm in mine,
on either side of town;
I think I might take a little ride,
and burn your love house down,
like a burnin' house of love, a burnin' house of love.

Burnin' house of love.

Ryan Adams, John Doe, Lucinda Williams, Old 97's, Joe Ely, Todd Snider, Patty Griffin, Bob Dylan, The Avett Brothers, Will Kimbrough, Amy LaWere, Sunny Sweeney, Sarah Borges, Truckee Brothers, Mother Truckers, Kelly Wilis, Marty Stuart, Doug Spartz, Subdudes, Adrienne Young, Jimmy Lafave, Thrift Store Cowboys, Scott Miller, North Twin, The Shake Stickpony, Spanic Boys, Dale Watson, Patty Hurst Shifter, Rachel Harrington, Birght Eyes, Richmond Fontaine, David Serby, Eilen Jewell, Gourds, X, Hackensaw Boys, REM, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Terri Hendrix, Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros, Gurf Morlix, Drive By Truckers, Hank Williams, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kara Suzanne, Jaimi Shuey, Drunken Prayer, Dumb Angel, Dream Syndicate, Keegan Dewitt, Dolorean, Tommy Womack, David Picco, The National Lights, Winterpills, Bob Frank & John Murry, Counting Crows, Son Volt, Porter Wagoner, Teddy Thompson, Elizabeth Cook, Steve Forbert, Lori McKenna, Mark Olson, King Wilkie, Okkervil River, No River City, Sam Baker, The Knitters, Magnolia Electric Co, Scott Link, Psychedelic Cowboys, Drag The River, Felice Brothers, Grace Basement, Raspberries, Wrinkle Neck Mules, Moonshine Hangover, Jeff Kanzler, Red Meat, Richard Shinell, Half Knots, Rhett Miller, Psychedelic Cowboys, Scott Link, Jason Isabell, Kendel Carson, David Olney, Uncle Earl, The Duhks, Wilco, Peter Case, waylon Jennings, Jason Eady, Tracy Nelson, Jeffery Halford & The Healers, Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park, Max Stalling, Tab Benoit, Nick Lowe, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, Jeff Finlin, Loudon Wainwright, Chris Knight, Alison Krauss, Corinne Bailey Rae, The New Pornographers, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers, Bob Schneider.



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I am on my second copy.
This CD has all the elements that make the California sound so colorful artfully reduced to the backroom ambience of a clandestine LA bar. With this CD, Dead Rock West has created the newest pinpoint on the timeline of all the great bands to emerge from the Los Angeles scene before them.

Gene Sturges

It's gift giving time!
Put this CD in everyone's xmas stocking this year.Dig that discount for buying multiple copies! I saw them w/ John Doe and they blew me away and I have been listening to their CD daily ever since. Great band!


What more do I need to say? The voices, the music, the songs.

Silver Laker

Jangling guitars+great singing+smokin' songs=Dead Rock West
I CAN'T STOP LISTENING TO THIS CD!! IF all bands were this good the record industry wouldn't be on the skids.