Michael M McDonald | Drifter's Alchemy

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Drifter's Alchemy

by Michael M McDonald

Drifter's Alchemy is Michael M McDonald's debut record. This collection of five songs, is a lyrically powerful and haunting acoustic, folk/country album, with a high lonesome sound with timeless dark edges in its storytelling.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Land for Cain
4:35 album only
clip
2. Restless Heart Blues
3:59 album only
clip
3. Ballad of Frankie Short
5:02 album only
clip
4. Bootlegger's Son
4:34 album only
clip
5. Drive in Movie (feat. Fred Eaglesmith)
3:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Kick a man down to size
and you'll soon understand,
with his pen in hand,
you taught him how to fly
- Michael M McDonald

For Richard, Rick and Levon



The Sessions

Drifter's Alchemy

All Words / Music written by Michael M McDonald, except track five.

Produced by Michael M McDonald
Associate producer: Karl de Serres
Breadline Studios, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2019.

Land for Cain

(Words and Music) Michael M McDonald
Ripple Effect Music
Saint John, NB Canada
Tim Davidson, Sound Engineer
Mix: Karl de Serres, Breadline Records, Montreal
Mastering: Ryan Morey Mastering, Montreal, Canada, 2019.

Restless Heart Blues

(Words and Music) Michael M McDonald
Ripple Effect Music
Saint John, NB Canada
Tim Davidson, Sound Engineer
Mix: Karl de Serres, Breadline Records, Montreal
Mastering: Ryan Morey Mastering, Montreal, Canada, 2019.

Ballad of Frankie Short

(Words and Music) Michael M McDonald
Guitars/Harmonica/Vocals: Michael M McDonald
Bedtrack by Geometric Sound, Montreal
Mix: Karl de Serres, Breadline Records, Montreal
Mastering: Ryan Morey Mastering, Montréal, Canada, 2019.


Bootlegger’s Son

(Word and Music) Michael M McDonald
Guitar/Vocals: Michael M McDonald
Violins: Yohaan Francoz
Bass: Karl de Serres
Bed track: Geometric Sound, Montreal
Mix: Karl de Serres, Breadline Records, Montreal
Mastering: Ryan Morey Mastering, Montreal, Canada, 2019.


Drive-in Movie

(Words /Music) Fred Eaglesmith
Blue Water Services Corp. [Publishing], Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Recorded: Breadline Records, Montreal
Mix:Karl De Serres, Sound Engineer.
Mastering: Ryan Morey Mastering, Montreal, Canada, 2019.

Drifter’s Alchemy was recorded and mixed
By Karl De Serres at Breadline Records, Montreal, Canada.
Drifter's Alchemy was Produced by Michael M McDonald, Karl de Serres
Montreal Canada, 2019
Mastered by Ryan Morey: Ryan Morey Mastering, Montreal, Canada, 2019.



Lyrics

Land For Cain

Oh Cain won't you come on in
I'll wash the blood clean from your hands
will the cool water wake us from this dream
Cain won't ya come on in

He stood at his side
a small hand laid upon the plow
and the trees crashed down
from his daddy's strong hand
clearin’ hard land all around
said you got to push your soul
down deep in the fertile ground
itl'll keep you strayin’ from the road
and beggin down in the town

Refrain

Oh Cain won't you come on in
l'll wash the blood clean from your hands
can the cool water wake us from this dream?
Cain won’t ya come on in?

Well Cain grew up strong
at his daddy's side
they sewed a hundred healthy acres right on down
to the banks of the river wide
he said, boy one day
when I’m long gone
you’ll know what we went through
and it'll all be paid by the time you're grown
and I’m a gonna leave it all to you

Refrain

Out on the Eastern lands
man they're layin’ steel rail down
five miles a day
and then the railmen come around
with six guns on their side
they told his daddy they could pay
if he'd let that train roll through the land
or they'd take it anyway
He stood by the door and he told those men
his land he would not share
in a flash of light that lit up the night
they left the farmer layin’ there

Refrain

Well the railmen stood
in the silhouette of the dead
Cain come behind and raised a pistol high
and he shot the railmen dead
He took the railmen down
and to his father he did pray
he tried to close the hole
where all the blood and soul
were runnin’ all away
he said, I love you boy
now this all belongs to you
and I hope you know
as the seasons go
I did my very best for you

Mama cried:
Cain won't you come on in
I’ll wash the blood clean from your hands
can the cool water wake us from this dream
Cain won’t ya come on in

Oh cain won't you come in
I'll hide your guns and wash your hands
can the cool water wake us from this dream
Cain won’t ya come on in


Restless Heart Blues

Well I stay out all night long
Keep a rollin’ after mornin’ comes
There’s somethin’ pulling me
I gotta move on down the line

In my history there's a travelin’ bone
And it's going to tear her world apart
Caus’ there just ain't no cure for a restless heart

Well my uncle died out in Reno
In a hot rod El Camino
and my daddy disappeared on a boxcar train
you know I love you girl it's true
but I got them ole highway blues
caus’ there just ain't no cure for a restless heart

The day we walked to the preacher man
a stack of bibles in his hands
you looked into my eyes
you knew right from the start

so take my picture and hold on fast
the hold you got on me won’t last
caus’ there just ain't no cure
for a restless heart

Break

Yeah, you can kick and cry and fight
wait up with the coffee on all night
I know you're waitin’ there
but I can hear the highway call
a freightline diesel is a blowin’ by
pulled that blood down to my shoes
caus’ there just ain't no cure
for these restless blues

I'm gonna ramble from town to town
til’ they lay me in the muddy ground
cause there just ain't no cure
for a restless heart
no there just ain't no cure for a restless heart


Ballad Of Frankie Short

Frankie pulled his bones from his North End bed
and drew his curtains to the morning
Saint John River’s like a mirror
rolling through Indian Town

He hung his nets out
on the rusted fence
and rubbed his hands to feel the warmin’
Winter sun crawled over Bridge Street at Indian Town

Said: I been fishing here for fifty years
on these rivers near and far
I had a forty two foot long fishing boat
before I ever owned a car
Pulling gaspereau like nobody knows
and haulin’ logs when the seasons down
now I am the only one left around
I'm a man on the river
here at Indian Town

Bridge

Been blasted by the river wrath
It’s mapped upon my skin
through the snow and the cold
for the gasperau were falling from my hands

We traded here with the Maliceet Kings
long before I come around
Time stood still on this eeling ground
I'm a man on the river
Here at Indian town.

Frankie pulled his bones from his North End bed
and drew his curtains to the morning
hauled his nets down to the river’s edge
and saw that Main Street’s alive again

Across the river on the Milford side
he saw the May Queen steamin’ in
haulin’ up along side Robertson's Wharf
with the souls of the river’s end

He said:
I'll climb aboard
as she pulled from shore
we lined the river and we waved goodbye

The shipyard hammers
they were echoing all around
for the man on the river here at Indian Town

He said:
I'll climb aboard
as she pulled from shore
we lined the river and we waved goodbye
the shipyard hammers
they were echoing all around
for the man on the river here at Indian Town


Bootlegger's Son

The day that they laid you down low
the sweet summer sky filled with crows
fillin’ up the blue with my pain
flyin’ off with your wages of sin

A procession of hard weathered men
old lovers, enemies and old friends
some just can’t believe that you're gone
and I whisper: You can't right the wrong

Refrain

Grew up hell, high water and flood
whores, liquor and bathin’ in your own blood
whiskey and pills for the mind
helps to bury this bootleggin’ kind

The shovels dig, the story's been read
the crow’s still crying "Jimmy is dead"

And I walk alone then I run
caus’ I'm just a Bootlegger's son
you ain't never see me around
cause my family name’s dirt
in this town

Drive-in Movie (F. Eaglesmith)

Well the phone broke the silence
like the screaming of the siren
and I just sat beside it
took another drag on a cigarette
I swore I'd never smoke again
and I watched it rain

I knew that it was you
calling just to prove that you were
strong as you could be
and you get along without me
any time, and any way

I just stare through the door screen
watch the cars come down the pike
their lights against the sky
like a drive-in movie
on a country road
that I seen before
never like the first time

Blue lights on the dashboard
songs on the radio-o
and how were you to ever know
how much I loved you so
you thought that I was only dreaming

What a surprise it must have been
to realise I was one of them
not a king, but just a man
not an angel
hardly a friend
and not someone, you could believe in

I just stare through the door screen
and watch the cars come down the pike
their lights against the sky
like a drive-in movie
on a country road
that I seen before
never like the first time

And out across the rugged hills
the dust blows, the wind wails
sun bleached skulls and empty shells
broken men with tales to tell
and I would be one of them
and how are we to ever know
how far it's gonna go
you fall in love and that's the road
you travel 'till you can't no more
and then you just turn around again
and I just stare through the door screen
Watch the cars come down the pike
Their lights against the sky
like a drive-in movie


Michael M McDonald Guitar, Harmonicas, vocals
Yohann Francoz Violin
Karl de Serres Bass



Acknowledgments

Michael “Attorney-at-law” Lively, Saint John, NB
Xavier Auclair, Le Ministère, Montreal, QC
Karl de Serres, Montreal, QC
Ryan Morey, Montreal, QC
Andrew Burgess, Montreal, QC
Blue Water Publishing, Nashville, TN
and Fred Eaglesmith, one of this country’s great writers.

Last but not least, to the one with the unwavering belief in my songs, and in me;
Marisa Ruccolo, Montreal

Ⓟ & Ⓒ 2019 Michael M McDonald


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Susan Cormier

Drifter's Alchemy
Love the stripped down raw sound of Michael M McDonald's debut EP, Drifter's Alchemy . The record showcases his powerfully evocative songwriting and earthy acoustic style. Like Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt (clear influences here) , Mike loves to tell stories through his music. Sad tales of broken men, hardship, loss, family and identity on record that is deeply rooted in that high lonesome sound associated with traditional country, folk, bluegrass, and blues music. Really enjoyed Drifter's Alchemy and can't wait to see what he does next! Go get yourself a copy. You'll be glad you did!
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