The Blue Ribbon Tea Company | Railroad Boy

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United States - Washington

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Folk: Folk Blues Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Railroad Boy

by The Blue Ribbon Tea Company

Strong lyrics with mystery and history, and stories of human beings lost and abandoned, with guitar,mandolin and harmonica.
Genre: Folk: Folk Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Raining By Night
5:25 $0.99
2. Memorial Day
5:03 $0.99
3. Shadows of Friends
3:56 $0.99
4. Railroad Boy
3:53 $0.99
5. Flatlands
3:18 $0.99
6. Rachel Corrie
4:42 $0.99
7. Living in My Neighborhood
4:41 $0.99
8. Joliet Union Blues
4:29 $0.99
9. St. James Hotel
4:55 $0.99
10. America For Sale
3:23 $0.99
11. In the Night Time
7:07 $0.99
12. When I Was a Young Man
5:03 $0.99
13. The Weeping Waltz
2:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A Storyteller, of suicides, railway drifters, half-sane neighbors and A Mother's baby boy lost in Iraq, of working men and women, immigrants and discarded love, These mostly original songs are done with simplicity of style, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and a voice that desperately wants you to hear the story. It's all about the story.

Bill Kostelec is a "blue collar Ph.D." He can talk about the factory, a veteran of several. A one time evangelical pastor, he can talk about the church, about a Jesus stolen by reactionaries. He's spent a lifetime listening to people, and taken their stories to heart.
He'll tell you about the B-17 pilot who survived the war and ruined his marriage with guilt driven whiskey and the Viet Nam vet who suffers the empty loneliness of remembering long dead friends and where he was the day he turned nineteen. With Kathy Kostelec on mandolin and doing back up vocals, and writing several of the songs the heart of the music is in the stories.

The big thick binder in which Kostelec keeps his ever growing collection of songs is labeled "American Songs." This is not a set of jingoistic "we are the greatest" flag-waving kinds of songs. Here, love of country is more subtle, as in "St. James Hotel" a story of a trip on the Empire Builder heading from Chicago to Seattle and crossing the mighty Mississippi River. There is also the semi-comical "America for Sale Up At The Mall" about American materialism, a holiday song of sorts. There is Joliet Union Station Blues", reminiscing about the train station where his grandparents and thousands of others disembarked to begin their lives in this industrial town in the Midwest. This love of country is sober and critical, like that love one might have for a spouse once unfaithful yet nevertheless remaining bound to you. There is also, as in "When I was a Young Man" a self-critical stance, mocking the self-righteousness and romantic self-delusions of earlier times. Here too is a look at the America of the street people, homeless wanderers, scrutinized, feared, despised, aimless and empty eyed.

This is the first album of The Blue Ribbon Tea Company and the passion that drives them is not dreams of "being rock stars"; these are working people, but rather the committment to telling their stories and saying what they have to say.



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