Everchanging Trail

by Laura and the Killed Men

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about

Laura and the Killed Men steep their songs in the lore of the American West, refracting its triumphs and tragedies through an intimate lens. Laura Kepner-Adney, the lead singer and guitarist in the Tucson-based band, shades her spellbinding voice with echoes of country and Appalachia. Her expansive songwriting, honed from seven years in the critically acclaimed ensemble Silver Thread Trio, highlights her connection to Arizona’s unforgiving environment. For Laura and the Killed Men’s first LP, Everchanging Trail, Kepner-Adney, in collaboration with songwriting partner and lead guitarist Sam Golden, has developed a style that weaves together all the diverse and disparate elements of what has defined country music throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and forges something timelessly familiar yet wholly unique. Bob Hanshaw and Björgvin Benediktsson, sharing bass duties, and Seth Vietti, drums, supply soaring vocal harmonies and a tightly refined backbeat. After making their debut opening for Mavis Staples, Laura and the Killed Men recorded the One Bell hybrid CD/analog record and embarked on a nine-week national tour. Their first full-length album, Everchanging Trail (released April 2016), uses songs they wrote on their 12,000-mile journey around the country.

credits

released April 15, 2016

Laura Kepner-Adney - vox, guitar
Sam Golden - vox, guitar
Seth Vietti - drums, vox
Robert Hanshaw - bass, vox

Guests:
Marco Rosano - clarinet on Heaven's Daughter
Kevin Mayfield - saw and jaw harp on Winter in her Teeth
Choir on Hymn - Jesse Allen, Björgvin Benediktsson, Katherine Byrnes, Ellie Hutchison, Caroline Isaacs, Adrienne Lobl, Tom Moore, Gautham Narayan, Erik Ngai Ham Chan, Isadora Moreno, Chris Tackett

Engineered and mixed by Sir Jim Waters at Waterworks
Additional engineering on Hymn by Matt Stewart
Mastered by Jim Blackwood at AZPM Mastering

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about

Laura and the Killed Men Tucson, Arizona

Dusty country Americana from the Sonoran Desert

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Track Name: Caroline
Put your hat on the wind’s blowing Caroline
Get your boots out the rain’s falling Caroline
In your eyes the sunny skies are miles away
Keep your chin up, Caroline, there’s always blue above the gray
It’s been a long time now; the valley hides the waking columbine
It’s been a long, long time, Caroline

Walk down to the lake with me now Caroline
Reflections we will always be now Caroline
The water, blue as heaven’s hue, is safe and warm
It’s the perfect place to hide away from the storm
It’s been a long time now…

Come with me and let’s go swimming Caroline
Twilight colors ‘round us spinning Caroline
We’ll dance until our woes and worries fade from view
Hold my hand, now, Caroline, and take me with you
It’s been a long time now…
Track Name: Arms Again
This Autumn breeze reminds me
Of the way your hair used to blow behind you
Twisting in the wind and tangled with our love
This amber dust, these couples swaying
After all these years the same band’s still playing
And I’m still listening for the call of the mourning dove

Days blew on, years had gone
I thought I buried the past underground
‘Til I found myself in your arms again
Just this once, darling, let’s pretend
This night will never end

The breath of time left us scattered
I moved to New Orleans and it left me shattered
I said things to you that I can’t take back
November nights brought this aching feeling
I’d push it out my heart or it’d send me reeling
Stumbling in the fog and rambling through the black

Days blew on…

I swear to you if you had asked me
Did I know you’d be in this room where last we
Held each other close and I promised I would write
I’d shake my head and call you crazy
Now the weight of the years dissolves to haze and
As we spin your silver ring is shining bright
Track Name: Sara's Room
As long as your remember she’s the only one you wanted
As long as you were right for her she’d love you just the same
Long as you would take her hand you’d always stay together
But you’d always end up leaving slightly lighter than you came
Times you felt you were complete with nothing but her company
The truces laid across your bed were comfort at the start
But all the while she picked apart with all her guarded riddles
And softly dissected your heart

Somewhere up in Sara’s room the pieces come together
You’re left with every part of you she didn’t take away
Somewhere up in Sara’s room the pieces come together
And you slowly forget you were ever okay

She left your life a vacuum, your bones a broken puzzle
Your body split as her parted lips released a grim perfume
And as she built you up again, skipping through the rubble
Your memory grows dim of limbs that she did not consume

Sara thinks that she’s in love with nothing but your company
Your blind and tender emptiness were comfort at the start
She’s made a marionette of you, but the strings were once inside her
When someone dissected her heart

Somewhere up in Sara’s room…
Track Name: Boston
The crowded white tube sank above the rust belt
As the frost on the windows descended in melt
And I’ll never forget the relief that I felt
The truth’s I was tired; I was lost in the fire

Then singing and sweating and drawing a gun
And carelessly kissing my back with the sun
Then barely believing the night had begun
The truth’s I was friend; I was lost in the fire

Five days passed, each one left lingering long in its ashes
Each hour cast, all of the strangers held secrets to tell

Revere held no title, no deed to his rings
But printing a pathway to history brings
Though peasants today may tomorrow be kings
The truth’s that he died; he was lost in the fire

From Doyle’s dirty doorstep to the Hub’s shiny chrome
What more could you ask from a city alone?
And I said that I’d never return to my home
The truth’s that I lied; I was lost in the fire

Five days passed, each one left lingering long in its ashes
Each hour cast, soon all you strangers will know me so well
Track Name: Hymn
Sing me a song of dawning, the glory of light on the meadow
Spin me a story of great things; your words will be my guide
Carry me to the other side

Lead me to peace and beauty; brighten my path with blessing
Help me fulfill my duty and steer me in my stride
Carry me to the other side

Night reclaims the heavens; my burden has made me weary
Like wolves my sins surround me as I near the great divide
Carry me to the other side

I’ve lived my life in shadow, but I have learned forgiveness
The sun has forsaken the valley but the moon will fill the sky
Carry me to the other side
Track Name: The World's Fair Hotel
Chicago rain fell all around, My feet were plastered to the ground
I heard your laugh, an easy sound; the ferris wheel was spinning round
You said you had a place nearby, a five star Hotel certified
A place where all my skirts could dry until the storm had passed us by

Oh take me home, please take me home
Summertime is passing by, don’t leave me here alone
I’m old enough to know by now/ what’s right and so I vow I’ll never roam
So honey take me home

Then with a wink you took my arm, I found no cause to be alarmed
And giggling, dizzy with your charm I skipped my ride back to the farm
You took me in with no delay, we laughed and danced the week away
My old life seemed so dull and gray, I thought I’d stay just one more day
Oh take me home…

And you’re handsome, sweetheart you’re splendid
And I’ll never find another so fine
But darling no insult intended
There’s something’s been weighing on my mind

I lay awake ‘til half past four, then crept across the ballroom floor
To find you standing at the door of a room I’d never seen before
Your face became a devilish grin, the hallway lights all seemed to spin
And knowing what a fool I’d been, with one last kiss, you pushed me in
Oh take me home…
Track Name: Pocatello Son
Never knew just how to build a fire
Without tinder ‘til I saw it coming in between the trees
No stranger to the western skies, your eyes were full of gold
Those long forgotten embers in the breeze

And in my mind I know you’re somewhere out there
Chasing that blue-eyed millionaire
And every time I hear your name I come undone
Pocatello son

Changed your name and took a plane out to Arizona
Where the work would keep you comfort and the heat would set you right
And you said you’d stay forever in the borderlands
But sometimes the sun shines too bright

And in my mind I know you’re somewhere out there…

Any time I turn a corner I think I’ll see you there
Every party I expect you to walk right in
And even here at home I see you everywhere
As though this dream would have a different end

Just like a ring, when everything came back together
You put down your guitar; couldn’t hold it anymore
You hopped on Wonder Bubble and rode deep into the evening
Where the Santa Cruz is flowing like before

And in my mind I know you’re somewhere out there…
Track Name: Winter In Her Teeth
Where did you go? She asked with lightning in her eyes
How did she know the truth that was stirred up with your lies
And as your body’s burning through
You hear her as she sighs

A million mistakes to make while we’re spinning on this stone
A million ways to avoid ever being alone
And as you lose her sympathy
She drops away and moans

And it’s your third time losing her
The fourth time she’ll be free
It’s the last time she’ll walk away with winter clenched in her teeth

Another broken road, a simmering of poison in the vein
Another load of property once lost is now regained
And as she disappears from view
You watch your other wane
Track Name: Heaven's Daughter
The air was thick with jasmine bloom, our eyes met through the heat
The wake your steps created gently traveled past my feet
I watched it from a hiding place, the birth of heaven’s daughter

There’s something in the water
Something draws us near
And I’ll wait here bound to want her
‘Til the water disappears

You slid across the surface ‘til the river met your breast
So eager to embrace him, disappeared below your dress
And as you fell in ecstasy I fell for heaven’s daughter

There’s something in the water…

My soul is ever tethered to the one below the blue
And every time I come here my memory burns anew
I lost her to infinity, my lovely heaven’s daughter

There’s something in the water…
Track Name: Everchanging Trail
Our hands are soft and never sore
Our voices strong and never frail
Our mothers walked this path before
Now we’re following the everchanging trail

No scars upon the hills you’ll find
Through waves of golden grain we sail
And yet we’ve kicked up dust behind
Now you’re following the everchanging trail

The miles roll away from view
No drought nor storm could make us fail
Our fathers paved these pathways through
And we’re following the everchanging trail

These ancient plains, these rivers wide
With each step the land unveils
But listen, children, beware your pride
It is not yours to keep, this everchanging trail
Track Name: Pilgrims' Lullaby
This lonesome Spring, all hushed and huddled
We’re passing through the snowy canyons
And everything we’ve loved and feared
Beneath the clouds has disappeared

Someday we’ll find home again
And I’ll be with you ‘til the end

So we will sleep in darkest midnight
With every tree a skeleton shivering
And we will keep each other warm
Beneath the stars so far from home

Someday…

So close your eyes beneath the branches
Dream of the sun through willow blossoms
And when you rise just like before
I’ll hold you close to me once more

Someday…