Album

The song that opens this collection, “The Ballad of the Upwardly Mobile,” is the song of our thwarted homecoming, about how we have been to the city, not felt overwhelmingly impressed, and tried to get back home and found out that we never fit in there, anyway. (Lyrics: Strouse; Music: Hartung; Vocals: Strouse & Hartung; Guitar: Hartung: Viola: Hagins; Banjo: TK)

Dave learned our next song, “Sweet Connie Sinclair,” from a good ol’ boy in Nasvhille, who half-sang the words out of one side of his mouth while he chewed an unlit cigar. (Lyrics: Strouse & Hartung; Music: Hartung; Vocals: Strouse & Hartung; Guitar: Hartung )

Printed in Bloomsburg—two towns over from Millville and considered a major city by local standards—The Press Enterprise reports on all the area’s gossip (from D.U.I.s to domestic disturbances to factory closings to lost livestock). This song, “Talkin’ Small-Town Newspaper Blues,” cycles through the latest headlines. (Lyrics: Strouse; Music: Hartung; Vocals: Strouse & Hartung; Guitar: Hartung)

“Snakeskin Blues” is our barn-burner, a hootenanny of front-porch political commentary, blue grass, and twentieth-century Surrealism. (Lyrics: Strouse; Music: Hartung; Vocals: Strouse & Hartung & TK; Guitar: Hartung . Viola: Hagins. Drums: TK)

Ending this album is our rendition of “Irreplaceable,” a song that—in its original form—celebrates the kind of crass materialism that so often passes for feminist empowerment, but that, in our cover, becomes the lament of a hick as he cries into his beer. Trashy relationships, after all, transcend race and genre. (Written by Smith & Knowles, & al. Arranged by Strouse & Hartung. Vocals: Strouse. Guitar: Hartung. Viola: Hagins)