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True North

Last Train Home

"One of the country's most formidable roots-rock bands."
 
That's the assessment of Nashville's Tennessean newspaper about Last Train Home. And while roots-rock is at the heart of LTH's sound, don't overlook the country, bluegrass, swing, blues, folk, pop, and Tin Pan Alley influences you'll find if you lend this band an ear. What began as a part-time band in Washington D.C. back in 1997 has evolved into an acclaimed full-time touring group based out of Nashville.

Over the years, Last Train Home has included many superb musicians, including:
Jim Gray: Bass
Kevin Cordt: Trumpet
Tom Mason: Electric guitar
Dave Van Allen: Pedal steel
Tim Carroll:  Guitar
Paul Griffith:  Drums
Eric Fritsch: Guitar, keyboards
Chris Watling: Saxophone, accordion
Pete Finney: Pedal steel
Martin Lynds: Drums
Steve Wedemeyer: Electric guitar
Jared Bartlett: Electric guitar
Scott McKnight: Electric guitar
Jen Gunderman: Keyboards, accordion
Bill Williams: Electric guitar
Alan Brace: Mandolin, harmonica
Doug Derryberry: Guitars, keyboards, mandolin

The band has played more than a thousand shows over the years, including tours of Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and the Virgin Islands. With its 11 releases, Last Train Home is a prolific band that gets better with each release, and continues to be one of the most interesting bands on the landscape of American music.

True North

True North

Produced, engineered, and mixed by Doug Derryberry, who deserves much more thanks than this credit line for his patience and creativity.
Additional engineering by Jeff Juliano and John Alagia
Recorded at Bias, Springfield, VA, Jan-July 1999
Mastered by Charlie Pilzer at Airshow, Springfield, VA

CD design by Bill Thompson
Photography by Jim Saah
Additional design by Jeff Nelson
Archival photo research by Athena Angelos
Cover photo: "Road Sign" by Sheldon Dick - Lancaster Co., PA, 1938, Farm Security Administration collection, Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress

Story:
The release show of this CD, in late 1999 at IOTA, I remember as one of the happiest of my musical life. Everything just came together. We had a horn section for the first time, as Kevin Cordt and Chris Watling came and did their magic. We had an album we could be proud of under our belts and I believe I had a grin on my face the whole damn show.

2. Doughnut Girl

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Lyrics

A tribute to Krispy Kreme's shop in Alexandria VA, that's been there since 1948. She stood at my door with a bag from Krispy Kreme
She said, hot doughnuts now, I was in a dream
And when I'd eaten every one
And my heart had come undone
She said, you've got that glazed look on your face
Why don't you come meet me at our lucky place
So I jumped into my car, I didn’t have to go that far, because

CHORUS
I fell in love out on Highway 1 in my midnight world
With my doughnut girl

Under the neon and fluorescent light
She said, they’ve got some fine doughnuts here but it’s much too bright
So outside I found her lips
A cinnamon starlight kiss

3. More And More Amor

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Lyrics

An old Tijuana Brass song that just seemed perfect for LTH. An instrumental

4. My Sally

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Lyrics

A sad hillbilly song. Hey ho, rain and snow
Dark down in the hollow
Play for you with a fiddle and bow
And I’ll be gone tomorrow
Hey hey, cloudy day
No sun in the valley
Ever since she went away
I sure miss my Sally

A little while, not long ago, we went to the city
She found it a lovely place, I saw nothing pretty
She stayed I went, now I do regret it
In my mind I see her smile, never will forget it

Hey ho, rain and snow
Dark down in the hollow
Play for you with a fiddle and bow
And I’ll be gone tomorrow

She wrote a letter short and sweet, saying all was well
I wrote one back telling her that my life was hell
I begged her to return, I swallowed all my pride
I never heard another word, I guess she did decide

Hey hey, cloudy day
No sun in the valley
Ever since she went away
I sure miss my Sally

Her letter’s in my pocket and my bags are at my door
I’ll play one more fiddle tune then I won’t play no more
You’ll find me at the station waiting on a northbound train
I’ll find the girl who stole my heart and be with her again,
Yeah, I’ll find the girl who stole my heart and be with her again

Hey ho, rain and snow
Dark down in the hollow
Play for you with a fiddle and bow
And I’ll be gone tomorrow
Hey hey, cloudy day
No sun in the valley
Ever since she went away
I sure miss my Sally
Ever since she went away
I sure miss my Sally

5. Never Been To Memphis

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Lyrics

Alan's ode to the road. Rainy day on the avenue
Hometown gray got me feeling blue
My baby's away so I talk to myself
Can't help thinking of somewhere else

There's another, another place another day
There's another place that I can stay

I got black coffee to keep me awake
Cheap liquor, what a mistake
There's no one around, there ain't nothing to do
Pack it up and find somewhere new

CHORUS
Well, I've never been to Memphis
Never seen the southern lights
Never thought I would, now I think I might
I've never seen the shine of the Tennessee moon
Maybe it's none, maybe it's none too soon

Out on the road, I can't look back
I-95 is like a racetrack
Got to Carolina, the sun broke through
Roll down the top, there's nothing but blue

There's another, another place another day
There's another place that I can stay

Goin' so fast, can't hear the radio
Signs say stop, but they really mean go
Maybe someday, I don't know when
I'll turn around and be home again

6. Lover's Farewell

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Lyrics

A Carter Family tune that we slowed down and gave the "Wrecking Ball" treatment. We have met and we have parted
We have spoke our last goodbye
You have proved to me falsehearted
You may now forever go

You have wrecked this heart I cherished
You have done me day by day
You are false but I'll forgive you
To forget you, I cannot say

Oh, I love you dear, I love you
More than all this world, I know
You have proved to me falsehearted
You may now forever go

By the riverbank I'll loiter
Until I see your face once more
Then I'll plunge beneath the cold, cold water
And I'll land on some far shore

Down among the trees and the bushes
Where the tall, green willows wave
In the cold and silent rushes
That's where you'll find my lonely grave

Oh, I love you dear, I love you
More than all this world, I know
You have proved to me falsehearted
You may now forever go

Oh, I wish I was white marble
Cold and white on some far shore
Then this poor heart would cease from troubling
Then I'd feel this pain no more

Oh, I love you dear, I love you
More than all this world, I know
You have proved to me falsehearted
You may now forever go

7. Louisiana

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Lyrics

Bill's lap steel solo on this sounds like something off the Eddie Stubbs Show. When you say it like that
Shreveport sounds so far away
Explain to me again, and make it make some sense
Why you're going back
You said something about your family and your friends
But tonight I just can’t pretend

That I wish you well in Louisiana
The only thing I wish is that you would stay
Louisiana, you stole my heart away

Once there was a time
That I loved Louisiana
For sending me a woman
The most beautiful woman I'd ever seen
Now you say you're going back home and you're going home alone
So tonight my opinion's revised

About that place, Louisiana
I'm in an awful state today
Louisiana, you stole my heart away

We went together once
Down to Louisiana
You told me all your secrets
Walking through the Bottomland
Now you say when you're settled in
And when we've become just friends
That you'd like me to visit you there

In your new home in Louisiana
As if I could just walk in one day
Louisiana, you stole my heart away
You stole my heart away
You stole my heart away

8. True North

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Lyrics

The title track, I reckon.....sad, sad, sad.... don't ask. The date was set, still she couldn't see
Waking up beside him
Every day for the rest of her life
She walked and walked through the old part of town
In the aftermath of a hurricane
All the lines were down
So hard to get through

Round and round, round she goes
The compass in her heart
Back and forth
It's so hard to find true north

She turned up his street and she knocked on his door
She couldn't look him in the eye and her voice began to break
Rhe victim of her regret he listened hard
And he knew right off
That her mind would never change
He never got over it

Round and round, round she goes
The compass in her heart
Back and forth
It's so hard to find true north

She looks out on the water at the waves coming in
She thinks about the man who said,
I'll do anything for you
And the one who told her
I would die for you

Round and round, round she goes
The compass in her heart
Back and forth
It's ohhh so hard
It's ohhh so hard
It's so hard to find true north

9. It Doesn't Matter

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Lyrics

Written by a pal, Karl Straub, whose band the Graverobbers is one of the greatest, and whose song "Tonight" is many folks' favorite off our first record. I kind of think the night is for the dreamers
But don't get one in your bed
'Cause she'll treat you like you're just some pretty love song
That's been running through her head

It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter what I've done
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter what I've done

You know that I'm a man of solid virtue
And I won't disgrace your name
You know that I would never try to hurt you
But I've hurt you just the same

It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter what I've done
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter what I've done

You wish that I would learn to keep a promise
But promises, they grow like weeds
I've watched them grow so high they're gonna choke me
And that's the last thing that I need

It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter what I've done
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter
It doesn't matter what I've done

10. Finally

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Lyrics

One of the happiest songs I've ever written.... though it's got clouds around the silver lining. Finally you're in love with me
Just when I was ready to give up
Suddenly you're all over me
When we lie down I never ever want to get up

With the patience of a saint
I walked by your side
And you'd tell me how you'd paint
The town red with those other guys
And I'd be standing there
With my brush in my hand

And I tried not to let on how much it meant to me
Those times you called
But I bet you heard it in my voice
It's not the kind of thing I can hide
I couldn't hide it if I tried

Finally you're in love with me
Just when I was ready to give up
Suddenly you're all over me
When we lie down I never ever want to get up
So don't go thinking of the ways that we might break up
And if I talk too much just tell me to shut up

11. Heartbreak Mountain

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Lyrics

We've played this one a long while. It's not on any Buck Owens box sets... I found it on a vinyl record that's his bluegrass sounding LP. We started playing it at the end of our last set alot. In 2000, I stopped into Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, CA, the nightclub Buck built. He was playing that night (for a long time he played every Friday night) and I had the fried-everything platter and watched a great show. He asked for requests (to be sent up on a slip of paper). I sent up "Heartbreak Mountain," and he played it! He missed a verse, but still... I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Hill
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
'Cause I've lost my will to live

It was 6 o'clock yesterday morning
When my sweet baby packed up to leave
6 o'clock yesterday morning
And I ain't done nothing but grieve

I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Hill
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
'Cause I've lost my will to live

You know I cried and I begged and I pleaded
For my sweet baby not to go
Like a leave that's caught in a whirlwind
Where she's gone now I'll never know

Yeah, I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Hill
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
'Cause I've lost my will to live

So tell me why does a man let a woman
Turn him into a hollow shell
Only to live him behind her
Like a ship at sea with no sail

I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Hill
I'm goin' up on Heartbreak Mountain
'Cause I've lost my will to live
'Cause I've lost my will to live
'Cause I've lost my will to live

12. Last Train Home

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Lyrics

The song that gave us our name.... it's about many things, including the ten years I spent waiting tables. Pay heed to the absolutely gorgeous harmony vocals by DC singer Alice Despard, and the heartbreaking pedal steel of Dave Van Allen. My fellow waiter Jim Greenfield wrote the stellar bridge. The song that gave us our name.... it's about many things, including the ten years I spent waiting tables. Pay heed to the absolutely gorgeous harmony vocals by DC singer Alice Despard, and the heartbreaking pedal steel of Dave Van Allen.
My fellow waiter Jim Greenfield wrote the stellar bridge.
Lyrics:
I'm sitting on the last seat of the last car
Of the last train to leave the station
I left my mystery at home
Getting off of my double shift, pockets light from lousy tips
Hate to ride the subway home alone
Couple up in front of me don't care that I'm here
At the next stop they get off with her tongue in his ear

On the last train home
The last train home

Got a plan for getting out, I've got business propositions
I can't wait on tables my whole life
Made enough tonight for a one-way fare
Back to Pennsylvania
Where my folks say they'll put me up a while
At least until I'm back on my feet
Then things will change

On the last train home
On the last train home
On the last train home

All I used to follow has gone west
I've got holes in my shirt
But I never seem to rest
And I don't ever wonder why
It's a refuge for a while
Just to play my hand

It's already my stop, it's a half a block
From my front door
The tracks roll by my window
They roll along the same right-of-way
That holds the railroad
The one that will carry me away
In 15 days I'll roll out of here
I'll look up and see my window and I'll wave goodbye

From the last train home
the last train home
I'm on the
last train home
the last train home

Last Train Home

"One of the country's most formidable roots-rock bands."
 
That's the assessment of Nashville's Tennessean newspaper about Last Train Home. And while roots-rock is at the heart of LTH's sound, don't overlook the country, bluegrass, swing, blues, folk, pop, and Tin Pan Alley influences you'll find if you lend this band an ear. What began as a part-time band in Washington D.C. back in 1997 has evolved into an acclaimed full-time touring group based out of Nashville.

Over the years, Last Train Home has included many superb musicians, including:
Jim Gray: Bass
Kevin Cordt: Trumpet
Tom Mason: Electric guitar
Dave Van Allen: Pedal steel
Tim Carroll:  Guitar
Paul Griffith:  Drums
Eric Fritsch: Guitar, keyboards
Chris Watling: Saxophone, accordion
Pete Finney: Pedal steel
Martin Lynds: Drums
Steve Wedemeyer: Electric guitar
Jared Bartlett: Electric guitar
Scott McKnight: Electric guitar
Jen Gunderman: Keyboards, accordion
Bill Williams: Electric guitar
Alan Brace: Mandolin, harmonica
Doug Derryberry: Guitars, keyboards, mandolin

The band has played more than a thousand shows over the years, including tours of Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and the Virgin Islands. With its 11 releases, Last Train Home is a prolific band that gets better with each release, and continues to be one of the most interesting bands on the landscape of American music.

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