West

by The Restoration

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1.
[Narrator: Unspecified, 1939] You keep me comin’ back, girl Comin’ back to you ‘Cause you know, you know what to do I’m not messin’ around We gotta keep it down Or they’re gonna hear us down the road No, not messin’ around Next time we go to town Everybody’s gonna know You keep me comin’ back, girl Comin’ back to you ‘Cause you know, you know what to do Just wanna do what’s right Somewhere out of sight It’d be impolite to leave you cold Jacket’s on the nail Jonah and the whale Aaron made an idol out of gold You keep me comin’ back, girl Comin’ back to you ‘Cause you know, you know what to do Come on, teach me not to sin Over and over again Come on, teach me not to sin And let’s begin to let it in
2.
[Narrator: Ruby, 1939] I was all elbows and knees Anyway that’s what they used to tell me “A lady isn’t heard, she’s only seen And a poor man’s girl is still a lady” I had grown accustomed to translucence—until lately See, my skinny frame got stuck into a dress And this mop of red hair grew to favor me I guess ‘Cause their grabbing eyes and sweet-talking tongues Won’t let off me now—they’ve ignored me for so long Mama said to keep my pretty head Out of streets and bars and the backseats of cars But what to do when somebody’s telling you they love you? I don’t know if we should I’m sure it isn’t good But we might could We might could give it all away We might could do what we want —when we want it We might could become one We might could become a couple more We might could become the sun —and burn up everyone We might could burn We might could
3.
[Narrator: Joe, 1943] I saw you in a student play That was too much like my life You spoke to me through the words Of a long-deceased playwright I asked you where you came from You said, “the muggy south” I said I’d like to know you You said, “that’s something to think about” On the day that you went home Your lips against my ear You said, “don’t be long following me —down south” And I said You know I’ll never leave you We said our vows in a little town Under monuments to the Civil War Moved into a yellow house Made love on the kitchen floor We had two sons Used the Bible for their names You said you loved us But I knew things were not the same Your face against my chest You whispered to me “I wish I’d never come back south” And I said You know I’ll never leave you
4.
[Narrators: Ruby & Joe, 1947] JOE: I saw us going out of phase Caught up wondering if everything ends the same RUBY: I saw my dreams begin to fade As soon as my body became a woman’s I guess we got in deep There isn’t much between “Nice to meet you” and the room where our kids sleep BOTH: Help me Keep it going Keep it going, please Keep it going with me I don’t know what to say Do we lose more if we leave or if we stay? JOE: Do you recall the days When we were the thing —we’d ruin anything to save? BOTH: Help me Keep it going Keep it going, please Keep it thing going with me I’ll do it if you’ll do it I’ll do it if you’ll do it I’ll do it if you’ll do it JOE: I’ll pack their bags And be back in a couple days
5.
West 05:33
[Narrator: David, 1947] “Only 15 hours to go We’ll be there soon” He said “Soon” The trees turned to scrub The scrub turned to sand Out the window Strange land Big brother by my side Father at the wheel His umber hands Steering us past endless fields “Father, are you taking us home?” The highway climbed between Skyscrapers of stone More dirt out the window Than I’d ever known A diner in the desert The smells of oil and men Spiders big as hands The engine hummed again “Father, are you taking us home?” A tower pierced the sunrise Dry air, an idle flag The trunk groaned slowly open Father only held two bags I found his eyes Red against white knuckles holding everything I owned My throat burned His shadow stretched away from me across the desert We stood forever Two sides of the same thing—splitting open The trunk slammed And we rode a hundred-miles-an-hour heading East At sundown He bought fireworks and I watched the night light up with white heat Thinking Now I know what splitting open means
6.
[Narrator: David, 1947-1953] Polished shoes in dress blues My face pressed down in the dirt They were five, I was younger Wishing I could say it still hurt But the nuns kept a distance And the boys hit harder if you resisted See, when Joe showed back up —with us prodigal sons Ruby looked like she'd seen a ghost Wasn't long before we kicked off A joint custody tour of the East coast New York to Carolina To Florida, Catholic military primer We stayed with Joe in the summer Played pilot in a rusted out plane Got a kick in the stomach Every time I saw the leaves change He’d say, “remember who you are” —and throw our asses out of the car “Boys pack your bags again Summer’s over and it’s time to straighten up again” Yeah, yeah, pack it up again Visit’s over and it’s time to fall in line again You haven’t lived ‘til you’ve been pissed on By a lieutenant don’t know his ABCs He got a hundred demerits And they saved fifty for me You know it’s hard to be good —when they’re tellin’ you that nobody could Got a dishonorable discharge A month after I turned 10 Joe chewed us out the whole ride home Where I finally saw Ruby again There were hugs and innuendo Then Joe got smaller in the rear window We had a regular family With Ruby and some dude from up north Interrupted occasionally when they —disappeared to New York So, off to Uncle Ted’s and —another couple rotating beds “Boys pack your bags again Ruby’s got another audition” Yeah, yeah, pack it up again Ruby’s leaving for another lost weekend I’d lay in bed and think: I was nine years old with a rock in my hand Hearing Joe saying “pain makes you a man” Waiting in the moonlight for that boy to be alone By the time he came to my boyhood was all gone “Boys pack your bags again Ruby’s got another audition” Yeah, yeah, pack it up again Ruby’s leaving for another lost weekend
7.
[Narrator: Ruby, 1953] I love the lights The chorus of the streets at night Feels like you can be everything I love the stage The roar of an audience crashing like a wave Against a world of stone That only wants to turn you into bones That's how it starts Just wanting to be more than a spark In an endless dark I’ve got so much to give I didn't love you Not like I needed to, not like I should You were two little faces reminding me —time had gotten by me good So I left you behind Far enough away to ease my mind I hoped we’d all grow in the meantime But one day you see That it’s not dying, but living only for yourself That makes you feel empty I've got so much to give I didn’t need to keep it all I could have loved myself and you
8.
[Narrator: Joe, 1970] JOE: Where does the time go? Last time I saw you you were only this tall Remember, you boys ran from me? DAVID: Don’t know why we did that JOE: And your neighbor said, “I know they’re your boys But they seem afraid of you You shouldn’t come back around here anymore” So I didn’t But that was years ago Wasn’t it? David, you should come to Charlotte You should come to Charlotte Move nearby, make up for lost time Do you think it’s too late for us? Do you think it’s too late for us? Remember the Chrysler? It’s down here I walled it up So nobody can get it out again You keep what you make That’s how you win Do you think it’s too late for us? Did you say you have a daughter? That complicates things, doesn’t it? ‘Cause no one likes people They just love the ones they know You know me Don’t you? Do you think it’s too late for us?
9.
[Narrator: Pop, 1991] When you told him you were gonna leave And we watched them lose everything I don’t think that we really knew what it would mean When we sent your children away Your face to my chest, you cried as we swayed We danced in New York and I knew I’d do anything to stay with you, girl To stay with you, girl—but I wondered: Should I feel guilty for loving you the way I do? We nested in your hometown I peddled booze, you held the books down Your boys came to visit, brought wives and damn kids around I watched your red curls turn to gray You painted and gardened, I kept the squirrels away At nighttime you held me, my heart beat my chest, thinking: nothing I do Can keep this for always—please stay with me, girl Please stay with me, girl Should I feel guilty for loving you the way I do? I cursed God and the hospital bed When Type 2 took your legs Your boys came to visit­—I didn’t see, smell, hear them I saw only you and felt only dread I piled up the mail in our house Until your boys moved me out I don’t think that I really knew what it would mean to be Without you, girl—but I know one thing I’ll never ask Should I feel guilty for loving you the way I do?
10.
Brother 03:06
[Narrator: David, 1950] We chased that airplane on our bicycles Through the forest in our leather jackets And when it landed we took the runway We pedaled 'til our wheels vibrated And at the moment my bike almost left the ground The air marshall caught us When he asked our father's name —our eyes flashed terror We waited on a bench until the pilot saw us And asked, "do you kids wanna fly for real?” As we taxied I saw Joe’s Chrysler coming As we lifted off I saw his solemn gaze Spread into a grin across his face Brother, I just want to say that I'm glad I'll always know you That no matter where they take us Or what they put us through I'll always know you

about

INTRODUCTION
This album is about my dad, David, and his parents: Ruby, who died when I was very young, and Joe, whom I never knew.

My dad spent his youth in the 1940s and '50s bouncing between the whims of divorced parents in places familiar and hostile across the United States. I grew up listening to his stories, in which he became my sole protagonist and personal folk hero.

Later, in my 30s, I was older than Ruby and Joe had been when they had kids, and had tasted society’s expectations of those overripe for starting families. I began to write songs from Ruby and Joe’s perspectives, guided and intimidated by the tension of exploring their motivations that formed the specter over my dad’s youth.

In Ruby, I found the kindred spirit of a yearning artist I’d long neglected to recognize. In Joe, a father hauntingly familiar, yet whose presence seemed limited to short, radiant bursts. In my
dad, there’s a folk hero still, whose love, humor, and wild unbreakable spirit exist beyond what any medium can capture.

The album is called West, after a fateful road trip taken by Joe and my dad that has stoked my imagination and shaped my views on parenthood for as long as I can remember. I hope you
find something out there, as I have.

— Daniel

credits

released October 25, 2019

THE RESTORATION
Adam Corbett - Bass, Vocals on “You Know What To Do”
Lauren Garner - Violin
Sharon Gnanashekar - Piano, Keyboards
Daniel Machado - Vocals, Fiddle, Banjo, Acoustic Guitars
Sean Thomson - Electric & Slide Guitars, Electric Banjo

HARMONY SINGERS
Tim Eriksen - Vocals for Joe
The Mobros’ Kelly and Patrick Morris - Vocals for David and “Brother”
Alexa Woodward - Vocals for Ruby

PRODUCTION
Produced by Stephen Russ, Daniel Machado
Mixed by Collin Derrick
Engineered by Zac Thomas
Mastered by Keith Compton

Songs by Daniel Machado Except “You Know What To Do” by Daniel Machado, Lauren Garner, Adam Corbett

Band recorded live at Jam Room Studio, Columbia, SC, September, 2017 with Steve Sancho on drums.

Band overdubs recorded by Daniel Machado January, 2018 - August 2018.

Harmony singers recorded remotely, Charleston, SC, and Burlington, VT, July - August 2018.

Introduction edited by Bailey Lewis
Lyrics copy-edited by Brent Franklin

Cover Art and Design by Daniel Machado
NYC Photo by Samuel H Gottscho, 1933, Library of Congress

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The Restoration Columbia, South Carolina

We write concept albums about the American South.

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