Whatever The Jungle released 1998

PERFORMERS
Eric Dahl – Lead Vocals and Acourstic Guitar
John Hawk – Lead Guitar
Terry Martin – Vocals and Conga
Ernie Durawa - Drums
Monte Mann – Electric, Acoustic and Bass Guitar
Joel Guzman – Accordion
Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff – Saxophone
Greg Hauth – Drums
Ken Coffman – Bass
Courtney Audain – Bass

PRODUCTION
Produced by Eric Dahl and John Hawk
Recorded by John Hawk at Post Valley Listening, Seattle
And the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Also by George Coyne at Parrot Tracks Studio, Austin
Visual Concept, Color Photos and Portrait by Michael Fajans
Black and White Photos of Rural Texas by Paige Britt
Graphic Design by Steve Grill at Studio Attic Graphics, Austin
Internet Guidance by Dewey Winburn and the Staff at
Interactive Architex, Austin.

Album Backstory

As his first CD was gaining recognition in the Northwest, Dahl moved to Texas, formed a band, and began performing and writing there. Whatever the Jungle combines songs from both scenes.

The title song is a Texas love story about following a soulmate to a new land, no matter what the situation, whatever the jungle. The imagery includes people dancing in an Austin side street after dry lightning and heavy rain have passed. Water is running down Sixth Street like a shallow river. As the water drains away, musicians move outside, into what becomes an outdoor dance hall, with live music pulsing in electrified air, and dancers coming alive to the music and the clearing sky.

Another song with a climatic context, “Season of Drought,” describes a different kind of intensity--the distress caused by one of the worst droughts in Central Texas history. A related but different focus is a song that celebrates the survival techniques of “Dr. Margarita,” a friend with a black leather medical bag who makes his rounds, door to door, mixing Margaritas for neighbors and friends.

The collection also includes songs from Seattle like “Bringing You Thunder” about the Vietnam war and its impact in a South Seattle neighborhood. The song was played that year at the Seattle Folklife Festival with West Coast bandmates John Hawk (guitar) and Terry Martin (vocals). While continuing to explore his Northwest origins, Austin offered a route into new influences, particularly from his new band members: Grammy drummer Ernie Durawa of Texas Tornado fame, versatile Austin guitarist Monte Mann, and Larry Eisenberg, a dream bass player for any songwriter because of his supple phrasing. The CD also has guest appearances by Austin greats Joel Guzman (accordion) and Mark Kazanoff (sax). The CD is a hybrid of musical talent and storytelling from two very different music scenes, resulting in a song collection of unusual variety and originality.

In his review of the collection, John Conquest of Third Coast Music wrote, “Dahl’s 14 songs range from pretty damn good to absolutely terrific, but the music doesn’t just do what backing is supposed to do, frame and complement those songs. It goes a step further. You could block out the words and it would still sound good; it’s musical aesthetic is so strong. This is perhaps most strikingly demonstrated by “Throw Me In” on which Dahl’s words and his and Terry (female variety) Martin’s intertwined vocal harmonies fuel each other in a stunning symbiosis.”


 

Lyrics

 

Whatever the Jungle

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

It’s 90 degrees out here, humidity’s 95,
guess I’ll get used to it, if I can just stay alive,
and I will love you whatever the jungle,
I will love you any way that you like.

There were flash flood warnings from Plano
to Georgetown, she said, “Let’s go out tonight.”
So we drove into town under dry lightning,
hillsides rising in the blasting light.
I’ve never seen such a rainstorm,
dropped eight inches in two hours,
water bouncing hard,
flowing down a river called 6th Street,
then in no time at all the sky went dry
and a soul band came out playing on a Friday night.

I will love you whatever the jungle,
I will love you any way that you like,
and I’ll write you a love song tonight
with real time television Doppler radar
lighting up the words with each lightning strike.

On a street in Texas there was a man
deep kissing a woman who could dance
and there was no one afraid of anything after
the lightning, in a side-street electrical trance.

I will love you whatever the jungle,
I will love you any way that you like.
I will love you whatever the jungle,
I will love you whatever the jungle,
I will love you.


 

Shall I Take Your Boots Off

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

Shall I take your boots off,
we’re gonna be here all night long,
every song they’re playing tonight
is our song, every word I’m sayin
means stay with me till its dawn,
tonight in town with the music pouring round
I know I had some idea what it means
to be this close to a woman,
cause I always felt like something
was missing just getting by.
I wanted somewhere to go.
How could I know there’s a whole
other world this side of the sky?
If I had to live here without you again,
I’d lie down and die.

I know you’re thinking
don’t say so much so soon.
And I know as well as you
there aren’t any words.
Every word I’m saying means
stay with me till its dawn.
Tonight in town with the music rollin round
I know I had some idea what it means
to be this close to a woman,
cause I always felt like something
was missing just getting by.
I wanted somewhere to go.
How could I know there’s a whole
other world this side of the sky?
If I had to live here without you again,
I’d lie down and die.


 

Thunder

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

They used to come to our door
from up and down the block,
one time their folks all signed a petition
against kids playing rock.
Rock and roll was our school board,
rock and roll was our president,
while they were wringing their hands,
making their plans,
rock and roll just kinda came and went,

bringing you thunder, bringing you jagged light,
bringing you the kind of storm we need tonight.

My dad was kinda deaf from a trip he took to France,
machine gun music, all night death dance,
ashes, all fall down, move out boys
we’re gonna take this town,

bringing you thunder, bringing you jagged light,
bringing you the kind of storm we need tonight.

My older brother had nowhere to go,
so he started his own rock band,
Michael’s Neighborhood Show.
They’d go down in the basement, turn up the amps,
drum beat pulsing with the flashing lamps.
There was one song he would always play,
you could hear it in the street at least a mile away,

bringing you thunder, bringing you jagged light,
bringing you the kid of storm we need tonight.

He got a letter from the draft
board about some studio time:
“You can play all night
won’t cost you a dime.
We need you boy in Uncle Sam’s Band.
Give him a rifle, he’s got a real fast hand.
Teach you how to make thunder.
Teach you how to make jagged light.
Teach you how to make
the kind of storm we need tonight."

When they told us about Michael,
I didn’t say a word
just sat down by the fireplace
as the world got blurred,
ashes, all fall down,
pull back boys we can’t hold this ground.
Sometimes you can see
what’s on my old man’s mind,
fire in the jungle and a body left behind,

bringing you thunder, bringing you jagged light,
bringing you the kind of storm we need tonight.

Nobody sang it better than Laurie,
“Children come closer, I want to tell you a story,
burn up your body, wash you in ice,
if you come to the churchyard
bring black dirt mixed with rice.”

I went out in the driveway in my brother’s car,
put on a tape with electric guitar,
hey people, whoever you are,
here’s Michael, the neighborhood star,

bringing you thunder, bringing you jagged light,
bringing you the kind of storm we need tonight.


 

Tulare

© 1998 by Eric Dahl and John Hawk

There’s a lot of the same kind of towns
in the San Joaquin Valley,
but one place stays in my mind,
it’s called Tulare.
I like the places that promise
you’re heading somewhere:
walnut trees, the mountains,
and a woman with strawberry hair.

Guess I failed to kindle a spark.
She waved her hand
and I drove away in the dark.

I like the freeway
that drops into San Francisco,
I like the way it always settles my mind.
I’m not looking for another unattainable angel.
I like it down here on earth with my own kind.

Guess I failed to kindle a spark.
She waved her hand
and I drove away in the dark.

No use reliving that longing on Highway 1.
101 North to anywhere’s fine with me.
Sometimes losing someone takes you past sorrow,
past the dissatisfaction to a mystery.

Guess I failed to kindle a spark.
She waved her hand
and I drove away in the dark.


 

Cottonwoods

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

Down in the cottonwoods
if only I could catch a ride.
Down in the cottonwoods
if only I could catch a ride.

You must get lonesome brother road.
Haven’t seen a car since morning,
don’t know where I’m headed
but my ride always comes
without any warning.

Think I see my future
in a semi slowing down,
they’re usually going eighty-five
when they get this far from town.

“Hey buddy, do you want a ride?
I need a driver been driven all night.
I wanna sleep like a baby, wake up in BC.
do you think you could drive her?
Four on the floor, four next door,
that’s sixteen gears and it seems like it’s more,
but I bet you could drive her.
Hop up in, open a beer,
you just watch me get in gear,
I’ll put it in neutral when I come to a hill,
I’ll slide over and you take it Bill."

Come up from Texas with a full load on,
the crates say chicken but the chicken is gone,
border to border, it’s a package deal,
I got gold for Canada, now you take the wheel.
Don’t know who’s selling or who’s gonna buy
and I don’t ask questions cause I don’t wanna die.
Keep your eye on the road, wheels on the ground,
I’ll show you when I wake up how to slow down,
look at you drive her, ooo-whee
I’m gonna sleep like a baby,
wake up in BC, look at you drive her.

Two days later in the back of a shed
we were talkin to a runner with a gun to his head,
sayin, “Come up with the money
or you’ll come up dead.”
I was more scared than he was,
now I’m runnin instead.
Runnin for the cottonwoods,
if only I could catch a ride,
if you don’t wanna run with the devil,
you better decide,
you better decide.

Back to the cottonwoods,
if only I could catch a ride,
back to the cottonwoods,
if only I could catch a ride,
if you don’t wanna run with the devil,
you better decide,
you better decide,
you better decide.


 

Play a Dance Song

© 1998 by Eric Dahl and John Hawk

Worn-out guitar in a worn-out bar,
the crowd was getting thin,
a few people talkin,
a few people drinkin,
almost nobody comin in,
then a guy in a T-shirt
with a woman in a tight skirt
came in floatin on air,
they both knew what they wanted to do
as they called out a dive bar dare:

“Play a dance song, play a dance song,
play it the rest of the night,
words don’t matter, you can cut the chatter,
just keep the rhythm tight."

He could glide real sweet,
slide his feet,
and show off his lady.
She had short blue hair,
and everybody there
could see she was lithe and leggy.
A few people stood up, some more came in,
there was a crowd in no time at all,
weaving and shakin with the others forsaken
at the dive bar midnight ball.

“Play a dance song, play a dance song . . . ."

A few nights later we were playin in a diner
for a crowd fallin into their beer.
It was a hopeless venue with a dangerous menu
and music no one could hear.
That couple came in looking real trim,
now she had jet black hair.
There was nowhere to dance,
too many hanging plants,
but they clearly didn’t care.

“Play a dance song, play a dance song . . . .”

Two years later we were playing in a theatre
wound up and ready to rage.
Up walked that lady with a nine-month-old baby
and set her down on the stage.
The kid could bob her shoulders, clap her hands in time,
before she ever learned to walk,
funny how the song flows, funny how the time goes,
funny how we’re born to rock.

“Play a dance song, play a dance song,
play it the rest of the night,
words don’t matter you can cut the chatter,
just keep the rhythm tight."


 

Throw Me In

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

She said, “I don’t need a statue or a pyramid,
no fancy tomb when I die.
Just open the box and throw me in
so I can love him for the rest of the night,
love him for the rest of the night.”

Middle of the night middle of nowhere
drinking with some buskers by a fire at the inn.
One wore a skull ring the other drew legends.
We talked about funeral stones in the wind.
Talked about stones in the wind.

“I don’t need a statue or a pyramid . . . .”

Told them bout a tomb in a Wessex cathedral,
the stones and the bones and one glass jar.
You could tell by the bones and where the jar rested
that it once held the heart of a star,
once held the heart of a star.

“I don’t need a statue or a pyramid . . . .”

Find me a block of Connemara marble,
carve two lovers together in bed,
with a line from a poet about the heart’s affection
and how it keeps wakin the dead,
how it keeps wakin the dead.

“I don’t need a statue or a pyramid,
no fancy tomb when I die,
just open the box and throw me in
so I can love him for the rest of the night,
love him for the rest of the night.”


 

Billy Rowe

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

I saw Billy Rowe at the Stones last show,
he looked like he’d just been gassed.
He said Sheila’s gone, they couldn’t get along,
nothing in common but the past,
and it went through my mind
to tell him we’re fine,
but I was feeling something different inside,
the truth keeps changing and the sky gets
deeper, then our eyes are open wide.

I wanna start over, I wanna start over,
right here in the present time,
not living in the past like a pantomime,
why pretend? It’s not like it was back then.

I saw Sue Hale, she said Gary’s back in jail,
for dealin just a little bit strong.
It was always just fun till he had to get a gun,
she doesn’t know if she can wait that long,

And it went through my mind
to tell her we’re fine
but I was feelin something different inside,
the truth keeps changing and the sky gets
deeper, then our eyes are open wide.

I wanna start over, I wanna start over,
right here in the present time,
not living in the past like a pantomime,
why pretend? It’s not like it was back then.

She said I’m easy in this light, I said I don’t
feel right, then I left your friend Karen at the bar.
When I took off my coat, I found your note
saying you’d be driving all night with the car,
And it went through my mind
to just say “that’s fine”
but I was feeling something different inside,
the truth keeps changing and the sky gets
deeper, then our eyes are open wide.

I wanna start over, I wanna start all over,
right here in the present time,
not living in the past like a pantomime,
why pretend? It’s not like it was back then.


 

Dr. Margarita

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

Took my broken heart down to Del Rio, Texas,
Not much to live for, too much time,
good friend told me, “You need a doctor.” I said,
“Don’t wanna see one.” He said, “I’ll call mine.”

Knock at the door, it was Dr. Margarita,
with a gallon of Tequila, triple sec and lime.
He’s got the cure if the cure don’t killya.
He said, “Try some of this, give it some time.”

Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita, from Val Verde
County where you cross the line.
Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita,
if the cure don’t killya, you feel just fine.

Called my insurance, I said,
“It’s preventive treatment.”
They said, “We never heard of it,
who’s gonna sign?”

Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita,
from Val Verde County where you cross
the line. Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita
if the cure don’t killya, you feel just fine.

Took my broken heart down to Del Rio, Texas,
for preventive friendship with triple sec and lime,
took my broken heart down to Del Rio, Texas,
Dr. Margarita told me, “Give it some time.”

Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita, from Val Verde
County where you cross the line.
Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita,
if the cure don’t killya, you feel just fine.

Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita, from Val Verde
County where you cross the line.
Dr. Margarita, Dr. Margarita,
Dr. Margarita told me, give it some time.


 

Contradiction

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

Sometimes it seems like
you’re a part of myself, the part
that doesn’t even know it’s there.

If I was a high plateau cowboy,
working cattle at 7,000 feet,
in the high thin air we’d be thinking
bout the Dalai Lama, we’d be the only
ones on the range who didn’t eat meat.

Contradiction, hey that’s no problem,
I got two sides to my brain,
one side knows exactly what it’s doing,
but it’s the other side keeps me sane.

You should be
a samurai messiah,
walking into battle
carrying a bamboo stick.
You could teach everyone
how to cut their own demons to pieces,
wearing a T-shirt that says
oppression is just plain sick.

Contradiction, hey that’s no problem,
I got two sides to my brain,
one side knows exactly what it’s doing,
but it’s the other side keeps me sane.

You’re not much of one for asking,
eye contact and you pull me
onto the floor,
so serious we can’t stop laughing,
inside your armor there’s a waterfall,
outside the walls there’s an open shore.

Contradiction, hey that’s no problem,
I got two sides to my brain,
one side knows exactly what it’s doing,
but it’s the other side keeps me sane.


 

I Do Mine

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

This vision’s getting stronger
everywhere we go,
ask yourself the question,
you will know.
Buildings burning down
in the cities of our past,
new beginnings, build to last.
We were meant to wonder
way beyond the line

You do your part, I do mine.
You do your part, I do mine.

On a twisting trail,
shoreline at your feet,
sunlight in the branches
to make the night complete,
it’s alright, you know its meant to be.
it’s alright, you know its meant to be.

You do your part, I do mine.
You do your part, I do mine.
I do mine, I do mine.
I do mine, I do mine.

This vision’s getting stronger,
everywhere we go,
ask yourself the question,
you will know.

We were meant to wander
from the cities of our past,
new beginnings, build to last.
It’s alright, you know it’s meant to be.
It’s alright, you know it’s meant to be.

You do your part, I do mine.
You do your part, I do mine.
I do mine, I do mine.
I do mine, I do mine.


 

Wrong Side of Town

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

We were just sitting here drinking
on a Saturday night,
this guy came in,
seemed alright,
we got room for a stranger,
even with a manicured beard,
we got some room for acting weird.
but one thing you just never do
is pull a knife in a tavern,
specially when you got no friends with you—
one’s to start thinking clearly,
two’s to put it down,
or three you’re in a lotta trouble
on the wrong side of town.

I just stood there lookin him in the eye,
Davy Behn moved over slowly at his side,
then Mike Mason, he’s always been an ass,
dove for him with an empty glass,
and I can’t say what happened,
things were spinning around,
he caught me here on my shoulder
but we got him down,
maybe things got rougher than they needed to be,
but he’s still breathing, and he can still see.

If your hot, might not wanna hang around,
gonna be a lotta questions about what came down,
one thing you just never do
is pull a knife in a tavern,
specially when you got no friends with you—
one’s to start thinking clearly,
two’s to put it down,
or three you’re in a lotta trouble
on the wrong side of town.


 

Season of Drought

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

Just east of here the corn is growin half high.
If we don’t get some rain, it’s all gonna die.
They used to torch the spikes off the prickly pear
To save the last of the heard, we’re almost there,

Season of drought,
Been a long time without,
Each passing cloud leaves a little more doubt,
Each root reaching for a dry vein
Tries a little, dies a little,
waitin for rain in a season of drought.

Everybody in the town of Blanco
Is comin to the square.
Just a few days left in the Blanco River,
Bow your head in prayer.
I’m not one for religion
But sometimes I pray,
Wisdom of the ages or superstition,
There’s gotta be a way.
There’s a water witch walkin in the
valley shadows, been out there all day,
Wisdom of the ages or superstition,
gotta find a way, gotta find a way.

Season of drought . . . .

It all depends where your water comes from
River, aquifer, little stream
Maybe you ignore it, act deaf and dumb
But this dry river is my worst dream
This dry riverbed is worse than a dream
Makes you wonder how your strength’s gonna come
River, aquifer, little stream
It all depends where your water comes from
It all depends where your water comes from

Season of draught . . . .


 

Dance on Water

© 1998 by Eric Dahl

Hello darlin, I’m down in the lobby,
you got time for one last date?
Something exciting, out in the city,
tell your friends you’re gonna be out late.

Don’t complicate it,
I got green wings and I’m gonna fly,
don’t worry bout spending my money,
I’m fifteen people and they’re all in debt,
there’s just one nobody knows,
and he’s headed downriver,
dance on water till your feet get wet,
dance on water.

Thought I told you, I only like diamonds,
we’ll stop in town and buy you a ring.
Do you want fine clothes, would you like a new car?
I’m a bunco Santa buy you anything.

And if they catch me they’re gonna want some years,
come see me at Christmas, be my prison flower.
Don’t you worry bout the things I done.
I’ll be paying for it honey bout a dollar an hour.

Don’t complicate it,
I got green wings and I’m gonna fly,
don’t worry bout spending my money,
I’m fifteen people and they’re all in debt,
there’s just one nobody knows,
and he’s headed downriver,
dance on water till your feet get wet,
dance on water
dance on water.

Contact Eric Dahl for interviews.