Down In Oklahoma

by Jaxon Haldane

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released October 28, 2013



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Jaxon Haldane Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jaxon Haldane reveres tradition while retaining a distinct modernism. His ability to combine the visceral intensity of punk rock or dixieland, with the soul stirring emotion of vintage country and blues is emboldened by his songwriting. The result is a gumbo - rich and spicy. Earthy, yet sweet. Rustic, but refined enough that you know a real chef is in the kitchen... one who cooks with love. ... more

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Track Name: Dustbowl 3.0
Down in Oklahoma, where the soil ain't got no loam,
Cause it was blown away in 1934
Two whole days of gust and then a billion pounds of dust,
Flew out the door.

I took the tiller to the land, it just turned over clay and sand,
I planted rows and rows, but nothing seemed to grow.
So I amended it, with some composted horse shit,
I got up the road.

I got a few Manchega ewes, I got the red mud on my shoes,
I got the way up post road, post hole diggin' blues.
And I keep beefing up the pen, but there's no way to keep them in,
Man there's no use.

And all the chickens in the pen seem to be picking on one hen,
They're just like men, they can't resist the sight of blood.
So to spare her from her kin, I think I'll put her in,
A roaster with some spuds.

I called a business man he said, he'd turn the wind into my friend,
Whether it's blowing leaves or rain or dust or snow.
For a hundred thousand dollars I can make a little power,
when it blows.

I said, "Well that sounds awful nice, but can you come down on your price?"
And well suffice it to say that's not his business plan.
He said something about incentives, but I stopped paying attention,
After a hundred grand.

I made a tasty batch of gruel for my old convalescing mule,
The stubborn fool just won't go near the trough.
I'm feeding several kinds of blight and all the coyotes at night,
And I'm pissed off.
Track Name: Crystal
My soul is an old leaky basement
Regret is a meaningful word
Try to muster a luster from the concrete of memory
Once its poured and its set and its cured.
Morals don't seem to mean nothing
When you're thinking on making the scene
Preying on teens, laying beatings on queens
What I did just came naturally.

And I met some with doom in their future,
And I met some with power and grace
I met one named Crystal, tornado twisted,
Who laid me completely to waste

It started out roses and rainbows,
But it soon became briar and hail.
Soda pop sweet on occasion,
but mostly bitter as India Pale.
She drained all the life from my body,
I was her little puppet to play.
She led me to strife and a beggarly life,
And then drove all my loved ones away.

She never cared much to have me,
But she couldn't bare setting me free.
Pure evil distillate, her name was Crystal,
And she turned her pistol on me.

Spent years on the street down in Houston,
Everything that I owned was my last.
I got low when the bottle was empty,
I got high with some kind ones that passed.
Stayed with some fellas in Utah,
Shared stories, a squat and a wife.
Each one of us hitched to the same crooked bitch,
She's hot and cold, and she's quick with a knife.

She's like a poisonous arrow,
Flung from a place you can't see.
Soft as a thistle, her name was Crystal,
And she turned her pistol on me.

She came to my bedroom this morning,
All twitchy and wanting her way.
And I may survive to the end of this drive.
But I'll probably arrive D.O.A.
The old leaky basement is flooding,
But there is one debt we're all born to pay.
And though I may be dying, I still can't help but pine,
For the Crystal that made me this way.

She never cared much to have me,
But she couldn't bare setting me free.
Pure evil distillate, her name was Crystal,
And she turned her pistol on me.
Track Name: Apocalypse
I don't think we can survive another apocalypse
Seems another comes around, about every couple years,
And we get more chips on our shoulders, more holsters on our hips,
And I don't think we can survive another apocalypse.

I don't think we can survive another apocalypse,
But next time we might not notice, all wrapped up in politics.
In meetings half way under water, discussing what there is to fix
And I don't think we can survive another apocalypse

Apocalypse, Apocalypse
Like Obama or Nostradamus, just empty promises.
I'm I'm getting down to the crux of it.
Apocalypse, Apocalypse

I don't think we can survive another apocalypse
Not from nuclear explosions, nor from interstellar ships,
Nor holy terrors in our midst, nor solar flares or polar flips,
And I don't think we can survive another apocalypse

Apocalypse, Apocalypse
Like Carl Rove or orange groves, just shady premises
And Armageddon down to the crux of it.
Apocalypse, Apocalypse

I don't think we can survive another apocalypse
Brought to us by cable networks funded by the uber-rich
Who want to sell us back our souls, they swindled in some bait and switch,
And I don't think we can survive another apocalypse.

Apocalypse, Apocalypse
If you want to understand, try your hand in the Gaza Strip
And you might get down to the crux of it.
Apocalypse, Apocalypse
Track Name: Montreal
Down on St. Laurent, there was literally a hole in the wall,
Filled with stride piano feel, on Monday we were back at the wheel.

Every star was shining that night.

Up on Fairmount St. where the bagels flow like pipe smoke on the breeze,
And the dozen that I buy, by the time I get back home are only nine.


On St. Denis, you were tired so we stopped to rest our feet.
Late, after 3, and there was bluegrass in the middle of the street.


There's a spot on Portage Ave, makes me think of how you looked the night I left.
Sparkles in the night, there was darkness under every tiny light.

Track Name: James Butler Gray
In the conquest of the American west
Fear and hatred carved rivers of blood
And the armies of whites, like the cold northern lights,
Spread their way 'cross the land like a flood.

Swinging axes and spades, making widows and graves,
They killed Pawnee, Lakota and Cree.
Stout hearted braves became subjects and slaves,
Made to march to new territory.

And the prospect of a new life west
Brought change and with it families,
Pulling wagons through the wilderness,
But not immune to tragedy.

James Butler Gray headed out on the trace,
With his Colt and his kids and his wife.
They heard land was free, west of Missouri
Far from the sorrow and strife.

A share cropping man sets his eyes to the ground,
And his hands like a tool to the fire.
And his mind is consumed with his work and the tomb,
That awaits him the day he retires.

And the prospect of a new life west,
None could be worse than cotton fields.
So they traded all for one chance,
To be free.

Through the dense countryside still were remnants of tribes,
That had once been a powerful race.
They plotted revenge and exacted when,
The saw settlers a-move on the trace.

James Butler Gray seemed appropriate prey,
And they raided his party one night.
They tied up his wife, pressed his throat with a knife,
And he prepared for the end of his life.

And the prospect of a new life west,
Seemed more unsure than ever then.
Until the leader of the Indians,
Came upon James' violin.

The Indian chief muttered something in Creek,
And James felt the knife pulled from his throat.
Then to James Butler Gray the chief gestured to play,
And passed him the fiddle and bow.

James smiled at his wife, then he played for his life,
All the mournful and sweet songs of home,
And the chief saw within, beneath all that white skin,
Was a soul that resembled his own.

And the prospect of a new life west,
New lessons in humanity.
The greater part of every heart,
Is music love and poetry.
Track Name: Talking Hit N' Run Blues
I got hit by a 4 x 4,
Counting change on the way to the corner store.
I know I should have been looking up,
But he's the one driving an pick up truck.

And I was only going to buy some smokes,
Now I think both of my arms are broke.
And the scene's not good, I will admit,
But this sure is going to make it easy to quit.

Smoking that is,
Everybody knows,
There's nothing worse,
Than nicotine stained casts.

Then neighbors gaped and gasped and gawked,
The gangster kids thought that shit rocked,
but only one boy even left his yard,
Just to ask me if I meant to get hit that hard.

When all were sure I hadn't died,
They grabbed their beers, went back inside,
And I was all alone on Beverly Street,
Tryin' to get back up on mangled feet.

My house was only two doors away,
I could have made it, with a little help,
Yeah , but that's my neighborhood, come visit sometime,
Bring a crowbar.

Well I could go call an ambulance,
But bones protruding from my pants,
That's right I think it's my shin bone
So I'm not walking to find the phone.

And the cops showed up, well after 1,
but not about no hit and run.
They wanted to know if I'd seen that whore
The one that lives at 3-2-4.

I'm not trying to be crass, that's what they called her.
Hell that's what she calls herself
That's what she does, lets men have sex with her for money
And she don't make no bones about it, no pun intended.
Track Name: Underground
I feel strange, and kind of old,
But you keep changing, gotta break the mould.
Some four leaved clover might turn things 'round,
But for now, I'm getting over,
Being underground.

We grew up dreaming, trying to buck the race.
But there ain't no free men in this day and age.
We all got demons, locked up in a cage,
And they say stay, yeah stick around,
Here underground.

The farther back I slide, the less I seem to mind,
The lower down I go, the more I see it's so.

It would be nice, to catch a break,
Oh what a slice, to be made of cake.
Yeah but my life, it's in a different state,
And I was never bound, for any part of town,
Except underground.

You can't take nothing with you when you're gone.
But I'll leave a family and a batch of songs.
So in some small way, I can travel on.
My voice can sound, my blood can move around,
When I'm underground.