Undercurrent

by Steve Robinson

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about

"Undercurrent" is the second solo Sunshine Drenchy Records release from the ex-Roger McGuinn sideman and former voice of Florida's folk-rock darlings, the Headlights.
Unlike 2005's DIY dark horse "Away For The Day","Undercurrent" is more of a collaborative affair and benefits from the sympathetic (bordering on telepathic, according to Steve) efforts of co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Ed Woltil(The Ditchflowers). It also features veteran drummer Chuck Darling (Nineveh Project); a guest spot from Celtic fiddler Victor Gagnon(Seven Nations, Rathkeltair), as well as some harmony vocal help from Steve's ten year-old daughter, Emma, who managed to nail her parts in two takes (her dad could learn something).
On offer is a song of love and commitment (Love Is Real); an expression of awe at the bond between a parent and a child (Please Emmalene); a nursery rhyme-infused homage to a dearly departed mother (Wooden Hill), and an old-timey, music-hall influenced singalong remembrance of schooldays past (The Best Days Of Your Life).
Lest the view appears a little too much like an exercise in ever-sentimental, rose-tinted nostalgia, Robinson also tosses in a rather disquieting strangled-folk rumination on global religious conflict (Road To Ruin); a tale of drunken excess, emotional disconnect and failed ambition(Wasted And Waiting) and an apologetic lament on the pervasive celebrity worship culture that we humans seem content to wallow in (Boring God). A little undercurrent, you might say.

"Every cut is a crystalline gem" --Luke Torn, Uncut Magazine

"Undercurrent is often gorgeously melodic -- the ballad "Love is Real" borders on majestic -- and Robinson's clear, controlled tenor is the perfect conduit." --Eric Snider, Creative Loafing.

" ...his sound here straddles the divide between folk and pop without ever losing sight of melody... It's too bad this missed the cut for my Top 50 list, as I had just received the disc while compiling it. Rest assured, it will be near the top when the year-end Top 100 rolls around." --Stephen Ferra, Absolute Powerpop.

"...brilliant melodies, beautiful harmonies and songwriting that captures the best of Anglo and American pop" --Curtis Ross, Tampa Tribune

"...his songwriting and guitar playing are, as his label suggests, drenched in sunshine." --David Cowling, Americana UK.

"...occasionally an album as brilliant as this comes along unexpectedly and reminds me why music means so much to me and those around me. Words really can’t do this album justice, it really does need to be heard especially if the sound of classic melodic pop music is close to your heart. This CD is one I’ll carry with me." --Malcolm Carter, Penny Black Music(UK).

"Why can't you write something that sounds like Maroon 5?" --Mrs Robinson

credits

released June 1, 2007

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Steve Robinson St Petersburg, Florida

Strangled folk and mangled pop from a transplanted Englishman lost in America.

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Track Name: Wooden Hill
Forget, forgive
The house where we lived
Is not looking very well
Here it stands an empty shell
But the spirit is here
Don't you know it's all around?

Precious, she was
Don't cry, because
Though it seems she went away
And you find it hard to take
Don't you know she's still here
Don't you know she's all around?

I see her every time I close my eyes
I can't believe how much I need her in my life
(Off to blanket fair)
Don't you know she's all around?
(Up the wooden hill)

"What's this...Scotch mist?
You don't have the brains you were born with"
Now it's time to get upstairs
Up the wooden hill for prayers
'Cause you know that she'll hear
Don't you know she's all around?

I see her every time I close my eyes
I can't believe how much we need her in our lives
(Off to blanket fair)
Don't you know she's all around?
(Up the wooden hill)

(Un)even-stevens all at odds
I'm all at sea, I hope to God you're listening
Up the wooden hill
Under covers
Up the wooden hill
Track Name: The Best Days Of Your Life
Sunday night, time to scrub things bright
Saving the water for the next in line
The radio is throwing up,"Something Simple's" up
If this is growing up I'd rather die

Monday morning, the kids are yawning
Dressed in fawn and blue-striped ties
Shelter from the storm, safety in a uniform
Double-quick into single file

Nice little badges, nice little ties
Nice little blazers too
Nice little half-truths,nice little lies
These are the best days of your life

One day you'll look back and you'll see
We were looking out for you
And you'll be telling your kids
Just like we did
You'll look fine dressed to the nines

In nice little badges, nice little ties
Nice little blazers too
Nice little half-truths,nice little lies
These are the best days of your life

Friday night, time to scrub things bright
Different teams but the same old game
Living for the weekend, going off the deep-end
We're all grown still we wear the same

Nice little badges, nice little ties
Nice little blazers too
Nice little half-truths, nice little lies
These are the best days of your life
Track Name: Love Is Real
Well, there's no questions to answer
Nothing to decide
For you and I both know the ropes by now
There's nothing to it
Just look into my eyes
There are no surprises here
This man loves a woman
And she knows it

With a love that's real
I think it is
I know it is

I know this world can be cruel
And I've seen it too
Just like you
So promise me you'll never doubt my love, dear
And I don't know what to do with you
Do you know what to do with me?
We'll shout it from the rooftops
For the world to hear

See our love is real
We think it is
We know it is

You'll find love is real
You think it is
You know it is

This is all I want is this
All I want is this is all
Track Name: Wasted And Waiting
He is wasted in more ways than one
As he makes big plans at the bar
Tables turning along with the room
But nothing seems to get very far
What can you say about the one that got away?
How can you catch a falling star?

Go to sleep
But leave the light on for me
In the dark it's hard to tell
How many drunks does it take to change a light bulb?
( I think I need some help)

She is wasted in more ways than one
As she stares at a blank TV screen
Not so much a passion play, a rainy daydream matinee
A movie that she's already seen
What can she say about the one that got away?
How can she get him to leave?

Go to sleep
But leave the light on for me
In the dark it's hard to tell
Home is the place where I used to hang my hat
Now I can't find the hook
(I think I need a friend)

Go to sleep
And leave the light on for me
Sometimes you just can't bear to look
Home is the place where I used to hang my hat
Now I can't find the hook
I think I need a friend (I just lost my legs again)
Think I need a friend (I just lost my nerve)
Track Name: Forget About Love
You say that you're in love
I think you've said enough
Forget about love

'Cause you don't tell the truth
So now I'm telling you
Forget about love

Forget about love in the happy ever after
Forget about love in the here and now
Walking on a wire
Fell into the fire
Might be time to learn about
How to forget about love

You've been having fun
I've been having none
Forget about love

If you don't have the spine
I don't have the time
Forget about love

Forget about love in the happy ever after
Forget about love in the here and now
This ship has run aground
No survivors found
Think it's time to learn about
How to forget about love

You say your heart is mine
I think you've lost your mind
Forget about love

I've heard it all before
I'm showing you the door
Forget about love

Forget about love in the happy ever after
Forget about love in the here and now
Walking on a wire
Fell into the fire
Time for us to learn about
How to forget about love
Can't you help me learn about
How to forget about love?
Track Name: Road To Ruin
Move your body to and fro
Languid in the undertow
Going where the currents go
On the road to ruin

Shoot the lights out of the way
Watch the black and white turn grey
Signposts showing us the way
On the road to ruin

Blame the young
Blame the old
Blame it on the lies we told
Burning pictures
In burning books
Some Gods they have all the luck

Looking from the outside in
Turns me inside out


Holy rhymes and pledges grave
That one kills and this one saves
You'll have lots of flags to wave
On the road to ruin

We've got karma by the yard
Look who left his calling card
Stay the course and you'll go far
On the road to ruin

Blame the old
Blame the young
Blame it on the songs we sung
Burning bridges
Burning flags
Ashes or a body bag

Looking from the outside in
Turns me inside out
Track Name: I'm In Trouble(Again)
One night together we brought the house down
One night she said "I love you"
One night I told her that she had my heart
I do believe it's still true

She laid me down and she kissed me so sweet
The grass was so damp and so cold
When I am with her I feel like a child
When I'm without her I'm old

And I'm in trouble again my friends
I'm in trouble again
The trouble with me is I just can't let go
The trouble with her is she can

She looked at me and I felt my knees go
I laid my head on her breast
She made me laugh and then she made me cry
I don't know which I like the best

And I'm in trouble again my friends
I'm in trouble again
The trouble with me is I just can't let go
The trouble with her is she can