Tree-O Music

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Ooh-La-La
Ooh-La-La

A musical tour through unkempt gardens, the Costa Rican rain forest, the Ohio River Valley, the canyons of Texas, ’60s psychedelia, and points beyond.
 
Billy & Sue
Dance Around the Fire
Friends I Knew
A Garden Full of Dandelion
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Hot Pies
Keep on Running
Simple Sermon
West Virginia Nights
The Word
Eight Miles High
Call of the Canyon

Count Of Days
Count Of Days

Eleven original songs route you through twisted drinking songs, spiritual ecstasy, environmental consciousness, outlaw misadventures, airport security lines, tattooed rockers, and yes — tales of love.

Attitude
Where You Go
Contra
Falling
How Big Is Our Print?
Out Sailing
I Could Have Loved You
Deal
The Travelers
He Falls
Airport Shuttle

Golden Tower
Golden Tower

Nine songs ranging in mood from a celebration of our most beloved agricultural pest to meditations on life, love, and death.

Jack Rabbit
Child Of Mine
Crazy For Me
Let It Be Me
Mood Indigo
Wishing Well
Somehow I Found You
Redbud
Dark Water

Liner Notes

Ooh-La-La

Friends I Knew – Rick wrote this one soon after the Beatles released Rubber Soul, but never performed it until he started singing with Tree-O. The influence of “In My Life” can be heard in the theme of the instrumental break (a quote from “In My Life’s” opening phrase) and in the subject matter of the lyric. The backing vocal “ooh-la-la” is another must-have Beatles cliché.

The Word – This Beatles tune is underrated, in our estimation. Love — it’s in all the good and the bad books.

Dance Around the Fire – George wrote this inspired by the sensual feast of Costa Rican plants and animals, volcanoes and warm surf, rushing rivers and waterfalls.

Call of the Canyon – Lonely, moonlit nights by the campfire. Whispers of a lost love echoing through the canyon...what’s a romantic to do? Sing it, of course. And that’s what Jamie decided she must do. Special thanks to Sylvia Herold for introducing Jamie to this Old West gem.

Billy and Sue – Rick wrote this song with a Cajun sound in mind. Nova Devonie’s accordion and George’s guitar give it the necessary drive. Plenty of “ooh-la-la” in this one!

Here Today – George wrote this when his daughter was newly born and his grandparents were passing away.

Simple Sermon – Rick wanted to write a gospel tune with a heartfelt spiritual message, and this lyric was as close as he could come. George wrote the changes and melody. In a media world filled with irony and sarcasm, sincerity may be daring.

Eight Miles High – We couldn’t help having some fun with this Byrds classic from 1965. The lyric seemed like trippy nonsense at first, but it’s actually about flying over to London, according to the Byrds, when rainy Britannia was at the high water mark of her influence on popular music.

Garden Full of Dandelion – It takes a handyman to fix a broken heart, as James Taylor explained in his cover of the Jones-Blackwell hit. And a handyman is never happier than when he’s fixing things.

West Virginia Nights – Rick went to college at Ohio University, not far from the Ohio River. And across that river lies West Virginia. And in West Virginia lies the town of Parkersburg. And thereon hangs a tale — but not one Rick (or anyone he knows) lived personally.

Keep On Running – In the race of life, stay tuned to a deeper source.

Hot Pies – There’s nothing like warm pie fresh from the oven to get your juices flowing. Gastric juices, that is. Rick, ever a naughty boy, appears to be thinking about something else entirely.  Jamie gets a nice tuba-like sound from her bowed bass to complement George’s stately piano and Rick's jug-band slide. She added the kazoos as an afterthought. 

Count Of Days

Attitude – There are plenty of nostalgic songs about reconnecting with family and the old home place. But there’s a time in life when you just want to move out and get a tattoo.

Where You Go – Maybe getting away is a bit of a theme here. Rick wrote the lyric from a woman’s perspective, after which he let it languish. Until George took ownership, that is. George changes the viewpoint, sets it to new chords, and delivers it with a bluesy punch. An error in the first album pressing neglected to acknowledge him as co-author of the song — sorry, Geech!

Contra – Those of us old enough to remember the 1980’s should recall the Reagan Doctrine, the Iran-Contra affair, and Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution. The left-right political struggle in Central America has left many scars, as the bus driver in this song can attest. Carla Campbell’s percussion gives the song its Carribean flavor.

Falling – Love doesn’t always come at convenient times, and it’s all the more powerful when the stakes are high.

How Big Is Our Print? – George wrote this reggae tune after reading an article in National Geographic about global population projections. The airy sound is a counterweight to the gravitas of the lyrical message.

Out Sailing – Here’s an example of a song whose melody came first, then the lyrics. The working title was Robots At The Beach before Rick wrote the introspective, reflective lyric. The resulting song is about communication and depth of relationship, but the lurching syncopation remains.

I Could Have Loved You – Just another tale of unrequited love, told with a bluegrass flavor.

Deal – There are gambling card games in which a player holds the deal as long as he keeps winning. When you have to pass the deal, it’s known as “letting your deal go down.” More than one song has been written around this metaphor. This one captures that sense of inevitablity you feel when you find yourself on the wrong track, and you can’t stop the train. (How’s that for mixing metaphors!)

The Travelers – When travelers come to your house in an especially vivid dream, it only makes sense to listen to their wisdom.

He Falls – It was sad when Humpty Dumpty hit the pavement. All we can do is drink to his memory. Inspired by Dick Holdstock and Allan MacLeod, who sing in this style for real.

Airport Shuttle – There’s a certain sense of panic surrounding airplane travel these days. The hero of this musical vignette has a special reason to beat the clock.

Golden Tower

Jack Rabbit
By Peter Dyer
Songwriter Peter Dyer now lives in New Zealand, where there are no lepus californicus, better known as jackrabbits. They’re a nuisance to gardeners, but I have a feeling Peter misses them.

Lead vocal: George

Jack Rabbit goes flyin’ by,
Old dog’s too old to try.
Kickin’ his heels across the field,
Oh, Jack Rabbit!

Jack Rabbit, I beg your pardon,
Get out of my garden!
You’re eatin’ my greens, corn, and beans,
Oh, Jack Rabbit!

Doggone it, dad-blame it, dag-nab it!
Everywhere you look you see Jack Rabbits.
Six inch ears and nasty habits,
Oh, Jack Rabbit!

Jack Rabbit on a dirt road at night,
Criss-crossin’ in the headlights.
Lickety-split he’s hittin’ the ditch,
Oh, Jack Rabbit!

Twenty Jack Rabbits in the new green wheat,
Takin‘ in an afternoon treat.
Takin’ a few to sit and chew,
Oh, Jack Rabbit!

Jack Rabbit, when this song is through,
those sweet little feet
Goin’ scooby, dooby, doo
Show your tail,
Hit the trail,
Oh, Jack Rabbit!

Child Of Mine
By Rick Palkovic (ASCAP), Copyright Northwest Corner Music
As we of the older generation prepare to hand off the baton of leadership, some of us have a few regrets.

Lead vocal: Rick

Child of mine, your inheritance is spent,
All your future has been lent,
I have only worthless cash to leave behind.
So, I’m writing you this letter,
hoping you can do it better,
Hoping there’s an answer you can find,
Child of mine.

Child of mine, we didn’t mean to kill the tigers,
Or the mythic soaring condors;
You won’t miss them, ‘cause you never knew their kind.
They’ll be like the dinosaurs, or the tales of ancient wars,
Lost to mem’ry, lost to his’try, lost to time.
Child of mine.

We didn’t mean to leave like this,
So much undone, so much we missed,
I do regret your generation has to pay.
Just take my love and pass it on, and if you wrap it in a song,
Perhaps this earth will live another day.

Child of mine, we took more than we gave,
And we spent more than we saved.
No, we never really saw the grand design.
So this letter goes to you; maybe you can see us through.
We were too busy making war to take the time.
Child of mine.

Crazy For Me
By Rick Palkovic (ASCAP), Copyright Northwest Corner Music
A portrait of a young woman who is not quite sure of herself in her new relationship. She’s learning, though!

Lead vocal: Jamie

He’s crazy just for me.
He wants the world to see.
I guess I‘ll never really know
Why in the world he loves me so.

He has a one-track mind;
He tells me all the time.
Sometimes I wonder what he sees
That brings obsessions on like these.

Monomania, love on the brainia
He’s one insania, crazy kind of guy.

I checked in with my shrink
To ask her what she thinks.
She says I’ve got to understand
That he just sees me as I am.

So delusional, it’s so confusional, but
Not unusual — still, love never lies.

Checked in the DSM.
There’s not a word on him.
Now I begin to understand
That he just sees me as I am.

Let It Be Me
By Gilbert Bécaud, Pierre Delanoë, William Walden, and Mann Curtis Copyright 1960, S D R M, Universal Music Mgb Songs o/b/o Ema-In, and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
A big hit for The Everly Brothers in 1960. Rick, recognizing the chord progression to Pachelbel’s Canon, quotes from it shamelessly on his mandolin solo.

Lead vocal: George

I bless the day I found you,
I want to stay around you
And so I beg you, let it be me.

Don’t take this heaven from one,
If you must cling to someone
Now and forever, let it be me.

Each time we meet, love, I find complete love.
Without your sweet love, what would life be?
So never leave me lonely,
Tell me you’ll love me only,
And that you’ll always, let it be me.

Mood Indigo
By Duke Ellington, Albany Bigard, and Irving Mills. Copyright Songwriters Guild of America o/b/o Indigo Mood Music, EMI Mills Music Inc., and Sony/ATV Harmony
From the Duke Ellington playbook, 1930. Ellington wrote the music, and Irving Mills is credited with the lyrics. Tree-O thought we’d take a shot at some jazz harmonies.

Lead vocal: Jamie

You ain‘t been blue, no, no, no.
You ain’t been blue,
’Til you’ve had that Mood Indigo.

That feelin’ goes stealin’
Down to your shoes,
While I sit and sigh, “ Go ‘long blues.”

Always get that Mood Indigo
Since my baby said good bye.
In the evening, when lights are low,
I’m so lonesome I could cry.
’Cause there’s no body who cares about me.
I’m just a soul who’s bluer than blue can be.

When I get that Mood Indigo,
I could lay me down and die.

Wishing Well
By Peter Dyer
The death of a friend prompted Peter Dyer to write this one. He couldn’t bring her back to life, and found himself vainly wishing that he could.

Lead vocal: George

You got to walk that lonesome valley.
You got to walk it by yourself.
Ain’ —’t nobody here can walk it for you.
You got to walk it by yourself.

Way out in the woods, in the blue foothills,
In a circle of stone was a wishing well.
Oh, the shadow was deep, and the birds were still,
While they watched a man walking up the path
To the wishing well.

His head was bowed, and his face was pale,
And he came up close to the wishing well,
And he told the rocks his lonesome tale,
And a coin was tossed, sunk, and lost
In the wishing well.

When the dark hangs heavy
Where the sun once shone,
That’s when you go
To the circle of stone.
When you’re walking that
Lonesome valley all by yourself,
By and by you’ll have a try
At the wishing well.

He leaned and looked, and a teardrop fell
In the cold dark heart of the wishing well.
“Bring back the one I love so well;
Turn back the hurrying hands of time,
You wishing well!”

Somehow I Found You
By Joe Vinikow
Seattle songwriter Joe Vinikow tells the tale of another despairing soul saved by love.

Lead vocal: Jamie

There was sunshine, but I only saw the shade.
There was moonlight, but no magic, I‘m afraid.
There was starlight, but the music never played.
And then, somehow, I found you.

There was springtime,
But my heart would never bloom.
There were roses,
But they smelled like stale perfume.
There was laughter,
I could hear it from my room.
And then, somehow, I found you.

There were birds, there were bees,
There were blossoms in the trees, and
Cupid on Mother Nature’s throne.
There were songs on the breeze,
Still I wandered ill at ease, and
Stumbled through heaven alone.

There were angels,
But they never heard my plea.
There were bluebirds,
But they only sound off-key.
There was romance,
But it never came for me.
And then, somehow, I found you.

Redbud
By Rick Palkovic (ASCAP), Copyright Northwest Corner Music
Rick was inspired to write this one from a line in the old folksong “Barb’ry Allen”. The young man in that song was young and died of unrequited love. The world-weary man in this song is simply dying.

Lead vocal: Rick

Oh, the redbud does grow green, My Love,
Across this valley wide,
And the lilac I have seen, My Love,
Does grace the riverside.

Oh, the nightingale calls out my name,
But I‘ll not be replying.
Nor answer to the whippoorwill,
But I’d not leave you crying.

And the winds, they do blow fair
From the forests of the mountain.
I’ll never taste their breath again
Tomorrow, I’ll be dying.

All the roads that I have trod,
Each stranger’s face unsmiling,
I‘ll never feel their stares again,
Nor hear their sharp tongues lying.
A stranger to this land came I,
A stranger I’ll be leaving.
My only love was you and I,
And I’d not have you grieving.

On this long road I look me back
And spy that golden tower.
I climbed it once so long ago,
I’ll climb it on the morrow.
A simple shroud you’ll make for me,
A narrow grave to lie in.
A sweet old hymn sing over me
To send my soul a-flying.

Dark Water
By Rick Palkovic (ASCAP), Copyright Northwest Corner Music
Rick wrote this one as an evening set-closer. As soon as he did, Tree-O started receiving only daytime gig offers, and the song didn't have the same impact. But you can play this recorded version any time!

Good night, the hour is growing late
And now we three must go.
May your travels take you safely home,
We hope you liked our show.

Good night, lie easy in your dreams
Until the rise of day.
Take the love that comes to you,
And give yours as you may.

It all comes down to this, my friends,
Down to this last refrain.
Now take the rest you’ve earned so well,
And soon we’ll meet again.

Dark water, flowing clear and smooth
Dark water, deep and slow
Dark water, take us into dreams
And gently as we go.

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