Downhauler

by Marc Douglas Berardo

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about

Downhauler: One of ten: Favorite New Releases for 2012-XM/Sirius Radio-The Village with host Mary Sue Twohy.

"Downhauler just blew me away. What a great collection of songs!"-John Platt-Host of Sunday Breakfast, WFUV FM, NY.

"Downhauler's sound has an affinity with the Californian folk-rock of the 1970's. The CD targets a mature audience.Narrative simplicity in the best sense of the word.-Johnny's Garden Magazine, Netherlands-Rein van den Berg
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The Horizon Music Group is proud to announce the February 2011 release of Downhauler, the new album from songwriter and keen observer Marc Douglas Berardo. This new collection of songs continues Marc’s collaboration with long time producer Prof. Dick Neal (Hoe,The Mockingbirds). The CD features performances from among others: Nashville multi instrumentalist Liam Bailey (Bill Frisell, Rodney Atkins), the signature harmonies of Brother Chris Berardo (Chris Berardo and The DesBerardos), Violinist Larry Deming (Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, James Taylor) and Americana Music sensations
RED MOLLY on the soulful ballad “Quiet Places.”

Regarding the new CD, Marc says: “All of the lyrics on Downhauler are, in some way, about searching for home, the possibility of renewal and the promise of adventure. I began to write this particular set of tunes over a few days while staying in the Castillo Real Hotel in St Augustine, Florida. The Spanish influence of the old town and the hotel got me to thinking about exotic locations like Cuba and Bimini. I started looking at maps and picking other places to go. I definitely had some travel fever. The characters in the songs are all at some kind of crossroads or transition (Ruby, Smokegun Jack Daydreams, Something Real, Havana).They are contemplating about making a life somewhere else, lighting out for new places and rectifying where home was for them (Time to Go, Everything Will Be Alright). I made up a few more numbers up about some of the people that I have gotten to know in and around my own home base of Westerly, RI (Bottom of the Bottle, Passing Through, Lonely Town). After a while, they felt like they belonged together on a record. They felt connected.

Downhauler debuted @ #20 on the Folk DJ Radio Chart, April 2011

2011 Nominee "Best Vocalist"-Motif Magazine, Rhode Island.
2010- Finalist-Sisters Folk Festival-Sisters, OR
2010- Honorable Mention-Rocky Mt Folks Fest-Lyons,CO
2010- Honorable Mention-Telluride Troubadour Contest,CO

"Stunning, sharply drawn Americana song portraits."-Motif Magazine.
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"Berardo drops a gem with DOWNHAULER! He is back from his travels with a cargo hold full of treasure. Like Hemingway, he draws his characters with pithy phrases."-Roger Z-More Sugar Magazine.
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"Berardo sounds like a fishing town Bruce Springsteen."-Fairfield County Weekly.
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released February 22, 2011

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about

Marc Douglas Berardo Westerly, Rhode Island

Marc Douglas Berardo is a fast moving, keen observer who lives for the story and the song. He has been nationally recognized for his music and performances (Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Song contest, Telluride Troubadour Contest, Sisters Folk Festival). In the past year he has shared the stage with heavyweights such as The Doobie Brothers, America, Red Molly and Livingston Taylor. ... more

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Track Name: Ruby
It's been a while since we last talked
Last time I saw you our world was in flames
we were dancing on the edge of darkness
kicking down doors and taking names

Ruby, I know your soul is battered
But giving up now is a big mistake
There’s a second chance lurking around every corner
And a beautiful morning about to break

Look at that sunrise over yonder
Look at all that hope hanging in the sky
Look at all that road laid out before you
another day has come and you find yourself alive
so Come on Ruby walk with me in this light

I can see that you've been stumbling
drifting around searching for grace
But some of that drifting is taking it's toll
I can see it in your face

You can wallow in 10 years of troubles
hide away expecting doom
But you are going to have to get yourself up tomorrow
and get out of this room

bridge
weaving around like a whiskey dancer
under the cover of the night
but darkness has got to give
With the coming of this morning light

Look at that sunrise over yonder
Look at all that hope hanging in the sky
Look at all that road laid out before you
the night has passed and you’ve survived
so Come on Ruby walk with me in this light
Track Name: Something Real (Neal and Jenny)
Neal got out in 96
Worked the Michigan plants on the straight, married Jenny, lived in the sticks
Just getting by the best they can
keeping a few steps ahead of where they began
At night, Neal goes out to have a smoke
out in the tiny yard under the giant oak
He takes a deep breadth and closes his eyes
And sighs
He prays: Give me something, give me something that I can feel
Give me something real

Neal says: “Jenny everyday when I walk out the door
I loose track of what it is I’m walking out the door for
When I punch my card I want to punch the wall
But I know that punch won’t do nothing at all
You see darling there is a dark fear in my heart sometimes
and voices in my head that I can’t trust
Maybe we can feel something real in starting over leaving this whole town in the dust
At night I trace my finger on a map from Cape Ann to Bimini
from Santa Cruz to Hampton Bay
Close my eyes and drop my finger down on any dot along the way and I say
Give me something Give me something that I can feel
Give me something real

Jenny says: “ Maybe something real is what you already know
whether you stay Neal or whether you go
Maybe something real is wherever we call home
and if you let me in maybe I can make you feel less alone
sure life gets hard and it’s not always fair
and there is injustice and bullshit everywhere
but inside of us there is valley with a river bountiful and true
and if you let me in Neal I will be waiting there for you
to make you feel something
Something beautiful and true
Feel something shiny and new
My love won’t let you down
Like this oak tree here I am planted on solid ground
and I am here to stay

Now Neal’s eyes were locked up in a stare
looking at Jenny and the late day sun dancing on her hair
For a moment he felt a welling up inside but he choked it back and let it slide
And as he turned to walk into the house he turned around and said:
“Jenny when you are standing right in front of me
There is nowhere else in the world I need to be”
Then he smiled and walked inside
And Jenny leaned on the giant oak tree
said a silent prayer
Took a deep breadth
Closed her eyes
And sighed
Track Name: Bottom of the Bottle
Sixteen years of long lining swordfish that is my job
The rest of my life I’m only wandering on the dry land in a fog
When I’m home I’m only sitting outside parked out in the drive
Knocking back a six back working on a shotgun high
I’m going to that place again I’m going away
Little bit of liquor bottom of the deep end I’m gonna stay

At the bottom of the bottle bottom of the deep
Leave me here to wallow leave me here to sleep
Up on land I’m no damn good
I would be a better man if I could
So don’t wake me, let me be
Until it’s time to go back to sea

When I am home with my wife its fight after a fight
Talk about money and scream all night
Then I look to the door and I’m ready to bail out
feels like I’m breaking out of the jail
Sipping whiskey at the wheelhouse at the end of every day
Living in my mind and wasting away

Bottom of the bottle bottom of the deep
Leave me here to wallow leave me here to sleep
Here on land I’m no damn good
I would be a better man if I could
So don’t wake me let me be
Until It’s time to go back to sea

Well, I’m never going quit the fishing, fishing is all I know
Like my father’s father before me
when you get the call you got to go
I know I’ll never quit the drinking
I don’t think I ever will
find enough whiskey to fill
That hole down deep where the water is cold

Bottom of the ocean bottom of the deep
Pray to the lord my soul to keep
Here on land I’m no damn good
I would be a better man if I could
Track Name: Smokegun Jack Daydreams
The Beachhead Lounge was closing down
The bottles were stacking up, the day was done
Smoke Gun Jack stood up and walked out of the bar
Lit up a smoke like a an old time movie star
Leaning on his hands staring at the sand the color of gold
Smoke Gun Jack was feeling old
Sixty years of living makes it harder to bend
Tired bones need time to mend

CH/
Now he man is alone in his mind
Where daydreaming is free and so is sunshine
-So these days Jack daydreams all the time

Got the handle Smoke Gun When he ran the Cuban Gold
He brought it in and the money just rolled
The very last Captain at the pirate dance
Back when the game was still adventure and romance
With his sweet lady Chloe always by his side it was good to be alive
But the wildlife is known to pass a few bad checks And Jack cashed his when his Chloe died in a boat wreck

Ch

bridge
When Waves would roll out and reach the distant shore
Sometimes I would walk old jack home and let him sleep it off on my floor
We never did say much we just let it be
It was just me and smokegun and the quiet sea


Smoke gun Jack fingers the glass of Patron.
It’s 5 o’clock and He is home
Staring out into the Matanzas Bay
Letting the warm winds blow him away
Smoke gun is gone again
Track Name: Havana
These faded pictures of those colorless streets
Only make me want to go down
Why I feel the need is a mystery to me
But I know I need to walk upon that ground
I need to walk upon that ground

I have never known poverty
I have always lived in luxury
I do not know what real freedom is
Because I have always been free
I have always been free

Havana Havana
I hear you are calling out to me
Havana I hear you calling out to me

My father walked those streets in 1954
As a young man in the Marine Corps
The locals there all called him “The Hurricane”
He blew through town like a driving rain
He blew through Havana like a driving rain

He told me stories that only filled my head
and showed me pictures that only led
me to this feeling that I need to chase
All of the ghosts of that ancient place

Havana Havana
I hear you are calling out to me
Havana I hear you calling out to me

So take me to your impenetrable town
And let me have my look around
To bring back something real
And something true
Ohh Havana just a little piece of you
Ohh Havana maybe just a piece of you
Track Name: Better Days
There is a thousand ways to get yourself lost
There is a million ways to find bad luck
Some days there is no mercy for the weary
The best-laid plans only leave you stuck
There is a light out on the horizon
There is refuge the end of the day
Where the wayward and wild are not forgotten
And the 4 winds will blow your troubles away

CH
STOP! Head homeward through the haze
There you will find better days
Out beyond pain and fear and misery
There are better ways
in the land of dreams and second chances
Where salvation is found
You must surrender and lay your troubles down
And when you’re ready
You will be standing on solid ground

Katie took her first hit back in Tulsa
And it rattled that woman to her core
So she chased that dragon to the end of the earth
Until she couldn’t chase that beast no more
Last night under the Florida stars
As the shuttle left Canaveral for the deep
Katie dropped that pipe in the sand
And stood up on her own two feet

There is a mystic imagined river
Some have sung about a glory train
That will carry the beaten the trouble sinner
Rolling thunder out of the pouring rain
Track Name: Time To Go
My name is Colton. I am an overland driver
Rolling while the world rolls by
Loosing a little more tread with every ride
Lost in thoughts of my wife back home
Three kids and a yard
Never thought that living the easy life
Was going to be this hard

I’m counting off these last 100 miles
That will take me home tonight
until I see that familiar door
And that shining front porch light

And as I lay me down to rest
I will dream of watching my children grow
and dancing Annie across the floor
Before it’s time for me to go

You don’t realize how fast time moves
When you’re always moving down the line
You look up and half your life is gone
And you’ve left only ghosts behind
But there is fragile beauty
In every dream
in the swirling colors and faces
of the actors in those movie scenes
Track Name: Lonely Town
Out on the river the Pawcatuck River Another day ignites
Working boat slowly moving out to the ocean in the gray morning light
Billy works third shift and passes this way on his way home from the brewery
As he stares across the water he thinks back to the time that he used to feel free

Chorus
It’s morning in lonely town here in this in lonely town
You stare out without a sound every morning in lonely town
Feels like there’s no one around in this lonely town DCG

Billy got married to his lady Ramona in 1971
They used to run wild until they had their first child
And life’s pressure put them under the gun
Bills were mounting times they were rough’
Instead of the heart of the matter they fought about little stuff
So they took to their corners and started to let in the silence

Chorus
They were living in lonely town together in lonely town
Bringing each other down in the quiet of lonely town
Not enough love going around here in this lonely town DCG
Track Name: Passing Through
The afternoon of the storm I stood on sunset hill
Looking through the pouring rain as the Great Salt Pond was filled
BEYOND the point the sea was wild
And the gulls were diving down Into the churning spray Of the block island Sound

Michael was from an island family Lived here most his life
I met him in the hotel national We talked into the night
But just before twi-light faded As we watched the storm return to sea
He stopped to collect his thoughts This is what he said to me’

Ch
“The more you live the more you learn
Winds will always blow and tides will turn
But we are only temporary and like this storm
We are only passing through”


Michael had a wife and two children Ran charter boats from salt bay
After sixty years of making plans He is living for today
He said: “With the storms come the changes
This rock is only shifting sand
When I was a boy that shallow harbor Used to be dry land

Br
Waves will beat the shore Wind will blow
Time will erase all footprints When we go
the world will keep turning on and on
the world will keep turn on the sun when we are gone

Michael said
Memories are photographs
in black and in white
the shape of the world is what you know until another storm ignites
Ferry boats will keep arriving The people here will come and go
And from my point of view on the stool That is all you really need to know

Ch
“Changes that come
when the storm does blow
it is the maker’s way to let you know
We are only temporary …temporary
We are only passing through”
Track Name: Quiet Places (with Red Molly)
Show me something beautiful
Show me something fine
Show me a place were I can rest my mind
Take me where only angels have left their traces
Take me only to the quiet place

I have run ragged out there I have run wild
I have run the highway mile after mile after mile
To your boxed in cities and your flatland towns
Through the endless rumble, rattle and shotgun sounds

Roll me to the river Take me to the water
rock me on the sea
Take me to the quiet place inside of me
Give me peace, comfort and your silent company
Show me only the quiet places

I am wasted, I am spent
I am burned out broken up and bent
That highway music is only static in my head
And tonight I have lost the heart for it, tonight I’ve lost the thread