calicoDrifters

calicoDrifters

 Madison, Wisconsin, USA
BandAmericanaFolk

A contemporary folk sound with a roots-blues pedigree and a touch of jazz, calicoDrifters' original songs and soulful vocals create an altogether authentic Americana style of music that is both compelling and captivating.

Biography

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, calicoDrifters is an acoustic duo comprised of Thomas Burns and Sue Prodell. Thomas has been singing and playing fingerstyle, flatpick style, and rhythm acoustic guitar for over 20 years. He has played professionally on both coasts of the United States and numerous venues in between. Sue has been singing and writing music for over 20 years. In addition to playing mandolin, she enjoys connecting with audience members through her soulful vocal artistry.

Since 2005, Thomas and Sue have performed at venues such as the Olbrich Gardens Summer and Winter Concert Series, Mount Horeb Art Fair, Mount Horeb Fall Heritage Festival, The Brink Lounge, The Grumpy Troll, Cambridge Pottery Festival, Café Montmartre, Wild Hog In The Woods Coffeehouse, and a number of house concerts, weddings, and other private events. They played monthly at Fyfe’s Bistro, before it closed in 2007.

They've also performed twice on Bill Malone's Back To The Country on WORT 89.9 FM, Live From Triple M in the WMMM studio, and on the evening news on WB57. In addition, several of their songs have been featured on NPR's Open Mic, WCUW's Pastures of Plenty in Worcester, Mass., GidaFolk Net Radio, the Online Folk Festival, and KPFK's FolkScene in Los Angeles, Calif.

Here's a live version of For All Of Your Style performed by calicoDrifters; words and music by Thomas Burns:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xf5H549dak

Lyrics

I'm Still Waiting

Written By: Thomas Burns

1.
Today has come and gone and I'm still waiting
As it seems I've done so many yesterdays
How much time, I know, I've wasted contemplating
What I wish would come my way
At first,we took our time with one another
As though we had no other wishes left to prove
And then I learned too late
By far my worst mistakes
Were the times I didn't wait to spend with you

2.
The stars behind a cloud don't cast its shadow
They're willing just to wait and watch it pass
They never seem impatient for tomorrow
They know tomorrows never last
The times when you and I were truly happy
We weren't waiting for tomorrows to come true
And now I've learned too late
By far my worst mistakes
Were the times I didn't wait to spend with you

Chorus:
I'm climbing walls of wishes
For dreams I've already come through
And I'm just waiting here for one more time
I wish that I could spend with you

3.
Daylight's rolling in on all my sorrow
As it tries to push the dark of night away
And I find myself now facing some tomorrow
I hoped for yesterday
I wonder where you are and if you're lonely
Or contented since you've found somebody new
And I know it comes too late
But by far my worst mistakes
Were the times I didn't wait to spend with you

Chorus:

I Went A-Wanderin'

Written By: Thomas Burns

I Went A-Wanderin
(c) 2006 Thomas Burns

1.
I lived for a while in the shadows of Milwaukee
Where I took up for a year with a girl from Muscoda
She bore us a child who looked just like his pappy
But he never looked like me so I went a-wanderin' way
I knew a man down south so I took the train to Georgia
But he could not be found, so I had no place to stay

2.
I hitchhiked out west where the road meets the Missouri
'Cause I'd heard they needed men to run the ships along the docks
But the pay was not enough and the work was hard and dirty
And I didn't much like the scenery; and I didn't much like the boss
So without even a suitcase, that had long before been stolen
And without a destination I went a-wanderin' way

Chorus:
And I still don't have a road
And I could use a friend to talk to
'Cause the night sky is often cold
And the stars so far away
3.
When I stand outside the church and I listen to the choir
I harken to my youth and the hymns I used to know
Of everlasting rest for the soul that's toiled and tired
Shelter, love, and comfort and finally coming home
But now I walk these streets like a ghost who holds no candle
I never have known peace since I went a-wanderin' way

Leading Me Home

Written By: Thomas Burns

At the corner of Friday night's kisses
And Saturday's early regret
At the corner of Friday night's kisses
And Saturday's early regret
I could have chosen to cross with the light after safety
Or turn towards your harsh silhouette

But we turned down the covers of darkness
And the logic of Lerner and Lowe
We turned down the covers of darkness
And the logic of Lerner and Lowe
Then each pushed the other one into the corner
And backed away hungry and slow

Chorus
If I wait all day
Will the sun shine holy
Or was it all too late
The moment I dove out the door
All the roads I've paved
With the stones of sorrow
Still guide my way
But are no longer leading me home
Leading me home...

There's plenty to do when it's raining
The trouble is crossing the line
There's plenty to do when it's raining
The trouble is crossing the line
I'll drive with you all the way to salvation
If heartbreak is ever a crime

With the high price of meat in the market
And a thin coat of ice on the road
With the high price of meat in the market
And a thin coat of ice on the road
I don't know whether to call you up seeking comfort
Or simply to leave you alone

I've Got A Man

Written By: Thomas Burns

I’ve got a man in New York City
Though to be fair, it's South St. Paul
He's kind and sweet and oh-so-pretty
That isn't it, he's not at all

We met one day outside his trailer
And asked my name, I had to lie
Then told me he was Norman Mailer
But his prose style didn't match that guy

Chorus
Just like the light that leaps through my window
And crashes to the street below
I don't fear the night or shrink from its shadow
And I don't mind a little rain

If I was rich, I think I'd travel
I'd buy a book and head for Spain
But I'm dirt poor - more like gravel
So I'll take the air but not the plane

I wish today I'd missed the paper
I've had it with the local jive
While I'm not dead now I will be later
So I'm making time while I'm alive

Don't Come Down Here

Written By: Thomas Burns

There's a prison by the lake
All its doors are open wide
And the inmates stand unshackled
As they mill about inside
But the warden he don't come down here no more
No the warden he don't come down here no more
No the warden he don't come down here no more

On the corner stands a church
All its windows look so fine
And the neighbors come to congregate
And stand outside in line
But the preacher he don't come down here no more
No the preacher he don't come down here no more
No the preacher he don't come down here no more

There's a school up on a hill
All its lessons are on the wall
And the children line up one-by-one
And wait out in the hall
But the teacher she don't come down here no more
No the teacher she don't come down here no more
No the teacher she don't come down here no more

I once lived along this road
All its houses painted red
And I walked paths of innocence
No matter where they led
But whoever that was he don't come down here no more
Whoever that was he don't come down here no more
Whoever that was he don't come down here no more

Somebody's Beautiful Baby

Written By: Thomas Burns

Somebody's Beautiful Baby
by Thomas P. Burns

1.
There’s a young man outside the subway station
His long blue raincoat is hanging open
His eyes are wild; he could use a shave
It looks like he misses the humor in just about everything
Train cars rumble underground
The buildings above him are filled with crowds
And he just shouts at each passer-by
But at some point he must have been somebody's beautiful baby

2.
The old man has had it from too much wine
He's slumped in a doorway after closing time
His eyes are yellow and his hair is grey
The face of a man who has no need for company
The night wind is icy; he's got nothing on his hands
A big cop is poking him to get him to stand
He doesn't move and they haul him away
But at some point he must have been somebody's beautiful baby

Chorus

Daisy, come a little closer
In no time you will be much older
'Til that day, lean upon my shoulder
We'll watch the fire and the rain outside
'Cuz tonight you're here and you're somebody's beautiful baby

3.
There's a young girl lying with her back to the ground
Her leg is twisted funny like it's upside down
Her eyes are wide open and her mouth is surprised
The face of a child who will never be older than seventeen
Young kids have gathered to see where she fell
A policeman's collected the empty shell
But they're not talking, they won't say a word
No one will tell who killed somebody's beautiful baby

Chorus

Only One

Written By: Thomas Burns

1.A more perfect summer day I cannot remember
For this one here today I never will forget
A thousand years ago I must have been pretending
Where all my dreams would go - but that's before we met

2.
And all that's come before, and where I may have wandered
The promises I've made and all that's come undone
It seems there's always more I may have wished or wanted
But on this our wedding day, you're the only one

Chorus:

Who holds my heart
And keeps my reason
For whom this ring
'Til death do part

3.
When this perfect summer day gives way to perfect evening
And we have said "Good night" to family and friends
We'll start upon the road where all of this is leading
And where ever it may go you're the only one

Chorus:

Who holds my heart
And keeps my reason
For whom this ring
'Til death do part

I'm Goin' Away

Written By: Thomas Burns

1.
I'm goin' away
I'm goin' away
I'm goin' away, boys
I'm goin' away

2.
Tell my sweet Rose I love her so
Tell my sweet Rose I love her so
Tell my sweet Rose I love her so, boys
I'm goin' away

3.
Never been so all alone
Never been so all alone
Never been so all alone, boys
I'm goin away

4.
The moon is high and bright and cold
The moon is high and bright and cold
The moon is high and bright and cold, boys
I'm goin away

Discography

Turning Home (LP) June 2009
Takin' On The Rain (LP) November 2007
Dreams Are The Ponies We Ride (LP) July 2006

Set List

calicoDrifters creates new set lists for each performance, drawing from a wealth of original material as well as cover songs from over 75 artists. Audience members have repeatedly commented on the enjoyable variety of songs and the smooth flow of each multi-genre performance.

In addition to traditional material, audiences might hear songs by Leonard Cohen, Neko Case, KT Tunstall, Mississippi John Hurt, Gillian Welch, Paul Simon, The Carter Family, Anouk, Bruce Springsteen, Memphis Minnie, Roger Miller, Charlie Patton, Feist, Death Cab For Cutie, and Sarah Harmer, to name a few.

During a three hour performance, Thomas and Sue will play 40 to 45 songs, and will take two breaks of about 10 minutes each.