David HB Drake

David HB Drake

 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

"Deep heartland roots, soaring northern forests and the waters of the Great Lakes flow throughout David's music."

Wisconsin troubadour David HB Drake has spent over twenty-five years presenting concerts at fine arts centers, festivals, schools, community centers and concert stages throughout the Midwest. 
 This panorama of history, natural beauty and discovery is performed on guitar, concertina, dulcimer, banjo, and Native American Flute.

Biography

DAVID HB DRAKE has been called "a gentle troubadour" and "elemental folksinger". His music is inspired by his voyages across Midwestern prairies and the waters of the Great Lakes. He has performed for more than twenty-five years in a wide variety of art forms for all ages. David was named "Folk / Acoustic Music Artist of the Year 2002" and "Family Performer of the Year 2001" by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry and the 2001 Arts Wisconsin Community Arts Development Award for service to the arts. The Folk Alliance Region Midwest presented the "Lantern Bearer" Life Achievement Award in 2003 and his KIDSTUFF album received a "Parents' Choice" award for outstanding children's music.

A native of Milwaukee WI, David has written more than 200 songs of the Midwest. They are frequently heard on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Simply Folk", Higher Ground", and on public radio networks across the nation including New York radio's "Woody's Children", the nationally syndicated "Sing-Out Songbag" and as far away as Holland. His songs appear on the albums of several Midwestern folksingers. In addition to his own music, David has a vast storehouse of songs at his fingertips. David's eclectic repertoire includes sea shanties and songs of the Seven Seas and Great Lakes, Irish ballads, children's and family songs, environmental music, vintage tunes, novelty songs, traditional folk music and folk classics from the "sixties".

David is a regular performer at regional folk festivals, Irish Fest, Summerfest, Wisconsin State Fair, Old World Wisconsin, coffeehouses, colleges, community centers, libraries, and nature centers throughout the Midwest. He is also a frequent visitor to schools and elder care centers, where his WISCON-SING show, an official Wisconsin Sesquicentennial™ event, takes a musical walk through Wisconsin's history. David's HEARTLAND program presents the history of our neighbors "south of the border" in Illinois. David is frequently seen performing benefits for a wide spectrum of social causes including the "Living Activism" series raising funds for Native American food pantries, the "AIDS Walk", the WAMI children's music education effort, for Pier Wisconsin environmental education events, and for "Peace Action" events promoting social justice and world peace. David is a song leader for the Congregation of the Great Spirit, a Milwaukee Native-American Catholic church.

Lyrics

The Daily Grind

Written By: David HB Drake

THE DAILY GRIND
©David HB Drake

Now the sun come up and alarm clock rings
Time to drag on out and do my thing
But my brain is fuzzy and my eyes are lead...
It's still around midnight in my head

Gotta grind...Gotta get up, get out, get on, go, Gotta grind!

So I drag to the kitchen, grab me a cup
I don't know for sure which way is up
But I reach for the bag full of big brown beans
And I go for a ride in my coffee machine

Gotta grind...Gotta get up, get out, get on, go, Gotta grind!

Now it may just seem habitual, but for a good time morning ritual
You just put them beans in a coffee grinder
and you crank 'em down until they kinda...
Smell like the earth on a new plowed farm
Or a hickory log when it's getting warm

Gotta grind...Gotta get up, get out, get on, go, Gotta grind!

So I pour me a cup when the water's boiling
Gonna start my engines for the long day's toiling
It's a wake-up call from Colombian Java
Black as ink and hot as lava

Gotta grind...Gotta get up, get out, get on, go, Gotta grind!

So if you've got the blues, if you've got the downs
If you can't get moving when the day comes 'round
If you're in the dumps and feeling sad
Just get a grinder like your grandma had

Grind them beans all fresh and roasted
While the eggs get sunny and the toast gets toasted
Fire up your body and crank up your mind
For the song and dance we call "The Daily Grind"

Gotta grind...Gotta get up, get out, get on, go, Gotta grind!

God's Great Northern Forest

Written By: David HB Drake

GOD'S GREAT NORTHERN FOREST
David HB Drake / c. September 10, 1983

Capo 2 to sound in A (* D played C position slid to 3rd fret)

G C D* F
The smell of rain is in the air, the distant thunder drums somewhere,
Em C G D G
Fish don't bite, but we don't care, we're safe against the weather.
G C D* F
A Northern Forest is the place we come to let the peace erase,
Em C G D G
Our grey and concrete city face, and spend some time together.

[CHORUS]
C D G C
With just a tent and a canoe, no smoke and steel to spoil the view,
Em C G D G
And only me and only you to love the land before us.
C D G C
No newspapers, no telephones, no cars or bars or cornerstones,
Em C G D G
Only me and you alone in God's great northern forest.

The wind shifts west across the bay and steals the light from waking day,
I'd rather lie here anyway than spend my life in toiling.
The tall pines bend, the aspens quake, the rain hits sizzling on the lake,
And sets me dreaming, half awake, of campfire coffee boiling.

[CHORUS]

The storm will pass us by and by, I watch the land from where we lie,
And wonder if there's wood that's dry to start our breakfast warming.
The distant loon calls break the still and soon my sleeping lady will
Reach out to hold me in the chill and wake to greet the morning.

[CHORUS]

Where there's no newspapers, no telephones, no cars or bars or cornerstones,
Only me and you alone in God's great northern forest.

Prairie Twister

Written By: David HB Drake

PRAIRIE TWISTER
© David HB Drake
Am C F E Am
Black clouds, rolling up against the sky, blotting out the setting sun,
C F E Am C F
Sixty thousand feet high...Sweet Jesus, no where to run, No where to hide, even if I tried,
E Am - C - F - E (slide up)
Looking down the barrel of a Prairie Twister.

Cold rain, the leading front is throwing ice like it was playing baseball hail,
Singing on the tin, denting in the roof, coming down as hard as nails,
Wind is crying like a hungry lion coming after me in a Prairie Twister.

BRIDGE:
Dm Am
Creek bed, in a rocky draw, an hour ago it was dry as a bone
Dm Am E (slide)
Flash flood's coming in a torrent wall - you may never make it home -Never make it home...

Funnel cloud, sniffing all around the ground like the trunk of a mad elephant
Sounds like the roar of every beast you ever dreamed when you were drunk,
Clouds stampede and in the lead of the black parade is a Prairie Twister.

Bright flash, branches of electric trees grow down from roots up in the sky,
Wild wind tears and I swear that it looks like the Forth of July,
Wrath of Cain calls out your name when all hell breaks loose in a Prairie Twister.

Bridge:
Damn land, it's tried to kill this man with sun and snow and fire and drought,
This time it's sent a pharaoh's curse of whirling winds to drive you out- Gonna drive you out...

The sorcerer's apprentice has gone mad and the wolf is at your door,
When the wind comes blowing in, Toto, this ain't Kansas any more,
There's no relief, we've come to grief caught in the teeth of a Prairie Twister.

Cry out, the inside of my mouth is the only thing that's dry,
Chicken Little, you were right - this is the night of the falling sky,
I can't tell the heavens from hell when the devil's tail is a Prairie Twister.

Then calm, the storm has come and gone like a freight train in the night,
Crickets sing glad to bring the peaceful news that it's all right,
Stars come alive saying you've survived this angry night of a Prairie Twister!

River of Time

Written By: David HB Drake

RIVER OF TIME

c. David HB Drake
(Capo 5th fret to sound in C / D* played in C position slid to 3rd fret)

G C G G C G
Autumn leaves drift to the water, gifts to a river-god's daughter
Em A7 C D
Moving down, turning slow, rolling along with the flow...
G C G G C G
Babbling currents sing love songs, lost in the wake rushing headlong
Em A7 C G
Rainbows arch in the spray...there's no where to go but one way.

[CHORUS]
D * C G D
Time, roll along...don't care if I don't understand.
D * C G D
Time, you do no wrong...don't care if you're woman or man...
Em A7
Don't care if you worry or plan...
C D
Just keep turning rocks into sand.

We spend all our lives swimming upstream, follow the world's rich gold gleam,
Salmon slaves to what we own, crashing ourselves on the stones.
River turns mountains to valleys, flowing with time as its ally,
And the path to our dreams will someday be smooth as the streams.

[CHORUS]

Years change the mirror's reflection when down stream’s the only direction,
Through it all, we'll survive...it's all part of being alive.
So find me a dark, quiet eddy, steer me about true and steady,
And let time have her way...we've done enough work for today.

[CHORUS]

So find me a dark, quiet eddy, steer me about true and steady,
And let time have her way...we've done enough work for today.

And let time have her plan...just keep turning rocks into sand.

The Ghostly Ship

Written By: David HB Drake

THE GHOSTLY SHIP
c. David HB Drake

When you're standing watch on a foggy night
The hour is late and there's no moonlight
When the rum is warm and the air is cold
It makes you dream of the ships of old...
Then the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Well you hear a creak and you hear a groan
And you strain your eyes looking o'er the foam
Then there comes a ship from across the wave
Sent from Hell and a salty grave
And the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

She's an old square-rig running up ahead
With her sails full blown and they look blood-red
Her blackened spars fill your heart with dread
The ship's a ghost with a crew so dead
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Then you swear to the stars that your eyes can lie
For the ship she hoves up into the sky
And her skeleton crew gives an eerie cry
That shivers your soul as she passes by
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Run to the Captain, run to the Mate
To tell of the sight and the tale relate
Of the ship that flies and her ghostly crew
And the pirate shades calling after you
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Then the Captain speaks in a solemn tone
"Aye, there's such a ship with the blackened bones...
A crew from Hell and her sails of flame,
The Flying Dutchman it is her name!"
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

"Did you see her, lad, on this foggy night?
Did she call to you, did you have a fright?
Did she run full-sail, but against the wind,
Or is this be a tale made of Rum and Gin?"
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

"For if it be Rum, you're a drunken sot,
And if it be Gin, then you lie a lot!
But if it be true, to God pray thee,
For we're the next to be lost at sea."
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

REPEAT VERSE 1:
When you're standing watch on a foggy night
The hour is late and there's no moonlight
When the rum is warm and the air is cold
It makes you dream of the ships of old...
Then the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Discography

Original Songs:
(All can be heard on I-Tunes and CD Baby)
SECRET GARDEN
OCTOBER COUNTRY
FISHERMAN'S BEACH*
* Five songs on YouTube -See Chicago MAritime Festival 2006

History Programs:
WISCON-SING
HEARTLAND
GATHER BY THE WATERS

Children's Progams:
KIDSTUFF (Winner of Parents' Choice Award)
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD!

Specialty Programs:
POTLUCK (Elders)
LET THERE BE LIGHT! (Christmas)
A SCHOONER SONGBAG (Great Lakes Sea Music)
WISH I HAD A TROUBADOUR (Celtic- Irish)

With Dangerous Folk trio:
DANGEROUS FOLK
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND?