Enigma

Enigma

BandRockAcoustic

Imagine some mad guitar wizard producing a hybrid of Ronnie Montrose and Leo Kottke, and marrying it off to a wild siren sprung from the DNA of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin. Their offspring might be Enigma. Eclectic music, intellectual lyrics, performed with gut-wrenching honesty.

Biography

Guitarist and composer David Epp jokingly describes his work as, “a combination of mess and finesse.” A talented multi-instrumentalist, skilled in guitar, bass, mandolin, saxophone and drums as well as vocals, he finds that the minimalist configuration of guitar and voice actually allows greater freedom than a normal band setting provides. Epp draws from a variety of inspirations to produce provocative works speaking to – and from – every corner of the soul.

His inventive writing style and powerful expression provide a beautifully complex framework for vocalist/lyricist Carolyn Olesen, who herself is an amalgam of incurable rebelliousness and rigid discipline. Carolyn developed her vocal chops by being in countless bands; her background in theatre and dance has helped her to create a formidable and compelling stage persona that fluctuates, chameleon-like, through the facets of human emotion. Her lyrics explore joy and sadness, clarity and madness, past intermingled with present; from sassy to sublime, abject fear to just plain fun, Olesen’s poetry and delivery reflect the depth and extremes of human experience.

Enigma released their debut CD, Juxtaposition, in 2006. Juxtaposition is exactly what it says it is: a refreshingly unique blending of styles, from acoustic folk/pop to electric rock and blues, richly textured guitar compositions coupled with unusually intellectual and introspective lyrics, sung with unbridled veracity.

Their second CD, Eccentricities, released in May, 2008, offers the listener a wild ride on a roller-coaster of darkness and light. This CD includes tales of love, of sadness, of playful daydreams and the terrifying landscape of the soul, a touch of social commentary, a humorously scathing look at today’s political terrain, and even an imaginative journey to a most unusual nightclub. Their music ranges in style from acoustic neo-folk and pop to electric classic and progressive rock and blues.

Lyrics

Midnight Star

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Midnight Star
Words and Music by David M. Epp and Carolyn Olesen

VERSE:
It was a slow movin’ night on the Strip, I was hip,
I was hoppin’, then I stopped, I heard a spooky kind of groove
I saw a funky blue door, I was sure
I’d never seen it before, thought, “I got nothin’ to lose.”
Inside it was loud, dancing crowd, like a shroud
I turned around and saw a man with no face
He had his hat down low, chic nouveau, smoking slow,
I said, “Tell, me, what the hell is this place?”

CHORUS:
He said, “You’ve stepped through a hole in the twilight zone
To a place called the Midnight Star
Now that you’ve come in you’ll be back again
You know it’s just that kind of bar.”

The guy at the bar, his face was horribly scarred
Said, “Whatcha drinkin’?” Said, “I think I’ll have a beer.”
When I tried to pay he waved me away
Said, “Honey, we don’t take money here.”
The band was led by a demon on guitar
He was screamin’, fire danced off his strings
The guy on the bass, he was floating in space
And the drummer had a pair of dark hairy wings

I saw a woman in black stab her friend in the back
She didn’t notice; she just kept on talking
A couple zombies shuffled through, bloodsuckers, too
I saw a dead man walking
There were spirits and ghouls, and fools, and losers
I guess beggars can’t be choosers in the city at night
I wanted to run but someone said, “Hon,
The fun is just beginning, why don’t you sit tight?”

CHORUS 2:
“You’ve stepped through a hole in the twilight zone
To a place called the Midnight Star
Now we’ve drawn you in, you’ll be back again
You know it’s just that kind of bar.”

The band played some more, they were groovin’
And I felt like movin’, I got out on the floor
A man pulled me in, in a spin, chin to chin,
My skin quivered ‘cause I figured I’d seen him before
In my darkest dreams he’s come to me,
He said, “I see your soul ain’t quite right.”
I couldn’t lie, I was caught, who’d have thought
I’d be dancin’ with the devil on a Saturday night

CHORUS 3:
Now I’ve walked alone through the twilight zone
To the place called the Midnight Star
Where the drinks are strong and the night’s so long
And you know just who you are

So step through that hole in the twilight zone
To the place called the Midnight Star
Once I take you in, you’ll be back again
You know it’s just that kind of bar.

Copyright 2007 David M. Epp and Carolyn Olesen

Home With You

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Home With You
Words and music by David M. Epp and Carolyn Olesen

VERSE 1:
Climb out of this crazy river
When you offer up your hand
Stop my constant motion
Get my feet back on dry land

For all the things I’ve got to do, people I’ve got to see
Tonight I’m in the one place that I truly want to be

CHORUS:
Home with you
Home with you

VERSE 2:
You know I like my sailing
On the waves of rock and roll
But sometimes the river swallows me
Sometimes it claims my soul

When the current and the undertow are draggin’ down my mind
I always know just where to go to lay back and unwind

BRIDGE:
When the skies are blowing stormy and the water’s closing in
I’m cold and dark and lonely, bruised and battered by the wind
Your love shines like a beacon, reaches out, and draws me back again

OUTRO:
When I stumble through the door like a lost and weary child
I fall into the warm and loving comfort of your smile
I’ll go back out tomorrow, but tonight I’ll rest awhile

Copyright 2008 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Fed Up (With All of You)

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

FED UP (WITH ALL OF YOU)
Words and music by David M. Epp and Carolyn Olesen

VERSE 1:
You know I got a good job
But I can’t make my rent
‘Cause I can’t vote myself a pay raise
Like you folks in the government
The economy’s all but ruined
Gas prices on the rise
My health care costs keep climbing
But I’m not surprised

VERSE 2:
You say you serve the people
But that ain’t what you do
You work for the special interest groups
Who own a piece of you
You made a lot of promises
But you haven’t followed through
If you really work for me
Can I fire you?

CHORUS:
Well the rich keep getting richer
And the poor keep getting screwed
And those of us in the middle got the politician blues
Left wing, right wing, in between
Either way we lose
Gotta tell you we’re fed up with all of you

VERSE 3:
You get all the perks and power
You got a golden parachute
How can you represent me
If you don’t live like I do?
Buy your own insurance,
Pay for your own gas
Try to survive on the salary
Of the American middle class

CHORUS 2:
Well the rich keep getting richer
And the poor keep getting screwed
And those of us in the middle got the politician blues
Well we just keep sinking deeper
No matter who we choose
Gotta tell you we’re fed up with all of you

CHORUS 3:
Well the rich keep getting richer
And the poor keep getting screwed
And those of us in the middle got the politician blues
For the people by the people
Just ain’t ringin’ true
Gotta tell you we’re fed up with all of you

Copyright 2008 David M. Epp and Carolyn Olesen

Pagan Moon

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

PAGAN MOON
By David M. Epp and Carolyn Olesen

VERSE:
Is it a stretch of the imagination
Suspension of disbelief
Persistence of memory
Or just the need for some release
Did I see you under foreign stars
Like I do in all my dreams
Did I know you in some time before
Or is it just a fantasy

CHORUS:
Did we dance among the ringstones
Beneath a pagan moon
Are the promises of past lives coming true

VERSE:
Is it random chance or destiny
This curious connection
What drives these dreams of mine
In this strange and new direction
Did we make some sacred vow
Did we speak the ancient words
Did the gods burn fire across the sky
To signify they heard

CHORUS 2:
Did we dance among the ringstones
Beneath a pagan moon
Are the promises of past lives coming true
Did we stand, you and me, hand in hand
Underneath that pagan moon
Are the promises we made there coming true

VERSE:
So stretch your imagination
Suspend your disbelief
Look at me through the eyes of memory
Tell me what you see
Can souls fly through the maze of time
On the wings of words we said
Tell me, are these feelings real
Or is it all just in my head

CHORUS 3:
Did we stand beneath a midnight sky
Where a pagan moon once shone
Why does being with you feel like coming home
Did we dance among the ringstones
Beneath a pagan moon
Are the promises of past lives coming true

OUTRO:
Did we stand, did we dance
While the pagan moon shone down from above
Were we there, was it real, was it love
Did we ride the stars down
Beneath that pagan moon
Were we there, was it real, is it true

Copyright 2006 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Buy Belize

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Come on, baby, it’s too damned cold
February gets me down
Let’s hop a plane to Ambergris Caye
Head out to San Pedro town
You grab the passports and I’ll pack a bag
You call into work and I’ll square it with the band
We can make it to Ramon’s by 3
Be digging our toes in the warm sweet sand

Watch the sun dance off the water
Get drunk on that ocean breeze
If I had a billion dollars
The first thing I would do for you and me
You know I’d buy Belize

I could be Queen of the Island
You’d be my Pirate King
Build us a castle by the water
Wouldn’t need much of anything
I’d buy you a boat you could float on
I’d throw away all our shoes
Get rid of the cell phones and all the tvs
Who cares about headline news

Watch the sun dance off the water
Get drunk on that ocean breeze
If I had a billion dollars
The first thing I would do for you and me
You know I’d

Breakfast on bananas and papayas
Go fishin’ off the edge of the pier
While Tony and his crew of cabana boys
Bring us rum drinks and Belikin beer
Cruise down to Mangos, see what Amy’s got cookin’
Joke around with Trevor at the bar
Sing blues down at Fidos every Saturday night
Make love under Belizean stars

Watch the sun dance off the water
Get drunk on that ocean breeze
Sing every night for the tourists
Play all day in the warm sweet sea
If I had a billion dollars
We could live the life we please
The first thing I’m gonna do for you and me
I’m gonna buy Belize

Copyright 2007 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Awakening

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

VERSE:
Black cloud spreads like an aching bruise
Across an otherwise perfect sunset sky
A kind wind whispers that dark stain away
And those colors spring into new life

BRIDGE:
And I feel like that sunset would sound if the sky could find its voice
And teach its vibrant colors to sing - something in my soul wants to rise up and rejoice

CHORUS:
Something in my heart is awakening

VERSE:
Feathers glistening in solemn sunlight
And furtive flights of imagination
Fear of failure battling with
A greedy kind of anticipation
I can hear the quiet unfurling
Of those new and untried wings
A tentative stretch of questioning muscle
Like a long unused door finally opening

BRIDGE 2:
And I feel like those wings would sound if they could only find their voice
Teach those frightened feathers to sing - something in my soul wants to rise up and rejoice

VERSE:
Like a sleeping song in the heart of a poet
Clean lines of marble in a sculptor’s eye
Color-brushed canvas beneath a painter’s hand
Something beautiful waits to come alive

BRIDGE 3:
And I feel like inspiration can sound when it finally, finally finds its voice
And teaches restless spirit to sing - something in my soul wants to rise up and rejoice

Copyright 2006 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Nicotine

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

INTRO:
You’re gonna be the death of me baby
I know it’s wrong to need you like I do
You make my good times brighter, my sad times lighter
Can’t seem to get through the day without you
‘Cause when everything else fails me, baby,
I’ve got you, my sweet nicotine, to see me through

VERSE:
Six a.m., alarm goes off, I get up, and I start to cough
Jump in the shower and I get wet, thinkin’ ‘bout that first cigarette

CHORUS:
Nicotine … oh, my sweet nicotine…
Well, I get so mean without my nicotine

VERSE:
I go to work and I get so stressed, this place is such a mess
I’m just lookin’ for a place to hide ‘cause it’s 20 below and I can’t smoke inside

VERSE:
Friday night I go do my thing, go down to the bar and I get up to sing
You know they’ve really gone too far when they tell me I can’t even smoke in a bar

VERSE:
Been makin’ love so sweet and slow, and when we’re done, baby I gotta go
He says, don’t leave, baby, my poor heart’s broke; I say, sorry, son, but I’m outta smokes

Copyright 2006 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Dance With You

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

VERSE:
Underneath the spotlight of a Caribbean moon
The band was playing such a dark and mournful tune
And I looked up from my lonely mai-tai gloom
And I saw you
Electric currents seem to draw your eyes to me
The dancers faded, you were all that I could see
And I felt your rhythm like the motion of the sea
And you called to me

BRIDGE:
Something inside me seemed to know
That you’d be waiting for me here
But when the dancers cleared the floor
You had disappeared

CHORUS:
All my life I’ve been waiting for someone like you
All I really wanted was just to dance with you

VERSE:
Half an empty year and half a world away
Underneath the desert starlight hearing some band play
And I saw you just across the way
“You belong with me” I heard you say
You looked at me like I was something from your dreams
I was the water; I could feel your thirst for me
And your eyes held me burning in the desert heat
And I whispered, “Come dance with me”

VERSE:
The city’s cold now and the winter’s finally here
Sometimes I dream of you, it all comes back so clear
I go out at night, try to find a band to hear
That will call you and draw you here
I haunt the nightclubs where the bands play dark and sweet
Look for your face among the dancing crowds I see
Catch your reflection in the windows on the street
I still hunger to taste your heat

BRIDGE 2:
Something inside me keeps believing
That you’ll be waiting for me here
But every time I think I see you
You just disappear

CHORUS 2:
All my life I’ve been waiting for someone like you
All I ever wanted was just a chance with someone like you
All I ever wanted was just to dance with you

Copyright 2006 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Until This is Over

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

VERSE:
Ducked in the alley to catch my breath, put my back to the wall
I had an escape worked out but I lost the protocol
I’ve been running as fast as I can with one eye over my shoulder
If I can make it to where you are can you hide me until this is over?
I got nowhere else to go - just need to lay low

CHORUS:
Until this is over - until this is over
Don’t need a free ride, I just need a place to hide until this is over

VERSE:
I’m so tired of being afraid, just need a minute to breathe
If you can watch my back for an hour maybe I can get a little sleep
Hiding in the shadows, living underground, surviving on adrenaline
Fear sweat and constant paranoia, defenses wearing thin
So will you let me stay - just need a few days

CHORUS 2:
Until this is over - until this is over
Won’t bring trouble to you, just need a friend to see me through until this is over
Until this is over - until this is over
They’re turning up the heat, can you get me off the street until this is over

BRIDGE:
You’re the only one I can trust
You’re my last surviving friend
This desperation’s wearing me down
But I’ve got to see this through to the end

Copyright 2006 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

When Superman Comes Home

Written By: David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

VERSE 1:
Ran into Superman the other day
He was lookin’ a little run down
Beating his head against the same old trains
Chasing the same old shadows around
I took his arm and dragged him down to the corner bar
He looked so sad and tired and lost
Always took his fortitude for granted
I’d never stopped to think about the cost

CHORUS:
When Superman comes home, who rubs his shoulders?
Who says, “Honey, tell me about your day”?
When Superman comes home who drives his blues away?

VERSE 2:
I bought him a shot of Jack and a couple of beers
He said, “I don’t really mean to piss and moan
I’m getting tired of swooping in and saving everybody’s day
Sometimes I wish they’d stand up on their own”
He tossed back his shot and I didn’t need to tell him
That he’d created his own hell
Appreciation turns to expectation
When you do your job too well

BRIDGE:
It’s so easy to be complacent
Running around in our own little grooves
Bitch about the world but we don’t change it
Wait for some other guy to make a move
Come on, make your move

VERSE 3:
Under the neon signs he looked so lonely
Caught up in wistful dreams I couldn’t see
Must be hard to be a superhero
In a world drowning in apathy

Copyright 2007 David M. Epp/Carolyn Olesen

Discography

Juxtaposition- 2006
1. Sunshine and Wine
2. Never Say Goodbye
3. Pagan Moon
4. Nicotine
5. Everything You Need
6. Miracle
7. Dance With You
8. Awakening
9. Until This Is Over

Eccentricities - 2008
1. When Superman Comes Home
2. Midnight Star
3. The Fortress
4. Driven
5. Buy Belize
6. Shadows of My Heart
7. Fed Up (With All of You)
8. Home With You
9. Jungle Boy Blues
10. Pagan Moon (Electric Mix)
11. At the End of the Day

Set List

Enigma generally performs as an acoustic duo, 4-hour shows, with 15 minute breaks in between the 4 sets. Although on our CDs our original songs are played with a full electric band sound, we perform all of our original material acoustically.

We also occasionally perform as a 4-piece electric band we call Enigmatic, with the same set length and format.

With such a wealth of material, we are able to structure our setlist to suit any format. For example, we can be "kid-friendly" for more family-type venues, or more adult oriented for bars and nightclubs; at the wineries where we play we tend to go more mellow, while at bars where people want to dance we can accomodate them as well. Below is a partial list of our repertoire:

10,000 Maniacs -Trouble Me
Aerosmith - I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing
America - Lonely People | Daisy Jane | Sister Goldenhair
Atlanta Rhythm Section - So Into You
Axton, Hoyt - Evangelina
Baez, Joan - Diamonds and Rust
Beatles - Rocky Racc