Hank Waite and the Milkmashers

Hank Waite and the Milkmashers

 Seattle, Washington, USA
BandAmericanaCountry

If "Americana" is just some catchphrase, just about any band could fit the bill. But if it's a true genre, well then, Hank Waite and the Milkmashers define it. Steeped in tradition but always fresh. Honest and, honestly, American. Step up, friend: hear your favorite song again for the first time.

Biography

Hank grew up in rural Colorado among tough people with tender hearts--the kind of characters that populate his stories--and aspired to be a poet. While living in West Virginia for several years, he soaked up the music of Appalachia and decided that he liked his poems with a side of guitar.

In Washington he met Rick, Jim, Rebecca, Dave and Sean, and Hank had to admit he also liked his poems with generous helpings of bass, drums, piano, viola -- and even more guitar.

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Your set was a most pleasant surprise. Your songs floored me. It was all very honest, good songwriting, some really excellent lines.
--A Milkmashers fan

I took the wife down to see Ted Nugent at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday, and let me tell you: you guys are every bit as good as Ted Nugent.
--A slightly tipsy Milkmashers fan

If you don't make it in music, you could totally be a stand-up comedian.
--A cute, misguided Milkmashers fan

Some say we're funny, some say we're honest, and some say we're um... Ted Nugent (presumably because we rock, but who knows?). Well, whatever you call us, we're just Milkmashers. We've come together from around the country to make our own brand of honest Honky Tonk music. Oh, and we like to rock a little, too.

Lyrics

Cattle County

Written By: Hank Waite

I saw her staring at her feet,
waiting for the bus out front of the drugstore down the street.
I said, "Baby, you don't have to leave."
She said, "You know if I miss this bus I'm stuck here one more week."

Chorus:
Don't tell me nothing good's come out of Cattle County.
The only good things here have gone.
And all the rest are staying
up all night and down all day,
and I always thought I'd get away,
but I've been down too long.

6:10 AM, the only sound
Is the buzzer clock not buzzing, cause my baby ain't around.
6:45, and all I hear
is scrambled eggs not being made, and it's getting pretty clear
to me

That she ain't coming back, and I'll be coming down
like the platform at the depot when the last train left this town
like the storefront signs on Main Street when the old folks died away
or the rain that soaked the high school band at the county fair parade.
Don't tell me--

Don't tell me nothing good's come out of Cattle County.
The only good things here have gone.
And all the rest are staying
up all night and down all day,
and I always thought I'd get away,
but I've been down too long.

Michigan

Written By: Hank Waite

I'm leaving on the red-eye flight from Michigan.
Won't be long till I'm touching down overseas,
patrolling the sands in a foreign land,
sweating bullets in the desert heat.

She's saying she can't handle this again.
Sitting home alone and worrying about me.
Got her momma on the phone as she's packing my clothes
Leaving tear stains on my fatigues.

Chorus:
'Cause she's so crazy
She's so crazy
Crazy 'bout me.
And I'm going crazy
It drives me crazy
Her tears are killing me.
War is lunacy.

She says that she'll still wait for me,
but I know that easier said than done.
And if she's long gone
When I get home
I won't blame her none.

(Chorus)

'Cause I love her, and I need her
I made a promise that I'd never leave her
But now I'm going
And I don't know if I'll ever see her again.

California

Written By: Hank Waite

Bought a ticket back home.
Never no more will I roam so far away
Even on a good day
I feel alone, I feel alone.

I feel alone.
Out here where the women come on like an earthquake and leave you like a wildfire
out of control.

Well they used to come looking for freedom or gold
I was just looking for a centerfold
And their goons give me looks that could break a man's bones
But those girls just ain't looking, and I feel alone.

Well there's a waitress I know.
Been to more casting calls than there are strip malls on the boulevards of this whole damn town.
We used to talk all night long about our dreams and the lives we'd left
till one morning while she slept, I woke up and slipped out.

Well they used to come looking for freedom or gold.
She was just looking for someone to hold.
And I would've done different if I'd only known,
but now I look in the mirror and I feel alone.

And her loving touch could've been enough
to keep me just as happy as a child on the Fourth of July
But I was all wrapped up in that California stuff
And in the haze and the heat I let happiness drive by.

Be a month on Saturday
since they took her away, eyes closed from the pills she took:
one for every heartbreak that she'd ever known.
So now I'm out on the street
Standing by the depot in the heat smoking cigarettes,
waiting on the noon express to take me back home.

Well they used to come looking for freedom or gold
I was just looking for centerfold
And I wish to my heart I had that sweet girl to hold,
and I feel alone and I'm going home.
Yeah down to my soul, man, I feel alone.

Learning to Swim

Written By: Hank Waite

My brother took me to the swimming hole
a summer day when I was five years old.
Sat by the riverbank as he swam with the girls.

I thought, "hey now, don't that look fun
splashing around in your swimming trunks."
So I figured I'd slide on in and give it a whirl.

By the time my brother pulled me out I was shivering and cold,
coughing up muddy water on the bank.
Pretty sure I'd get a whipping when I got home
But instead my momma spoke these words I remember to this day:

She said it ain't no use
That's the cold, hard truth.
There's a hard current that sweeps against your skin.
Soon as your hand touches dry land
It drags you down again.
They can't teach you in school,
can't learn in a pool,
but the sooner you learn this hard, fast rule
The sooner you begin
learning how to swim.

Late that night I heard my momma yell.
Told my daddy that he might as well
Pack his things if he was gonna leave,
and the next day he left.

Thought for sure he'd come back one day,
but he never did, no matter how I prayed.
And pretty soon I understood what my momma meant.

That it it ain't no use
That's the cold, hard truth.
There's a hard current that sweeps against your skin.
Soon as your hand touches dry land
It drags you down again.
They can't teach you in school,
can't learn in a pool,
but the sooner you learn this hard, fast rule
The sooner you begin
learning how to swim.

Sometimes it's a real good thing that little boys
do as we do, not what we say.
I saw my momma work three jobs
and still come home with a heart full of love.
She might've said that it ain't no use
but she taught me how to swim along the way.

Took my little boy to the swimming hole
just the other day; he's five years old.
Sat by the riverbank; I took off my shoes.

I waded in up to my knees.
Said, "just like I showed you now, swim to me.
And if that river's too fast, well I'm right here for you."

But I'll tell you the truth
'Cause I owe it to you:
There's a hard current that never goes away.
You don't understand right now, but you will someday.
They don't teach you in school, can't learn in a pool
But whenever you're sinking there's only one thing to do.
You've gotta try and try again.
That's how you learn to swim.

Louisiana

Written By: Hank Waite

Nothing left of the boatyard.
Ain't nothing right no more.
Got no job to go back to.
They tore down my daddy's store.
Well the rain washed in and left no doubt:
Everything I had was gone
when the rain washed out.

And I still look at your pictures,
and I see the face of God.
I still hold you in my heart
Just like an old postcard:
the kind that still reminds me back when I was safe and warm,
in your arms, Louisiana
before the storm.

Went to Wal-Mart on Tuesday.
Wasn't a cloud in sight.
Louisiana picked a crib,
and I set it up that night.
When the rains washed out, and the days flowed on
I found the crib on a rooftop,
but Louisiana was gone.

And I still look at your pictures,
and I see the face of God.
I still hold you in my heart
Just like an old postcard:
the kind that still reminds me back when I was safe and warm,
in your arms, Louisiana
before the storm.

Well there's been times I've seen the rainbow,
and there's been times it's true
when the rains washed out,
I've wished they'd took me, too.
But I hear your voice; I've been gone too long.
I'm going back to Louisiana
So Louisiana lives on.

And I still look at your pictures,
and I see the face of God.
I still hold you in my heart
Just like an old postcard:
the kind that still reminds me back when I was safe and warm,
in your arms, Louisiana
before the storm.

It Makes No Difference to Me

Written By: Hank Waite

It makes no difference to me
if you come back tomorrow.
It makes no difference to me
if I don't see you no more.
I don't mind sitting here
watching TV, drinking beer.
I don't care anymore.

Do you think it makes a difference to me?
If you do, you're wrong.
Do you think I care one way or the other?
Listen to my song:
All my love for you's been spent.
Now you're gone and I'm indifferent.

Like the bread molding in my cupboard,
Like the dandelions crowding out my lawn,
like the old junk car rusting in my yard,
you've been around too long,
and I don't care if you're gone.

Do you think it makes a difference to me?
If you do, you're wrong.
Do you think I care one way or the other?
Listen to my song:
All my love for you's been spent.
Now you're gone and I'm indifferent.

What's the sense in crying, baby, over things that might have been?
It ain't no use to try and capture yesterday again.
The morning that you drove away
You left me, baby, for blue.
It doesn't even bother me that I make no difference to you.
Why don't I make no difference to you?

Do you think it makes a difference to me?
If you do, you're wrong.
Do you think I care one way or the other?
Listen to my song:
All my love for you's been spent.
Now you're gone and I'm indifferent.

Broke Down

Written By: Hank Waite

Broke down
like my poor old car,
broke down like I've never been before.

Shot down
like a shooting star.
My baby don't want me no more.

No my baby don't want me,
my baby don't want me,
my baby don't want me no more.
I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it from her.
No my baby don't want me,
she say she don't want me.
My baby don't want me no more.
Now just like that she's leaving me
the loneliest boy in the world.

Broke down
bought a big ol' ring
broke down put a diamond on her hand.

She left town
taking everything.
She say she gonna find another man.

Yeah, she gonna find another
she say she'll find another.
My baby gonna find another man.
I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it from her.
Yeah my baby gonna find another--
The lady gonna find another sweet loving man.
Now just like that she's leaving me
and I do believe I'll never understand.

Well since she left I've just been dining
on microwave pot pies and
I sit alone and cry.
Guess that you could say that I'm

Broke down
like my poor old car,
broke down like I've never been before.

Shot down
like a shooting star,
the loneliest boy in the world.

The Ring

Written By: Hank Waite

Jenny put her wedding ring in the jewelry box.
Been 25 years, she'd never even slipped it off.
Now with the kids moved out and Billy at the plant
she started up her car to meet another man.

3:30 in the afternoon when the clouds drew near.
10 minutes it was over, and the sun appeared.
She'd barely gone a mile when the twister came.
Sped back where the house had been, and all she could say

Was there's a ring in the wreckage that held up these walls.
Took it off for a second and lost it all.
Furniture, designer skirts don't mean a thing,
But now I've lost the power of the ring.

Police car pulled up, and she asked to call the plant.
Officer looked down and said "I'm sorry, ma'am.
Storm tore right through there, ain't nothing left to see."
Jenny stepped into the yard and fell to her knees.

Said there's a ring in the wreckage that held up those walls.
I took it off for a second and lost it all.
If you could help me find it, sure mean a lot to me.
Cause right now I need the power of the ring.

They sifted through old photographs and magazines
When from the corner of her eye she saw the ring.
She slipped it on her finger, and when she looked up
there was Billy climbing down off a firetruck.

Now there's a ring on her finger that'll fix it all.
A little band that's stronger than any four walls.
In every life there's trouble -- it don't mean a thing
long as you've got the power of the ring.

Let's Sail This Chevy Home

Written By: Dan "Hank" Waite

V1
Standing in the checkout line
You were someplace else
I know where you were going
I was going there myself

We were clipping through the ocean
On a breezy island day
Now the honeymoon is over
And the bills roll in like waves

Lift
But buckle in the baby
Drop a postcard in the mail
Cause that flag on my antenna
Could make a damn good sail

Chorus
I’ll be the captain
If you’ll be my first mate
We’ll motor out to the edge of town
Kicking dust up in our wake
When we get up top of Piney Hill I’ll throw her out of gear
The wind will fill the stars and stripes and howl in our ears
And we just might see some palm trees along that country road
Yeah, baby, let’s sail this Chevy home

V2
Well every year’s a tough one
This one more than most
At this rate we won’t never
Find our way back to the coast.

But we’ve got some groceries in the bed
Of my old pick-up truck
And I’ve got you sitting next to me
And baby, that’s enough

Lift
But let’s take a second honeymoon
I’ll tell you what I’ll do
Can’t fly you to Aruba
But I’ll take you on a cruise

Chorus 2
I’ll be the captain
If you’ll be my first mate
We’ll motor out to the edge of town
On my 305 v8
When we get up top of Piney Hill I’ll throw her out of gear
The wind will fill those stars and stripes and howl in our ears
And there just might be a lonely beach waiting down the road
Let’s sail this Chevy home

Lift/Bridge
And I know we’re not the only ones
Struggling to keep up
So along the way we’ll throw a line to all the folks like us

Chorus
From Mobile to Milwaukee
Atlanta to L.A.
We’ve lost a lot but we’ve still got
What makes this country great
And we’ve been climbing straight uphill a long time now it seems
But we’ve still got the stars and stripes, and we’ve still got our dreams
And the winds will change direction
a little further down the road
Get ready -- let’s sail this Chevy home.

Discography

Love and Other Natural Disasters (self-released, live)

Set List

1. Broke Down
2. Cattle County
3. Michigan
4. Missed Connection
5. The Ring
6. We're All Gonna Die Some Day (cover)
7. Louisiana
8. It Makes No Difference to Me
9. Daisy's Song
10. Dead Flowers (cover)
11. California
12. You Shook Me All Night Long (cover)
13. You Don't Need a Lover
14. Might as Well Rain
15. One Lonesome Stool
16. When Will I Be Loved (cover)
17. I Saw it Just the Other Day
18. It Makes No Difference to Me
19. Swayback Horse
20. I Saw the Light (cover)
21. Good Night