Illinois Nationals

Illinois Nationals

 Decatur, Illinois, USA

Dirty white boy, country/blues


Built from Central Illinois’s black dirt and hard working lifestyles are Illinois Nationals. A mixture of deep Americana lyrics and dirty white boy, country/blues poured out of Hank’s whiskey bottle. Four guys turning their reality and stories into music that crosses age demographics and can be related to by the young and old. Their self-titled debut released in 2009 has the raw, original feel that makes every aspect of their music seem as if it was meant just for you.


Black Limousine

Written By: John Donze

Three gunslingers in a black limousine
Amoco parking lot 12:13
boots clap on the sidewalk in the rain.

2 cans of soda and a girly magazine
pointing to the Camels in the third row feels a
barrel in her kidney and cocks her head to say.

"I beg you please, I didn’t see a thing
you can have all my money can’t you see
I won’t speak your name or the look of your face
or talk of you riding in a black limousine."

2 fall silent but her ears still rang
from the crack of the rifle in the clerk’s hand
who staggers from the holes they put into his leg.

The 3rd started shooting, bullets flying free soon
standing in silence blood running at her feet
no one left breathing but conscience speaks.

"Don’t be afraid, you didn’t see a thing
just take all the money you can see
no one knows your name or the look of your face
or suspect you to be riding in that black limousine."

Taking Moses Out

Written By: John Donze and David Burdick

Phoenix, Arizona on a Red Eye North of town
My baby’s running off with my best man Moses Mounds
She might be flying high with me on the ground
But when that plane comes down I’m taking Moses out

My neighbor tipped me off when she saw them rolling out
Cause Moses never lets a woman straddle his stick in town
She said “Son your woman’s ditching town,
I think you’d best track ‘em and take old Moses out!”

I’m burning up highway 17 at 125
This old hemi went a little bit faster in ‘69
I got a jump on that plane before it headed off
The landing gear down it’s time to take old Moses out

I said now Moses I’m your man and I’ll tell you this here straight
She’s been a hussy and a liar ever since our wedding day
And since you’ve been so kind to take her away
I’m taking you out tonight and the drinks are all on me

I’m taking Moses out
I’m taking Moses out
I’m taking Moses out
I said I’m taking you Moses out

Don't Stand Down

Written By: David Burdick

Back from Iraq for the second time
Drinking at a bar out on the county line
His wife ties it on, starts speaking her mind
There’s no glory being left behind

He tries to talk to his kid who’s got nothing to say
Sittin’ ‘round in his room all day
With his PS2 and his video games
Blowing all the soldiers away
When your duty comes around, you don’t stand down

At his old high school went to see a man
Only teacher ever gave a damn
He said “Hey Mr. Peters tell me if you can
Exactly just what I am”

Peters said “Son I can’t comprehend
But one thing’s for certain, this’ll never end
Always gonna be like it’s always been
And you know we’re gonna do it again”
So when your duty comes around, you don’t stand down

He moved out of his house into a cheap motel
Two more months of stateside hell
He and his buddies know the feeling well
But there’s nobody that they can tell

‘Cuz in the sands of Iraq where he left his soul
And a muzzle flash makes the night time glow
They strap it on and they rock and roll
Now here’s all you need to know

When your duty comes around, you don’t stand down
You don’t stand down
Don’t stand down

Mike James Crow

Written By: John Donze and David Burdick

They say he was a man who was hard from the steel
He was forging in the valley of the Black Pine Hills
He was Mike James Crow

Pulling double shifts on the company fields
You best never mess around with the pay that you give to old
Mike James Crow

The cops had known him better than his mother they said
But never took him in just let him do what he did he was
Mike James Crow

Ladies always rounded at the bar that he sat
And their men would never question they’d just tip their hat to
Old Crow, at the end of the bar
Telling stories to the honey’s about all his scars

They say the devil tempted him with money and greed
Till he sent him shuffling home with his tales in his legs he was
Mike James Crow

Till I get back your heart

Written By: John Donze

In my cadillac swerving down a country lane
As I’m speeding to the pulse of a gravel vein
Pumping 67 try to keep her running straight
In the moonlight of Kentucky in the pouring rain

No looking back, got an angel on my shoulder
whispers the words time’s running thin
My guardian looking out when I need him
Wearing him down every day I live

Cause I know my days are getting numbered
before he calls me home
As long as the sun keeps reigning down
I’ll give it all I have got, till I get back your heart

Marlboro glowing by a glass of gin
in a hotel 30 miles out of Lexington
I’ll be back on the road before the moon trades places
with the sun that leads me to the heart I’m chasing


You can shut me out, leave your feelings
back in Puducah, where you don’t need them
I did you wrong, didn’t give you what you needed
but I’ve changed my ways for good, And I’m running out of time for love


In my cadillac swerving down a country lane
As I’m speeding to the pulse of a gravel vein
Pumping 67 try to keep her running straight
In the moonlight of Kentucky in the pouring rain


Illinois Nationals (2009 LP)

Set List

Typically play 2 or 3 sets over a 3 hour time slot.
Capable of playing anywhere between 45 min. to 3 1/2 hrs.

Ours sets consist almost entirely of our originals with the occasional cover from Old Crow Medicine Show, Death Cab for Cutie, Waylon Jennings, and The Band to name a few.

Danville Main
We’re Throwing Down
Don’t Break Me Now
Long Point Creek Flood
Black Limousine
Till I Get Back Your Heart
Mike James Crow
Takin’ Moses Out
Don’t Stand Down
Cold Steel Pan
Freedom Ride
Slow Down
Brothers Like Us
The Ballad of Big Joe Campbell
Jack Ain’t the Same
Burn You Down
The Reason
Good Enough
Wearied Long Eyes
The Places I was meant to be
Robert Ford
Lover to Play
Laura Lee
Don't Bother Joe
Drink Till It's Dry
In Your Dreams
Lonely Town