Dorsey

Dorsey

BandRockFolk

Originally from Tempe, Arizona and currently residing in Chicago, Dorsey has built a following by "mixing the heartland rock sounds of Seger and Mellencamp with elements of Americana stomp." They are also known for their "sunny attitude and catchy melodies that make them popular with the crowds."

Biography

A four-piece rock outfit from Chicago, IL, Dorsey blends folk-rock, rock ‘n’ roll and pop, and do it with a swagger all their own. Led by singer/songwriter John Rowland, the band has been playing live and recording since August of 2006. Joining up with P.J. Magdziarz (bass), Alex Tighe (keyboards/guitar), and John Blades (drums), Dorsey came to life in a small three-bedroom house in Tempe, Arizona.

Within three months of being together, the band was in the studio recording their first full-length album, The Long Goodbye. In the wake of it’s self-release, it landed them a spot on Absolute Punk’s “Absolute 100”, and led to countless gigs throughout the state of Arizona. This brought Dorsey to the attention of engineer/producer Bob Hoag (Dear and the Headlights, The Format, Limbeck, Joel Plaskett). With a helping hand from Mr. Hoag, they recorded their second full-length record at Flying Blanket Studios in January of 2008. It was after this that things started picking up for the band.

In the first six months of ’08, Dorsey played shows all throughout the state of Arizona to rave reviews. The shows included a spot on the main stage at the Tempe Music Festival with the likes of My Chemical Romance and Puddle of Mudd. No more than a month later, they were invited to play at McDowell Mountain Music Festival with The Wailers, Blues Traveler, and John Butler Trio. Proving they could hold their own in front of a vast assortment of people, the band realized the limitations of the Arizona music scene.

Thus, Dorsey set their sights for a city with a major music market, and set up shop in Chicago, IL. Open for business, the band has hit the ground running already playing shows at the Bottom Lounge with Dear and the Headlights, and making an appearance at the Elbo Room in just two short months. With another self-release of their latest record, The Skeleton Show, Dorsey is moving forward constantly with no plans of stopping. So keep your eyes and ears open for the sounds of a band with the ability to influence their peers and inspire their listeners.

Lyrics

Quite Some Time

Written By: John Rowland

The river band it kept swingin'
I was dancing out of my shoes
And the hard wind, it kept blowin'
I stayed up the whole night through

Walking along the river
Wading through muddy waters
I keep asking myself why
I ain't been home in quite some time

I press down on the keys
This old piano rings
A tune I wrote for you
Way back when, we did sing

Well the melody was sweet as it carried downstream
An old sweet memory of you and me, how it used to be
And now I hear the wind like a horn, howlin'

The years away from here have taken my sight
And I've gone blind workin' on this heart of mine
For quite some time

Well the melody was sweet as it carried downstream
An old sweet memory of you and me, how it used to be
And now I hear the wind like a horn, howlin'

Trouble Gone Tomorrow

Written By: John Rowland

I've got a worn out tape of Sam and Dave that won't hardly play
I drive an old car, that's gonna go on me any day

The money's all gone, I threw it all away
On a greyhound ticket, to the San Francisco Bay

Where the beggar's beg
Where the artist's sketch
The poets ramble on but its nonsense
I took a shot to the head

And everybody knows
And everybody's growing old
And everybody knows
Trouble gone tomorrow

Wine and roses could make this place shake
Beneath the nightfall of diamonds, the city's mine to take

Well the lover's lament
As the sky goes red
Sinking like a stone in the sunset
I took a shot to the head

And everybody knows
And everybody's growing old
And everybody knows
Trouble gone tomorrow

Where the beggar's beg
Where the artists sketch
Poet's ramble on, with every word she said
I took a shot to the head

And everybody knows
And everybody's growing old
And everybody knows
Trouble gone tomorrow

Caroline Jones

Written By: John Rowland

Caroline Jones, please do not go
Back to Missouri, the place you call home
Leaving the station I can hear the whistle blow
To ease the pain I'm bound to roam

Caroline Jones, please do not go
Leaving me grey beneath blankets of snow
You may find me on that old road
Reminiscing, bound to roam

For all that I do not know
Draw the curtains, call it to close
And lonely I will be, sorrow will surely find me, always

Caroline Jones, please do not go
To leave me as I was a few short months ago
Tired and weary, I've got a rambler's bones
Like a rambler I'm bound to roam

Caroline Jones, be kind if you go
Together you say, I must hold
The king's in his crown all high upon his throne
I'm the jester, bound to roam

For all that I do not know
Draw the curtains and call it to close
For all that I do not know
Well I know I miss you, Caroline Jones
And lonely I will be, sorrow will surely find me, always

Caroline, please do not go away

A Little Late

Written By: John Rowland

I gave all of my money away, packed my stuff to an old suitcase
I said "mama, I'll be back someday, but for me don't wait"

I walked down on the lane, I met a gal off of Broadway
She took me in for the night, I asked if I could stay

I've gotta be some kind of fool, the lord knows I've got them brown eyed blues
You're trouble baby, I'll see it through, I've been thinkin' about you

And though the days just roll away
I feel like I'm a little late
Pass me by, please I say
I think I've had all that I can take

I saw the light leave my eyes, I had one last smoke and called it a night
Close the door, go back inside, I've got to ease, ease my troublin' mind

And though the days just roll away
I feel like I'm a little late
Pass me by, please I say
I think I've had all that I can take

I've got nowhere to go

Letters to Elizabeth

Written By: John Rowland

There's things I don't wanna forget
I sent them off in a letter to Elizabeth
Did the courier carry it yet?
It's been days and I have not slept

I need another cigarette
Before I go to bed
If then, if only then
I could rest my head again

And there's nights, I think I'll be alright
I stay up as the clock unwinds

I've tried but I can not stay
Oh it just gets harder everyday
I see them shuffle the floors I pace
Growing cold the longer I wait

And I need to be, blind in the passenger seat
And I only sing, cause my eye's can't shake the things I've seen

Uh oh, oh no, I don't want to see them anymore

There's things I don't wanna forget
I sent them off in a letter to Elizabeth

Back to the Jailhouse

Written By: John Rowland

Law man says he's got his eye on me
That this town's the lord's house
And he's the priest

Get to your knees, pray on that rosary
And there won't be no reckoning

And ya know, it ain't right
It ain't worth to fight
Where I'm going I see no light
It's back to the jailhouse tonight

I've done nothing wrong, yet my two eyes can't see
Blinded by the world, I was took in as a thief

Gavel slams, like a hammer and the steel rings
They're gonna do away with me

And ya know, it ain't right
It ain't worth to fight
Where I'm going I see no light
It's back to the jailhouse tonight

Like Father Like Son

Written By: John Rowland

Old Mississippi keeps rolling on through
Hard on luck I've got them Johnny Rivers blues
Sang until I bled out another man's tune
Sing that gospel boy like it'll save you

You keep talkin' about the wind, the wind that's blowin' in
Cold with the river, I was wondering where you've been

My brother's got a bottle of whiskey and a hammer of steel
Were gonna take this fool down to the river and show him how to feel
What it is to feel

Keep talking about the fire but I ain't running for the water

Beggin' and pleadin', it ain't gonna help you none
You've been cheating, you've been stealing boy, you ain't your father's son

But I've got blisters, blisters from the tracks
You can't play no blues boy without blood on your hands
I've got blood on my hands

Keep talking about the fire but I ain't running for the water

I am a vigilante man, I've got blood on my hands

No Struggle, No Harm

Written By: John Rowland

Slow train, rolling around the mountain
Passenger car carries an Irish lad, oh and my name is Jack

I left the countryside worn by the famine
Came here, stateside, on a ship that sailed the ocean wide

Oh how I long, to feel no struggle and to see no harm
Done to the ones I love, and were all just waiting on the sun

I shacked up in the slums, I was making a worker's wage
I told the woman that I loved true, "I never loved nothing like I love you.

But I can't say, what's becoming of the world these days
Oh and I'll tell you this, that ring on your finger is the reason I live"

Oh how I long, to feel no struggle and to see no harm
Done to the ones I love, and were all just waiting on the sun

She says, "Jackie boy you better get your head straight,
Don't let it happen again here in the states"

Family Plots

Written By: John Rowland

My brother left home one day, said he's coming back again
But the lord had a different path for him
He stumbled upon a war somewhere along the way
I'm burying my brother today

My sister she was easy on the eyes
But she got caught up in the white lights of the cocaine line
The blow on the glass, brushes away but still
I'm burying my sister today

My father thought his serving days were done
Until he got called up and he wound up on the wrong end of the gun
He said, "Son, that's the price for living in the states."
I'm burying my father today

A widow with two children in the ground
My mother sits with the barrel in her mouth
Her mind in blends so well with the drapes
And I'm burying my mother today

My 5th Symphony

Written By: John Rowland

I need some cold, need some cold, need some cold in my bones
Oh the ice and the snow
I wanna go I wanna roam with that skeleton show
But I wish I was home, I wish I was home

I hear the tick and I hear the tock of the grandfather clock
Counting down my days
The wind blows, the door knocks and I thought that I
Heard the bell ring

Save me, I'm falling down the mountain

You love the sound, love the sound, love the sound of the notes
Written on the page
I can't read what you play, it's nonsense to me
Oh but I can sing

Save me, I'm falling down the mountain

Humble, modest, I'm a common man
And it shows when I speak
No scholar, still I'm a gentleman
And that's fine by me

Save me, I'm falling down the mountain

Lights Back Home

Written By: J. Alex Tighe

Where were we goin’? Why did this stop?
And why the hell did I jump off?
Where did I think this would end?

Another train came and she picked me up
I hopped on—it seemed I had great luck
Now I’m left here all alone

So keep on rollin’ ‘round the bend
Come on back here just to pick me up again
‘Cus I’ll be waitin’ here for you

This place—it always seemed to be
Seemed to be the place you had to see
Now I’m here and I see it’s dead

I walked to streets just to see the sights
I waited up just to see the lights
And now I’ve seen those lights grow dim

So keep on rollin’ ‘round the bend
Come on back here just to pick me up again
‘Cus I’ll be waitin’ here for you

And now I’m left here in the dark
Left here waitin’ on a spark
To light my way back home

Up ahead I see the lights
Oh and how they burn so bright
I just hope they don’t pass me by

So keep on rollin’ ‘round the bend
Come on back here just to pick me up again
‘Cus I’ll be waitin’ here for you

Bricks & Stones

Written By: John Rowland

Leaving the house mama says, "grab your coat,
It's that time of year, it's getting cold."
Papa says, "Boy don't make no trouble for me."
I tell my folks don't worry about a thing

Out the door kicking my feet
Wind rustling through the trees
Skeletons of summer greens
Hang on my mind, and in the breeze

I ain't heard from anyone all day
I don't mind I'm just making my way
To the same place I've always known
Now a pile of bricks and stones, ghosts and smoke

When my time has come to pass
They'll lay my body beneath the grass
Read something soulful, something sweet
About the place where we'll once again meet

Taking off my coat
Shaking off the cold
Oh mama I know
It's is now bricks and stones
Ghosts and smoke

Lonesome As You Were

Written By: John Rowland

We met back north, back in the prairie country
Where the old Union Pacific train stood still
Behind your house on the hill

As you came outside
Through the whispering pines
The moon grown over the fields
Resting your weary head as I said

“If of my love, you’re to be unsure
I’ll leave you lonesome as your were.”

A house in a small town with an orchard off an old dirt road
Where you spent your days at home
I kept my pockets filled by working down at the mill

Staring out the window, a sorrow behind your eyes
Though I loved you truly true
It seemed to me it was time to leave

I believe you heard as I spoke these words
“I’ll leave you lonesome as your were”

You watched as the train did carry me away
Through the engine smoke
I heard as you wept when you thought of the day we met

But I did go, on down the dusty road
To find me something, though you wrote I’m not coming back home

My love’s grown cold, but to you it will burn
I’ll leave you lonesome as you were

Here where I am, things they aren’t so bad
I’ve found myself with an old friend
Who loves me true and she ain’t so blue

So please don’t speak, and forget about me
Cause I’m not your medicine
This will find you well, the story you’re gonna tell

Of my love growing cold, and how you got burned
I’ll leave you lonesome as you were

Fool For Believing

Written By: John Rowland

Well I’m a fool for believing, believing in your love
I’m a fool to think, that I’m the one that you’ve been thinking of

It’s strange the way misery’s found me once again
It’s all been for you this hell that I’ve been through

And I’m a fool for believing

Glory, Glory, Glory

Written By: John Rowland

Well I tried, I tried to stay but it’s hard
It’s hard to stay with nothing to find and only sorrow to leave behind

Moonlight through the haze settling over the river’s bank
Have I lost my way? Like some criminal on the long escape

Oh and so it’s grown
Cold, cold like a stone
My, my I’ll be fine
This is leaving tonight

Cold shackles around my feet
Down the well you’ve thrown the key
I’ll play the fool, you’ll play the thief
Singing glory, glory, glory

Oh and so it’s grown
Cold, cold like a stone
My, my I’ll be fine
This is leaving tonight

The Long Goodbye

Written By: John Rowland

I wait through the morning breeze
The cold autumn wind keeping me company
Feet shuffling through the tumbling leaves
My lord I’ll never forget these things

For the days came and went
The years unwound on the morning wind
I’ve come so far to feel this, yet I feel nothing

But the light of the Long Goodbye
Waving on from the mountain high
Crossing the river’s by and by

Quietly I step down by the stream
I’ve gone on down there to think
And I think there’s a reason here to believe
That won’t forget about me

And down here I’ll write
Of growing old with this passing life

Heavens to Betsy

Written By: John Rowland & Pete Herbert

Sitting on the westbound train, what a way to start the day she’s got
Pennies in her pocket book such a pretty girl and I can’t help but look
Pretty girl with your eyes so blue how I can’t take my eyes off of you
Where you from, what’s your story, saying “Boys like you there no good for me”

Take time, to sort out your money
Take time, to think a place to go
Live life, anyway you want but just make sure nobody else gets hurt
My heart went from curious to blue, so I got up and walked away
She said, “Boy, I guess I’m sorry. You’re more than welcome to stay.
I’ve just been a little blue, to many boys saying I can’t take my eyes off of you”
Well I guess I’m sorry to, I know it wasn’t my place to intrude than I told her to

Think twice, before you start running
Think twice, to think a place to go
Live life, anyway you want, but just make sure nobody else gets hurt

Now I’m slipping in the between the cracks
Wondering if this feeling is just a patch
As she told me why she came and left we both looked up as someone said
“Excuse me can I clip your ticket? You’re both looking kind of suspicious

I’m not that bright but I’m not blind it looks like you both have been taking your time
Sitting back, sorting out your money, I wonder did you think twice about running?”
Well mister don’t you understand? I heard these tracks would take us to the promise land
I sank into my seat as he walked away looked up in time to hear him say…

Take time, to sort out your money
Take time, to think a place to go
Live life, anyway you want, but just make sure nobody else gets hurt

And I know the road gets long, and I know the road gets hard
When the midnight hour is falling hard
Just make sure nobody else gets hurt
Stepping off the westbound train, smiling she says I guess “Heaven can wait.”

Strawberries and Peaches

Written By: John Rowland

Strawberries and peaches along the road as I walk for miles and miles alone
I see strawberries and peaches along the road

Sweet devil take me home, I want to get back to my rose

Well I’ve got my head, spinning in the clouds again
The lord above will pick you up just to bring you down again
Well I’ve got my head spinning in the clouds again

Sweet devil take me home, I want to get back to my rose

Cold Winter

Written By: John Rowland

Lights of the city are slowly moving, standing cold on the side of the road
Poor man, I ain’t got no home
Just tattered clothes and these railway blues, I threw stones at the window for you
There was something in your eyes when that fiddle sang silent night

Falling like a fever from every string, back in your memory it rang
Somewhere out where you left me
With what it is, and all it’s been, of what you took I’ve got nothing left
But this fire burning in my soul

I remember a cold winter, sheltered from the storm by the love you gave
Now it’s diamonds falling to the streets hustling
You’ll let a thousand strangers in but keep me at the gates

Your words roll like smoke from the barrel
Your revolver rings every time we speak
Shot down, what have you done to me?

Well I hear that lonesome fiddle sound, the silent night is rustling now
This is my hammer coming down

I remember a cold winter, sheltered from the storm by the love you gave
Now it’s diamonds falling to the streets hustling
You’ll let a thousand strangers in but keep me at the gates

Spin the Wheel

Written By: John Rowland

Well I read the newsprint, I strained my eyes I thought I was going blind
Trouble, there’s trouble again and I don’t remember when it began
I hung a lantern from porch, I saw the lights of the fair
The ferris wheel spun and it dangled like a spider web on the air
As slow lights pass in the sky

I’ve been spinning the wheel, spinning for to fade
I can’t take the face of this masquerade

I took myself to town with the change I’d been able to keep from the bank
I spent it at the fair, to feel as I did in the old days
It’s a shame I’d say that I’m always remembering yesterday
Cold, cold, cold times found me in a strange way
And I can’t help but think, what’s become of me?

Where the Good Folk Are

Written By: John Rowland

I’ve felt the cold of the way I had to go
I’ve been lonely here, for so many years
Glad tidings from the folks back home
The folks I’ve known from the place I did grow

Keep on keepin’ on and you know it won’t be long
‘til I’m headed back your way, so keep on till a brighter day

Brother take care, it’s a cruel world out there
The smell of smoke and the sound of crows will bring you home
Deserts a dark place for a fellow like me
I’m sorry though it’s where I’ve got to be

Keep on keepin’ on and you know it won’t be long
‘til I’m headed back your way, so keep on till a brighter day

I’ve been looking near and far
Trying to find where the good folk are
Brother take care, it’s a cruel world out there

Won't You Bring Me Home

Written By: John Rowland

It’s a long time ‘til I may see you again, off to fight the good fight I’ve been sent
I’m not so sure though of where I’ll go, won’t you bring me home?
Where the hillsides forever we’ll roam, countryside draped in blankets of snow
Whispering winds of a comforting cold, won’t you bring me home?

I’m getting by on feeling high but I’m alone again tonight
I’m getting by on feeling high

Now it seems I did forget the reasons I came the reasons I left
Myself back in Chicago, won’t you bring me home?
Broken heart sits in an empty glass, young romantic, boy I’m sure good for a laugh
Another night, again I’m stoned. Won’t you bring me home?

I’ve found faith in the strangest place, the people I’ve met and the coming days
Though I may never make it home, I’ll keep going down the road

Follow Me

Written By: John Rowland & Pete Herbert

Well I walk the way this worry carries me
I leave at night so I’m sure not to be seen
My step on the floor lends out a creek
It ain’t no use now in following me where

All these strangers have smiles on their faces and
I’m not at home but I don’t feel out of place
Anymore of this wandering is bound to set me back
I had better take a closer look, at where I’m at

I met a poor man somewhere along the way
I’m a sultan of the streets I did hear him say
“I need a cure for this heartache”
It just so happens I know a little place where

All these strangers have smiles on their faces and
I’m not at home but I don’t feel out of place
Anymore of this wandering is bound to set me back
I had better take a closer look, at where I’m at

Discography

LPs - The Long Goodbye (2007), The Skeleton Show (2008)

"Heavens to Betsy", "Follow Me", "Like Father Like Son", "Trouble Gone Tomorrow" & "Where the Good Folk Are" streamed on Creamy Radio and The Blaze 1260AM (Arizona State).

Set List

Sets range from 30 minutes to an 1 hour and a half. We have taken on 2 sets per night at about an hour each. We play about 20 originals on a regular basis and play about 10 or so covers regularly at one time.

Sample set list:
Doctor I'm Alright/Sweet Home Chicago
Fool For Believing
Like Father Like Son
This Engine Can't Be Stopped
Quinn the Eskimo (Bob Dylan)
Second Hand Rose
No Struggle No Harm
Back to the Jailhouse
Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)
Hold On
Letters to Elizabeth
A Little Late
Where the Good Folk Are
Down Home Girl (Rolling Stones)
Trouble Gone Tomorrow