New Heathens

New Heathens


Roots. Rock. Stories.


The New Heathens

The New Heathens, a New York City based quintet steeped in rootsy rock ’n’ roll, are set to release their first album which encapsulates both the band’s fiery live performances and skilled songwriting. The New Heathens’ self-produced debut record, Heathens Like Me, was recorded at Steve Earle guitarist, Yayhoo, songwriter, and uber-producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel’s Cowboy Technical Services studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Greg Duffin, who has worked with Robbie Fulks and Joan Osbourne, engineered the sessions.

Heathens Like Me is a gritty, eclectic mix of rock, country, folk and psychedelia. Tracks include the singalong rockers “Getaway Baby,” a jaunty story of female emancipation, and “141,” an autobiographical tale set on 141st Street in Harlem. Heathens Like Me also includes the ballad “When She’s Wasted,” the satirical foot-stomper “Back To Jesus,” and “Doomed Generation,” an homage to the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. As the song titles indicate, the album connects both coasts via blue highways. “Goodnight Paterson” explores the run-down New Jersey industrial town while “July 1, Near Helena, MT” tells a hilarious tale of alien paranoia combined with teen pyromania. Heathens Like Me closes with the rocker “For Cryin’ Out Loud,” a song performed by roots-rock supergroup the Yayhoos and written by Keith Christopher, a friend of the band who in addition to touring with the Georgia Satellites, Billy Joe Shaver and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, has also had his songs recorded by artists ranging from Ray Charles to Garth Brooks (and now, finally, the New Heathens).

Formed in early 2005 the New Heathens bonded over their love of music steeped in the American traditions of blues, folk, country and rock ’n’ roll. Singer/songwriter Nate Schweber, of Missoula, Mont., plays acoustic guitar and harmonica. Butch Phelps, a Chatham, Mass. native who cut his teeth in the Portland, Ore. music scene, plays a red telecaster. Domenick Tiziano, of Mundelein, Ill. coaxes scorching licks from his collection of guitars. Dan Ambrico, a hard-rocking veteran of several New York City bands, plays bass. When the New Heathens original drummer Fabrice Gamon moved to his home in Paris, Uwe Petersen, a wild German native who has recorded with New Orleans great Dr. John, joined the fold.

The New Heathens have performed with The Samples, the Pillcrushers, fronted by Greg Beshers who moonlights in Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker’s band as well as with fellow NYC alt. country belter Mary McBride. In addition, the Heathens gigged with singer/songwriter Jennifer Glass, who appears backed by Sam Bush on the Bruce Springsteen tribute album Light of Day, and Tommy Borscheid, formerly of the Minneapolis band The Honeydogs.

Kori Burkholder, manager



Written By: New Heathens


It’s hot as hell up on a Harlem rooftop
Looking down I see a street party up and down my block
Young men are doing chin-ups on a fire escape
While little girls dance to a serenade
Of a DJ at a mixing board calling out, “141!”

I moved here from the country I was 22
The white dot in the black inside a yin-yang zoo
The old men waved at me when I walked by
As they sat out on their front steps with the gospel music high
The rhythm and humidity surrounded me on 141

141 (4x)

A boy got shot at the end of the block
Today candles, photos, handkerchiefs mark the spot
His friends all gathered near to sing his favorite songs
And they hug and cry and pray for him all night long
They hold their bottles to the sky and they drink a cheers on 141


I saw a million different stories on that New York street
With Adam Clayton to the west and Malcolm X to the east
I’d never been to heaven and I’d never been to 141

SOLO (Baba O)

Mrs. King lived in my building more than 50 years
She’d hold my mail in her apartment if I brought her some beer
I’d buy a can down at the corner shop and bring it back to 141

Last year I moved away now home is too damn plain
Can’t meet my neighbors, hear their music, smell their barbecuing
I feel like something’s missing, I’m missing life on 141

So take me back

Getaway Baby

Written By: New Heathens

She was a right place, wrong time, bad luck, bulls-eye of a Jane
He was a heart-breakin’, skirt-chasin’, hell-raisin’, gambler of a man
She wore her sister’s short skirt with her hair curled and her cleanest kicks
He had tattoos a gold tooth a short fuse and a crucifix

It was love at first sight
After her last Bud Light
Before the bar maid pulled her aside
And said, “Honey, take my advice.”

Baby getaway

Well she moved into his trailer and about a week later something’s wrong
He got a heart shaped tattoo with another woman’s name put on his arm
And when she called him on the ink before she blinked he bashed her head right through the wall
After the neighbors called the cops who hauled him off he dialed her with his only call

She got her sis on the phone
And asked her for the loan
To bring her man back home
Her sister said, “Get gone.”


Ooh and she never sees her friends anymore
Ooh and she doesn’t want to live all alone
Yeah she thinks she’s lucky that she found herself a man at all

They had a daughter in the autumn and she grew up with a father like a storm
She heard her mother take the thunder while she hid beneath the covers all night long
And when she grew a little older daddy got bolder and her momma knew
She caught him looking at his child the way he checked out girls whose names he got tattooed

She put their clothes in a case
And wiped a tear from her baby’s face
Gave her sister a page and said
“This ain’t a safe place.”


That’s how she learned how to run…

When She's Wasted

Written By: New Heathens

She told me to go to hell
Left to find her drinkin’ well
She’s through with me tonight
Only bottles treat her right

She came back with her breath on fire
Said that I’m her heart’s desire
Her mouth tasted like kerosene
And we loved like rabbits, velveteen

She won’t call me on the phone
Not until her blues are gone
She’s angry and she hurts inside
Drinks until her bottle’s dry
I smell the whiskey on her breath
She’s getting faded
‘Cos she hates me when she’s sober
But she loves me when she’s wasted

If she drinks she’s sweet like daquri
If not she’s a salty margarita
I do the best I can
But she says I don’t understand her

Now I’m the one who’s thinking
While she’s out there drinking
How I’m the one she blames
For her lifetime of pain


Whispering secrets to a whiskey jar
‘Cos her second home is at the bar
Bm Saying nothing to me
Wondering which side I’m on
While she shines on
And I pine on
‘Til her wine’s all gone

When I hold her in a soft embrace
And she wears a smile upon her face
Hope this will never end
Then the morning comes again

She throws up in the kitchen sink
Wipes her mouth, pours a drink
Says its me who makes her sick
Turns away and takes a sip

She won’t call me on the phone
Not until her blues are gone
She’s angry and she hurts inside
Drinks until her bottle’s dry
I smell the whiskey on her breath
She’s getting faded
‘Cos she hates me when she’s sober
But she loves me when she’s wasted


Heathens Like Me, 2006

Set List

1. Feelin' Lucky Again
2. July 1, Near Helena, MT
3. Hello Disaster
4. Abe Lincoln -- Chip Robinson
5. Stop Me (Before I Love Again!)
6. Riffraff -- Casey Neill
7. Back To Jesus
8. Getaway Baby
9. Red, White & Blue
10. 141
11. When She's Wasted
12. For Cryin' Out Loud -- Keith Christopher