Bloodshot Vagabond

by Michael O'Connor

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about

"His new CD, “Bloodshot Vagabond,” his fourth as a leader, features songs including “Rigged Game,” “Run Wild,” “Bad Blood,” “Switchblade Heart," "Old New Year’s Eve” and “Candy” with protagonists who run the gamut from people who scratch for every little bit they own to a bad-ass girlfriend with an equally bad-ass dog to a legendary stripper.

He didn’t trample his Texas roots. “Bloodshot Vagabond” was recorded in Houston with producer/bassist Jack Saunders and drummer Rick Richards. The songs, most penned by O’Connor, some co-written with Adam Carroll and with fellow top-flight accompanist Jeff Plankenhorn, are gritty and greasy, so is the music; an amalgam of rock ‘n’ roll, blues and acoustic music with a drill-bit backbone."
~ Jim Beal Jr

credits

released June 16, 2015

Wilderness
Rigged Game+
The Dark***
You’ll Stay*
Run Wild*
One Step*
Bad Blood
Summerville
Switchblade Heart
Old New Years Eve
Candy**

All songs written by Michael S. O’Connor except
*Jeff Plankenhorn/O’Connor
**Adam Carroll/O’Connor
***Michael Waters/O’Connor
+Waters/Carroll/O’Connor

Michael S. O’Connor - Verda Mae Music (ASCAP) Admininstered by BMG Music
Jeff Plankenhorn - Spike Steel Music (SESAC)
Adam D. Carroll - Gypsy Shuffler Music (BMI)
Michael Waters - Michael Binion Waters (BMI)

The Musicians
Rick Richards – Drums and Percussion
Jack Saunders – Upright & Electric Bass
Michael O’Connor – All Guitars, Lap Steel, Mandolin, Banjo, Vocals

Produced and Engineered by Jack Saunders at White Cat Studio in Houston, Texas (jacksaunders.com whitecatproductions.com)

Mastered by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Inc., Austin, Texas

Concept and Illustration by Photocoyote; CD Art Direction and Layout by Charlotte Niemann-Wattigny

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about

Michael O'Connor Colorado

Michael O'Connor is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter living in Colorado. For decades he has played and recorded with musicians including Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves, Adam Carroll, Susan Gibson, & Terri Hendrix. A lifetime of hard-won experience has allowed Michael a rare insight into the world of the rough, the faithless, the romantic, and the unlucky, all of whom find refuge in his songs. ... more

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Track Name: Wilderness
WILDERNESS
© Michael O’Connor

Lost in the wilderness
Too blind to see
Lost in the wilderness
Is where I will be
Lost in the wilderness
Stricken with fear
Lost in the wilderness
Is what’s brought me here

Oh brother, can you hear me?
Sister, send me your love 
Oh mother, say a prayer for me
Once you’ve learned what I have done

Streets of the city
Bars on the jail 
Stumbled through the darkness
In the belly of the whale
Savior was a carpenter
One kiss was for sale
They killed him with a hammer, wood and nails

Oh brother, can you send for me?
Little sister, just save your love 
Mother, shed a tear for me
Once you’ve seen what I’ve become

Lost in the wilderness
Stricken with fear
Lost in the wilderness
Is what’s brought me here
Lost in the wilderness
Too blind to see
Lost in the wilderness
Is where I will be
Track Name: Rigged Game
RIGGED GAME
© Michael O’Connor/Michael Waters/Adam Carroll

Never found a reason to carry on
Pallet on the floor my only home
Tattoos on my arm are all I own
But I get along, I get by

What once was velvet has turned to stone
It’s such a crime you’ll never be that someone
But this wheel keeps driving me like a song
I get along, I get by

The wind is my captain, won’t you let it blow
This itching in my heel says its time roll
The loaded dice always bust the same
It ain’t no thing, living in a rigged game

The wind is my captain, won’t you let it blow
This itching in my heel says its time roll
The loaded dice always bust the same
Well it ain’t no thing, living in a rigged game
Said it ain’t no shame, living in a rigged game
Track Name: The Dark
THE DARK
© Michael O’Connor/Michael Waters

I’ve got a strict routine
Of being damn mean
I’m hard and heavy
With no in between
I’ve got a wealth of worries
Get jammed up in a hurry
I sit around on the hot spot
And give it all that I’ve got

You’re the spark that leaves me wanting more
I’m the dark that you’ve been dying for

I’m a neglected man
I steal love where I can
Just one second look
And it could write the book
Yeah it’s high times for a while
Till you choke on denial
Then it’s your final hit
It happens just that quick

You’re the spark that leaves me wanting more
I’m the dark that you’ve been dying for
Take your heart and scrape it off the floor
I’m the dark that you’ve been dying for
Track Name: You'll Stay
YOU’LL STAY
© Michael O’Connor/Jeff Plankenhorn

I don’t want to hear about what he’s done for you
I don’t want to know about it, all those things you do
Do you remember when you was down and out?
Who took you in and turned you around?
I don’t want to know about the things that happen when I am away
i just want to hear you say you’ll stay

I don’t want to see the sparkle shining from your eyes
Or face the changes with every new sunrise
I don’t want to know about the things that happen when i am away
i just want to hear you say you’ll stay

It sure suits me better when you’re down out
And I could live forever in the shadow of a doubt
Whatever baby…

I don’t need to go those places that you’ve never been
They just leave me hanging round, might as well just chase the wind
I don’t want to know about the things that happen when I am away
i just want to hear you say you’ll stay

Can’t we just slip away like we used to do
Let the world pass us by like it’s just us two
This town ain’t big enough for your big old plans
‘Cause you’re dreamer girl, makes me a losing man
I don’t want to know about the things that happen when I am away
Ijust want to hear you say you’ll stay
You’ll stay
Oh, whatever baby…
Track Name: Run Wild
RUN WILD
© Michael O’Connor/Jeff Plankenhorn

We used to run wild on the streets around here
Never showed our face till the sun had disappeared
Sipping Boone’s from a bag on the balcony above
Living hand to mouth but we always had enough
We used to run wild, yeah we use to run

We used to run wild singing dog eat dog
Walkin into walls with our heads in a fog
Faces to the wind cocksure we’d never fall
Lovin in the streets and shootin in the stall
We used to run wild, yeah we used to run
We used to run wild, we used to run

Cuttin heads in this dive since you was a baby
A beat up telecaster drove the old girls crazy
Too many parking lot bumps, too many years of this old town
You play the same old blues and it only brings me down
We used to run wild, yeah, we used to run
We used to run wild, yeah, we used to run

There ain’t enough love in this world to satisfy
The more I think bout it, the more I want to die
Listening through the wall you can hear the radio
Playing that song by Little Joe, the one that used to steal the show
We used to run wild, yeah we used to run
We used to run wild, we used to run wild
Track Name: One Step
ONE STEP
© Michael O’Connor/Jeff Plankenhorn

A Kentucky elevator
The old woman asks
If the the circus was in town
Bloodshot and torn jeans
You with your head of flame
We had a laugh, oh we had to laugh
You sang those songs about the neon lights
It was my heels that you clung to through the streets at night
And I didn’t mind

My dearest one, my treasure born
From these dusty streets, how could I’ve known?
Every crooked path I’d stumble down
Was one step closer to you

A walk up on Seventeenth
Blue Ribbons in the kitchen sink
Hot plate for beans
Chasing shots through the afternoon
Slinging blues from ten till two
Doing what we’d need to get us through
Dropped our money in the slot machine
Guessing we were too damn green to know we’d won
We’d already won

My dearest one, my treasure born
From these dusty streets, how could I’ve known?
Every crooked path I’d stumble down
One step closer to you
One step closer to you
One step closer to you
Track Name: Bad Blood
BAD BLOOD
© Michael O’Connor

Blew out the windows
Smashed up all the dishes
Down the alley all the neighbors heard her bitchin
“You never brought it in like your Pa was able.
The old man always made enough to keep the booze on the table”

Bad Blood, Bad Blood

Twelve years old
Slid the cutlass out the drive
Never turned it over till the porch lights out of sight
Flyin’ on the Crosstown, little sister thinks it’s scary
But they was selling three-for-five down on Fourteenth and Mary

Bad Blood, Bad Blood
It’s Bad Blood

She told her momma she was late
That girl don’t mean for supper
I’ve been out here thumpin bass on the road since late November
Bets are coming in on who the daddy’s gonna be 
But when it’s time to pay the bill, she’ll say it looks like me

Bad Blood, Bad Blood
It’s Bad Blood
Track Name: Summerville
SUMMERVILLE
© Michael O’Connor

I’ve worn my welcome out
It’s plain to see
You’ve spreading it around
Is the talk out on the street
Sweet cantina lights
Ragged guitar in you hand
Songs of love but you’re carrying steel
And running from man to man

I don’t care ‘bout the world outside
Cose the door and draw the blinds
I’m loner and a loser
And I don’t care how it sounds
Summerville ain’t that big of town
Summerville ain’t that big of town

I light the stove
Try to heat this little room
Seventeen dollars has to last three days
When you’re down to pushing broom
Lipstick, powder, paint
Then you’ll disappear
Well those downtown boys they’ve got all you need
And they’re grinnin from ear to ear

I don’t care about the world outside
Close the door and draw the blinds
I’m loner and a loser
And I know how bad it sounds
Summerville ain’t that big of town
Summerville ain’t that big of town

My love’s just bitterness
Her thirst is fathomless

I’m loner and a loser
And I know how sad it sounds
Summerville ain’t that big of town
Summerville ain’t that big of town
Track Name: Switchblade Heart
SWITCHBLADE HEART
© Michael O’Connor

“Curly, slide that money underneath the door”
Was all she said
Fifteen in the clip, one in the chamber
Curly don’t lose your head

Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Angel’s got a switchblade heart

Together we’re Aces no matter where we land
We’re slippin through the side streets
The world by the balls is a winnin’ hand
When the blacktop burns your feet

Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Angel’s got a switchblade heart

Gonna shine, let it shine
Shine, let it shine, it’s gonna shine
Shine, let it shine, shine, let it shine
Damned to make it mine

Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Angel’s got a switchblade heart

She’s got a dog named Piranha
A dog named Piranha, he’s a dog
A dog named Piranha, a dog named Piranha
My baby’s got a dog

Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Angel’s got a switchblade heart
Track Name: Old New Years Eve
OLD NEW YEARS EVE
© Michael O’Connor

The hawkers are on the street
The tom-tom plays the beat
The go-go dancer’s dead-eyed smile
Everything’s a party, everything’s a drag

Across her knuckles she tattoos “Tart”
A rag doll all but torn apart
Slip’s back in her houndstooth skirt
Has a few and get her feelings hurt

Nobody’s singing songs about trains
Or girls with their hearts on their sleeves
Who knows maybe she’ll fall back for me
Come this old New Years Eve

Fremont lights left me blind
Only her running through my mind
And it’s snowing on the strip for the first time in years
Hiding in the midnight from all their drunken cheers

Nobody’s singing songs about trains
Or boys with their hearts on their sleeves
Who knows maybe she’ll fall back for me
Come this old New Years Eve

My prayer is that somehow she’ll fall back for me
Come this old New Years Eve
Track Name: Candy
Candy
© Michael O’Connor/Adam Carroll

Crescent City to the Sunset Strip
South runaway from out in the sticks
Candy
Candy

Hurricane in a dixie cup
Spent the babysitting money on the Greyhound bus
Candy
Sweet little Candy

You hit Dallas and you got around
Turned sweet sixteen in the underground
Six gun hips, five point stars
Swinging from your chest at the Carousel Bar
Candy
Sweet little Candy

Coca-Cola with a whiskey back
You danced for Micky and you danced for Jack
Candy
Candy

Painted angel dyed platinum blonde
Busted with that reefer stashed in your bra
Candy
Candy

Fifteen years with only three to show
Left you turning heads at the rodeo
Dirty little movies brought dirty little fame
You changed your mind and you changed your name
To Candy
Candy

You hit Dallas and you got around
Turned sweet sixteen in the underground
Dirty little movies, dirty little fame
You changed your mind and you changed your name
To Candy
Sweet little Candy