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in which we explore “twisted roots & cast-iron croonin’,” raucous song by ANDY DINSMOOR (lead guitar), BOB ERNST (blues harp, percussion) & G. P. SKRATZ (rhythm guitar). For what we’re up to now, in the wake of Andy’s move to Connecticut in 2007, visit the “regular” SMOOTH TOAD page right here in the cozy Arundo Salon or buckle up & zip off to www.myspace.com/smoothtoad. Andy remains with the group as “Toad Emeritus,” continues to write songs with the current configuration, & will one day return to play with us as well!


BITTER OLD MAN
(© 2002 by Andy Dinsmoor & G. P. Skratz)

o i'm a bitter old man,
a bitter old man,
a bitter old man am i
. & i walk down the street,
the earth beneath my feet,
above my head the sky.

thrown from my home,
now i'm all alone,
& all alone i'll stay.
cuz i'm a bitter old man,
workin on the land,
by the sweat of my brow i'll pay.

the youngsters fawn & procreate
in the most beguiling ways.
to me they're all just jailbait,
so i watch & masterbate.

o i'm a bitter old man,
a bitter old man,
a bitter old man am i.
& i walk down the street,

the earth beneath my feet,
above my head the sky.

Hear this piece performed (from the CD, Smooth Toad):

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BALLAD OF JIMMY COE
(© 2007 by Bob Ernst)

jimmy coe shot a man down in florida,
summer of 1865.
a slip of the trigger, & the deed was done--
poor jimmy didn't really know why:
he mumbled somethin about a vague insult
then slipped under the county line.

chorus:
jimmy coe's on the run
with nothin’ but a rusty gun.
jimmy coe's on the run
with nothin’ but a rusty gun.
well, he ran by night, & he slept by day,
across what was massive wilderness.
he rode shotgun on a stagecoach
to get himself further west.
he wound up in oregon’s rogue river valley,
more dead than alive
chorus
well, ya never seen him, but he always seen you
especially what you left behind
people began calling him the “raccoon man”
cuz he would always steal ya blind
till he threatened someone with that useless gun
& like that, his life was done.
chorus
if there’s a moral to this tale, & i’m here to say there is,
keep in mind there’s a ratio
between taking & what gives,
& stop runnin away from yourself
before your life is through
& don’t ever let them insults get the best of you.
chorus

Hear this piece performed (from the CD, In Shape for the Inevitable):


DOWN THE ROAD
(© 2007 by Andy Dinsmoor & G. P. Skratz)

ghosts of old beatniks,
allen & jack,
got the ghost train rollin &
they put it on the track.

another form took form:
neal took the wheel,
drove off to the sunset
w/the desert on their heels--
down the road.

they said what they said,
& they did what they did:
coulda been a revolution but
it’s something else instead

some saw the ghost train,
others just saw rain.
in the california desert,
it’s pretty much the same--
down the road.

*

met up with a woman
who was bound to change my life,
headed down the highway
to be my wife.

lift yr pretty chin up,
raise a glass to the light.
it’s just the 2 of us
tonight--
down the road.

Hear this piece performed (from the CD, In Shape for the Inevitable):


ALTER KOCKER ROCKER*
(© 2007 by G. P. Skratz & Andy Dinsmoor)

gonna go down to the pawnshop
gonna go hock my old tshaynik**
gonna buy me a stratocaster
though they say i'm an old passe-nik

chorus:
i'm an alter kocker rocker
& i don't really care
i'm an alter kocker rocker,
gonna rock that rockin chair

don’t need no whiskey, don’t need no pot
here comes a senior moment
gonna hit the road, gonna sell this song
just like willie loman

chorus

i been playin this SHIT since before you were born
so drop yr scorn & listen & learn
gonna make it loud, let the feedback ring

cuz i can hardly hear a thing

chorus
_______________
* alter kocker, Yiddish for “old” (alter) “fart” (kocker).
** cf Born to Kvetch by Michael Wex (St. Martin’s Press, NY, 2005-- pp.37-39)

Hear this piece performed (from the CD, In Shape for the Inevitable):

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