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  • Matt Mesa

Stories behind the songs on "Shadow of Mt. Hood", side A

37 Cents: this is one of two songs I've written based on signs held by folks begging for change at the Interstate 84 interchange. One guy had a sign that read "I only need 37 cents from a hundred people to get back home". I thought that was pretty creative so I rolled down my window, gave him a buck, went around the corner and wrote his message down. The song was built around his message as I imagined some things he might've experienced.

County Line: a purely fictional tale about something I've never done--robbing a bank. A pure country rock tune that should, if played properly, be dripping with some Telecaster.

Everything That You Got: a happy tune about being thankful for what you've got--and not worrying about what everyone else has. Just hold on to whatever is dearest to you and you'll be fine.

Shadow of Mt. Hood: a bluegrass tune about living in this area we call the Columbia River Gorge. Mount Hood is the icon here and dominates our geography and life. I name drop several Oregon "attributes", including weather, microbrews, adrenaline junkies, Ducks and Beavers, and Portland. This should be a theme song for our local Chamber of Commerce or a relevant business and make us a million dollars. We'll see.

Jeans and a Tee Shirt: a song about the band's go-to wardrobe for gigs--and most other endeavors. Simple fingerpicking with some fun lyrics and a catchy chorus, it seems tailor-made for John Prine to record it. We're still waiting to hear from him. For the recording, we let the song build over time, which is something we can't do as effectively live. Live, however, it's an audience sing along.

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Stories behind the songs on "Shadow of Mt. Hood", side B

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