Travel is in their blood, and the songs highlight the lure of the highway. The music is clean and uncluttered. Infectious rhythms, long sustained intros and interludes of guitar chording, coupled with mando riffs, set up that feeling of constant motion. ”

Mariss McTucker,  Montana Arts Council State of the Arts, Spring, 2019

Dreams of Stingrays, Roadrunners, and Hangovers

The Road Agents

The Road Agents' first official 6-song EP. Available soon at gigs all over the place. This one is bare-bones, just Jeff & Justin. The baseline of Road Agents action, recorded at Copper Street. It's currently on Spotify, itunes, Tidal, and something mysterious called Deezer.

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Highway 191

Yellow lines in a cone of light. Coast to Coast on the radio,

I’ve been up and down this road so many times, don’t need no map to show me where to go

And I rarely feel the need but there is someone in that seat and it ain’t me,

So I’ll roll on down that cold asphalt til the sun comes out and I can find somewhere to sleep.

It really makes no difference if it’s eight below or thirty five degrees,

There’s a long rock stretched between me and my family and it’s no less cold to me.

So I’ll say so long, adios,

Highway hundred ninety one, it’s time I get back to where I’m from

In spite of all that I’ve done wrong.

I was chasing someone else’s song but all I got was time off of my life.

Times have changed from the early days the threaded tires and the ragged bones,

The sunset skies and the sagebrush fires and the sandstone spires of the Navajo.

I have roamed all I needed

To roam. 

And it’s time I get back to my life - to the place I will leave my bones.

I was chasing someone else’s song but all I got was time off of my life.

 

 

All Alone

There’s people in the back just sitting, dining on the banquet beer since the sun went down in Idaho,

And I can’t get that station anymore,

Through all the pain, the August heat, and the miserable rain, and the smoke from the forest floor.

And you were there with your face in the crowd with your high heal shoes on, running around the town with a cache of girlfriends, drinking wine in the afternoon.

Those were the times. You were trailing me, sailing away with me into the night.

So saddle up, into the desert and into the weather all alone.

Now you sit there, gambling and tired with your kids crawling on the floor

And they always come after you.

There’s a church for the millionaire – the water and the weed, the heat and the chains and the oil

And praise the lord.

When I was alone you were around to keep me company, I was on the ground

So saddle up into the desert and into the weather all alone. 

All alone. 

 

Border Story

Only halfway on my own, holdin’ out for the border or the sea.

Last day of July, a half-ass swing at somethin’ more than me.

Hopeless and unprepared, and all alone was worse than I had dreamed.

And I’d had dreams of stingrays, roadrunners, and hangovers like you would not believe.

I’d be hammered on an Tuesday night, haulin’ out on a long familiar road,

Burnin’ all my leisure time in Tucson and Sonora, Mexico.

Way beyond those canyon walls are cities soaked in sand, built on produce, tires, and cocaine the Santa Cruz to the Rio Grande and I could have stayed forever, but I did not understand.

From up here in this treasure state it feels like fantasy and nothing more,

But my red dog comes from Saint Johns an those little girls were born in Arizona.

The terrorists win when you look me in the eye and say we’re gone.

I mean we used to pray for rain, but now we cast our bait from the banks of the Yellowstone.

 

Fire

In the summer time when the rains slow down I dose the gasoline and I head out of town to the aspen grove, the juniper, and the pine

I bring Vinny along and he likes it just fine.

I’ve got natural gas in the furnace, baseboard heat on the wall, and a space heater in every room but it doesn’t satisfy me at all

I need the fire, I need the flame

I want to stare so long at the embers that I don’t remember my name

And if my house burns down, to the ground, because attention it was not paid

Run, run, run, run away run away

When the stranger he comes up to me and seeks to find a commonality to the liquor store and the pharmacy go I and cultural complications melt away in the blink of an eye.

Keep me calm through a hurricane, keep me dry in the driving rain

And when the snow fills up to the window pane I don’t mind

I need the fire, I need the flame

And the risks that I take are nothing compared to those that drive some men to fame

And I bore myself and tedium it seem to drive me insane.

I say run run run run away run away

I need the fire, I need the flame

Some days I need to run a hundred miles just to shake the dust from my brain

And if my band breaks up, my dog runs away, or I lose one or both of my legs

I say run run run run away

 

Satellite

Look around as the light from the full moon filters down, shadows bleed into the black of the mountain skyline.

And understand it’s just a reflection of what you had.  The color and the warmth will come back if you can stand the dark times.

Please don’t take this one the wrong way, the changes take a little compromise

Focus, if you can, not on the long way, but the morning light.

In just a little time you and I will meet the daylight, the blue and white.

And like a satellite, I will guide you through the sky as you climb over and I’ll see you through to the other side.

Friends left behind will never lose what you provide, and you’ll always be on their mind despite the distance

And through it all, you’ll paint bright colors and sing your songs, along with your sister and your mom, and never lose your reason.

This isn’t all what I had planned and I know it’s hard for someone small to understand.

In just a little time you and I will meet the daylight, the blue and white.

And like a satellite, I will guide you through the sky as you climb over and I’ll see you through to the other side.

 

Fossil Creek

Crisp dry leaves behind me swirl around and around and take flight.

The flicker of the flame reminds me a storm is coming - but would it hold for another night?

Six miles deep, a half mile down, into Fossil Creek, jumbled rocks in a hole in the ground.

A winter night in the high country the dry desert dusk glowing grey and green.

Midnight, black skies and blankets of clouds obscuring the starlight.


That’s when the rains came down, sliding across the trail, in rivers red with the blood of the rocks and the grass and the hail,

The seeds and the bubbles and the sticks and the stones, and everything else that the rim could through,

A thousand waterfalls, cascading down off the canyon walls, and the temperature falls,

Bringing first just a dusting, then deeper snow as higher and higher up the trail we go,

And our toes get number, our legs get sore, our pants get wet, our bodies get cold.

And nobody sits at home that night  waiting for that telephone to light up with the news that we’d been wrong.

Warm in the catacombs, the darkness frozen in place, and swept away by electric light.

Searchlights dredge across the ceiling and into passageways that lead to unknown places off beyond the line of sight.

Far beneath windswept peaks

Sierra Santa Rita and east, under roots and the rocks and the blooming saguaro

Through the service gate, into the tunnel then down, down, down.

Haulin’ out, facing the maze, with no reflections to mark the way.

Though I tried every hole all that I could find was a shaft laid down to a lake in the grotto where I almost died.

And as we gathered on a pillar deep under the ground, the walls and the ceiling gathered closer around,

And we felt the fear in our hearts creep near and I think we found

A place where the panic rises up from its home and only comes out when you’re all alone,

Or trapped in a warm, dry tomb with no direction home.

Sanity resting on the edge of a knife, a green bottle glinted in the fading light drew our eyes, our hope restored, and hauled us out onto the canyon floor.

Til dawn we laughed and patched our pride and drank to health our liquid guide and sang the song so glad to be alive.

And every time we look back on those things we smile and see right through our home;

And feel the draw of danger down into our blood, muscle, breath, and bone;

Realizing one day soon we may be him for whom the bell will toll;

And take more from that dust and wind, time and again, than anything you'll own.