When you were about 11 or 12 you had a friend who got a guitar for his birthday, or found one in the attic that once belonged to an Uncle or Aunt. This person also sat up late at night listening to faraway radio stations, played old 45's and 33-1/3 records over and over, writing down the words and picking out the chords and melodies. And every time you came over to get him to go play ball or hang out he just looked at you without hearing what you said, played a chord on guitar and sang "Once upon a time you dressed so fine..." or said "Hey, check this out..." and started picking out a line. Maybe you caught the disease yourself and found a guitar or bass or snare drum and started hanging out with him. Or maybe you didn't see him again for a couple years and the next time you saw him was at a school dance with a few of your other friends and they were up on stage playing and, hey, they sounded pretty good...and then you didn't hear anything about him for a while, except you noticed he didn't show up for graduation Next time you saw him he had long hair and a haunted look and was leaving a local club with a guitar case and there was a girl following him saying something you couldn't quite hear but he turned around and stared at her with this 'what am I supposed to do?' look, put his guitar in the car and drove away. Couple years later you heard he was in Nashville or New York or San Francisco or Nevada or somewhere else, playing in a band with little, as far as you could tell, commercial success. Women, it was said, ran after him, loved him and left him and one nearly broke him. Then some years later your old friend brought you a tape of some songs he had written and recorded in some backwoods studio somewhere - some of the songs he used to do back in the day and some new ones too. You put on the headset, burned one and fell inside. A cascade of characters told your story, and his, and feelings burned and were quenched and littered the landscape across a hundred years of yesterdays and tomorrows. "If someone ever decides to write a song about me," you said, "I hope it's DC Papke." Last you heard, he had found his peace and found some release from the madness. He had taken a new wife, a rare beauty with a gentle and special spirit and settled into a quiet and magical place among ancient hills on the outskirts of the heartland. Here are the songs from his Restless Nights. Intelligent and provocative. Papke's long-time bandmates Fes Parker, Terry Finneran, Scott Derkin and Jim Lynch hold nuanced and intimate musical conversations about the songs behind his back. Old pal Sandy Rothman (Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band) serves up some delicious pickin' on several tunes. New-comer Libby Jewel and jazz chanteuse Teresa Harris sweeten the package with some of the most spine-tingling supporting vocals you've ever heard. Songwriting friends Maggie Elliott and Paul Waltz harmonize with Papke like only old friends can. Shelly Schaeffer and Charlie Bleak make additional vocal and instrumental contributions. Music from the outskirts of the Heartland by one of the great unrecognized singer/songwriters in America today.
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