'HIGH GROUND' song descriptions (if you get these songs, they are for you) 'THE BEST OF LOVERS' The tiny note inside her fortune cookie read 'He loves you as much as he can. He can not love you very much'. This song is to ensure her I do the best I can. 'WHITE HAT' On e morning my phone rang early. It was David Rea, the legendary guitarist for Ian and Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, and Joni Mitchell, among other prominent composers, to tell me he had written a song for me to sing. I am fortunate to have been the first to record it. 'CATCH ME A TRAIN' Through the middle of my home town, the freight trains ran on schedule day and night. I lived near the tracks in Sparks, just east of Reno. I rode them all over the West and could tell the hour by the long, slow engine whistles. 'THE BALLAD OF JULIA BULETTE' One of Nevada's most colorful historical characters during the Civil War, she was the 'belle of brothels' in Virginia City. In the search to separate the myth from the legend I came away unconvinced that the man supposedly responsible for her demise, one John Millain, a Frenchman, was the perpetrator. He spoke no English, and for some reason there is no record of the trial. 'RED BRIDGE' This is the symbolic place where a person can cross over to join another to form a higher, more profound level of intimacy. In this case, there is too much baggage on both sides of the bridge to allow for event to transpire. Their fate is to see each other in silent distance on separate shores. 'A DONDE VAS' Full of margaritas, and lying sunburned on a sandy beach in Yucatan, the melody of this song being played by a Latin DJ by the hotel bar commanded my attention. 25 years later I worked up the courage to attempt a 'gringo' rendition of this great song by Marco Antonio Solis of 'Los Bukis'. '9/11 MASSACRE OF 1857' The Mountain Meadows Massacre caused a great demand for justice by the citizens from the East coast to the West coast of the nation. The events that led up to the conflagration, and the many years of it's cover up until the guilt was finally assigned to a single perpetrator, are not included here. Those facts and suppositions can be found in the annals of the history of Nevada and Utah. The parallel to the 9/11 attack in New York in 2001 is uncanny. The hysterical mentality of those who hatched both plans of attack, and the results of how the scapegoat was selected for each event will not only demonstrate the degree of fanaticism it takes to create mob rule, but how willing the public is to accept the word of those with authority that report the details surrounding the crimes as truth. 'STRAUSS WALTZES AWAY' In a songwriting seminar hosted by Ian Tyson during the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, the assignment to 'write a song about Levi's' was given to the class. This was a collaborative result by the members of my group. Whether or not Ian Tyson, thought the song was worthy of our effort remains a mystery. 'FINE HANDWRITING' During a holiday to Washington D.C. The path eventually led to the Viet Nam Wall. By the time I had read the names inscribed on the third panel of those fallen, I collapsed on to the ground in deep sadness. A note left behind by a survivor of one of the slain soldiers, as is quoted here, is actually the last verse of the song. 'ZEPHYR' The fire in this man emanates more from Dante's Inferno, or 'The Glass Bell Jar' than from the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Desert. The only liberty from the adverse cruelty in a universe that denies him comes from the closeness of a woman that cares. Dennis Gunn When I was a child my grandmother would sing little songs to me in Danish. They were songs of the Viking troubadours that told of superhuman characters with great strength and sense of justice. These were my first luminaries. My first friends were Shoshone Indian and farmer kids in rural Nevada. My mother, a single parent, moved to Reno and became a blackjack dealer, so that's where I grew up. A fast freight train and a river, wild in the winter, ran through the middle of town. There was no speed limit. Bars, prostitution and gambling were wide open around the clock, and as a youth I was free, energetic and adventuresome, and not very responsive to authority figures. In college I acquired an anthropological perspective, read the literary classics and learned what I did not want to do with my life. During the Viet Nam war, I moved to Berkeley, where I began to write and sing. Since then I have explored the continent from Tuktoyuktuk in the Canadian Northwest Territory, south to Dangriga in Belize, from San Francisco to New York and all places in between in search of good HIGH GROUND. ( I have a FACEBOOK page and am at firstname.lastname@example.org (503)341-8743.
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