Plays & Sings – Compiled Cassettes 1989​-​1993

01. Dig a Little Deeper
02. Make Love
03. St. Louis Blues
04. Six Buckets of Kerosene
05. Drownin’ of Two
06. Doowan Me a Wirlda Good
07. Mule
08. Yesterday’s Sun
09. Low
10. Trouble in Mind
11. Potato Chips
12. Love for Sale
13. Roof Over My Head
14. Violent Love
“Plays & Sings – Compiled Cassettes 1989​-​1993” by Willie Wisely Trio
Wooden Records LA-2009 | released 1998 | CD/mp3

From 1989 to 1993 the Trio released three homemade cassettes: “Plays & Sings”, “Make Love” and “From Whence We Came.” Some tracks were recorded live at gigs and others on dreamy, analog, 4-track cassette tape. Soulful and often beautifully inept, these recordings reflect the Wisely gang’s still-fresh infatuation with mid-century jazz and rural blues.

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DIY Cassettes

Press Photo by Daniel Corrigan, 1989

Press Photo by Daniel Corrigan, 1989

Upon first seeing The Beatles‘ film “Let It Be” in 1979 I was convinced that I could make the leap from music fan to music maker. The film was an instruction manual on how to make––and in some cases how NOT to make––a record. In 1983, when I first laid eyes up my buddy Paul Grubb’s X-15 4-track cassette recorder, it was clear how all this would occur. He and I, together with drummer Mike Leville, would release a series of cassettes as The Addition and then as Peas Porridge, adding guitarist Will Zorn.

The cassettes were homemade art projects. I even built miniature display racks of cardboard and construction paper and visited every record store in the phone book. Ten cassettes near every cash register in town, priced at $3.99––I would sell hundreds without any meaningful shows or press.

Greg Wold 4-tracking in the Virgin Islands, 1990

Greg Wold 4-tracking in the Virgin Islands, 1990

So by the time the Willie Wisely Trio was playing its first gigs I already knew that this is how we’d proceed. Three EPs constitute the Trio’s earliest work. 1989’s “Plays & Sings”, 1990’s “Make Love” and 1993’s “From Whence We Came”, the last being a live show in Winnipeg. Combined, after several years of touring, we sold over 1,500 low-fidelity cassettes. 23 years later I still get messages from people who bought them.

The process of recording had some memorable ticks. First I’d track a keeper guitar and vocal, and then we’d simultaneously record the drums and bass over that performance. It was often a challenge because my guitar playing wasn’t metronomic––far from it. But the push and pull of the tempo, the tape hiss, and the odd musical influences amounted to a charming vibe that was all our own.

Placing the two drum mics was always the greatest technical limitation and artistc challenge. It was also Peter’s and my little science experiment. We’d monitor our tracks through an old console stereo system that had been left in the basement of Delisi’s Bar where we rehearsed. It was from the early sixties and sounded pretty bad––leaving us to guess at what things would sound like on a better stereo. So the bass was always boomy, and the treble, kind of drab. But we loved it. Plus, elements of real life and pure inspiration would sneak into it: the rhythm section giggling over a botched lyric, or a passionate girlfriend trying to stimulate the music while I sang a lead vocal (use your imagination).

Between the 4-track recordings were scattered live concert recordings that satisfied us. Overall, we kept our mistakes, and wore our ineptitude as a badge of anti-jazz honor, which seemed critical if we were to be taken seriously by the Minneapolis scene, then dominated by post-punk bands like The Replacements, Run Westy Run, Soul Asylum, Blue Hippos, TVBC and Husker Du––all of whom were role models to us.


Album Credits | Lyrics

Produced by Willie Wisely

All songs by Willie Wisely except
1 Mahalia Jackson, 10 Richard M. Jones, 11 Bundora, 12 Cole Porter, 13 Harvey O. Brooks, 14 Willie Dixon

WW: guitar & vocals James Voss: backing vocal & string bass Peter Anderson: drums Greg Wold: trombone & backing vocals
Cover Art by John Berry for Nothing Arts, Minneapolis
Additional art by Kelly Dahlin


Lyrics

Dig A Little Deeper

I want to be closer to thee
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love
I want to shine all of the time
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love

I want to dig a little deeper incoming love
Dig a little deeper incoming love
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love
I want to walk more like Jesus would
I want to talk more like a preecher would
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love

I want to dig a little deeper incoming love
Dig a little deeper incoming love
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love
I want to walk more like Jesus would
I want to talk more like a young man should
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love

I want to do what’s always true
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love
Each day that I, I want more power
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love

I want to dig a little deeper incoming love
Dig a little deeper incoming love
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love
I want to talk more like a young man should
I want to walk more like a preacher would
I want to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of his love


Make Love

I’ll make love to you
Slow if you want me to
I’ll kiss you
When we’re through

I’ll be good this once
I promise you not to rush
I’ll give it a
Gentle push

I believe, I believe that mistakes have been made
I regret what I’ve done, taking and taking, oh I…
I can’t believe what you done, you should’ve known it was wrong
You don’t have to forget or say I’m forgiven, because I…
I apologize

I know that it’s hard to find
A body, a soul, a mind
In one gentleman
All combined

So do what you’ve got to do
A lashing should be my due
But I’ll learn
And you’ll learn too

Chorus

Say what you will
I’ll swallow the biggest pill
I ain’t treated you
Very well

So give me your lowest blow
Square right between the nose
But tonight this house is mine
That’s a good sign

Chorus


St. Louis Blues

If I don’t feel tomorrow like I feel today, hey hey hey
If I don’t feel tomorrow like I feel today, hey hey hey
I shall pack up my belongings and make my getaway

If I don’t need nothing just my shoulder and my pack, potato, potato, hey hey hey
Well I don’t need nothing just my shoulder and my pack, hey hey hey, potato, potato
Now sometime all I need is just to see the preacher ball the jack

I got them St. Louis blue, I’m as blue as I can, hey hey hey
My woman’s got a heart, like a rock cast in the sea, hey hey hey, hey hey hey, hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Well I don’t need nothing just my bowl and my pipe, potato, potato, hey hey hey
Well I do not need nothing just my bowl and my pipe, hey hey hey, potato, potato
Well sometime I’m old King Cole, all I need’s a fiddle and a fife.

I got them sanctiificious Louis blues, potato, potato, potato, potato


Six Buckets Of Kerosene

They wouldn’t pay to fix it up
Now they’re going to pay, they’ll see it burning down
They wouldn’t pay to fix it up
Now they’re going to pay, they’ll see it burning down
We’re going to take six buckets of kerosene
We’re going to burn it down

Well Mr. & Mrs. Jones live upstairs
For slightly more than forty years or so
Well Mr. & Mrs. Jones, they live upstairs
For slightly more than forty-four years or so
We’re going to take six buckets of kerosene
We’re going to burn it down

Spill a quart in every room or so
Wake up little Suzy they ain’t found her yet
Spill a quart in every room or so
Wake up fool put out your cigarette

Well ain’t nobody going to raise a fuss or make a stink
Just help old Joe out to the street
Well ain’t nobody going to raise a fuss or make a stink
Just help old Joe out on to the street
We’re going to take six buckets of kerosene
We’re going to burn it down

Six buckets of kerosene (Six buckets of kerosene)
Six buckets of kerosene (Six buckets of kerosene)
Six buckets of kerosene (Six buckets of kerosene)
Six buckets of kerosene (Six buckets of kerosene)
We’re going to take six buckets of
We’re going to burn it down


Drownin’ of Two

I try to be kind then I find that I
Lied to hide how I feel
So I smile but you know how deeply it goes
Low, oh I got it bad

I seen you baby sit stare at the pool
You wait till I’m watching you
Before you jump in
Fool you know you can’t swim, so let it begin
The drowning of two

I seen you baby sit stare at the pool
Then you wait till I’m watching you
Before you jump in
Fool you know you can’t swim, so let it begin
The drowning of two
The drowning of two


Doowan Me a Wirlda Good

You give me mirrors I can look in
Doowan me a wirlda good
oh yeah
Oh but sometimes it’s so hatrd to watch me reflection
Doowan me a wirlda good
oh yeah
But you’re doowan me a wirlda good
Doowan me a wirlda good

You give me words that I can live by
Doowan me a wirlda good
Oh it’s true
I say true words, they’re words I can occupy
Doowan me a wirlda good
Justify
But you’re doowan me a wirlda good
Doowan me a wirlda good

You give me things that I can rise up to
Doowan me a wirlda good
Oh the best of times
But sometimes it’s so hard to leave the sofa for your room
Doowan me a wirlda good
Woah it’s true
But you’re doowan me a wirlda good
We’re doowan me a wirlda good
You’re doowan me a wirlda good
You’re doowan me a wirlda good


Mule

I’m a man named Mule without a queen
I’d raft upstream to find your swarthy dream
I’m a man named Mule without a home
The river gives me two directions known

I have seen the sky turning green
Clouds run blue, sun and moon disagree
Brine meets blue, out there on that horize
No point on which to fix my Mississippi eyes

I have seen your ship out on the rise
It comes so near then sinks below the skies
So I followed you to Cairo, Illinois
You knew this man and gave him mooring lines

I have seen the skies turning green
Clouds run blue, sun and moon disagree
Brine meets blue, out there on that horize
No point on which to fix my Mississippi eyes

I can see the day I broke my knees
Two feet towards the town two towards the trees
I’m a man named Mule without a queen
They’ll drag the river bed for my remains, for my remains…

I have seen the skies turning green
Clouds run blue, sun and moon disagree
Brine meets blue, out there on that horize
No point on which to fix my Mississippi eyes

I have seen
Clouds run blue
I dig you, out there on that horize
Point, my Mississippi eyes


Yesterday’s Sun

Did you watch me sleep this morning
Knowing that you wouldn’t be back at all
Now I see you’re on the mountain
Send my love

Yesterday’s sun doesn’t shine on the new world
That ain’t the same sun that shines so bright
On the flowers you gave
To me on my birthday

Yesterday’s sun doesn’t shine on the window
That ain’t the same sun that shined so bright
On the bed we made
With the sheets all pushed away

Well I know there ain’t two suns
But I feel the light of a different one

Did you watch me sleep this morning
Knowing that you wouldn’t be back at all
Now I see you’re on the mountain
Send my love

Those jeans of mine
Wrapped around your behind

Yesterday’s sun doesn’t shine on the wet grass
That ain’t the same sun that warmed her toes
In the field where she sleeps
Buried beneathe the trees
Yesterdays’ sun wouldn’t have done this deed to me

Did you watch me sleep this morning
Knowing you wouldn’t be back at all
Now I see you’re on the mountain
Send my love

The plans we made
Our plans to get away
If you asked me what they were
I’d be embarrassed just to say


Low

Yes I’m down
Yes I’m down
I’m so incredibly low
I couldn’t go no further
Less I’d be near underground

Yes I’m high
Yes I’m high
Well I’m so incredibly up I’s afraid I’d bust a nut
So afraid to crack my eyes

I’m young & I just don’t care
I’m young & I just don’t care
Take me back
Free to go

I’s away
I’s away
So incredibly far I parked my car beside the road
I walked for days

Yes I’m near
Yes I’m near
Well I’m so incredibly close that the chair that you sit down in
Is still warm from my respiring do you feel someone wispering in your ear

I’m young & I just don’t care
I’m young & I just don’t care
Take me back
Free to go

Yes I’m good
So very good
I’m oh so damn delicious you gotta lick your dishes
Come on baby fetch my slippers you know you should

Yes I’m bad
Yes I’m bad teah
Well I’m so incredibly worse than a drunkard in church
Or that pistol in your purse
Oh my lady wants to see me riding in a hearst
Riding in a hearst

I’m young & I just don’t care
I’m young & I just don’t care
Take me back
Free to go

I’m young & I just don’t care
I’m young & I just don’t care
Take me back
Free to go,
Free to go,
Free to go,
Free to go


Trouble In Mind

Trouble in mind
I’m blue
But I will not be blue alwsy
Life ain’t worth living
The sun will will shine someday maybe

Trouble in mind
It’s true
That I’ve almost lost my mind
Life ain’t worth living
Feel like I’ve almost lost my mind

I’m going to lay my head
On some lonesome railroad iron
Let the 2:19 train
Ease my troubling mind

Trouble in mind
I’m here
But I’ve almost caught my heart beating slow
Life ain’t worth living
Or so my momma tell so
Trouble in Mind


Potatoe Chips

Potato chips
How my mouth just drips
Potato chips
How my mouth just drips
Crunch, crunch, don’t bring lunch
All I want is chips

Potato chips
How my mouth just drips
Potato chips
Drippy, drippy, crunchy, crunchy chippo
Crunch, crunch, don’t bring lunch
Well all I want is chips

It doesn’t matter where you are
You can always find a bag around
In a bar or a picinic
In a baseball ground

How my mouth just drips
Potato chips
How my mouth just drips
Crunch, crunch, don’t bring lunch
All I want is my chips

It doesn’t matter where you are
You can always find a bag around
In a bar or a picinic
In a baseball ground

How my mouth just drips
Potato chips
Drippy, drippy, drippy, drippy cruncho
Crunch, crunch, don’t bring lunch
Well all I want is chips

It doesn’t matter where you are
You can always find a bag around
In a bar or a picinic
In a baseball ground

Potato chips
How my mouth just drips
Potato chips
Oh the roof of my mouth is slit wide open
Saly gets in it and it hurts like shit
All I want is my chippo


Love For Sale

When the only sound in the empty street
Is the heavy tread of the heavy feet
That belong o a lonesome cop
I open shop

When the moon so long has been gazing down
On the waywards ways of theis wayward town
And my smile becomes a smirk
I go to work

Love for sale
Appetizing love for sale
Love that’s fresh and still unspoiled
Love that’s only slightly soiled
Love for sale

Who who will buy
Who would like to sample my supply
Well love that’s fresh and not aware
Love that doesn’t give a care
Love fo sale

Well, let the poets pipe of love
In their childish ways
Well I know every type of love better far than they
So if you want the thrill of love
I’ve been through the mill of love
Old love, new love
Every love but true love

Love for sale
Appetizing love for sale
If you’d like to pay the price
For a trip to paradise
Love for sale

Let the poets pipe of love
In their childish ways
Well I know every type of love better far than they
So if you want the thrill of love
I’ve been through the mill of love
Old love, new love
Any love but true love

Love for sale
Appetizing love for sale
If you’d want to pay the price
For a trip to paradise
Love for sale
Love for sale
Love for sale


I Want A Roof Over My Head

I got a roof over my head
And bread bread on the table
With love in my heart just for you

Well we can have peace of mind
Be happy all the time
With love in my heart just for you

Woah I came in to the world with nothing
And I’ll leave here with just the same
Makes no difference up above
What in hell’s your name

I got a roof over my head
Bread bread on the table
With love in my heart just for you

Roof over my head
Bread over my bed
Love in my heart just for you

Well we can have peace of mind
Be happy all the time
With love in my heart just for you

Woah I came in to the world with nothing
And I’ll leave here with just the same
It makes no difference up above
What in hell’s your name

Roof over my head
Bread on the table
With love in my heart just for you

I’ve got a roof over my head
Bread, bread, bread on the table
With love in my heart just for you


Violent Love

I want to make violent love
To you by the moon above
I want to make violent love to you

I want to kiss every night
To squeeze and hold you tight
I want to make violent love to you

Well, I don’t to be frantic
I don’t want to cramp your style
You drive me to a panic
You almost drive me wild

I want to make whoopie do
And have a little fun with you
I want to make violent love

Well I don’t to be frantic
I don’t want to cramp your style
You drive me to a panic, woah
You almost drive me wild, wild, wild, wild

I want to make whoopie do
And have a little
I want to make violent love