Ghost of a Gardener

by Rachel Ries

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The lush art of Erica Williams and poster-sized insert.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ghost of a Gardener via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

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    The download comes with a pdf of the album packaging - full lyrics, credits and gorgeous art by Erica Williams.
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    This is so frame-able it hurts. Spin it and get dizzy-happy.
    Artwork of Erica Williams.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ghost of a Gardener via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Time 03:08
time - I've forgiven you, time you were salt in my hand so I threw you over my left shoulder you landed, you landed on good soil a few plants they died but the heartier ones they survived time - I’ve forgiven you, time no I won't speak ill when you're dead in the ground and I'm alive see I, what I've got to show is a home and a husband and a cat who we can't hold still all I want is my mother all I want is my mother oh these holy waters oh this hallow time oh this fallen empire is only in my mind so I - I won't give you anymore time coz the next the thing I know I'll be dead to the fact that I'm alive so you - you can look me in the eye and you see that I've won this time, this time, this time so all I ask is for my mother to know that she is good you know I’d give it to her if I was able but I was born with the same hollow all I want is my mother to know that she is good all I want is my mother
2.
Words 03:03
the words used to be alive in my mouth trying to find a way out strange how it was - I could never make them stay or go away willful were they and caught in their clutch was I unholy the days when I stood in their wake loneliest of hours but joyful and mad when they made it back to alight on my loosened tongue willful were they and caught in their clutch was I willful were they and sold by their sound was I now two years gone and for all I long the flock doesn’t come around but watchful I wait by my window and pray - wing your way back to me but still is the sky and quiet the time flies still is the sky and quiet this life flies but I won’t be alarmed I won’t be afraid if I listen just right I’ll find another way I won’t be alarmed I won’t be afraid if I listen just right I’ll find something to say…
3.
Ghost 04:36
I’ll return time and again to the door we entered in no regrets, Mr. Dissident I see so now I know I see so now I know I’m a ghost, I’m a gardener I’m lost in the room I am lost with you, I’m lost I’m a ghost of a gardener my rows of thistle bloom I pick them for you quiet now, let’s go to rest on the bed of lilies I planted of course they didn’t take but a fine bed they’ll make my dreams full of dirt & you my dreams of dirt and you I’m a ghost of a gardener and my rows of thistle bloom I pick them for you I pick them for you someday when my eyes are clouded white I’ll see this clear I will see this clear and when my hands are gnarled and tired I’ll lift this up I will lift this up and then when my body’s gone gone gone I’ll become the ground I will become the ground and the lilies, they’ll be blooming and the garden, a belly-full and the willow, bent for weeping and I’ll see this done I will see this done
4.
Holiest Day 04:21
I drove away far from the lake I found the farmer’s daughter we could’ve been sisters if I were humble clothes muddy, red cheeked and reticent I looked around and wished that I could stay and cover my head I’d keep the fire going and I’d tuck the kids all into bed see, I know all the hymns I’d say my prayers and close my eyes to wake and dawn and do it all over again so half in jest I asked if I could stay and help milk the cows Annie looked away she said - Just come back in an hour. asking for more, we ask we ask for more always for more, we ask we ask for more so I drove away back to the lake back to all my pretty, my precious things I put the milk away and I started to cry I put the music on to fill the quiet oh this cluttered life - we try we try we try we try we try asking for more, we ask we ask for more always for more, we ask we ask for more holiest day break our nightmares in two holiest day shape our nightmares into threes holiest day take our nightmares before we wake we ask, we ask
5.
you can not be here and I will not remain so as we are to part I beg you - take stock of your heart your shadow’s on my trail a holy ghostly pale just do what you will do but let me know where I stand with or without you I’ll run faster than laughter while you can look past her and see that I’ve gone again Chicago looms large in my vision this insular mission to see this thing through with or without you earth and sky prevail as you fall but soon I know you’ll rise and reach out to where I stand with or without you
6.
Mercy 02:54
thank you for the pictures you sent the clouds were marveling I don’t know what you meant by them but I will give you anything when the prairie freezes over I’ll be gone again to the east where there’s no grassland to dance with the wind to the east where the asphalt shivers under the wind there are prayers that I utter in waking and don’t even know the words when the prairie freezes over you’ll be breaking down your best intention strewn on the shoulder hitch a lift back to town my remorse is useless - and I know but here it is again you stay sober and I’ll come over with a bottle of gin you stay sober and I’ll come over with a bottle of gin god have mercy and let us be married and never drink again god as my witness and you as my kin I’ll never drink again
7.
Willow 02:55
I don’t wanna say sorry for all the things I haven’t done I just want to go back to the way things were always done with a hand held out to shake and a word unbreakable and a gaze straight as the miles that cut the dirt grandma I wanna go back to the way things were always done when you’d come down to find your man working the ground with his hand held to the plow and his back unbreakable and his word as good as the gold they found in those hills but I’m not gonna go I’m not gonna go back to the word I never knew so tell me all your stories about the way things were always done back before you knew me and the world it maybe seemed young before your hands shook so much and your voice so breakable and your back bent lower than the willow by the woods my handshake don’t mean enough and my word is breakable and my back feels bent lower than the willow by the woods than the willow
8.
You Can Go 04:06
did they say where's your bible? where's the body and the blood? or did you think you could go out in the world with no light from above? did they say where's your mother? and what is she to you? did you really think you could go out in the world with no guidance from her? i'm sorry i'm sorry for you i'm sorry it had to come to this so soon did they say where's your family? the ones you're too scared to know or did you really think you could go out in the world just pretending you're alone? did they say where's your spirit? she must be screaming bloody murder or did you think you could go out in the world without listening to her? i'm sorry i'm sorry for you i'm sorry it had to come to this so soon you can go now you can leave this all behind you can go now you can leave this all behind who you waiting for? who you waiting for?
9.
when I was lonely when I was nine I had these dreams where everybody died some are too awful for me to retell but one burned a brand in my skull I saw it coming out in the country in the church parking lot just a kid kicking gravel while the others milled about then I saw it coming - burning the fields a wall of lava smoking our heels so I tried to tell them - Look up to the western sky! Don’t you feel the heat rising? Our world is on fire! waving my little arms and stamping the ground flailing the truth from out my mouth but nobody listened they all turned away walked into the church walked into their graves walked into the church and into their graves while I watched it coming I watched it coming well each day I’d wake up smelling the burn scorched in my loneliness feeling forever unheard but now I’m never lonely and you’re listening, too but still I’ve these dreams I see are coming true yeah I see it coming I see it coming I see it coming
10.
I’ll wait for you in Iowa in the house upon the hill yesterday tornadoes came but here I’m standing still here I’m standing still I know these past few days have been the hardest that we've had last night we nearly lost it all but here we're standing still here we're standing still I would give it all I'd give it all to you if only I knew what it is I've got for you what I've got to give you what it is I've got for you on the day that we pass on into - nobody knows may we leave a memory of us after the storm ever standing still here we're standing still here we’re standing still here we’re standing still

about

Ghost of a Gardener was recorded in Chicago in winter 2012/13 at Pieholden Suite Sounds, studio of the late Jay Bennett (Wilco).

Co-produced by Rachel and David Vandervelde, the album features Emmett Kelly (Cairo Gang, Bonnie “Prince” Billy), Gregory Alan Isakov, Evan Bivins (Cary Ann Hearst, Jump Little Children, Duncan Sheik), and members of Brooklyn's Cuddle Magic - to name a few!

credits

released February 18, 2014

Producer: Rachel Ries
Co-Producer: David Vandervelde
Recording & Mixing Engineer: Matt Dewine
at Pieholden Suite Sounds, Chicago
Assistant Mixing Engineer: David Vandervelde
Additional Engineers: Todd Sickafoose, Christopher McDonald,
Paul Curreri
Mastering: Paul Gold at Salt Mastering

Rachel Ries: vocals, electric guitar, piano, organ,
synthesizer, glockenspiel
David Vandervelde: acoustic & electric guitar, electric bass,
synthesizer, percussion, vocals
Ariel Bolles: upright bass, vocals
Evan Bivins: drums, percussion
Emmett Kelly: lead guitar
Gregory Alan Isakov: duet vocals
Kristin Slipp: harmony vocals
Cole Kamen-Green: horn arrangements and trumpet
Alec Spiegelman: flute & bass clarinet
Alisa Rose: string arrangements & violin
Dina Maccabee: viola
Jess Ivry: cello
Devon Sproule, Raina Rose, Carrie Elkin, Danny Schmidt:
harmony choir
Erica Williams: artwork
Priscilla Medders: layout & design

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Rachel Ries Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rachel Ries, hailing from the prairies of middle America, crafts sly and compassionate songs for the crooked-hearted. With an electric guitar and piano; a clear voice and steady hand; she deftly pulls listeners in with disarming candor and holds them there with smart and tender poetry. ... more

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