"Say hello I’m crying Can’t you see I’m still trying
We learn from our mistakes And if that’s what it takes
America where are you now?"

Download "AMERICA" from Frankie's Reverbnation page or on CDBaby

   Frankie O’Rourke and Rick Millward met through REVERBNATION, the musician social networking site, where Rick is #1 on the Nashville Americana chart and Frankie #1 on the Falmouth, Massachusetts Folk chart. Rick, a recording engineer and songwriter, was looking for projects he could produce and Frankie got in touch with him.

   Over the course of a couple of conversations they began to explore the possibility of trying a long distance collaboration on one of Frankie’s songs. He’s a touring and performing songwriter who's recorded several albums, the latest being “Postcards From The Road”, a collection of songs recorded while traveling over the last few years. The song they chose was “America”, which is a staple of Frankie’s live show but has never been recorded.

   The song was written in the mid 1970’s and addresses many of the events that took place in this country during and before that period in American history. It is ironic that this country still faces many of the same tough issues; financial hardship, unemployment and political struggles that we did back then. The song simply states “I just want to make an honest living, in America there’s supposed to be a way” something every American citizen wants. The song strikes a deep chord with Frankie’s audiences, something they can relate too.

   “America”, started out as a folk song, but Rick’s arrangement of the track is hard to categorize, which puts it solidly in the Americana camp. One of the goals was to create what he calls a “musical event”, which is something like a single with a strong emphasis on giving the artist an opportunity to step a little outside his comfort zone, and be supported by a track with more production than they’ve typically done. Both men are veteran musicians, with decades of experience and appreciation for the genre. The result is a powerful track that frames the core lyric, “America, where are you now”, and in a masterful way combines sounds and styles from rock to jazz.

   Collaborations are always experiments, and in Rick’s case the process was fully intuitive.
“I really had no preconceptions about the song, I just started working with it and let it go where it wanted to. That caused a little bit of anxiety, because with my own music I do a lot of experimenting and revising, having the luxury of a home studio, so imposing my process on another artist added a layer of communication I wasn’t used to.  Frankie was great and receptive all the way from the beginning when I sent him a demo that I knew was completely different from the way he’d performed the song for years.

   Frankie provided a rhythm acoustic guitar and vocal while Rick performed everything else except for drums (Andrew Allen), mandolin (Terry Kinakin) and backup vocals (Lindsay Millward)

 

"AMERICA" by Frankie O'Rourke
(©2012 Frankie O'Rourke (Frankotunes Publishing)

America where are you now,
You’re telling us that you have found,
A better way to live our lives.
As the unemployment line still grows
The country’s economic woes,
And the politicians throw their knives.

Say hello I’m crying
Can’t you see I’m still trying
We learn from our mistakes
And if that’s what it takes
America where are you now?

Bob and John they couldn’t pay
To turn their heads and look away,
So we laid them in their graves
When Dr. King devised a plan
He said would help everyman
They said he had to pay.


When Nixon laid his best hand out
The ace of spades is what they found,
Another fell from his sleeve     
He said you caught me fair and square
I guess I’ll stick to solitaire,
Until it’s time for me to leave

Say hello I’m crying
Can’t you see I’m still trying
We learn from our mistakes
And if that’s what it takes
America where are you now?

It’s the 4th of July in the city,
And I had to pay my taxes yesterday
I just want to make an honest living,
In America there’s supposed to be a way

Other tracks from Rick Millward
Other tracks from Frankie O'Rourke


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