|ROBERT COLEMAN TRUSSELL
talks about "Texas Gothic"
"Texas Gothic" was recorded over a 7-year period. There was an
initial burst of recording activity, followed by a long period where
nothing happened (real life was interfering with the creative
process), and finally another 18 months to finish. It took so long
that my co-producer Kelly Werts and I actually passed through two eras
of recording technology. The initial tracks were recorded on tape
but by the time we finished Kelly was using a Pro Logic hard-drive
The songs themselves were written over a period of 25 years or so.
Many of them were revised and rewritten through the years, but they
nonetheless represent decades of non-prolific creative output. All
the recording was done at Werts Music in Fairway, Kansas.
1. MAMA DON'T YOU KNOW
The chord structure never varies and there's no real musical
bridge, but the simplicity seems to work for the tune.
2. ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE IN G
Inspired by a drunken train ride from Los Angeles to San Antonio in the 70s. The song is fatalistic, romantic, a picture of fog-bank loneliness. I tacked on "IN G" to make it distinct from all
the other songs called Across the Great Divide or The Great Divide.
3. BROKE TO RIDE
Inspired by a newspaper ad placed by a man trying to sell a
horse. The horse, according to the ad, had been "broke to ride."
4. GO GO GO
The initial inspiration for this tune was a driving trip from
Austin to Vanderbilt, Texas to see my best friend and his wife. I
was driving an old Plymouth Belvidere that leaked oil. It broke down
as soon as I arrived.
5. I SEE YOU
A love song from the point of view of an outlaw on the run. The
music is economical or rudimentary, depending on your point of view.
6. HELL ACROSS THE TRACKS
The idea for the song was taken from a poem by my father.
There's nothing wrong with the sentiment but he's probably spinning
in his grave. He hated anything that sounded remotely like country
7. LOOKING FOR THE OLD MAN
This one probably has him spinning in his grave, too. He was
not a sentimental man. The music changed radically as it evolved.
8. MISTER HOLLIDAY
This an attempt to create the musical equivalent to a Sam
Peckinpah western. The refrain, "Who the hell cares now anyway,"
could be taken as a comment on the decline of the western genre. This
song changed very little over the years.
9. SPANISH GIRLS
I changed the music to this one and added it to the album
very late in the recording process. My wife insisted that I include
it. She says it's about freedom. I like it because it's existential
10. RUN ON HOME
An old one. The music changed a lot from the time it was
written. It used to more of a faux rock song. Now it's as you hear it.
11. BILLY GOT BAD
Inspired by my legendary night in jail in Austin, Texas.
12. SWEET LITTLE .22
There really was a .22 rifle in the family. In the song it
has more importance as a symbolic heirloom than as a weapon.
13. ROUND AND ROUND
One of my patented pyscho love songs.
14. WHAT THE SIDEWALKS SAY
Inspired by spray painted messages on buildings and sidewalks
in downtown Kansas City. Some people assume this is a religious
song. My response: Listen to the lyrics more carefully.
15. CRAZY LEGS
I thought the album needed a coda. This is what we came up
with fooling around in the studio. To my amazement, some people have
actually bought it as a download.