Every Man a King

by Martin Van Ruin

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about

Released January 2014, Every Man a King is the full-length debut of MARTIN VAN RUIN. The new project from some familiar Chicago faces (members of Derek Nelson & The Musicians, Jenny Dragon, Planetsexploder), Every Man a King was written over a year and recorded and engineered by Neil Strauch (Bonnie Prince Billy, Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird).

"One of the best local albums of the year. A sprawling folk-rock work with vintage country and chamber elements, it’s dark but erupts into ecstatic stretches and Neil Young-inspired guitar work. "King" holds together song to song, and is an album in the classic sense."
- Chicago Tribune (Jessica Hopper)

"Seriously epic folk-pop chops"
- Chicago Reader (Gossip Wolf)

"5 Chicago Songwriters You Need To Hear. Fans looking for Chicago’s next Wilco might like to check out Martin Van Ruin and its debut album."
- American Songwriter Magazine (Davis Inman)

"An album of unchecked ambitions and carefully wrought details; the band is equally capable of creating a big, propulsive sound and intricate, occasionally ominous undercurrents. The band steeps its Americana in art- and noise-rock sounds, coming across like Arcade Fire without all the pretense and discotheque dreams. One of the best records to emerge from the Midwest during this young year."
- Columbia Daily Tribune (Aarik Danielsen)

"The Bob Dylan and Neil Young comparisons are inescapable for this new folk rock supergroup. Jeff Tweedy would be proud."
- Chicago Sun-Times (Selena Fragassi)

"15 Chicago Artists to Watch in 2014. The band’s debut is a folk-rock monster worthy of its majestic title."
- Chicago RedEye (Andy Downing)

"From front to back, this is an album as cohesive, focused and deftly played as any in the Americana genre released this year … Meandering and melancholic, “Put it Away” is arguably one of the finest [songs] of the year and the very reason why Martin Van Ruin just might be one of Chicago’s most undervalued bands."
- AbsolutePunk (Gregory Robson)

credits

released January 6, 2014

Alex Winter: bass
Brian Sharpe: lead guitars, piano
Cathy Starr: violin
Derek Nelson: vocals, guitars
Sarah Jane Goldstein: vocals, percussion, melodica
Pete Falknor: drums
Philip Vickers: lap steel, guitars, trumpet

Recorded and Mixed by Neil Strauch
Recorded at MINBAL and Strobe Recording in 2013
Produced by Martin Van Ruin and Neil Strauch
All songs written by Martin Van Ruin (except “Give Me Flowers (While I’m Living)”, a traditional song)
Mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room

tags

tags: rock Chicago

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about

Martin Van Ruin Chicago, Illinois

Every Man a King is the full-length debut of Martin Van Ruin. The new project from some familiar Chicago faces (members of Derek Nelson & The Musicians, Jenny Dragon, Planetsexploder), Every Man a King was written over a year and recorded and engineered by Neil Strauch (Bonnie Prince Billy, Iron and Wine). ... more

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Track Name: Give Me Flowers (While I'm Living)
in this world while we're living
some people say the worst of us they can
but when we're dead and in our caskets
they'll always some lillies in our hand.
won't you give me my flowers while i'm living
and let me enjoy them while i can?
please don't wait 'till i'm ready to be bured
and then slip some lillies in my hand.
Track Name: Wilderness
We broke all our promises
the charter was annulled
We cast sights on some strange place
where no one walks alone.
I got my bag, my woman, my vices
saw somebody's daughter got her hands on a rifle
we're all holding on to what we know
not sure where this will go.

i stood on these tired legs
and held you by the hand
said, "i built this house, i'll burn it down
i'll prove myself a man"
to the bridge, to the woods, to the town, to the steeple
factory is ahead all teeming with people
we're all making plans in the day's last glow
not sure where this will go.

we'll walk into the wilderness
we'll wash our hands of this.

i'm not young but the sun's still shining
an old friend that just won't stop smiling down.
living room piano's playing
i've walked enough, oh, i think i'm staying now.
we wrote journals as kids still yearning
all the pages keep on turning now.
the gold teeth of a city snarling
i'm not leaving, i'm staying darling now
we're not young, but the sun's still shining
we thump bibles, the trash keeps piling up
we're not young, but the sun's still shining
our old friend just won't stop smiling down.
Track Name: Someone Tried to Warn Me
someone tried to warn me the city's not for dreams
the people in the buildings are never what they seem
saw them writing on the walls of some long, forgotten hall
where you lay sleeping.

it said "the cemetery is filled with invincible men
the peasants and the poets told us how the world will end."
and when you told me what you need
i just wondered what it's like to need me.
oh, you've seen such awful things
hope some other day can bring
what you are seeking.

the world you knew was wrong.
the world you knew is gone.

someone tried to warn me we're sleeping our feet
there's trouble here and all we fear will bind us to our seats
oh, for all those you know now
how many do you really know now?
someone tried to warn me these words are not my own
"I said that when I was your age
kid, your song's already sung."
so I asked them what to do
they said, "take that broken voice and sing it new."
oh the workaday is scared
saying, "if history's on its way, will I be spared?"

the world you knew was wrong.
the world you knew is gone.

someone tried to warn me the city's not for dreams
(the world you knew)
the cemetery is filled with invincible men
(the world you knew)
someone tried to warn me we're sleeping on our feet
(the world you knew)
someone tried to warn me these words are not my own
(the world you knew is gone)
Track Name: Put it Away
mary got drunk, she blamed new orleans
she left her kids at the cigarette machines.
she drew a line to kansas city
said, "this life is mine now while i'm still pretty."

well, george got a job at the age of 14
and a decade later, he was Man Mountain Dean
in a little town in oregon, they crowed him champion
said his golden robes are what kept him standing
are we standing, or singing?

singing,
hey, put it away.
the streets are calling,
the clocktower's falling.
and you're left putting away
all that you might have been.

jack penned prose in the town and the city
he burned like candle, he lived like deity
in three little weeks, did what a chosen man would
in three little weeks, did what i never could.

he's singing,
hey, put it away.
the streets are calling,
the clocktower's falling.
and you're left putting away
all that you might have been.

hey, put it away.
the city's sleeping
mayflower's leaving.
and you're left putting away.
all that you might have been.
Track Name: Sayanora
The seasons rose and fell with a whimper
and all the trees we climb turn to ember.
the sea was drained, it turned to plains
our children running free.

A man he spoke of days he remembered
where cities fell and armies surrendered
and all our pain, it left our veins
our blood it filled the sea.

Saying,
Saya, sayanora
we tried to hold you
when you were young.

Your sadness rose, it called out a warning
sons were leaving, mothers were mourning
and we awoke to the stereo playing "castles made of sand"
and miles away, a dead man was walking
family was silent, TV was talking
and we don't know where this will go
we just know it's gonna end.

Singing,
Saya, sayanora
we tried to hold you
when you were young.
but the fire
crawled inside you
it will remind you
of all that was.
Track Name: This Time Around
the street where you woke up
the town you were born
the lights in the warehouse
all broken or gone
well, your face looks older
mine still looks young.
let's lay where we laid then
but let go of what was.

when broken hands were held up like they won
and our dying breath was still here in our lungs
this time around, you'll come around.

the promise, the pavement
the panhandler's change
at the warehouse you're waiting
for a reason to stay.
but you can't go back now
but you can can't go on
get the change from your pockets
let's play the songs we once sung.

you've stayed awhile but you can't stay the same
your brother's voice is calling out your name.
this time around, you'll come around
this time around, you'll come around.

well, you've said lately
that this town went crazy
but i know it will save me
when i'm wrong.
Track Name: Gold and Love and Gin
lights burn red in the city of the blues
with the bus stop, overpass, dead tree news
the capitol scrapes the sheen from the sky
as the tin can salesman left you behind.

and life got tired of waiting
the earth grew old and dim
but i am still here waiting up
with gold and love and gin.

lights burn red in the city of the blues
with gas station phone calls and new leather boots
the good will girl and the chrome of the night
and the fire from your postcard still burning white

and life got tired of waiting
your heart needs breaking in.
but i am still here waiting up
with gold and love and gin.

lights burn red in the city of the blues
with farewell freeways, the drunks on the roof
streetsweeper storms and a child from the south
she's got something strange always coming out her mouth.

and life got tired of waiting
your heart needs breaking in.
but i am still here waiting up
with gold and love and gin.
Track Name: Easy Answer
everybody's looking but we ain't found one
everybody's looking but we ain't found one
you call, you call from the disaster
we're still looking for the easy answer.
oh, oh.

i don't know what here belongs to me
we found the keys to the penitentiary
if we free them all, they'll ask us who to thank
and at the prison wall, they'll see that things have changed.

everybody's looking but we ain't found one
policemen are looking, but they ain't found one
we saw the seconds ticking faster
we're still looking for the easy answer.
easy answer
easy answer.

i don't know what here was built to stay
a wind will come and take this all away.
our friends are gone, they caught us at the door
and we've been stumbling, wondering, waiting for

everybody's looking but we ain't found one
strangers are looking, but they ain't found one
we saw the future coming at us
we're still looking for the easy answer.
easy answer.
Track Name: American Moon
our kids will disappear down the flight of stairs
for all that happened here, we were unprepared
water's rising, revolution came
and we don't know now, what here's left to save.

'cause something rose and something fell
like all good plans, it went to hell.

we took our fathers' names, we cut our hair
and when our papers came, we said our prayers
but we're still sleeping 'neath the american moon
and all are coming days are coming soon.

'cause something rose and something fell
like all good plans, it went to hell.
i saw you at the riverside
mouth closed shut as your lips turned to white.

we were bleeding
dogs were barking
roads were leading us home.

and we're still sleeping 'neath the american moon
Track Name: Storm Coming
at the birthplace of an ocean
i will drown in the commotion
let me crawl inside your head and play my dreams.
i am drifting off to nowhere
i will leave you now to go there
where the desert is alive and the sun does sing.

there's a storm coming to a town near you.

i heard the heavens fill with shouting
heard the drums all getting louder
as the waters rise, and so our fingers do.
i've been asking for forgiveness
oh, dear god, will you forgive us?
because your men are here but we still look for you.

there's a storm coming to a town near you.
there's a storm coming to a town near you.

i know why you told me the red ground is holy
and i heard what you told them as the sun turned them golden like you.
as you wait through the water for your son and your daughter
the sky washed away.

there's a storm coming to a town near you.