River is an album of firsts for 45 Souls. For this CD, as well as our next release, Free, we worked with Brandon Pope, whose talents and musical instincts helped to make the recording of these songs creatively satisfying–and fun.

Also, although we have used session musicians in the past (Robin Crawford’s cello on Mortal Moon, Diane Delin’s violin and Michael Levin’s saxophone on We the Cat’s album Rosary), this time we started from the ground up with the excellent work of drummer Gerald Dowd and electric guitar and dobro player Steve Doyle. For River, Brian Wilkie’s pedal steel guitar helps tie together the various styles and genres that these songs touch on, including gospel, folk, country, and R&B.

  1. River 45 Souls 3:37
  2. Rise Up Above 45 Souls 3:17
  3. St. Christopher St. 45 Souls 3:35
  4. The Calculate Hum 45 Souls 2:53
  5. This Is Life At Speed 45 Souls 2:06
  6. Peace 45 Souls 4:07
  7. Four Of Hearts 45 Souls 2:30
  8. Willow 45 Souls 3:10
  9. Lucero 45 Souls 3:53
  10. Stand 45 Souls 4:04
  11. Decoration Day 45 Souls 1:57



We have been us for a time
When we fall, then we climb
Now the river’s flowing along
You know it’s strong, and it’s moving on

And every bend brings the next dawn
But let’s be ahead of day
And hurling on
A raging storm around the world

Gather up your bones ‘cause it’s time to go
Can’t you see the daylight come
Each curse, and every quiet thought
Every joke told on the road

So let’s move us down a while
Now a laugh, a rueful smile
And we’re going, going home
All alone, we’re moving on

And every day is a quiet storm
Every night a silent fight to stay alive
And rivers flow around the world

Rise Up Above

All alone inside her rainbow cap
She eyes the paradigm
Wants to blot out the map
And her reward for this greatest of acts
Through greater still
She will rise up above

In her solitary Church of the Night
She perceives midnight
As the center of hope
And so this shepherd of the
Church of the Light
Sees the dawn
When she’ll rise up above

Inside machine allure of corporate might
The pride of merchant banker
Could win her delight
But she knows more than
The game and the fight
And her right to
Rise up above

A lonely poem can give us a choice:
The noise of life, the silent light,
The curse, and the moan
A simple poem
Provides the hope of delight
And so we cope and then rise up above

Now she’s descending
Now she is free
Then her mind sees just what it wants to see
Aided by what she most desires to be

All alone inside her rainbow cap
She pokes at the soul
And she lays out the map
Her solitude is an expression of love
And her hope that
She’ll rise up above

St. Christopher St.

Sister Brother playing singing
It’ll be all right
In that silver simmer shimmer
The ground’s alive

And the soul is an accordion
A kaleidoscope of air
That passes through the crowd
To distant backyards there

Where the song is strong and all belong
And it’s bouncing off your feet
And we’re going down to Lafayette
Down on St. C. St.

Brother Sister lovers kissed
Dismissed, then reconciled
And we bang along this throng
For a little while

And the spark of life often resides
Inside the diamond of a fear
As the laughter is refracted
Through a tear

But the hope is set beyond regret
And the laughter’s always free
And so we’re all on down in Lafayette
Down on St. C. St.

There’s the trickle of the heart’s desire
Among the flow and bump and grind
Never looking for the life
We’ve left behind

Now the food’s prepared and the table set
And all our friends have come to meet
And they’ve all come down to Lafayette
Down on St. C. St.

Calculate Hum

Worn, torn and tired
By the one who created
The ice and the fire
That join my heart now

‘Til you I never knew me
I can’t explain away
Myself any sooner
Than the heart will allow

Like so many people
Half good and half second-best
Impulse desire
And just charming enough
Half guesses, half ignorance
Half deftness and elegance
Nothing to lose
The calculate hum of it all

Bought, sold, then hired
By the one who has tempted
Such a kind-hearted liar
Seduces the soul

‘Til us never trusted
The fingertip touching
The heart of my matter
I find myself whole

Like so many people
Half good and half carelessness
Impulse desire
And just charming enough
Half guesses, half ignorance
Half deftness and eloquence
Nothing to lose
The calculate hum of it all

This Is Life at Speed

Waiting along Atchafalaya
Waiting in the 3am moonshine
Waiting for my cousin Eddie
Waiting for a different tire

I cannot see the watching alligators
Rippling in the shining mystery
Waiting for my not yet
Waiting for Lafayette

This is life at the speed of recovery
This is searching for a flash of fire
In the swamp the cypress await
In the moonshine I stand straight
Those ripples always dance like pearls
On the shore of the wide world

To all the words of glory
To all the rites of passage
To all the lights unsteady
Waiting for my cousin Eddie


This hall of mirrors that I’ve built inside
All that I do is to answer my pride

All that I see that I want for myself
Are all those things belong to somebody else

Oh, Lord, have some pity on me
Oh, mercy me
Oh, my lord, I know you can see
That old devil he’s waiting
He’s waiting for me

It never matters how much I manage to store
There always is, you know, there has to be more

No need to discuss, I’m always already right
Leave ‘til tomorrow what I won’t do tonight

So many women forever breaking their hearts
Wanna make me whole, and all I want is their parts

I’ll tell you something, if you look in my eye
I’ll knock you out before I’ll even ask why

Oh, Darkness, please set me free
Oh, mercy me
Oh, Darkness, I cannot see
That finally peace is waiting
Waiting for me

No one can tell me what to put in my hand
All that liquor, all that I can stand

My soul’s behind, my body’s running ahead
Strike me down, make my soul rich instead
My soul to keep after this poor body is dead

Two of Hearts

Pretty girl our world is here for you
And you don’t want to part with us and all the love in store for you
But every time I start to speak I might as well not start
Just trying to mend divided heart

All the way home I felt so sorry I did for me
Your roses resting in my arms
The prick of every thorn alarms me, those cuts will make some scars
We mustn’t mar divided heart

Pretty girl who do you think you see
When your cast reflection in the mirror stands in front of me
And we are made of stronger stuff than what tears us apart
We must repair divided heart

So pretty girl don’t go astray those lonely nights and those empty days
Might leave a piece of our heart in the dust
So come along and sing this song and we’ll take harmony parts
We’ll reconcile one divided heart.


I gotta be stronger
Than a willow tree
Got one, two, three more on the floor
Looking up at me

Into this prism
Falling down on my knees
Kaleidoscopic bits of color
Pouring over me
Creating all I see

So give it away
All the pieces passing
Through the hole and
Everybody got a badge to wear
Everybody gonna share this day
They’re givin’ it away
And I took up with a girl who knows me
And she walks on by with a scarlet smile
For all she sees

Another day longer
Than a willow tree
Got a week’s worth of newspapers
There for me

When I return home
From so far away
Kaleidoscopic bits of color
Pouring over me
Creating all I see

So give it away
Sweeter memories of
Those starkest nights and velvet days
Everybody got a cloud to bear
Everybody coming home today
They’re giving it away
And she’s with me on this cloud of mine
And she walks on by with her scarlet smile
For all she sees
And she’s with me


What do you say, Lucero, what do you say, hombre
A good idea don’t come around every day

You say you love my sister, I know that she loves you
I bet she’d like to see just what you’re willing to do

We hit that place on Wabash, hit the jeweler under the train
Get the girls, get high, and then we get paid

And it’s round and round and round and round
Across the wheel then upside down
Come what come may
Luck don’t smile on you every day
And come what may we’re getting ours some day

Lucero’s got the point, and I have got the back
We’ll creep on up, knock him down, and grab the pack

We finally see the jeweler, he’s 80 if he’s 10
He locks the door, walks under the “L,” he stops and then…

It’s all taking chances anyway

I call the jeweler out, get him to turn around
The train passes, lights flicker dark, light, and great sound

Something tells me forget it, grab Lucero and just run
Lucero creeping don’t see the old crow’s got a gun

First there is one gunshot, then two bang three
One for Luz, one for Crow, and one for me

Next there is four gunshot, next five bang six and seven
One for then, two for now, and one for when

Everything’s an accident anyway


Knowing you many years
Through every laugh and tear
You’re the brother that I have found
You’ll be ‘round

When you are crying
When you laugh and sing
Whatever you’re reaching
I’ll be ‘round

You know I know you better than you
All we’ve lost, found, all we do
Burning up or nearly drowned
Up or down…

What happened then
Past is past again
You’re the one I’ve always found
You’ll be ‘round

And now here we are again
Knowing we’ll remain friends
All the way until the end
I’ll be ‘round

And stand
I’ll stand here with you
Through everything you do
I am on the ground
I’ll be ‘round

And stand
Stand here with me
And then I am free
As we are bound
You’ll be ‘round

Decoration Day

In this fight
In this flight toward destination
Toward this light
Within the sight of destiny

I know a breeze of decay
Follows every step of progress
While the freeze of delay
Is a phantom travesty

So come this night
Come tonight
Into my arms dear
So every fight
Will have not been in vain

Every thought about the sunshine
Every thought’s about the same
And about the rain

So in this fight
In this flight toward decoration
Come what might
And come what may
Toward Decoration Day

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Release Date : 08/01/2018
Format : CD