Released on Places I’ve Been, 2008, backed by Johnny Harper (electric guitar), Marty Holland (electric bass), and John Hall (drums) plus John R. Burr on keyboard. I played pedal steel; John R. Burr, piano; and Tony Marcus, fiddles. Tom Rozum sang tenor and Johnny Harper, baritone.

In the early 1970s, after our country-rock band, Frontier, dissolved, Mitch Greenhill and I played for some months in Ace Adkins’ hard country band at the Trail’s End club on the south side of Santa Rosa, California. This song tries to capture the flavor of that gig, with a few facts stretched to make a neat, romanticized picture

Also note that this song incorporates part of the folksong standard, “Careless Love.” This was the first example of this schtick, which I repeated in “Slave to a Six-String Guitar.”

April 2010: This song is now available as performed in 1986 by Mitch Greenhill & Mayne Smith and originally released on a cassette tape titled Back Where We've Never Been. The same all-live duo performances (no overdubs, no extra personnel) are now rereleased on a CD (GSCD02). See the CDs AVAILABLE page for more information.

  As you step into this barroom from the night
You can feel there’s something special in the air
Not just sin and smoke and noise, not just payday for the boys
It’s the righteous little band that’s playing here

The waitress buys the beans for seven kids
The barkeep’s nose got busted in a friendly fight
But their troubles don’t seem near, when that little band is here
And lord it’s Friday, and the band is on tonight

So take another round to the bandstand
One beer, a Turkey over, and a gin
And tell the lead guitar that the lady down the bar
Says to play that tune called “Careless Love” again
Love, oh love, oh careless love

There’s a jukebox in the corner flashing bright
Plays the same damn record six times in a row
But when the band goes on, if you’ll ask them for that song
They’ll play it like you never heard before

The drummer drives a forklift down at the plant
The bass man makes his living writing porn
But their real life don’t begin until they’re on the stand again
And it’s over when they pack up Sunday morn

    By Mayne Smith, 1974 © Hillgreen Music <>