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Old Tenement Man

by Rodney DeCroo

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about

After returning from a five-year sabbatical from music in 2015 with the intimate collection 'Campfires On The Moon', Vancouver singer/songwriter, poet and playwright Rodney DeCroo’s musical evolution continues with his seventh full-length album, 'Old Tenement Man', a sprawling work of unflinching lyric-driven rock and roll, infused with the legacies of Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen.

Teaming up with producer by Lorrie Matheson (Art Bergmann, Rae Spoon) at his Calgary studio Arch Audio, DeCroo struck the perfect sonic balance through which to display the full range of his poetic gifts and a renewed commitment to reaching more ears.

The fully fleshed out arrangements on songs like “When It’s Everything” and “Like Jacob When He Felt The Angel’s Touch” leap out of the speakers with searing storytelling unlike anything DeCroo has achieved before on record, while Old Tenement Man’s most harrowing moments, such as “Ten Thousand Feet Tall,” and “The Barrel Has A Dark Eye,” thrill with the precise control both DeCroo and Matheson deploy to build the drama.

The new album continues DeCroo’s intense output since 2010, which saw him produce an acclaimed poetry collection—and accompanying spoken word album—drawn from his childhood in Western Pennsylvania. He also mounted a one-man theatre show that toured western Canada, all of which was an outgrowth of extensive therapy to cope with addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Although Rodney DeCroo’s quest for inner peace remains ongoing, the immense strides he has made over the past half-dozen years has finally bore fruit on 'Old Tenement Man', an album that finally places him in the upper echelon of Canadian singer/songwriters. It is an album that reflects the times in which we live, and its themes will surely resonate long into the future.

credits

released May 5, 2017

Produced and mixed by LORRIE MATHESON (Arch Audio)
Mastered by HARRIS NEWMAN (Greymarket Mastering)

RODNEY DECROO guitar, vocals
LORRIE MATHESON guitar, keyboards, bass
CHRIS DADGE drums
TIM LEACOCK electric guitar on In The Backrooms Of The Romance
JOE MCCAFFERY electric guitar on The Barrel Has a Dark Eye

Dedicated to the memory of Mark Evans.
Rest in peace, my friend.

This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters. / Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

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Track Name: Jack Taylor
My name is Jack Taylor
I'm twenty five years old
I took my father's life
Now my freedom's sold
I sit behind these bars
Every night and day
Sawed off shotgun
Blew my life away

I see you standing there
In your life so straight
What you know of love
What you know of hate
Just like this cell
Don't mean shit to me
My whole life
I ain't been free

See this tattoo here
On my right arm
Yeah, you fuck with me
My boys will come
and do you harm
And I don't care
What you say I am
You got to live here
You do what you can

Sometimes yes
I think of her
But I best forget
It'll only get me hurt
I turn my heart
I turn my mind to steel
The days roll on
And I don't feel

Twenty years that man
He beat his wife
Twenty years that man
He destroyed a life
I don't care
When you say I'm wrong
I know what I did
I know my love was strong

My name is Jack Taylor
I'm twenty five years old
I took my father's life
Now my freedom's sold
I sit behind these bars
Every night and day
Sawed off shotgun
Blew our lives away
Track Name: Ten Thousand Feet Tall
The money, the drugs, the guns are all gone.
I stand at the window waiting for an acid dawn,
to burn this city down like a plague.
I'll watch a million hearts as they break.

You're wrong my friend, I do not hate.
I never argue with my fate.
No, I feel nothing at all.
Oh, I feel ten thousand feet tall.

I heard a young man singing about the great,
he complained it was too late.
He wore black sunglasses on his face,
to hide the hollows of his face.

I remember when you dreamed out loud,
like a sleepwalker through a crowd.
But those dreams were not allowed,
they were so silent and so loud.

I see insects on the walls,
someone is fighting down the hall,
something is crawling in the sink,
I really, I really, I really need a drink.

I heard a young man singing about the great,
he complained it was too late.
He wore black sunglasses on his face,
to hide the hollows of his face.

The money, the drugs, the guns are all gone.
I stand at the window waiting for an acid dawn,
to burn this city down like a plague.
I'll watch a million hearts as they break.
Track Name: Lou Reed on the Radio
Right now, Lou Reed on the radio,
Right now, sounds like everyone I know,
Right now, I'm waiting for my heart to change,
Right now, I must stay here with pain.

Right now, I dive through time to look for you,
Right now, what a useless thing to do,
Right now, the anger is all I have.
Right now, I want to hurt myself so bad.

When it came down, was there a fight,
did you see a light.?
When it came down, did you see a face,
a touch of grace, a resting place?

Right now, my friend I can't let go of you,
Right now, there's nothing left if I do,
Right now, you always showed the way,
Right now, you always had the words to say.

When it came down, was there a fight,
did you see a light.?
When it came down, did you see a face,
a touch of grace, a resting place?

Right now, Lou Reed on the radio,
Right now, sounds like everyone I know,
Right now, I'm waiting for my heart to change,
Right now, I must stay here with the pain.
Track Name: Radio
Gravity’s a rope
From which you can hang
All your precious hopes
And all your big demands

They’re smashing up the windows
They’re breaking down the doors
They’re searching for the fugitive
Who hides her heart indoors

Oh, the radio plays softly
Through my room tonight
I am listening
As I turn out the lights
Oh radio, where shall we go
Tonight

I used to pray when I was a kid
Don’t let me slip away
And then that’s exactly what I did

but one has little choice
When you have to find
Solace in a voice
Sculpted out of time

Oh, the radio plays softly
Through my room tonight
I am listening
As I turn out the lights
Oh radio, where shall we go
Tonight
Track Name: Like Jacob When He Felt the Angel's Touch
In the back seat of a taxi,
in the smoke of an airport lounge,
in a high rise elevator all the way down,
I'm thinking of you.
I'm thinking of you.

In the weight of a loaded .38
snug in the palm of my hand,
in the voice of a late night operator,
in the stare of a locked up man,
I'm thinking of you,
I'm thinking of you.

In the darkness of my sleeping hours,
in the glare of the busy day,
wherever I might be going,
or wherever I might stay,
I'm thinking of you,
I'm thinking of you.

Like Jacob when he felt the angel's touch,
the fight and the wound he called love,
but I'm not Jacob and that's not good enough,
but I'm not Jacob and that's not good enough.

Like a king without a kingdom,
like a dog without a bone,
like a junkie without dope,
like a scared child alone,
I'm thinking of you,
I'm thinking of you.

Like the secret you can't tell,
like the shame at the back of your throat,
like a jumper standing on the edge,
who says she's lost all hope,
I'm thinking of you,
I'm thinking of you.

Like a cold blooded assassin
with names of on a list,
like a sniper up in a tower,
like a glove wrapped around a fist,
I'm thinking of you,
I'm thinking of you.

ike Jacob when he felt the angel's touch,
the fight and the wound he called love,
but I'm not Jacob and that's just not good enough,
but I'm not Jacob and that's just not good enough.

In the backseat of a taxi,
In the smoke of an airport lounge,
In a high rise elevator all the way down,
I'm thinking of you,
I'm thinking of you.
Track Name: In The Backrooms of the Romance
In the backrooms of the romance
they say there's nothing new,
In the backrooms of the romance
it's always been about the view.

In the backrooms of the romance
they plan to cut down all the trees,
they're making room for the forest,
that only they can see.

In the book store where I met you,
hanging your paintings on the wall
that book store isn't there now,
there's hardly any book stores at all.

In the backrooms of the romance
I tried to tell them all about you.
I bought every phone they'd sell me,
but I could not get through.

In the book store where I met you,
hanging your paintings on the wall,
that book store isn't there now,
there's hardly any book stores at all.
Track Name: When It's Everything
It's the weight, it's the knife,
It's the face you just want to fight,
It's the reason why you fuck all night.

It's the moment, it's the sun,
it's love you feel for a gun,
it's the reason you don't trust anyone.

How can you forget?
It's such a little thing.
How can you forget,
when it's everything?

It's the darkness in the corner of your eyes,
it's the missing letter in a motel sign,
It's the truth hiding in all your lies.

It's the whisper buried in the floor,
it's the silence behind every door,
It's the reason you're always at war.

How can you forget?
It's such a little thing.
How can you forget,
when it's everything?

It's the way no one believes,
it's why you always have to leave,
it's the emptiness of late night t.v..

It's the hawk burning as it stares,
it's the someone at the bottom of the stairs,
it's the only thing we've ever shared.

How can you forget?
It's such a little thing.
How can you forget,
when it's everything?
Track Name: Little Hunger
Little hunger waiting outside my door,
little hunger I don't need you no more.
Little hunger, I've found my way,
I can't believe it sometimes,
I'm going to be okay.

Little hunger we had some times,
but little hunger you crossed the line.
Little hunger we tore it all down,
until there was nothing left,
and no one around.

Little hunger, you got me through some stuff,
when I was way too young and it was way too rough.
Little hunger, you lied to me,
you took more than you gave, including me.

Little hunger we had some times,
but little hunger you crossed the line.
Little hunger we tore it all down,
until there was nothing left,
and no one around.
Track Name: Ariel
Like a drug you need to take it,
like a scene you have to make it,
like a smile you'll learn to fake it,
like a promise you will break it.

Oh, you treat me like hell, Ariel
but oh, you do it so well,
oh, my sweet Ariel.

Like a gambler you will lose it,
like a friend you use it,
like a lover you abuse it,
like a punch you will bruise it.

Oh, you treat me like hell, Ariel
but oh, you do it so well,
oh, my sweet Ariel.

Like a knife you will turn it,
like a wage you will earn it,
live a god you will serve it,
like a fire you will burn it.

Oh, you treat me like hell, Ariel
but oh, you do it so well,
oh, my sweet Ariel.
Track Name: Half Blind Crow
Half blind crow on your window sill,
one eye white like a snow field,
one eye black like the barrel of a gun,
both eyes have seen what you've done

See the shadow on the floor,
here the voice outside the door,
wonder what it's all been for,oh yeah,
half blind crow he takes wing,
your soul is an abandoned thing,
these are not just words i sing,
half blind crow.

Half blind crow don't care about time,
cause an eye's a circle not a straight line,
half blind crow flies all night,
half blind crow has second sight.

See the shadow on the floor,
here the voice outside the door,
wonder what its all been for, oh yeah,
half blind crow he takes wing,
your soul is an abandoned thing,
these are not just words i sing,
half blind crow.

Half blind crow he doesn't scare,
half blind crow is everywhere,
when you meet him you will know,
but until then I've got to go.

See the shadow on the floor,
here the voice outside the door,
wonder what it’s all been for, oh yeah,
half blind crow he takes wing,
your soul is an abandoned thing,
these are not just words i sing,
half blind crow.
Track Name: The Barrel Has a Dark Eye
Explosions flash
over and over again,
inside caged screens
that we dream within,
that we dream within.

Mourners mourn,
family, strangers and friends,
while others vow
it won't happen again,
oh it won't happen again.

The barrel has a dark eye,
it hates everything it sees.
The barrel has a dark eye,
who's the enemy?

Images breed stories,
become facts they did not mean,
when fear is the teacher
how quickly we believe,
how quickly we believe.

The hyena is laughing,
the hyena digs the grave,
the hyena comes to feed,
he does not come to save,
he does not come to save.

The barrel has a dark eye,
it hates everything it sees.
The barrel has a dark eye,
who's the enemy?

Someone is alone,
with a loss they can not heal,
it hurts so much
oh, it seems to kill