Mill Creek

by Mark Mitten

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    "Mill Creek" is a folk-western album, all acoustic. The themes trend towards cowboying and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. From 2006-2008, I lived in a little town in East Tennessee. It's where people pronounce the Appalachians "apple-ATCH-enz", with a soft "a". It's where they have furniture and roosters in their front yards. And weathered old barns...like the one on the album cover. This barn was on my land, and I ended up dismantling it board by board. I was going to build a new one for our horse, but never got around to it. We moved back to Colorado in 2008.
    But while I was living there, my heart was pointing me back to the mountains constantly. So this album has a mix of geography represented: Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. The title track is all about my home on 1311 Mill Creek Road...idealizing my hopes and capturing my realities. It was a great place to live, and a meaningful time.
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1.
Mill Creek 02:54
raised center aisle in the 4-stall barn overo paint with his red-roan charm sunrise comes through the oak 'n pine hay & grain yeah it's breakfast time mill creek flows past the moody hills mill creek flows in the morning chill ol' brown mare she push the paint around meek & mild a joke to stand his ground new smooth wire runs along this land blackberries grow pile 'em in your hand mill creek flows past the moody hills mill creek flows in the morning chill mill creek flows see the horses graze mill creek flows feel the lazy days the good life oh, the good life it's right here
2.
green mesquite in all this texas heat and push them cattle in and we push them cattle in ride the caprock and we ride the southern ridge we slowly ride along and we ride alone you seen the brazos and you've seen the rio grande you been to denver and you've seen cheyenne you put the miles on that ol' pickup truck you've run your horses and you've run your luck stock tank's cold & take your saddle off & the sorrel rolls let him rest awhile and you rest awhile just three more miles and there's the cattle pens, vaccine & then pull the irons from the fire yeah the irons from the fire chorus
3.
ute pass, west on 24 granite walls & pine trees at your door look on your shoulder now the north face lookin' down the "hungry bear" & "donut mill" make this town headin' west to the m lazy c headin' west now, to the m lazy c lake george, west on 24 eleven-mile canyon fishing lures pull off the shoulder now a flake of hay for the bay "maountain shadows" grab a bite, take a break chorus passin' tarryall, west on 24 plains of buffalo & hartsel you've gone too far just a dirt road windin' back through the trees a single feather swings from randy's hat, you'll see chorus
4.
hitchin' post - pull that cinch tight warm that bit in my hand or I know she gonna put up a fight silhouettes - early mornin' light one last chance at the water tank close the gate behind you tight as you ride the fence along riding fences all day long as you ride along would you say the work is hard? would you say the pay is short and the day is long? but you know you're heart is free and you know this is where you will always be chorus in the early mornin' light riding fences
5.
I-25 03:18
crack in the windshield right where you need to see driver's side sunburn you wish you'd wore long sleeves dotted yellow line, like counting sheep rub your eyes and the miles go by and you shift and sigh and the miles go by and you rub your eyes i-25 sunrise on the front range y'er right where you need to be alpenglow on evans now it's just what you need to see down the road a few more miles & castle, springs and you smile chorus before the afternoon rains before the clouds come in & stay just to see that fourteen grand above this promised land
6.
Autumn Sky 03:01
walk the sorrel 'round & through the trees 'neath the green & yellow quakin' leaves cattle grazin' on the timothy feel the chill upon the changin' breeze smell the pine & all the evergreen timberline is somethin' I can see river rocks are in the mountain stream now you know I never wanna leave seasons come / days go by autumn leaves / crisp blue skies seasons come / days go by fallin' leaves / autumn sky from the aspen & the cottonwood fallin' leaves are comin' down for good they float along to where the river goes & catch a ride to only heaven knows chorus
7.
string the herd out & ride across the long green plains from the tall grass of texas don't you cross the panhandle, my friend down ol' butterfield stage then up along the pecos into new mexico leave those holes of alkali behind see the rain dark clouds stretch along the horizon feel the cold wind blow feel it push you back again up the goodnight-loving trail all the way to denver and on to cheyenne and on, onto montana green graze the herd and you're off to the lights of town hollow boot-steps sound yeah the boardwalk leads the way to a wash & a meal take a drink & laugh again spend every penny that you earn in the bustle of a town you won't see again but you will see... chorus
8.
4th of July 03:58
angora chaps - ride with my hat down low in my winter's beard & my sheepskin coat breakin' ice so the bay can drink in the fading light, makes a lone man think and have you ever seen, with the naked eye all the falling stars from the midnight sky it's hard to believe, yeah it's quite a sight raining down on me like the 4th o' july like the 4th o' july hobble the bay & unpack the grain get your bedroll down - light your pipe again some things are hard to say, no one can understand all the things you seen & the places you been
9.
christmas goes, blizzard sound valley storms, towns shut down three feet fell on these snow-cold plains drifts ran high, hard winds came hay drops - new year sky hay falls - still we try hay falls - from this new year sky hay drops - cattle die la junta storms, lamar she cries planes & blackhawks cross the sky hay's flown in, tractors try rangeland snows, spindrift white chorus 15,000 lost (you can't count the cost) 15,000 lost (you just can't count the cost)
10.

credits

released January 1, 2007

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Mark Mitten Winsted, Minnesota

Singer-songwriter. A blend of folk and folk-western. Also lead singer of Atomicana.

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