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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03:18
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03:01
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03:58
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credits

released January 1, 2007

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Mark Mitten Winsted, Minnesota

Solo singer-songwriter & also lead singer for the indie rock duo Atomicana.

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Track Name: Mill Creek
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
Track Name: Run Your Luck
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
Track Name: West to the M Lazy C
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
Track Name: Riding Fences
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
Track Name: I-25
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
Track Name: Autumn Sky
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
Track Name: Montana Green
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
Track Name: 4th of July
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
Track Name: La Junta Storms
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)