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about

O Boss Man, a collaboration between Bob Murray and Jeremiah McLane, is an album of sweet sounds that takes us through the struggle with darkness into redemption and love. It is a testament to the powerful changes that came from following their dreams through the process of Archetypal Dreamwork.

Bob Murray, facing the lowest point of his life, teaching high school two states away from his six-year-old daughter, and feeling overrun with shame and anger about where his life had led him, dreams that he's standing on a boat with his guitar next to Bruce Springsteen . . . and the Boss asks him to play along on stage.

Two albums later, he joins Jeremiah McLane on this record. Jeremiah, unlike Bob, has been a professional musician most of his adult life. But through encounters in his own dreams, he realized that he had sold his soul at the crossroads, like Robert Johnson, trading away his own voice to spend his career using his incredible talents on piano and accordion to back up other singers.

On O Boss Man, both Bob and Jeremiah step up to the mic to tell their stories of facing their fears and making the changes that have opened them to new levels of creativity. Every song reflects the choices these two men have made—the bold ones, like the first time Bob stood up on stage to play at the age of 55, but also the little ones we must make every day and every moment, such as choosing not to listen to the voices of worry that wake us up in the middle of the night in "Mr. Worry."

This heartfelt record swings with Jeremiah's rich, warm piano playing and soulful accordion. It runs from sweet foot-stomping folk to jazzy Steely Dan-esque textured mellowness to zydeco grooves. Bob and Jeremiah are joined by two of Vermont's most acclaimed musicians, Susannah Blachly and Colin McCaffrey, on vocals, fiddle, guitar, and bass, and by Roy Cutler on drums.

credits

released December 2, 2013

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about

Bob and the Trubadors Montpelier, Vermont

Bob and the Trubadors offer up a fertile brew of original music, folk-based with shades of blues, jazz and world music.

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Track Name: O Boss Man
Woke up this morning on the bridge of this big boat
Some kind of steamship, paddle wheel, a whole town afloat
A throng of people milled that misty morning air
And I just gawked around and pretended not to stare

But the boss he seeks me out and nudges me aside
Says I got a job for you, now don’t you run and hide
Got this guitar on your shoulder, same as me
Now is there any place on this earth you’d rather be

O Boss Man, can this really all be true
Is this an invitation for me to play with you
O Boss Man, if it is then count me in
Cause I promised myself not to turn away again

He says there are people here who’ve been bitten by the snake
It may sound strange at first but it sure ain’t no mistake
Cause they’re pilgrims all and that’s what they’re doing here
So let’s just play a few tunes, help them walk right toward their fears

O Boss Man, can this really all be true
Is this an invitation for me to play with you
O Boss Man, if it is then count me in
Cause I promised myself not to turn away again

He says your brother’s here and your sister she’s here too
And they’re both thrilled to share this space and be with you
Cause we’re all on this boat together and headed north
And the music’s in your blood, brother let’s hold forth

O Boss Man, can this really all be true
Is this an invitation for me to play with you
O Boss Man, if it is then count me in
Cause I promised myself not to turn away again

Woke up this morning on the bridge of this big boat
Some kind of steamship, paddle wheel, a whole town afloat
With all these pilgrims in the misty morning air
And I’m not leaving here, I’m not going anywhere

O Boss Man, ya I know that this is true
The invitation, the music, the chance to be with you
O Boss Man, go ahead and count me in
Cause I’m never never gonna turn away again
O Boss Man, I can feel how this is true
Cause I’m feeling my way through this music right to you
O Boss Man, don’t you know that I’m on board
Yippee cay-yay-aye, hallelujah, forty miles from the shore…
Track Name: What Am I Doing Here
Waldorf Astoria, must be New York City
I think I’m in the Greatest Gatsby
Fat furs and high-heeled folks, my head’s on a swivel
Is that Daisy Buchanan, no it can’t be
But this lobby’s jammed with stars, there’s Jen and Ben and Brad
But I can see them most every day
At the checkout counter in what used to be Grand Union
Their pictures in the tabloids anyway
The walls are filled with portraits staring down at me
Check out this guy in the long white beard
I can’t tell right now if he’s smirking or laughing
But I can tell you that it’s all pretty weird
So what am I doing here? Is this all a charade?
Hey what am I doing here? At this indoor dress-up parade

Roosevelt Ballroom, we’re all herded in there now
And there’s a big party going strong
Whoa, look at my sleeve, my pants, how about these shoes
Is this a tux that I’ve got on?
And that chandelier’s winking at me, diamonds everywhere
Could be the height of all extreme
Cause I’m rubbing elbows with all those who have it all
Getting down with the crème de la cream
Different walls in here but that face once again
Same old guy in the long white beard
Still can’t tell, you know, if he’s smirking or laughing…still all pretty weird
So what am I doing here? Is this all a charade?
Hey what am I doing here? At this who’s who of who’s got it made

But then I see my daughter and she’s calling out to me
Hey Daddy, come on over here
And you should see the look that decorates her face
Pure excitement, not one trace of fear
And whoa, she’s got a horse, black beauty, what a sight
And she’s climbing up on it now
And as she gallops through that ballroom, Hee Haw…
The guest all separate and bow
And up there on the wall, still staring at me
Same old guy in the long white beard
But he ain’t smirking, that’s a grin from ear to ear
And things ain’t been too bad since he first appeared
So maybe I’m doing here, what I wanna do
Truth is I’m liking it here, and I’m sure digging these shoes
So ya, I’m doing here, what I need to do
Cause I got my own horse here, and these high-ridin shoes
These deep-souled shoes, I’m loving my shoes
Mmmmm, I’m loving my shoes….
Track Name: Mr. Worry
Three o’clock this morning, Mr. Worry’s wide awake
Gotta set the table for the day
Gotta draft the what-if list and memorize the script
And God forbid that you should stray
So let’s worry bout the worries that you think that you have got
Then we’ll worry bout the ones that might be coming, or might not
And what about the old ones that still circle back a lot
I just can’t do this anymore

Well, Mr. Worry’s stung, he says, You know, it’s up to you
And if you don’t want me, I can go
Says that, I’m just trying to help you get a handle on these things
Cause as we know, you’re kinda slow
So good luck trying to make it through with all this on your own
Cause I won’t even be available by email or cell phone
And you’ll be out there flailing in the world breeze all alone
So I pray you ponder this some more

Well, Mr. Worry, thank you for your troubles and all that
But see it’s time to say bye, bye
Cause when I’m standing open to the world breeze, as you say
I give this living thing a try
And that’s just what I’m itching for, to sow my oats and reap
Whatever might be coming down the pike, my soul to keep
So pray for what you will, because I’m going back to sleep
And you can surely find the door
Cause Mr. Worry, you’re a bore
Man…you’re a bore
And you’re a cover hog, and even more
Man…you snore
Track Name: My Old Good Buddy Tom
We went out walking down the streets of my hometown
Me and my old good buddy, Tom
Toting our guitars, he had mine and I had his
He’d play a lick and I’d strum along

How could I ask for any more than this
How could I possibly want more
All in a dream, got my hero by my side
I’m feeling blessed and that’s for sure

He says, That ball and chain, it’s all inside your head
All a big ruse, it’s just not true
And as for the fear you feel, the thing you’ve hated most
Well that’s just the doorway leads to you

How could I ask for any more than this
How could I possibly want more
All in a dream, got my hero by my side
I’m feeling blessed and that’s for sure

You’ve done your time, he tells me, peeking through these bars
Barely a day that you’ve been free
How in the world could you be satisfied with this
You want to live, son, walk with me

And yes, you can ask for plenty more than this
Ain’t nothing wrong with wanting more
Cause right now I’m telling you that you ain’t seen nothing yet
So if you’re feeling blessed, well, that’s for sure

So what can I say to that, excepting in I believe
Believing that all he says is true
And now that I’m feeling it so deep down in my bones
Hey, I want to stand and sing with you

Yes and I’m asking for plenty more than this
In fact, you know, I want it all
Cause when I’m standing here with you right by my side
I’m feeling sixty-three feet tall
Sixty-three feet tall…
Track Name: Crossroads
At the crossroads, I faced a choice, In return for hard work,
I’d become an artist, give up my soul.
Then I’d never have to feel the longing and the anguish
the terror and the grief.

Well it seemed like a good deal at the time but in the fine print it said: It’s the child who feels these things, and only the child can sing.

At the crossroads, a young boy stands wonders where I’m bound for.
I’ll make my own way and leave him there.
Cuz what good's a young boy when a man must tell his story, no matter how he lies.

Well it seemed like a good deal at the time but in the fine print it said: It’s the child who feels these things, and only the child can sing.

I was a young man at the crossroads, getting ready to make a deal. They’d give me all the gifts to be someone, and I would never have to feel.

I made a sacrifice, gave my soul, never knew the cost.
I gained a world of praise and in return, the child in me was lost.

I stand before the boy, his hand on me, he’s crying “see what I have found, here is the mark of god upon this man” and I fall upon the ground.

Down at the crossroads, stands a young boy His love I truly understand. He’s looks me in the eye I realize, this time I’m gonna go with him.
Track Name: Sunday Globe
A too-strong cup of coffee, stack of Sunday Globe
The world…a spinning crisis in my kitchen
Me in my natty robe
Chilean earthquake, seven hundred dead
The wail…of all that suffering that is haunting
The graveyard of my head

Some guy maimed his brother, photo on Page Two
Engrossed…I wallow every sordid detail
A case of misplaced blues
What about that earthquake, victims everywhere
The Globe…it paints a dark seductive picture
Invites my blank-faced stare

Yet in this dream there’s a woman
And she’s the part of me that knows
That when I stretch into the pain that is the loss of all my unlived life
I feel this deep love in me grow

Then guilt and duty, they shuffle and poke
And point their bony fingers at me sideways
Say, you apathetic bloke
Man, you’re so uncaring, you’re heartless and blind
To turn your back on all those crying out now
It’s like the worst unkind

Yet in this dream there’s a woman
And she’s the part of me that knows
That when I stretch into the pain that is the loss of all my unlived life
I feel this deep love in me grow

And here beside her, tenderness the word
And a warmth…that fills the self that lives inside me
And all else seems absurd
Late Sunday morning…heap of Globe unread
Track Name: Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron, would you be my girl
Your name’s a twister but I’d give it a whirl
I know it sounds a little crazy and all
I’m 5’10” shrinking, you’re probably tall
But that’s no reason to be freezing out the possibility
Of a little cosmic magic between you and me

Charlize, I’m older, I won’t tell you no lie
I’m mostly bald and got these droopy sad eyes
But in this dream I had, well, we were a pair
Of star-crossed lovers with nary a care
And since I’ve learned to trust my dreams, well, what do you say
Would you meet me out for coffee, how about later today

Charlize, honey, let’s cut right to the chase
This ain’t about you or your heavenly face
It’s rather all about my struggle to see
The things that I have done to circumvent me
And all this hiding in the shadows of just who I might be
If I open up my heart and what I want gets set free

Charlize, I’ve dampened everything I desire
A cold wet compress on the flames of my fire
Afraid of losing or rejection, it seems
I’ve never walked up to the girl of my dreams
And said, I’d like to dance with you now, if you please
Ah, that devil on my shoulder…She’s way out of your league

And that shoulder demon’s right now chirping at me
…Silly old dreamer, Hollywood wannabe
But I’m not buying it, no, not in this heart
Cause I’ve been to hell and back and earned this new start
And there ain’t no one gonna tell me I’m a minor league Joe
So I’m stepping up to this plate and it’s time for you to go

So, Charlize Theron, would you be my girl
Your name’s a twister but I’d give it a whirl
I know it sounds a little crazy and all
I’m 5’10” shrinking, you’re probably tall
But that’s no reason to be freezing out the possibility
Of a little cosmic magic between you and me
Track Name: Everyman
Everyday when I come home this morning
Everyday when I come home this evening
Everyday when I come home
I bring my pride and shame along
This morning, this evening, so soon.

I have shame for what I’ve done this morning
I have shame for what I’ve done this evening
I have shame for what I’ve done
But I’ll atone, I’ll be a better one, this morning

I take pride in all I’ve done this morning
I take pride in all I’ve done this evening
I take pride in all I’ve done
I’ve become the perfect one, this morning, etc

I never know that shame and pride this morning
I never know that shame and pride this evening
I never know that shame and pride
are just the ways to turn my grief aside, this morning

I have my flaw like everyone, this morning
I feel shame, so begins the game, this evening
Achievement swells my growing pride
Never know that what I’m trying to hide
lies underneath my suffering, it’s the child.

The eagle flies, he dips and dives across the bay
The dolphins race, the minnows grace the sand bar
There’s a life inside the outside, it calls to us
there’s no need to hide, this morning, evening,
the afternoon, dusk of twilight, it’s a happy hour; it’s our playtime,
we’ve come to rest on the precipice of time.
Track Name: Going Home
I used to have a big, black lab, old Will was quite a dog
Traveled with me everywhere I went
He’d lay there in the truck front seat, his head upon my lap
And stare up at me like I was heaven-sent
Been dead for half a decade yet his scent, it lingers on
Still got those popcorn paws, it seems
And after spinning once or twice, that flop-down lazy sigh
Before he’d drift off into some contented dream

But he went home, ya he went home
Perhaps the place where it’s all doggy treats and bones
And I wish that he were here, but of two things I’m real clear
That his soul’s alive and, man, he’s not alone

Michael was a friend of mine, his time with us was short
Hard to figure why that had to be
Got a little daughter, she’s bout eight years old, like mine,
By the grace of God, you know that could be me
And every time I drive by his house, man, I feel so sad
I think about his family and about mine
But one thing I don’t worry about’s old Michael anymore
Cause I know he’s with the man and doing fine

Cause he went home, ya he went home
And doesn’t get no junk calls on the phone
And I wish that he were here, but of two things I’m real clear
That his soul’s alive and man, he’s not alone

Graveyards late at night, they used to scare me half to death
And the Reaper, he was way much more than grim
Figured he would haul my butt right to the basement fire
And then laugh his ass off while he shoved me in
But if there’s a last laugh here, well, it belongs to me
Cause I can tell you sure as ash to dust
That when it’s time for me to head on down that country road
Well, I’ll be shouting Hallelujah-town or bust

Cause I’ll be home, ya I’ll be home
And I won’t get no junk calls on the phone
But that Hallelujah’s here, so of two things I’m real clear
That my soul’s alive and, man, I’m not alone

And I’m feeling home, I’m right at home
Cut my heart wide open, strip me to the bone
Cause you see, when I’m all here, then of death I have no fear
Cause my soul’s alive and man, I’m not alone
Track Name: Alligator Tears
My father’s birthday is in September
Turns eighty first day of the fall
His health is hanging on, still got lots of kick
But that number, well, you wonder about it all

We walked a beach once, Carolina
Must be fifteen years ago
The gulls were squawking, it was windy, it was cold
He was speaking truths I didn’t want to know

He was harping about decisions
Said he cared and that was why
He felt the need to lay it all out in the sand
My whole trail of woe and then he stopped to cry

You were sorry, oh so sorry, for the things that I had done
What I heard was, heed my words, son, get a life cause you got none

So I lit out of there as fast as I could go
Couldn’t take those alligator tears
That’s how I’ve judged them every time that he chokes up
More often now with all these passing years

Seems so strange to know that that was what I thought
That he could fake his love for me
As if I myself could simply turn that faucet on
And my apple falls directly from his tree

You were sorry, oh so sorry, for the things that I had done
What I heard was, heed my words, son, get a life cause you got none

Then last visit we were downstairs, my old room
The scene of all my jumbled youth
Through his harmonica we found some common ground
But it was time to play a song that spoke some truth

I chose the one about my darling little girl
The one I never make it through
I felt the tears well up and let them all come out
It seemed like there was nothing left to do

I was sorry, truly sorry, for the things that I had done
But still what I heard was, heed my words, son, get a life cause you got none

So I was standing there and sobbing through my song
But not self-conscious in the least
Not feeling silly or embarrassed or all wrong
Seems the demon that belittles me had ceased

My vision blurred so much I couldn’t see his face
But I could hear him just the same
And it felt so good to hear him crying right out loud
As though his tears could somehow ease my pain

You said sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry for you, son
You said sorry, you were sorry, as if our pain were truly one

Something happened that day in that basement room
Some things I’ll never understand
But from that moment on my life has somehow changed
At 55, I’m 21, a man

And I’m sorry, Dad, I’m sorry, that I’ve often judged you wrong
Yes I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’ve been weak but now I’m strong

My father’s birthday is in September
We’ll celebrate this special year
I pray you live to greet 100, dear old man
I’ll toast you, Dad, through alligator tears
Track Name: April Fool
Looking out my window there’s a foot of snow and plenty more to come
Someone turn that spigot off, weatherman is having too much fun
Cause this calendar’s turned April, and all this winter should be done

Well, living way up north, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised
Some might say it serves me right, a recompense for all my lies
But on this day that stretches truth a hair, that rabbit’s hat might be my size

Is it all a lie, is it all a lie
Cause if it’s all a lie then tell me…why, why
I’ve been feeling, feeling like my golden egg’s been laid
And if there’s truth in all this feeling
Easter Bunny’s leading my parade

That big old cottontail’s gonna have to hop some drifts to get to me
Door to door delivery’s tough enough without this storm, wouldn’t you agree
But I’ve a notion that he’s good for it, if Santa can then so can he

Cause this storm has had its way, they’ve closed up all the churches and the schools
Kids are all out running wild, playing snow games, no rules
And this angel in the snow looks so beautiful to this old April fool

Is it all a lie, is it all a lie
Cause if it’s all a lie then tell me…why, why
I’ve been feeling…like my golden egg’s been laid
And since there’s truth in all this feeling
Easter Bunny’s leading my parade

Looking out my window there’s a foot of snow and plenty more to come
But I’m hoping that it never stops, weatherman and me are having fun
Cause this calendar’s turned April, and my new life has just begun…
Track Name: Turn to You
When I look outside and cold November gray
Has veiled the mountaintops and has for several days
When that weather’s in my head and aims to stay

What I have to do, what I need to do
Is go inside and turn to you

When I withdraw from myself into a shell
When I’m thoroughly convinced this day’s from hell
When I can’t discern the wishing from the well

What I have to do, what I need to do
Is go inside and turn to you

In my lifetime such a famine of the heart
As though feeling passion were just some esoteric art
And I can’t believe I chose the oxen and the cart

When what I have to do, what I need to do
Is go inside and turn to you

But like a sailor who’s been landlocked far too long
Yet he’s at sea now, cast adrift inside a song
And he sings his heart out with a voice that’s true and strong

Cause what I have to do, what I need to do
Is go inside and turn to you

What I have to do, what I need to do
Is go inside and turn to you
Track Name: Alligator Tears (Live)
My father’s birthday is in September
Turns eighty first day of the fall
His health is hanging on, still got lots of kick
But that number, well, you wonder about it all

We walked a beach once, Carolina
Must be fifteen years ago
The gulls were squawking, it was windy, it was cold
He was speaking truths I didn’t want to know

He was harping about decisions
Said he cared and that was why
He felt the need to lay it all out in the sand
My whole trail of woe and then he stopped to cry

You were sorry, oh so sorry, for the things that I had done
What I heard was, heed my words, son, get a life cause you got none

So I lit out of there as fast as I could go
Couldn’t take those alligator tears
That’s how I’ve judged them every time that he chokes up
More often now with all these passing years

Seems so strange to know that that was what I thought
That he could fake his love for me
As if I myself could simply turn that faucet on
And my apple falls directly from his tree

You were sorry, oh so sorry, for the things that I had done
What I heard was, heed my words, son, get a life cause you got none

Then last visit we were downstairs, my old room
The scene of all my jumbled youth
Through his harmonica we found some common ground
But it was time to play a song that spoke some truth

I chose the one about my darling little girl
The one I never make it through
I felt the tears well up and let them all come out
It seemed like there was nothing left to do

I was sorry, truly sorry, for the things that I had done
But still what I heard was, heed my words, son, get a life cause you got none

So I was standing there and sobbing through my song
But not self-conscious in the least
Not feeling silly or embarrassed or all wrong
Seems the demon that belittles me had ceased

My vision blurred so much I couldn’t see his face
But I could hear him just the same
And it felt so good to hear him crying right out loud
As though his tears could somehow ease my pain

You said sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry for you, son
You said sorry, you were sorry, as if our pain were truly one

Something happened that day in that basement room
Some things I’ll never understand
But from that moment on my life has somehow changed
At 55, I’m 21, a man

And I’m sorry, Dad, I’m sorry, that I’ve often judged you wrong
Yes I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’ve been weak but now I’m strong

My father’s birthday is in September
We’ll celebrate this special year
I pray you live to greet 100, dear old man
I’ll toast you, Dad, through alligator tears