Back Story - LOW DOWN WHERE THE SNAKES CRAWL
If you are a part of our 'SPECIAL Super Fan' Email List, you may remember this part:
The song title itself came to me as I lay out in the Death Valley Desert in California after I had climbed up above an old petrified lava flow and laid on the ground - (yah with my bad knees and all!) - and I was thinking about how low I felt and thus the title was born. I was on a Vision Quest searching for answers about my life and my 'then' crumbling relationship.
And then... YEARS LATER
Rob and I had a beautiful home across the street from the Sandy River and this is where Rob also had his triple fusion back surgery and I had one of my earlier knee surgeries. As we were recovering from those, we began to write. Rob had just started his transition from Bass to Guitar and so as he was working on his guitar skills, I was throwing down lyrics and melodies and working with a piano song arranger to help me suss out the chord progressions for the melodies. We were also rehearsing a band and playing out some live. During one of our gigs at the Black Horse Saloon in Bend, OR, we met Ronnie Smith who used to play Hammond Organ for Steve Miller. A fantastic player with one huge heart. Before he passed away, he performed with us for several shows dragging that huge Hammond Organ to all the gigs. At one point we met with him in a hotel room in Bend working on the basic chord progression for part of this tune. I recorded what we had done on a cassette player and those cryptic ideas slowly became LOW DOWN WHERE THE SNAKES CRAWL.
In the meanwhile, we had sold our home in Oregon, and moved to Whidbey Island in Washington state where I ran an add for a lead guitar player and found James Howard out of Seattle. Rick Jones played bass. Dave Malony, the studio owner and engineer played drums and the magical percussion parts. Terry Nelson played keys, Rob played rhythm guitar and I did all the vocals and the Crow Cawing.
The song was a true labor of love and very magical in how it slowly came together. For instance James Howard came in and laid down 8 lead guitar tracks from which I had to pick and choose the parts line by line. It took me hours to put that lead track together. Many times, it was just a 'one bar' guitar lick that I placed in a certain spot to accentuate a vocal line. The only continuous part he played that I did not have to edit, was the opening lead guitar part. It was the first run he played for the day and it was perfect! It goes to show that when you are not 'thinking' of what to do, and you just come from a place of innocent creation, it 'happens!' Well, it certainly happened as you will hear when you listen to that opening guitar part! But in the end, what I managed to pull together finessed the song lyrics perfectly.
I could go on and on with the other production tricks and tools I used to help bring this song into its magical birth but it would take a whole chapter in a book! So I'll just mention one other very special 'back story' moment. At the end of the song, I speak the title in Cherokee, which had been translated into the Cherokee language by a good American Indian friend of mine - Mark Wolf Copeland, which he also translated into text. This 'Cherokee Text' can be seen on the CD Cover under the title. When I was in the vocal booth speaking the lines in Cherokee (part of my bloodline), I felt the intensity of ancient lifetimes surging through my blood and I cried from some unfinished part of myself. I've often thought about past lifetimes and I feel strongly that a recent incarnation of mine was roaming the forests and mountains as a young native and that I died young unable to finish my journey. It's like those moments you get when you are standing in a place and you just 'know' you've been there before... ever have those?
As far as what the song is about, I'll allow the song and the lyric to tell the story!
I suggest headphones, as you lay back and listen to the feel and ear candy in this song.... and check out the WIND sounds in the outro!
I just LOVE those!!
Low Down Where The Snakes Crawl I found my soul Wallowin’ all around, feelin’ tired and old Low down... yah...low down where the snakes crawl Nuthin’ but dust and bones Oh...I couldn’t find no hope The sun was beatin’ down I just couldn’t get up I couldn't see no reason, Lord to continue on Low down yah... low down where the snakes crawl Why did you walk away honey Ah leavin’ me with no love Oh...oh...I got no one to love me, yah no one to hold me, and no one to care, oh yah Oh...I said I got no one to touch me, no one to dance with yah, ah no one to share, yah yah Oh I said those, those lonely lonely moments yah lookin’ up at the moon, yah lookin' up at the moon Oh I’m askin’ God... I’m askin’ God now, now, now oh now how much I can bare, oh Lord yah Yah yah I said, no one to hold me, yah no one to care, oh no one to care, yah Oh yah you hear now, I got no one to dance with, oh, yah no one to share, oh no no one to share, yah Oh I got those lonely lonely lonely lonely moments lookin’ up at the moon, yah yah oh that moon Oh I’m askin’ God, I’m askin’ God... Lord, Lord now... how much I can bare, oh yah let me tell ya now Low Down Where the Snakes Crawl That’s where I died Out there in that desert , is where I saw the light Low Down... yah, oh that’s where I shed my skin ummm hummm Out there in that desert Buried your old love with tears Raw... I found my soul Hungry... I found my heart Achin’... I found my bones Naked... I shed my skin Oh out there in that desert I buried your old love with tears
Oh yah oh out there in that desert, yah
Oh I buried your old love, I buried your ole , I buried your ole
Oh out there in that desert, oh I buried your ole' love, I buried your ole' love
Low Down.... Where The Snakes Crawl
oh... oh oh oh oh oh...
oh....oh oh oh oh oh...
oh... oh oh oh oh oh...
Low down... oh...oh oh oh oh oh...
Where The Snakes Crawl, Yah