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Crossing Dragon Bridge

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Steve Wynn

Release Date: 2008
Album Notes:

US version now available.

The days during my three weeks in Ljubljana were pretty simple. I would wake up early and leave my apartment on Trubarjeva Street and cross Dragon Bridge in search of a good cup of coffee which I would I would sip as I watched the vendors in the open market as they sold cabbage, purses, cheap watches and anything else that might be worth a Euro or two. I'd watch this panorama of commerce and barter and think about which song I would drag into the daily laboratory that was Chris Eckman's home studio.

I had never made a record like this before. I was in Slovenia, far from my New York City apartment and in a musical world that had shrunk down to just two people-me and Chris, the multi-talented producer (Midnight Choir) and bandleader (Walkabouts, Chris & Carla). He had been wanting to make a record with me for many years and seemed particularly intent on stripping things down to my voice and my acoustic guitar and then building up another universe from there.

No band. No session players (until later). No passing of the baton in this relay race. Even Chris would hesitate when I tried to get him to play something. Guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals-if I could do it, I had to do it. And that's why "Crossing Dragon Bridge" sounds different from other records I've done before but also more like the sound inside my head than anything I've done before.

But it's not a record I would have made in New York. Or in Tucson. Or in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Moscow or Mali, It's not like a record I would make on the moon or on Mars or in New Jersey. It has the sound and the mood and the sights and the overall vibe of Ljubljana. I swallowed the city whole and then waited for the meal to work itself into a digestive hallucination before spitting it out again each day at Chris' place. And then it was back for a pint of Union beer by the river before starting all over again.

When I left Slovenia a few weeks later both of us knew we had something special. And then we proceeded to add the extra bits that would take the experience further. An eight-piece orchestra was added in Prague to a bunch of the songs and a woman's choir in Ljubljana was added to others. Linda Pitmon, Kirk Swan, Chris Cacavas and Tim Adams (Teenage Prayers) chimed in from New York, Los Angeles and Germany bringing in elements of familiarity from my past and present.

Finally the whole thing was filtered through the creative and impressionistic mixing skills of Tucker Martine (Decemberists, Laura Veirs) and turned into the record that you hold in your hands. It's a snapshot, a dream, an acid flashback, a tourist guide, a midnight snack, a morning cup of coffee-it's the other world that happened around me and inside my head for three weeks last September. I hope you enjoy taking the trip back there with me.

Item 1: cd
# Track Title Play
1Slovenian Rhapsody I


On my own again
Haunted by the rain
Reflections pull the night
Into the sea
Silence tricks my ear
Voices that I hear
Drowning in the sound
Of my own rhapsody

Steve Wynn: lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Vlado Kreslin: whistling
Crossing Dragon Bridge
2Manhattan Fault Line


They say that LA will fall into the sea
Tumbling down where the coastline does curve
The East Coast, they look down upon the West
Say the bastards will get what they surely deserve
But geologists point to a line that is drawn
From 14th Street to the Upper West Side
This city could drop in a minute or two
Stunned and surprised but one hell of a ride

Manhattan Fault Line

When I left LA I was 34
Leaving trouble and uncertainty behind
The errors and pitfalls of my youth
To the present, they made neatly drawn line
New York was just like being born again
Which means a rough adolescence can't be far behind
A lesson learned is a lesson forgotten
Tremors and aftershocks pay me no mind

Manhattan Fault Line
Will take us down with it someday

The boxes were packed and arrangements were made
To sneak out and leave by the end of the day
Allegations and confrontations hardly feared
But we'd just run out of things to say
You'd think at a certain point in your life
You've learned everything that you're going to learn
But sparks lead to fires and fires lead to ashes
At least you know for sure you've been burned
I can sift through the rubble to track down the blame
I can feel righteous and just I can feel nothing but shame
But what does it matter when I end up alone
The evidence buried beneath cities of stone

Manhattan Fault Line
Will take us down with it someday

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic and electric guitar, fuzz bass, stylophone
Chris Eckman--string arrangement, drum programming
Linda Pitmon--backing vocals, percussion
Tim Adams--backing vocals

Apollon Chamber Orchestra-- Stepan Prazak (concert master), Radek Krizanovsky, Adela Stajnochrova, Jan Marek, Jaromir Stepan, Katerina Parizkova, Jiri Kohoutek, Sasa Kopka, Martina Zuziakova, Stanislav Luks, Libor Kanka, Ludmila Budinska
Crossing Dragon Bridge
3Love Me Anyway


"Lord", she says, "I'm tired
Of living life this way
Hiding what I'm feeling,
Keeping you at bay
Love me anyway

"Look upon my secrets
The things that I can't show
Understand my sickness
Know the things I know
Love me anyway

"Tell me that you love me,
Tell me that you care
Tell me that you hate me
Make me unaware
Love me anyway"

"Love is never easy
Love is never free
If it seems that easy
You're not doing it properly"

"Tightly wound and careful
Knowing that you're knowing
Only part of me
Love me anyway"

"Listen to my words,
Forget the things I say
Climb inside my skull
And then quickly go away
Love me anyway"

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, electric guitar, organ
Chris Eckman--electric guitar solo, drum and bass programming
Linda Pitmon--backing vocals
Tim Adams--backing vocals
Crossing Dragon Bridge
4She Came


She came silent through the skin of winter days
And she held between her palms a secret cage
Came and filled it with abandoned birds nests (nests of abandoned birds)
And the sound of night

She sat beside you and she unwound her hair
Around the bars, timeless strings resounding there
That you're a field, ploughed down to a stone
And full of signs

As a bird flies off into the autumn day
Then wind lifts up and turns the papers page
Within the lane of lovers that have gone
You're no longer known

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Chris Eckman--acoustic guitar, electric piano, string arrangement
Carnice Vocal Group--choir
Ziga Golob--upright bass

Crossing Dragon Bridge
5When We Talk About Forever


I've gathered myself
From bits and remains
And the pieces I've pulled
From all of my days
And I'm handing them off
Not to me or to you
But the world that we're making
On this very day

Come take my hand
Try to understand
The things we can only see together
What we mean when we talk about forever

I look in your eyes
And see all of the days
And all of the words
That you've ever heard
And all of those words
Just pour into my soul
Leaving me stronger
Leaving me whole (ch)

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic guitars
Linda Pitmon--drums, backing vocals, percussion
Apollon Chamber Orchestra--strings
Ziga Golog--bass
Chris Eckman--string arrangement

Crossing Dragon Bridge
6Annie & Me


Annie and me, as far as we can see,
We're not taking any bets, just playing the house
Slashing the tires on the restrictive ride that
Keeps us in the lanes between the lanes

We just never slow down
It doesn't even hurt when we hit the ground
We don't slow down for anyone
Who says it's so hard when when you get old

We don't shy away from taking chances, we double our romances
Got plenty of time for everyone
Sometimes we share, sometimes we're not there
Love is the drug for the young Americans (ch)

Annie is only fifteen-and-a-half,
I'm barely a year older than that
Stripping down naked behind the Hollywood Bowl
Stuffing our trunk with all the things that we stole (ch)

Pt. 2

I woke up and I thought
You were here with me
But I knew it was
It wasn't reality

Holding onto every day
Is tougher as time
Pulls away

Trying not to let go of the feeling
But something always gets in the way

Like dreams that fall through the cracks
And friends who will never come back
And all of the strangers you see
And just how cruel they can be
And it's so hard to get by sometimes
It's just so hard to get by

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic guitar, handclaps, bass
Kirk Swan--lead guitar
Chris Eckman--backing vocals, mellotron, drum programming
Linda Pitmon--backing vocals, percussion, handclaps
Crossing Dragon Bridge
7Wait Until You Get To Know Me


Charmed, I'm sure
It's a strange allure
Our intentions aren't
Exactly pure
I'm the bait
You're the lure
Let's me cast my line

Some things just get
Better and better
Some things don't
Imagine how we'd be
Let's find out

Wait until you get to know me
Wait until you get to know me
Sky's above me, earth's below me
Wait until you get to know me

I'm a finger of Scotch
In a cold Manhattan
I'm a car wreck
That's just waiting to happen
The damaged goods
Beneath the wrapping
Let me open it up

If it was 8pm
You would be wary
If it was 10pm
It might be scary
But the bar's closing
And you can carry me

Wait until you get to know me
Wait until you get to know me
Something that you want to show me?
Wait until you get to know me

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic and electric guitar
Tim Adams--backing vocals
Linda Pitmo--percussion
Ziga Golog--upright bass
Blaz Celarec--drums
Chris Eckman--vibes, treatment

Crossing Dragon Bridge
8Punching Holes In The Sky


Peel away the morning sky
Place it in a jar
I'll collect it when I die
Sliding from a star
And down though the clouds

Strip away the mystery
Lash out at the night
I can change the story line
But cannot make it right
But I'll try

The words come drifting by
But I could not reply
Punching holes in the sky
Punching holes in the sky

You don't have to be afraid
The rage is all for show
I can always draw the line
But sometimes it's hard to know

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Apollon Chamber Orchestra--strings
Chris Eckman--string arrangement
Crossing Dragon Bridge
9Bring The Magic


10,000 watts from the back of my Impala
Wolfman Jack is on the line tonight
Everybody's hungry for someone or something
And everything I care about is clean out of sight

Bring the magic
Bring the magic
Bring the magic to me

All I do is dream inside my radio
Cadillacs and Bonnevilles are taking in the scene
Lipstick kisses blown across the double line
Landing lightly on a stretch limousine

When I dream I dream of nothing
I just wait for something to take me away
I keep a good friend in the backseat of my ride
I drive until I see the light of day

Steve Wynn--lead and backing vocal, acoustic guitar, bass
Chris Cacavas--casio
Apollon Chamber Orchestra--strings
Nick Luca--string arrangement
Crossing Dragon Bridge
10God Doesn't Like It


God doesn't like it when you hold out on me
God doesn't like it when you set me free
God doesn't like it when you keep control
God doesn't like it

Listen and learn
Defy and get burned
Chip away the days
And you won't return.
Are you higher than the world
Are you greater than he
Can you surrender
And give yourself to destiny

He killed his only son
He wiped the face of the earth
So what makes you think
That you're of a greater worth
Someone made mistakes
In the evolution chain
But the one's who pay attention
Are the ones who will remain

Cast your eyes on this mosquito and notice this
Just how slight what you deny me is
It feasts on your blood and then it takes mine
And together our blood forms a new design
You don't deny this bug, you don't curse his intent
But you deny me the chance to make the same statement.
So I smash that mosquito and I smear our blood
Rather than let it drain in the rain and the mud

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic guitar, bass, harmonica
Tim Adams--backing vocals
Linda Pitmon--backing vocals, percussion
Chris Eckman--drum programming
Crossing Dragon Bridge
11Believe In Yourself


History's been decided by the bullies and the freaks
Who tried to move the mountains and drain all the creeks
Wiping out the things that just didn't fit
I wonder what they ended up doing with it

I've always been content to take the pieces that I've been given
Make a mess with the results, justify it all

Everybody's using all their breath telling everyone else
What to do with their own breath
I can't believe it, I never was the type
To worry that much about everybody else

It's okay if you fall
You stumble, you get up. That's all
Believe in yourself for a while

Everybody wants to know how the story
Is going to end.
I wonder if they knew if they'd do the same
Things all over again

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Linda Pitmon--backing vocals
Chris Eckman--mellotron, Persephone, moog bass
Crossing Dragon Bridge
12I Don't Deserve This


I made my own way
Got lost in the game
Wandered out in the desert
And came back just the same

Searched for a place where a man could be free
I saw the enemy staring back at me
I don't deserve this

Sacrificed my love
Tore a hole in my heart
Tried to fly the flag
And then ripped it all apart

.....And then at the moment when it seemed least likely, I found my salvation. I felt the blood drain from my body and my arms reached up to the sky. The skies parted and a gentle rain fell down upon me and everyone I ever knew and everything I had ever done and everything I had ever seen was all laid out before me in a path of my life. And I let myself go. I let myself go. I just let myself go

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards, bass
Linda Pitmon--backing vocals
Carnice Vocal Group--choir
Chris Cacavas--sound treatments
Chris Eckman--mellotron, treatments, banjo, drum programming
Crossing Dragon Bridge
13Slovenian Rhapsody II


On my own again
Haunted by the rain
Reflections pull the night
Into the sea
Silence tricks my ear
Voices that I hear
Drowning in the sound
Of my own rhapsody

What this world allows
Not a dry eye in the house
Shots lined up on the bar
The next one's on me
Distant sounds of cheer
Fading but still clear
Drowning in the sound
Of my own rhapsody

Steve Wynn--lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Vlado Kreslin--duet vocal
Chris Eckman--backing vocals, harmonium, zither, banjo, mellotron
Anda Eckman--backing vocals
Ziga Golob--upright bass

Crossing Dragon Bridge
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Crossing Dragon Bridge


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  • PopMatters

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  • Pop Matters

    Living for any length of time in a foreign country—particularly one where you don’t speak the language—is a curiously detaching experience. You watch people you don’t know, events you’re not......more>
  • Chart Attack

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  • MOJO, UK

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    For all their merits, Steve Wynn's most recent works have sometimes felt like those of a man privately indulging his garage-punk youth. Ditching his Miracle 3 troupe, this eighth solo LP finds the prolific Californian turning down the volume and embracing his inner folkie. Produced by the Walkabouts Chris Eckman in Slovenia, the songs are mostly stripped to acoustics, though Wynn often attacks them with the gusto of a full-on rock band. "Annie & Me" and "Manhattan Fault Line" are great, thumping examples with a women's choir and mini-orchestra adding extra flavor
  • Lucid Culture

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    Steve Wynn, en gång med i Dream Syndicate, har hittat hem med sin musik, skriver Björn G Stenberg. Fast då var han tvungen att lÄmna New York och åka till Ljubljana. DÄr spelade han in med Chris Eckman från Walkabouts och resultatet Är riktigt bra. Han fortsÄtter att skriva underfundiga popberÄttelser med ovÄntade iakttagelser och texterna genomsyras av hans milt absurda humor. Med Eckmans hjÄlp har dessa låtar också fått en perfekt, sparsmakad, inramning. Det måste vara roligt då han hållit på i et par decennier minst nu med sin musik.
  • GD.NO

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  • ABC Nyheter (Norway)

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  • Soundslike

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Tour Dates

2015-03-31 Fort Myers, FL
2015-04-01 Fort Lauderdale, FL
2015-04-02 Orlando, FL
2015-04-03 St. Augustine, FL
2015-04-04 Tampa, FL
2015-04-09 Cambridge, MA
2015-04-10 Hamden, CT
2015-04-11 New York, NY
2015-05-02 Brooklyn, NY
2015-05-03 Peace Dale, RI
2015-05-05 Boston, MA
2015-05-06 Portland, ME
2015-05-07 Port Chester, NY
2015-05-09 Jersey City, NJ
2015-05-11 Vienna, VA
2015-05-12 Charlottesville, VA
2015-05-13 Cleveland, OH
2015-05-14 Pittsburgh, PA
2015-05-15 Harrisburg, PA
2015-05-16 Cooperstown, NY
more dates >