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Red Silhouettes

by Matthew Morgan

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Taking Sides 04:29
In the clever fallout of promises and lies, there's a whisper on the tongue in the place where our memory hides. And it breaks my heart to know that we're not the same. Where flowers used to grow our words cry dust and rain. It's a maddening sound. It's a dying dream, that we were once so young in our lilac reverie. But, I can never win this tournament of lies. It's not in my nature to be blessed by worldly eyes. Actually speaking, it seems quite clear we're not what we appear. Words are only spoken in the countenance of... fear you'll be forgotten, yearning with a sigh. It seems I was mistaken. There's mercy in the sky. And when your heart beats low, The world you know breaks down. I'll give my everything to keep you on the ground.
Be good to your soldiers. Be kind to your friends. You never know how much you'll need them 'till the fighting never ends. Now I've been feeling lonely like I could use a helping hand, someone to lighten up this heavy load and set me right back on my feet again. Everybody wants to have a good time, find some people who can make everything seem alright. But, now we're only sending simple messages one sentence at a time. It seems like we're always rushing. Nobody has much time to spend, but it takes a lot more then technology to be somebody's friend. So, be good to your soldiers. Be kind to your friends. You never know how much you'll need them 'till the fighting never ends.
Walk away in angry shadows dread, where angels dressed in sagum tread. Walk away with my unspoken pride. Here the angriest intentions lie. Riding out into battle with a warning sound. Falling down in the middle where we meet the cold, contentious night. Turn around address your wounds and faith. Return the angels to their sky. I wait alone now for this to come. Here within this desert din with tricks in hand and words of sand wait for you in the knowing that the end will greet us and lead us to the day. Walk away and know with you I go in the common peace that makes us whole. We are enlightened, by truth defined. We'll find a way to make things right.
Way down where the golden bird sings her sweet melody filled with horrible things, a dark, secret song dancin' all through the wild creeping through shadows disturbing the night. Oh, my friend yesterday's gone still life lingers on and time feels the same where powder meets the flame. Mother stay with me tonight. Shroud the looking glass, but don't touch the light. No matter where I run can't escape the dishonor in my blood. Oh, my friend yesterday's gone, still life lingers on and time feels the same where powder meets the flame. Look around this crowded room all the faces staring back at you. Ever wonder why their standing here separated by the color of their skin? Here we are in this brand new day. All our sinful deeds are miles away. You might think that the damage is done, but some say there's work to be done.
Drummer Song 04:02
'Twas a bleak divide over all the stars and stripes in the war cast spring of '64. For I was twelve years grown when I forsook my father's home, enlisted in the "ole 65". Blood runs wild as wall crash down. And as the musket's pitch was long I undertook to play the drum, though mother cried that I should wend my way so soon. Yet despite my headstrong bent the soldiers life was wretched wrent marching up and down the yard from dawn to dusk. Night winds bend as heroes descend. But, through my desperate circumstance came a fortunate advance when the general issued forth a call to fight. For to the front line I was sent as he my drum did recommend, tapping out my calls in time just like a clock. But, our charge was met with cannon fire that lit the sky and then the night. And now I'm dead and gone, but my fable lingers on through the years and the sympathies we save. And as the years press on I still play my drum in the silver morning dew beneath the sky. Singing lai dai lai da di dai lai dai da di dai Dear brothers carry on and turn your hearts forever strong toward the brave old flag up high.
If we could paint a brighter sky maybe we could learn to love this life. Face the madness of our time, take it all in stride. History has made mistakes and promises can always break. So let's savor all the words we say, they'll be rewritten someday. But, you and I we have our ways tossed together in the crashing waves. Man could live a billion years, conquer sadness; no more tears. Maybe even cure the foolish heart, but probably not where we are. But, you and I we have our ways tossed together in the crashing waves. If you ever feel you've had enough don't chase the sky 'cause my love is here on the ground. Ooh...ooh
When the rain came down we were lost we were bound to linger in the fire. Of all the things we said that day I am not quite sure you heard. And though my words were sharp and kind our tears were not the same. But I have found another way to love myself again. Old enough to walk away and search for my triumphant day. Yet the silent tremble of my step leads me back to where you are. When we were young our hearts were bound to lead us to the prize. And I envy you and the things you do that always turn out right. But mostly I am glad to have your care for all this time.
No hope, no pulse for the morning, no life in their eyes. The silence clings to the fallen. No words can describe. I guess I know what you're thinking, it's not quite right to grab the goods and the spirit right from a dying man's side. You would not last one second to see what I've seen. The sky lit up with a million angry ghosts with lead machines. Say goodbye to your only love, a kiss for the newborn child. And take your final stand as a red silhouette on this hallowed ground. It's alright. It's OK if you don't ever hear a single word I say. I don't mind It don't matter 'cause we're living fast and running out of time. We live to be floating in the water, but the waves are building up. Someday we will all go under one way or another. And now that engine runs with the song of salvation sung. Taking me back to the place I love to the shoulders of peace I run. I don't pretend to understand what's wrong or right. I serve my general and my land for I am my country's son.
Last Song 02:57
Light fades under and autumn sky and blends into the night. In time all good children get counted for the fight. 'till the last bird has flown from it's warm and loving home. While the mystic chords of memory are called up, resounding once again. When fear becomes your only friend doubts never end. Like bells in the wind, you rise up for your song to begin. And the wars they come as time catches on. And it only makes you wonder how these days go wrong and keep spinning on and on and when will it end. But, it all comes down to this do you run away, or face the raging wind And you already know that if this could be the last song you sing up to the sky, let the stars in your heart. Let the planets spin in your eyes.
Cool rain receives the brand new day replacing clouds of yesterday. The truth is we were never bound to anything, but stormy sound. In light you make the best of what you have. In darkness pray the day will find it's light. And hold to all the little things you are that add up to the miracle you will become. And it's so hard to keep your head above the water when everything gets take from your life, which ample time and fortitude can offer. It's so easy to get lost in daily strife. But memories of everything are still inside you like a photograph that's faded in the sun. Some pieces lost, but little things remain. We'll add them up and use them to begin again. You were always full of eagerness and life. Not a castaway concealed from human sight. Thru the pain, thru the fear and disappointment full of tears, I will always be around to help you fight it.


Matthew's debut CD “Red Silhouettes” is a tour de force in “Do It Yourself” recording. Entirely self produced and engineered he performs nearly every instrument himself with a few notable musicians and friends adding exuberance to the mix. “Red Silhouettes” is loosely based on surviving stories and letters that reveal the hardships and daily struggles of those present during the American Civil War.

"While Chicago artist Matt Morgan's visual art pares images down to basic shapes, simplifying objects into blocks of color, his recent music album is just the inverse of that-- it turns the sweater of life inside out and shows us the fascinating patterns, loops, twists, turns and strings behind it. He does this through simplicity, complexity and through a word not often used outside overly-serious law firm advertisements, yet is in “Red Silhouettes” in spades: integrity.

The DIY creation helps the album at every turn. This home-spun album is peppered with detail and salted with a quirky charm that make it surprisingly complex, entirely original and fit like a perfect hat. It makes it unexpected, bitter and tasty; warm and conversational, light-hearted as tea and dark as strong whiskey, and as eye opening as a cup of coffee or transcendent as a peek at a perfect ray of sun."

- Hannah Frank, On Axis Music

"He cites influences like Nick Drake and Neil Young and you can certainly hear that in his thoughtful lyrics and straight ahead vocal delivery. He played most of the instruments as well as engineering it himself and and all in all, he did a pretty good job. The arrangements fit the songs and the instruments blend well...."The Crashing Waves" is centered around a finger-picked acoustic guitar and pushed along by a lively snare. The first line, "If we could paint a brighter sky/Maybe we could learn to love this life" is really beautiful and makes you want to hear more."

-Jamie Anderson www.indie-music.com



released February 15, 2011

Performed, written and recorded by Matthew Morgan with help from the following: Anita Chase (vocals; tracks 1 & 6), Sheela Reddy (bass: track 1), Kurt Baumer (violin; tracks 2 & 7), Dave Szpunar (banjo; track 10) and Anand Christopher (track 10).

Mastering by Shaun Morris at Headroom Mastering.


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Matthew Morgan Chicago, Illinois

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