Ten Rivers

by The Tree Ring

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Inspired by weekend adventures and created as a companion to yours.

Vinyl available through Hey Amigo Recording Co. heyamigorecordingco.bandcamp.com


released September 16, 2014

Written and Arranged by Joel P West
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Chris Hobson
at Rarefied Recording in San Diego, California

Joel P West: Vocals, Guitar, Pump Organ
Darla Hawn: Drums, Vocals
Jon Titterington: Trumpet, Vocals
Kelly Bennett: Violin
Travis Maril: Viola
Erica Erenyi: Cello
Daniel Rhine: Bass
Beth Ross Buckley: Flute
Kevin Esposito: Trombone
Valentin Martchev: Bassoon
Julie Smith Phillips: Harp


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The Tree Ring San Diego, California

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Track Name: Beside A River
The daily weight grows from a whisper
Louder and louder in my mind
We fell asleep beside a river
And in the morning it was quiet

The days get darker as the pressure
Gathers a cloud between our eyes
We fell asleep under a redwood
And in the morning it was bright
Track Name: Tunnel View
The valley is bursting out
Taking the breath from our mouths
With our radio up so loud

The water makes all this sound
Even when no one’s around
With no idea of the thrill it gives
We spent all of our strength just to get a glimpse

We’re so pleased just to sleep on the ground
The trees have never made a promise
The trees have never let me down
I’ve been lost, but never out here
My wandering thoughts seem so common and clear

When I cower at the granite’s feet
I don’t find myself worrying
If my prayers are soliloquies
just echoing off of the towering peaks

Rest, rest from the heat
The lake has dried up
But the meadow glows sweetly

Stare at the faces in pink
We’re learning their heights
By what’s left of the evening

Til they pool in the blue of the moon
Track Name: The Color Up In The Hills
We broke in a moment through the fog
The color up in the hills caught me off guard

Driving so high above sea
There's no reflection to hide what’s underneath
Just a window to the deep
And I could see

The kelp waving wild and free
Drowning the things I let get to me

I give myself hostage to the dark
The worried look in your eyes caught me off guard

I’m learning there’s trace amounts of blue
In every color but less when I’m with you
You don't let it puncture through

And you lay me down
In the perennial offerings
Down in the reed grass and poppies
In the perennials' calming bloom
Track Name: Feet In The Water
Come put your feet in the water
It’s warmer than everyone said
Full of the stories upriver
Lets brave it to be one more of them
Holding tight, with the sun in our eyes
Filled and bright, taken by all the leaves in this light

When the summer shows it’s skin
We’re always young and free again

We took our bikes to the summit
And ventured where we’ve never been

Rode through the gumweed and aspen
In bloom all along the riverbed
And we held tight for the full moon to rise
But climbed up blind toward the sound of the water that night

When the summer showed it’s skin

We got out before the town woke
To the foggy pastel plateau
And all the elk grazing out by the road
Looked like ghosts, noble ghosts

We drove to a cliff full of homes

And searched them slow
For signs that somebody else has felt this before

And in the warmest summer wind
We grew flush as one again
Let’s hold this color in
To our golden summer skin
Track Name: The Snowline
The bay was full
The boardwalk silent
And the islands blue in a monochrome
And I was cold
Dull as a stone and so engrossed
In whatever it was

The clouds were low
Sprawling and formless
And I blamed them all for my wallowing
But when they rose
Lucid like smoke from mountain folds
I loved them again

Oh this pendulum heart
Oh, my pendulum psalms

I’ve found what’s good
And I’m slowly learning
How to chase it blind to my appetite
Cause I’ll curse it’s pull
As soon as we reach the high cascade
And swoon when we see the snowline fade
As soon as I wake up

Slow my pendulum heart
Slow my pendulum want
I don’t know how I still let it stop me
I’ve learned so many times that it leaves me lost
Track Name: Santiam
Dusk trims the sound from the fading day
To the whispering banks
And what the summer frogs say

We know this river in different ways
But we love it the same, we love it the same
We need it the same, I think I need it more every day

I grew up so rich, home in the trees
Our generous kin set a course for my feet but the water’s more swift than it seemed
From the reeds

We all looked down when the shadows came
And the silhouettes swayed
on the Santiam’s face

We’ve held our pain in our separate ways
And I love you the same, I love you the same
I love you the same, I think I love you more today

The ferns on the pond, the moss on the oaks
The old sacred songs are deep in my soul but my ardor for all of it’s grown
On its own line
It's hard not stir and worry who's right
I just want to learn how to push it aside and jump in from our opposite sides
Track Name: Mount Desert Island
Light comes slow
To the Eastern Somes
Fades in a gentle glow
To our borrowed home

On an endless day
Sewn in seamless gray
At times it's a lovely change
To have to stay in and wait out the rain

We braved the cold
As a day was born
We rode from coast to coast
on a carriage road

And we climbed unknown
Where the lichens grow
Vermillion on stacks of stones
That we followed to find the rambling dome

And we paused, huddled on the silent mountain
Wondering what this view will become
Buried underneath whatever’s coming

With our love
Pronounced in the silence
Of Mount Desert Island cold and new
And rousing our youth

Soak it slow, we’ve years to go
Track Name: The Deep
In a sea
Foreign and exciting
Warm and free
Brilliant and inviting

In a sea
Mysterious and frightening
Vast and bleak
With nameless secrets hiding
In the deep

In a sea
Colorful and vibrant
Blue and bright
With the strangest creatures shining

In a sea so powerful and violent
Carving stone
With every ripple rising
From the deep

In a sea without a conscience
In a sea immense and constant
That doesn’t know what we’ve accomplished
Or that we’d even come upon it

And in a sea so steeped with the whale song
We dove down as deep as our lungs would
So pleased to be just another
Mass for the shimmering light to discover
Track Name: O, Sequoia
Silence formed the widest sea
In between our tired seats
Heads still dense and without dream
From the longest night we’ve ever seen
And following the rivers turns
We tried to leave it in the dirt
Climbing through the desert heat
Our voices stuttered in defeat

But as soon as we had closed our doors
And stepped out on the forest floor
The darkness softly curled up
In the shadows of the massive trunks
Remember how we felt so free
Admiring them from underneath
So hushed and in a restful peace
I carried you between the trees

As close as could be

Hide with me under the bark
In the hollow’s cover safe and dark
It’s nothing we're just a little tired
The great Sequoia needs the fire and we
Won't break that easily
We’ve as strong as our rings
Tangle your roots with me
In terra deep