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Waxsimile Productions

Chaparral

by Dillbilly

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1.
Yella Bird 03:59
You’re a yella bird, in a yellow light In the golden hour you burn wild and bright But in the dawn I watched you wain I felt your hot love turn to cold blue pain Then you were gone Yea you were gone As soon as I said your name You were gone You were gone Fast like hummingbird’s wings Now tell me how you walked away When you left your bones in my bedframe Or maybe I left mine with you It’s hard telling whose is whose I hope you can balance, balance, balance But if you panic, panic, panic You can regenerate I hope you can balance, balance, balance But if you panic, panic, panic You can regenerate (stop)….Into a Yella bird in the yellow light In the golden hour you burn wild and bright You’re a yella bird in the yellow light In the golden hour you burn wild and bright You’re a yella bird in the yellow light In the golden hour you burn wild and bright
2.
Fray 04:34 video
I got me a map to cut out my home Stateline islands to patch and sew Highway threads and the rivers weave No matter how you sew it comes apart at the seams But I know we're cut From the same cloth Wear our heart on our sleeves Then take everything off And when the pieces of you Don't match the pieces of me We can line up the edges Fold you on top of me Don't let this get in our way Let's not get lost in the fray In the fray Signs of struggle and torn up clothes There's the shape we were born with And the shape we make whole Quilted memories like a patchwork coat No matter how it changes or how much we outgrow But I know we're cut From the same cloth Wear our heart on our sleeves Then take everything off And when the pieces of you Don't match the pieces of me We can line up the edges Fold you on top of me Don't let this get in our way Let's not get lost in the fray In the fray And when the pieces of you Don't match the pieces of me We can line up the edges Fold you on top of me Don't let this get in our way Let's not get lost in the fray In the fray
3.
Countries 04:13
We’re all countries with our allegiances I can’t make any sense with them, You wanted me here, Now that you got me Right where you want me, redraw the boundaries It’s not breaking a truce if you break it again I should’ve expected to be in this mess So go back to your life, back to that comfort I’m glad could help wake you and inspire Yea you’re welcome Honey you’re welcome Yea you’re welcome It takes time to heal betrayal And while you repair your I rot in this jail Its not breaking a heart if its already broken I should be stronger have learned to resist But weak is the spirit caged for too long I’m glad I could help you get in touch with yours Yea you’re welcome Honey you’re welcome Yea you’re welcome Yea you’re welcome Hey don’t mention it It’s my pleasure to give you these gifts
4.
Stellar Jay 04:14
The moment that I met you I knew my life was changed I loved you with pieces of myself I never had to name Oh my quiet it love My wild love We are the same Come on now lay down with me Lay down in the Shade Life takes the shape... Of what you care for everyday My home was built inside your bones And you kept me save Til’ those wildfires That rose higher were uncontained Now I’m just ashes with you Ashes in the Grave You left behind a fabric That covered all my pain Woven in the nests of the Stellar Jay Was it a mistake… Well it haunts me everyday When you hold a life inside your hands All they do is shake Oh my July son Your wild eyes were untamed And now my grief grows with you Even in the Shade
5.
I don’t know where you came from Conjured you right out of my dreams at night I don’t know where we’re going I just hope that I’ll be holding Your hand as we fight the good fight Fell in love with you on a full moon night In the silver light we were a black and white Movie that I can’t stop watching I just hope they never stop us Making out getaway across state lines In the morning hours I’ll try and let you sleep So you can greet the world As quiet and gently As your Ohio heart needs There’s magic in your green eyes When you look at me, I see the northern lights And high up above all this sadness I can hear the coyote’s howling They don’t keep their joy inside And on those sleepless nights When you have bad dreams I will be your shell You hide from your loss and your grief And your Ohio heartache Life can swarm around you Four seasons everyday Bodies made of water Make weather in our veins So if you need some time I will carve out the space We can take our love To the edges my bones will not break I’ll be Ohio heart shaped…….. Ohio heart shaped….
6.
I spent years inside a thick blue fog With no horizons or landmarks To tell east from west Or kitchen from bed My eyes and lips Were my compass So tell me where am I now Inside this house When there is no line Between the earth and sky Sunsets behind a muffled cloud I watch the colours all bleed down Into a beautiful mess Across the train tracks Where there’s no trespassing Or going back So tell me where am I now Inside this town When there is no line Between the earth and sky In this city of crows That sit like black leaves on branches Of trees that are bare-boned Like a cloak of dark feathers City of gulls Han gliding and landing On chimneys and rooftops After scavenging breadcrumbs They come home We’re all winged refugees Abandoned talons for clenched teeth But when we open our mouths Birdsongs still come out The trilling cadence That we carried south Well here I am now Inside new skin I am not tied To this cage I’m in
7.
Warm Blooded 04:02
All you left me was an empty container I kept it tightly closed One day I opened it for answer I won’t let em weigh me down They won’t be my savior I just need a little hope That I can tie to an anchor And let it sink into the ocean Balloon floating on the surface I wrote you letters but never addressed them Paper I just folded into sails, hoping My words had their way of staying bouyant And make their way back inside of your mouth To hear them roll off your tongue I like the way the sound comes out Truth is salty like the ocean And down under the waves The world’s so soft, I feel no pain But that bright sun, I lures me up I feel the cold leave my warm blood…………. Caught up in the tide I fill up my lungs I tie them to knot on the raft I came here on I gotta hold on Until the moon…… Becomes a hot air balloon Soon, we’ll be high above what’s bothering you
8.
Bloom 05:26
You won’t recognize me I’m an absence of color I take up space I erase others Tools I learned to use and hide In old wounds When there was nothing left to find I found truth So you won’t recognize me No, you won’t recognize me When I bloom.... All the light inside of me Are refractions of color I change like waves I sing like the warbler All my burdens built from lies And redlines Used as promises of white Sand shorelines But you can’t colonize a dream So, you can’t colonize me When I bloom... We are made of estuaries Our delta mouths turned riverine We set our hearts to sail downstream Filled up with salt and then with seed But on my hands there will always be blood Mixed up with shame Mixed up with mud It’s all held under my skin I can’t wash away Its where the remedy lives.... I’m not as fragile as I seem I won’t take cover I am the other There's no hate left in me when I When I bloom.... We are made of estuaries Our delta mouths become riverine We sent our hearts to sail the seas Filled up with salt and then with seed But on my hands there will always be blood Mixed in with pain Mixed in with love It’s all trapped under my skin I can’t wash it away
9.
Reptilian 06:14
Quick to put me down with, double meaning Chartreuse, split tongue, sharp tooth, reptilian Argue, half smile, hard to tell when the truth Comes slithering out Of dry mouth salt wounds, double meaning Secrets living in sand dunes, reptilian Water makes it hard to move Quick sand and shortness of breath Tempted lava taproot, double meaning I’m trying not to hang onto, reptilian Sap that hardens into an amber wound You wear around your neck But I won’t ask you, double meaning To make promises your not spose’ to, reptilian Limbs you drop when forced to choose Between what’s right and what’s left We got ourselves into this And now we need help out Don’t try and wrestle with it You’ll just run it in the ground… I will keep this secret, double meaning Buried in a shallow grave, reptilian Go ahead and start your digging You won’t find the slightest trace It’s ok just to be honest, double meaning Everything’s gonna be ok, reptilian As long as you keep your mouth shut This won’t see the light of day
10.
Circling Birds eye view looking down over the serpentine prairie Wind through leaves…. Rattling brush and creaking hinges of the redwood trees I’m here with you Burying Burrowed deep under the ground where there is no sunlight to reach I am laurel seeds Waiting for heat to sprout from the ash that wildfires leave I burn bright blue I’m here with you Weathering Eroding away the mistakes that we carved in mahogany Endanger me Save me from destroying beauty from inside this desert dream I split in two I burn bright blue I’m here with you In this arid sun I was an empty well But underneath the ground Rose up like chaparral Circling, circling, circling, circling Now I am in bloom, I split in two I burn bright blue, I’m here with you.
11.
Weatherman 04:09
I’m as sure as a rain storm I wagered all my money There’s no telling what I’d lose Without you there to warn me I looked outside The wind has died And now the clouds are parting I am a weatherman predicting weather and it’s always changing on me Overcast comes up on the map But the sun’s shining thru the curtains There’s a reason that you’re always Opening the windows I can feel There’s a rise in temperatures Yea I guess it’s warmer than expected I’m just a weatherman predicting weather and The winds changes its direction Hot and cold there’s so much in between Our hands can hold The beauty in broken things I know there is more Than these two extremes But sure as I’m born There’s a thunderstorm The pressures always mounting I’m not good at keeping Letting go of my expectations Roll the dice And let it fall were it falls Your guess is as good as mine is I am a weatherman predicting weather and It’s always changing its direction I am a weatherman predicting weather and it’s always changing….. on me

about

On Chaparral, the tenth studio recording from genre-queer songwriter Dillbilly, soulful countryfied rock, mournful resonant ballads, and Rust Belt bluegrass join hands and waltz around the bonfire. Dillbilly (pronouns: they/them) crafts songs laden with lyrics that investigate gender, queerness, class, privilege, and shame, taking a deep dive into the complexity and responsibility of being a white working-class queer from a red state. Winding tenderly through these introspective tales is an elegant voice that warbles like a jay, world-weary and vulnerable, yet glowing gently with a palpable inner strength. Featuring performances by a coterie of gifted artists, Chaparral is masterfully arranged and recorded; pristine, soft-edged, and utterly enchanting.

Raised in a rural trailer park near the Ohio River, Dillbilly grew up surrounded by cornfields and grain silos. More southern than midwestern, they were reared in the values of small-town life—but being queer in southern Indiana was not always easy. As soon as they finished high school, they went off to music school, embarking on a 20-year journey living in some of the most beautiful places. At 18, they won a piano scholarship that sent them to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Over the past two decades, they have been performing across North America, releasing nine full-length albums and contributions to soundtracks for movies and TV under their birth name. Most of those releases were self-recorded and self-produced. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2015, they have renamed their musical self.

“Dillbilly is an homage to where I come from,” they explain. “It’s an honoring and an uncovering of the complexity in growing up queer and non-binary in the Bible Belt. After I moved to Oakland, the community of artists I found really fortified and expanded what I thought was possible musically. I started to believe in the abundance of my wildest dreams. The permission to be my full self also helped with this. I was in a community that was able to see me how I’ve always seen myself…non-binary. Oakland empowered me to call myself by my true name (and pronouns).”

This new feeling of community also inspired Dillbilly to open themselves to collaboration in a way that had previously been impossible. While most of their oeuvre was crafted basically alone in a room with instruments and recording gear, Chaparral represents the work of a group of kindred spirits coming together to lift up one of their own. Over the past two years, Dillbilly has been working with producer Julie Wolf (Indigo Girls) to record the record. This release features the likes of Vicki Randle (Mavis Staples), Todd Sickafoose (Anaïs Mitchell), Daren Hahn (Ani DiFranco), Allison Miller (Boom Tic Boom), James DePrato (Chuck Prophet), Kofy Brown (Skip the Needle), Jesse Strauss (the Bribes), and Rhonda Kinard (the Onyx). Throughout, the process has been guided by the steady hand of Briget Boyle of Waxsimile Productions.

Written primarily in Maine, Indiana, and California, Chaparral dives deep into explorations of grief, resilience, and regeneration. “My intersectional identities bring up a broad range of interrelated topics,” says Dillbilly. “White privilege, white fragility, class dynamics, poverty, substance use, harm reduction, gender, racism, heartbreak, and mental health all have many overlaps.”

To engage with deeply fraught topics head on is a crucial first step toward understanding and reconciliation. Chaparral brings the deep and troubling to the surface, and in doing so lets in the sunlight. “I hope folks feel held and inspired,” explains Dillbilly. “In this life there is room for joy, struggle, and hope. I hope folks see parts of themselves reflected and confronted, especially others like me. I hope this record is a balm for those who are hurting.” A lush, moody, joyful tapestry of songwriting, musicianship, and soundscape, Chaparral is evocative, vulnerable, and profoundly beautiful.

In addition to their new record, Dillbilly has launched a new podcast called Working Class Windows (WCW), which weaves songs and oral histories from queer and trans working-class folks from across the country. WCW is an exploration of the in/visibility of queer, transgender, and non-binary working-class communities. The WCW team includes Dillbilly; Rhonda Kinard, a musician and photographer from the Bay Area; and Briget Boyle, the founder of Waxsimile Productions. Dillbilly is also a member of the Waxsimile Collective, a team of interdependent artists moving forward together in the modern music industry.

credits

released July 9, 2021

*All songs written by Dillbilly c 2021 ASCAP
Produced & arranged by Julie Wolf
Additional Production by Nino Moschella

Dillbilly on acoustic guitar, banjo, ukulele, piano, and vocals. The rhythm section for songs 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 was Todd Sickafoose on bass, Daren Hahn on drums, and James DePrato on guitars. Songs 2 and 10 were performed by Allison Miller on drums. Song 9 was performed by Jesse Strauss on bass, Kofy Brown on drums, and Rhonda Kinard on guitar.

Featured musicians include Julie Wolf on piano, keys, accordion, Fender Rhodes Bass, electric baritone guitar, glock, banjo, soundscape, percussion, and background vocals; Nino Moschella on guitars, percussion, drums, Moog, soundscape, and background vocals; James DePrato on soaring guitar overdubs; Todd Sickafoose on bass overdubs for “Fray”; and Alisa Rose on fiddle. “Countries” features Andrew Waegal on pedal steel, Liz Lewis on harmonies along with Vicki Randle, and Briget Boyle on background vocals.

Recorded variously at:
Bird & Egg in Richmond, CA [engineered by Nino Moschella]
25th Street Recording in Oakland, CA [engineered by Gabriel Shepard]
Zoo Labs in Oakland, CA [engineered by Kevin McCann]
Additional engineering by Julie Wolf & Todd Sickafoose

Mixed by Nino Moschella & Julie Wolf
Mastered by Ken Lee Mastering

Graphic design by Genesis Fermin
Additional design by Jared Swanson
Photography by Luis Cubas / Inside portrait by Rachel Joy Barehl

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Dillbilly Columbus, Ohio

Dillbilly (pronouns: they/them) is a genre-queer songmaker living in southeast Ohio.

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