Sabai

by Bart Budwig

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about

In Oregon's far north-eastern reaches, hidden deep in the forests of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, there is a cabin named Sabai. The cabin is situated on a bluff overlooking the Minam River. It contains a wood-burning stove that, when lit, sends a column of smoke through the clear mountain air. When the lamps go out at the nearby lodge, you can sit alone on the cabin's porch and listen to the softness of the world as it turns—a numinous and liberating encounter, borne on the backs of ancient things; wind, water, silence, earth. It was here in this parochial hush, with a fire crackling gently off to one side, that Idaho-born picker Bart Budwig immortalized his solo tunes.
While Budwig's records are known for their full band production and multi-faceted arrangements, many of his live shows strip this away, leaving him alone on stage. For some this may feel a rarer, more intimate affair. A man, a guitar, a single spotlight. It is this ambiance, this raw intimacy, that Budwig sets out to capture with his sixth LP, “Sabai.”
Recorded over a two-day stay at the Minam River Lodge, the album is comprised of ten tunes that suture the gap between Budwig's fast-paced touring life and the quiet sentiments of a season at its close. There is a sense of release to the songs, which range from fresh bardic ditties to older, more angsty boot-trodden ballads.
To that end, themes of homecoming weave their way through the album. In what could be considered one of the record's emotional zeniths, “Captain, Dreamer,” Budwig croons: “The night sky holds the moon / holds the ocean / holds that ship that will bring me home / bring me home to you.” Here we find a hesitant harmony in hope and abandon; a comment on sorrow and tribulation, and the path hurt can carve toward hopeful horizons.
In imitative fashion, the album slices its own abscess through trial and pain to force itself out into the light. “Dream,” is an unsettling song of heartbreak and grief—an imploring, deeply emotive experience that demonstrates Budwig's ability to eulogize. But fear not, for light penetrates even the world's darkest places. The closing track, “Bonnie and Clyde,” is a quiet chapter on hands stretched out to reach one another, of promises made and eternally kept, and here we find our emancipation.
The word Sabai, roughly translated from the native Thai, means “not a care in the world,” or “wellness beyond words,” and perhaps it is here that Budwig truly conveys his bliss. Somewhere deep in the Oregon wilds, a stove remains lit, its embers burning all the brighter.
— Andy Valentine

credits

released February 1, 2018

Bart Budwig, a microphone, a cabin.

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Bart Budwig Enterprise, Oregon

"He's a cosmic country lawn gnome" - Sean Jewell (American Standard Time)

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Track Name: Time for Two
I started cleaning my place when you came through
Tried to dust off my heart got dust on you
Now there's dishes piling up and work to do
Ain't got time for two

I'm coming through town and need a place to sleep
Last time we made love it hurt for weeks
Making old loving don't come cheap
Just need a place to sleep
Track Name: First to Go
You'll be the first to go
I'll be the first to know
Took a bike to the corner store
And then couldn't come home

You'd be a poorer man
If you never saw your daddy cry
You'd be a richer man
If you never saw your momma die
Track Name: Strong Coffee
You got me driving long
You got me drinking strong coffee

You got me feeling gone
You got me strung along

I know that it's bad for my health
I don't know what to do with myself
Track Name: Wyoming Pt. 2
Making love to a lover
You're in no state of mind
To be thinking of lovers
That you left behind

And to think that you left them
In no state of mind
To be loving another
Is just so unkind

Still you stop for a moment
And think of the past
Wondering if anything lasts

Get along little dogies, get along
I've been out in the country and alone far too long
Get along little dogies, get along
The day that I left you is the day I went wrong

You poor little dogie
you motherless calf
You’ll walk to Wyoming
with flies on your back

You know that Wyoming
Will be your new home
It's your misfortune
and none of my own

Now, roll up the heard
and hit the trail south
While I head home with dust in my mouth

Get along little dogies, get along
I've been out in the country and alone far too long
Get along little dogies, get along
The day that I left you is the day I went wrong

Still you stop for a moment
And think of the past
Wondering if anything lasts
Track Name: The Captain & the Dreamer
Lost at sea, always traveling alone
Lost at sea, the sails are full but the wind won’t blow
(this is the one line i’m unsure of as why would sails be full with no wind?)
I am the captain but I know not where to go
I am the captain because I do not have a home

The night sky holds the moon
Holds the ocean
Holds the ship
That will bring me home
Bring me home to you

Lost at shore, captive and alone
Lost at shore, wondering where these white sands blow
I am the dreamer and I need somewhere to go
I am the dreamer because I can’t call this my home

The night sky holds the moon
Holds the ocean
Holds the ship
That will bring me home
Bring me home to you

Lost at shore, lost at sea
Always homeless, never free
This is not how we are meant to be
Always homeless and lost at sea

The night sky holds the moon
Holds the ocean
Holds the ship
That will bring me home
Bring me home to you
Track Name: Four Leaf Clover
I found a green lighter Friday
I met a red headed girl
I said I might let you kiss me
You said you'd like to be my girl

I found a four leaf clover
When you passed my way
I pulled out a cigarette
You helped to light my way

Oh, it's the little things that lead us through the day
Oh, it's the little things that make me wanna stay

I found a job last Thursday
And I'll be leaving soon
But I'd still like to kiss you
In the red light of the moon

Oh, it's the little things that lead us through the day
Oh, it's the little things that make me wanna stay
Track Name: Two Night Stands
You know that I'm here for only one night
You know that I'm shy and don't know what's right
You make the move, I won't say it's a sin
It's good to feel human again

If I could find a way to stay
And you could find a way to bend
We'd run through the trees, make love on our knees
It's good to feel human again

When I was a child with a bible in my hand
I'd pray to the Lord make me human again
When I was a man with a child in my hand
I'd pray to the Lord make me human again
Track Name: Dream
Last night I dreamt of you
You have the prettiest smile in the world
Why did you leave me here
You're still my girl

Last night was beautiful
I love having you around
Remembering your perfect smile
Sure brings me down

Chorus:
I'd say I love you, I'd say I care
I'd say I need you, but you're not here
God why'd you take her, away from me
You do not need you have everything

We were driving in my car
Listening to cds
I was showing you something that I loved
While you were loving me

Your voice it kissed my ears
Your presence made me high
Right now I'm working so hard
But I'm barely getting by

Chorus:
Track Name: Every Word
Every word that you said
Went straight to my head
Oh my head, it'll never be the same

You're the on that I adore
I can't adore you anymore
Oh I want more, than I've ever had before

It takes time
How can I wait
For things I do not know

I'm digging my own grave
With hand that can not save
Oh my hands, please don't bury me again

I fear that I fear love
And I fear God above
Oh God above, right now I need your love

It takes time
How can I wait
For things I do not know
Track Name: Bonnie & Clyde
The flowers of the field
Made sweeter by the dew
Just like this old world
Is made sweeter by folks like you

And our remains remain
Far apart it’s true
As our remains remain
My heart remains with you

You never shot a gun
Or smoked them big cigars
You’d hold them for the fun
You liked driving fast in cars

And our remains remain
Far apart it’s true
As our remains remain
I remain in love with you
And our remains remain
Far apart it’s true
As our remains remain
I remain in love with you
I remain in love with you

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