Swamp Guy Kayton

First album: Everything Must Go

New album: The Tame, the Guilty and the Dirt Road Scuffle

The new album, “The Tame, the Guilty and the Dirt Road Scuffle” is group of songs written over almost 40 years.  It’s an album of characters:  Walter Sonny, Lily, My Boy, a Devil Woman, My Little Girl, an illegal Immigrant, Odd Fellows, Jimmy, a street musician, Amos, Grandpa and a Pirate. Many of these are real people who have impacted my life in some way and others are in my head. Read the lyrics as you listen to the full track. Here are a few of the stories about these characters.

Walter was an old black man who would take the city bus across town to look for old jobs. He was willing to work for baloney sandwich but we would pay him to clean the gutters and rake leaves. Once while taking a break, eating a baloney sandwich and smoking a cigarette, he posed for me to take pictures of him. I later painted a watercolor of him that won an award with the North Caroline Watercolor Society.

Lily is more made up in my head. A woman who has trouble keep life straight or telling life straight. In the end she gets it from her father.

My oldest was about 7 when I wrote That’s My Boy. I was lost in my musical interest and was listening to a lot of commercial country music at the time. I owned a nursery business and did a lot of physical work and my oldest would follow me around trying to help out. He asks I put it on this album.

Well the Devil Woman is just that, you know beauty but hell. She is partly in my head and partly a few with a little power they could not handle.

My Little Girl is all in my head because I never had a little girl. I do remember when I was may be 6 or 7 a girl next door from my grandmother’s house was killed by a drunk driver before should could graduate from high school. Don’t drink and drive.

We there has been so much on the news about illegal immigrants and all the harm they have caused that I wonder what it must be like to be one. All I have known just want to work, support their family and are willing to do anything and work very hard at it.

When I lived in rural Virginia there were a number of old run-down buildings with an old sign stating they were once an Odd Fellow’s Hall building. Later I had moved to New Hampshire and my wife had her office in a building built in 1870 that had an Odd Fellow’s sign on it. Once I went to meet her at her office and she was not ready so I sat in the hallway and started thinking about who must have been in the building over a hundred years before me. I think I felt the souls of the men who had made the building their social hall.

I will never forget Jimmy. It was my freshman year of high school and I was in an industrial arts class. Jimmy sat next to me. We had these big old wooden desk with drawers down one side. One-day Jimmy came in and was shaking so bad he could not put the key in the lock to open his drawer. I helped him open his drawer. The next day Jimmy did not come in. I later learned Jimmy died from an overdose of sniffing glue.

Just the Same. I was on vacation in NYC with the family and came out of one of the big museums and there was this fellow sitting on a bucket playing saxophone busking for a dollar. We listen to a few songs and gave him a few bucks then headed down the street. When we reached the corner and waited for the stop light, I could hear his sax echo in the distance. The light turns everybody crossed the street and I began to think about how many people he sees in just one day. To him we are all “Just The Same”. When it comes down to it aren’t we all just the same?

When I was 18 I went to work in the shipyard for the summer and worked the summers while I went to college. Many men I worked with influenced me but one in particular had a big impression on me, Amos Newton. Amos was probably never sober but worked harder than most. This song is about 90% true and is about the week Amos and I worked night shift together.

My Grandpa on my mother’s side is where my since of humor comes from. He was good old county fellow. When I was in college and he was visiting he gave me his straw hat he bought from the J.C. Penny catalog in the 1950s. The hat is the one I am wearing on web site.

Well “I Wish I was a Pirate” or the Pirate song as I like to call it, has been with me since 1980. The only song I have every co-written, that being with my long lost friend Paul Paris. That summer in 1980 after I graduated from college we were camping down at Cape Hatteras at the light house. We had bought a couple of Ibanez guitars and had taken some guitar lessons together. I don’t remember much more than that other than we had gone to see Andres Segovia that year. But that night under the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse I felt the pirates of some two hundred years before us and it came out in the lyrics that night.

Where boots meet the mud