1. Nobody Wants a Wanted Man (2:35)
2. Ghost in the Road (4:03)
3. Brave New World (4:42)
4. Into the Shadows (6:02)
5. Waiting for Caligula (6:04)
6. Here for the Beer (3:12)
7. House Money (4:17)
8. There Ain't No Train (5:49)
9. Faithless Angels (5:20)
10. Ride to California (4:23)
11. I Just Can't Find the Blues (4:25)
12. The End of History (2:15)
13. Cool to Black (6:01)
14. The Lake (5:00)    

Bill Ring - vocal, acoustic guitars,
harmonica, percussion
Dave Redmond - electric guitar
Joe Crum - electric bass
Angie Beeler - vocal (track 2-6, 8, 9, 11)
Stacy Farina - vocal (track 1, 13)
Barry Miller - drums
Joey Dugan - flute
Suzanne Schwartz - cello

All songs written, arranged, and
mixed by Bill Ring

© 2018 William G. Ring

All rights reserved by the copyright holder
Permission to perform or record these songs
will be given on request, but you must ask first.

For more information about Bill Ring & Ironwood:



         Bill Ring


These are the songs, folks.

Nobody Wants a Wanted Man: about a guy running from the law with very little encouragement from anyone he knows. (Hey! Sounds a little like someone we are all sick of hearing about, don't it?)

Ghost In the Road: I believe that a lyric needs to have a narrative, even if it is a simple one. The lack of a story is a huge deficiency in the "not-quite-rhymed couplet that doesn't actually say anything" school of songwriting that currently dominates major label "product" (formerly "music"). So what's the narrative? "I saw a ghost in the road, so I split. The End." Hey, I did say it could be simple.

Brave New World: The title was of course lifted from the dystopian Aldous Huxley novel, but since he stole it from Shakespeare to begin with, I figure it's open season. Written during and about the Occupy movement.

Into the Shadows: dedicated to all my pagan friends, neo- or otherwise.

Waiting For Caligula: written a few years ago, before the idea of you-wish-you-didn't-know-who running for president, much less being elected, was on anyone's radar. It doesn't mention Trump by name, but it might as well have done. It concerns the dangerously volatile and dissatisfied state of mind of the citizens of our new Roman Empire, and what that might lead to in terms of an insane demagogic leader like Caligula.
For those who slept through high school history class, Tiberius was the dissolute and dysfunctional second emperor of Rome, step son of Augustus, who presided over the great golden beginnings of the empire. Tiberius instituted the prototype of the modern police state (a project which both Bush and Obama pursued more recently with great enthusiasm), causing the citizens of Rome to yearn for a savior on a white horse to rescue them. They looked to Caligula, Augustus' grandson, who fooled many with his glib charm until he took over and proved himself to be not only worse than Tiberius, but batshit crazy into the bargain. The white horse he rode in on was appointed to the senate, and before long even his most ardent admirers were sick of him, and he was assassinated. (Sounds sort of familiar, doesn't it?)
I only had in mind the idea that disgruntled American voters were ready for a faux populist savior, but Trump's ascension made me feel like a psychic.

Here For the Beer: you don't need to know much more than the title to catch the drift.

House Money: a tricky thing to pull off, a jokey song about a not very funny subject. Once the psychedelic smoke cleared in 1969, a lot of people found themselves saying, "What happened, and what do we do now?" Some bought real estate, some went into right wing politics, and some, like the heroine of this song, turned to older professions. The lyrics contain several references to rock songs and groups from that era. If you were into puzzles and had way too much time on your hands, you might want to try to find them all.

There Ain't No Train: about the disappearance of the railroads, with a second section devoted to everything I ever learned from Utah Phillips about hobos.

Faithless Angels: a sort of Brit-folkish boomer nostalgia art song. A couple of period references in this one too.

Ride To California: an example of a personal sub genre of mine, the contrarian song, in which I turn a classic theme upside down. (Maybe I should move to Australia.) It concerns a fellow who would like to be a rambling man, but isn't really into rambling.

I Just Can't Find the Blues: about a musician who wants to play the blues, but worries about authenticity because he is too happy. A truly tragic tale.

The End of History: not recorded before, dates back to the first Bush administration, just after the Soviet Union decided to call time out and forfeit the game. Some doofus wrote a book declaring the end of history, because now it would be capitalism and democracy forever, under the benevolent guidance of the glorious United States, with no serious opposition. Needless to say, that isn't quite how it turned out.
As Doonesbury noted at the time, there was a strange absence of celebration when the dread specter of nuclear holocaust supposedly blew away in the breeze, and this country allegedly became king of the world. I mentioned this in the lyric, but what makes me once again feel like a prophet (call me "Nostradumbass") are the lines:
"You can always find a new enemy, or two or three." and
"Now we get to be the police,
Bringing freedom and democracy to all the world,
Wherever they have oil we can lease"
I wasn't the only one who knew 26 years ago what was really going on, but at least I wasn't one of the fools who didn't have a clue, like the "news" media, or the guy who wrote that book.

Cool To Black: US drone warfare seen through the eyes of a former drone operator. The lyric is based very closely on an interview given by one such man. The title is based on his observation that the first thing that stuck in his mind was the way infrared images of the dead and the pools of their blood would change color as they cooled until it was the same as the earth.

The Lake. A moody song about being moody by a lake (Thank you, Captain Obvious).


A note to radio folks, concerning genre:
With a gun to my temple, I guess this CD is "Folk Rock", but that doesn't tell the whole story.
If you'd like a little help in deciding which cut(s) to play, maybe this will help.

Rock (more or less) with drums, electric guitar and bass, etc:
Nobody Wants a Wanted Man
- outlaw country, hopefully reminiscent of Steve Earle
Ghost In the Road
- a swingy novelty song
Brave New World
- 1960s style garage/folk rock (political)
Waiting For Caligula
- 1960s style garage/folk rock (political)
Here For the Beer
- frat party rock
There Ain't No Train
- country
Ride To California
- country
I Just Can't Find the Blues
- swingy blues/rock

Into the Shadows
- pagan. Angie Beeler sings lead.
Cool To Black
- anti-war (political).
The End of History
- political humor [Note: Includes the word "bullshit", just like Pink Floyd's Money.]
House Money
- swingy Americana. A little raunchy, but no "dirty" words.
Faithless Angels
- 1960s style Brit folk. Angie Beeler sings lead.
The Lake
- moody