King Snake Motor Blues

by Josh Pastor

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released November 12, 2014

Cover art credit: Eric Giles

Special thanks to Papa Rick Pastor for the many guitars I had to borrow to record this album!



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Josh Pastor Santa Cruz, California

Formerly the frontman of various hard rock and rockabilly projects, Josh Pastor’s current style is an evocative mix of hoodoo swamp blues and psychedelic rock. His latest release, King Snake Motor Blues, combines smoldering, seething hoodoo blues with poetic lyricism to create an ethereal and transportive vibe. ... more

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Track Name: King Snake Motor Blues
King Snake Motor Blues

A hot rod drove off the road last night
headlights shining in the cold moonlight
When old Davey Barrett pulled the car from the lake
Under that hood were eleven king snakes

What's under that hood?
Boy it ain't nothing good
The carburetor's missing
Instead the snakes are hissing
Someone put a spell
On that old black DeVille

Billy ray never came home from the mill
They say he drove off in that old black DeVille
Someone saw him racing on the levee alone
The engine was a-hissin' like it gonna explode

They found Billy Ray down the river tonight
Up and down his arms were eleven snake bites
Old Davey Barrett said he don't know what to make
Cause he never seen an engine with eleven king snakes
Track Name: Conjure Man
Conjure Man

I'm the road when it's shining in the midnight rain
I'm the blood when it's running from the alleyway
I'm the steel in your hand
I'm your trouble when it lands
I'm your conjure man

I'm the stars when they're falling from a crowded sky
I'm the questions that remain when you wonder why
I'm the riddle in the sand
That you'll never understand
I'm your conjure man

I'm the smoke when it rises
In the pale moonlight
I'm the coal when it smolders
In the coldest night
I'm the broken minute hand
Ticking back where it began
I'm your conjure man
Track Name: Bring Me Back
Bring Me Back

When this world i do part
And blood lay idle in my heart
Call Madáme Beauchene to my grave
So she can bring the color to my veins

Bring me back
Oh bring me back

When that bell tolls for me
Not for long will I hear it ring
Hoodoo woman come where I lay
And speak the words I want you to say

Bring me back
Oh bring me back

I want to rise up from
that hole I'm in
And feel the moonlight
On my skin
Bring me back

Tell me know what can be found
Laying forever in the cold cold ground
Whisper to me your magic words
And I will crawl through the stones and earth
Track Name: Dead in El Paso
Static in the air
trouble on the road
Las Cruzes in the rear view mirror
Tommy two snake driving close
If I don't cross the border lord
I'll be dead in El Paso

Well Tom he was hustler
From Memphis Tennessee
One day he looked the other way
And I took all I could steal
Lord he's driving closer now
That weapon pointing at my door
I was on the road to Mexico
Now I'm dead in El Paso

Now I ride a pale horse
My horse is a black 442
See me snaking round the bend
Down old highway 62
Forever here I shake my bones
Cause I'm dead in El Paso
Track Name: The Good With the Bad
The Good with the Bad

There's a rust on the plow
But the dirt still turns
There's a blight on the trees
But the wood still burns
There's a mark on my heart
From when you left that day
But you're here standing with me
Now anyway

I take the good with the bad
'Cause I'm tired of trying to fix everything.

I got a headlight out
But the other one shines
I got ten miles of gas
But I only need nine
Sirens on the road
but they go they other way
There's a blood red moon
Before the break of day.

I take the good with the bad
'Cause I'm tired of trying to fix everything

I see the sun shine
through a broken window
I'm drinking moonshine
By the walls of Jericho
They call the wild card
of a one eyed queen
I got two nines and a suicide king

I take the good with the bad
'Cause I'm tired of trying to fix everything
Track Name: Bad Things in Store for Me
Bad Things In Store for Me

Spin your web
Entangle me
I can see that poison
Dripping from your teeth
The trap is set
So delicately
I can tell that you got
Bad things in store for me

Up ahead
A blood red sky
To match the color
Of your eyes
Darkness falls
So wickedly
I can tell that you got
Bad things in store for me

I knew that you were dangerous
Right from the start
With the face of Venus
And the blackest heart

No hoodoo charm
No slight of hand
Can deliver me from this
Trouble I'm in
I can beg
And I can plead
But I can tell that you got
Bad things in store for me
Track Name: Bad Like Me
Bad Like Me

You wonder why your brothers
Ain't half as bad as you
They're bringing home the grades
You're breaking all the rules
You got midnight on your mind
And diesel in your veins
It's cause I'm your real daddy
Your mother's got
something to explain

Now your in trouble with the law
Everybody knows your name
Driving everybody crazy
But they can't stay away
You're better looking
than your father
You're twice the trouble too
It's cause I'm your real daddy
Your mother ain't been
straight with you

I know you're the black sheep
But that ain't always bad
With low expectations
There's freedom to be had
So ride on to midnight
Don't look back to see
Cause I'm you're real daddy
That's why you're bad like me.
Track Name: They Call Me Hoodoo Brown
They Call Me Hoodoo Brown

There's lightening on the hills
There's fire on the tracks
Ain't nothing in this world
Can turn a ten-wheel back

They call me Hoodoo Brown
No preacher knows my name.
With red ink on my sleeve,
Ain't got no soul to save.

Don't you go to Trusdale,
Them folks got venom in their veins.
The street are made of bones
And they call the mayor "Old Samhain."

Witching rod won't turn,
Ain't no place to drive a well.
I'm twenty miles from water Lord,
I'm only six feet from hell.

Brother if you're with me in the end,
Listen to me close don't you misunderstand.
Never you pray my soul to keep
Just float my body down Skeleton Creek.

Float me down that Skeleton Creek
Where the cottonwood blooms
and the water's deep.
If you see me floating downriver my friend,
Won't you fill my pockets
With heavy stones and lead.
Track Name: The Madness in Your Eyes
The Madness in Your Eyes

Behind the glowing of the screen
Nothing is just what it seems
Got the dark art of persuasion
From the television to the invasion

Trouble, trouble, Falluja's way
Ain't the same since Abu Ghraib
Take the town for the lot of us
We'll paint it white with phosphorous

This ain't 1944
No devil standing at the door
By the madness in your eyes
This one looks like '65

Mother, mother, of all bombs
Our daughter of Vietnam
Win your war win control
Win control and lose your soul

The desert ain't no place to hide
Run, run, while you're still alive
Back home ain't no work for you
They gone and stole your future too
Track Name: The Ballad of Old Scratch
The Ballad of Old Scratch

The streetlights flickered
When he walked underneath,
A three-quarter moon
Shining in his teeth.
He was looking for John,
found him drunk on the lawn,
Singing bout how his whole his life gone wrong.
He said "Hey John you could wager and win.
just pick a card, you'll live all over again.
But if you guess wrong you'll be singing a song
Forever and a day upon my front lawn."

A man and his dog
Walking through the fog
tapping on the tracks with his cane all along.
He said "goddam how I wish I could see!"
Well the dog started howling and then there were three.
A man in black pulled a card from the stack.
He threw it on the ground and asked "red or black?"
"Guess accurately and I swear you will see
But if you guess wrong you'll be seeing lots of me."

I met a man in a downtown bar with
Hands full of scars and a gambler's heart.
He built the levees down in New Orleans,
working for a man named Mephistopheles.
He said hey Josh my soul's been lost
But I'll win it back now whatever the cost
Before it's too late I'll tell it to you straight,
and you better listen to every word I say.

He said:


Roll don't you roll
with dice made of bones
Don't play your hand when your hand is known
Don't split the nines on a moonless night
Don't wager with a stranger
When the stars are aligned
Whatever may you do
Don't gamble with the man tonight