#51 Something You Aint Got. American Minor. Caitlin Cary.

Caitlin Cary with one of the Backstreet Boys. I forget his name.


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April 2005 I was standing out in back of the Culture Center Theater at the West Virginia Capitol. It was a warm day for april and Caitlin Cary had joined me for a cigarette and what was left of a bottle of bourbon. Someone in one of the bands had passed it on to us. We poured it into little paper cups, the kind you use for drinking fountains. It was about two shots each. Or I don’t know. Maybe Caitlin didn’t have any of it. Maybe I drank it all myself. I don’t quite remember. But it sounds more rock to say we were drinking it together. Regardless we were on the loading dock behind the theater where they record Mountain Stage, Caitlin says the funniest thing to me.

“I like the way you sing your ‘s’ s”

“Well we should do a duet then”

“Okay”.

A couple of months later I was at my studio in Richmond VA. I was working on some demos for what would be Greenland (and also form the basis of my solo record) David Immergluck was in town and we had agreed to meet at the studio at 1pm. When we got there Caitlin Cary was in studio A working on a record. This was not so unusual, Caitlin was at our studio a lot in the mid 00′s. If she weren’t in Whiskeytown I wouldn’t have even known she lived in North Carolina. I would have assumed she was a Richmonder.

“Still want to do a duet?”

she replied “yes, let me finish this song first”.

I didn’t mean right then. I didn’t mean that day. As we were going up stairs to studio B David Immergluck says ”Which song”

” I have no idea”.

David Immergluck, or Immergluck, or Immy or Bindi Boy;

We went up stairs to the B studio and I started going through my itunes. I listened to a couple of the tracks we were currently working on nothing seemed appropriate for her voice as a duet. I don’t know if I had heard the duets she did with Thad Cockerel, certainly she recorded them around that time, but I got the idea we should do a country duet. That was about the only thing I’d be able to pull off on such short notice.

Luckily the last Cracker record had been 2003′s Countrysides. I had a playlist that contained a shit load of country and country rock potential covers. Scrolling down the list I started to look for something obscure. I came across this little ditty:

Original American Minor Members. Before the move to NYC.

Something You Ain’t Got – American Minor Sound of Music Demo

Cool little country rock song by the West Virginia band American Minor. Raw, loose all feel and attitude. Every sung line is thrown away. Every guitar lick all passion, damn the technique.

Well the first dance cost me a quarter and the second dance cost me my heart

Well i’m here on this bar stool and like a circle it ends where it starts

“Wha wha wha … who’s this!” Immergluck’s booming voice in my ear. If you know him you know what i’m talking about. Immy lives his life 6 decibels louder than everyone else. Bobbing his head now. ”I’m diggin this” he bellows.

It’s lost on him that I’m on the verge of having a nervous breakdown or something. Something very strange was happening to me. I’m out of breath, my palms are sweating but I am weirdly euphoric. I’d heard this song a hundred times, but i’d never really listened to the words.

I woke up hung over in the squalor where I make my home

Ate my heart out for breakfast then I met the day stoned

And it goes something like this, it’s always a swing and a miss

well i ain’t seen you so i drank all night

now my eyes are black cause i fought all night

I come stumbling home to sleep alone but it’s alright yeah it’s alright.

cause hard to tell what it is and what it’s not until it is something you ain’t got.

See at this point in my life i’d been sober for about two weeks. I was having a hard time incorporating this reality back into my world. Then i start listening to this song. It was like a punch in the gut. I got it. I for the first time in two weeks didn’t feel so alone.

About 4 hours later we managed to have a basic track and scatch vocal laid on this song. Studio manager miguel Urbiztondo on drums, Immy on bass and me on acoustic guitar. That evening Caitlin came up stairs and nailed her part in about an hour. She is the real deal when it comes to singing. A natural.

A few weeks later we had Johnny Hickman and Kenny Margolis overdub the lead guitar and keyboards on this song and this is pretty much what you hear on Greenland.

Oh and I found this picture of Bugs and David Immergluck.

01 Something You Ain’t Got— Cracker Greenland Album.

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[INTRO:] [C] [G] [F]

Well the[C] first dance cost me a quarter
And the[Am] second dance cost[G] me my[F] heart
Now[C] I’m here on this bar stool
Like a[Am] circle it[G] ends where it[G] starts

[BREAK:]
[Dm] And it[Am] goes something like[G] this
[Dm] Always a[Am] swing and a[G] miss

CHORUS:
Well I[C] ain’t seen you since I drank all night
Now my[F] eyes are black cos I fought all night
I came[C] stumbling home to sleep alone
But it’s[F] all right, yeah it’s all right
And it’s[G] hard to tell
What it[F] is and what it’s not
Un-[G]-til it is something that you ain’t[F] got
It’s something you ain’t[C] got

Well I woke up hungover
In the squallor where I make my home
Ate my heart out for breakfast
Then I met the day stoned

REPEAT BREAK

REPEAT CHORUS
It’s something you ain’t got
It’s something you ain’t got

[INSTRUMENTAL - CHORDS AS VERSE THEN BREAK]

REPEAT CHORUS
It’s something you ain’t got
It’s something you ain’t got

Cos it’s[Dm] all right, yeah it’s[F] all right
[Dm]


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