I bought an old typewriter after seeing the documentary “California Typewriter” in order to improve my ability to read what the hell I wrote and to stop censoring/editing my ideas on the computer screen. As a result, the first song idea that rolled out of the machine had an unedited and rather disturbing chorus. It was about a guy (not me, surely!) who wants to sell his soul in order to fight the evil people ruining his country without the constraints of his conscience, unleashing upon them the same ferocity and mercilessness that they so easily deploy on their defenseless victims.
I approached the song as a work of fiction and put together a story that would work with the chorus. The narrator hasn’t yet found a buyer for his soul and isn’t convinced that he’ll get away with it all in the end, but he’s determined that it is all going down when he gets his price. I can’t say I am unsympathetic.
The character of Mallory Wayt’s harmonies (she came up with two), Dave Roof’s standup bass and Dave Falk’s outstanding dobro work give the song a timeless quality, as if it could have been written about any ruthless, soulless gang of thieves running things at any point in our country’s history.