“I Am a Patriot” – RR & the Real Changers

Rob and Brandon Story

So, as many of you know, back in 2008 I was overcome by insanity and decided to run for political office. Only I didn’t do it the “cool” rock and roll, outsider kind of way — I actually took it seriously: got a haircut, took out my earring, bought a suit, and, most importantly, campaigned … meaning I had to organize, shmooze, raise money, etc. Of course, I met a lot of wonderful people, and my son, K, really enjoyed the experience — I think I’d do it again if only to give Lu and Oz the same experience (although I’d never do it again with a newborn and in the midst of a house sale and move … God bless my poor, beleaguered, Sweet Pea!) — but it also opened my eyes to how difficult, how painfully difficult it is to run for political office. And maybe particularly to do so in an area where the party with which you most closely identify hasn’t won a congressional seat in over 100 years. But that’s a story for another day.

I was reminded by the Facebook post of a friend of mine of a version of Little Steven’s “I Am a Patriot” — a song I’ve been playing solo for years (first heard Jackson Browne sing it at Live Aid) — that I recorded during the campaign. She posted on my wall that she was listening to it on the 4th. I thought, “I’d like to hear that again,” so I started looking and, guess what, I didn’t have a copy. Luckily, another friend at a local radio station did, and now it’s on SoundCloud (above) for the world to hear, yet again.

Hans prepares to Rawwwk

I received Little Steven’s actual blessing to cover this wonderful song — one that means a lot to me — via Hans Rottenberry, whose band, The Shazam, were regularly featured on LS’s “Underground Garage” radio show and festivals. That was extremely cool! Hans agreed to “produce” the session — that is, make sure I didn’t screw it up — over at Keith Smith’s studio in JC (Keith’s probably best known for making records for everybodyfields and Ed Snodderly). It’s a dairy barn, actually, but it currently functions as a studio: some unique ambience! I called up some good friends and former bandmates, bassist Brandon Story (Reeltime Travelers, Catbird Seat, Ed Snodderly, Bystanders) and drummer Alan Gamble (Bag of Cats, Bystanders), and we convened for a one-song session.

Here are the lyrics:

I was walking with my brother

And he wondered what was on my mind

I said what I believe in my soul

It ain’t what I see with my eyes

And we can’t turn our backs this time

I am a patriot and I love my country

Because my country is all I know

I want to be with my family

With people who understand me

Keith, Brando and Rob listening to the mix

I got nowhere else to go

I am a patriot

I was talking with my sister

She looked so fine

I said baby what’s on your mind

She said I want to run like the lion

Released from the cages

Released from the rages

Burning in my heart tonight

I am a patriot and I love my country

Because my country is all I know

And I ain’t no communist, and I ain’t no capitalist

And I ain’t no socialist

and I sure ain’t no imperialist

And I ain’t no democrat

And I ain’t no republican either

And I only know one party

and its name is freedom

I am a patriot

And the river opens for the righteous, someday


About russellwriter

Rob Russell is a dad, husband, writer, musician, educator, comic book reader, bad solderer, pop culture junky, trivia buff and student of everything cool and uncool. His favorite records are Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde and, currently, The Best of Bobbie Gentry: The Capitol Years. His favorite comic books are Kurt Busiek's Astro City and Neil Gaiman's Sandman. His favorite literary novels are Gabrial Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude and William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. His favorite genre novels are John Scalzi's Red Shirts, M.R. Carrey's The Girl with All the Gifts, and Dan Simmons' Drood. His favorite movie is Goodfellas. His favorite hobby, besides everything, is writing about himself and his favorite things in the third person.

Posted on July 5, 2011, in Songs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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