Lightning In The Forest, From the Lugnaut CD, Swamp Gas Aviator
My brother and I had an uncle who had a strange looking device in his basement. He didn’t want us poking around it and he wouldn’t talk about what it was for. My brother and a cousin stumbled upon it one time and my uncle wasn’t too happy with them.
I remember this same uncle bringing out some homemade “hooch” at a family gathering in the woods when I was young. He accidently touched one of the bottles against a table as he was bringing them in and the bottom of that bottle blew off with quite a force. My uncle was pretty upset about it. I also remember him taking the first shot out of the bottle and saying, “If anyone is going to go blind drinking this, it’ll be me. He lived a long life and never went blind, so I guess he made good stuff. By the time I was old enough to sample his work, he’d stopped making it.
Although, my uncle never ran shine to my knowledge, I liked the concept and used it as the inspiration for the cover of our second cd. I figured a guy running homemade hooch might want to make a vehicle that would be very quiet and avoid areas where the sheriff might be waiting. If someone were to notice a blimp flying at night overhead and they started shooting, you could simple cut yourself free and glide away. Then, when you landed, you could drop the wings and drive off. It works in theory.
Where the Sun Always Shines, From the Lugnaut CD, Swamp Gas Aviator Where the Sun Always Shines was inspired by BF the first girl I ever had a crush on. I was shy and insecure and never did so much as kiss her. But I liked her pretty good and we were friends throughout our middle school and high school years. She was/is a beautiful country girl, athletic, smart, beautiful, and kind. One day when I was 13 I remember stopping over her house. We went for a walk up this hill that was all grass and there was a large stone on the top of the hill. A Beautiful place, with a beautiful girl and I got up the courage to reach out and hold her hand. Although we remained friends throughout high school, rode the bus together daily, became athletes of the year as seniors, our relationship always was friendship and I am extremely grateful for this. After high school I went to college and she went on to live her life and we lost contact with each other for 33 years. BF called me one day to see how I was doing and let me know that she was visiting back home due to her mom passing away. She asked if I have time to meet with her. We met for breakfast, and when we saw each other we hugged for about two two minutes straight before we started to talk. I let her know that I was sad to hear about the passing of her mom because I always liked and respected her. I commented that I've never liked her dad very much. It was then that she shared with me that her dad used to beat her and her sisters every day. I rode with her on the bus for six years and never knew this. I felt like I let a friend down. The conversation changed, lightened and I said, "You know that I liked you a whole bunch back then." She smiled and said, "I know." I said, "Why did you still hang out with me if you didn't like me back?" She said, "You were always so, so, so, grounded. I always felt safe with you." That made me feel good. I said BF, "I think I remember one day when I went over your house you brought me up this hill and on the top of this grassy hill was this large rock. There I remember reaching out and holding your hand. Did that really happen or was this a figment of my imagination?" She looked at me and said, "We both know that this is true." She also shared with me that the place that she brought me was her favorite place, the place where she escaped from abuse and felt safe from the world. A place "where the sun always shines". She said she never brought others up there. At that moment I felt special, I knew I had a deep friendship that would last a lifetime and maybe beyond. Gino
Lucky Once, From the Lugnaut CD, Swamp Gas Aviator
It’s hard to believe it now, but my wife and I met shortly after we graduated high school. It was love at first sight for me, but I think she took a little convincing. I had, had a pretty ragged track record with women up until that point. I was pretty sure a serious relationship was not going to be happening anytime soon for me. After I met her, things changed and they just keep getting better everyday, even to this day. It would be hard to imagine what my life would have been without her. I've attempted to write a song or two about her and our relationship in the past, but up until now, I've never been satisfied with the results. This one came together pretty well and I think it says what I feel about her.
Grandma Grace's Magic Show, From the CD, Swamp Gas Aviator My grandma Grace was the most special person in the whole world! She had these beautiful warm green eyes that when she looked at you, you felt her love. She was always proud of me and her other grandchildren regardless of what we did even the bad stuff. I will never forget her Jersey City home either which was a three-story architectural type building. She lived on the first floor and relatives lived above. She would always have a pot of sauce cooking on the stove in case people stopped by. She was a great cook and you always hoped that you would get to stay long enough to eat. I was fortunate in the fact that I had an adult conversation with her when I was 13 years old, the year she passed. I felt like I was talking to my best friend. She was a special lady and I wouldn't be me without her. If I thought of one word that describes her it would be love. Grandma Grace put this love in everything that she cooked on her stove and in her words to her grandchildren. I miss you grandma Grace! Gino
Cedarwood Lounge, From the CD, Swamp Gas Aviator The Cedarwood Lounge began as a song of anger and turned into a love song. I was playing in the Cider Press String Band at the time with Al Manning, Duke York, and Gary Nass. We were playing at the Cafe' Downtown one evening and finished around 10 PM. We played a nice three sets. Gary got a call from the Cedarwood Lounge, The band was late coming from Boston and they need somebody to fill-in until they arrived. We packed up our gear and headed to the Willi Bowl. We played another two sets and when the band arrived I announced that the next song was our last. A drunk in the back yelled out, "Thank God!". If it weren't for Duke York I would've smashed my banjo over his head. I left upset and angry and was going to write an angry song about the Cedarwood lounge. By the next day my anger had passed and I started to think about meeting my wife Marcia. It was love at first sight when I saw her in the cafeteria of the school we were beginning teachers at. I decided to set the story about that moment at the Cedarwood lounge because it sounded better in a song then meeting a girl in the cafeteria of the school. Hope you like it.
The Healing Song, From the CD, Swamp Gas Aviator The Healing Song was written as a tribute to my good friend Pete who was a teacher at my school. On the fifth anniversary of the death of his beautiful wife Julie, Pete came into my office and shared this story verbatim with me. I couldn't believe the deep expression of pain on my friend Pete's face when he shared his story with me and I knew I had to write something to help ease his pain. Of course the healing song, the concept, is love. It is the only thing that can heal pain this deep. Love is the greatest force in the universe and will always win out in time. Gino
Hop River Bend, From the CD, Swamp Gas Aviator Hop River Bend is my first attempt at writing a trucker song. All the songwriters that I know wrote songs about truckers being out on the open road. I felt the need to write one too. However, Hop River Bend focuses more on returning home to one's sweetheart and missing home, than the freedom of the open road. In this song there are two major local landmarks mentioned, the Bolton Notch where interstate 384 splits into Route 6 and 44, and the Hop River which is a beautiful waterway that is pure and clean. This is one of the songs that, when we play live people have to get up and dance. It is a whole bunch of fun to play for folks. Gino