Two Brothers

by Alex McMurray

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about

This one is for Mikie Lee Prasad, my friend from the wilds of California. Our paths first crossed at a Royal Fingerbowl gig in San Francisco back in the late 90’s. Some little club I can’t remember the name of. Mikie was in the opening band and I’m not even sure we even spoke to one another that night, but somehow I stayed on his radar and in 2005 he talked me into playing a semi-private affair at a crazy little bar way out on Long Island where he and his family we’re staying. That party was too insane to go into detail here, but after that we stayed in touch and he was instrumental in getting me gigs in the Bay Area. We hung out a lot talking about music and life and all that follows. Mikie was a beautiful guitar player and writer and used to record his own albums in his home studio on 1” tape. I helped him out a little with the songs that eventually became his great “Jukebox Folktales Vol. 1” album, and he used me on some sessions while I was out West. He and his brother Che used to put together these junkets to New Orleans, usually around Halloween and Jazz Fest, and bring their friends down here to blow their minds, eat and drink as much as they could and hear as much music as was humanly possible. They’d hire people like Luke Allen, Scully, Schatzy and myself to play these command performances at the Saturn Bar and later on at Siberia. Just huge music lovers and great spirits with the air of folks who just can’t believe their good luck. Mikie and Che had a special bond, like if you cut one guy the other guy would bleed—what I imagine the Wright Brothers, or the Van Halens, or Dizzy and Daffy Dean would be like. Mikie and Che we’re about as tight as any two brothers I’ve known.

When Mikie got sick Che sprang into action, pulling every string he could and looking at every possible option to save his brother’s life. But Mikie got dealt a bad hand, as they say, and he checked out in October 2015, leaving behind his beautiful daughter Daisy along with his parents Judy and Kedar and brother Che. The day after he died this song jumped up out of the void. My son was about a year and a half old at the time and it was all hands on deck pretty much constantly, so pretty much zero songs got written for a couple of years. Any song at all that came was as precious and rare as Beluga Caviar, or enriched uranium. I’m not sure how much stock I take in the Spirit World, but I give Mikie most of the credit on this one. It was written in the kitchen of 617 Gallier Street, and recorded in the next room over on September 26 2017. Thanks to Andy Forest for his (always) great harp playing and to Michael Mehiel for capturing the performance with his usual sensitivity and elan. Thanks especially to Mikie for writing this tune for me. I hope it satisfies and brings a smile, wherever it is that you are. We miss you, man. Stay cool until we meet again.

lyrics

Two brothers riding on a train
laughing easy they got it made
now the sun is coming up
and the stars begin to fade
and the day is so long
and you never been lied to
nothing matters nothings wrong
with your brother beside you

One taught the other how to sing
and like brothers they sing just so
the other riders joined on in
cuz a song can make your travelling go
and the day is so long
and you never been lied to
nothing matters nothings wrong
with your brother beside you

After a while they fell asleep
one awoke somehow knowing
he watched his brother go get his things
he said my brother now where you going
he just said so long
i’ll stay close you can hear me
nothing matters nothings wrong
i’ll keep you right here with me

When we we’re sleeping back a ways
some conductor i don’t know
he said my ticket ain’t no good
i can’t go on i got to go
let’s just say so long
i’ll stay close you can hear me
nothing matters nothings wrong
i’ll keep you right here with me

One brother riding on a train
the day is done the shadows long
& we might see a little rain
you can see the sun but it’s almost gone
let’s just say so long
i’ll stay close you can hear me
nothing matters nothings wrong
i’ll keep you right here with me

credits

released October 12, 2017
Alex McMurray--guitar and vocals
Andy J. Forest--harmonica
Recorded by Michael Mehiel at Studio Seurat New Orleans, LA September 26 2017
Mixed by Michael Mehiel
Mastered by Bruce Barielle
Artwork by Kourtney Keller

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Alex McMurray New Orleans, Louisiana

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