Well There's That: The Best of Erik Ritland

by Erik Ritland

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about

Always wondered about my music? This is the perfect place to start. I've hand-picked what I believe are my best songs.

I'm releasing this special compilation to help recover some money I'm losing due to covid-19. Over the next month or so, I'll be writing and releasing extensive liner notes, which will be added to each song as I write them and eventually added as a bonus pdf.

I've been writing and releasing music for over 20 years. My songs are a combination of acoustic rock, folk, and alternative. They're lyric-driven. They're influenced by literature, life, love, the apocalypse, thinking, having fun, Wilco, and Bob Dylan.

credits

released March 19, 2020

Compilation produced by Erik Ritland
Re-mastering by Erik Ritland
Tracks 1-2, 7, and 13 recorded and mixed by Nate Houge, mastered by Chris Yeager
Tracks 3, 5, and 6 recorded, mixed, and mastered by Marshall Nystrom
Track 4 recorded, mixed, and mastered by Chris Yeager
Track 7 recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered by Drew Pederson
Tracks 8-11, 14 recorded, mixed, and mastered by Erik Ritland
Tracks 12 and 15 recorded and mixed by Drew Pederson
Cover photo by Taylor Schultz

Featuring the following (see each track for details):
Erik Ritland - acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, harmonica, bass, vocals
Marshall Nystrom - acoustic and electric guitars, piano, organ, percussion
Drew Pederson - lead guitar, slide guitar, pedal steel, harmonica, percussion
Casey Carver - bass
Chris Ritland - drums
Ed Hart - lead guitar on "Throwaway Nation" and "Empty Bed"
Nate Houge - lead guitar on "Girl with the Black Dress"
Alison Nystrom - percussion

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all rights reserved

tags

about

Erik Ritland Saint Paul

Rock n' roll. Country western. Blues. Folk. Americana.

The past is never dead. It isn't even past.

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Track Name: Promises
I should have warned you that I wasn't what you wanted
I should have told you from the start
When I look at you all I see is a target
An actor cast in the wrong part

I'm an accident that's happened
And I'm happening again

I wish I could fall asleep
With the promises I keep
'Cuz I like sleeping alone
I probably shouldn't talk so much
I probably shouldn't tell you what
Has been on my mind

I never asked to get so personal with you
I didn't think it out too well
We were drifters in a world standing still
Peddlers with nothing to sell

I'm an accident that's happened
And I'm happening again

I wish I could fall asleep
With the promises I keep
'Cuz I like sleeping alone
I probably shouldn't talk so much
I probably shouldn't tell you what
Has been on my mind

In the end there's nothing I can say or do
That hasn't been done or said
I am not the person I once thought I knew
I'm a fantasy instead

I'm an accident that's happened
And I'm happening again

I wish I could fall asleep
With the promises I keep
'Cuz I like sleeping alone
I probably shouldn't talk so much
I probably shouldn't tell you what
Has been on my mind
Track Name: Empty Bed
I've changed your water into wine
So many times before
It don't excite you anymore
You sit and you don't even smile
You look in my direction and pretend that you don't see me
But you see me

You don't even want to try
But it won't be that bad
'Cuz neither do I
You're miles away and I don't know why

You used to love the things I do
But now when I do them you act like I've done something wrong
I haven't gotten any worse
Well maybe just a little
I was hoping you didn't notice
But you notice

You don't even want to try
But it won't be that bad
'Cuz neither do I
You're miles away and I don't know why

And when you wake up alone
In your empty bed
How can you face the day ahead?
Track Name: Long Gone Days
Down the old highway
In a beat-up car
Just to find our way to where we are

And if I could
I would go back again
To long gone days
We thought would never end

We stayed up all night
Our hopes were high
There's been dark and light
But we got by

And if I could
I would go back again
To long gone days
We thought would never end

Time goes by too fast
But the good times last
Even when they're gone

Playing here with you is everything
It's all that's ever been
When I hear you sing

And if I could
I would go back again
To long gone days
We thought would never end
Track Name: Firelight
When the levees broken
Best learn how to swim
If you wanna gamble
Better know you'll win

Eden burns
Through the night
I see past the firelight
In the air
Recognize
I see past the firelight

Withered scenes divided
Arguments unwon
Little things won't get you
Drop your heart and run

Eden burns
Through the night
I see past the firelight
In the air
Recognize
You can't stop the firelight
No one can stop the firelight
Track Name: When it All Began
Two worlds crumbling at my feet
Watch them crawling on their knees

When it all began
There was hope in every new day
Now that it's the end
It seems like all this time has been a waste

See the future
Getting high
Just like screaming in the night

When it all began
There was hope in every new day
Now that it's the end
It seems like all this time has been a waste

Show me something I ain't seen
Ideas decay just like dreams

When it all began
There was hope in every new day
Now that it's the end
It feels like all this time has been a waste
Track Name: Crystal Ball
You're so beautiful
I don't mean to stare
But it's so hard when you're standing there

Crystal ball
I want it all
Give it to me

Dreams are all I have
You can make them real
It's easy to give in to how I feel

Crystal ball
I want it all
Give it to me

When I look at you I can't turn away
I'd give it all to be with you someday

Crystal ball
I want it all
Give it to me
Track Name: Stay Inside
Well if you're going nowhere
And you need to get there fast
I know a shortcut nobody's tried

And if you've run on empty
Since the day you left
Don't be afraid to give it all back
The new sun attacks
It's too nice to stay inside today

Won't you come in closer
So I can make you out
Don't hide in a corner where nobody sees

The rows and rows of houses
Mirror side by side
But nothing can warn them of days left to come
Beneath the new sun
It's too nice to stay inside today

Somewhere on the main line
The tracks were laid out wrong
The streets are filled with curses dressing as dreams

Sink into the sunset
Watch it all unfold
Hear all the engines rattle apart
And if you were smart
You wouldn't even start
It's too late to be outside
Track Name: Throwaway Nation
Top of the world
Covered in dirt
Claw your way through
Quit when it hurts

Search for a cure
Wait your whole life
Ignore all the answers
Nobody's right

Throwaway nation
Nowhere to land
Nothing is free no more
Forget what you planned

Take it or leave it
Forfeit the game
But please don't let me down again

Edge of the world
Falling off fast
Work from the inside out
Forget the past

Cold and alone
Broke and withdrawn
Detached from the same old things
You've known all along

Throwaway nation
Nowhere to land
Nothing is free no more
Forget what you planned
Track Name: Walls and Bridges
You don't love what you won't fight for
You don't love what you won't defend
In the end it's all we have

There is room for walls and bridges

There is a bridge you wouldn't cross over
There is a bridge that you would burn down
And try not to make a sound as you run away

There is room for walls and bridges

There are so many walls
Between you and me
Why don't we tear them down?
Only then we'll see

Let's raise a toast to all of the good things
Then throw the glass against the wall
It's last call

There is room for walls and bridges
Track Name: (I Can See) The End of Everything
I've been thinking thoughts that you do not want me to share
Maybe I'd ignore them if I had the strength to care
Liars all around me preach of change they'll never bring
They're just the same as everyone no matter what they claim

Ooo-eee
I can see the end of everything

I've been lost so long that the right road is non-existent
The closer I think I am the further away that I become
I'm afraid that what I find will make me lose my passion
But if it is mistaken then I suppose it has to go

Ooo-eee
I can see the end of everything

Life will end with a thunder
It will happen soon

Deep inside my heart I feel the frailty of the future
Nothing's guaranteed so planning for it is all in vain
The ending of the story is the hardest road to travel
Be awake today to catch the last end of the ride

Ooo-eee
I can see the end of everything
Track Name: The Girl in the Black Dress (rare live recording from the legendary Uptown Bar)
I've walked the shortest story thin line
I'm in a hurry to be on time

I saw her standing on a corner
Don't you think someone oughta warn her?

I wanna meet the girl in the black dress

She brings the flowers to the table
Dresses down whenever she is able

Through the walls I can hear her singing
Over the church bells that are ringing

I wanna meet the girl in the black dress

Maybe I could write a song for her
But I think I'd rather just ignore her

Don't blame me for being easy
Blame her for being so needy

I wanna meet the girl in the black dress
Track Name: Help Me Tonight
I don't know why
We dive so deep
In ways we can't define
I'm a poor, poor stranger
In a dead end town
Where no one's on your side

How can I be sure I'm here
When everything is dust
It's a long, long way to higher ground
When you don't know who to truts

So help me tonight
I'm falling fast
Help me help myself
I'm here
I'm waiting
I can almost see the light.
So please help me tonight

I'll take the walk
But I won't run
The world will run for me
Dawn is coming but always fades
It's all I want to be
Track Name: Drifting Apart
Days begin where old ones end
Chance for us to start over again
But my motives are all wrong
And I don't know where to start

Drifting apart
It's a dizzying high
Took so long for us to realize
We were wrong
Our love isn't real
We knew from the start
Drifting apart

Before the fall
I don't remember when
We both could tell it was near the end
You can't say I didn't try
We were never very smart

Drifting apart
It's a dizzying high
Took so long for us to realize
We were wrong
Our love isn't real
We knew from the start
Drifting apart

I'm surprised we made it this far
It was us against the stars
But the stars so often lie
Don't be so quick to say goodbye

Drifting apart
It's a dizzying high
Took so long for us to realize
We were wrong
Our love isn't real
We knew from the start
Drifting apart
Track Name: True Love Wins in the End
If you look then it won't find you
You have to wait for it to come
If you don't watch it'll sneak up on you
So don't be idle and don't give up

True love wins in the end

There will be indecision
There will be broken dreams
But keep your eyes on whats above you
And you will know the road ahead

True love wins in the end
When you think it's over
Your journey has just begun
True love wins in the end
Track Name: Ordinary
You cry all the time but it don't hurt me
I know that it should
But I just dry your eyes

I don't mean to be insensitive
But you break down so much
That it's become so ordinary

You know as well as I do
We've been treading water
Like we've done this whole time

I really wish that I could hold you
And feel that you were trying
I guess I'm just too ordinary

I've never been what you wanted
I've never been what you want
But I'm something

You deserve things I can't give you
But you dislike yourself so much
You'll never realize

You are worth the time and effort
But you never look inside yourself
And that's become so ordinary

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