Sundry Mayhems

by Black Jake & The Carnies

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Dax de la Monta
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Dax de la Monta Slaphappy punk-tinged bluegrass with a dark sense of humor. Favorite track: All The Difference.
  • The physical CD comes in a shiny-new case complete with a 24-page songbook featuring lyrics and original artwork for each tale, painted by Black Jake himself.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Sundry Mayhems via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • Poster/Print

    This initial printing of only ten posters features a full-size (16in x 20in) reproduction of the hand-painted artwork Black Jake created for our second album, Sundry Mayhems. Each poster in this run has been signed and numbered by Jake. Free shipping for this initial printing only! Limit one per person.
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‘Sundry Mayhems’, released May 1st in Europe, in the midst of the Carnies well received, 2-week, 3-country tour in Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany, and self-released domestically on June 1. Black Jake & the Carnies backwoods-meets-concrete sound melds old-timey strings with fast-paced lyrics and a punk rock ethos. On their second full length record, Black Jake spins cautionary tales about poisonous prosperity, diabolic pied pipers, mass hysteria, and an evil chicken. Each tale features an original painting and lyrics in a 24-page songbook insert (and as metadata in digital downloads). The record was recorded by Joe Allsop at Pretty Suite Recording, mixed by Geoff Michael at Big Sky Studio, and mastered by Grammy winner Rueben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering.

The first single, “Farmer Had Him Rats”, tells the story of a farmers battle with an army of rats, and luring the rats to their death by giving them what they want, but with a little bit of poison mixed into his secret recipe. Jeff Milo (Deep Cutz) describes the record as having "blurring see-saw strings, a mean washboard, a wheezy accordion, angular, tinny banjos and mandolins and zingy, mercurial (yet melodious) lead vocals girded by poignant, rousing choruses (even some opera mixed in), at 0-60-and-back-again tempos. "

Find dark solutions to dark times dressed in the Carnies' bright tones of banjo, fiddle, bass, accordion, mandolin, drums, washboard, and cowbell. If the Pogues and Alice Cooper had a love child that grew up in the sticks, hung out with a bad crowd from the city, then got its ass kicked by Johnny Cash, got religion, skipped church and joined a circus, you'd have Black Jake & the Carnies.

"The bluegrass/folk/insanity theme works really well for these Carnies! Black Jake and Carnies was hands down the most energetic, wild, and flat-out enjoyable set of the entire weekend. I was a skeptic at first, but as soon as I saw the first Carnie jump from a 10 ft. speaker to the stage WITH HIS INSTRUMENT, I was sold. Sign me up for the next circus please!?" GREG MOLITOR, MUSIC MARAUDERS


released June 1, 2011



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Black Jake & The Carnies Ypsilanti, Michigan

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Track Name: All The Difference

I waved my wiser friends good bye (on the road less travelled by)
I lost my way and I lost my ride
Got a burr in my ass and a thorn in my side
Now this low road don't seem as high

Drank all my water and all my wine, ate all my vittles till I plum run dry

Got a broken nose and 2 black eyes
Was rolled 4 times by the same 2 guys


Met some other folks was near to dyin’
Was fools like me and went to trying
We spent our powder shootin' snipes
We smoked our maps and cracked our pipes

Drank all our water and all our wine, ate all our vittles till we plum run dry

We slept in a coop and bathed in a sty
We chewed our boots and cursed the sky


Them wiser folks just don't know why
I hope they choke on a hemp rope tie
We got each other until we die
And the first one dead is the first to fry

Drank all our water and all our wine, ate all our vittles till we plum run dry

So if you're young and foolish come on by
But there's a reason few will go to try

Track Name: Last Ecstatic Liniment
Last Ecstatic Liniment

Grandpa Moody was a bent old coot, he spent a dark and dreary life mislived
His wife long passed and his kin don't ask to see the wretch that kept them unforgived
Spent his years chasing off his fears or the thoughts of the ones he'd let slip by
Any drink or fume that mighta cured his dark humors was a drink or a fume that he'd imbibed

On a night spent stewing over wrack and ruin there a knock was heard and he answered it
Was a salesman selling up a bottle of hell he called the Last Ecstatic Liniment.


Was a sure fire way to rub your pains away, whether those without or those within
Was a pure and natural bunch of herbs oil saturated to rub thee upon the skin
Seeds of Thornapple and a dram and a dabble of the distilled sweet and sleepy Dwale
The Henbell leaf to come and surely thief away the cares and caution made the sale

He paid his dollars but no mind to the hollers that he let out once he rubbed it in
Not a drop of spittle or sweat to belittle the fires he felt upon his skin


For a day or two he was in a dark room and the demons was surrounding him
Each changing face made his old heart race to see the colored lightning skip and skim
He took off running towards a moon and sun or was it spirits calling up to him
His wings was feathered as he come untethered from a mind now falling bound and dim

The cool night air moved every hair on his naked form above the clouds
He smiled or grimaced at the thought within him that he'd never now once more come round


So put another hundred coals on the fire and spend the best for last to spent
Don't fret no bills, don't fret no cold, don't fret no food or drink or rent
Ahead full steam if life is mean and cruel and no how makes no sense
If there ain't no difference put you down your pittance and buy you a bottle to see you hence

Nobody found him till the stink surrounded him and filled the crowded tenement
Some old man rotten on the floor and a bottle labeled Last Ecstatic Liniment

Track Name: Farmer Had Him Rats
Farmer Had Him Rats

Farmer had him rats at night
Made his children an awful fright
Whipped him up a poison recipe
Mixed in peanut butter, hamburgers, and bacon grease
The quickest rat he got there first, started eatin’ up that food
(lay me down, looks like I’m lucky)
The quickest rat he got there first, started eatin’ up that food
(food around the corner for me)
Swifty he done licked his lips said mmm man that was good.
(lay me down, looks like I’m lucky)
Swifty he done licked his lips said mmm man that was good.
(food around the corner for me)

The smartest rat he got there too, and he squirreled off a stash
Crafty he done wiped his face, never again gonna have to eat no trash

Then all the rats came… hundreds of ‘em… thousands of ‘em… millions of ‘em…
All the rats that ever were. Eatin’ up that pile o’ goodies, just for them. Mmmm!

The biggest strongest rat came last, and he pushed the other rats out the way
Ate the rest all by himself, said “I always get my way!”

Farmer had him dead rats in the morning
And he threw that mess away.
Track Name: My Angel Marie
My Angel Marie

You may ask me why I choose to wander, why I’m always alone there a-roamin’ the street.
Why I never go home you may wonder, is there nobody waiting for me?
Why I stay here a-drinkin’ till daybreak, why I ain’t settled down yet with somebody sweet
If I think on it my heart just may break, cause there’s nobody waiting for me.
But I once had a girl love me well, are you somewhere awaiting, my angel Marie?

I’ve got nobody to fix my supper, nobody to sit with and watch the TV,
Nobody to drink up a cup or two of whiskey and water with me
I’ve got nobody to clean up this mess, nobody to lay with and hold while she sleeps
Nobody for buying a white wedding dress and nobody to wear it for me
But I once had a girl love me well, are you somewhere awaiting, my angel Marie?
But she said I was lazy, pathetic, and yella, now there’s nobody waiting for me.

I’ve got nobody for me to walk with, nobody to call up and think I’m funny,
Nobody to sleep or to talk with, and nobody to wake up with me
I’ve got no one to cry on my shoulder, no one to put my arm around at the movie
Nobody to hug or to hold or to kiss her good night on the cheek
But I once had a girl love me well, are you somewhere awaiting, my angel Marie?
But somebody found some other fella, now there’s nobody waiting for me.

I’ve got no one to soothe me of anger, I’ve got no one to calm me emotionally
If I had somebody I would thank her for saving my sick self from me
I’ve a shotgun to get me some justice, and a shovel to hide my sins from the police
She won’t stay with me? Well now she must as for my fallen angel, Marie
Well I sent her to black burning hell, are you there now awaiting, my angel Marie?
I’ve got one body under the cellar, and she’s there now awaiting for me

Well I once had a girl love me well, are you somewhere awaiting, my angel Marie?
I’ve got one body under the cellar, and nobody waiting for me.
But if you can still hear me in hell, are you waiting there for me, my angel Marie?
Track Name: Old E. Cross
Old E. Cross

Down on Old E. Cross Street I wanna go and see
the place where I went to meet my own true love
I hope you’re gonna be there, we’ll drink and play and sing there,
and sit and do nothin’ ‘neath the moon above.

I don’t know where we’re all gonna go
But we got us all here right down by the Depot
Down on Old E. Cross Street
all our friends meet
Near where the Huron River runs.

On a Sabbath day moseyin’ by a storefront closing,
looks like we’re losing another one
Don’t know nothin’ ‘bout the future but we act like we do sir
And the dogs all get to howlin’ ‘fore the train even comes


The crops all grow together, living by the weather,
by the time the bitter winter has begun
All dead by December, some are gone forever,
and some’ll turn green again in the sun.

Track Name: Cornbread Molly
Cornbread Molly

Down in the bird box popped up the red fox and had his bloody way
All dead, sorry, but Cornbread Molly she drove that fox away
The dogs wouldn’t eat her, she would cluck and they’d heed her as she strutted slow ‘round the yard
Anybody cross her a dog or goat or horse sir would make that man die slow and hard
Feathers of white, beady eyes put a fright on anyone she surveyed.
Scratchin’ at nothin’ a-pechin’ and a-puffin’ ain’t bluffin’, man, she’d put you in a shallow grave

Cornbread Molly, oh by golly, everybody gonna lose their seat for
Cornbread Molly will get inside your head and body and move your feet for
Cornbread Molly, be pure folly to say you’re sorry cause she won’t hear it
Cornbread Molly, let your head get noddy and sway your body and you can feel it too

Up on the soap box steps up the white fox and has his bloody way
Waitin in the wings is there a whisperin and a singin there a chicken where a soul should stay?
She tells him how to win and she tells him how to sin and she tells him how to get his praise
She don’t tell him what is really gonna happen to him when she’s thrown away.

Down in the crowd they’re cheerin out loud for the man who’ll save their skins
Cornbread Molly has her eyes fixed on me and she makes them do me in
They don’t know what I didn’t know, but I know now, that’s okay
Raised on a farm with Cornbread Molly, I’ve watched her and her evil ways.

So dance in the crowd and cheer it out loud and pretend you’re good and free
Don’t say I didn’t warn you ‘bout the ditties that Cornbread Molly once sang to me
Once she took a shyin’ and a started with the lyin’ and my body swayed to and fro
My head kinda bobbin with my feverish noggin, and my feet knowin just where she told me to go.

She’ll cut every connection, sear every sweet affection, flush with a proud and maddenin’ hue
Cause once Molly got you ain’t nobody gonna stop you, and she’s gonna kill and capture you
So if you see a chicken a peckin’ and a pickin’ where a chicken ought not to be
Don’t let her eyes meet you and don’t let her talk sweet, you’re gonna see what Cornbread Molly sees.
Track Name: My Evil Friend
My Evil Friend

My evil friend, he haunts me now, I’ve got to get rid of him somehow
My evil friend, he makes me blue, it could be you, it could be you

He sets me up, and knocks me down, he kicks me when I’m on the ground
He hides behind your smiling eyes, he always likes to attack by surprise

Spreads his lies, maligns my name, and always tries to make me take the blame
Wrecks what’s mine from jealousy, he wants to ride and control me

He hops along from friend to friend, I never know who it will be or when
Wants me to cry, and wonder why, wants me to suffer, wants me to die

My evil friend drives them away, no one around, now I am safe
My evil friend is all I see, my evil friend, now it’s just you and me.
My evil friend and me.
Track Name: Old Scratch Radio Variety Show
Old Scratch Radio Variety Show

They couldn’t see the airwaves, they couldn’t hear the din,
they couldn’t turn the dials, but they were tuning in
It came in loud and clear since before they were on their feet
They couldn’t make out no music, but they all danced to the beat

Of the Old Scratch Radio Variety Show

The incomparable prince of the airwaves told them just what they wanted to hear
Caught up in the stirring movements of flattery and fear
The murder it came so natural, the deceits and the lusts in their heads
All swept away by terrors when their radios went dead

Didn’t need to seek no crossroads to sign up for those dulcet lies
No plugs or cords or boxes, but the receiver behind their eyes
Fanatical fans of the greatest program playing now both day and night
Now everyone is listening to the Old Scratch Radio Variety Show

That old town in crumbling down, sat desolate for years
The stones and bones and burnt out homes where they danced and sang and cheered
The music had seemed so real, the words had seemed to right
So watch how you waltz, or jig, or reel, you at home tuning in tonight

To the Old Scratch Radio Variety Show
Track Name: Smoke & Mirrors
Smoke and Mirrors

I stretch out my hand, and I touch the fronds growing through the street as I walk along
The broken glass makes a crunching sound, reflects the light as the sun goes down
A place on fire, smell the black smoke churn, I stay a while, and watch it burn
The house was built on hopes and fears, now all that’s left is smoke and mirrors.

Ain’t nobody here to rush me along, push me around, they’re all dead and gone
I can hear the wind, the grasshoppers’ song, the birds don’t mind ‘bout right and wrong
Was a city here high on a hill, they made it shine, they lied and killed
No more magicians, divining seers, now all that’s left is smoke and mirrors.

When I was young I was free, I could take my time and do anything
Now I walk and I take my time, I do what I want, the world is mine
The bullet shells make a twinklin’ sound, the picture screens smash when I toss ‘em down
The clouds roll by and when the lake is clear it reflects the sky, smoke and mirrors.

All it was, was smoke and mirrors, now all that’s left is smoke and mirrors.
Track Name: Ypsitucky Rustbelt Revival
Ypsitucky Rustbelt Revival

Preacher man was sent to a town ‘twas given up and fallen down
Them other cities called it funny names
He fell in love with the people there, to save them out of their despair
He preached the word to take away their shame.

Ypsitucky Rustbelt Revival, it’s good enough for me!

He preached the word and sang them songs ‘bout judgment day and ‘fore too long
The Good Lord raisin’ folks up from the dead
He put on a show and the people come, they danced and sang and clapped and some
Few folks were maybe hearin’ what he said.

Well them city bluebloods made a scene, said pointin’ out our sins is mean
And you can’t talk about our town like so
Run him out upon a rail, handed preacher man his tail,
they smiled and sang and clapped to watch him go.

Judgment came upon the town, business left and crumblin’ down
Empty houses standin’ like an old grave stone
Everybody left they said and went the way of all the dead
Folks and cities rotten to their bones

The years passed by, the vines grew high, the pot holes filled with grass and clover
The ruins fell down, returned to ground, everything was free and green all over
Preacher come back with a stick and a sack just a crackin’ his knuckles on the railroad track
Looked in the sky with a tear in his eye and he cried…

That preacher man cried them dry bones,
Now hear the word of the Lord!

The remnant come up from the ground, made a big campfire and gathered ‘round
They dance and sang their old past cares away
Each had a part in all the land with chickens and goats and lions and lambs,
Ain’t no wicked people left to have a say.

And they sang Ypsitucky Rustbelt Revival, it’s good enough for me!