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We would like to thank Matt Poirier & Brian McTear at Miner Street Recordings; Kyle Pulley, Joe Reinhart & Shane Woods at the Headroom Philadelphia; and Jason Hradil, Matt Pond, Chris Hansen, Teal Hutton, Lizzie Quinlan, Taylor Cullen, Liz de Lise, and the Watter/Heston & Reese families for helping to bring this album to life.

This release was made possible thanks to our amazing Kickstarter backers! In particular we'd like to thank:

Lori Martin
CornerCap Investment Counsel
Steve Watter & Kate Heston
Sophie & Sam Burke
Sarah & Carter Reese
Benjamin Schaffer
John & Michelle Vipond
Muriel Siadek
Mark Dillon
Tim Chape
Andrew Massey
Christina & Nick Accomando
Linda Bell
Kate & Jim Harrison
Stuart Bain
Lisa Boehm
Andrea & Gary Abramowitz
Richard Gold
Anne & Peter O’Neill
Mary Kaiser Kemler
Kari Matindale
Renee Elliott
David Drew
Louise & Arthur Conley
Sean Fager
Christopher Gorzelnik
Eileen & Clive Schlee
Monica Lemon
Stephen Conley
Ellen & Dan Huyett
Nick Marmontello
Joe Fitzgerald

Caroline Reese grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, where the rust belt meets Amish country. Her mom ran a horse farm and her dad sold antiques, two facts which inform the old-soul tendencies in her songs.

She and her band, the Drifting Fifth, combine elements of country, folk, and indie-rock with Reese’s lyrics that seem to reach far beyond her own life experiences. Their new album, Tenderfoot, released January 6, 2017, deals with vulnerability in life and love. Tenderfoot was recorded at the Headroom Philadelphia (Hopalong) and mixed at Miner Street Recordings (Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten).

Reese wrote her first album, Indian River, in 2010 while she was living in Montana. After returning back to Pennsylvania, she met her electric guitarist and bandmate, Mark Watter, in a college songwriting class, and they collaborated during the recording of Reese’s 2013 album, Slow Code. They formed Caroline Reese & the Drifting Fifth shortly after.

Since then, she and the Drifting Fifth have toured nationally and opened for Grammy nominees and winners including Chris Stapleton and Brandi Carlile. Reese has also opened up for americana stalwarts John Hiatt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Corb Lund, and the Secret Sisters. The group’s live EP The Electric Year was named Y102's 2014 Album of the Year and the group was part of Taco Bell's 2016 Feed the Beat roster.

Reese will tour in support of Tenderfoot in the spring.


released January 6, 2017

The Drifting Fifth is:
Caroline Reese - vox & rhythm guitar, banjo, piano & organ
Mark Watter - electric guitar, baritone guitar & vox
Karl Germanovich - bass
John Macko - drums

Jordan Bickhart - harmonica

All songs written by Caroline Reese
Beast written by Caroline Reese & Mark Watter

Produced by Mark Watter & Caroline Reese
Engineered by Mark Watter at the Headroom Philadelphia
Mixed by Matt Poirier at Miner Street Recordings
Mastered by Ryan Schwabe in Philadelphia, PA

Snake Eyes engineered by Chris Hansen at One-Thirty-One and Dave Mombert at PonderRosa Studios, and co-produced with Matt Pond at One-Thirty-One

Angel Fire engineered by Mike Radka at Akdar Studios, as well as: acoustic guitar & lead vocals for Screen Doors and Unlocked, acoustic guitar for What I Did, New Tricks & Stormchasers

Taylor Cullen was drum tech & assistant engineer for Beast, Died Hard, Stormchasers, and I Can't Love You

Alyssa Milman was assistant engineer for Stormchasers

Album photography & layout by Laura Jane Brubaker
Patches by Eradura



all rights reserved


Caroline Reese & the Drifting Fifth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Caroline Reese & the Drifting Fifth are an americana rock band who have been touring together since 2013. They've opened for Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Corb Lund. Reese's 4th album, Tenderfoot, was released Jan. 6, 2017.

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Track Name: Unlocked
I've done wrong and I've known better
I loved the cowboys and the rebels
But my heart did abandon me in a small Montana town
He had a look in his eyes like I might not make out

Knowing these years later what I know now
I still forget I ever made it out of that house
I forget you're here
I forget he left
I forget the past is gonna stay where it is
And that the small dark room where I keep these thoughts
Is unlocked

I sit and wait in the apartment
But that truck was crashed before it started
Cause that part of a man that keeps himself under control
It got left at the bunkhouse bar an hour ago
Track Name: Airshow
He's taking me to the airshow on Friday
And for once I wish I had the body
You could pour in a dress like the girl tattooed in his arm

The air's gunpowder and foghorns
Everybody's in uniforms, I'm gonna
Buy what they're selling and a ticket to ride on the tomahawk

And the Blue Angels are heating up

Like it's a dream
I think I found company
In the backseat
I'll be easy
Fears are dragons, fears are M-16's

The minute you turn on 183
There's pin-ups hanging out of old humvees, but
He still can't seem to make conversation

Seemed so much better when I was a kid
They let us play in the medical tent
I loved the fool reenacting Sinatra

We're gonna stay til the fireworks
I think he'll kiss me but I'm not sure
Til tomorrow I drive home with my shine wore off

There's a mile long cloud of dust
That a thousand high-tailing RV's are kicking up
Track Name: New Tricks
You don't have to explain it, it's simple
She was so sweet, it's sinful

But how could you do it
I had a feeling, yea I knew it
You do it once, you'll do it again

I lay down with you, came up with this
You can't teach an old dog new tricks

I know your buddies all tried to warn ya
I heard to met her out in California

But how could you do it
Said it was nothing, well you proved it
Now you're begging with your tail between your legs

How could you do it
Take a good thing and ruin it
For bones and beer and chasing things

I lay down with you, came up with this
Look what chasing tail dragged in
Lay down with you, came up with this
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
Track Name: Snake Eyes
When you love me it's neon
It's Las Vegas
I tripped a fuse on your breaker heart
And it all went dark

There's things I can never tell you now
Like how far down this
Craving you goes
I thought you were all in
I should've known

You're slipping through my fingers again
Like days in this casino
I'm losing you in slow motion
Show's over but I won't go home

Put it all on my first bet
Snake eyes
For a second I forget that
The only one who cares is the dealer
Sucking down Marlboro Lights

I know there's eyes all over the place
But I still know the codes
You had that cashing out look on your face and
I should've known

Oh you loved me like a million bucks
Now I'm the fool putting dollars in slots
And I can't stop you
Track Name: What I Did
If I apologized, starting in the morning
And kept going til I went to bed
If I fell asleep and made good in my dreams
Woke up tired, from all the good I did

If I drove a thousand miles, wait I already have
If I never took another false step
I’d still be the girl who showed you what a broken heart is
Yea, you know who you are
And you know what I did

It keeps me awake at night
It keeps my trying
Maybe I shoulda lied and I’d still have you, baby
Right or wrong I’m hanging on and hoping you’ll forgive me

Saying your name, well there’s no need
I was young and had to test out everything
I knew what it was but I thought the best things happen more than once And if I told you I was sorry, you’d believe

I close my eyes
I shut em tight
I’ve never let a sleeping dog lie in my whole life
No way to treat him
I had no reason
If it’s a nightmare then I deserve to keep on sleeping
Track Name: Angel Fire
I cut and run on out of Taos
On that blacktop headed south
I left my body north in Colorado

I flew through Angel Fire
On a half tank and new tires
Pinto ponies eating dinner along the road

Trying to separate my angels from my demons
Trying to love my dad and all but not to be him
If I fix it, if it's fine, wonder what's left behind

Mountains turned to mesas
A cold front it chased us
Red dirt beneath my feet was turning gold

Midnight heat lighting
I'm scared, I'm flying
Wish I could stay here with all the roots and bones
Track Name: Stormchasers
There’s a diesel engine hum
A strange sound wave in the bottom of the ocean
A slow delirium
If you’re not seeing things then you’re hearin ‘em

It’s been a long and hard road baby
Along the way you started to mistake me
And I helped cause I knew what was coming
I let you think storm chasers like running

I know you saw it too
But suddenly yours is my version of the truth
I’m driving late at night
See the flickering blue

I know what you’re thinking -
If you keep on moving
You could lose them
Track Name: Screen Doors
I don’t know what’s worse
The guilt or the hurt
But I packed my things
Cause I know you heard

We stopped talking
You picked the bottle up more often
The humidity’s up 10 percent
My skin feels like it’s crawling

I know what the door can do on my way out
I know this ain’t my house anymore
He’s crying on the porch, but you say the dog is yours
I keep making a life out of slammed screen doors

A hotel bed
My lips are dry, my eyes are wet
There’s something easy bout a clean white room
Bout having nothing left

And I hate waking up
I only knew you in the dark
Track Name: Beast
Well I can scream like a jackal, I’ve got claws
I grin with a hammer-head’s jaws
The signs say stay back but they keep putting their hands through the bars

Sold my mate to the Baltimore jail
Cut the razor spike off my tail
Since that day I don’t take, I don’t take the taunting too well

So I don’t dream of freedom, no
The hills where I come from
The water cool and bright
On my tongue
I don’t dream of golden, no
Evenings in the open
I don’t even know
What to use these claws for
I’m not a beast anymore

Since the day I let ‘em catch me
I’ve been warm, fed, rested and clean
And I know, oh I know I’ll grow old in relative peace

There was a tiger at the truck stop
Things were even worse in Houston
Track Name: Died Hard
I come in here to give a eulogy
Josie the bartender leads the ceremony
There’s a service every Saturday night
Pay our respects in the blue light
To the souls that left us

I hold my car keys like a rosary
The flat screen preaches reality
Josie tells me that you’re doing well
You got a big bar tab and a new girl
I’m not trying to raise the dead
Just wanna visit ‘em for a while

Cause old habits died hard
You wouldn’t know a good thing
If it walked in with a skirt on
The ghosts of all our loves
Are still haunting this bar
Oh we went down, honey
Like a glass of crown, honey
Oh we went down, honey
We died hard

That big white church of a house
Your kiss and dirt in my mouth
I line the bottles up in rows
Trace the words like they’re headstones
I think I’m almost ready to lay us down

Goodbye my love, goodbye my love
No more waiting
Track Name: I Can't Love You
I’m gonna leave the light on
I’m gonna leave the pictures up
I’m gonna keep my phone on
But don’t you dare call

You know how to cry to me
You know how to lie to me
You know where to find me
But don’t you dare come

I can’t love you right now
I can’t love you
I can’t love you
I can’t love you right now
Right now

If I could forgive you
If I could stand to see you
If I could be near you
I’m scared of what I’d say

So I’m gonna leave the light on
I’m gonna leave the pictures up
I’m gonna keep my phone on
And I’m gonna wait