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Unlocked 03:47
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
Airshow 03:34
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
New Tricks 02:31
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
Snake Eyes 03:06
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
What I Did 04:17
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
Angel Fire 04:04
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
Stormchasers 03:36
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
Screen Doors 03:35
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
Beast 05:28
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
Died Hard 03:30
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 Behind 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
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


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


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Caroline Reese & the Drifting Fifth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Caroline Reese is an americana songwriter who has been writing and touring since 2010. She's opened for Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Shannon McNally. Reese's 4th album, Tenderfoot, was released Jan. 6, 2017, and the follow-up EP, Two Horses, came out September 8, 2017. ... more

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