Thunder And Rain

Its about love, we’re born with love, we’ll leave with love, and it heals along the way

Steve Louw

Release date: 11th November 2022 | Label: BFD/The Orchard | Catalogue number: BFD448
Produced by Kevin Shirley.

Cover | Tracks | Musicians | Notes on the songs | Lyrics | Credits | Press & Playlists | Reviews

Steve Louw - Thunder And Rain,  November 2022
Steve Louw – Thunder And Rain, November 2022

Tracks

  1. Thunder And Rain [4:16]
  2. I’ll Be Back [3:19]
  3. Mother, Don’t Go [4:02] (featuring Joe Bonamassa)
  4. Giving Up On Me [5:12]
  5. Take Me Down [6:30]
  6. My Stony Bed [2:53]
  7. The Road Fades From Sight [5:41]
  8. Driving Through The Night [6:21]
  9. Standing In The Rain [5:33]
  10. I’m Coming Home [3:24]

All songs written by Steve Louw
©2022 ASCAP/Slosongs/Sony Music Publishing

Steve Louw – Thunder And Rain

Musicians

Its nothing but a pleasure to work with an artist like Steve (Louw), with a world class band and Kevin “Caveman” Shirley behind the console, you can’t go wrong. Its a honour to play a part. “Thunder and Rain” sounds great!

Doug Lancio (Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Steve Earle)

Notes On The Songs

By Steve Louw

Thunder And Rain

The world is navigating through a fraught time, economically and politically. Democracy is a deal between the people and the people in power, and that contract is under threat. Outraged but impotent, we consider our choices.

Written from the point of view of what we face in the aftermath of the last two years, the character in the song walks the line between right and wrong, unsure where that line is drawn and the consequences of following a moral imperative.

We are all making our way and, on our journey, trying to surpass the physical and spiritual roadblocks we encounter with grace and love for ourselves and our fellow travellers.

I’ll Be Back

I had old traditional Country songs, like “Long Black Veil” in mind when I wrote, “I’ll be Back”.

It’s essentially an acoustic song in its structure, story, and heart, but recorded in the context of drums and electric guitar, with a great Hammond solo by Kevin McKendree.

The acoustic guitar riff, doubled with Doug Lancio’s great mandolin playing, is the song’s beating heart and sets up the verse, the chorus, and the narrative.

I think of “I’ll be Back” as a modern folk song. Its story of the triangle of deceived husband, star-crossed lovers, and murder is one that keeps playing out through centuries.

The acoustic instrumentation sets the backdrop for the song, one of dusty plains, small-town intrigue, and broken love. 

Mother, Don’t Go

In 2020 I had been in my home on our farm for more than six months when I made the trip to Cape Town. I had been playing the only guitar that I had with me, an old acoustic.

In town, I traded with my buddy, Willem Moller, for a beautiful 1964 Epiphone Casino. When I got home, I took the Casino out of its case, and the first thing I played on it was the riff on “Mother, Don’t Go”.

The riff took me to the lyric, to the beauty of a mother’s love. It’s a simple song, and its simplicity celebrates the joy and longing for unconditional, selfless love.

Giving Up on Me

“Pack Up and Go and Get Out of Town, Cause It’s Not Big Enough for The Two of Us” could’ve been the title of this song! A longer title but “Giving Up on Me” says it all.

Take Me Down

The Casino guitar gave me the gift of this song. The intro riff played high on the neck, sounding ‘Beatlesque’, led me to the chord changes and chorus.

A song of endings and beginning of solace in solitude, of joy in the future, of hope, resilience, and anticipation for the future.

My Stony Bed

A Railroad song, a weird imagining of a lonely railroad man, a deserted train line, and a train that never comes.

The stony bed of the tracks acts as a metaphor for his longing and memories of lost love.

No drums, handclaps, slide guitar and strange guitar turnarounds set the scene for a walk down the tracks to no-man’s land.

The Road Fades from Sight

Confronting your mortality, it’s easy to see the journey of your life and the love that has lit up the road.

Beacons of love, family and community give us light and strength all along that road.

Driving Through the Night

A road song: a song of longing to get back from solitude, back home. Risking it all on a dangerous all-night drive, the driver has to keep going, has to get to love.

Written from the point of view of a sleep-deprived vagabond, we are in his netherworld, reaching out for love.

Standing in the Rain

Two people confront what they had, what they’ve lost and what the future holds for them. Solitude, freedom, self-realisation?

Jade MacRae’s soulful singing takes this ballad into a place of mystical spiritual renewal.

I’m Coming Home

A song set in blasted landscape, fear, and confusion, but ultimately a song of hope and redemption through love, empathy, and community. 

Doug Lancio haunts the song with his beautiful slide guitar playing.



Lyrics

Thunder and Rain

(Recorded 8 February 2022)

Standing, waiting for the lights to change
Yeah, I’m filled with rage
Choppers are beating down
Broken signs blowing across the ground.

Thunder and rain in our town
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

A burning match lights a cigarette
This flame won’t catch the fight that’s in my head
In the window of a black and white
My face reflected in the burning night.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

Where I was raised, we knew no hate
An open door and an unlocked gate
Tried to live by the law
I don’t know ‘bout that anymore
I never crossed the line
One that’s always been in my mind
I’ve given truth to lies
I see it written in my eyes.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

In a concrete room under the ground
This was all sent coming down
The lights go out on a man who hates
The book he holds, holds his fate.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain right now.

We’re all born, we all bleed
We’ve all been torn, we’re all in need
We all live, we all die
We all wanna get high.

Thunder, rain coming down
Can’t understand the pain right now.

Thunder And Rain hand written lyrics

I’ll Be Back

(Recorded 6 February 2022)

This is a clean white shirt, put on today
It’s streaked in dirt
There’s no other way I’ll walk the miles
With Hell to pay
Just to see you smile, If I could stay a while
Leave before the night comes down
Before your man comes around.

I’ll be back with the sinking moon
I’ll be back to get you
I’ll be back before long
I’ll be back, we’ll be gone.

Been put down, you been hurt
You can’t remember which one came first
The look you got in your eyes
You could see one hundred miles
I’ll burn the bridges that get to you
Unpick the stitches and cut the noose
Nothing left for you to say
We’ll leave this town at the break of day.

I’ll be back with the sinking moon
I’ll be back to get you
I’ll be back before long
I’ll be back, we’ll be gone.

You killed a man in ‘92
He killed your lover, tried to kill you
Barefoot, on broken stones
You walk the empty hills alone
With the full moon sinking down
Waiting at the edge of town
Waiting for your man to come
He said he’d be back, and you’d be gone.

I’ll be back with the sinking moon
I’ll be back to get you
I’ll be back before long
I’ll be back, we’ll be gone.

I’ll be back with the sinking moon
I’ll be back to get you
I’ll be back before long
I’ll be back, and we’ll be gone.

Mother, Don’t Go

(Recorded 16 July 2022)

I, Mother is gone
Why, Mother is gone
Gone too soon
You’re gone too soon.

Cry when Mother is gone
Why, Mother is gone
Gone too soon
Mother need you.

You’re bright as 16 suns, the only one
Sweet as 16 moons that have gone too soon
Bright as 16 suns, the only one
And a mother’s love keeps you strong
Keeps you going on.

Why is Mother gone?
Try to be strong
Mother, don’t go
Take me down slow
High as the burning sun
Fly to the sky as one
Of the universe, a child become.

You’re bright as 16 suns, the only one
Sweet as 16 moons that have gone too soon
Bright as 16 suns, the only one
And a mother’s love keeps you strong
Keeps you going on.

You’re bright as 16 suns, the only one
Sweet as 16 moons that have gone too soon
Bright as 16 suns, the only one
A mother’s love keeps you strong
Keeps you going on
Mother, don’t go
Take me down slow.

Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden
Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden

My Stony Bed

(Recorded 7 February 2022)

Sky burning fire
Water turning red
Sky burning fire
Water turning red, yeah
Dream of you tonight
From my stony bed.

Every morning
Go out on the rail
Every morning, yeah
Got to go out on the rail
Put down my head to hear the sound
Of that lonesome wail.

If I ever see you
Tryin’ to flag a ride
If I ever, yeah, see you
Tryin’ to flag a ride
I’ll pick you up
Down by the riverside.

This shortwave station
Times a hard to hear
This shortwave station, yeah
Oh, times a hard to hear
Your letter of love
Coming through to me
Oh, loud and clear.

Sky burning fire, yeah
Rivers run red
Sky burning fire
See the rivers running red
You’re not getting out of me, babe
You’re never leaving my head
My stony bed
In my stony bed.

Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden
Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden

Giving Up On Me

(Recorded 8 February 2022)

I should’ve kept driving
Straight on through
That’s one more place I wish
I’d never been to
And one more face
I can’t picture good
I should’ve seen
Through you, ah yeah.

But I just couldn’t see
You were giving up on me
Yeah, yeah
You were giving up on me.

I’ve been told, yeah, yeah
There is a way that leads
Right off this road
There’s nothing left for me
To do around here
Just got to bounce my way
Right down these stairs
Oh, who cares?

I couldn’t see, I couldn’t see
You were giving up on me
Giving up on me
Giving up on me.

You left me bleeding
And that’s OK
I’ve been needing you
But today’s the last day
I set the bar way down low
It was more like a broken down
Fence pole, oh no, no, no, no.

I just couldn’t see that you were giving up on me
I just couldn’t see that you were giving up on me
Why’d you do it?
Giving up on me, oh yeah

Just like a freight train
Never saw it coming
Never saw those headlights
Oh, they were running
They were running right down this track
They were right down my back
Just right down my back
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Why’d you do me, do it to me
Why’d you do me, like you do me
Baby, do me good.

Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden
Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden

Take Me Down

(Recorded 7 February 2022)

Five in the morning
I’m out of my head
I can hear voices calling
People I thought were dead
And it’s alright, you know
When you’re down on your knees
I can see the light
Coming up on the trees.

Take me down, down, down
Down to the ground
You got to count me down
Count me down, but don’t count me out
Count me down to the ground.

Hey, I got to say, it’s gonna be OK
Hey, I got to say, it’s gonna be OK.

One more piece to make a picture
‘Til you can say yes
I think you know the one
I’m sure you can guess
Yeah, the love you feel
That’s been laid at your gate
Oh, you know, you know it’s real
You can feel the weight.

You gotta take me down, down, down
Take me down to the ground, yeah, yeah
Count me down, count me down, yeah
Don’t count me out, down, down.

I said hey, I want to say hey
It’s gonna be OK, it’s gonna be OK
I got to say, it’s gonna be OK
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh yeah, yeah.

‘Cause I’ll take the hours
I’m watching the trees
Or the flowers
Around the bees
Or that picture, anything I please
It’s alright, it’s OK, ‘cause I’m gonna be
I’m, I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be free, yeah, yeah.

You got to take me down, down, down
You can take me down, down, down not out
Just count me down, down, down to the ground
Take me down, take me rolling round.

I said hey, I got to say
It’s gonna be OK
I got to say, you gonna be OK
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You can hear it now, it’s gonna be
You got to be, yeah free, oh yeah
Gonna be, gonna be, gonna be
You gonna be, yeah, yeah, free
I got to say, it’s gonna be OK
I got to say, gonna be OK
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden
Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden

The Road Fades from Sight

(Recorded 6 February 2022)

We’ve been walking through this valley
Water flowing through the pine
On this long road, you’ve had to carry
A heavy load from time to time.

Won’t you walk with me
In our dreams, tonight?
Can I walk beside you
To where the road fades from sight

I have loved you, my darling
You’ve loved me so many times
You needn’t wonder, I always carry you
With me in my mind.

Won’t you walk with me
In our dreams, tonight?
Can I walk beside you
To where the road fades from sight

Take me with you, my darling
We’ll walk the long road back home
Side by side, we’ll walk together
Our children already grown.

Won’t you walk with me
In our dreams, tonight?
Can I walk beside you
To where the road fades from sight

Won’t you walk with me
Into our dreams, tonight?
Can I walk, oh beside you
To where the road fades from sight

Driving Through The Night

(Recorded 6 February 2022)

I’m driving through the night
To get back to you
Me and these headlights
Trying to get through
Got to keep on going
Got to stay awake
Got to get to you
Before the day breaks.

Be back in your street
I’ll be back in your head
I’ll be back in the heat
Baby, back in your bed.

I’ll be with you when you open your eyes
I see you in the night sky
Keep it together, and keep on going
All I hear is the engine’s moan.

Open my eyes to a truck engine roar
Following the lights leading to your door
If I don’t stop now, I might not get to you
I’ve gotta beat the clock, I’ve gotta get through.

Be back in your street
Back in your head
I’ll be back in the heat
Baby, back in your bed.

Be with you when you open your eyes
I see you in the night sky
Keep it together, keep on going
All I hear is the engine’s moan.

See a flashing light, roadblock up ahead
Gonna hang a right, take a two-track instead
I gotta get to you, it’s been too long
I gotta get through before the night is gone.

Be back in your sheets
I’ll be back in your head
I’ll be back in the heat
Baby, back in your bed.

Be with you when you open your eyes
I see you in the night sky
Keep it together, keep on going
All I hear is this engine’s moan.

A VW bus, not the fastest thing around
If I don’t get bust, I’ll see you while the sun is down
If I can get through, I’ll be back in town
Be back in your room before anyone’s around.

Back in your sheets
Back in your head
I’ll be back in the heat
Baby, back in your bed.

Keep it together, keep on going
All I hear is the engine’s moan
Be with you when you open your eyes
I see you in the night sky.

Driving through the night
To the daylight
Through the headlights
To daylight.

Standing In The Rain

(Recorded 8 February 2022)

Wasn’t you or me to blame
It was us going up in flames
I got blood in my veins
It’s late enough to kill this pain
I’m out of here, I’m on my way
A long road and that’s OK.

Was it you, was it me
Wanted to, wanted to be free?
It’s hard to know, it’s hard to see
What wasn’t meant to be, wasn’t meant to be.

Gambling in the dark ‘til we turned up
Two bleeding hearts
Yeah, it’s hard to understand, I was no more
Than dust on your hands
Find myself, walking alone
On the dark side of the road.

Was it you, was it me
Wanted to, wanted to be free?
It’s hard to know, hard to see
What wasn’t meant to be, wasn’t meant to be.

Since you’re gone from day to day
I’ve got to deal with way less pain
Change my phone, my name
Looks like I won’t see you again
With a hunger to understand
How I found myself alone in the rain.

Was it you, was it me
Wanted to, wanted to be free?
It’s hard to know, yeah it’s hard to see
What wasn’t meant to be, wasn’t meant to be.

Was it you, was it me
Wanted to, wanted to be free?
It’s hard to know, it’s hard to see
What wasn’t meant to be, wasn’t meant to be.

Was it you, was it me
Wanted to be.

Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden
Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden

I’m Coming Home

(Recorded 7 February 2022)

Freedom ain’t singing freedom songs
Been that way since the revolution gone
Fires burning, earth stained in blood
Dark clouds falling, river raging flood.

It’s the loving and the making
So many ways you can walk along this road
My mind, my body aching
I’m coming back home.

Come down from the mountains, from the highlands
Wild horses plough the earth, of a desolate land
Past deserted stations, down broken trains
Won’t be bringing anyone, taking them back again.

It’s the loving and the making
So many ways you can walk along this road
My mind, my body aching
I’m coming back home.

You can take the high road
I’ll walk along the sea
Magnolia blossom, sweet-smelling tree
The blood of our fathers lights the road we’re on
Moving out of the darkness to a place in the sun.

It’s the loving and the making
So many ways you can walk along this road
My mind, my body aching
I’m coming back home.


Credits

Produced by Kevin Shirley
Recorded at Ocean Way Studios, Nashville, TN

Engineer: Austin Atwood
Mixed by Kevin Shirley
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME

Thanks to Kevin Shirley, Guy Henderson and Bob Ludwig

As always, with all my love to Blom, Katie, Nini and Lili

All songs written by Steve Louw
©2022 ASCAP/Slosongs/Sony Music Publishing

Photography and Design by Jacqui Van Staden


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