Yucca Gold

by Joseph Bradshaw

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Featuring Grammy-winning producer and bassist John Spiker (Steve Earle, Beck, Pete Yorn) and percussionist James Mcalister (Sufjan Stevens).


released June 10, 2016

Words and Music by Joseph Bradshaw*
Recorded and Mixed by John Spiker**
Produced by John Spiker & Joseph Bradshaw
Mastered by Nate Wood
Cover Design by Greg Perkins
Cover Image by Joseph Bradshaw

Vocals, Guitars: Joseph Bradshaw
Bass Guitar: John Spiker
Drums, Percussion: James McAlister
Background Vocals: Casey Chambers
Steel Guitar: Christopher Wray
Harmonium: Natalie Nicoles
Mandolin: Jonathan Sosin

Horn Arrangements: Corey Martin
Tenor Saxophone: Joe DiFlori
Trombone: Julius Lopez
Alto Saxophone: Jonathan Wang

*Track 2 by Joseph Bradshaw &Christopher Wray
Track 7 by R. Carradine & John B. Bryant

**Additional Recording by Ebiut Cervantes, Corey Martin, Jonathan Sosin and Christopher Wray

Copyright Joseph Bradshaw, 2017



all rights reserved


Joseph Bradshaw Nashville, Tennessee

Plays guitar and songs.

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Track Name: Lone Freeway
Bust a buck to pay a bill
Taking cash, a hopeless thrill
Plastic in, paper out
Cause soon you’ll have to do without

It’s a cold hard winter on a lone freeway
Burning gas just to get yourself paid
If you never lose to the blowing wind
When the storm comes down you’re gonna need a friend

Say “Hello, how do you do?”
You’ll know me well before the night is through.”
I came to be seen, I came to be heard
An invisible man whistling like a bird


Cash rolls in but it’s not enough
Living here’s been mighty tough
But you gotta show up and make ‘em grin
Though your body wastes and you’re getting thin

A wasteland grows in your bank account
Your hurt is full so you do without
Ain’t nothing worse than going gold
So strap in kid cause you’re getting old


These are hard luck times but it’s gotta be done
And if you give up now you’ll never be someone
So wrap up tight, the cold’s coming again
And it’ll only slow once you let it win
Track Name: Cultivating Crime
There’s a place in my mind for cultivating crime

Where the ghosts of my past don’t seem so far behind
Though I am a young man, appearing gentle and kind
There’s a place in my mind for cultivating crime

Amarillo Cindy was a sight to behold
Her faults were often pretty, her hate was always cold
Her charms they were a plenty, but evil was her row
She turned tricks and stole for money, and she dragged me down a hole

She said, “Do you love me?” I said, “I don’t know.”
“Well, you know that I’m leaving, though I’ve got nowhere to go.
“I’m all you ever wanted, and I’m opening the door.”

So, I threw her out the window, and Cindy was no more.


Heading down the highway without a nickel to my name
Desperate men do desperate things, but I know I am to blame
I went from a decent man to an outlaw on the run
And Cindy’s there to meet me at every setting sun

Now I’m stuck in Huntsville, no more to see the sky
My hands are chained and bound, my sentence is to die
Although my life is over, I do not have a care
You see, cultivating crime is a curious affair

Track Name: Made to Be Sold
On a quiet, tree lined street
Made for men whose houses meet
With ruined toil and endless pay
That fill the void of yesterday

The wooden floors never creak
Till half past three you hear the creep
Of father John climb into bed
And you see it writ upon his head

A dagger has been thrown—with a curse it was cast
Into a heart of gold that’s ever turning black
Doom runs deep in a holy, ruined soul
With a heart broken down and growing cold

“I am a man,” cries brother Cal
Whose sway is broad and needs are now
He spent his early years alone
'Til hungry wealth bought him a home

But thrones are lost when power’s gone
And Cal’s big chair fell down upon
The thieves of men whose hearts have run
A jackal’s den that Cal called love


In my home lives a man
Who finds his name on every brand
Of borrowed love, unrealized
Behind the eyes, lobotomized

He speaks of him who lives on high
Hoping man can be divine
But all his sordid, selfish needs
Make him look like you and me


Our hearts have been made to be sold
Track Name: Lord of the Coal Fields
Mountain top blown clear
Fills the valley down below
Water’s running gray round here
To my home from long ago

Hurricane, West Virginia
That my kin have called so dear
Now home to silt and sulfate
And destruction’s coming near

Many years my homeland set down
Free from tyranny, in the mountains it was found
Now the hills are all empty and tomorrow’s looking dark
For the lord of the coal fields has come and left his mark

Schools made of chalk
Trucks running round
Now there’s no place left to walk
Cause the man has come to town


Well I guess I’d better go
Time’s a coming near
There’s nothing left to sow
For the land has gone from here

Track Name: Union County
High in the hills of Union County,
There is a place both fair and fell;
I once did trod its very borders,
And there did find the gates of Hell.

Its walls are green, its doors are open;
They call for you, say come and rest.
The trail is plain, well marked and gentle,
Its comforts full, its harvest blest.

A lady red—all shine and pretty;
Reaches to you, says, “Come and dine
On flesh unmarred,” but on the inside
Lies coiled a worm about her spine.

She comes to you to offer blessing;
So you take a bite and feel divine.
Then juices swell within your belly,
But you hold it down, and then you die.

Its core is plain once you have eaten
From Union’s fruit both fell and fair.
It turns to dust and you’ve been beaten;
Ne’er more to roam, more leave that lair.

So tarry not on yonder barrow:
Home to the lady of despair;
Keep on the road of watchful waiting—
I’ve travelled long to warn you here.
Track Name: Lester and Pauline
Lester and Pauline were two of a kind
Two hearts made of silver with neither a dime
Not even a penny or a note to their name
But a love that was sweeter was ne’er seen again

Lester worked construction in the sunshine and rain
His body was weak but he was numb to the pain
And he worked with conviction for he took novocaine
Made with love from his sweetheart, his life’s only gain


Pauline was a waitress in a small diner car
Found from Tampa to Tulsa where she tended the bar
The riders who met her knew she never was far
From her home, Oklahoma, and her bright shining star


Pauline and her Lester took a train pointed West
To escape the destruction of the pain without rest
But their train never made it through the desert of rust
Neath the painted stone arches lies our lovers in dust
Track Name: There's a Hill Lone and Grey
There’s a hill lone and grey, in a land far away,
In a country beyond the blue sea,
Where beneath the fair sky went a Man forth to die
For the world and for you and for me.

Oh, it bows down my heart
And the teardrops will start,
When in mem’ry that grey hill I see.
For ‘twas there on its side, Jesus suffered and died
To redeem a poor sinner like me.

Behold! Faint on the road, ‘neath a world’s heavy load,
Comes a thorn crowned Man on the way,
With a cross He is bowed, but still on through the crowd
He’s ascending that hill lone and grey.


Let the sun hide its face, let the earth reel apace,
Over men who their Savior have slain;
But behold from the sod, comes the blest Lamb of God,
Who was slain and is risen again.

Shout aloud then my soul,
Let the glad tidings roll
From the land to the end of the sea!
Where beneath that far sky when a man hoped to die
For the world and for you and for me.
Track Name: Blue Ridge Dear
I sat right back and I closed my eyes
And I left this place where poor souls die
I saw that buck and I watched him fall
And I felt like I had left it all

I felt I was there, so far from here
Lost in the hills of the blue ridge dear

With elbow room and air so clear
In a land of horns with the heavens near

A bluegrass home is wide and free
Where the land itself is all I need
A dream to roam has been my yoke
And this weary world is a cruel joke

Old Daniel Boone as he wandered south
Found the Cumberland Gap and he set out north
Saw Kentucky grass and he laid it straight
Said, “This land here must be Heaven’s gate”


Thank You, Lord, for this gift of song
When you’re doomed to a world where you don’t belong
A shady street is a nice retreat
But there’s a world out there that you’re meant to meet

Track Name: All the Weather Round
It’s been 90 for a week or so
Clouds are gathered but they never go
And I’m here waiting for the wind to blow
So I’ll stay with you all the weather round

Cool breeze blowing down the alley way
Sun’s real hot, so I’d better stay
Close to you in this blanket of shade
But I’d stay with you all the weather round

In hot or cold, in snow or rain
Forever tied through any pain
My heart is full when you’re around
I’ll stay with you all the weather round

Storm’s a brewin’ cross the desert land
Come in close let me hold your hand
When the waters come down we can make a stand
I’ll stay with you all the weather round


Way up high on a mountain top
Snow’s falling fast—it may never stop
But you and I, we can weather any spot
Yeah I’ll stay with you all the weather round

Track Name: Little Bird
Little bird, little bird: why’d you go away?
Little bird, little bird: why’d you go away?

You came in with a wail
You were telling a tale
Of what came before
You waltzed through that door
You took a deep breath
And laid on my chest
Fighting to live
Taking all I could give


On a dark theater stair
Sits the one without care
Watching life move along
As though nothing is wrong
My heart fills with dread
For what lies ahead
He doesn’t know
What comes with the show


You said, “That’s all I got.”
Though you knew it was not
But you still walked away
So our sun set that day
I could never forget
The way that you left
With a smile on your face
Then you finished your race


You see the fun’s just begun, but you’ve already gone
Little bird, little bird: why’d you go away?