Songs from the Well

by Marca Cassity

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about

Marca Cassity's fourth independent release, "Songs from the Well" is a tribally-funded collection of 11 folk rock spirit songs, that delivers a positive message with Native nuances that speaks to overcoming hardship through resilience, in connection to nature, humor, love, compassion, spirituality, and heritage. The album, recorded at world-renowned Bay area based Fantasy Studios, and produced by Julie Wolf (Indigo Girls, Carly Simon), features guitarist Adam Levy (Tracy Chapman, Norah Jones), bassist Paul Olguin (Mazzy Starr) and drummer Dawn Richardson (4 Non Blondes). For this recording, Marca Cassity was honored to have been recognized by the Osage Nation with a tribal artist grant. The grant provided half of the funding for the project, and the remaining funds came from contributions by fans and supporters through Indiegogo.

Growing up on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma, Marca learned early on about resilience through struggle and persecution. Born a two spirit Indian of mixed heritage in the midst of a blue collar bible belt, Marca’s youth was filled with life challenging adversity. Ostracized, and having outgrown her small town, Marca set out on her life’s journey, studying with spiritual teachers and musicians from around world, eventually becoming a trauma nurse and later a trauma specific counselor for Native American families in San Francisco.

Through her trauma work and spiritual study, Marca became in awe of her own and others resilience. Always writing and producing music, this is Marca’s first album that musically explores resolute human strength with native nuances and the reclamation of her heritage as a way of healing. In the past decade, Marca has been embraced by her people in Oklahoma in a wonderful way, and the pain of the past along with the joy of the evolution is the wellspring from which her latest album springs forth.

The lead off track “Hallelujah” with its percussive rhythm and sage words, “What appears as a betrayal is truly a guiding light,” shines as a beacon on the overarching theme of the album, meditating on the spiritual aspects of forgiveness that allow one to grow, move forward and “ fully choose life.” Producer Julie Wolf joins in backing vocals on the spirited and liberating “Free” with a chorus reminiscent of her work with the Indigo Girls, and adds her beautiful piano work on the touching ballad “Disasters.” On “Goodbye” and “Raven,” Marca’s love of traditional Osage singing, drumming and powwow music from all different nations, as well as the writing influences of musical contemporaries such as Joan Armatrading, Mary Gauthier, and Gillian Welch are evident in her songwriting and instrumentation choices, that blend and weave throughout. The closing track "Bells,” is a heritage song, and features the dance bells of traditional Osage dancers. This summer Marca was honored to sing “Bells” at the inauguration of the new tribal Chief and Congress people on the Osage reservation and was the featured artist on Bay Native Circle radio show in Berkeley.

The album title “Songs from the Well” was inspired by a cousin’s near death vision of a box of unrecorded songs written by Marca that she found in the well house on their Osage Great-Grandmother's land. Thirteen years after her cousin’s vision, Marca sifted through her song catalog to record this album, and realized these eleven tunes were the songs from the well. The well that allowed her to return full circle, home, and back to her roots.

In support of her new album, Marca Cassity will be touring throughout the US in 2014/ 2015. For more information check out: www.marcacassity.com

credits

released October 7, 2014

Produced by Julie Wolf at Fantasy Studios
All songs written by Marca Cassity
Recorded and mixed by Adam Muñoz
Additional recording by Julie Wolf
Mastered by Ken Lee at Ken Lee Mastering
Photography: Teresa Meade
Design: mchl vandenBerg

Marca Cassity: acoustic guitar, vocals, backing vocals
Adam Levy: acoustic guitars, electric guitar
Dawn Richardson: drums and percussion
Julie Wolf: keys, accordion, backing vocals
Paul Olguin: bass
Michaelle Goerlitz: percussion
Green Huse: backing vocals
Rachel Garlin: backing vocals
Kate Wolf: hand claps
Cici Kinsman: hand claps
Ellen Cassity: hand claps

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about

Marca Cassity Oakland, California

Marca Cassity is a bringer of acoustic soul spirit songs. Raised up in rural Oklahoma of Osage Indian heritage and blue collar sweat, hard work is no mystery to her, and it shows in her art and her expression.

Marca's early musical influences include Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, and Neil Young.
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Track Name: Hallelujah
What appears as a betrayal
Is truly a guiding light
Veiled within the darkness
An invitation to the fire

Drowning, drowning
I learn to breathe with all my might
Dying, dying
I fully choose life

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

With neglect comes a sacred yearning
With decay soil for turning
With abuse comes a wounding
Within the wound lies a miracle healing

Falling, within the falling
Is the freedom to fly
Calling, calling
Brings a mother to the child

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Affirming and abiding
Sends the angels eagerly flying
And the universe realigning
And the miracle materializing

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

What appears as a betrayal
Is truly a guiding light
Track Name: Free
In the midst of the commotion
She takes me to the ocean
Feeds me a magic potion
Sings songs of devotion

I’m dirty from the city
Torn up broke down and gritty
She says that I look pretty
And that I’m free to choose to be free

And when it comes to heaven or hell
I guess it all just depends on how I feel about myself
And when it comes to love or fear
Well one is an illusion only one is real

Only love is real
Only love is real

And when I’m looking for something
To ease my pain
It seems that all I’ve got to do
Is just drop the blame

And when I find myself begging
To the lord above
It’s time to get up off my knees
It’s time to choose love

Love love love love love love love
Love love love love love love love

I’m free to choose to be free
I’m free to choose to be free
I’m free to choose to be free
Track Name: Disasters
You were having a great life
You were having a real good time
But your soul was lonely
So you reached out to take my hand

You wanted a sweetheart
Maybe you wanted an angel
But you got a woman who has walked through heaven and hell

Disasters
Require miracles
And I’ve seen some miracles
I have walked in and out of flames

No big deal
Cause only here and now is real
Sometimes my memories
My memories do betray

Baby I’m sorry I left you that way
Baby so sorry I left you that day

I know that space and time
Should make everything better
But I think the great Divine
Is all that will get us through

I’m not asking you
To believe in Jesus
But darling I’m asking you
To believe in us

Disasters
Require miracles
So lets make a miracle
We can walk right out of these flames

No big deal
Cause only here and now is real
If you’re ready
Then I’m ready to walk your way

Baby I’m sorry I left you that way
Baby so sorry I left you that day
Baby I’m sorry I left you that way
Baby so sorry I left you that day
Track Name: Burn
I need a new beginning
I want ground
Solid ground
I need to build myself
A new foundation
Take this façade of myself
And burn it down

Burn
Burn
Burn
It’s time to burn myself down
It’s time to burn myself down

My house is haunted
My building blocks are cracked and broken
Call in the wrecking ball
Come on and level it all
It’s time, it’s time to

Burn
Burn
Burn yeah
It’s time to burn myself down
It’s time to burn myself down

I have been believing in Illusion
I’ve been living my sweet life in seclusion
It’s time to open up my heart
It’s time to open up my mind
It’s time to let my body move and groove it all the time and

Burn
Burn
Burn yeah
It’s time to burn myself down
It’s time to burn myself down
It’s time to burn myself down
It’s time to burn myself down
Track Name: Goodbye
Darkness, darkness
All around
Where shall I be found?
Moonlight, star shine
Glimmering hope down to me
On this cold ground

In the garden
I wander
A place I once knew well
Here in the beauty
Lost in the cruelty
Of love’s final farewell

Goodbye, my love
Goodbye, my beloved
I wish you freedom
from your prison door
The key to which I never found

Fire, fire
Funeral pyre
The ashes of my grief
Phoenix I am awaiting
Your rising

In your talons
I will travel
By your turquoise wings
To a land far away
From my tragic failing

Goodbye, my love
Goodbye, my beloved
I wish you freedom from the war
The peace I could never inspire

Drowning in still water
I reach for the surface
Sunlight guiding me
To my sacred purpose
Releasing, releasing
By my grieving
All of this burden
All is forgiven
And I move forward
As sure as this earth is turning

Goodbye, my love
Goodbye, my beloved
I wish you freedom from the pain
Which I could never ease

I wish you freedom from the pain
Which I could never ease
Goodbye, my love
Goodbye, my beloved
Track Name: Raven
I am craving flying with the Raven
Cause she takes me between the two worlds
She’s got magic in her dark wings
In her heart lies the blue pearl
I am hungry I’ve got some honey
And it feels good in my mouth
But Mama needs some loving and communion
But I’m left hanging too far south

So I breathe in the air
Invoke the water
Honor the earth
Burn in the fire

Breathe in the air
Invoke the water
Honor the earth
Burn in the fire

It’s ok that it turned this way
I can always use time for myself
Time to develop self-love as a habit
Cause you sure cain’t get the from no one else
Oh, I hang out with my diseases
I can cure them good as Jesus
When I find my own true self
Well that makes people nervous
But I do it nonetheless
Cause I think it’s what we came here for

We came to breathe in the air
Invoke the water
Honor the earth
Burn in the fire

Breathe in the air
Invoke the water
Honor the earth
Burn in the fire

Sometimes I feel like an angel
Sometimes I feel like the devil
Sometimes I am free
Sometimes I am bound
I have been recruited, I’ve been persecuted
And it just seems to keep coming ‘round
Yes, but I am not afraid of the man today
Cause he revealed himself in a past life interaction we had
Make no mistake, he burned me at the stake
But it did not hurt that bad

Because I breathed in the air
I invoked the water
I honored the earth
I burned in the fire

I breathed in the air
I invoked the water
I honored the earth
I burned in the fire

Breathe in the air
Invoke the water
Honor the earth
Burn in the fire

Breathe in the air
Invoke the water
Honor the earth
Burn in the fire

I am craving flying with the Raven
Cause she takes me between the two worlds
She’s got magic in her dark wings
In her heart lies the blue pearl
Track Name: Tree
I asked a tree
To help me
And it is
It its own time

I asked a tree
To help me
And it is
It its own time

Time, keeps messing with me in my mind
My mind, keeps messing with me all the time

So I asked a tree
To help me
And it is
In its own time
Track Name: Declaring
I found myself by the roadside
Watching my life go by
I asked a thousand questions
And heard myself answer with a thousand lies
Surrounded by people
I could never seem to get to know
We all traded love for fear
Somewhere a long time ago

No need for war anymore
We are mistaken
In the time that we are taking
All that there is is love
There’s no question
There’s only proclaiming
No need for war anymore
And no more begging God
For the changes
All that there is is love
I’m not asking I am declaring

Everybody says do unto others
As I would have them do unto me
But it’s hard to pull it off
When you don’t even know what the hell you need
So I take a precious moment
Take a moment to gather ‘round
All of these children inside of me
Hanging at the lost and found

No need for war anymore
We are mistaken
In the time that we are taking
All that there is is love
There’s no question
There’s only proclaiming
No need for war anymore
And no more begging God
For the changes
All that there is is love
I’m not asking I am declaring

Finding my brothers and sisters
Amongst the strangers
Knowing there’s only one
Frees me from the danger
True life, true love, true self
True life, true love, true self

No need for war anymore
We are mistaken
In the time that we are taking
All that there is is love
There’s no question
There’s only proclaiming
No need for war anymore
And no more begging God
For the changes
All that there is is love
I’m not asking I am declaring
Track Name: Mother
I must stop
I must stop
I must gracefully, lovingly stop
Got to go
I’ve got to go
To what is left of my home
I must stay there
I must pray there
While the water comes in through the roof
In this house of rot wood and ruin
It’s time for a little home improvement

Mother is here now
Mother is here, now
Mother is here now
Mother is here

Mother is here now
Mother is here

It’s never too late for mama to come home

Teach the demons to dance with the ghosts
Teach the children to pick up their clothes
Hold the rebels up to the light
Fight the devil with all of my might
In this house of push and shove
It’s time for love

Mother is here now
Mother is here, now
Mother is here now
Mother is here

Mother is here now
Mother is here,


It’s never too late for mama to come home
Never too late for mama to come home
Never too late for mama to come home
Track Name: Root
Root yourself in the earth, woman
Come on now and root yourself deep in the earth, woman.
You’ve had the trials and the tribulations
And the deepest violation
But here you are
Beautiful and strong
You’re gonna laugh out loud and sing your song

And root yourself
Root yourself
Come on now, root yourself
Deep in the earth, woman

Find the answers in the rising of the sun
Honor your ancestors and beat the drum
Light the fire put your hands in the dirt
And soon you will find your true worth

If you root yourself
Root yourself
Come on now and root yourself
Deep in the earth, woman

Root yourself in the earth now
Take it way down
Root yourself in the earth now
Take it way down
Root yourself in the earth now
Take it way down
Root yourself in the earth now
Take it way down

Way down, deep down, way down
Way down, deep down, way down
Way down, deep down, way down
Way down, deep down, way down

Root yourself
Root yourself
Come on now and root yourself
Deep in the earth, woman

Tap into love deep in your chest
Look at yourself the worst the best
And cry, cry, cry, cry and some more ooo yeah
Show the evil spirit the door

And root yourself
Root yourself
Come on now and root yourself
Deep in the earth, woman

Root yourself
Root yourself
Come on now and root yourself
Deep in the earth, woman
Track Name: Bells
Singing of where I’m from
My heritage, my blood
Red earth, blue sky
The lightning of my Grandmother

In my heart there lives a drum
Beating into the sound of bells
Ancestors on my tongue
Singing songs from the well

Sky people rising from the reign of terror
Children of middle water
Singing our prayers

In our hearts there lives a drum
Beating into the sound of bells
Ancestors on our tongues
Singing songs from the well