Justin Mattes


Black Water
(P.Simmons)
Songs like this one cone but only once in a very long time,so I made op my own little story. I wish it were true, but it isn't+.; One summer night in 1878 along the Mississippi River, a young, slightly crippled man who didn't have much money was sweeping off the deck of a gambling riverboat. He sees this beautiful woman strolling alongside this fat, bossy, meanest man he's seen. Both of them have fancy clothesand the man has just won a blackjack tournament in the boat's casino. He's bragging to everyone on dech what a great hand he had!

Meanwhile the worker notices the sad expression on the pretty lady's face. Now the poor man realizes he could make the woman happy just by treating her like a l;ady. Unlike that fat man, with all that money, who just wants her too keep her mouth shut and act the way he wants her to act. Whenever the woman tries to say something the fat man orders her to shutup or he'll belt her one. The poor man knows all of this becausehe has seen it a million times over, but it isn't his place to say or do anything about it. So he just tips his hat, gives the woman a winkk of sympathy, continues sweeping and says nothing. The fat man and the younglady go into the cabin and the worker never sees them agian. He feels just like a lone steam boat drifting down the great Mississippi River.



Pat Simmons's quote on Black Water
I was into folk blues, and had that riff (sings the fingerpicked melody) – kind of a lazy delta blues thing – to start. Soon after, I was in the studio, recording a part, and while they worked on something in the booth, I start playing that riff, just tweaking around. Our producer, Ted Templeman, said, “What is that? There’s something about that riff that’s really cool.” So I continued to play with it. Shortly after, we were playing some shows in New Orleans when the song started to come to me. I think it was all the wonderful experiences – the food, walking along the Mississippi, the French Quarter, Dixieland music in the clubs. For instance, I wrote the second verse while riding a streetcar up St. Charles Street to the Garden district to do my laundry. It was raining – one of those summer showers where it’s sunny. It was a magical moment for me. So I jotted down the lyrics. “If it rains I don’t care, don’t make no difference to me, just take that streetcar that’s going uptown.”





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