Teen Angst and the Green Flannel

by Tom Flannery and the Shillelaghs

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credits

released January 1, 2012

Tom Flannery – Guitar, harmonica, lead vocals
Joseph “Wiggy” Wegleski – Guitars, Ukelele
Lenny Mecca – Bass, background vocals
Chris Condel – Drums

Honorary Shillelaghs

Tom Borthwick – piano, organ, background vocals
Lorne Clarke – background vocals

All songs by Tom Flannery
except * by Tom Flannery and Joseph Wegleski

copyright 2012 (BMI)

recorded over 4 nights during the winter and spring of 2012
at Sound Investments, Old Forge, PA
Produced and Mixed by Joseph Wegleski
Mastered by Tom Borthwick

Tom Flannery and the Shillelagh’s debut album, Teen Angst and the Green Flannel is not available on vinyl. But it should be. It has a pure rock and roll sound that is a throwback to another era; something you rarely hear on the radio today….a stellar album of pure rock, full of angst, pain, and love (or something like it). It is a guitar driven reflection on life from the point of view of what has always driven rock and roll: youth. Teen Angst and the Green Flannel is a rock album done right, meant to be played loud….

Like all great legendary songs of rock and roll, many of the tunes on this album are about girls, love and lust. “She Ain’t Mine (But She Should Be)” opens with a Benny Goodman-esque drum roll and powers through with screaming guitar and a classic rock beat. Then there’s “Now She’s Gone” and “I Just Want Her Off My Mind,” reflecting on feelings we all had growing up. Listening to them made me wonder how I even made it out of my teen years, when every look, every gesture was misinterpreted and reinterpreted into something much more than it actual was. “I Just Want Her Off My Mind” hits this home nicely, with Flannery’s voice accentuated by solo guitar between stanzas and ending with a melancholic harmonica, reminiscent of vintage Dylan. It’s great hearing Flannery with more than just an acoustic guitar and he seems at home in the midst of distortion, power and beat. Electricity flows freely through this album.

The album slows down twice, in the retrospective “Cincinnati” and “Maybe It’s True.” “Cincinnati” is a stunner of a song, with a beautiful piano accompaniment and lyrics reflecting a love lost and an uncertainty about what lies ahead:

Wounds as raw as a name carved in stone
When love comes tumblin’ down
Before I get old there’s safes to be blown
I’ll dive in the river and drown

“Once rock got into your head it stayed there,” Flannery writes in the voice of Jimmy. “And if you tried to run away it tracked your ass down and did it to you all over again. Rock that mattered I mean. The kind that made people wince. It’s still around if you look hard enough.”

Indeed, it is.

— Bruce David Janu – award winning documentary filmmaker

“I hear Flannery was aiming at a kind of coal cracker’s Quadrophenia, and he’s hit it. It’s got all the urgency, the angst and the manic melancholy of the place he writes from.”

— Seamus McGraw / contributor to Playboy, Reader’s Digest, Penthouse, Radar, Spin, and The Forward. Author of The End Of Country

“Teen Angst and the Green Flannel” kicks in the door as well as anything done by the Stooges and the Who in their primes…a truly great rock and roll record.”
— Mike Naydock / OurTownRadio

“You can picture the group continuously jumping around the room and having a blast playing loud, fun rock ’n roll. They sound like the lovechild of The Who and 1986 R.E.M”
— Electric City

“A rip-roaring, guitar-driven, foot-stompin’ collection of old-school roadhouse rock. Play this one loud and enjoy.”
— Alan K. Stout, 102.3-FM, The Mountain.

“Stunning.This is solid, straight-up rock-n-roll in the tradition of The Who, The White Stripes, Crazy Horse, The Heartbreakers, and The Replacements….Tom Flannery really took a chance writing this record…assemble a group of studio pro’s, but made them play with the exuberance of a young garage band. Craft a batch of professional songs with big hooks and big melodies, but filter them through the eyes of a f**ked up teenager. And hope that it all works. Oh. Make it a semi-concept album, too…I suggest that music lovers give this CD a whirl. Turn it up to ten, like the way it was recorded, and be prepared to feel good…..

The Shillelaghs are the best kept secret in Pennsylvania.”

– Ron Simasek (Badlees)

Tom Flannery has been carrying on the tradition of the folksinger for twenty-some years. He has written his share of topical songs, historical songs (“Anthracite Shuffle”), musings on the state of the world, and has managed to work more than a few contemporary characters from the real world into his songs. For a quite a while, he resisted any kind of added production. (I know: I produced his first two albums.) And his minimalist approach was just right for his lyrics, which often had enough twists that elaborate musical backing would distract.

But deep down inside, I got the feeling he wanted to rock out at some point…and that is what Flannery has done on his new album “Teen Angst & the Green Flannel.” A band album comprising three other veteran musicians from varying backgrounds: including rock, blues and reggae, the Shillelaghs give Flannery a chance to plug in and turn it up.

It’s a bunch of mainly love songs, making the rounds through appropriate territory from broken hearts, to unrequited love, to “get lost.” But the material works well, and Flannery’s lyrical powers are harnessed to the matters at hand. It’s not a total electrification though. There are a pair of very nice acoustic tracks, “Cincinnati” which fits into the broken heart category, and the melancholy “Maybe It’s Time.”

The one bit of the old Flannery the balladeer actually comes on one of rockers. “I Think About That Train,” weaves in a bit the regional mining history and Flannery’s fascination with railroads and their part in his home area. The band is tasteful enough not to interfere with his words.

It’s obvious that Flannery and his band had fun making the music. Those who have discovered Flannery’s seemingly endless supply of folksongs may be in for a surprise, but it’s an enjoyable record that’s well done all around.

— George Graham / WVIA-FM

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Tom Flannery Scranton, Pennsylvania

"One of the most gifted songwriters to emerge at the turn of the century"
-- The All Music Guide

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Track Name: If I Only Knew
If I knew I wouldn’t be here
if I knew then you could ask
if I knew then I’d allow you
to dig into my past
but I’m mixed up in confusion
just waiting for the time of day
when you climb inside my head
and decide you want to stay

If I knew you’d drive the stake in
if I knew you’d turn around
to show off all the others
on the bad side of town
’cause being me ain’t easy
like being you must be
invisible in the hallways
staring right through me

If I knew what it meant to love you
if I knew what it meant to care
all the pain worth giving
if I knew I’d still be there

If I knew what parts were true
I’d take ’em all away from you
yea if I only knew

If I knew you would be gone
if I knew when you were bound
then I’d flow like lava
and burn down this town
’cause a head is still conncted
to a heart you give up on
I may have chopped it clean off
if I knew you’d take so long

If I knew what it meant to love you
If I knew what it mean to care
all the pain worth giving
if I knew you’d still be there

If I knew how this would end
I’d start it all over again
yea if I only knew

If I knew I’d have just one chance
to not make you cry
I’d catch the rain in buckets
just to keep you dry
if I had to steal a fortune
or live hand to fist
without you by my side
oh the fun we’d miss

If I knew what it meant to love you
If I knew what it mean to care
all the pain worth giving
if I knew you’d still be there
If I knew your tears were lazy
and your smile razor wires
I’d throw myself upon the fence
and wait for the guards to fire
Track Name: Cincinnati
It’s cold outside with the wind blowing off the river
December ’round here’s for real
Ghosts in the snow even they can shiver
singing songs for Gods who steal

Cincinnati Cincinnati
gone dance it away

Wounds as raw as a name carved in stone
When love comes tumblin’ down
Before I get old there’s safes to be blown
I’ll dive in the river and drown

In Cincinnati Cincinnati
we’re gonna dance it away
In Cincinnati Cincinnati
here we gotta stay

Can you make your way home in the dark
Can you just materialize
like a musty photograph with a spark
hide behind the eyes

Cincinnati Cincinnati
we’re gonna dance it away

I don’t wanna go back
I don’t wanna stay here
I got feet of clay
I got a phantom tear
to all it seemed
just like a war
still we don’t know
what we’re fighting for

I’m still in love with a young girl’s face
the memories got a will
tonight I’ll bundle up in her place
to ward off the winter chill

Cincinnati in Cincinnati
we’re gonna dance it away
In Cincinnati Cincinnati
here we gotta stay

I don’t wanna go back
I don’t wanna stay here
I got feet of clay
I got a phantom tear
to all it seemed
just like a war
still we don’t know
what we were fighting for

Cincinnati in Cincinnati
we’re gonna dance it away
In Cincinnati Cincinnati
here we gotta stay
Track Name: She Ain’t Mine (But She Should Be)
She goes up she comes down
she backs up she turns around
floats high comes in low
tells all then don’t know

She ain’t mine but she should be
ain’t mine but she should be
good times well it would be
she’s alright

Eyes light then go black
hair up then tossed back
smiles pretty turns cold
too young then she’s too old

She ain’t mine but she should be
good times well it would be
fine wine well it could be
she’s alright

How can I know what moves her
when I see right through her
how can I make this all pay
when she’s giving it all away

Sees him as a tool
uses her like a fool
needs me can’t see
requires brains….desperately

She ain’t mine but she should be
good times well it would be
fine wine well it could be
she’s alright

How can I know what moves her
when I see right through her
how can I make this all pay
when she’s giving it all away

She goes up she comes down
she backs up she turns around
floats high comes in low
tells all then don’t know

She ain’t mine but she should be
good times well it would be
fine wine well it could be
she’s alright
Track Name: Sleeping In
A fifth of something
a tumbler of gin
point your Saturday night towards
some badly needed sin
My name is Jimmy
we ain’t no kin
let’s celebrate by sleeping in

Save on breakfast and lunch
stay down till four
then a dinner date
and we’ll crawl on the floor
on our bellies like snakes
yang to my ying
well the world ain’t crooked
when you’re sleeping in

You may rise at the break of day
put on your shoes and run away
from the things that go bump in the night
fighting trim
from the stage fright

Face your fears
or sleep alone
throwing darts and the telephone
when it rains it pours
it’s the damnedest thing
you don’t gotta worry
’cause we’re sleeping in

You may rise at the break of day
put on your shoes and run away
from the things that go bump in the night
fighting trim
from the stage fright

A fifth of something
a tumbler of gin
point your Saturday night towards
some badly needed sin
My name is Jimmy
we ain’t no kin
let’s celebrate by sleeping in
Track Name: Does It Matter
Sometimes my head gets lost in the crowd
sometimes my mouth it talks too loud
sometimes some people
they don’t understand
the things that I let
slip through my hands

Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you

Down in the alley
and up on the roofs
gotta have the look
you gotta have proof
look in the mirror
and give it the guy
and it’ll believe
that you never cry

Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you

How can I get past
If I can’t get through

Yea up on the stage
you stagger around
pumped up with pills
and shaky ground
I’m green with envy
and too much beer
ain’t gonna listen
if you can’t hear

Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you

Lay myself down to sleep
asking for nothing
that I can’t keep
If I knew then
what I know now
I’d turn the tables
and take a bow

Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
How can I get past
if I can’t get through
Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
Does it matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
Track Name: Didn’t Feel It Coming
Doctor said “son it’s all in your head”
he gave me some pills and sent me to bed
so I dreamt of you all night and day
slept like a baby with no place to stay
it ain’t much fun being this way
didn’t feel it coming but that’s ok

This place hurts down to the bone
non-stop sticks and one big stone
your hide gets tough but your insides shake
end up giving what you should take
bending me until I break
I didn’t feel it coming for no one’s sake

Warning signs this heart of mine
keeps giving out all the time
first it beats right through my chest
then is disappears like all the rest

I’ll grow up when I get old
and buy the lies that you told
I’ll turn bitter I’ll turn mean
on the day that I turn 18
like nothing that you’ve ever seen
didn’t feel it coming this in between

Warning signs this heart of mine
keeps giving out all the time
first it beats right through my chest
then is disappears like all the rest
Track Name: I Don’t Want To Go Home Anymore
Doesn’t feel like it should
I would if I could
something’s in the way
don’t know what to say
to the strangers on the street
fear mixed with conceit
welcome mat by the door
I don’t want to go home anymore

Water over the bridge
kept in by the ridge
surrounded on all sides
let the river decide
kids they come and go
just as she flows
debris lines the shore
I don’t want to go home anymore

I don’t want to go home
she might follow me there
heroin eyes and whispered lies
and the thousand yard stare

Ghosts in the wind
and those who have sinned
and could never forgive
forced to relive
the love that they lost
and just what it cost
for their own private war
I don’t want to go home anymore

I don’t want to go home
she might follow me there
heroin eyes and whispered lies
and the thousand yard stare

Doesn’t feel like it should
I would if I could
something’s in the way
don’t know what to say
to the strangers on the street
fear mixed with conceit
welcome mat by the door
I don’t want to go home anymore
Track Name: Now She's Gone
Well her eyes didn’t look like eyes no more
didn’t trust the sky didn’t trust the floor
fear one day it wouldn’t let her by
at the end she didn’t recognize me
now she’s gone
gone gone gone
now she’s gone
now she’s gone

Was never the one to lead the way
was never the one out on display
was never the one who made the noise
she was never the one who scared the boys
now she’s gone
gone gone gone
now she’s gone
now she’s gone

Now she’s gone not much change
RIPs on the wall
an empty chair and flowers
grief counselors in the hall

Well her Mom and Dad couldn’t understand
but he room was like a no-man’s land
in the mirror she looked for someone else
on walls she read the lies about herself
now she’s gone
gone gone gone
now she’s gone
now she’s gone

Trying to make out how I feel but something’s in the way
maybe tomorrow I can understand what I can’t get today

Well the girls they wouldn’t leave her alone
took her down all on their own
what a way to pass the time
when you’re a kind in your prime
now she’s gone
gone gone gone
now she’s gone
now she’s gone
now she’s gone
gone gone gone
now she’s gone
now she’s gone
Track Name: I Just Want Her Off My Mind
Can’t even fan the flames no more
haunt the halls and pace the floor
post it notes on the freezer door
eyes long gone head gone sore

Prescription pills a reading light
pray for rain wait for night
different rooms no time to fight
means everything’s gonna be alright

I just want her off my mind

Am I gonna be like him
wondering what might have been
then confessing all my sins
so I can do it all over again

I just want her off my mind

Off my mind where she belongs
in his arms and in his songs
I’m too old to sleep on through
dreams that bring me back to you

I just want her off my mind

Remembering just ain’t no good
when faced with doing what you should
what my Daddy never could
like old newspapers and firewood

I just want her off my mind

Off my mind like melted snow
no particular place to go
set on up and set on fire
rank depression and desire

I just want her off my mind
Track Name: I Think About That Train
Along the railroad tracks my Daddy lived he watched the trains go past
picking up coal in a burlap sack if it took the curve too fast
in the rattle of the lungs he saw the killing floor
in the eyes of old men behind the screen door
I think about that train

Well I think about that train
I think about that train
I don’t wanna be the same
tied up with that ball and chain
I think about that train

Met my Mom and knocked her up didn’t want to go to hell
married the stranger in the backseat everybody wished them well
found just enough work to feel real bad
for the things we wanted but could not have
I think about that train

I think about that train
I think about that train
no flattened pennies on the track
’cause I ain’t ever coming back
well I think about that train

Swing shifts post-it notes key left in the door
leftovers in the fridge dirty clothes on the floor
smiles for the neighbors
summer trips to the shore
six hours of silence
then home to some more

I think about that train
I think about that train
I don’t wanna be the same
tied up with that ball and chain
I think about that train

Pretty maids all in a row get shelter from the storm
I’ve been slowly dying since the day that I was born
come get a ticket take the ride
I’ll meet you on the other side
I think about that train

I think about that train
I think about that train
I don’t wanna be the same
tied up with that ball and chain
I think about that train
Track Name: Maybe It's True
Dreams come true
just one day at a time
no tomorrow’s on the days that
you were mine
stepping out
with head held high
hidden gems and borrowed lies
said you never meant to make me cry

Well maybe it’s true

Found his name
carved in your bed
maybe I’m still 16
inside my head
close my eyes so I can’t see
the way you lie so easily
a fool for you….that’s what became of me

Maybe it’s true

People say they see you
doing what you ain’t supposed to do
laying in the shadows
oh what a view
maybe it’s true

Just can’t face it
I don’t want to know
the latest explanation
for why you did not show
I closed and bar
found my way home
knowing that you weren’t alone
late night whispers on the telephone

Maybe it’s true

You look so pretty
in your red summer dress
eager to please and oh so easy to impress
so say all the
corner boys
lots of wine but not much poise
used to making all that bloody noise

But maybe it’s true

People say they see you
doing what you ain’t supposed to do
laying in the shadows
oh what a view
maybe it’s true