The Spirit of God and Madness

by Viper Central

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This album takes a few steps away from Viper Central's bluegrass beginnings and delves into Country, Western Swing, and modern Canadian Folk traditions, all
contributing to their ever-evolving style. Still featuring their stringband lineup of Kathleen Nisbet, Steve Charles, Tim Tweedale, Mark Vaughan and Patrick Metzger with additional instrumentation from a roster of special guests including John Raham, Andrew Millar, John Reischman, CR Avery, Miles Black, Tyson Naylor, Bonnie Northgraves, Ellen Marple, and Chris Suen. The songs reflect Canadian landscape and experiences and the result is entirely natural, effortless and delightfully original.


released March 1, 2017

Kathleen Nisbet - Vocals and Fiddle
Steve Charles - Vocals,Guitar, Banjo
Tim Tweedale - Vocals, Steel Guitars
Patrick Metzger - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Mark Vaughan - Mandolin and Tenor Guitar

Chris Suen - Vocals and Banjo
Andrew Millar - Drums on 1,2,5
John Raham - Drums on 3,4,6,7
Miles Black - Piano on 1
John Reischman - Mandolin on 8
Tyson Naylor - Organ
Bonnie Northgraves - Trumpet
Ellen Marple - Trombone
C.R. Avery - Harmonica
Vickie Yang - Horn arrangements


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Viper Central Vancouver, British Columbia

Viper Central is an acoustic stringband based in Vancouver. With roots in bluegrass and old time traditions, they have carved a niche for themselves with their original tunes and arrangements.

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Track Name: Gold Mine
I was looking for a gold mine I found a diamond here
I was looking for a gold mine I found a diamond here
It ain't pretty but give it time, just another year

I opened up my suitcase, I found a war machine
I opened up my suitcase, I found a war machine
Not a soul had taken aim and the gun was clean

I went down to Nashville the other side of the tracks
They were singing at the opry but it wasn't gonna take me back
And the other side was killing time at the laundromat

I was looking for a lifeboat, I found a sinking ship
I was looking for a lifeboat, I found a sinking ship
The swimming wasn't easy but the jacket fit

I went down to Memphis looking for the reigning king
Found a crooked pathway to a chief who would not sing
And the angels took the melody for the reckoning

oh - oh - oh It's so rock n'roll
oh - oh - oh it's so rock n'roll
Track Name: Losing My Mind
I'll be the rain and you be the sand
You be the music and I'll be the band
Just take this dance and you'll understand
I'll be losing my mind over you

I'll be the undertow, you'll be the tide
You be the drawbridge opening wide
I'll be the tongue and you be the cry
I'll be losing my mind over you

If I only had this night and one song
I'd have this whole world singing along
You will have only made this mistake this kiss this kiss...

i'll be talking to Elvis, I'll be spinning in the moonlight
trying to tell you, tell you what your love is like
And there's a case of confections where you know the rush is waiting
I'll be trying to sell you, sell you all its sweetness
I'll be losing my mind over you

You be the iceflow and I'll be the sea
Don't trouble your mind just melt into me
You be the sugar and I'll be the tea
I'll be losing my mind over you

I'll be the miser and you be the dime
You be the poet and I'll be the rhyme
I will be yours and you will be mind
I'll be losing my mind over you
Track Name: Prophet of The New World
One hundred years from now
What will rise from this land
I close my eyes and lie on my bed, see the buffalo wandering 'cross the prairie

Took a trip down the Missouri River, looking for a fugitive from fortune
The only way out was a vision, took my chances on St. Peter's mission
Oh the mission...

A cold wind took the fire out of me but a strong wind blew and sparked the ash
A fast train took my peace of mind but I shook the devil off of my back

Oh, does it show? Can you imagine what I know
Oh, does it show? Can you imagine what I know

Keep still, you said, don't laugh
I beg you I am a prophet
Remember an anointed ghost, you prayed and waited for my answer

But now death is all around me, I wrestle with it night and day
The Spirit of God and madness only make my destiny more certain,
more certain

Oh, does it show? Can you imagine what I know
Oh, does it show? Can you imagine what I know

They said, "you're gonna hang
You foolish, wicked, dreaming man"
A prophetic cry, a lamb with a gun
How could you see this battle won
Track Name: Say Say
Say Say

Say say
Say sad man
Say sad man take your living in your own hands
Say say

Say say
Say you can't speak
Say you don't have the words only the groans you need
Say say
Say say

Say say
Say you don't mind
Say you don't mind living on your own time

I see the rising water
And it won't let me be
I think I'm going under
You gonna follow me?

On the main line
Catch the train high and dry to the good times
Good times

Soul train
Take it back
Take it back and carry on with a strong back
Take it back
Take it back

Mist eyed
Songs unheard
Take your time, Sunshine
I won't say a word

After the rain, won't keep my head down no more
Won't keep my head down no more
After the rain

Talk now into my ear
Tell me the story of how you got here
Track Name: 99 Cents Short
Smoking in the sunshine
We never made the bigtime
It's all right, gonna be all right

We had a band to kill time
While we waited for the chilly wind to blow
Oh don't you know
We worked forty years, now we're ninety-nine cents short

There ain't no records playing,
No time to sit around and get uptight, Gotta do it right
Cut a rug or swing your partner
Jump n' Jive and jig or you can cut a shine, you'll be doing fine
The band's gonna keep on playing ease your troubled mind

You may be ninety-nine cents short or on the dole
But you still gotta have that rhythm in your soul
We're gonna raise a holler, take the back roads, spend a dollar
Leave your dying crops behind now we're ninety-nine cents short

You might not have a dime but there's a place for all of mine in this dance hall, ain't none too small
We got accordian and banjo, clarinet and fiddles and trombones, even sousaphone
It won't be long till the music shakes your bones

We'll do a Turkey in the Straw and Arkansas, Crooked Stovepipe, Seven-step, French Minuet, Big John, Maple Sugar, Butterfly, Red River Jig oh the dust will fly You can leave your dying crops behind find you on the dance floor ninety-nine cents short

Smoking in the sunshine, we never made the bigtime, It's alright
Gonna be alright
We had a band to kill time while we waited for the chilly winds to blow
Oh don't you know
We worked forty years now we're ninety-nine cents short
Track Name: I Won't Be Left Behind
Ask her now and she will tell you
How she left her emerald Isle
For the distant Thompson Valley
And the journey over many miles

On a misty Sunday morning
Standing on a Newry pier
Young and strong and independant
Only in her sixteenth year

Took a job in Springfield city
There I met my carpenter
Settled on the Mississippi
Opened up a grocery store

I was there in Fort Garry
When the overlanders promised Gold
Saw the sparkled of adventure in your eyes
And all was told

No I won't be left behind with all the others
I promise you this, we'll make it to the other side
I only wonder what it's like to take your hand
Under the stars on the Rocky Mountain side

They said the path through the Rocky Mountains
Was no place for a woman then
Much less for her three young children
But there was no leaving them

Ten hours a day, two miles an hour
Took the good part of a year
To walk the high pass of the Rockies
Ride the Thompson River


And chasing a dream of some gold dust, was all just a way of bringing you to us

Snow fell on the Fort at Kamloops, as the raft arrived that night
Secwepemc women caught Rosanna, born safe on the Valley side

Track Name: Devil's String
Music is a whiskey drink, take you to the ground
Fiddle is a box of sin, carries the Devil's sound
Devil's string will lead you to where what's lost is found

Still got the old tunes
Tuned in the Devil's key
Gonna play like hell till I break the spell
Between the world and me

I came to fiddle and dance, didn't come to marry
Tying knots in the Devil's tail, even on a Sunday
Take me as a guest tonight, no longer will I tarry

Went up north to get away, hear the ocean blue
Shut out the cold dark night, find the gospel true
Flames flickered round the walls and smoke filled up the flue

Still got the old tunes

Preacher come and take his time, say what should be done
Put the fiddle away and be afraid, go down with the setting sun
Then he drives away on down the road with the devil riding shotgun
Track Name: The Mission
I went down to the mission
And I brought everything that I had
The last time I saw the rest of me
Was when I walked down that road feeling bad
Do you remember in the Summer
When I walked to the end of the road
I took my only dollar
And I paid for the last freak show

You walked me back
And you said that your heart was was well
What it was like to watch the sunset
From your room at the Empress Hotel

Chelsea and Margaret were still at the pulpit
But they didn't have much more to say
The radio blasted the truth so well crafted
But things rarely works out that way
On the steps of the church
Where the only thing that works
Is for sale and the price is high
You talked of the hope
That kept you off of the dope
Sang the songs that made you cry

And you walked me back
And you said that your heart was well
What it was like to watch the sunset
From your room at the Empress Hotel

The sidewalks were drunken prayers
And the air was so hot with pain
But old friend I am heartened
When I sing those old songs again

And you walked me home
And you said that your heart was well
What it was like to watch the sunrise
From your window at the Empress Hotel

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