Bad Ax County

by Lou Shields

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These songs were written over the past few years in reaction to change. Achieving a life-long dream of buying a cabin in the woods was something that propelled this record to completion. Like old field recordings from the early 20th century, all songs were recorded live, in the barn, on my little 15-acre homestead in the Driftless area of Southwest Wisconsin.

As with most of my work, this is very personal but I hope you can identify with these songs and enjoy them. Thank you to all my fans and friends who support original music and to my partner, Stacey. All songs were written and recorded by Lou Shields. Artwork by Lou Shields, layout by Stacey Roou. All rights reserved.


released February 1, 2017

All songs written and recorded by Lou Shields
Produced by Stacey Roou and Lou Shields
Album artwork by Lou Shields
Album layout by Stacey Roou
Mastering by Mystery Room Mastering, Milwaukee, WI



all rights reserved


Lou Shields Madison, Wisconsin

Lou Shields is an Artist, Musician, Teacher and Skateboarder. He travels extensively, exploring America in it's urban and rural character and draws on these life experiences when making his work. His music is rooted in pre and post war 20th century America with a 21st century perspective. ... more

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Track Name: Fireside
“Fireside” by Lou Shields

Headin’ on down, walk that river
Hike that trail, feelin’ right today
Walkin’ all day, Wolf River way
Meet me on back, by the Fireside


Yeah yeah by that old Fireside 2x

Water run high, deep blue sky
Crickets roost down, end of the day
Moonlit night, got me right
Get on back down, by the Fireside

Back lit sky, tree so high
Woodland nighttime, embers burn away
Firewood burnin, feelings yearning
Feelin’ right home, by the Fireside
Track Name: Wanderin' Song
“Wanderin’ Song” by Lou Shields

Red bird sing, diddy wah do
Clouds blew away when the sky turned blue
Church bell ring, willows sway
Wind is a blowin’ my soul today


Old Man Winter’s comin’ on
That old wind is a blowin’ strong
Been feelin’ mighty restless, all winter long
I’m on my back porch, playin’ my wanderin’ song

Like one little light in the dark dark sky
Wind is a blowin’ that fire fly
Preacher man say, the lights on you
Climb that mountain, that’s just what I’ll do

Singin’ all night by the fire light
Floorboards movin’ to the old blue night
Smoke in the air, biscuits are done
Butter and honey up come that sun

Cold wind blow, bring winter snow
Kettle on the fire, coffee perkin’ slow
Spring time come when the wind don’t blow
Long time comin’ better shut your door
Track Name: Rustic Road
“Rustic Road” by Lou Shields

Yes we rollin’ on down that, windin’ road today
Heading out I say
Rollin’ Hills, river streams, bluffs over head
Livin right I say


Yes we’re headin’ on home, rollin’ along not alone
Yes we’re headin’ on home

Headin’ on down that windin’ road feelin’ fine I say
Runnin’ on down that rustic road headin’ on home today 2 x

Runnin’ to that old oak tree, River Valley
Finally found my way
Krooked stream a windin’, trail head I see
Windin’ back at me

You runnin’ through the pines, I call your name
Through the hills I say
Mama’s cookin’ on the fire and we sing all night
By the fireside

Make it through the Winter, stretchin;’ on to Spring
Summer time again
Fall leaves a changin’ and we livin life ahead
My Driftless land
Track Name: Old House Blues
“Old House Blues” by Lou Shields

Oh, well he done it now, sold off all that land
Yes, they took him down, those work strong hands
And there she, stands alone now
In the shadow of their plan

Oh just a workin man, no fortune it’s true
Yes they took her down, but this is what I’m gonna do
With them, hand hewn beams down,
Gonna build her right again

There she stands again, on a bluff over me
Together with old friends, build her right I say
And there she stands tall now
Cabin home reclaimed

Built that old front porch, from and old barn you see
And the butternut floor from, an old school out east
We gave her a new life now
Cabin home reclaimed
Track Name: Mean Old Night Sky
“Mean Old Night Sky” by Lou Shields

Woe, mean old night sky, fallin’ over me
Mmm.. let your night light guide my way
Oh, crawlin on through this, old muddy haze

I’ll be callin’ out your name
Mmm.. it took my voice now, hear me scream
Oh, I’ll make it on through this old broken dream

Star, light my way now, long fore day
Mmm.. howlin ol’ wind out, poundin’ on me
Oh, I hope they sent down, this storm for me

Yes, ya got me reelin’, on in some way
Mmm.. it was my last breath, when you found old me
Oh, on my back and sun shine on me

Day, found me right now, right next to you
Mmm. second lifetime light brought me through
Oh, drinkin’ your white wine and I’m black and blue

Yes, they got me good now, heal my wounds
mmm.. ain’t gonna break nobody’s fool
oh, safe cabin home and I’m right next to you
Track Name: Time Runnin' Me Down
“Time Runnin’ Me Down” by Lou Shields

Time is a runnin’ me down, he found old me
Runnin’ me down a little more each day
Gunnin’ me down and I can’t get away

I’ve been a livin’ this life, traveled the world I say
Finally found a place I can stay
Still I have some ramblin’ left in me

Lived through that mean old strife, live the good life today
Gotta keep a rollin’ down I say
Old Father Time is breathin’ down on me

Yes the past is gone away, livin’ for today
Livin’ right now, hey hey
If tomorrow comes, I’m a lucky I say

Yes I’m a rollin down, feelin’ fine today
And you’s a right next to me
Rollin’ on through come on and roll on down with me

Last chance at this good ol’ life, won’t pass by me
Time is runnin’ me down and he won’t let me be
I’ll spend the rest with you next to me, gal
Track Name: Cabin In The Woods
“Cabin In The Woods” by Lou Shields

Meet me on back down, by the old willow tree
Down in that old Hollow, we’ll build it there one day
No goin’ back now, that river right down this way
Them Dogs are still a howlin’ but I’ll be livin free


Oh lordy lord, you ain’t comin’ after me
Yes yes, don’t you know I paid them all off I say
Oh lordy lord, they can’t come after me
Yes yes, I paid that man and I’ll be livin’ free
Meet me in that holler, gonna build a cabin, right there I say
Oh they had that shotgun and it was, pointed right at my head
Don’t ya know I paid that man and I should be livin’ free
Meet me in that holler gonna build a cabin in the woods there today, today

Old man run me down now but I ain’t no property
I’m a runnin’ through our woods no they won’t find me
Fell on his own shotgun when I paid him off that day
Them dogs are still a hollerin’ but I’ll be livin’ free

Oh we’re together now, break of a new day
Runnin’ through our woods where they won’t find me
Paid ‘em all off now, never get me again
Debt free livin’clean soon, livin’ alright I say
Track Name: Feelin' Right Now
“Feelin Right Now” by Lou Shields

Oh I ended the cold live that day, that cold life that day
Empty and alone, well I rolled that highway, well I rolled that highway
Yes I got to find a way home, this big old empty all alone

Voice in the woods you lead me right back on,
yes you lead me right back on
Road treat me fine and you’s on my mind, you’re on my mind
Yes I got to find a way home, lovin’ on you no not alone


Oh, ya got me feelin’ right now
Hey Gal, ya know I feel flat down
But, Oh well, I got it all back now

Hey oh, don’t ya know I’m feelin’ right now
Hey gal, don’t ya know I fell flat down
Oh well, don’t ya know I got it all back now

Well hey hey, now you’s right next to me,
found a home in your heart that way
Lovin on you, warmed my cold heart I say,
warmed my cold old heart that day
Yes, I got to find a way home, a lovin’ on you, not alone
Track Name: Mr Sorry
“Mr Sorry” by Lou Shields

Mmm Hmm.. Mr Sorry, gone today
Oh boy, he done left, on that train
Mmm Hmm,, he tried to make it the, easy way
Po’ Boy, a whole heap of trouble that day


It’s a dog gone shame, livin’ the hard way
It’s a whole lot of trouble for Mr Sorry
It’s a dog gone shame, livin’ the big easy
It’s a whole lotta trouble for Mr Sorry

Mmm Hmm.. On to the, next thing
Oh boy, swore he would, change his ways
Mmm Hmm.. Now he’s a preachin’ man
Oh boy, they runnin’ him outta town again

Mmm Hmm.. Mr Sorry a farmin’ man
Oh boy, he don’t even have a piece of land
Mmm Hmm.. Now he’s a rodeo man
Po’boy, they rodeo’n him from town again

Mmm Hmm.. He’s a snake oil, salesman
Oh Boy, now ya can’t fall for, this again??
Mmm Hmm.. he’s everybody’s, best friend
Po’ Boy, he sold you, OUT AGAIN!
Track Name: Can't Let Them Take It Away
“Can’t Let Them Take It Away” by Lou Shields

Oh-I-Oh, I had to let it go today
So I go, bleedin’ out on the old highway


Don’t you know? Ain’t gonna let you take it away
Oh no, you ain’t gettin’ nothin’ outta me
Oh Hate, you ain’t got me – NO WAY!

Let the river flow, oh we are all bleedin’ read
Bleedin’ slow, ya can’t get my soul, no way

I’ll have you know, gonna give it all I got to give
Can’t let it go, we all got a good life to live

Hate Bleeds on the street, hate breeds underneath I say
Go away! Brother-sister make it right today

So there ya go, don’t tell me nothin’ negative
No no, we all deserve a good life to live

You down and it shows, you ain’t got no power over me
You know, ain’t nothin’ more to say
Track Name: Over Yonder
“Over yonder” by Lou Shields

I’m gonna stay, right of that line
Ain’t gonna, waste no more time
I’ve been lookin’ over yonder, gonna find my self some huckleberry wine

Yes that trail, by the old log mill
Along the ridge with the whiskey still
I’ve been lookin’ over yonder, walkin up that old boot hill

Well the sun gonna shine,
Beatin’ down on me, from that old big blue sky
I’m a lookin’ over yonder, see my lady with the kind lovin’ eys

Hear that train, howlin’ in the night
And you’re layin’ there, right by my side
Yes, I’m lookin’ over yonder, lovin’ you in the, blue moon light

I’m gonna stay, ‘till I run outta time
But I’ll be waitin’ on the, other side
I’ll be lookin’ over yonder, ‘till I see those, kind lovin’ eyes

Now we’ll catch that train, together again
You and me on the, otherside
Yes we lookin’ over yonder, still a lovin’ in the blue moon light
Track Name: Junk Store Rag
“Junk Store Rag” by Lou Shields

Well, I’m heading on out now, windin’ road today
Yes that big old country, got no place to stay
Don’t pay me no mind, just a rollin’ past your way
Ain’t got no worries now, I’m a ramblin’ man I say

Well I don’t mind sleepin’ on the ground now, warm air on me
Night sky overhead and the stars light my way
Don’t pay me no mind, just a rollin’ past your way
Ain’t got no worries now, I’m a ramblin’ man I say

Headin’ over to the stream bed, brown trout I say
Cookin eggs in the mornin’ and I hit the road all day
Don’t pay me no mind, just a rollin’ past your way
Ain’t got no worries now, I’m a ramblin’ man I say

Hey there Mr. Policeman don’t you worry nothing about me
That old lady in the drug store, she’s been tippin’ out the till all day
Don’t pay me no mind, just a rollin’ past your way
Ain’t got no worries now, I’m a ramblin’ man I say

Parked down by the river road just a layin’ in the shade
(seeing) Willow leaves in the sunshine just to pass the time away
Don’t pay me no mind, just a rollin’ past your way
Ain’t got no worries now, I’m a ramblin’ man I say

Stopped by that junk store, old guitar to play
(found a) good old pair of boots and a Tampa Red 78
Don’t pay me no mind, just a rollin’ past your way
Ain’t got no worries now, I’m a ramblin’ man I say
Track Name: Late Summer Sunset
“Late Summer Sunset” by Lou Shields

Goodnight on you I say, sun going down for another day
Blackbird, in and out of that corn.. well well, hey hey
Waitin’ on a, sunset I say, well well now, it’s the end of the day

Drivin’ down that old bumpy road, Fallin’ down old barn old cold stove
Storm cloud, out yonder way, here come that train
Waitin’ on a, sunset I say, yes sir now, it’s the end of the day

Cafishin’ on a bridge by the slew, back water runnin’ cold with the dew
Kitchin’ gonna be, smellin’ all good now, and I’m comin’ on home soon
Waitin’ on a, sunset I say, well well now, it’s the end of the day

Waitin’ on the, last light of day, green eyed woman all lovin’ on me
I can see my, little old shack down, that bumpy road
Waitin’ on a, sunset I say, yes yes now, it’s the end of the day
Track Name: Old Train Rider Song
“Old Train Rider Song” by Lou Shields

Headin’ down that rollin’ track, tryin’ like hell to catch that jack
Rollin’ down, chasin’ some dream, this old body wearin’ out at the seams

Made my way with what I got today, no more lookin’ over yonder I say
Hear that car on the rollin’ track, train whistle blowin’ done loosen my back

Took some years to simmer down, ain’t no use in wearin’ a frown
Little piece of land, shack in the woods, homefire burnin’ doin’ me good

Hear that whistle blowin’ my way, set on down that line today
Ain’t nothin’ like a wanderin’ wind, blowin’ me down that old road again

Lord that train is a rollin’ fast, in my day wouldn’t let her pass
This old truck don’t run for free and the love of my life is a waitin’ on me

Well now son, that was my way, was a rollin’ rounder in my old day
Hear that train in the blowin’ wind, lordy lord let me do it again
Track Name: Mississippi Mud
“Mississippi Mud” by Lou Shields

Well there ain’t no, nothin’ left to do, so I gotta go away
Left me flat, ripped the skin off too, oh ya burned my soul I say

So I head back down, to the hill country, find me a place to lay
Lay my head down on sacred ground, Mississippi Mud gonna heal me