Randolph St.

in the small narrow spaces of those wide open places
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This might be the first Viper song I wrote with a whole Famous Orchestra in mind. The idea was to simulate a kind of hip-hop East Coast/West Coast rivalry, but at the scale of the virtually indistinguishable twin-cities of Champaign-Urbana, IL, where we all lived at the time. At the same time, it was meant to be a Western Swing-style crooner in the vein of “I Wish I’d Stayed in the Wagon Yard,” extolling the kind of places where “you can spread out and dream all day,” and warning my fellow dreamers to watch out for the wiles of those “city duck” rounders in town.

Two reference recordings here. The first is from our 2002 studio release (recorded in 2000), Everything for Everyone:

The Viper & His Famous Orchestra, “Randolph St.,” from Everything For Everyone, 2002

And then a live recording from the Summer of 2009, featuring the electric mandolin playing of Kip Rainey, in whose old time string band class I learned “Wagon Yard.”

The Viper & His Famous Orchestra, “Randolph St.,” Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL, July 2009
Mickey’s Tavern, Madison, WI, July 2014. Notably, in the two recordings above, you’ll hear Riley Broach play two wholly distinct bowed bass solos

the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about