Totma Road - Streaming Audio, Video, Lyrics, Info

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In July of 2012, I rode the rugged road to Totma, Russia with Bill Evans & Friends (Barbara Lamb, Tim May, Todd Phillips) to play the Russia-America Bluegrass Jamboree, sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General at Saint Petersburg.

Totma (Тотьма) was formerly one of the main centers of the exploration and the trade with Alaska. The town boasts an amazing number of cathedrals, erected in thanksgiving for successful voyages... a hazardous undertaking centuries ago.

Eventually the discomfort of the road (which was really not all THAT bad for Russia) subsided and the romanticizing of the experience set in. The result is this bluegrassy little tune. With today's dauntless efforts of our Fearless Leaders' aimed at keeping us divided and afraid of each other, I thought it couldn't hurt to share this tune as a reminder that we all have a lot in common, and that music is one thing that can dissolve the barriers.

Robert Palomo: Banjo, mandolin, lead vocal, audio & video production
Boris "Bob" Golubiv: guitars, bass, backing vocals (my Russian alter ego!)
Rough Road video footage: flickr/Bev Sykes
Totma festival photos: Diana Kachalova
Totma panorama photo: Wikimedia Commons
Mixed & Mastered at Total Chaos Studio, Toksovo, Russia

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Original Song Lyrics

Totma Road song art imageOh the Totma Road is rough
Sometimes I feel it in my dreams
I'm half a world away today
And yet somehow it seems
That I rode there just yesterday
Jet-lagged and feeling beat
'Til the band kicked off the music
And the crowd rose to it's feet

Different culture, different language
Just melt clean away
When music does the talking
When the banjo starts to play
And the fiddle up and renders
A sweet old-time refrain
Yes the Totma Road was rugged
But I'd ride that road again

Now this road we're on ain't easy
Life is full of toil and care
With so much that separates us
But so much that we all share
We want supper in the evening
When our daily work is done
And someone to sleep beside us
'Til the rising of the sun

Differences of hearth of home
Will always melt away
When music does the talking
When we hear the guitar play
And when voices sing together
A sweet old-time refrain
This road called Life is rugged
Still I'd ride that road again

Yes that Totma Road was rough
Sometimes I feel it in my brain
But as time rolls to the future
My soul wanders back again
And I think about the people
Who came to hear us play
Hoping they remember kindly
Folks from half a world away

And how barriers between us
Just melted clean away
When music did the talking
When the band began to play
And the people started dancing
To a sweet old-time refrain
Yeah that Totma Road was rugged
But I'd ride that road again

I'd ride that road again
I'd ride that road again



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Copyright © 2012 R. Palomo, Jr. Some rights reserved.