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Written by Alejandro Escovedo.

Alejandro had just released this album, With These Hands, when I met him in 1996 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kansas. This song has always been nine stories at once.

I rediscovered it in the middle of a pandemic when it reminded me of my friend and how much I miss my band. In the winder of 2020, Al's lyrics sounded like he could have written them that same week; longing for those 2AM drives from one stage to the next in a van stuffed with mates and instruments and not much sleep. The drives where you forget the songs until the next night and instead talk about movies, or baseball players, or which Wu Tang album is the best.

So I talked to the Prodigal Sons and asked them if they were into recording a cover of it. They were game as always; an luxury I've grown accustomed to over the last 10 years and one I swear I'll never take for granted again.

As we were wrapping up tracks a winter storm laid waste to Texas leaving my family and dearest friends without power for days. Pissed Off 2AM took on a new meaning. So we all pitched in and finished this track up so we can release it today and try to scape together even a little bit of money to help our friends in Austin.

For the first several years I knew him, Alejandro sort of served as the Musical Mayor of Austin. Bringing bands like ours and others from all over the world in to play his show cases at SXSW. It only seemed right that we'd try to turn this cover into some kind of civic act for that city that has always hosted us with such grace and kindness.

Working on this song was almost agonizing at times because it just kept reminding me of how much I miss my band. For some of them, lives have completely changed since the start of the pandemic; locked-in in Paris, adopting a foster son, finding out one has an illness that put him into a high-risk category for Covid. Two of my bandmates even contracted Covid. (That's a 25% infection rate if you're keeping track).

One of my favorite pastimes in playing shows is to turn and watch my bandmates play. Just to watch my favorite musicians play music; to be an audience member with the perfect view. There were times I'd be mixing this in tears from wishing to see them making music again. But I would hit these points while mixing where I'd see them. I'd see Hermon playing trumpet with Mike Walker right next to him. Josh at his steel right in front of them. Chris or Mike singing backup while their playing something I could only fake at. The whole process wrapped up on a day when the temperature finally rose above freezing after 10 days of single digit temperatures and snow. Interminable cloud cover and death. While my friends in family in Texas were still without power and water, those of us to the North were finally starting to feel the sun.

It, like Alejandro's song, reminded me that after a long long freeze, the sun will come to cold places. That 2AM will yield to 10PM, and we'll take those stages again, sweat, laugh, drink and maybe bleed if we're lucky. I will see my mates, and we will make music, because that's we all have to give.


Sometimes I come home,
I don't expect too much
The lights are off now
It's only two
How I wish my breath
It didn't hurt so much
Then you'd be up babe
It's only two
Why don't you sleep?
You look as though you need it
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me
Now they mean nothing to me
Well all my friends they laughed,
They laughed at all my jokes
I got one more story,
It's only two
How I wish my tough
Could erase the past
They you'd be up babe
It's only two
Why don't you drink
You look as though you need one
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me,
No, they mean nothing to me
If these were different times
Then you'd be up,
And we'd trade stories
It's only two
Why don't we pretend?
I's all we have between us
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me, now
Why don't you sleep?
You look as though we need it
The barricades and reasons
They mean nothing to me,
Now they mean nothing to me


from Pissed Off 2AM b​/​w Cripple Side of Town, Billy Clubs and Mercy, released February 19, 2021
John Velghe - Lead vocal, acoustic and electric guitars, piano
Mike Alexander - Backing vocals, electric guitar
Chris Wagner - Bass guitar
Josh Quint - Pedal steel
Herman Mehari - Trumpet
Mike Walker - Trombone




John Velghe Baltimore, Maryland

John Velghe (pronounced Vel-jee) writes songs leaning towards personal narratives and accounts of people he’s met over 20 years of playing and touring. From a friends ex-wife in Austin to a 4-year-old waitress in Lucas, KS to a transvestite railroad worker in Duluth, MN; Velghe populates his songs with real characters who’ve informed personal allegories about escape, transformation and fear. ... more

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