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MacDonald Pass

by Aran Buzzas

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of MacDonald Pass via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $5 USD  or more


I was born on a Friday, in an old gold mining town; And ever since Saturday, this world's tried to tear me down. But I love these Rocky Mountains, they're handsome wide and high; So much is uncertain, but I belong under this big sky. My Garden City valley, has been home for over thirty years; It's seen the bulk of my triumphs, and more than a few shed tears. I moved away for a short while, and I travel now and then; The way it's been is the way it'll stay: I always come back again. And we'll two-step past the Sleeping Giant before it starts to rain; The railroad tracks reminding me how Grandpa always loved them trains. There's a place across town where the streetlights stay on all day; Sometimes I go through that neighborhood even though it's out of my way. You hear that old dog howling, he's alone like I've been; But I'll sit with you on the river's edge, brother just say when. Now I'm headed up MacDonald Pass, across the Continental Divide; It's not the first time I've made this trip, no this is a familiar ride. But this time it's different, I'm not driving all alone; The only thing I can't tell is if I'm coming from or headed back home.
The good times are gone they've passed with the wind, 'Cause now she's telling me she just wants to be friends. I thought this was real took my heart off the shelf; But now I'm in an empty room dancing by myself. Yes I'm waltzing solo behind closed doors, Thinking of her and walking the floor; The good times we had weren't so long ago, But I'm stuck waltzing solo. To make myself feel better I'm telling lies, About how this might be a blessing in disguise. My friends say I'm better off without her around; But I know I'll see her, this ain't that big a town. The music in my head has me swaying to the beat, But I don't have to worry 'bout stepping on her feet. I'm thinking maybe I'm playing the fool, I'd be better off on a sturdy bar stool.
There's not enough beer in my glass; And not enough time has passed. I'll be shaking the dust of this sleepy town; Heading out west when spring comes around. Whiskey is fine and I don't mind wine, But they're just alright; There's few things finer than a pint of porter, When there's a chill in the night. So here's to the people who brew at home; Folks who make moonshine and grow their own. Teachers and farmers and bakers of bread, 'Cause there's more to life than just getting ahead. So whenever you hear it played; Know that this music's homemade. These songs that I sing come straight from the heart, The least I can do is only the start.
You're running through a tunnel, and there's no end in sight. It feels like a million years since you've seen the light. We've both heard the people say 'spring's just around the bend'; But this bitter Montana winter never seems to end. We're alright 'til Yellowstone blows, so don't you focus on life's woes. Shut your eyes and plug your nose; it won't matter when that volcano goes. If you've been working all your life, and can never get ahead; And it looks like you'll slave away until you wind up dead. I know you've got someone to love, don't forget to show it. Live your life; don't despair, we'll be gone before you know it. If your heart's been broke so many times it feels beyond repair, I guess nobody ever said that love would be fair. When it comes to hard times, I'm sure no rookie; But don't bring me down on a bum cookie.
Back in the saddle, riding home from Seattle; This trail I'm on never seems to end. So I won't delay, to be on my way; Here's hoping home is just around the bend. I've been out on the road so long I couldn't count; Singing songs to empty bars for any amount. But now I'm headed back to that Rocky Mountain Front; To lay my eyes on those big skies is all I want. From the streets of San Francisco, on up to Aberdeen; Nothing to eat but weak coffee and beans. I've rambled before, but never this far; Riding my pony and strumming my guitar. Cooking fresh caught trout on an open fire; Call me what you will, but I'm rarely a liar. Don't have much, but what I've got I'll share; Get back to the land of prickly pear and grizzly bear!
Nice guys sometimes get tore down, over and over again; A man I know had his heart abused, and never thought it would mend. Over the years he weathered the storm, got himself back on his feet; And when he least expected it a good gal he finally did meet. It's out with the old and in with the new, they've both had their fill of lies; But is he a fool to pursue the mysteries deep in her eyes. They didn't see it coming, and both got swept right in; Don't believe it's ever too late to start all over again. He'd never trust another, at least that's what he said; But now they go around with each others songs stuck in their heads. He's lonesome when she's not around, and even some times when she's there; But grateful is the way he feels for having this time to share. She's planted her roots and spread out her leaves, as this slow flower reaches for light; Love might not last for eternity, but they'll be together tonight.
The mist is on the Burren, but I'm far out at sea; The landlord he came to call, and evicted me. I'll now go where I can earn for my family's sake; Into exile I must go, it's the American wake. The sight of Lady Liberty was not my journey's end; The city never suited me, I couldn't find a friend. So I stowed aboard an iron horse and tried hard not to pay; It's off to Montana with your man Michael O'Shea. I left County Clare and my family behind; Came halfway 'round the world for to work in another mine. But down underground you won't find much mirth; Not in Butte, the richest hell on Earth. It took me no time to get a job down in the mines; The work was hard and wages small, not enough good times. With fiddle and concertina we'd sing into the night; And when we go back down below, make sure you tap 'er light. Slinging muck down in the black might bring about my doom; The Company might have us all digging one big tomb. I'll teach my son our heritage, about the Isle of Green; And tell him of his grandparents, who he's never seen.
Empty Room 03:45
She's got her crowd but nobody knows her. Keeps her friends close, and her enemies closer; Always looks good, she's never a mess, And she rarely stays long at the same address. Her man's back at home, she's got a boy here in town; You won't see one when the other's around. Don't be fooled, it's mostly an act; Don't be surprised when she stabs you in the back. If you don't drink it down, this cup is destined to spill; Now I'm here left with an empty room to fill. Lately things have been going wrong, Feels like I'm stuck in a Patsy Cline song; I found out she stole my stash, And screwed me out of the deposit cash. Part of my wants to call her names, But I won't stoop down to play those games; At least it's not another heartache, That might be more than this fool could take.
Cold Love 04:37
My tears are falling down despite the summer sun, I let myself believe this time she was the one; She's sitting right across the table from me, So why do I feel so goddamn lonely? She used to smile as she gazed in my eyes, And tell me how great it was to meet a “nice guy”; I know actions speak louder than words, If she takes me for granted we'll both get hurt. 'Cause no love is better than cold love. She's gotta have my back like I've had hers, when push comes to shove. I keep waiting for her to show me, Her sweet nothings are actually something; but that ain't what I see. When you're not wanted it ain't hard to tell, I've come too far alone to go back through that hell; If she don't want me she should just say so, Then I could make up my mind and go. It's not often me that does the heartbreaking, But lately her romance seems like it's faking; I won't go until I know for sure, But it's looking like I'll have to leave her.
Mid-July, backyard, I'm sitting in the sun; Me and my good friends planning some fun. Heading up the Blackfoot with our guitars in the car, And the beer we're taking with us you won't find in any bar. It's not that I don't like the stuff that they sell in the store; But I've got hops growing right outside my back door. It's not in my nature just to let them go to waste; The more of it is homegrown, the better it will taste. Folks in Montana, we take pride in our beer; 'Cause some of the best to be found comes from here. So if you live down the road, or you're just passing through: Sit down on my porch and have a homebrew. In colder months I make stout, you really could do worse; Red Rocks is the beer of choice to quench that summer thirst. Stop on by after the St. Patrick's Day parade; You've never had a real red ale until you've had homemade. Brewed all different kinds of beer, like IPA and pale; Done a bit of lagering, but mostly just make ale. And when the nights are getting long and days are getting shorter, I'll sit around the fire with friends and drink our weight in porter.


released April 28, 2015

All songs by Aran Buzzas except The Wild Rover (traditional).

Recorded and mixed by Travis Yost.

Mastered by Carl Saff.

The players:

Aran Buzzas – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, whistle, train whistle.

Travis Yost – stand up bass

Gibson Hartwell – pedal steel and straight steel guitars

Sam Nasset – telecaster

Grace Decker – fiddle

Caroline Keys – harmony vocals; banjo, track 10.

Andy Dunnigan – dobro

Matt Cornette – banjo, track 5

Cover art by Tal Connor. Design and layout by Groundswell Media Productions. Inside photo by Kevin Kenly.

copyright Aaron Vincent Buzzas 2015


all rights reserved



Aran Buzzas Missoula, montana

Aran Buzzas is a singer/songwriter from Missoula, MT who plays homegrown Montana folky tonk! Traditional and outlaw country sounds are mixed with a dash of Irish folk music in Aran's songs, which deal with real-life themes in an entertaining and relate-able way, often with a regional back-drop, and characterized by aggressive rhythm guitar, strong vocals, and lyrics both amusing and heart-felt. ... more

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