UM-Kate MacLeod w_Helmet 2 4_edited.jpg
URANIUM MAIDEN COVER PRESS.jpg

National Release - February, 2022
Until then, CDs and digital copies are available only through this website.

Welcome to the Uranium Maiden recordings,
music inspired by the region of Utah, in the heart of the American West. 

YOU CAN BUY URANIUM MAIDEN BEER at
Fisher Brewery, 320 W 800 S, Salt Lake City, UT.
The beer is crafted by the brewery
and benefits Habitat for Humanity. 

It’s been said “the universal human experience is in the details of the specific.” In light of this concept, I hope this body of music will reach the hearts of people far beyond the borders of Utah. In these stories and melodies one may find our commonalities and shared human experience. I’ve strived to capture some of the spirit of the American West, the majesty of the landscape, and our commitment to community. Utah is my second home following growing up in the Washington D.C, area. The area seems often misunderstood and underestimated by the rest of the world. Hopefully, this project can help bridge some of these cultural gaps. 

The state of Utah became my home in 1979, and since then it has been inspiring my music compositions.

From landscape-themed instrumentals, to a journal entry of a pioneer woman, to the complicated issues of

uranium mining, this project represents decades of note taking and musical musings. The earliest song included

here dates back to the mid 1980s, with the latest written in 2021. 

This recording is a culmination of many years and of contributions from talented musicians who’ve shared

their gifts. I wasn’t able to include every musician I wished to, but included a many as I was able to.

The recordings of these songs, and compiling them into a published format, took over six years to complete. 

This project was made possible by the generosity and attention of many individuals and organizations.

Special thanks go to The Entrada Institute, Ken Sanders Rare Books, Colorado River and Trails Expeditions, Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts, Utah Humanities, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association, Highway 89 Media, David Murrell and Mary Beckerle and the generous supporters of my projects through Patreon.com/KateMacLeod.

DSCF0347.jpeg

Produced by Kate MacLeod
Co
-Produced by Michael Greene

Track List DISC 1 - Electric Disc

1. Now Is the Time to be Alive
2. Time Zone 
3. U-235
4. The Train Across the Great Salt Lake
5. Pick, Pick Apples
6. Storm on the Desert
7. Apology to the Native Rock 
8. Shadow Changes


 

Track List DISC 2 - Acoustic Disc

1. Red Rock
2. Lightning Man Dreaming
3. Angels on My Mind
4. A Fire I Can Borrow From 
5. Sand in Breeze
6. Sunrise on the Colorado Plateau
7. Butch Cassidy Was Here
8. Companeros on the Rio
9. Every Year Among the Pines

Kate MacLeod performs on all tracks as lead vocalist, and on the following instruments: violin/fiddle, acoustic guitar, electric hollowbody guitar, harmonica, and mountain dulcimer. 

GUEST MUSICIANS ON THIS RECORDING INCLUDE...

Charlotte Bell - oboe

Kurt Bestor - piano

Hal Cannon - harmony vocal

Harold Carr - acoustic and electric bass

Mark Chaney - drums 

Mandy Danzig - mandolin, acoustic guitar

Robert Dow - acoustic bass

Carla Eskelsen - harmony vocal

Mark Hazel - harmony vocal

Stephen Keen - accordion

Steve Lutz - dobro

Scott MacLeod - acoustic guitar

Mary Otterstrom - fiddle

Nino Reyos - Native American flute and drum

Dan Salini - pedal steel guitar

Dylan Schorer - electric guitar

Bob Smith - drums

Anke Summerhill - harmony vocal

Emmanuel Tellier - piano

Alicia Wrigley - acoustic and electric bass

The Americans band Triggers and Slips:

Morgan Snow - acoustic guitar and harmony vocal

Nathan Simpson - acoustic bass

Greg Midgley - piano

Eric Stoye - drums

Dulcimer.jpg
IMG_1615 copy.JPG

Nino Reyos on flute,
me on dulcimer,
for U-235

All songs and isntrumental pieces Copyright and Publishing, Kate MacLeod, Courier Music ASCAP,
except for A Fire I Can Borrow From and Every Year Among the Pines that are courtesy of Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts. 

Track 1 - Now Is the Time to Be Alive

now is the time to be alive.png

The lyrics of this song came from Everett Ruess' letters and journals written as he roamed the American Southwest, eventually disappearing in 1935 in the area of Escalante, UT. His body has not been found, but his writings and some of his art created during that time are published in the book Everett Ruess - A Vagabond for Beauty. 

time zone.png

Track 2 - Time Zone

LYRICS

The lonely trail is where I’m headed
Though I don’t feel alone on the lonely trail I’ve changed my name so many times
Still only the wind knows how to call me Now is the time
Now is the time
Now is the time To be alive

Is there some water in this canyon
Is there a sight for me to seize
I risk my life to crumbling sandstone
While the clown of death will tease me
Now is the time
Now is the time
Now is the time To be alive

No people come to these mountains
To the brooding, awesome, naked scene
I sincerely wish for you
A little of this fantastic dream
Now is the time
Now is the time
Now is the time To be alive

I’ll work for a dollar if someone will pay me I’ll sell my block prints and my paintings
So that I can stay here
I don’t care if I ever return to your world Now is the time
Now is the time
Now is the time To be alive

u235.png

Track 3 - U-235

The state of Utah has been in the center of many issues involving the use of uranium. The tailings from mining threaten clean waters, and there are many who died by living downwind from nuclear bomb testing. 

 

This song is a poem put to music, questioning our use of uranium for destructive purposes. Joining me on this song is Nino Reyos, who shares his Native American flute and drum in the music. This may be the first time that Native American instruments and a mountain dulcimer have been recorded in the same music piece, this could be true, but I don't have the time right now to fact check that with some research. : )

Going out to hear music with friends is a universal theme. I do so often, usually with friends, who like myself are transplants to Utah from other places in the country.
This song came out of one of those nights. 

LYRICS

The day was long but the night is young
Me and my friends went down to Rye
To sip on Wintertime Carnivals
And to taste the sound of the notes that fly

The music is good and the room is full
The candles are easy on my eyes
Where we see the world through a stranger’s guesses Wearing our favorite hats and dresses

CHORUS
The lights of town they are all here
The lights of town they are all on
And we are all in this time zone
No matter where we came from
No matter where we came from

They order something and put away their phone
The black jacket hangs from the chair
And how many times have I seen that look
Of someone in love or someone in despair

Well I could do this every night
Leave my work behind for a friendly room
And this city, well it’s not so bad
But don’t tell the world, cuz they’ll all be here soon

Me and my friends went down to Rye
To hear the songs of our own time
We talked of cars and we talked of guys
Of where we came from and trying to be civilized
But every time that it comes to this
This matrix of the truths we tell
How did we wind up in this town
And how do we make sure that we find ourselves

the train across the great salt lake.png

LYRICS

Way out in the wild country
There is an element of wonder
There is an element of nature
And of beauty born of dust
We name by number

Way out in our rock country
And in the oceans it is found
While everywhere is something watching What we do with it
And how we’ve scorched the ground

CHORUS  2X
The earth never had to name her
For her daughter was no stranger
And no one was meant to claim her

Way out is a sigh of people
Who’ve watched bombs in belief
Now all of us are users
It makes all of us downwinders
What will the tailings teach

And here in our own country
People argue over sand
Some buy and sell into the billions
Make some millions
Put a price on desert land

And watch how the uranium maiden
So innocent in repose
Can rise with its might 
When misused and abused 
When we choose to be foes

Track 7 - Apology to the Native Rock

Track 4 - The Train Across the Great Salt Lake

The desert west of the Great Salt Lake is a rolling open semi-arid desert from where you can see the western shores of the lake. Hardly anyone ever goes there. There are train tracks built on a causeway across the water east to west just above the water and it's a sight to see the train riding along them. I play the main acoustic guitar track on my Gibson J-45, Mandy Danzig and Mary Otterstrom accompany me on guitar and fiddle harmonies. Another version of this piece is on my Deep in the Sound of Terra recording. 

storm on the desert.png

Track 6 - Storm on the Desert

LYRICS

Along the Fremont River
Tucked into a canyon
Grow the orchards
That I ran through as a kid
They were everything to me
When I was simple, I was free
Before I know the world was so big
The roads were rough
And people rarely came our way
But when they did 

CHORUS
Oh it was pick, pick apples
And story time
We knew how to pass the time
In the middle of nowhere
Where we lived

I worked in the sunshine
Like the people who left behind
Their baskets and petroglyphs
Fruita was our Eden
Where we grew thousands of trees Between the river and the cliffs
Then travelers came from everywhere In the big wide world just to see

Now I am who I am Because of my home in that canyon, and my kin

Track 5 - Pick, Pick Apples

pick pick apples.png

Written during an Artist-in-Residence retreat through the Entrada Institute, this song is about the thousands of fruit trees that were planted by pioneers in Fruita, UT. The orchards now lie in the heart of Capitol Reef National Park. 

P1010005.JPG

With Steve Lutz, who played dobro on Pick, Pick Apples

This instrumental piece was included on my Deep in the Sound of Terra recording. Written during an Entrada Institute Artist-in-Residence retreat, it is my sonic apology to mother earth for our misuse of earth's resources, and the destruction that we sometimes inflict upon it. 

Track 8 - Shadow Changes

One of the only personal songs on the recording, this was also included on my Feel the Earth Spin CD. After years, this song still applies, to my feelings for living in one place for a long time. 

shadow changes.png

LYRICS

Did you ever sit in one place
And watch the sun rise
Feel the earth spin
Feel the time fly
How the time flies
How the light moves
Until the sun sets
Well I’ve walked these hills
And fields of roan
I call it home here
I call it home
How the time flies
How the light moves
My shadow changes

All the reasons I will never go
I love the seasons
And I love the sun
And the snow

 

Well the sundried hillsides
And the salt in my eyes
The sweat behind my steering wheel On a long day I never was very
Good at waiting

Broken dreams will
Try my tired will
And all of friends
They know where I am dreaming
And I’ve learned to love
By the back roads, and the bad roads And the good
Sun dried hillsides
Salt in my eyes
How the light moves
Shadow changes
Feel the earth spin

This song was written during an
Artist-in-Residence through the Entrada Institute.I was staying in an old haunted house, and was having some kind of an argument with someone on the phone, while outside a lightning storm was raging. From experiencing the ghost, the argument, and lightning, this song came along.  

LYRICS

Our love is, we both agree
Is rain on the desert, rain on the desert
And our love is, when we disagree
A storm on the desert, a storm on the desert

Where there is nowhere to hide
Nowhere, not where our love goes
And where it goes
Sometimes it looks like we are fighting
But it's more like lightning
More like lightning

Our tears are, tears that are warm
Are rain on the desert, rain on the desert
And our minds meet in the middle of a storm
A storm on the desert, a storm on the desert 

We feel the thunder in the light
We breathe the clouds
And watch how our love grows
And where it goes
Sometimes it looks like we are fighting
But it's more like lightning
More like lightning

Our dreams, they wake in the lightning storm
And the earth, it shines in the lightning storm 
Our hands, they glow in the lightning storm
And our love, it waits in the lightning storm Our love, it waits in the lightning storm
And sometimes love can be frightening
But it's more like lightning
More like lightning
More like lightning
More like lightning

Track 10 - Lightning Man Dreaming

Track 9 - Red Rock

red rock.png
lightning man dreaming.png

Written during an
Artist-In-Residence with
the Entrada Institute

On one of my annual river trips with Colorado River and Trails expeditions, one of the river guides carried my guitar up an inclined hike, strapped on his back with ropes, and then hiked it back down again. We had spent the afternoon in a cave, at the Dollhouse, where we ate, napped, and sand Gospel songs. Conversations went from Australian petroglyphs named Lightning Man Dreaming, to all kinds of things people talk about when enjoying each other's company. Then the same young man carried by guitar back down the straight downhill incline. And I thought he deserved a song. This it his song. 


LYRICS

I’ve arrived here on the only road
I am the only one on the only road I see
And I’ll trade my modern artifacts
For time in the red rock country
The solo flight of the bird
Is the only thing that moves now
And the breeze picks up where the bird takes off And through a lonely tree sounds

CHORUS
Here, red rock 
I’m here, red rock
I meet your echoing
Your ancient theme

The grains of sand
That line the canyons and fill the miles
Are a small example of the time
That it takes to make a world wise
They are a small example of the time
That it takes to make a rock smooth
And a true example of the power of small
When they get in my shoes

Here the wind blows through my heart
Like a desert maid trying to clean a home
And the layers of rock have left some shelves
For me to rest my thoughts on
The whirlpool of colors will deepen
When when the rain falls on the stone
And if it rains long or hard enough
Well then here comes the water’s song 

LYRICS

I am a boatman
And I know the rivers well
Because my family ran them
From Grand Junction
And I am a young man
And so I have some time
Like a lightning man dreaming
I am a lightning man dreaming

There is a cave
Way up in the Dollhouse
Above the Spanish Bottom
In the shade
Where a soul can sing
Among the rock of ages
Where I can be
A lightning man dreaming
I am a lightning man dreaming

And at the end of the day
My home is a camp
And I call out for a howdy
And I soak at the river bank
In the silk of the water
With lightning in the distance
I am a lightning man dreaming
I am a lightning man dreaming
I am a lightning man dreaming

Track 11 - Angels on My Mind

angels on my mind.png

This song is oldest song on the recording,
written in the 1980s, and is based on a true story. 
A friend of mine who was a miner in the Wilberg mine in central Utah, was ill one day and didn't go to work. But during that day there was a tragic fire in the mine shaft where he was normally working, and 24 lives were lost. He would have been in that shaft if he'd gone to work. He never went back to working in the mines. 

LYRICS

I am a lucky man, I am a lucky man
I wasn’t mining when the Wilberg caught fire
Now I dream of them, now I dream of them
Johnson and Wilko, Pavelko, and Myra
REFRAIN
Angels on my mind
Angels on my mind

I know that morning, I know that morning
Feverish I would lay down I could not go
And I would never have seen my sweet Mary
If I had gone that day down that manhole

Never on Sunday, never on Sunday
Will I forget how the mine took my brother
Never on Sunday, never on Sunday
Will I forget how the man told my Mother

Maybe someday, maybe someday
They will find a replacement
For the hard-hearted black coal
Then leave the mines lazy
Let them lie lazy, let them lie lazy
Those dark-shafted fire holes

a fire i can borrow from.png

Track 12 - A Fire I Can Borrow From

I'm sure that when pioneer women made entries into their
journals 150 years ago, they would never have considered that their experience would be compiled into a song by a complete stranger sometime in the future. But as a writer, this kind of thing excites me. This song came from the journal entries of a pioneer woman living in a cabin in Sanpete Co., Utah. Writing songs like this gives a connection to those who've come before me. As a mother, I understand the daily role of "fire-keeper," and that no one is an island. 

LYRICS

I woke up this morning
With the cold creeping in
Between the greasewood and the willow
And the adobe of the cabin
The first thing I’ll do
Before I wake the little children
Is to see if the fire from the night
Still has a red coal burning

CHORUS
If my fire didn’t (doesn‘t) make it through the night My neighbor has a fire that I can borrow from Sometimes the neighbors come knockin’ at my door
We tend each other’s lives this way

It’s cold in the cabin
When the water’s nearly frozen
And when John is on the trail
Before the light has even broken
I can hear the empty sound
Of my bucket with no embers
As I call on my neighbors
In my coat and my faded apron  

This is something I can count on
Beyond my prayers and my reason
For the matches and the money
Hardly ever last the season
And so much depends
On the fires that I tend
Like the food that I make
For the warmth and the strength of my loved ones

And if my own is not enough to get me going
I might look out the window
Where the wind blows the snow in
And see the curl of your chimney smoke
Always a sign of hope
Saying, here’s a warm fire,
And a door that is always open

Track 13 - Sand in Breeze

sand in breeze.png

This solo violin vignette channels the swirling of desert sand in the breeze through the voice of my violin, on one warm but gentle day in Torrey UT. 

Track 14 - Sunrise on the Colorado Plateau

sunrise over the colorado plateau.png

The Colorado Plateau is a large expanse of desert region within southeastern Utah, and some of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, with a small fraction in Nevada. Much of the Plateau's landscape is related, in both appearance and geologic history, to the Grand Canyon. 

butch cassidy was here.png
compenaros.png

Track 15 - Butch Cassidy Was Here

Track 16 - Companeros on the Rio

After spending a lot of time in central Utah, where Butch Cassidy was born, and from where he became such an enigmatic figure, I became very curious about him and began readings biographies and articles on the subject. From this I learned that he was quite a complex character, and that I had no judgement on whether we was strictly outlaw, or a rebel from the environment from which he came. Perhaps we was both, and more. 

LYRICS

Before he was a rustler he was Robert Leroy Parker
Born in Utah in 1866
He was the first of thirteen children
Once such a little babe
With no appetite for a simple life
And neither would it stay that way

The ground here is so dry here
It can choke the means of living
Nature’s only kind itself
When it’s being warm and giving
We’ve tamed it with provisions
With hats and farms and schemes
Why should Bob’s life be tamed like that
For the sake of someone else’s dreams

So he took to rustling cattle
From the long arms of the rich
He fought against the onset of big business
And he took to stealing fortunes
From the mining companies’ spit
And he grew to love the smell of gold
And he grew to love the chase of it

CHORUS
Some say it’s all in how you look at it ma’am
They say it’s all in how you look at it ma'am

We are an animal of language
And when all was said and done
When he changed his name to Butch Cassidy
He’d sealed his fate on the tongues
Of the lawmen and the women
And the cowboys and the young
Now people still find wonder
In his outlaw trail and the guns

The stories of his robberies
Became reknowned throughout the West
He romanced the getaway
His reputation would attest
That the discretion of the desert
Can breed the worst and the best
Where even the law is sometimes suspect
By the needs of the rest

His Wild Bunch and their ladies
They grew richer every year
From Castle Gate to Robbers Roost
They reigned with little fear
And with the dubious distinction
Of being fair with the poor
Butch was square with himself
In his own estimation, I’m sure

By the time his century ended
And town lights began to glow
The wild men were driven
From the Colorado Plateau
While the banks increased in numbers
So did the posses grow
So they left their canyoned country
And headed south through Mexico

And in defining acts of bravery
And our relation to fear
Who of us will spar with chance
Well enough to be revered
Or grapple with our enemies
Until our bodies are cold
We might live another year
But we say Butch Cassidy was here

LYRICS

The morning calls for coffee
We strike the camp and do the packing
We are a motley group of travelers
Of foreign languages and stragglers

CHORUS
My companeros on the rio
We might have been strangers at the put-in
No longer strangers by the end of the
Green In our sandals and our saris
With our paddles and our stories
We ride the rapids in succession
With conversation and confession

We see arches in the sandstone
We see a heron and a cowbone
In the canyons of desolation
We bathe in the waters of the Rio Verde

And if we had once been strangers
In a world full of dangers
In our world full of wonder
We ride the rivers of forever

every year among the pines.png

Track 17 - Every Year Among the Pines 

LYRICS

CHORUS
Now every year among the pines
Beneath the clear blue sky
Above John’s Valley
We meet with our friends
And our family that descends
From the days of Widtsoe

Some filed a homestead, and settled down
The land was free, if you could hold your ground
Five years of living of tilling and of praying
And it was yours

Wild horses watched us build our homes
The sawmills rang, the cars and the radios came
If you were to visit, you could hitch a ride there
On the mail truck from the train

But after some years, the fields went dry
And hope ran thin, resettlement help stepped in
Though all wished to linger, they laid Widtsoe down
Say hello to the ghost town

But none can take love that’s shared
Our good intentions, or the memories we bear
Since then there’s not been a kinder home
That anyone can remember

This song was written on a rafting trip down Cataract Canyon, in 2019. I have had the pleasure of being on an annual river trip on which I write songs, sometimes a song every day about our experiences on the trip. This is one of them. 

I was commissioned to write this song by Utah Heritage Arts. It's taken from the writings of a community of people who lived in a small town called Widtsoe, UT which is now a ghost town. But every year, there is a reunion of the families and the descendents of those who lived in Widtsoe.  
 

Pano for CD LOW REZ.jpg

Thank you for visiting my website!