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Imagine a young man from an old dairy family in a small town on the Upper Peninsula. He’s an artist at heart but has no idea. He’s never in his life seen an artist. He falls ill with an unexplained condition.

He’s bedridden in an attic overlooking the town square and one day sees an old Toyota pickup truck he doesn’t recognize. It’s wheel wells are sprayed with dried mud and the covered bed is packed with all manner of gear and clothing. It seems someone might even be living out of the thing.

The license plate is from a state he knows nothing of. It reads “New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment”.

This is his prayer.

I dedicate this song to my mother who wants to know if he ever made it down.


New Mexico is the land of enchantment
That’s what her license plate say
Well I’ve never been to Santa Fe
Never been out of Michigan
But I’d like to see New Mexico someday

Albuquerq’, would you quench my thirst?
Would you take me in like I loved you first?
I’ll make it down to the mesas
With a toothache and a suitcase
I’d like to see New Mexico someday

Might be a woman there
With green eyes and auburn hair
With a piece of land she’d like to share
We’ll carve our names into the sandstone
Live off the Rio Grande
Chase hummingbirds through the canyonlands

We’ll wake before the sun
And when our chores are done
We’ll listen to the coyotes on the run

Let me sleep beneath the moonlight
I’ll build my fire of pinyon pine
With nothing but the stars to guide

I spend my nights
With a picturebook, with a flashlight
I spend my days the same way
If this fever ever breaks, I will leave the northern lakes
And head on south down the interstate

If the Lord should strike me blind
I could still feel the sunshine
And the desert wind of
New mexico


from Homeland for the Restless, released January 13, 2013




Leo J and The Mêlée Portland, Oregon

Hands in the dirt
Face to the wind
Folk Songs

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