The Stars Fall Shooting Into Twangsville

by The Secret Emchy Society

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This is an album about good friends and hard times.

After burning out from years of day-job overtime, the loss of friends and family members and watching her own health decline due to the stress, Emchy found herself sitting in a haunted bar in New Orleans, her spiritual second home. On her travels that day a “grizzled and gorgeous” old woman told her, “come on honey, this is New Orleans. You gotta shake your ass!” The musician took the women’s admonition as a sign – it was time to get down to her real work as a musical artist. This is where the album began.

Thanks to all of the rockstars who performed on this record, and the supporters on indiegogo who helped make it a reality. Extra special shoutouts to all of the members of the Secret Emchy Society near and far (you know who you are) and my inspirations music / art / chosen family of Hans Winold, Eric Ingerson, John Flaw, Pat McMains, Sean Malroy, Jess McMains, Danielle Vincent, Lauren Wheeler, Keri Levy, Jen Rau, Fran Varian, Michele Kappel-Stone, Geoff Berner, and Joy for always talking me down (or up) as needed. And even more glasses raised for my road soulsister Carolyn Mark, and my amazing wife Charlotte Gutierrez who always makes everything better.


released July 21, 2017

All songs written by Cindy Emch except
*Written by Emch, Cagnacci, Carley
**Written by Emch, McMains
***Written by Emch, Cagnacci

Cindy Emch - Vocals, Guitar, Accordion
Carolyn Mark - Backing Vocals, Piano
Tolan McNeil - Guitar, Lap Steel, Backing Vocals
Joel Fernandes - Drums, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dennis Siemens - Upright Bass, Backing Vocals
Grayson Walker - Accordion, Piano, Backing Vocals
J. McLaughlin - Backing Vocals
Olivier Clements - Brass of all kinds

Produced / Engineered by Tolan McNeil at Lucky Mouse Studios, The Last Resort, Beautiful Victoria, B.C.
Officially wrangled by Dennis Siemens
Package Design by Buck Down Designs /

Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved


all rights reserved



The Secret Emchy Society Oakland, California

The Secret Emchy Society plays foot stompin' heart breakin' queer cowboy songs about good friends and hard times. Frontperson Cindy Emch uses her unique & nuanced voice to sing her deeply personal americana music for modern times.

She has previously sung, strummed, and squeezeboxed her way around the country with the bands Vagabondage, Rhubarb Whiskey, Oakland Wine Drinkers Union, and Feral.
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Track Name: Two Feet and a Dream
Drinking day job wine
In a haunted bar blood and music got me this far
So I’ll read a book while the clarinet sings
This night is full of dangerous things


Two feet and a dream
Two wheels and ride
Drinking drunk coffee
Singing song slides
We’re dancing on the sidewalk
Handclaps and brass
Sugar this is New Orleans
Better shake your ass

And it’s a step outside
and it’s punch in the chest
Bagpipes are playing funeral songs you can guess the rest
Amazing grace and tears in my eyes
While that old muddy water keeps rolling by


Light paints the city
Out past the levees way
There’s miles of land, the dark waters at bay
These old wooden walls have seen a hundred years
So let’s bang bang piano (Carolyn) let’s wish you were here
Track Name: Down to the River

Hitting the road again while you do a little dance
Sometimes this is as hard as it gets
My shirt still warm from your arms around my back
It’s too hard leaving friends like that

Never go down to the river
Never go down to the tracks
If the one you love is asking
You're never coming back

Another show and it’s just another angle
Whatever happened to three chords and danger
A night on the road running solo again
A night on the road who knows how this will end


Truest hearts always walk alone
Into the past and into the woods we go
Looking back we already knew we’d lost you
Looking back I can’t judge those things you do


All it took was one haunted look
Smoke in the air and your life’s a burning book
Did you fall in love when that last moment fell
Seeing to the stars did you hear the bells

Track Name: Jagged Edges (feat. Tolan McNeil)
You were all jagged edges with a hurricane mouth
I loved you too much to give in to doubt
I knew with what we had we'd figure it out we'd soften those edges
till the storm moved down south

Cuz we know what we need to find
so pour another bottle of wine i
t's the time that we take and the love that we make
so grab my hand little darling and let's walk down that line

Like an angry old dog defending her food sometimes in this life I'm just not in the mood we all have our good days and we all have our bad
but dancing with you always makes me less sad


Well I'm making coffee and watching you sleep
sometimes in this life you Gotta know what to keep
I'm leaving tomorrow heading out on the road
I keep your heart with me wherever I roam

Track Name: NYC in the Morning
New York City in the morning
3am is rolling by
The night smells like a jazz club
Hand rolled cigarettes and rye
You knew it once
I knew it again


Nows our time to try what we have
Nows our time so show your hand

6am somewhere in Georgia
The nights always end like this
Hard liquor harder words
Us pulling back our fists
You knew it once
I knew it again


Louisiana evening
I should’ve known that you were gone
I still made it to Austin
Never even got a phone call
Nows my time
This is how I try

New York City in the morning
It’s 3am again
I just give you second chances
A chance to lie to me again
I’m done with trying
I’m done with the tears

Nothing left for me now
just these haunted years
Haunted Years
Haunted Years (fade out)
Track Name: End of Pretty
Must be nice being pretty, pretty being what you are
They hunt you with their cameras, wanna make you a star
I stand on the same stages, I drink the same wine
We wear the same lipstick, but I ain’t got the time
Ain’t got the time


I’m just as pretty as my songs need me to be
My songs are so much prettier than me

I try not to worry ‘bout why those cameras never find me
I’m not normal pretty I’m still a sight to see
I got words and laughter got these songs and friends
The roads roll for miles and the stories don’t end
They don’t end


So call me crazy and witchy
Pay for my music in bones
I left behind that old broken mirror
Out on the old crossroads
The old crossroads

Track Name: Beautiful
You are so beautiful tonight
You walk towards me in the light
You are so beautiful tonight
And I don’t care if it’s wrong or right

I’ve known you from the start
We met in the gallery to see our friends art
I made you laugh over wine
and so began this wonderful time


And now we walk hand in hand
On city sidewalks and in far off lands
I know it’s us against the world
and you’re my one and only girl


Dancing together in the dark
Skinny dippin’ ‘neath the full moon out in Central Park
This love burns bright as the stars
My heart is yours forever just as you are because…

Track Name: Little Fucker
He’s a little fucker he’s a little fucker
Got a mouth like a big rig trucker
Steel trap heart cuz he ain’t no sucker
But he’s a little fucker he’s a little fucker

Walks into the bar like he owns it
Orders bourbon no ice in a glass
All heads turn and he knows it
Living hard and living faaaaaaast


He leads all the boozy sing a longs
They lift their glasses high
He’s breaking every heart in town
Leaving no eye dryyyyyyy


He’s gone as quick as silver, leaving not a trace
The echo of his boots are faint on the greyest days
One day he’ll come back round here lighting up the bar
Don’t know where he’s going, but he’s going farrrrrrrr
Track Name: Had Enough (feat. Carolyn Mark)
You were always in what’s good for you
You lost your faith in me and you
Your words and hate made a pretty song
But you turned and ran when the work was on


No more songs no more lies
Yours aren’t the only words that cry
It’s time to know and time to love
The strength in me has had enough

The bags under my eyes hold our words unsaid
That guy on the corner says you robbed him again
The stars hang heavy wet and blue
I walk all night till the liquors through


There’s a moment we all try to maintain
Screaming with beauty or howling in pain
I see you’re a shining glittery star
You’re just convinced you’re an ugly scar


Now I sing alone onstage
Six strings and a bar that’s my only trade
Now I sing with one lone voice
A thousand miles leaves no choice
Track Name: I've Been Staring
I’ve been staring at these crossroads for 300 years
Stuuuuuck in the mud
Got enough to survive but not enough to live
Regrets I got more of, the past ain’t no gift


Been cryin all day with nothing to say
Just watching time running out on me
My life’s in the balance if I can’t get it right
Tossin dice with the devil for my fate tonight

I write death songs cuz I forgot how to live
this life it takes more than I got to give
there’s a woman who loves me she does all that she can
life on these machines it kills you fast as it can


This strife I learned at my daddy’s knee
Most important thing is always responsibility
Lost in translation is a truth to yourself
You kill your soul if you’re just working for wealth


So let’s throw down the gauntlet wipe away the tears
Try not to think of all the ruined years
We’re walking forward with heads held high
Fuck your fears man it’s time to try

Track Name: Sunday Hootenanny
Well I’m drinking club soda and sitting by myself
I guess this must mean that I’m going to hell
In the bar of the damned and we’re singing about clams
You never really know where you are…


Cuz you’re thinking of me
So we’re not drinking alone
And you’re singing with me
That’s how we found home

Shadow dancing a two step on an old run down stage
Songs of love lost and turning the page
You wear those old fishnets they’re beat up and worn
A hole in my heart an old shoe that’s been worn


Now it’s whiskey and singing my last night in town
But y’all know you’ll see me around
We’ll shout and we’ll holler at the end of the hoot
Keep our ears ringing with laughter to boot


Well I’m drinking club soda and sitting by myself
I guess this must mean that I’m going to hell
Track Name: Songs Are All We're Left With
Still a stab when I pass your place
remembering those time we used to waste
finding love inside the chords
but you don't live there anymore

Songs are all we're left with
Songs are all we have
Songs keep me believing in something we never had
Songs are all we're left with
Songs are all we have

You kick your one spurred heel
and you turn that key in the lock
wishing somehow that you would return my heart
but you threw it out the window
as you drove away


Grinning and a singin in that old double wide
grey on the out with songs on the inside
it was just an old rusty place
on Michigan Street


I sit alone and think of you
I sit alone and drink
who knew so much life could be so cheap
we had all this magic but you threw it away


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