by Spark & Whisper

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"Monument" is Spark & Whisper's 3rd Album.
11 original songs by Velvy Appleton and Anita Sandwina.

"Monument solidifies their status among the best songwriting and performing partnerships working today. The eleven song collection has a rare depth of quality extending far beyond rote acoustic singer/songwriter fare. This is an all-around excellent package aiming to entertain and illuminate alike. It is informed by traditional music, but there’s a rock and roll spirit burning just beneath the surface."
9/10 Stars--

"Monument doesn’t sound like anything else out there. The compositions are strong, punchy and to the point. There’s no need for epic length with songs this good. If there were any bad songs, I’d name them, but there aren’t. Monument recalls blues & country rock as much as the elegance of Santana and Al Dimeola. This is truly a return to roots music that is actually worth hearing."

"This music is as real as it gets. Spark & Whisper aren’t afraid to adhere to traditions nor challenge them, which makes Monument a standout record. There are no bad tracks to be found-- threaded with banjo, mandolin, acoustic & electric guitars, a stellar rhythm section, and a cascade of irresistible vocal melodies/harmonies, there are a multitude of pleasures to enjoy."
9/10 Stars-- No Depression


released October 1, 2016

Velvy Appleton- Vocals, Electric, Acoustic, Slide Guitars, Electric Bass
Anita Sandwina- Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo-lele
Paul Eastburn- Upright Bass
Scott Johnson- Drums
Robert M. Powell- Pedal Steel, Electric Guitar
Michael Wray- Keyboards
Joshua McClain- Cello

Produced by Velvy Appleton



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Spark & Whisper Fairfax, California

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Track Name: Monument
by Anita Sandwina

This old house invites you in
With it’s porch and a space for a swing
And from up on this hill you can see down below
To the meadow the run and the snow

But closer up and as you walk in
You can feel a hundred years of spite diggin’
and the bend and the bowing from all the resentment
The lives lived here incomplete and relentless

But near by the river flows on
Shrinking and swelling with each summer gone
And this relic stands so quietly jealous of her song
A monument to choices made for oh so long

Weather beats down on this old frame
And the gutters are bent and pushed out by the rain
And the hole in the ceiling where the heat was spared
It’s covered now but tells the tale of how love here was shared

New paint and new siding put on
An attempt to hide these crooked old bones
It’s been for sale now for a number of years
But who would buy this house full of unwept tears?
Track Name: Bottom of the Well
Bottom of the Well
by Velvy Appleton

Toe to toe with my shadow
I keep him pinned to the ground
I search beneath
I search below
I search the lost and found
Yes I am looking
Looking for some soul that i can sell
For some shake at the bottom of the baggie
For some water at the bottom of the well

Sneakers hang from a phone line
Chevelle in primer gray
Cash for cars and stripper bars
This road's got a lot to say
Yes I am listening
Listening for a potion for a spell
For some shake at the bottom of the baggie
For some water at the bottom of the well

Boxes piled in the corner
All i own within
Vinyl records, cassette tapes,
Beach glass, magazines
Yes, I am floating
I float with the tide I move with the swell
To the shake at the bottom of the baggie
To the water at the bottom of the well

These days the noise can overwhelm me
Its sink or swim in this show and tell
Feels like they're lining up to sell me
I just want some water
Some water from the bottom of the well

Half a mile from the station
The tracks veered off to the right
Rented dreams and silver screens
Now I can't sleep the night
Yes, I am waiting
Though i know that only time will tell
If there's any shake at the bottom of the baggie
Any water at the bottom of the well
Track Name: I Am Yours
I Am Yours
by Anita Sandwina

I am the river
I am the stone
I am the water flowing
I am its home

I am the blue
I am the sky
I am the fire burning
I am why

I am yours

I am the anger
I am the hate
I am compassion
I am the love you make
I am the illusion
Of all of this
I am whatever you wish

I am yours

I am I am that I am I am
Track Name: Far From This World
Far From This World
by Velvy Appleton

Dear Lord, hear my prayer
Wanna believe there's a place somewhere
Where we all flow into one

I pray there's a time and a space
I pray there's some peaceful place
When this all's been said and done

Show me the way of the water
Know me and my restless mind
Dear Lord, forgive my foolish pride
I don't know about hell and 'bout heaven
I don't care about the gold and the pearls
Dear Lord, I pray you made a place for love
And, I'm praying its not too far from this world
I'm praying its not too far from this world

Dear Lord, i'm tired and i'm torn
I've been forsaken, feel forlorn
And i can't pretend I'm blind
To the blast by the side of the road
To the boy with the stony load
To the mother with the cardboard sign

Show me the way of the water
Know me and my restless mind
Dear Lord, forgive my violent tribe
Save us from the greed and the madness
Save is from the tears and the blood
Dear Lord, I pray you made a place for love
And, I'm praying its not too far from this world

I'm praying its not too far from this world
Track Name: River Winding
River Winding
by Anita Sandwina

The river runs
And the river bends
The river wanders
And the river ends

The river winds
And the river’s rush
The river uncovers
And the river cuts

I don’t really mind
The way is worth what’s been left behind

The river stalls
And the river slows
The river guides us
And the river holds

Sometimes it’s mud
Sometimes it’s so damn clear
Sometimes it’s churning
Sometimes it steers

I don’t really mind right now
The way is worth what’s been left behind

Render me smooth like the stones she carries
leave no place untouched before I am buried
Let her leave her marks
For I want to travel with her winding
Track Name: Little Bit More
Little Bit More
by Velvy Appleton

Sometimes when I wake too early in the morning
I lay around, wonder what life's for
I can see a brand new day a dawning
But I can’t help wishing for a littl ebit more

Sometimes at night when the wine's been going
I look ahead, wonder what's in store
I know my cup is overflowing
but I can’t help wishiing for a little bit more

I can't abide this aging system
they say that youth is wasted on the young
when I hear 'bout golden years & wisdom
I hang my head and I hold my tongue

this river flows in one direction
wanna tie my boat up to the shore
no point in pushing for perfection
but I can't help wishing for a little bit more

wish them winds of change would come a blowin'
reveal the writing up upon the wall
this train don’t show no signs of slowin;
still I find myself wishing for a little bit more

why should I wonder how I'm faring
sit back let karma settle up the score
no good can come from this comparing
still I find myself wishing for a little bit more
Track Name: The Circle
The Circle
by Velvy Appleton

For all that we have spoken
After all's been said
For all that we have broken
After all we’ve bled

I join the circle for another day
I wash my face, Step into the light
I join the circle, I join the circle again

For all who live with trouble
For all who live with pain
For all who live in struggle
For all who’ve fought in vain

Time has come for us to RISE
Time has come for us to RISE
Time has come for us to RISE
The Circle calls/holds me again

For all that I have wandered
For all that I have tried
To keep myself from falling
And being swept aside
Track Name: California
Cup of coffee in the subway
Half past two
New York City got me living like Nosferatu
Day for night, and night for day
I’m kissing Wendy at the Time Café
Running on Ray’s and Grays Papaya, too

Just south of Jersey
Made the change in ‘82
Four years in Philly left me pale and feeling blue
Otis told me bout the Frisco Bay
November ’90 paved the way
My head was spinning but my heart was set on you

California, California
Out on the edge, in the eye of the storm, yeah
Just me and you

Bali, Bombay, Bangkok and Rangoon
Kona, Quito, Boca, Kathmandu
I put my pack in the perfect place
Fall in love another pretty face
Those Lonely Planets only led me back to you…

California took my hand
She gave me light, the dark be damned
California took me as I am
Exactly as I am
Track Name: Bless the Mountain
by Anita Sandwina

Snow high on the mountain to today
Cold white and distant not here to stay
Reminds me of you and I want to cry
But my tears they’re all frozen like the frigid blue sky

You and each season I ‘ve known like my skin
Like the warm breeze against my skin
Each one of you is a passing beauty
And I hold you so close and I hold you so dearly

Bless the mountain because it remains behind
A comfort and a constant in this current of time
At Least there’s one thing here that stays
Standing against the winds of this endless changing
If it was not for that mountain I would surely blow away

Spring on that mountain and the purple blooms blush
Hope comes in on that warm airs rush
You’re gone now but I remember how it felt
To be with you then in the warm spring melt

Somehow that mountain just holds my heart
Mornings at the window I find reason to start
Each winter I still think of leaving like you did
But some how that mountain just pulls me right through it