Cold and Free

by The Whiskey Predicament

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All songs written, performed and recorded by Nate.
(Special guests- Mason played electric guitar on 'Phantom Smoke Machine', and Max played trumpet on 'Bachelor Dad'.)
Mastered by Rob Tavaglione at Catalyst Recording.


released August 20, 2016

Dedicated to Morgan and Henry.

Thanks to all those who help the The Whiskey Predicament to be heard in Charlotte and beyond, including Jamie, Jim and Brooke at Tommy's Pub, Jeff and JP, Johnny Moss, Levi, the Hughes family and Buck, Meuse, Perry, Britknee, all the Feys and Lauries, and the hundreds of people who make Charlotte music tight every day!

Remarks on The Whiskey Predicament's last record "Escape From the Meat Market" (2014):
“The Whiskey Predicament is Nate Fey and his twisted version of happy go unlucky acoustic rock played through a gramophone. It’s a kitsch way of dealing with music that allows you to embrace a very DIY approach to recording and then run with it and Nate makes it shine... Nate’s voice has a warm and floaty feel to it, as if there were a few whiskies involved in the recording process! This however adds to the pub-like ramshackle way of enjoying grass-roots music and only adds to the atmosphere... One for downing pints to.”
- Simon Smith, Higher Plain Music

"Lovely garage folk... Play repeatedly. [A]long the lines of full sounding garage-folk artists like the Strange Boys, Dead Ghosts, or even Bloodshot Bill... I was enjoying it too much to stop listening."
- Space Rock Mountain

"In classic style for an MFOA post, he plays everything himself and comes up with his own unique brand of music that floats somewhere around the area of indie folk or folk rock or psych folk... Nate's music is also set apart by it's generally sunny feel."
- Modern Folk Music of America



all rights reserved


The Whiskey Predicament Charlotte, North Carolina

The Whiskey Predicament is Nate recording original tunes on lo-fi equipment. Nate enjoys comics, surfing, pipes, presidents, hamburgers and whiskey. You can contact him at


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Track Name: Phantom Smoke Machine
E (G) E A-G-C E (G) E A-G

You light the fire and it flickers till the morning light, it's in your blazer, it's a corduroy miracle
And all the dancing and the prancing's gonna ease the fight, it's not a razor it's a flowing funny oracllllle-
Ghost it up and float away!
Wooooaah, you're specter in the modern day.

You're surfing Venice Beach, the morning sun is baking hot, the ocean cold is foaming up and washing down your feet
And all the crashing and the splashing gonna leave the spot, you hit the sand and then you're ready for an early treeeeeat-
Ghost it up and float away!
Wooooaah, you're specter in the modern day.

Slip it out and spark it everybody's gonna mark it, it's a love fest
Phantom smoke machine!
It's a flicker, it's a starter, it's a party picker-upper, it's a gold chest
Phantom smoke machine!
It's a thrill you're gonna get it, everybody's got to admit it, it's a stealth trick
Phantom smoke machine!
It's a time and it's a place but no one reads it on your face, you know you're so slick
Grinning from ear to ear.

You're cruising Pico Blvd., the evening sky is pink, the Liquid Kitty's calling out to you for low-life jive
And in the darkened room you know your tiger starts to think, you hit it on the floor and jumping up so aliiiiive
Ghost it up and float away!
Wooooaah, you're specter in the modern day.


Guitar solo

Track Name: The Big Easy
(capo on fret 6)

One last trip in me, I'll see the Big Easy,
like I did as a happy young man.
The bus ticket's one way,
bound to relive beauty sleazy,
that I bought with my wrinkled old hand.
One last trip in me, I'll see golden trumpets
like I heard when I knew who I was.
And once last dance with the painted ladies
who'd tease me, like they did here
before all the fuzz in my head.

I'm scared. But I think I know what I'm doing here.
In this town. This old man-
I'm gonna sip a whiskey with my withered hand,
And recall... All the fun.
That this life had gave me under the sun,
And say thanks. And feel good.
For all the times I had back when I understood.


And my brain. I started missing words and didn't feel the same,
As I should. But I'm still me. So I'm checking out out while I can still live free,
And who knows? They might be proud? If at this classy exit, I was singing loud,
In this town. New Orleans. About the friends that made me, and the family that saved me and the wife I loved when I was still complete!

Track Name: Bachelor Dad
E A E A E A D A (repeat throughout)

Well he tousles your hair, and he tucks you in
And as he lights up a joint, he greets the sitter with a grin
Well she's only 19, but she's looking good,
And all your buddies on the swings, yeah they know he could
Under toy store lights, he's got the aviator shades
When he picks you up, it's the party brigade!

He's a bachelor dad!
The only one you've had!
And he's oh so bad!
He's a bachelor dad!

Well he runs a little late, he picks you up from school
And as she watches from the gate, the teacher's grinning like a fool
Well she's only 33, and she's looking good,
And everybody in the office, yeah they know he would
You got the midnight movie, and it's takeout night
In this living room party, he treats you right!

Track Name: What a Ride
I tried. But what a ride. In this life, just to settle down at night.
And I don't want to fly. But It's alright. I
felt the heights that could make a life ignite.
You know it's easy when it's right!

All I want to see, is through that bedroom door.
What's on the other side, is what I'm waiting for.
And why should I escape? And what would fretting bring?
When floating doors appear... to every living thing- and I-

Made the ride! With all my lines, provocative and nice
And I don't want to fly. But it's alright. I felt the heights that could make a life ignite. All I want to do is ride!

I don't want to act! Or be the president!
It's all this town I'm in.. and all it's residents.
I don't want a yacht! Or see the pyramids!
But all the things I want- are things I already did!

And I don't want the crowns or the barons, or processions when the chalices come. I'd like to pack the car on a Friday- for the lake... And the sun!

I tried. But what a ride. In this life, just to settle down at night.
And I don't want to fly. But It's alright. I felt the heights that could make a life ignite. You know it's easy when it's right!

I just want to be, until a gentle end.
When I can stake my flag, as your most special friend.
And what a ride I made, in my most favorite town.
The doors can open up... I think I'm ready now! And I-

Made the ride! With all my lines, provocative and nice
And I don't want to fly. But it's alright! I felt the heights that could make a life ignite...

And I just liked the ride.
Track Name: Little Gold Spark
A (x2) D E

Years ago, and so luckily, there was a little gold spark that came to me
Oh it shined so bright, and it danced around, so that I'd rub my eyes just to believe I'd found-
I tucked it in my pocket then, so the little gold spark could be my friend
I fanned it air, and then I held it tight, so my little gold spark could stay alive

{Chorus 1}
My eyes are wide, happy days
Little gold spark come lead the way
My saving grace, my favorite thing
Little gold spark so interesting

Nine to fives and the dreary days, and the overcast sky, and there's bills to pay
But my mind's ajar, and the door's askew
And a little bright hope comes jumping through
I hoped that it would be the same, but my little gold spark was a roaring flame
The crackling blaze was so beautiful
And the sky had cleared, and we ignored the world

{Chorus 2}

My back is perked, my ears are primed
Little gold spark, come blow my mind
My wild card, my skeleton key
Little gold spark, come dance with me

As the grind went on, and the years passed by
Had my little gold spark burned up and died?
Had it fizzled out while I looked away
And the dull machinery ruled my days
I ran back home and I cried its name
And saw the little gold spark by the window pane
It bounded in and I hugged my friend
And my little gold spark was shining bright again

{Chorus 1}
{Chorus 2}
{Chorus 1}
Track Name: The Fountain
(Capo on fret 1)

Well it's a halcyon affair
outside the lake with sunny air
And all the children laughing by the fountain
That rumble echoes through the street
when the streams they hit concrete
And the white noise let's you know that it's alright here
And you're a child with wide eyes, of course
You've taken all the sights inside
The universe a small town's simple beauty
And as the fountain splashes bliss,
it's all the constellations cadences
To know more yes would simply be a fool's dream
And as you sleep, that night
You know you're home... And hear the fountain in the night
And as your tale unfolds... At first it's scared...
And then it's booooold!!

You found a love across the sea and
thought that Gold had finally decreed
He'd take you on his side and that he liked you
And in the fuzzy warmth of fun
You felt protected by the son and yes-
The one who gave it all, did it excite you?
And you can see your silhouettes
That all the memories forget
Now that it's over and the dust has settled dirty
And as the fountain runs next door
Your gaze is cast against the floor, alone
The barren bar it knows that you are thirsty.
And you will know... It flows on
The story breaks... And then it hits you like a song
The change is now... And concrete
At first it's hard... And then it's sweeeeet!!

You sought adventures for a man
And thought you'd try to take a stand,
and print the truth to set the people's mood ablazing
And in a country far away you felt the providence,
They slaved away- the horror and excitement was amazing
And you can hear the bullets fly
As they shoot across the sky
And in the orange light of dawn you scribble madly
And through the bloody crashing wave
You saw the offerings they gave that day
The truth you tried to breathe it in so badly
And you will feel... For so long
The faces lost... And yet the fountain splashes on
And as you sip... The barroom gin...
A story ends... And one begins!!
Track Name: A Salty Affair
(capo on fret 8... or wherever)

I saw you many years ago
above the stinging sand
While your piercing blue was
staring at the beach
And the rising and the crash
Kept my attention oh so rapt
Then your lulling sounds would send me back to sleep
Oh, your lulling sounds would send me back to sleep

I saw in you a majesty, a wisdom cold and free
An adventure that I'd like to come and play
But though I struggled oh so hard
To come and meet you out that far
You were oh so good at waving me away
You knew that I was safer far away

So many times I came to you
To feel your salty tongue
But one day I knew a different kiss so sweet
You were old and I was young
And our year were so much fun
But I needed one a little more like me
You knew she was a little more like me

Amidst my happy life I still remember you so dear
Under the sun I'd felt the splashing and the spray
With your wisdom cold and free
You were always there for me
And I know that I will see you 'gain some day
You know that I'll be back again someday
Track Name: Break the Reins
Em Am B7 (all throughout)

The crop this year was mighty fine
So why not take it down the line
And Buddy, he can't drop the dime
If he doesn't know what Frankie sold you
Buddy, he is living cool
In West LA, he knows it too
The poker game is by the pool
Let's break the reins that try to hold you
Split the deck, look inside
Cut the cards and skin the hide
And deal em out with a vicious pride
And soften up the clay that molds you
Buddy, he is bluffing crude
He doesn't know your latitude
The mind-expanding things you do
To break the reins that try to hold you!

And buddy will play to win,
But now the truth is kicking in
You look him in the eyes and grin
The answers scare him silly, know this
Hearts and diamonds in your hand
The bloody red you understand
They swirl around at your command
Let's beat the man who thinks he owns us!
Sweaty brow, itching limbs
You can fold your hand and have a swim
But Buddy, he would take the win
You'll not provide the square his moment
Full house on the river flip
Queens and aces, get a grip
Just keep it cool with witty quips
And break the reins that Buddy sold you!

Split the deck, look inside
Cut the cards and skin the hide
And deal em out with a vicious pride
And soften up the clay that molds you
Buddy, he is bluffing crude
He doesn't know your latitude
The mind-expanding things you do
To break the reins that try to hold you!
Ante up, stare him down
The spirit of this desert town
Is coursing through your body now
It's all or nothing, Buddy knows this
Go all in and call his hand
The queens and aces take the land
The truth today, it beat the man
You broke the reins that tried to hold you!
Track Name: Live Out Loud
(On fret 2)

Oh the sky will fall on any day
And the world will change in every way
But you're still you from what you learned before
And you're not caught up in the rosaries
Cause you're busy buying groceries
And all that I can do is hold the door
When the sad's so rich and full of grace
That it had to come from a happy place
You'll hug it tight, not push it like a child
Then you'll leave it when you're ready too,
With an open heart for something new
But it's always there to visit for a while

And I said- I'm gonna live out loud
I'm gonna wake up proud everyday and find the light
And I said- I'm gonna tow the line
I'm gonna find the time everyday I'll make it bright

When the Earth is spinning all around
And you happen to be upside down,
There's nothing you can do but stop and sigh
But you don't go cursing angrily
At Newton's laws of gravity-
It's good enough to breathe and be alive!
When you feel that setting autumn sun
And you know that winter's bound to come
But in a stinging way that snow is beautiful
And you know that it could melt away
Cause it always has before today,
So you march on through it better than before!
I'm gonna find the time, every day