Song Notes, January 2017

Happy New Year!

So, as I noted in December, each month I'm going to be featuring one of the songs from the record here on my website. I'll post the song on the site (you can hear it by clicking on "The Music"), and do a blog post with the lyrics and a little background about the song.

This month's song is called Granny's Song:

My grandmother, Jean Atwater, passed away in November of 2015. She knew her time was coming, and I would sometimes go sing her a few songs. One day she asked me if I could write a song about dying that was upbeat and positive — she felt like there were many songs about death, but most of them were not very happy (big surprise).

I'm usually a pretty slow songwriter. Many of my songs have taken months, even years, to go from inspiration to completion. But this one came together pretty quickly, probably less than a week. I tried to think about things that my grandmother had said, and put myself in her shoes a little bit.

Unfortunately, by the time the song was finished she had already lost a lot of awareness. I sang it for her a few times before she passed, but I'm not sure she really understood that this was the song she had requested. Nonetheless, I'd like to think that on some level she appreciated it.

This is the most "full band" sounding song on the album, and there are a bunch of awesome musicians on the track. Simon Chrisman, my longtime friend and hammered dulcimer virtuoso, is on bass; Tristan Clarridge, Simon's bandmate in The Bee Eaters and a many time national fiddle champion, is on the fiddle; awesome Seattle-based multi-instrumentalist Dave Keenan of the Downtown Mountain Boys joins us with his sweet sounding National guitar; and Johnny Bregar and Mike Derzon are on the vocal harmonies.

Granny’s Song

Well if you come around here late tonight

You might see my lights on

Mmm hmm

Oh I’m tired but I can’t sleep for looking out the door

Don’t want to wait no more

Woah, no

 

Well when the morning comes I’m gonna rise up

Like a bluebird to the sky

Mmm Hmm

I got my traveling shoes, I’m going where the blues can’t find me

You won’t see me crying

Woah, no

 

Chorus: But don’t weep for me

‘Cause I’m ready to be free, and don’t be blue

I love this world

More than I ever knew, so just let me know

Before I go

That you love me too

 

Well there ain’t no car or train, there ain’t no aeroplane

Gonna take me on my way

Woah, no

And I haven’t been out walking in quite some time now

But I believe it’s the right time

Mmm hmm

 

I’m gonna walk and walk ‘til my feet can’t walk no more

All the way to that heavenly door

Mmm Hmm

And these troubles in my heart have been my load to bear

But I won’t need them there

Woah, no

 

Chorus

 

Said if you come around tomorrow night

You might see the lights on

Mmm hmm

Come on in and join the crowd and raise a glass or three

Drink to my memory

Mmm hmm

 

Chorus

Song Notes, December 2016

Howdy!

To celebrate and promote the release of my solo album, Every Little Thing, I am commencing a monthly installment of my blog which I’ll be calling “song notes” (unless a more creative title presents itself). Each month I’ll feature a song from the record, making it available for streaming on my website and posting the lyrics here, along with a few notes about my own experience of the song and the writing process. This month, in the spirit of giving, and also because the album is about to come out and I’m so eager to share it with you, I’m doing a bonus song, so you get two! You can click over to “The Music” to give them a listen.

Time is a Traitor

This song is a reflection on what a strange and complicated time we live in, and on the odd juxtaposition of being an acoustic musician living in an ever-more modern world. I have often found myself struggling to feel at home in the world I live in, and though I’m certainly aware of how much harder many aspects of life were in the past, I can’t shake the feeling that the pace and complexity of today’s world just isn’t that good for us.

As a songwriter, I am constantly borrowing, stealing from and being inspired by the work of others, and the first seeds of this song were planted by hearing Caleb Klauder and Reeb Wilms’ fantastic version of a song called “Last of my Kind”, by Paul Burch. You can check that out right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqXC5ZprslI

On the album, I’m joined for this song by Simon Chrisman on hammered dulcimer and Tristan Clarridge on cello, with Johnny Bregar on harmony vocals. These guys did a beautiful job of capturing the melancholy vibe from which the song was born.

It seemed fitting, given the personal nature of this song, to keep the recording simple, and so it’s just mandolin and vocals. Johnny (the recording engineer) did a beautiful job with the recording and mixing, keeping the tones crisp and dry and helping capture that feel of a cold winter day.

 

Last night I lay awake so long

Moaning and turning and wondering how

The winds of time could blow so wrong

And leave a man stranded where he don’t belong

 

I wish I’d been born to the hoe and the plow

Or to sail the deep waters of the wide open sea

My mama and papa can’t understand how

The world that they know has no place for me now

 

Chorus: Oh time is a traitor, and time is a tide

Like a lover it went out and left me behind

And I wish I could go, and I wish I was gone

I wish I weren’t stranded where I don’t belong

 

Oh lord, give me sweet loam, five acres to call home

Let me live my days in quiet and peace

In the city a man needs a heart like a stone

And folks turn their backs when they see you alone

 

Chorus

 

When I go on and this world I forsake

Lay me down under that willow to dream

Of simpler times and the glory we’ll make

When Gabriel’s trumpet calls dreamers to wake

 

Chorus

 

 

 

Winter Rose

I wrote this song for my daughter, Cecily, whose birthday is in January. While a part of me loves the gray wetness of Northwest winters, the short days and lack of sunshine can be a challenge, and I was drawn to the metaphor of a flower blooming in winter, helping to point out joy and color in a time of darkness and cold.

Like many of my songs, I had a few lines and the central image of the song in my head for a long time before the song was completed. It often takes a while to figure out what I song is actually about, and in this case the realization that my daugher was the “winter rose” helped the rest of the song come together.

 

The bare trees raise crooked hands

Up to the sky

A pale congregation, all dressed in white

 

I can’t hear their prayers

But I hope they’ll hear mine

The cold wind will carry my words

Through the pines

 

Winter’s got a hold

And it won’t let go

The days are too short and the nights are too cold

 

The fields are all fallow

And the birds are long gone

But one little blossom remains

She holds on

 

Chorus: I found a secret that I’ll share with you

A way to face the dark night

And see it through

I’ve seen a beauty that nobody knows

Outside my window grows

A winter rose

 

The sun is the preacher

In the chapel of the sky

And it stains the glass bloody as it falls from on high

 

The sermon is short

But the gospel of light

Will sustain the most precious of flowers

Through the night

 

Chorus

Kickstarter successful!

Holy smokes! I'm floored by the generosity of my community. Last night around 9 I sent out some emails and Facebook posts to get the last $1000 of funding for my Kickstarter. Within about two hours, it was done, and donations have kept coming. At this point, it's about $400 overfunded. I want to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this happen, by backing the project, sharing and reposting, word of mouth, etc.

 

I'm so excited to get into the studio and make this record for you! Stay tuned for progress reports.

Holy smokes! A blog!

Hi friends!

 

Welcome to my shiny new website! I’ll be posting updates here perdiodically to keep you abreast of all my musical adventures.

Right now, I’m pretty excited about a few things:

 

I have a website. Cool!

I have a new music video, courtesy of the awesome Johnny Bregar. Click on over to “The Music” and check it out!

Speaking of which… that song is one of several that will appear on my debut album, which I’ll be recording this winter with the aforementioned Awesome Johnny. I am about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the album. Be on the lookout for that in the next few days!

Please subscribe to my mailing list below to stay up to date on shows, the Kickstarter, and other happenings.

I’m looking forward to sharing lots of exciting news and music with you in the near future. Stay tuned!

Andrew Lovejoy Music   

andrew@andrewlovejoymusic.com